Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Having Actually MET Life...

Memo to "Pharmacists For Life": YOU ARE DUMB.
Reason Why Atheists Are Better Than Fundamentalists, #97 of 4,800 (collect them all!): Atheists happily work in our nation's bookstores, freely and happily dispensing Bibles, Korans, Chicken Soup For The Christian Soul, and Left Behind books, despite our profound belief that these books are full of shit and will destroy the nascent, child-like intellect residing in the skull. We keep our yaps shut, and perform the job we were hired for, taking your money and handing you the items you ask for without comment or hindrance.
Pity the same can't be said for fundamentalist pharmacist assholes, who have made headlines repeatedly over the past few years for refusing to dispense birth control pills, emergency contraception doses, and RU-486 because these pills conflict morally with both their deeply held religious beliefs and their inexplicable ignorance of science.
I mean, the RU-486 thing is just the run of the mill embryo fetishism that drives the modern pro-life movement. At least RU-486 does the thing that the people opposing it dislike. It's still dumb, but it's a familiar kind of dumb. Some people believe that an embryo is the single most important thing in the entire universe, and others of us believe that abortion should be legal through roughly the 90th trimester. But if you take a job as a pharmacist, you know going in you're going to be dispensing pills you wouldn't take yourself. That's part of the job description. If your beliefs don't allow you to do that, then you should be selling teddy bears holding crosses to Jesus-freaks at the strip-mall "inspirational store", not next door at Walgreens adding "the peril of your immortal soul" to the list of potential side-effects.
Gone are the days when pharmacists were practically small-town doctors in their own right. The days of the knowledgeable old man who'd wink at you slyly as you fearfully asked him for your first box of rubbers are long gone, and thank fuck for that. These days, to be a "pharmacists", you need to know three things - how to tell the difference between Cialis and Viagra; how to count to 50, and how to use the electronic time-card system at the Target that pays you seven bucks an hour to do things one and two. Just because you're behind a glass wall doesn't give you the right to pass judgment, and just because you wear a lab coat, that doesn't make you a fucking scientist.
Which explains the assault on emergency contraception and birth-control pills. In the latest instance, of which there have been many, a pharmacist in New Hampshire refused to issue emergency contraception to someone with a valid prescription because of his psychotic pro-life views. In addition, he refused to refer her to another pharmacy that -could- fill the prescription. Since the moron in question, Todd Sklencar, is hiding out and refusing to talk to people, we'll have to rely on the testimony of his victim, who was unable to fill the prescription within the 72 hours required for emergency contraception to be effective. Yes, it's ACTUAL QUOTING A QUOTE TIME!
"He said something like, 'I believe this will end the fertilization of the egg and this conception was your choice,'"
- Laconia resident Suzanne Richards.
Of course it will end the fertilization of the egg. It's CONTRACEPTION, you-maple syrup-snorting, backwoods fuck! This goes way beyond blastula-worship. Now the pro-lifers are calling the LACK OF FERTILIZATION the ending of a life. "Sorry, lady, the spoims gotta do what the spoims gotta do, and I'm morally obligated to do everything in my power to force you to have a baby."
Pharmacist organizations do have "conscience clauses" supporting this kind of rampant bullshit, but at least that same code of conduct requires any busybodies in their profession to help the patient fill the prescription somewhere else. That, of course, is completely unreasonable and "stupid", according to the president of Pharmacists for Life International, Karen Brauer, who really, really shouldn't be bandying about words like "stupid" after saying things like:
"If we're not going to kill a human being, we're not going to help the customer go do it somewhere else."
For the last time, a bunch of sperm that may or may not be viable heading toward an egg that may or may not be THERE is NOT a human life. I don't care if you believe that it is, you do not get to put yourself in a position of power and ruin other people's lives just because you're INSANE. I may believe, in my heart of hearts, that dog shit tastes like sweet, sweet candy, but if I ran down the street shoving dog shit into people's mouths, I'd be sent somewhere quiet and alone for a very long time indeed. Yet "pharmacists for life" somehow get a pass from society.
Tolerating the crazy people does not mean we should let them set policy.