“No shit” headline of the day

“Pope Benedict Says Pharmacists Have Right To Conscientiously Object To Fill Emergency Contraception”
B-dog is at it again! It’s no huge surprise that our anti-gay, anti-abortion, anti-woman and yes, even anti-rock Pope would also be anti-birth control.
Pope Benedict XVI assured pharmacists at the 25th International Congress of Catholic Pharmacists on Monday that they should object to filling prescriptions for emergency contraception, as well as give moral “advice” to those seeking EC. You know, because it’s their business and all.

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28 Comments

  1. bubblewrapgenie
    Posted November 1, 2007 at 10:24 am | Permalink

    For those of you who say “Why don’t Catholic feminists speak out against the Pope?” : This is me speaking out. Pope Benny is fucked up.
    But there’s only so much I can do/say. He lives in Rome, ya know.

  2. Posted November 1, 2007 at 10:30 am | Permalink

    They shouldn’t give moral advice. That’s proselytizing and it is not their job (Can Scientologist pharmacists refuse to fill psychiatric prescriptions?). The most they can do is explain what, biologically, the contraceptive is doing (“this drug will prevent the fertilized blastocyst from implanting on your uterine wall, so it cannot grow” not “OMG this will KILLZ YOUR BABY!”)
    However, they certainly have a right to not give out the contraceptives. They have a choice in that matter. They can either always work with another pharmacist on duty who will, or they can quit.
    I’m waiting for “Christian Pharmacies” to pop up in the South, honestly.

  3. sgzax
    Posted November 1, 2007 at 10:36 am | Permalink

    Pharmacists are not doctors and they DO NOT have the right to decide which medication a patient should or should not be able to obtain. If they can’t handle that aspect of their jobs they should find another line of work.

  4. prof/activist
    Posted November 1, 2007 at 10:36 am | Permalink

    This story — and now the Wisconsin Assembly passed legislation requiring docs to affirm that a woman was not coerced into an abortion — the law already stipulates that a woman signs a consent form; this is just further ridiculous bullshit.
    Bubblewrapgenie — the Popester lives in Rome, but Wisconsin is right here at home. This story needs some serious attention!
    http://www.kaisernetwork.org/daily_reports/rep_women.cfm#48580

  5. Xana
    Posted November 1, 2007 at 10:45 am | Permalink

    Another Catholic chiming in to say that this is fooked up yo.
    I, and many liberal Catholics that I know, hypothesize that they only elected Benedict because they needed a conservative buffer after Pope John Paul II before electing a more liberal Pope. I cannot wait for the day that happens. Until then I’ll keep writing letters, spreading the word, and praying.

  6. Xana
    Posted November 1, 2007 at 11:00 am | Permalink

    Oh, and before someone asks me what I’m actually “doing” about this instead of just talking the talk: I’m working on a letter and spreading the word so more people are aware of this and can chime in their voices too.

  7. Posted November 1, 2007 at 11:16 am | Permalink

    The decision to use contraception to prevent an unintended pregnancy is a moral decision. While every one of the millions of women who use contraception has her own reasons for doing so, the most common reasons are based on women’s own moral choices:
    *Some women have decided that their family only has the resources to feed, clothe, house and educate how ever many children they have.
    *Others are delaying childbearing until they meet their goals in terms of their job, education, finances or marital status.
    *Some women would rather not subject children to a known genetic disease or disorder.
    *And maybe some women are waiting until this country improves support for working families (see Bush’s SCHIP veto or the limited assistance for childcare) before having a child.
    These women might view the decision to not use contraception as immoral.
    For more on this and the pope’s statement check out this post by Jill Morrison.

  8. ElleMariachi
    Posted November 1, 2007 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

    Uh huh…that’s why I go to my pharmacist. For, y’know, advice on what to do if I’m pregnant. You think they can lend me some cash to take care of my baby or toss in some free diapers and babysitting hours if they won’t give me the EC?

