In Connecticut, it shouldn't take more than a short ride to get to another hospital - Joe Lieberman
September 22, 2006 3:41 PM   Subscribe

Folks, the condom broke Friday night and I searched all weekend for someone who could prescribe me EC. It is now Monday and I have to report that I have been unable to find anyone who will write me a fucking prescription for EC. None of the hospitals in the surrounding counties would write it for me. I stopped my search at about 100 miles from my home because my telephone book wouldn't take me out any further than that.

I have been asked about my sexual practices. Whether I'm 'monogamous' or 'in a relationship' if I'm married, if I have kids, how many kids I have, if I was raped or 'traumatized' but there wasn’t' ONE question about my health. Not one. The few places that said that they had a doctor who would occasionally write prescriptions for EC told me that I had to ask for that doctor specifically and then they proceeded to tell me that I would be 'interviewed' to see if I meet that doctors 'criteria' and then they proceeded to ask me all the above questions before telling me that I should 'try anyway' and I 'might be able to talk him into it'.
posted by orthogonality (190 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
 
The woman (who doesn't have a US senator's salary or health plan) says: "When I asked about what 'criteria' there was that I had to meet, the reply was, "Well, he's kind of old fashioned". I was told that I might be able to 'talk him into it' anyway and that it can't hurt to try (except for the fact that each and every time I try it I'll have to pay $100 co-pay)."

Senator Joe Lieberman (who biologically can't get pregnant) says: "In Connecticut, it shouldn't take more than a short ride to get to another hospital".
posted by orthogonality at 3:44 PM on September 22, 2006


Senator Joe Lieberman (who biologically can't get pregnant) says: "In Connecticut, it shouldn't take more than a short ride to get to another hospital".

Third sentence of the post: "I live in rural Ohio and I have been denied EC. "
posted by booksandlibretti at 3:47 PM on September 22, 2006


Some of the crowd at Hit and Run is skeptical of her story.
posted by Kwantsar at 3:47 PM on September 22, 2006


Senator Joe Lieberman (who biologically can't get pregnant)

that's no reason for the electorate not to try this november
posted by riotgrrl69 at 3:47 PM on September 22, 2006 [6 favorites]


If your ballot doesn't count, vote with your feet. There will come a time when the Taliban wing of the Republican Party sees their lawyers, doctors, scientists, artists, and PhDs brain-drain their states and counties for areas of the country that don't participate in this kind of insanity.
posted by Saucy Intruder at 3:48 PM on September 22, 2006


Hmmmm?
posted by anotherbrick at 3:50 PM on September 22, 2006


I am appalled so many doctors and ERs gave her this kind of run around. Perhaps there's grounds for lawsuit here.

...but then she adds this:

"I’m off to smoke a carton of cigarettes and suck down more butter rum so stick that in your morality pipe and smoke it you dirty bastards. Oh and if I end up having to get an abortion I’ll ask if I can keep the little parasite [...]"

If a child is born afterall I hope he or she never reads that.
posted by StarForce5 at 3:50 PM on September 22, 2006 [1 favorite]


Um, due to the Electoral College system and other various weightings built into the American goverment system wouln't a non-taliban walkout from the taliban states lead to them running the entire country?
posted by Artw at 3:52 PM on September 22, 2006


Some of the crowd at Hit and Run is skeptical of her story.

Some of the crowd not at Hit and Run aren't skeptical of her story. Do you have a point?
posted by bshort at 3:52 PM on September 22, 2006


anotherbrick, the linked post explains that OTC Plan B won't be available until 1/1/07, and there is no requirement (at the federal level anyway) that pharmacies carry it.

I still don't see what this has to do with Lieberman. (There are very few places in Connecticut where you can drive 100 miles and still be in Connecticut.)
posted by Saucy Intruder at 3:53 PM on September 22, 2006


Actually there was an askme about this. Apparently six regular birth control pills = one EC. Or something like that. And this girl should hopefully have some pills left over.
posted by delmoi at 3:54 PM on September 22, 2006


booksandlibretti writes "Third sentence of the post: 'I live in rural Ohio and I have been denied EC. '"


Yeah, I saw that. But Lieberman's a US senator; bills he votes on become Federal law in Connecticut and Ohio and 48 other states and several districts and territories.

My point was, even if Joe's right about highly urbanized Connecticut (and I don't think he is), applying that to more rural states certainly doesn't work.
posted by orthogonality at 3:54 PM on September 22, 2006


Some of the crowd at Hit and Run is skeptical of her story.

Yeah well, some people are skeptical of the "standard theory" of 9/11. What's you're point?
posted by delmoi at 3:56 PM on September 22, 2006


The story (and the way the hospitals treated her) disturbs me, but I'm also confused about why she didn't call her own doctor back, explain the story, and ask her again to call in a prescription for EC.
posted by needs more cowbell at 3:57 PM on September 22, 2006


Well, that's some bullshit. Serously, isn't this on par with refusal to treat her? I mean what she was requesting has been approved for general sales.

I'm not a litigeous sort, but if I were in her shoes, I'd be calling a lawyer. Maybe nothing that can be legally done, but I'd fucking try.

And I would get the names of every person that refused to help me, and I would post them on the internet.
posted by quin at 4:00 PM on September 22, 2006


Orthoganality's Liberman quote is in reference to Sen. Lieberman's position that it should be difficult for women to get Plan B. As a democratic US Senator, his position is germane, even though his consituency is not Ohio.

It seems like a very strange policy to dispense it married couples, but not unmarried couples. The logical inference is that an unplanned child out of wedlock is preferable to an unplanned child in wedlock.
posted by anonymous_k at 4:01 PM on September 22, 2006


Hmmm...
*hauls out 10 foot pole*
*re-thinks it*
posted by Smedleyman at 4:02 PM on September 22, 2006 [3 favorites]


Connecticut is not "highly urbanized." There are some cities, some suburbs, and plenty of open land. My area is relatively rural, and it doesn't take more than a short ride to get to quite a few different hospitals, some religious and some not. I have not tried getting EC at any of them.

I don't support Lieberman, but I don't understand why you're choosing him to hang this on, rather than, I dunno, all the members of Congress. Or, if you have to pick one guy, somebody more like Santorum.

Also, just so everyone knows, she did already get EC. How? She found a clinic just over an hour away, drove there with her partner, answered "a few medical questions," and paid $20 (plus gas).
posted by booksandlibretti at 4:04 PM on September 22, 2006


legal or not, this drug isn't going to be widespread in many areas. I'd like to think the intrusive nature of these zealots would work against them, but it'll take more of these incidents to put people face to face with the consequences of their vote.

so, this would make 1001 reasons why I feel lucky to be male in today's society.
posted by Busithoth at 4:11 PM on September 22, 2006


It seems like a very strange policy to dispense it married couples, but not unmarried couples. The logical inference is that an unplanned child out of wedlock is preferable to an unplanned child in wedlock.

I think the thought is, "sluts should be punished, as having sex outside of wedlock is BAD."
posted by bshort at 4:11 PM on September 22, 2006


Actually there was an askme about this. Apparently six regular birth control pills = one EC. Or something like that. - delmoi

Yes, in a pinch, doses of multiple birth control pills can substitute for ECP. The dosage required varies depending on which brand of birth control pill you have available because the dosage of active ingredients varies with the brand. I know that I've done this once before, and I was able to find an extensive chart of instructions online somewhere, but my employer blocks access to information on birth control, so I can't find the best link at the moment. I think it can be found on one of the links at this google search.
posted by raedyn at 4:14 PM on September 22, 2006 [1 favorite]


That's true, b&L. But she very nearly passed the window for EC to be effective...in fact, she can't really be sure until she gets another period that she won't need an abortion.

As for the comment that she could take several birth control pills, her post explained that she has severe reactions to hormonal birth control, and had had surgeries that made her unable to use internal barrier methods; that's why she relied on a condom. She didn't have any hormonal birth control.

Do you know that many doctors will refuse to sterilize a woman of childbearing age because they think they know she will change her mind? Because an adult woman is not presumed to know her own mind about whether she will ever want to reproduce? Which is why I don't doubt the possibility of this being true. It's truly odd how many people without uteri feel entitled to tell women they don't even know what they are allowed to do with them.
posted by emjaybee at 4:18 PM on September 22, 2006 [3 favorites]


raedyn writes "my employer blocks access to information on birth control,"

Just birth control, or does your employer block access to information on all medical procedures?
posted by orthogonality at 4:18 PM on September 22, 2006


I think the thought is, "sluts should be punished, as having sex outside of wedlock is BAD."

It's impossible to reconcile the stated belief of some anti-choice doctors and lawmakers that abortion = killing but it is still okay in the case of rape. Seriously, how can whether she has been raped possibly matter to whether she should get emergency contraception?
posted by grouse at 4:20 PM on September 22, 2006


It's a good idea to get EC and keep it on hand in the event you do need it when pharmacies are closed and/or too self-righteous to serve you.

Re voting with your feet, here is a breakdown of refusal (or conscience) clauses by state. I'm pleased to see that the state we just moved to (New Hampshire) has refused to pass two such laws in the past bit.
posted by joannemerriam at 4:21 PM on September 22, 2006


None of the hospitals are willing to touch me, of the ones that will prescribe it I am asked a series of questions to 'screen' me before I come to the hospital.

Glad that she got it after all, but after the first time I got rejected, I would just lie and say I was raped. Doesn't make it right, but there's a lot that ain't right about this story.
posted by mrgrimm at 4:22 PM on September 22, 2006




Senator Joe Lieberman

I'm waiting to hear what the fuck that has to do with the story.
posted by Krrrlson at 4:25 PM on September 22, 2006


Yeah well, some people are skeptical of the "standard theory" of 9/11. What's you're point?

Seriously? There are about 1,000 comments per day that you could ask that about, but you point it at mine.

1. I predict that MeFi as usual will go into a rant about the stupid hicks and theocrats who run this country, with hearty doses of self congratulations along the way, and I figured that someone might want to read some differing oints of view elsewhere.

2. Having spent time in Ohio, I personally call bullshit.

3. The byline of the blog is "Gnawing away at sexism and misogyny, one patriarchal asshole at a time!" So I figured that a link to Reason might not be too grievous of an offense.

4. I didn't feel like making the "giving the state the power to criminalize drugs is why your freedom to get emergency contraception exists at the whim of a doctor, and you should blame the state for this, not an individual choosing to apply his conscience as he sees fit."

Oh, and I'd like to thank my sockpuppet, Krrrlson for his remark.
posted by Kwantsar at 4:26 PM on September 22, 2006


In many states you can get a prescription phoned in from getthepill.com. Some women also have their doctor write out a prescription that they can use in an emergency, or get the pills ahead of time so they can be on hand immediately.
posted by hindmost at 4:26 PM on September 22, 2006


I thought Kewsick was Krrrlson's pop suckit?! WTF internets?!
posted by bardic at 4:37 PM on September 22, 2006


Do you know that many doctors will refuse to sterilize a woman of childbearing age because they think they know she will change her mind?

