Connecticut Catholic hospitals will dispense EC

Here’s some good news to get you revved up for the weekend.

Roman Catholic bishops in Connecticut have agreed to let hospital personnel give emergency contraception to all rape victims, reversing their decision days before a new state law requires it.

Okay, so they were forced to comply. Whatevs. At least women in Connecticut can rest a little easier. But here’s an interesting tidbit. Apparently, state church officials wanted to mandate an ovulation test for women seeking emergency contraception before they would dispense it. The idea being if a woman was ovulating there was a better chance of conception having taken place–and then they wouldn’t give her EC.
And people have the nerve to argue that anti-choice shit isn’t about controlling women’s bodies?

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17 Comments

  1. Kimmy
    Posted September 28, 2007 at 10:03 am | Permalink

    So they were hoping they could set it up where they only handed out EC if they thought there was a better chance that the woman didn’t actually need it? That would be funny if it weren’t so horrifying.
    “Sure, you can have the antibiotics! Let me just check real quick to make sure you don’t actually have an infection, ’cause otherwise I can’t treat you.”

  2. jacque
    Posted September 28, 2007 at 10:40 am | Permalink

    Well Kimmy beat me to it, but yeah so they will only give it to women who probably don’t need it? WTF? Do they really think that people are so stupid that they won’t see this for what it is – noncompliance?

  3. l.short.1230
    Posted September 28, 2007 at 11:45 am | Permalink

    So, this is what I learned in Catholic High School (that was about six years ago)
    rape = not your fault. Therefore, it is okay if you -prevent- pregency. i.e. it’s good if you can convince your rapist to wear a condom, while you’re not supposed to have your husband wearing one. However, they still don’t like killing babies. Therefore, you cannot/should not abort a baby from rape. (we were told that if we had EC within 24 hours we would probably be okay)
    What they are trying to do is prevent already concieved babies from being aborted, while preventing women who -might- concieve from doing so.
    Theoretically, if Catholics ruled the world, rape wouldn’t happen. Ironically, my morality teacher didn’t like it when I suggested that the only way to stop abortions was a governmental coup, instituting a theocracy. Apparently he didn’t appreciate sarcasm. (My logic being that, in a democracy, religous morals of one group should not dictate the morals of others, and attempting to do so, was in fact, attempting to institute a theocracy–so why not just be blunt about it?)

  4. LindsayPW
    Posted September 28, 2007 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

    The health clinic I went to gave me an ovulation test before they gave me EC. This was 2 years ago.

  5. Posted September 28, 2007 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

    From how I understand it (and maybe someone who is actually Catholic knows better), their reasoning for not providing it if ovulation had occurred is that it may prevent implantation of a fertilized egg. If ovulation hadn’t occurred, then it was ok to stop the egg from being released.
    Now, the problem with this is that as far as I can tell (despite what it says on several general sites about “Plan B” may work in any number of ways), Plan B only works by preventing ovulation (see here). If anyone can point me towards any scientific research that shows levonorgestrel works differently, please let me know.

  6. ShifterCat
    Posted September 28, 2007 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

    I recall reading that when Sue Johanson began working as a nurse, she and her fellow nurses were allowed to give out condoms to sailors, but were told to poke holes in them with a pin, to “give sperm a fighting chance”.

  7. theaerosolkid
    Posted September 28, 2007 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

    And people have the nerve to argue that anti-choice shit isn’t about controlling women’s bodies?
    Well. If I may. I don’t think that there’s a vast conservative conspiracy to keep women barefoot and in the kitchen by not allowing birth control. The pro-lifers (or, if you prefer, anti-choicers) I know are all of the opinion that abortion is murder — so, you know, while I disagree that the “morning-after pill” is the same as abortion and that abortion itself is always murder, it’s still good to be rational about the fact that in these institutions’ and people’s minds, they’re preventing something horrific from happening.
    That being said, at least they’re buckling under pressure, right? If I’m ever in Connecticut I’ll feel much more comfortable ;)

  8. JPlum
    Posted September 28, 2007 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

    Perhaps not a vast conservative conspiracy, in the sense that they don’t get together and hold regular meetings to discus it, but certainly a whole lot of individual conservative men who share the same values, and want to control women. THe results are the same, regardless.