  9. Lydia
    Posted November 1, 2007 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

    As someone who was raised Catholic, it’s not the least bit surprising.
    In religion class once we were discussing abortion, and someone brought up the issue of rape. My religion teacher actually had the nerve to say something along the lines of “rape is very traumatizing for a woman, so why would she want to be traumatized more by having an abortion?”
    That’s the Catholic logic for ya.

  10. Posted November 1, 2007 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

    Because having a baby that you don’t want isn’t traumatizing at all!
    Anyway, Catholic pharmacists need to quit bellyaching and do their job, which is fill the prescription and hand it to the customer. Essentially, all medications “play God.” If I have a headache, these religious zealots believe my headache is in God’s plan. If I take an Advil to stop my headache, I’m going against God’s plan, aren’t I? So unless pharamcists are going to not fill any prescription or allow me to purchase any medicine, then they’re nothing more than women-hating religious freaks.

  11. rileystclair
    Posted November 1, 2007 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

    pharmacists are like, one step below chiropractors in the medical hierarchy. i don’t know why it’s so hard to quit whining and do your effing job, which is to dispense medication per a DOCTOR’S recommendation. you know, the person who actually went to medical school.
    it’s cute how the people who are generally all about letting “the market” run wild because jesus wouldn’t want the government interfering in the affairs of megacorporations ignore all this and act like anti-choice christian pharmacists don’t have a choice to be in that profession. i don’t see anyone holding guns to their heads. if anyone in another job tried to pull that shit, they’d get fired.

  12. annejumps
    Posted November 1, 2007 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

    They don’t want to stop being pharmacists. They want to shape the pharmacy industry by controlling what drugs people are able to get, and are trying to do that by claiming religious discrimination. They’re not stupid, but they are manipulative.
    And it’s not just pharmacists. There are “Christian” GYNs who will go out of their way to avoid prescribing birth control pills.
    http://www.rcrc.org/news/views/do_no_harm.cfm

  13. Q
    Posted November 1, 2007 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

    One step below a chiropractor? Are you fucking kidding me? Being a pharmacist (not a pharmacy tech) requires a PhD. Four years of university with a heavy dose of science, and four years of pharmacy school.
    Contrast that with doctors, who get ONE WHOPPING SEMESTER about drugs. Yeah, doctors know more about drugs than pharmacists. HAHAHAHAHAHA! Good one.
    I don’t believe that anyone working in a pharmacy has the right to pick and choose which scripts to fill. If you don’t like certain drugs – go work in a laboratory or for a drug company. No one is *required* to work in a dispensary.
    I just think it’s important to distinguish between refusing to dispense a medication on “moral” grounds and refusing to dispense because the prescription is (a) for a dosage that doesn’t exist, (b) for something that will interact with medication the patient is already taking, (c) for something that has been proven to no longer be effective to treat the stated illness. Those things happen all the time and it IS the pharmacist’s job to catch these things, call the doc, and do what is best for the patient. So, it’s not like the pharmacist is nothing more than a pill counting cashier – it’s that decisions based on so-called “moral” beliefs are not part of the job description.

  14. BluePencils
    Posted November 1, 2007 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

    The Pope is correct, pharmacists do have the right not to dispense emergency contraception. It’s called “resigning.” If they don’t want to do their jobs, because of any reason: moral objections, pay disputes, or a hangover, that’s fine. They can quit. But they can’t pick and choose which parts of their job they think are worthy. I’m the managing editor of a small publishing house. If I told my boss that I didn’t want to work on a particular title because it endorsed abortion, I would be fired. I was hired to produce books, my bosses should not have to find someone else to do my job because of my moral objections. And it’s a slippery slope. One day it’s a refusal to dispense EC, the next it’s a refusal to dispense AIDS drugs. A pharmacist isn’t a doctor, he or she has no right to choose a patient’s care. Period.