Lots of doctors also refused to perform vasectomies as well.
posted by delmoi at 4:42 PM on September 22, 2006


Some of the crowd not at Hit and Run aren't skeptical of her story. Do you have a point?

The folks at Reason are often very reliable, so I would take what they have to say into consideration. They are also the source of the Maye article currently on the front page, which went uncriticized, so a fair number of people must not immediately doubt them as a source of information. I am fully in agreement with most of the sentiments here about such behavior being reprehensible, but the juvenile responses here are pathetic. Many here act as if whether or not something is true is irrelevant as long as it syncs up with your preexisting ideology. Lame.
posted by Falconetti at 4:48 PM on September 22, 2006


I'm calling bullshit.

Plan B isn't available until January, and you would think that one of the medical professionals she came into contact would know that.

Perhaps what she really needed was a visit to a shrink and an emergency dose of zyprexa.
posted by Pastabagel at 4:48 PM on September 22, 2006


delmoi writes "Lots of doctors also refused to perform vasectomies as well."


I was talking to an OB/GYN about this; she explained that refusing to do vasectomies makes some sense: after the vasectomy, the seminal fluid is retained, and builds up, which can provoke an immune response. Having your immune system adapt to targeting your own cells can cause bad problems if it leads to the immune system targetting other, more essential cells of your body.
posted by orthogonality at 4:50 PM on September 22, 2006


Pastabagel writes "Plan B isn't available until January".

It's been available for years with a prescription (it's basically just a massive dose of the same hormones in birth control pills). January is just the date it goes over-the-counter.
posted by orthogonality at 4:52 PM on September 22, 2006


I'm calling bullshit.

Plan B isn't available until January, and you would think that one of the medical professionals she came into contact would know that.
posted by Pastabagel at 4:48 PM PST on September 22


It's available with a prescription nationwide, and it's already available OTC in some states. Or did you mean some other kind of "available"?
posted by padraigin at 4:54 PM on September 22, 2006


Do you know that many doctors will refuse to sterilize a woman of childbearing age because they think they know she will change her mind? Because an adult woman is not presumed to know her own mind about whether she will ever want to reproduce?

My tubal ligation is scheduled for October 5th. They would only schedule it for me if I went home over the weekend (this was about a month ago when I had my appointment) and thought about it and called them back.

My gyn kept throwing crap at me like 'What if you won the lottery and you didn't have to support yourself? What if you met the right man? You're thiiirrrtyyyy..."

They're all upset like I'm losing something, but getting this surgery is like Christmas. Boo ya.
posted by pieoverdone at 4:55 PM on September 22, 2006 [1 favorite]


I'm calling bullshit. Plan B isn't available until January

Wrong. Plan B is currently available by way of a doctor's prescription. She even states: "I searched all weekend for someone who could prescribe me EC."
posted by ericb at 4:55 PM on September 22, 2006


On preview -- what padraigin said.
posted by ericb at 4:56 PM on September 22, 2006


I feel safer knowing that old conservative men have complete reproductive control over this woman's body.

I would feel even safer if someone was holding a nutcracker to their scrotums before having a discussion on reproductive rights with them.
posted by Reverend Mykeru at 4:57 PM on September 22, 2006 [2 favorites]


Sorry, I got confused with non-prescription sales, which barr says would be available by the end of the year.

In any case, I still call bullshit. I find it hard to believe that she couldn't find a single doctor, including a female one, to give her a prescription for this. Not everyone in rural ohio is a religious zealot.
posted by Pastabagel at 4:59 PM on September 22, 2006


“I think the thought is, "sluts should be punished...”

Well, yeah, they should, but in a GOOD way. If you know what I mean.
/the kinky sex.
posted by Smedleyman at 5:05 PM on September 22, 2006


Pastabagel writes "In any case, I still call bullshit. I find it hard to believe that she couldn't find a single doctor, including a female one, to give her a prescription for this. Not everyone in rural Ohio is a religious zealot."


People find lots of things hard to believe. I still can't wrap my head around quantum mechanics; much of Kansas has trouble with the fundamental theory of biology. Five years ago I'd have laughed in the face of anyone who told me the US of A would establish secret prisons and publically flout the Geneva Conventions. Until Schliemann unearthed it, most learned people's intuition was that Troy was a myth, not an actual city.

But as always, actual experience speaks louder than intuition. If you can refute her claims, do so; but claiming that her story is entirely made up (and that "what she really needed was a visit to a shrink and an emergency dose of zyprexa") I think tells us more about your mindset that about the reality on the ground.
posted by orthogonality at 5:07 PM on September 22, 2006 [6 favorites]


I am also going to call bullshit. I mean, seriously, sex? Dude, what's even up with that?
posted by Astro Zombie at 5:09 PM on September 22, 2006


For those calling bullshit, I'll raise you another anecdotal. I had this exact same problem 6 or 7 years ago in suburban Indiana, and I was married at the time. Had one of those sleepy mornings that ended in oops. Right away, I called my GP's office, and they informed me they wouldn't prescribe it, at all, for anyone.

I called another gyn's office, *they* insisted no such thing existed. I finally found a Planned Parenthood-like clinic (PP was closed for the weekend) who prescribed it for me, who weren't interested in why I wanted it, or in judging me for asking for it. However, I had to go to the clinic so I could take it in their presence.

That may have been a law at the time, EC was a pretty new concept, but I had to go to the clinic, and pay in cash for it- no insurance accepted. (Probably no insurance covering it, so why bother?)

Frankly, I don't see how anybody could doubt this story. When you've got pharmacists who refuse to prescribe the pill at all, and feel like it's their right to hold the prescription hostage, why on earth would anybody believe getting *emergency* contraception would be easier?
posted by headspace at 5:13 PM on September 22, 2006


As a MD, I'd be happy to prescribe EC over the phone to her.

FYI - It's extremely unpleasant as far as side effects go. Severe cramps and nausea mostly. And it doesn't always work. But it is much cheaper and less of a financial and emotional hassle than an abortion. Plan B isn't on shelves yet, but it is just a more convenient way to take a what amounts to several birth control pills all at once. The number of birth control pills you would have to take varies depending on which pill you are on. Your doctor would have to calculate what you should take for you (or you can look it up yourself on google...)
posted by zwemer at 5:14 PM on September 22, 2006


headspace writes "That may have been a law at the time, [6 or 7 years ago] EC was a pretty new concept, "

Huh, first time I needed EC was in '89 or therabouts. No problem getting it, either.
posted by orthogonality at 5:16 PM on September 22, 2006


my employer blocks access to information on birth control - raedyn (moi)

Just birth control, or does your employer block access to information on all medical procedures? - orthogonality

Not just birth control. But not all medical procedures either. Since you asked, the complete list of blocked categories: Gambling, Criminal Skills, Hate, Violence/Offensive, Drugs, Alcohol & Tobacco, Hacking, Adult/Sexually Explicit, Personals and Dating, Remote Proxies, Games, Sex Education, Web-based chat, Web-based E-mail.
posted by raedyn at 5:16 PM on September 22, 2006


pieoverdone writes "They're all upset like I'm losing something, but getting this surgery is like Christmas. Boo ya."


As far as I know, you are ? Apparently reverse procedure isn't that effective or is not effective at all. Tell me that you aren't doing so JUST for convenience over other contraception methods ; or even worse, JUST to prove you can or that you own your body. Ahahaha that would make me laugh :) sooooo much
posted by elpapacito at 5:16 PM on September 22, 2006


It's truly odd how many people without uteri feel entitled to tell women they don't even know what they are allowed to do with them.

Yup. And people claim there's no need for feminism. We live in pathetic times.

In any case, I still call bullshit.


As a free speech absolutist, I will defend to the death your right to make childish comments based on nothing whatever but your own arrogance and ignorance. Rock on, Bullshit Dude!

Thanks for this post, orthogonality. It's good to be reminded how bad things are getting.
posted by languagehat at 5:18 PM on September 22, 2006 [3 favorites]


I would believe that maybe one or two doctors wouldn't want to, but no one would? A complete ban in rural ohio? Why even stock the stuff at all?

Maybe I've been living in cities too long, but if this is true, you might want to think about passing some kind of law in your states.
posted by Pastabagel at 5:19 PM on September 22, 2006


If you can refute her claims, do so

Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. This plus this should be enough to provoke skepticism.


For those calling bullshit, I'll raise you another anecdotal. I had this exact same problem 6 or 7 years ago in suburban Indiana... frankly, I don't see how anybody could doubt this story.

How many places in suburban Indiana are more than 100 miles from Chicago, Toledo, Indianapolis and Bloomington?
posted by Kwantsar at 5:21 PM on September 22, 2006


Kwantsar writes "This plus this should be enough to provoke skepticism."


Let's not get hung up on making "100 miles" some sort of magic number: "as long as you can get it with 'only' a hundred mile drive, everything's OK". Yeah, the woman eventually got EC after a hundred mile drive, but three days later and with a corresponding decrease in the chance the contraception worked.

Not to mention that plenty of poor people -- as graphically illustrated after Katrina -- can't afford to go 100 miles for what should be routine medical treatment.

Would anyone be making the same excuses, if the medical issue was a man taking Viagra or Cialis and experiencing priapism (which can lead to severe injury to the penis, irenically from lack of blood circulation to it)? No, he'd get treated, and no one would ask him to increase his risk of loss of use of his penis by driving 100 miles with a painful boner.

But when it's a woman, moralizing at her instead of treating her is somehow acceptable.
posted by orthogonality at 5:28 PM on September 22, 2006 [1 favorite]


Seriously? There are about 1,000 comments per day that you could ask that about, but you point it at mine.

I have no idea what you're trying to say there.
posted by delmoi at 5:35 PM on September 22, 2006


Ok, when languagehat starts dumping on me, I need to defend myself. What makes me suspicious is not the possibility that doctors wouldn't prescribe this, but the way she describes the story unfolding, how absolutely everything went against her for three days.

Then, there's the fact that everything on her site is about women's rights, anti-porn industry crusading, crusading against child abuse, etc. I'm skeptical that such an extreme example of an affront to women's rights would happen to her, of all people.

But, hey, I admit I could be wrong, and the fact the far milder but similar circumstances have happened to others here is certainly outrageous.

Hoever, to play devil's advocate, how do you feel about doctors being forced to render medical services that violate their moral principles?
posted by Pastabagel at 5:38 PM on September 22, 2006


Here's a link from her comments section where someone found the BC dosage one can use in lieu of EC.
posted by state fxn at 5:40 PM on September 22, 2006


Seems that her difficulty would have been solved a lot sooner had she made sure her Primary Care physician would be available to give her a prescription.
Calling up random doctors and attempting to get a prescription for anything is usually an exercise in futility.
posted by madajb at 5:44 PM on September 22, 2006


How many places in suburban Indiana are more than 100 miles from Chicago, Toledo, Indianapolis and Bloomington?

I don't know, but we are actually talking about Ohio here. I certainly don't find her claims at all "extraordinary"
posted by delmoi at 5:44 PM on September 22, 2006


"...how do you feel about doctors being forced to render medical services that violate their moral principles?"