  9. JPlum
    Posted September 28, 2007 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

    Perhaps not a vast conservative conspiracy, in the sense that they don’t get together and hold regular meetings to discus it, but certainly a whole lot of individual conservative men who share the same values, and want to control women. THe results are the same, regardless.

  10. Spider Jerusalem
    Posted September 28, 2007 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

    The really interesting thing (to me) about this story, is that the hospitals made the change before the legislation went into effect and released a statement justifying their decision as “probably not evil” because the Pope hasn’t specifically ruled on it yet.

  11. Izzy
    Posted September 28, 2007 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

    They’re probably justifying the ovulation test by saying that if she’s ovulating, EC would be an abortion, and they don’t have to provide abortions. If she’s not, its just birth control. (Still a no-no, just not as bad in their eyes.)
    The entire concept of being denied emergency medical treatment only when you need it the most is terrifying.

  12. oenophile
    Posted September 28, 2007 at 6:34 pm | Permalink

    The idea, as I see it, is that if you have already ovulated, Plan B may work by preventing implantation. If you have not ovulated, you can get pregnant for the next five or six days. Therefore, you can take the Pill to prevent ovulation without the moral issue of preventing the implantation of a fertlised egg.
    Random question: why should it matter, for practical purposes? If Plan B does not work by preventing implantation, and the woman has already ovulated, then why do you care if she gets to take it or not? Same result, no?

  13. Therese Norén
    Posted September 29, 2007 at 11:00 am | Permalink

    Oenophile, ovulation tests detects an ovulation that’s about to happen, not one that has happened. If a woman tests positive, she’s very much in need of levonorgestrel to stop the ovulation.

  14. oenophile
    Posted September 29, 2007 at 9:23 pm | Permalink

    So what?
    Big question: if the test indicates that ovulation is about to happen, will Plan B stop it in time?
    There is no way that the drug works the second you put it in your mouth. Somehow, you have to ingest it, digest it, and it has to go through your system. There is some point at which it is simply too late for it to be effective to stop ovulation. Big question: when is that point?
    Furthermore, were they talking about hormone-based ovulation tests, or ultrasounds? If it’s the latter, sorry, Theresa, I’m right. (The test would tell you how close to ovulation the woman is; doctors could use it to determine if ovulation has just happened or if it is going to happen in several days.)
    Shrug.

  15. Therese Norén
    Posted September 30, 2007 at 7:28 am | Permalink

    Oenophile, getting someone’s name right is a basic measure of respect. It’s Therese.
    “Ovulation tests” are hormonal and show the LH surge. The LH surge is between 24 and 48 hours before the actual ovulation, and LH can be detected at rather low levels. At those levels, levonorgestrel (which has a peak serum concentration 3 hours after intake) can still stop ovulation.

  16. Therese Norén
    Posted September 30, 2007 at 7:33 am | Permalink

    …and ultrasounds are notoriously uncertain for determining the exact ovulation date. You can see a dominant follicle in the late follicular phase, but you can’t tell if it’s about to burst during the next three hours with any certainty. They’re extra uncertain in women with ovarian cysts, which are not uncommon. You can tell if there is a corpus luteum and no follicle, and then you wouldn’t need EC anyway.

  17. oenophile
    Posted September 30, 2007 at 7:47 pm | Permalink

    Therese,
    I did not deliberately get your name wrong. Get off your high horse, cupcake. My IRL name is misspelled more often than not, and I don’t chew people out over it. (Yes, it even happens when people reply to my emails or the like.) Sing a little Aretha and you’ll feel better. :)
    I know how ovulation tests work. What I did not know is how Plan B works – or rather, its time frame.
    No one said how the ovulation test results are used. That was the implied part of my question. Y’all seem to assume the worst, because, apparently, Catholics are evil.
    Awww, ultrasounds are “notoriously unreliable.” Wow… guess Catholics shouldn’t use them, then, because Catholics are evil and want to control women’s bodies. (No, it’s not about protecting human life – it’s really about “controlling women.” Eyeroll.)
    You can tell if there is a corpus luteum and no follicle, and then you wouldn’t need EC anyway.

    ::Bangs head against desk.::
    Well, given that Plan B has side effects, wouldn’t that be a good thing? Wouldn’t it be even better to tell a young woman who had just been attacked, “Don’t even worry about getting pregnant – you are nowhere near ovulation.”

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