  15. ekf
    Posted November 1, 2007 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

    I bet the Pope and the nutbar Pharmacists would be totally be for the following exchanges to be legally permitted as well…
    Butcher: “I’m sorry, Ma’am. I cannot fulfill your request for 1/4 lb. of black forest ham, because I am a Muslim and it goes against my religion to touch pork products.”
    Customer: “But you’re a butcher — and your butcher shop sells ham, right? What’s the deal?”
    Butcher: “Well, if you want your filthy ham, you can wait until my shift is over in five hours, or you can go somewhere else.”

    Wal-Mart Greeter: “Welcome to Wal-Mart. I’m sorry, Ma’am, but I am only allowed to shake your husband’s hand, because I observe Orthodox Judaism and may only touch the woman who is my wife.”
    Customer: ???

    Steakhouse Waiter: “Yes, I know that the steak is on the menu, but I will not bring it to you. I’m Hindu and believe eating cows is an abomination.”
    Diner: “Why do you work here?”
    Steakhouse Waiter: “Well, they also serve chicken and fish, and vegetarian side orders, so it’s not like your choices are really limited. You just can’t get what you came here to get, right? Anyway, be happy you got me — the next waiter’s a vegetarian.”

  16. starknut
    Posted November 1, 2007 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

    This really pisses me off. I’ve had to deal with being denied EC in the past, and it was hell. But it wasn’t the pharmacist that denied me. It was my doctor. She wouldn’t even refer me to someone who COULD write me a prescription. Needless to say, I’ve never been back through THAT doctor’s doors.
    It’s downright unprofessional to deny someone medical care because of your beliefs. What makes yours more important or more honorable than mine?

  17. DrkEyedCajn
    Posted November 1, 2007 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

    The nurse at the Catholic college I (briefly) attended initially denied me hormonal b/c when I asked for it. Would you believe she recommended I go to Planned Parenthood?? I argued with her for a while, asking if she would prefer I have an unwanted pregnancy, before she buckled and gave me birth control “for cramps.”

  18. meggers
    Posted November 1, 2007 at 10:30 pm | Permalink

    There’s an International Congress of Catholic Pharmacists?

  19. Posted November 1, 2007 at 11:17 pm | Permalink

    The religious discrimination claim is totally without merit. It is a way for Christofascist doctors to deny all of you women your birth control pills and as a man, I am totally disgusted by the anti-choice Christofascist agenda.
    If I owned a pharmacist and I get word that a woman was denied birth control pills by a pharmacist because the pharmacist is “pro-life Christian/Catholic”, that person who denied the woman her birth control pills will be looking for employment somewhere lese.

  20. Posted November 1, 2007 at 11:17 pm | Permalink

    The religious discrimination claim is totally without merit. It is a way for Christofascist doctors to deny all of you women your birth control pills and as a man, I am totally disgusted by the anti-choice Christofascist agenda.
    If I owned a pharmacist and I get word that a woman was denied birth control pills by a pharmacist because the pharmacist is “pro-life Christian/Catholic”, that person who denied the woman her birth control pills will be looking for employment somewhere else.

  21. Posted November 1, 2007 at 11:17 pm | Permalink

    The religious discrimination claim is totally without merit. It is a way for Christofascist doctors to deny all of you women your birth control pills and as a man, I am totally disgusted by the anti-choice Christofascist agenda.
    If I owned a pharmacist and I get word that a woman was denied birth control pills by a pharmacist because the pharmacist is “pro-life Christian/Catholic”, that person who denied the woman her birth control pills will be looking for employment somewhere else.

  22. Posted November 1, 2007 at 11:21 pm | Permalink

    Sorry for the triple post.