I think they should be waterboarded.

Now that it's legal, and all.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 5:48 PM on September 22, 2006 [1 favorite]


When I first read her story, I felt the same array of emotions as most people here felt. However, I wonder why she didn't do a search on the internet for places that can help? Perhaps she just too stressed and didn't realize the resources available?
posted by state fxn at 5:49 PM on September 22, 2006


Do you know that many doctors will refuse to sterilize a woman of childbearing age because they think they know she will change her mind? Because an adult woman is not presumed to know her own mind about whether she will ever want to reproduce?

I just fired a lawyer for that. She refused to believe that my intended and I are not having children and that, if we change our minds, we're going to need a whole new marriage/pre-nup.

What's really funny to me about this posting is how reminiscent the comments regarding heavy doses of birth control are effective emergency contraception are of the folk knowledge passed by women through the generations about birth control and women's health. And I'm reminded of the times when midwives were legally forbidden to own the forceps used to deliver babies. And I'm reminded of the fact that they used to burn women at the stake for this sort of knowledge.

So fuck 'em. Let the pro-lifer's wander around with a cabbage patch doll jammed up their cornholes and make them petition to see if they can pull it out.
posted by stet at 5:50 PM on September 22, 2006 [1 favorite]


Pastabagel writes "Hoever, to play devil's advocate, how do you feel about doctors being forced to render medical services that violate their moral principles?"

If my driver's license is a privilige, not a right, why the fuck should your license to practice medicine be any different?
posted by stet at 5:51 PM on September 22, 2006 [5 favorites]


Hoever, to play devil's advocate, how do you feel about doctors being forced to render medical services that violate their moral principles?
posted by Pastabagel at 8:38 PM EST on September 22


If they're willing to write a prescription if you've been raped or if you're married, but not otherwise, then their scruple is not with the medical service, but with the patient. Doctors should not be allowed to discriminate on the basis of their patient's private lives.

I wonder what people would say if doctors started to refuse to give chemo to cancer patients who smoked - while continuing to give chemo to those blameless cancer patients who never smoked. Or if they started to refuse to treat heart problems or diabetes in obese people, unless the obese patient had a glandular disorder so it wasn't her fault she was so fat. Or if they decided to refuse admittance to pregnant single mothers in labour, unless their pregnancy was the result of a rape.

At what point do "moral principles" become irrelevant to whether or not you have an obligation to your patients? First, do no harm.
posted by joannemerriam at 6:00 PM on September 22, 2006 [7 favorites]


Somebody who makes it through an accredited med school and doesn't understand that contraception /= abortion should have their license revoked. And said med school should be scrutinized.

(IANAD, and I know this. I learned it in 5th grade. Thank you evil librul public school.)
posted by bardic at 6:01 PM on September 22, 2006


Hoever, to play devil's advocate, how do you feel about doctors being forced to render medical services that violate their moral principles?

I feel fine. Thanks for asking.
posted by delmoi at 6:03 PM on September 22, 2006 [1 favorite]


I talked to my doctor about being sterilized, and got the same thing many of you have. It wasn't so much that they wouldn't do it, but by golly, they were going to do their best to dissuade me. The worst was they said I'd have to have my husband sign off on it. Nevermind that we're both in agreement about not having kids, whatever a woman decides to do with her body is her business! I'm nobody's property!

Then there was the "well what if you'd get divorced someday and your new husband wants kids" yeah, you missed the part that *I* didn't want kids, ever, right?

SO all and all, this treatment towards EC sounds entirely plausible.
posted by [insert clever name here] at 6:04 PM on September 22, 2006


And fwiw, I have even less sympathy for pharmacists who refuse to do their jobs. You're not even an MD, and you think you have the right to deny people their prescriptions? License revoked for life, immediately.
posted by bardic at 6:05 PM on September 22, 2006 [1 favorite]


(Many states still have "cooling off periods" for divorces as well. The naive fucks.

And yes, I am a cynic by nature.)
posted by bardic at 6:06 PM on September 22, 2006


But when it's a woman, moralizing at her instead of treating her is somehow acceptable.

Plenty of people are moralizing at the doctor, who is a man. And as far as "acceptable" goes, he's exercising his conscience, no matter how stupid it may seem to you or me.

I have no idea what you're trying to say there.

Yes, you do. I provided a link to another place where the story was being discussed in a manner unlike it was likely to be discussed here. There are many, many comments to which one could reply "what's your point," and I don't see what about my comment was so special as to warrant the question.

And I realize that we're talking about Ohio here. The Indiana remark was in response to another poster. If you don't think the claim that there's a place in Ohio where "there are absolutely NO 24 hour pharmacies within 100 miles " is a little extraordinary, your judgment is afoul. In fact, I don't even think that there's a place in Ohio that is 100 miles from a CVS with a 24-hour pharmacy. Steubenville, Celina, and Portsmouth are each within 100 miles, and it doesn't get much more remote than that. Find me a place in Ohio that is 100 miles from a 24-hour pharmacy, and if you're right, I'll donate $20 to the most leftist charity you can think of.
posted by Kwantsar at 6:14 PM on September 22, 2006


Wow, that's so fucked. When I needed EC, I simply had to go five minutes down the road to the pharmacy and they gave it to me almost straight away, just a few health-related questions and no judgement. Once again, glad to live in Australia.
posted by liquorice at 6:27 PM on September 22, 2006


If my driver's license is a privilige, not a right, why the fuck should your license to practice medicine be any different?
posted by stet at 8:51 PM EST on September 22 [+] [!]


The license allows you to do the thing. It allows you to drive, it allows you to practice medicine. You don't have to drive if you don't want to. You don't have to practice medicine if you don't want to.

At what point do "moral principles" become irrelevant to whether or not you have an obligation to your patients? First, do no harm.
posted by joannemerriam at 9:00 PM EST on September 22 [+ 2] [!]


Well, he isn't doing any harm as the term is commonly understood by letting her pregancy continue. Secondly, "do no harm" is from the Hippcratic oath, which originally proscribed abortion. But those are both silly, silly points.

General moral principles are always irrelevant. The doctor's moral principles are very relevant, because they inform the doctor's judgment and are what motivate the doctor to do what is best for his patient (because ultimately it's what the doctor thinks is best for the patient.)
posted by Pastabagel at 6:31 PM on September 22, 2006


Why the hell are we even entertaining the 100 mile self-imposed limit as true? If you had 3 days to take this pill or else you'd have to have another child or go through a full-blown abortion, wouldn't you drive more than a 100 miles to get the pill to make the problem go away? That's less than two hours of drive time. Ohio has cincinnati, cleveland, and columbus. There are no female doctors in those cities?

This story is quite literally unbelieveable.
posted by Pastabagel at 6:38 PM on September 22, 2006


Hoever, to play devil's advocate, how do you feel about doctors being forced to render medical services that violate their moral principles?

A Doctor has a job to do. Fuck his so called moral principles.

There's no principles here except that the slut should be made to pay.

Fuck that noise.
posted by MythMaker at 6:43 PM on September 22, 2006


> Doctors should not be allowed to discriminate on the basis of their patient's private lives.

Doctors, and everyone else, should be allowed to discriminate on any basis they please, or no basis at all. We aren't slaves.
posted by jfuller at 6:43 PM on September 22, 2006


How many places in suburban Indiana are more than 100 miles from Chicago, Toledo, Indianapolis and Bloomington?

When I say suburban Indiana- I was in Indianapolis, east side, twenty minutes from downtown and STILL had to go through five different providers to finally find someone who would prescribe EC for me. Bloomington is two hours from my house. Chicago is four hours from my house. Toledo is three and a half hours from my house. Lucky me, I have a car- which is good, because I drove forty minutes to the other side of Indianapolis to get the only dose of EC anyone would give me.
posted by headspace at 6:45 PM on September 22, 2006


Louisville's weekly alternarag did a story on Plan B availability in January -- i.e. on pharmacists refusing to stock or dispense it. To quote:

"[C]ounties with pharmacies that do stock Plan B are somewhat well-spread across the state, with major clusters near Jefferson and Bullitt, in southern Kentucky with Allen, Barren and Warren counties, and in the southeastern portion of the state. Louisville ranked higher than the state in general; 26 percent of pharmacies surveyed stocked Plan B, double the state average."

Ya got that Kwantzar? As of January 2006, more than 3/4 of the pharmacies here did not stock Plan B. So your "calling bullshit" shows how out of touch you are, as I myself was amazed we were so backward.

So the subject of this thread doesn't surprise me: even if she could find someone to prescribe it, she'd still have to find a pharmacist willing to give it to her. Remember that Louisville might be bush-league as big cities go but we're hardly rural.

And oh, pharmacists too.
posted by davy at 6:46 PM on September 22, 2006


A Doctor has a job to do. Fuck his so called moral principles.
posted by MythMaker at 9:43 PM EST on September 22 [+] [!]


The same goes for every whistleblower and every general and government official opposed to torturing al qaeda prisoners. You heard the boss, so shut up and do your job.
posted by Pastabagel at 6:47 PM on September 22, 2006


This story is quite literally unbelieveable.

Conservatives have an amazing ability to disbelieve things they find uncomfortable. It's as annoying as it is unconvincing.
posted by delmoi at 6:49 PM on September 22, 2006


The same goes for every whistleblower and every general and government official opposed to torturing al qaeda prisoners. You heard the boss, so shut up and do your job.

If they don't like torturing they should quit, same as the doctors. No one is entitled to any job they want. Anyway I personally don't blame the peons for executing evil policies. It's the ones at the top who need to be punished. The "deciders" if you will. Not that the torture debate isn't entirely beside the point.
posted by delmoi at 6:51 PM on September 22, 2006


Hoever, to play devil's advocate, how do you feel about doctors being forced to render medical services that violate their moral principles?
posted by Pastabagel at 5:38 PM PST


What morals? The ones attached to their wallets? The masses who claim morals have clay feet.

How could a 'moral' person make money in DC Pastabagel?
posted by rough ashlar at 6:53 PM on September 22, 2006


Pastabagel asks: There are no female doctors in those cities?

The linked article specifies that the original doctor was female: "I phoned my doctors office which informed me that the office was closed and that I had to call the local hospital and have her paged in order to reach her on the weekend." That was the doctor who said she'd have to go to the emergency room.

About the 100-mile limit, also from the original article: "I stopped my search at about 100 miles from my home because my telephone book wouldn't take me out any further than that." What's she supposed to do, drive from town to town stopping at all the hospitals on the way?
posted by dilettante at 6:56 PM on September 22, 2006


zwemer

I'm fascinated by the fact that you (a) explicitly identified yourself as a doctor and subsequently (b) advised people to take medication according to dosage schedules of questionable veracity found via Google, (c) without disclaiming your advice.

I'm not a doctor, so I can't condemn, but I just assumed there was some equivalent to "this is not legal advice" that a doctor would use in such a case...

languagehat

I approve of this use of the woman's uterus.

:-)
posted by The Confessor at 6:57 PM on September 22, 2006


Yeah, I got that davy, thanks. The quotes I have up there, which are not "summary quotes," refer to the linked blog, which reads "(since there are absolutely NO 24 hour pharmacies within 100 miles of me)."

It is my position that this statement is false. Provably false, in fact. Someone with GIS skills and access to the CVS website could give that proof. I probably could as well, if I had a compass and a large enough map. She didn't write that there were no 24 hour pharmacies that prescribed Plan B. She wrote that there were no pharmacies. Now, you'd think that if there were pharmacies that didn't carry plan B, she'd be writing about that as well.

And delmoi, ignoring disconfirming evidence is not a uniquely conservative trait, as any centrist who has spent five minutes on the internet can attest.
posted by Kwantsar at 6:59 PM on September 22, 2006


Well, he isn't doing any harm as the term is commonly understood by letting her pregancy continue.
posted by Pastabagel at 6:31 PM PST


Oh really? The risk of death because of the pregancy isn't harm? The costs of childbirth isn't harm? The cost to raise a child isn't harm?

Why do you believe your statement of "no harm"?
posted by rough ashlar at 6:59 PM on September 22, 2006


you might want to start here to understand the phrase, rough ashlar.
posted by Kwantsar at 7:06 PM on September 22, 2006


nice job of missing (or probably more accurately, intentionally obfuscating) the point entirely, kwantsie -- that it's absurd that women cannot easily obtain this type of contraception in a modern, civilized society.

makes me wanna come knock you up.
posted by Hat Maui at 7:12 PM on September 22, 2006


Ok, delmoi, I'm sorry I annoyed you. Let me write you a prescription for battery acid. It's good for what ails you.

First, genius, I'm not a conservative, nor am I remotely conservative. Secondly, I have said repeatedly in this thread that I believe that a doctor or two might refuse to prescribe it, but that my disbelief is predicated on the totality of her story, her abject victimization at the hands of multitudes of medical professionals as well as fate itself which conspired to close all planned parenthood clinics statewide the weekend this happened to her. But somehow, despite all this freak universal opposition, she refused to go more than two hours away to find someone else, even when the stakes were this high.

It is unbelievable to me that someone would not get off their ass and drive to a city 3 or 4 hours away when the stakes are this high, but would bother to write out in excruciating detail everything that happend to her. I'm guessing just to write that etry took a few hours that could have been spent getting to cleveland. She doesn't have to go from town to town. She just has to go to the nearest large city. Look at a map of Ohio.

Most of the people wouldn't believe the president if he said the sky was blue, but when a story coincides with your prejudices and preconceived notions of rural morality you accept it as gospel.

Some skepticism is called for.
posted by Pastabagel at 7:13 PM on September 22, 2006


Yes, you do. I provided a link to another place where the story was being discussed in a manner unlike it was likely to be discussed here. There are many, many comments to which one could reply "what's your point," and I don't see what about my comment was so special as to warrant the question.

Well, okay but you're ignoring the first part of my comment which said something like "Some people are skeptical of the "standard theory" of 9/11"".

The purpose of the comment was to compare two classes of skeptics, the ones you linked too, and the ones who think that 9/11 was an inside job. The purpose of this comparison was to point out that whether or not any random person is skeptical of something has little to do with whether or not it's true. And if that conclusion is correct, then there is no point in pointing out that any random people are skeptical of something.

This reasoning doesn't really apply to many comments on this site. It's not "what's the point?" it's "given A, what's the point?" A doesn't apply to many comments here.
posted by delmoi at 7:14 PM on September 22, 2006


I believe that individual pharmacists & doctors do have a "right of conscience" to refuse doing certain actions. BUT I also think that pharmacies and medical groups of a certain size (not sure what that would be, maybe anything bigger than a one or two-person practice, pharmacy -- certainly ALL hospitals) should be required to include services such as Plan B and to make sure that exercise of the right of conscience by employees/partners does not interfere with or cause delays to patients by recruiting non-refusing providers and by setting up systems. So, for example, at the local Walgreens (which has always been fantastic, in my experience, as far as corporate health providers go) if there were a pharmacist who refused to provide Plan B, then that pharmacist would have to disclose their refusal to their employer, and the Walgreens should make certain that there is a system for providing the prescription promptly in that store but without using that pharmacist. E.g. make sure that that pharmacist not be scheduled at the same time as another refusing pharmacist, have the pharmacy tech or the assistant pharmacist (assuming lawful) trained and prepared to do the scrip or have a contract agreement with a nearby pharmacy that they would fill the scrip if there were no non-refusing staff available AND get a delivery person to go get the scrip at Walgreen's expense so that the patient does not have to run around to a different store.
posted by ClaudiaCenter at 7:14 PM on September 22, 2006 [1 favorite]


Just another personal anecdote. The same thing happened to me 6 years ago in Newark DE. A college town. I had no problem getting the prescription, my doc was completely supportive. However, I had to go to/ call six difference pharmacies before I found one that stocked it. And in the process, I got very ugly vibes from two pharmacists who felt the need to convey their moral superiority.

I went to work for Planned Parenthood six months later.

The other thing that I would point out about this persons story is the person who told her that they considered EC and the "abortion pill" to be the same thing. There has been an intentional campaign by anti-choice advocates to blur the significant differences between EC and mifepristone in order to make in more difficult for women to obtain.
posted by kimdog at 7:14 PM on September 22, 2006 [1 favorite]


rough ashlar - the risks of pregnancy you mention are risks inherent in evey pregnancy. Eating carries with it the risk of choking. Bathing has teh risk of slipping and cracking your skull. Plan B carries the risk of its side effects.

And the financial costs are not considered harm by the medical community, no. Think about chemotherapy.

So, for example, at the local Walgreens (which has always been fantastic, in my experience, as far as corporate health providers go) if there were a pharmacist who refused to provide Plan B, then that pharmacist would have to disclose their refusal to their employer, and the Walgreens should make certain that there is a system for providing the prescription promptly in that store but without using that pharmacist.</em

This sounds very reasonable, and I wouldn't be surprised if national pharmacies started implementing such a policy. Follow-up - should pharmacies be allowed to screen pharmacists-applicants based on their abortion stance, i.e. if you are anti-abortion, they won't hire you because you will invariably lead to customer dissatisfaction? Should this be permissible?

posted by Pastabagel at 7:22 PM on September 22, 2006


nice job of missing (or probably more accurately, intentionally obfuscating) the point entirely, kwantsie -- that it's absurd that women cannot easily obtain this type of contraception in a modern, civilized society.

Of course its absurd. But its no less absurd than blaming the doctor because the state won't let you choose what you place into your own body-- a point I did make upthread.
posted by Kwantsar at 7:22 PM on September 22, 2006


I had a bit of skepticism at times reading the blog entry, but the follow-up story and the blog overall rings true to me; I concluded that my initial skepticism was just a reflection of my desire for such a bummer story to be exaggerated.
posted by ClaudiaCenter at 7:25 PM on September 22, 2006


Her experience is a damn shame, but "I stopped my search at about 100 miles from my home because my telephone book wouldn't take me out any further than that." makes the cynically evil part of me suspect it could have been resolved much sooner and easier.

I mean hell, "... my telephone book wouldn't take me out any further than that."?!?
Dude.
You wrote that sentence on a computer.
And then posted it on the internet.

Blogging about your life is one thing, but fucking around with your life so you have blog fodder is another thing entirely.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 7:29 PM on September 22, 2006


The doctor(s) in question, other than any one of them that had treated her, do not know whether or not the pregnancy would be detrimental to her, and anyway, it doesn't seem that "do you have a health condition that makes pregnancy dangerous," is a question on the list of criteria. There shouldn't be any such criteria. You come in for a medical exam, they determine that EC won't kill you (no heart conditions and so forth) and then they administer. Period. That's all that should happen. If you are an MD, and you don't want to dispense emergency contraception do not work in the fucking emergency room.
posted by Medieval Maven at 7:31 PM on September 22, 2006


Pastabagel

Should Taco Bell be able to refuse to hire a devout Hindu who refuses to touch ground beef or implements which have been used to serve ground beef?

There's a definite limit to the sacrifices you can force upon a business in the name of non-universal religious practices and beliefs.

The "screening" of employees would inevitably follow the institution of quotas for pharmacists willing to dispense disputed medication.

Otherwise, how could such a quota be maintained?
posted by The Confessor at 7:33 PM on September 22, 2006


It is unbelievable to me that someone would not get off their ass and drive to a city 3 or 4 hours away when the stakes are this high

Yeah, well the first reason you didn't believe it was because you didn't think plan-B was even available. Once you "call bullshit" on something based on your own ignorance you become a bit difficult to take seriously.

Anyway, the actual risk of her getting pregnant from a single condom slip is not all that high. It's not a certainty, far from it. Now whether or not you want to belive it, it could certainly be true that she would rather wait until Monday then make a 4 hour drive. The worst case is she gets an abortion.
posted by delmoi at 7:37 PM on September 22, 2006


I believe that individual pharmacists & doctors do have a "right of conscience" to refuse doing certain actions.

I do not believe they are actually then doctors or pharmacists, but a limited subset of pretend medical health professionals, which I shall call mactors.

how do you feel about doctors being forced to render medical services that violate their moral principles?

Don't get a job in the slaughterhouse if you're a fucking vegetarian, mactor!
posted by Sparx at 7:44 PM on September 22, 2006 [3 favorites]


What's hard for me to get my head around is what the moral basis for picking and choosing which patients could receive EC might be if they think they equate EC with abortion. I've had the discussion on abortion with a number of conservatives and liberals of different stripes, and whatever they or I think of the matter, nobody I've ever talked to has thought the morality of an abortion choice was dependent on ones marital or relationship status. That's a really odd aspect of the story.

It's not the only one I find troubling. My own ethical and moral sense are fairly conservative, but they tell me it's far better to give a parent who does not want a child emergency contraception than to force them face the far more emotionally and morally charged choice of an abortion or an unwanted child at a later point.

On the other hand, I can't see anything ethical about forcing any medical professional to administer a drug or treatment they consider harmful in any way, even if their reasons for arriving at that conclusion aren't ones you respect. That's an exceptionally dangerous road.

It's a sticky spot, to be sure.

Don't get a job in the slaughterhouse if you're a fucking vegetarian, mactor!

The difficulty with this analogy is that chances are, a person might have no issue whatsoever with providing the overwhelming majority of most medical services, but have a problem with a few, whether it be contraception or SSRIs. You could perhaps make it a more apt analogy by asking whether or not a Jew could become a butcher because of prohibiltions on pork.
posted by weston at 7:51 PM on September 22, 2006 [1 favorite]


Confessor, I was merely asking a hypothetical question, not stating my beliefs. But in your example, religion is a factor, and there are laws about discrimination against religion. I was specifically asking about discriminating based on something that isn't protected by EEOC laws.

Now, delmoi, that was the first reason I gave here in the thread not the first reason I thought I was bogus. I stated it first becasue because it was the easiest to state. And you'll notice I came right out and admitted my mistake.