  23. Persephone
    Posted November 2, 2007 at 2:20 am | Permalink

    If Christian pharmacists are allowed to refuse the sale of emergency contraception, then I, as a retail worker who is also a householder Yogini, shouldn’t have to sell people meat, because it’s against MY spiritual beliefs. But of course that will legislation like that ever be passed, nor would I want it to be (for obvious reasons), because it is absolutely NONE of my business what other people do to THEIR BODIES (or in this case, put into their bodies…)

  24. Emily
    Posted November 2, 2007 at 8:43 am | Permalink

    Two things:
    1. Being denied prescribed medicine because of a potential interaction with something I’m already taking or a problem with the prescription is VERY different from being denied medicine because of my pharmacist’s moral beliefs. If there is a problem with the prescription, I’m sure the pharmacist will work with the doctor to fix it and get me the care I need. If the pharmacist has a moral issue, I’m sent on my way with no solution to the problem. It’s a HUGE difference.
    2. Pharmacists have a Doctor of Pharmacy degree. It’s a professional degree that is more along the lines of a medical degree or a law degree than a PhD. A PhD is a Doctor of Philosophy, which is a completely different degree.

  25. Pup, MD
    Posted November 2, 2007 at 10:03 am | Permalink

    Being a pharmacist (not a pharmacy tech) requires a PhD.
    No, it doesn’t. Just like being a lawyer or a doctor doesn’t require a phd.
    Four years of university with a heavy dose of science, and four years of pharmacy school.Contrast that with doctors, who get ONE WHOPPING SEMESTER about drugs.
    Okay, you officially have no idea what you’re talking about.
    Pharmacists, especially hospital pharmacists, are uber-respected by MDs, because, yes, they have all the answers to the questions that are just outside the doctor’s common knowledge. Dosing adjustments, pharmacokinetics, local antibiotic sensitivities, give me a PharmD any day. But they have paltry training in diagnosing illness or clinical management of much of anything. There’s a big difference between knowing important details about drugs, and knowing medicine.
    Which isn’t to say that pharmacists aren’t extremely important and deserve our respect. My wife is deciding between pharm school and med school (she’s taking post-bac classes, and is more than qualified for either), because with pharm school she’ll have much more time to be with our kids and won’t have to do a residency and will still have a respectable job when she’s done (her choice, I’d support either way).
    That said, MDs are given substantial training in giving patient-centered, compassionate care, and still most COMPLETELY SUCK at it. I don’t know why we would rationally expect pharmacists at Walgreens to be able to evaluate a patient’s values in front of a counter when they don’t even do a very good job making sure folks don’t get drugs that could kill them in combination.

  26. Pup, MD
    Posted November 2, 2007 at 10:08 am | Permalink

    Man, I suck at html :0( Sorry for the italics…

  27. Q
    Posted November 2, 2007 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

    @ Pup, MD:
    You are correct that it’s a Pharm-D and not a PhD. I typically fail to distinguish doctorates except for MD’s, which are clearly in their own category. I stand corrected.
    BTW, I’m not totally talking out of my ass here, my husband and cousin are Phram-Ds and my in-laws are both physicians.
    Anyway, my main point was to ask people to back off the blanket notion that the pharmacist should STFU and fill the script because he or she is not a doctor.
    I think we can object to any pharmacy employee refusing to dispense BCPs for “moral” reasons without trashing the profession or making ignorant comments.
    I do agree that pharmacists are not qualified to diagnose, but it sounds like we both agree that they can provide extremely important advice and participate in drug related treatment decisions with physicians. They are not robots who do nothing more than read the script, fill it, and ring it up. That’s all I really wanted to say.

  28. Megan
    Posted November 3, 2007 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

    I’m always slightly concerned when we start considering the Pope’s opinion on these things. We all know what he’s going to say. Even if we get a more liberal Pope, he won’t change the position–the church will always be anti-birth control and anti-contraception.
    The important thing here isn’t trying to change Rome (they’ve been this way for 2000+ year, they’re stuck in their ways). We need to focus on ensuring this religious position doesn’t find it’s way into policy. As a Catholic pro-choicer, I find a lot of Catholics are going their own way these days; we have the sex abuse scandal to thank for that. So take heart in the fact that millions of young Catholic today are attempting mass on Sundays, but doing what the hell they want with their own bodies. We can’t, and shouldn’t, interfere with the religious doctrine being spewed out their; instead, our challenge is to ensure we provide public resources to counter the effects of it.

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