And based on her descriptions of her own mood in her blog post, she made it sound like it was very urgent, and that getting an abortion isn't a casual matter for her
posted by Pastabagel at 7:53 PM on September 22, 2006


Also the point about wether or not there were literally any 24hr pharmacies in a 100 mile radius is irrelevant (because she couldn't get it OTC anyway). Even if that particular detail were false it wouldn't make any of the rest of her story any falser. It seemed like a sort of figure of speech to mean "a long drive away". It's a blog post not the 9/11 commission report.

I see this all the time where conservatives take some tiny detail, declare it "unbelievable" and then use it to discredit the entire story. It's rather ridiculous, and very similar to the 9/11 or moon landing conspiracy people.
posted by delmoi at 7:55 PM on September 22, 2006 [1 favorite]


weston writes "On the other hand, I can't see anything ethical about forcing any medical professional to administer a drug or treatment they consider harmful in any way, even if their reasons for arriving at that conclusion aren't ones you respect. That's an exceptionally dangerous road."

How would you feel if the medical professionals in question refused to offer pain medication to anyone due to personal morality? What if getting pain medication became a difficult ordeal, many times requiring visits to several doctors and pharmacists? What if it only happened to women?
posted by krinklyfig at 7:55 PM on September 22, 2006 [1 favorite]


Plan B has been available in my city for years. It did not have that name until recently... but it was the same thing. Emergency Contraceptive. It is not hard to get. Not expensive either.

I read something like this and feel lucky I live in a big city.
posted by LoopSouth at 7:56 PM on September 22, 2006


How I wish that Planned Parenthood offices were open 24/7.
posted by drstein at 8:01 PM on September 22, 2006


And based on her descriptions of her own mood in her blog post, she made it sound like it was very urgent, and that getting an abortion isn't a casual matter for her

And based on her descriptions of her own mood in her blog post, she made it sound like it was very urgent, and that getting an abortion isn't a casual matter for her

Well I'm sure she would rather get the drug then have an abortion. But really, arguing that the whole story is false because you believe A) "She wouldn't do A if the Stakes were this high!" and B) "We can tell that the stakes were high because of the way she described her mood" is a real stretch.
posted by delmoi at 8:03 PM on September 22, 2006


What if getting pain medication became a difficult ordeal, many times requiring visits to several doctors and pharmacists?

What if? What country do you live in?
posted by delmoi at 8:05 PM on September 22, 2006


Pastabagel writes "I was specifically asking about discriminating based on something that isn't protected by EEOC laws."

Difficulties getting contraception and lack of respect of reproductive rights in general have almost always been problems exclusive to women. Certainly this type of birth control won't be issued to men, but I am not aware of similar difficulties finding condoms or Viagra, or getting a vasectomy.
posted by krinklyfig at 8:05 PM on September 22, 2006


"I read something like this and feel lucky I live in a big city."

Exactly. I started fulminating offline about 'those overprivileged Mefite twits' when my "SO" corrected me, something like "It's not that they're overprivileged, they just don't understand how underprivileged some other people are." In this case the "privilege" seems geographical.
posted by davy at 8:06 PM on September 22, 2006 [1 favorite]


Compare the two statements:

American:
It is unbelievable to me that someone would not get off their ass and drive to a city 3 or 4 hours away when the stakes are this high, but would bother to write out in excruciating detail everything that happend to her. I'm guessing just to write that etry took a few hours that could have been spent getting to cleveland. She doesn't have to go from town to town. She just has to go to the nearest large city. Look at a map of Ohio.

Person from a normal country:

Wow, that's so fucked. When I needed EC, I simply had to go five minutes down the road to the pharmacy and they gave it to me almost straight away, just a few health-related questions and no judgement. Once again, glad to live in Australia.

We are fucked, aren't we?
posted by c13 at 8:07 PM on September 22, 2006 [2 favorites]


"What if getting pain medication became a difficult ordeal, many times requiring visits to several doctors and pharmacists?

"What if? What country do you live in?"


I get your point, but getting a prescription for Percocet is clearly not as difficult as getting Plan B in many parts of the country. I'd think there would be serious problems if a lot of people had to endure severe pain due to moralistic pharmacists and ER docs. It's typically due to the law that docs are forced to alter their normal duties re: pain meds, but in the case of birth control, it's the law which allows it, but the docs/pharmacists refuse on a personal basis.
posted by krinklyfig at 8:10 PM on September 22, 2006


You could perhaps make it a more apt analogy by asking whether or not a Jew could become a butcher because of prohibiltions on pork.

Well - that's kind of the point. Jewish butchers usually have big signs up saying "Kosher Butcher" and you know by looking not to go in their for your 16lbs of chitlins.

By the same token - people who are arbitrarily going to refuse to do some completely legal part of their job should be upfront about it and call themselves not-quite doctors (MACTOR! Say it out loud, it feels so good!), as that is what they are, to prevent people wasting their time while similarly, scarlet letter style, branding them as pig-ignorant moralists so people can know not to see them about other stuff either.
posted by Sparx at 8:24 PM on September 22, 2006


How I wish that Planned Parenthood offices were open 24/7.

*writes check*
posted by stet at 8:24 PM on September 22, 2006


"You could perhaps make it a more apt analogy by asking whether or not a Jew could become a butcher because of prohibiltions on pork."

Boy is THAT a false analogy. An observant Jew simply would not take a job as a general-purpose butcher, but as a shochet, a specifically kosher butcher slaughtering only "clean" animals according to Jewish law. Unless you put a gun to his head (and sometimes not even then) a shochet will not kill your pig, and he sure couldn't be expected to keep a herd of swine himself. SO, a big chain drug store like Walgreen's is not supposed to do business on terms like "We only sell moral drugs prescribed by moral physicians!" -- whereas nobody should expect any different from "Sam's Southern Baptist Pharmacy". (And in communities where all you have is the latter you'd be better off inviting a big chain in.)

As for what the law is, and I doubt this surprises anyone who knows anything about me, I ain't no lawyer nor a legal scholar. I'm sure the LEO article I linked to earlier says more on the current state of which drugs which pharmacists are legally required to dispense to whom when than I've ever had reason to discover.
posted by davy at 8:26 PM on September 22, 2006


The doctor's moral principles are very relevant, because they inform the doctor's judgment and are what motivate the doctor to do what is best for his patient (because ultimately it's what the doctor thinks is best for the patient.)
posted by Pastabagel at 9:31 PM EST on September 22


In a very general way, that's fine. I'm failing to see the application to this specific situation*, in which a doctor's moral principle that only married and/or raped women (i.e., one presumes, "good" women) may pursue a specific course of treatment. That's got nothing to do with the best interests of the patient.

*or similar situations, should this one turn out to be exaggerated, which I think is a possibility; I'm not convinced either way and don't really care since we know similar situations have occurred.

Doctors, and everyone else, should be allowed to discriminate on any basis they please, or no basis at all. We aren't slaves.
posted by jfuller at 9:43 PM EST on September 22


If a doctor were refusing to treat, say, Catholics, or Chinese people, or plumbers, nobody would blithely say, "well, she has a right to discriminate! She's not a slave!" I'm going with or no basis at all.
posted by joannemerriam at 8:30 PM on September 22, 2006


(I was using "butcher" in the sense of "slaughterer", not "meat-cutter", but then I really doubt an observant Jew would cut up a pig that was already dead either.)
posted by davy at 8:32 PM on September 22, 2006


if there were a pharmacist who refused to provide Plan B, then that pharmacist would have to disclose their refusal to their employer, and the Walgreens should make certain that there is a system for providing the prescription promptly in that store but without using that pharmacist

Your scheme is fatally flawed, ClaudiaCenter. While it might at first glance seem reasonable, even sensible, it provides no toeholds for self-righteous ideological posturing! It leaves no room for sensationalist hyperbole! It creates no villains or scapegoats, no one to dehumanize or blame! You'll never make it in politics at this rate.
posted by IshmaelGraves at 8:36 PM on September 22, 2006


How would you feel if the medical professionals in question refused to offer pain medication to anyone due to personal morality? What if getting pain medication became a difficult ordeal, many times requiring visits to several doctors and pharmacists?

What if you required medical professionals by law to provide pain medication to anyone who asked for it?

I'm not saying I don't think there's potential problems with allowing professionals the choice to administer or not administer treatments based on their assesments of what's right and wrong. I agree the scenario you're talking about would be a problem. In fact, I think it's also worth noting that it's already a problem, though not so much because doctors have choices, but because our current government has decided that it's a problem, and I'm given to understand that as a consequence, doctors are actually compelled to be more cagey with pain meds. I believe this possibly has some social benefits, but it also has problems, and I don't know that the benefits outweigh the problems. So your scenario almost works in support of the idea that we should let doctors make their own choices, though of course, if you allow that, there will probably indeed be some doctors who choose to be too cagey with the meds and suffering patients.

And of course, there's some scenarios which fit different ends of the argument better. What if we required doctors to kill anyone who asked them to die? The right to die or refuse treatment really can be extremely important, and it's nothing I'd shrug away lightly, but to require a doctor to administer death would have severe ethical problems.

How I wish that Planned Parenthood offices were open 24/7.

I tend to think this is the right direction to move for anyone who's concerned about this particular dilemma. Rather than trying to force everyone to share your own personal moral framework, it might be better to round up those who do, get together, and organize to provide the service that others won't. The woman telling this story could go solicit volunteers to, I don't know, maybe provide emergency on-call staffing for PP over weekends. This way, the contraception would be available and nobody who didn't like the idea of providing it themselves would be forced to do it. Personal freedom preserved all around.
posted by weston at 8:39 PM on September 22, 2006


This story, this thread, and the state of affairs in this nation are all preposterous.
posted by Ynoxas at 9:10 PM on September 22, 2006


This is exactly the same as the Richard Dawkins thread.
posted by Joeforking at 9:15 PM on September 22, 2006


As far as I know, you are ? Apparently reverse procedure isn't that effective or is not effective at all. Tell me that you aren't doing so JUST for convenience over other contraception methods ; or even worse, JUST to prove you can or that you own your body. Ahahaha that would make me laugh :) sooooo much

You know, what the fuck business is it of yours why she's getting sterilized?? Jesus. It's her goddamn body. Why is the concept "women's bodies belong TO THEM" so goddamn hard to understand for some people?

*resists urge to add even more expletives to post*
posted by emjaybee at 9:26 PM on September 22, 2006


Let me just point out that Eastern European Jews sometimes used to keep pigs as pets.

Unrelated to the point, I know, but I always found that interesting.
posted by Astro Zombie at 10:11 PM on September 22, 2006


Astro Zombie writes "Unrelated to the point, I know, but I always found that interesting."

Jews keep cats and dogs and birds as pets too, all of which are unkosher for eating.
posted by orthogonality at 10:32 PM on September 22, 2006


I second this: It is unbelievable to me that someone would not get off their ass and drive to a city 3 or 4 hours away when the stakes are this high

Further, will all the birth control problems that this woman has mentioned regarding birth control pills, diaphragms, etc., she's bloody stupid for not taking the next step to ensure this wasn't considered to be a possible problem with just using condoms. Condoms fail; this is well known.
posted by Kickstart70 at 10:45 PM on September 22, 2006


It seems odd to me that if she's already been warned against getting pregnant by medical personnel (due to her cervical surgery) that they wouldn't have automatically given her a prescription for EC.
posted by Oriole Adams at 11:09 PM on September 22, 2006


Perhaps what she really needed was a visit to a shrink and an emergency dose of zyprexa.

Maybe throw in 10 or 20 mg of Valium, too. What's with fertile females getting uppity, these days?
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:11 PM on September 22, 2006




Speaking as a dude of the mail gender, I can say that there have been lots of times in my life when I've gone into pharmacies to buy condoms. I've bought 'em at rural pharmacies and suburban pharmacies, at private places and corporate places. The number of times I've ever felt judged, or glared at, or experienced anything other than the most mundane customer/employee interactions is exactly zero.

When I contrast my own experience with that of some of the women here, I get a scary picture of the American attitude toward contraception. It's not birth control that gets people's knickers in a bunch; it's women using birth control. I'd be embarrassed to be a man if I didn't know there were plenty of women out there who hold such priggish 17th Century ideals as well.

By the way, the 100-mile argument is a red fucking herring. As someone said upthread, poor people without cars can't drive a hundred miles. If you think it's reasonable to expect anyone to travel more than a few miles to get contraception, well, fuck, man, I don't know what to say to you, other than grow a damn heart.
posted by hifiparasol at 1:02 AM on September 23, 2006 [2 favorites]


Part of the problem as regards having a pharmacist on staff at all times who is willing to dispense EC is that there is a nationwide pharmacist shortage. As I understand it, pharmacies are struggling to make sure they have enough staff to cover every shift. This probably also contributes to the lack of 24-hour pharmacies in some areas - they don't have enough people to staff the graveyard shift, and graduates with pharmacy degrees are so highly recruited that they can cherry-pick what jobs they want, and I would guess that most of those who do retail avoid jobs where they might have to work third shift.

There are no female doctors in those cities?

Being a woman is no bar to believing that [other] women don't deserve contraception (emergency or otherwise). The president of Pharmacists for Life is a woman, for one. About 40-50% of their board of directors is female. Same thing goes for the American Association of Pro Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists.
posted by anjamu at 1:18 AM on September 23, 2006


Given the fact that she is extremely anti pornography, there's a bit of ironic justice that she was denied EC because the doctors thought she was a slut.
posted by afu at 2:06 AM on September 23, 2006 [1 favorite]


Speaking as a dude of the mail gender...

You're a postman? Then maybe you can help answer my question.

Is there any legal problem with overnighting ECPs directly to the patient? It seems quite possible here, assuming you can find a friendly doctor or pharmacist. Because I'm wondering whether there are ways to solve this problem short-term, until the Republicans lose their control of the US.

You call an 800 number to find a nearby friendly doctor or pharmacist who will prescribe EC. (If the doctor is not close enough, maybe the doctor will visit or meet you halfway. Money coming from a national organization for birth control rights could help with travel costs for doctor or patient. Or can the patient-doctor interview be held by phone?) Then the doctor uses an online pharmacy (maybe one devoted just to EC) to get the pills overnighted to the patient. No unwanted kid, no wrecked lives, and (even Republicans can get behind this) thousands and thousands of tax dollars saved, if the unmother is poor, in various costs associated with overburdened families and unwanted children.
posted by pracowity at 2:38 AM on September 23, 2006


I'm, well, a bit horrified by the--excuse me for not being able to come up with a better word for it--misogyny present here.

Let's not cloud the issue--this is Plan B, not mifepristone. What justification can these doctors and pharmacists possibly have outside of a medical condition for refusing a woman in need? The answer is blowing in the wind, all right, but this time it's blowing from the coming dark age.

I want my doctors to have a conscience, and the ability to refuse something unconscionable--but I want a doctor that adheres to science and its methods, not some fucking superstition.

I'm not going to trust my life to a psychiatrist who's a scientologist, and I don't think we should be granting titles to any creep who puts his magical thinking ahead of empiricism.

But, perhaps we should muddy the waters, if ony so I can say a doctor who is capable and refuses to give an abortion is not a doctor but a priest.

The frankly bizarre attacks on this woman prompted me to give donation to planned parenthood and I hope they receive many more from anyone who has the means and inclination.
posted by cytherea at 2:59 AM on September 23, 2006 [1 favorite]


First, genius, I'm not a conservative, nor am I remotely conservative. Secondly, I have said repeatedly in this thread that I believe that a doctor or two might refuse to prescribe it, but that my disbelief is predicated on the totality of her story, her abject victimization at the hands of multitudes of medical professionals
Some skepticism is called for.
posted by Pastabagel at 7:13 PM PST


Did you ever consider that the 'medical professionals' wanted to 'establish a relationship' (have a reason to extract $ on a regular basis) with her? And when the Doctors felt this transaction would not result in money in their pocket, they blew her off?

Now, exaclty HOW does a positive bottom line reason morally justify the actions mentioned?
posted by rough ashlar at 3:33 AM on September 23, 2006


I agree with davy and up the ante with a dash of latent misogyny. Maybe just feminist backlash. In fact, I'm not particularly fond of anti-porn feminists dancing around like they own feminism myself. (But I am kinda ashamed of myself for feeling compelled to bring that back into the discussion since it's not germane.)

It's not the best written story of this kind, but calling shenanigans here just seems like an exercise in wonkishness (at best), since there are many more, and more repuatable, stories of this nature, as also seen in comments above mine in this thread.

Personally, I think she could have done a smarter job of cutting through the red tape, but she shouldn't have had to, especially during a period of duress.

Having done a couple seminars that discussed rural vs. urban poverty, there is a lot less physical mobility and access to these types of resources in rural poverty than the middle-class urbanite demographic here would suspect.
posted by Skwirl at 3:34 AM on September 23, 2006


Uhm. Also, don't believe word of mouth on the overdose of birth control equals Plan B deal. Some pills work like this and some don't work this way at all. Furthermore, as mentioned above, each type has a different dose. You're obviously much better off keeping a supply of EC around instead, of course. In a real pinch, seek out a reputable source of information.
posted by Skwirl at 3:38 AM on September 23, 2006


From a morals point of view (and remember morals aren't but deeply seated beliefs,sometime based on tradition, sometime also on blind faith ) it is clear that sooner or later conflict with arise, given different morals and different interpretation of others people morals.

There is no need to have a moral prevail on the other and to have the other succumb, if it is possible to have them not interfere with each other, which is easier that making them compatible and most likely better then a conflict.

For Ru486 and similar the problem is a time/space one. To ease this problem, one solution could be imposing the doctor that refuses the prescription to keep the name/address/phones of at least two doctors in his same city/county who declared him they are avaiable to prescribe Ru486 and then communicate these name to the patient. Yet this imposition would hardly work in practice (expecially sanctioning it) and would be ill tolerated by the doctor.
posted by elpapacito at 4:12 AM on September 23, 2006


For fuck's sake, just MOVE. This damn American "oh wah wah wah the place where I live/work/whatever is so rural and conservative" bitching gets so old. If you don't like where you live, GO AND LIVE SOMEWHERE ELSE.
posted by reklaw at 4:38 AM on September 23, 2006


elpapacito, just so you know, we're not talking about RU486. We're talking about Plan B. Plan B does not cause an abortion. It is a totally different drug that works by preventing conception entirely, just like all other birth control pills. Plan B may also work by preventing implantation, but I'm not sure if the jury is in on that one or not. Contrary to popular belief, conception does not happen at the time of ejaculation. On average, sperm swim around for several days looking for the egg, so that's why the effectiveness of Plan B decreases every day that you wait.

Because of the politicization of the issue, calling Plan B and RU486 similar is a faux pas that's likely to derail any discussion more than help it.
posted by Skwirl at 4:40 AM on September 23, 2006


Skwirl writes "calling Plan B and RU486 similar is a faux pas that's likely to derail any discussion more than help it"

Plan B Plan C Plan Z let's look

Plan B acts primarily by stopping the release of an egg from the ovary (ovulation). It may prevent the union of sperm and egg (fertilization). If fertilization does occur, Plan B may prevent a fertilized egg from attaching to the womb (implantation). If a fertilized egg is implanted prior to taking Plan B, Plan B will not work.

So apparently IF it does prevent the ovulation , then it will prevent the fusion of egg and sperm, that would rule out an abortion because there is no embryo.

Yet if it doesn't , but prevents embryo from implating, it is still the same as killing it by the means of making implantation significantly less possible or impossile, so it's an abortion ; you can bet your genitals the opposers of abortion will make this distinction.One still would have some people arguing you shouldn't be using ANYTHING reducing the chances of a pregnancy, but abstinence and that includes the Pope and some other ass who never had sex (well they CLAIM that) but hey that's fine, but that's your choice, not mine.
posted by elpapacito at 6:08 AM on September 23, 2006


Oh, shit. Cats aren't kosher?
posted by Astro Zombie at 6:09 AM on September 23, 2006


Somebody who makes it through an accredited med school and doesn't understand that contraception /= abortion should have their license revoked. And said med school should be scrutinized.

Well said.

Pastabagel, I don't care whether you're a conservative or not. You're straining every resource to find reasons to doubt a story that I can see no reason to doubt, and I'm a skeptical guy. I don't think you're evil, but I do think you should examine your motives here. Why exactly are you so eager not to believe how hard it is for women outside of major metropolitan areas to get basic health services? And why are you so eager to make excuses for doctors who refuse such services? (And yes, as others have said, women make some of the fiercest misogynists.)

Don't feel too bad, though; at least I'm reading and responding to your comments. There are other posters here I've long since learned to ignore; I glance down, see their handle at the bottom, and move on. I don't need no goddam Greasemonkey script!
posted by languagehat at 6:28 AM on September 23, 2006


Oh, shit. Cats aren't kosher?

No, but you'll be glad to know you can get kosher cat food!
posted by languagehat at 6:29 AM on September 23, 2006


I don't think elpapacito is confusing RU486 & EC; his ill stated example is how EC and abortion (not RU486*)works here in Italy concerning moral objections by doctors.

In theory, doctors who refuse to prescribe EC must provide the woman with information on where she can obtain it/the procedure.

In practice, good fucking luck. Some nurses call EC the 'abortion pill.' I've heard multiple accounts of having to go to 3 different emergency rooms (in Rome) before finding someone with accurate information for EC.

Regarding abortions, there was an exposè last year that had doctors in Napoli objecting to abortions within the state hospitals, but would perform them in their private offices as late as 5 months with the right amount of money slipped into their hands (3 months is the legal limit here.) I've heard a similar story from a close friend of mine (again, in Rome).

In both cases, I'd hate to be out in some podunk little village and be in need of either.

So the theory makes sense. The practice leaves much to be desired, though. **

But just in case:

elpapacito RU486 è un IVG chimicio, EC è la pillola del giorno dopo. Sono due cose diverse. La prima interrompe un gravidanza già in corso, la seconda previene una gravidanza indesiderata. E la tua risposta a pieoverdone è talamente ineducato che spero qualcosa è andato "lost in translation."

On preview: nevermind.

elpapacito, there is evidence to support that la spirale also prevents an embryo from attaching to the uterene wall, as do normal brith control pills.

*RU486 is currently only available in Sienna right now and requires a three-day hospital stay.

**Then again, the Pope lives here and most of the hospitals are named Saint FOO. I'm surprised they managed to pass EC at all through all the politics and even more surprised that RU486 is beginning to be available, if only in one city.
posted by romakimmy at 6:34 AM on September 23, 2006


The confusion between this and RU-486 is mostly reasonable. It's a similar issue. This is NOT standard contraception, and calling it such only clouds the issue. Since it prevents the implantation of an already fertilized egg, it is not unreasonable to consider it to be interfering with a pregnancy in progress, rather than preventing one. Given that a reasonable person could define this as the beginning of a pregnancy, and hence the beginning of a life, I don't see how you could require a physician to prescribe it. His oath is to protect human life, and since we can't, as a society, come to consensus on that, we should leave it up to the individual physicians, so long as their judgments are generally reasonable.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 6:55 AM on September 23, 2006


Oh my kimmy is on a roll !

* Pioverdone point: education schmeducation and touchy-feely sensitivity sometime hurt one more then tought love, lesse....

My gyn kept throwing crap at me like 'What if you won the lottery and you didn't have to support yourself? What if you met the right man? You're thiiirrrtyyyy..."
They're all upset like I'm losing something, but getting this surgery is like Christmas. Boo ya.


Surgery = Christmas = Blessed Gift ? WTF ? Throwing crap ???? She reported the reaction of gyn as if the _reason_ perceived by the gyn for her surgery was superfical...I bet they were trying to inject some common sense in her head, but I could be wrong as I don't know WHY she is having the surgery. BUT given that, as far as I know, the procedure is not well or easily reversible I would definitely (if I was her gyn) advise her NOT to take that route because she could change her mind, but not reverse change her body ! Just use other ways, if you can. If you can't then try condom, unless she is really allergic to lattice. Shortest route isn't always best route.

Definitely my point is not a sex-moralistic, not even anti-feminist one , she can do whatever the fuck she please YET if she didn't want to listen her gyn and probably parents or friends or whateve, well I still see a chance in controversy and in-your-face. I may be wrong , but let me address the consequences.

* The day after (not the Nuke!) Plan-B pill and Ru486 pill

You see afaik the plan-b pill can be seen as a contraceptive IF AND WHEN it prevents ovulation, therefore fusion of egg and sperm. Yet it can also be seen as abortive if it works in a way to reduce chance of implantation in womb, as the egg+sperm already fused. Yet even so there will always be asses saying you shouldn't be useing contraceptive at all except abstinence and that condom is forbbiden and evil ! You can't use reason or medicine with that people, you have to assault their imposition of morals.
posted by elpapacito at 7:07 AM on September 23, 2006


For fuck's sake, just MOVE. This damn American "oh wah wah wah the place where I live/work/whatever is so rural and conservative" bitching gets so old. If you don't like where you live, GO AND LIVE SOMEWHERE ELSE.

This is absolutely the wrong attitude to take. One of the reasons why the red states are so red is that many of the more liberal, cosmopolitan, and tolerant people in those states who grew up there have been hounded out or they got the hell out of town the first chance they could get. If you fold up your tent and move to another state, you're just letting the bastards win.
posted by jonp72 at 9:13 AM on September 23, 2006


I bet they were trying to inject some common sense in her head, but I could be wrong as I don't know WHY she is having the surgery. BUT given that, as far as I know, the procedure is not well or easily reversible I would definitely (if I was her gyn) advise her NOT to take that route because she could change her mind, but not reverse change her body !

For God's sake, if she really wants kids, she can adopt them, not like there aren't more than enough to go around. A woman's reproductive organs aren't sanctified, you can stop worshipping them now.
posted by Hildegarde at 9:16 AM on September 23, 2006 [2 favorites]


Hildegarde writes "she can adopt them"

Oh really ? I never considered that option ! No really ! But I have considered that, you know, there is no guarantee she will be able to adopt, is there ? Whereas it is so frigging easy to get pregnant it's almost ridicolous.

Because of course YOU are taking charge of giving her a baby, should she change her mind ? Oh it is SO easy to speak and suggest I am worshipping pieces of body, but when and if it comes to delivering promises, Hildegarde, wanna see what you will be yapping in excuses.
posted by elpapacito at 9:25 AM on September 23, 2006


Whereas it is so frigging easy to get pregnant it's almost ridicolous.

Really? Perhaps you'd like to tell that to the many people (some in my own family) who have spent years trying to get pregnant. Obivously you're the expert.

What promises are you looking for? Have you ever tried to adopt? How about trying to adopt a 5 year old, like my cousin and her husband just did? That wasn't so hard at all.

The woman wanting the surgery doesn't want kids. She doesn't want to give birth. Why are you in charge of making sure she doesn't regret her decisions? Go take charge of your own damn life. Someone else's uterus is none of your goddamn business.
posted by Hildegarde at 9:29 AM on September 23, 2006 [1 favorite]


I bet they were trying to inject some common sense in her head, but I could be wrong as I don't know WHY she is having the surgery. BUT given that, as far as I know, the procedure is not well or easily reversible I would definitely (if I was her gyn) advise her NOT to take that route because she could change her mind,

Common sense? Common sense is suggesting that I have children that I do not want?

It's that assumption that I do not know my own mind and that all women want babies that drives me batshit.

Look, I know I'm not cut out for parenthood. Whatever hormone, gene, or conditioning even that makes women think that babies are adorable and parenting imperative I. do. not. have. It has never been there. Much in the same way green eyes, being 5'10" and naturally curly hair have never been there for me either.

If I had a child, it would not be wanted. I can say this with certainty. I have the self possession enough to make sure this does not ever happen to me. Why is this seen as a bad thing?
posted by pieoverdone at 9:34 AM on September 23, 2006


Oh it is SO easy to speak and suggest I am worshipping pieces of body, but when and if it comes to delivering promises, Hildegarde, wanna see what you will be yapping in excuses.

And I can't even let this go...what crack are you smoking over there, mr. puts-spaces-in-front-of-every-damn-piece-of-punctuation? Who the hell is looking for a freaking promise from you OR from me? A woman who wants to be sterilized so she doesn't have to go through what the woman who wrote this post went through isn't looking for promises from either of us. She's looking to take responsibility for her own body and her own damn future, and who are you, or anyone, to get in the way of that?

OMG but not the uterus! Don't hurt it! She knows not what she does! WTF is that? She's an adult, and that uterus does not belong to the Pope, the state, or to you.
posted by Hildegarde at 9:36 AM on September 23, 2006


What promises are you looking for?

Promises that if she for some reason can't adopt, you will give her what she wants. I mean YOU taking reponsability of somebody else wishes. You make everything "easy" because it was easy for somebody you know , guess what: it is NOT always that easy. Hey, but if you are so sure everything is easy, why don't you simply take responsability of giving her a baby, if she so wishes and if she will have the surgery ?

But no no, you will not do that. You will just say I should leave her alone and not bother myself telling her what I think could be best for her, while what you are doing is exactly the same, hiding behind the "let her be" argument, being so fucking sure that whatever she wishes is best for her. Course you do that, you will not suffer any consequence.
posted by elpapacito at 9:38 AM on September 23, 2006


Promises that if she for some reason can't adopt, you will give her what she wants.

The basic presumption here is that every women will eventually want a baby, and that every woman has a right to have one.

I'm afraid I can't accept either of those presumptions, and I'll never be able to wrap my head around your warped logic.
posted by Hildegarde at 9:40 AM on September 23, 2006


I should leave her alone and not bother myself telling her what I think could be best for her

I'll tell you what, elpapacito. I'll go out and get pregnant RIGHT NOW, and in 10 months YOU can be the one to make an FPP about a woman in St. Louis who drowned a baby in a bucket and then hung herself.
posted by pieoverdone at 9:42 AM on September 23, 2006


pieoverdone writes "Why is this seen as a bad thing?"

It is not seen, at least by me, as a bad thing. Sure as hell you can do whatever you want, that's a given and it is NOT a concession by me or a concession by anybody else. Regardless of what I say or think, you will do whatever you think is best and I take this as another perfectly fine given.

My point is , can you imagine changing your own mind ?

You know as well as me that this procedure will basically sterilize you, which is what you want. Fine. The difference between this and other contraception methods is that this method is drastic and could NOT be reversible, whereas other methods are reversible.

I don't question your ability to choose, nor even question or advance that it is moral or immoral or whatever ; what completely puzzles me and make me "mad" (not at you, I am not THAT concerned about your welfare) is why should one choose an almost irreversible method, when others reversible are easily avaialble. The only answer I was able to give myself is "she absolutely NEVER EVER want to have a kid not even by accident" .

That is so drastic, so absolute.....how can one could be so completely sure about something, it bordelines blind faith to me and it irritates me to no end.
posted by elpapacito at 9:51 AM on September 23, 2006


"she absolutely NEVER EVER want to have a kid not even by accident"

Um...I think especially by accident is more to the point.

it irritates me to no end.

And that is your problem. Not hers. Maybe you should take that one to a shrink and talk it out. Or maybe turn it into art. But keep your "injection of common sense" to yourself; no woman really wants to hear it.
posted by Hildegarde at 9:56 AM on September 23, 2006


Afu, you nailed it regarding the blogger's position on porn. You can't forbid others control of their own bodies and then cry foul when, with Dantean irony, the same is done to you.
posted by kid ichorous at 10:02 AM on September 23, 2006


Don't feel too bad, though; at least I'm reading and responding to your comments.

yeah, pastabagel. where would you be without this sine qua non metafilter experience?

ignored by languagehat, that's where. a fate worse than hell.
posted by Hat Maui at 10:06 AM on September 23, 2006


My point is , can you imagine changing your own mind

Ok, I don't like ham. I think it's the grossest meat ever. But I don't tell other people not to eat it.

Last year I was in Florence and decided to give some wickedly expensive prosciutto a go in case the problem was just me being raised on midwestern pork.

I didn't like it.

That's ham. It may cost 6.00 and take up a few cubic inches of my fridge if I decide to try it again.

this method is drastic and could NOT be reversible

Running an experiment to see if I want to parent by actually having a baby would wreck my career, my house, my finances, my independence, all my future plans, and my sanity. That is a risk and a lifestyle that I am completely extricating myself from.

Do you feel the same way about childless men that have vasectomies?
posted by pieoverdone at 10:07 AM on September 23, 2006


I forgot who you're talking to but sure basically I'd feel the same way about a man and a vasectomy. Of course the biology here effects my opinion which seems reasonable & I think men have simpler mitigations like freezing some seeds. (FWIW, it's this same "biology" that makes men's "rights" types who want vetoes over abortions such complete assholes.)

I think men & women have the right to control their bodies. If I think the guy who makes himself look like a lizard is a bit off, does that make me a hypocrite? Nope, just judgmental.

I wouldn't come on here & criticize your choice though, just out of basic courtesy. I have enough trouble running my life, much less anyone else's.

However, does the situation around EC & abortion really extend to your case? It certainly falls under the heading of "reproductive freedom." It's very confusing. The opponents of abortion say that women should be "counseled" in clinics & that drives me up the wall. However, I don't see that, because we're all adults we should have an absolute right any elective surgery whatsoever with no questions asked.

Suppose I'd been more focused in school & was now a plastic surgeon touching people up. Would it be so bad of me to not want to do boob jobs on 18-year-olds because that seems fucking crazy? Someone else would do it for them I'm sure.
posted by Wood at 10:35 AM on September 23, 2006


If you don't like where you live, GO AND LIVE SOMEWHERE ELSE.

Amazing. I couldn't believe this conversation could get any stupider. Have you even been poor? Have you ever lived from paycheck to paycheck, barely covering rent, while saving $10/week for a retirement that won't ever happen? Have you ever been uneducated, drug-addicted, disabled? I doubt it.

What if you required medical professionals by law to provide pain medication to anyone who asked for it?

Heaven.
posted by mrgrimm at 10:48 AM on September 23, 2006


Hildegarde writes ". But keep your 'injection of common sense' to yourself; no woman really wants to hear it."

Sure, because you are every woman ! Or know exactly what ALL woman want. Uh uh, sure. And ifdiscovering you don't know everything irritates you, welcome to the club ! We both should visit a shrink :) at least in your opinion.

pieoverdone writes "Do you feel the same way about childless men that have vasectomies?"

Hell yeah, unless there is a medical reason that dictates vasectomy as the only choice, I think they may be foolish or misguided. YET it is certainly within their own power to have a vasectomy ; some man even decide to have that procedure done after having some kid because they don't want to bother with condom ; as a man I can understand how condom can be bothersome on dick (sometimes) , but I would think a lot before cutting myself out.

Actually as I man I could see that as a big advantage, so that if I wilfully end into bed with some woman and she ends up fathering a kid, I can be 101% sure it is not mine AND that I will not have to support him financially : indeed I understand your position of NOT being able to do a test run being mother, but you have more choices including ru486 and Plan B, unfortunately as man I don't.

Yet also ru486 and Plan B could fail , you still would have the choice of abortion , but again that could be too expensive. Yet what are the chances of getting pregnant with : condom, spermicide and pill (assuming you can take it) Plan B , Ru486 (assuming you have access to them, of course) ?

On second tought, if you feel you are in such a position that a pregnancy would basically devastate your life NOT because of pregnancy itself, but because of it consequences, you are not alone. I am exactly in the same boat as I couldn't afford a kid right now and I don't mean giving him/her an expensive lifestyle, but giving him/her at least some security for future ; it is an economic problem with enormous social implications, obviously not address by religious right too busy telling you what NOT to do and to raise kids as if they were work animals.

Still I didn't take the cut route with my ex gf , we both took extra layers of precaution ; yet that may sound ham to you :)
posted by elpapacito at 11:17 AM on September 23, 2006


Would it be so bad of me to not want to do boob jobs on 18-year-olds because that seems fucking crazy? Someone else would do it for them I'm sure.

No, it wouldn't be so bad. And someone else would do it if you didn't. But a boob job can wait a week or a month or a year. There is no too late. And even never being able to have a boob job is probably not a disaster for anyone.

EC is now or never. If you don't provide it quickly now, the woman can end up having an abortion at her relative leisure later, which means you've prevented nothing. Or, if she has the baby (maybe no one will give her an abortion either?), you could get a kid who is unwanted, a mother who doesn't want this kid or to be a mother at all, a father who doesn't want this kid or to be a father at all, and perhaps a husband and wife who don't want to be married to each other or at all. And then there are possible financial problems, interrupted educations, a kid growing up in a troubled and impoverished home, etc. Have a good life, folks! Sorry about the prescription! It was a matter of ethics, you see.

How many doctors and pharmacists should a woman have to beg for a simple, legal prescription so she can prevent all that bad shit?
posted by pracowity at 11:31 AM on September 23, 2006


This is an interesting story, but it's notable, I think, in that the outrage is a little knee-jerk.

First of all, it seems like she didn't exactly go about this in the right way. I mean, Alvy Ampersand noted above that she wrote this on a computer, and therefore certainly didn't need to be constrained by a little phone book. Yes, as some have said, she might not want to drive that far, but given that she says she was willing to copay $100 for the emergency-room route, it seems like she might've been willing to try it.

Second, that would have been the right thing to do, although complaining loudly might do some good as well. It sucks that things are like this, and it all makes Joe L. a big hypocrite, sure, but the only way to change things is to support doctors who handle these things better. Given that we can't force doctors to perform live-saving surgery, much less prescribe certain drugs, it doesn't seem like there's much else to do. You can't save the world by suing it, and you damned well can't save it with a useless thing like congress; this is our country, however, and we have to make it better ourselves if we want it to be better.
posted by koeselitz at 12:35 PM on September 23, 2006


Would it be so bad of me to not want to do boob jobs on 18-year-olds because that seems fucking crazy? Someone else would do it for them I'm sure.
No, it wouldn't be so bad. And someone else would do it if you didn't. But a boob job can wait a week or a month or a year. There is no too late. And even never being able to have a boob job is probably not a disaster for anyone.
Just want to clear up my comments. I was responding to pieoverdone's comment immediately above mine & was on the tangent about sterilization. You are absolutely correct about EC, but sterilization isn't now or never.
posted by Wood at 12:36 PM on September 23, 2006


pracowity: "How many doctors and pharmacists should a woman have to beg for a simple, legal prescription so she can prevent all that bad shit?"

None. The lesson of all this is: every person (men included) should get to know their doctor / health care provider's position on things like EC. If that position is dead wrong, then find another doctor. Don't wait. Good doctors who are wiling to help aren't always easy to find; and the good ones deserve our support.
posted by koeselitz at 12:39 PM on September 23, 2006


Afu, you nailed it regarding the blogger's position on porn. You can't forbid others control of their own bodies and then cry foul when, with Dantean irony, the same is done to you.

I'm 100% opposed to the blogger's position on porn, but the objections raised by Afu (but she wants to ban porn!) and Pastabagel (but it's the meddlesome FDA's fault!) are still totally beside the point and counterproductive. The blogger shouldn't have to pass a libertarian political test to get emergency contraception any more than she should have to answer questions from moralistic small-town busybodies about her sex life or her marital status. To insist otherwise makes some libertarians look just as small-minded as small-town moralists. The time window of effectiveness for emergency contraception is a few days at most. A woman shouldn't have to twiddle her thumbs for some cyberlibertarian's political utopia to come to fruition to avoid a pregnancy with major health consequences, regardless of what her politics are.

In fact, the truly productive and libertarian thing to do is to do what Biting Beaver's commenters did and provide her with some useful help on emergency contraception. If you look at the comments section, it's a bunch of non-governmental actors coming together independently to offer a woman with some assistance without interference from the state. What could be more libertarian? Instead, a bunch of so-called libertarians here on Metafilter would rather nitpick the blogger's story or make fun of her writing or technical skills, rather than actually do something productive and helpful.
posted by jonp72 at 12:41 PM on September 23, 2006


it bordelines blind faith to me and it irritates me to no end.
posted by elpapacito at 9:51 AM PST on September 23


Italian man doesn't understand why women don't want him to make up their minds for them; film at 11.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 12:59 PM on September 23, 2006


Optimus Chyme writes "Italian man doesn't understand why women don't want him to make up their minds for them; film at 11."

:-) Eheh Mom says I am not allowed to play with you, you actually have an enemies list on your userpage BUTT LOL ROFLMA0 !
posted by elpapacito at 1:37 PM on September 23, 2006


In fact, the truly productive and libertarian thing to do is to do what Biting Beaver's commenters did and provide her with some useful help on emergency contraception.

But, as you point out, the blog has generated plenty of comments, answers, page-hits - as much as any author could have reasonably expected. So why is it so unproductive, in your view, to scrutinize the content of the blog? Do we suspend disbelief and critical thinking for every blog entry, or just for this one? Personally, I don't mind the heaping tablespoon of salt, especially when blogs are involved.
posted by kid ichorous at 1:51 PM on September 23, 2006


Ok, this is it. I, an unmarried woman, am going to go hang out with a group of unmarried men and drink adult beverages and play cards in a minute.

To sum up.

Hildegarde is awesome and I want to buy her a beer or ten.

elpapacito:
Does not appear to have a problem with birth control that's temporary/reversible, but he can't stand the idea of a woman having permanent birth control because all women want children. Apparently we must all keep the possibility of pregnancy open, even if we don't want it, and should we find ourselves with an unwanted pregnancy or situation that could lead to one, we must deal with it after the fact.

One more time, dude.
I prefer the sterilization because I'm not going to have children. I've already told you why, but you won't listen. As for my use of EC or abortion? Sterilization will put me in a position never to have to use those options. After nearly 14 years on reversible birth control and an even longer standing desire never to have children, sterilization is the right choice for me. Sweet Jesus.

I'm also a property owner and have a career. Women. What will they want next? Voting?
posted by pieoverdone at 2:28 PM on September 23, 2006


So why is it so unproductive, in your view, to scrutinize the content of the blog?

Because being helpful is less asshole-ish than talking out your ass about somebody else's personal circumstances that you know nothing about. Jeez, I've seen seen more scrutiny about this blog post than about Judith Miller's New York Times articles about WMD's. A wee bit of perspective, mmmmkay?
posted by jonp72 at 2:44 PM on September 23, 2006


The blogger shouldn't have to pass a libertarian political test to get emergency contraception any more than she should have to answer questions from moralistic small-town busybodies about her sex life or her marital status. To insist otherwise makes some libertarians look just as small-minded as small-town moralists.

Self-ownership for me, but not for thee!
posted by Kwantsar at 3:07 PM on September 23, 2006


pieoverdone writes "all women want children. Apparently we must"

Apparently, in your brain , I said "you MUST" . You are reading into what I write that you MUST ? I suggested to keep your option open, I never said you must. Hey but you can read whatever you want, even thing that are not written if you so please ; you can even write your interpretation of what I say and hope someone will read the way you read, that doesn't change a thing.

I'm also a property owner and have a career. Women. What will they want next? Voting?

Why do you hate woman so much ? Maybe because in the past you "respected" conventions and now that you have a career and property you feel you no longer have to ? Maybe because you just can't help not doing what a man tells you or anything said by a man is threatening to you ? Do you feel "empowered" because you can go drink "adult" beverages and play "adult games" with "adults" ?

But hey, don't worry, go play with Hilde if you so wish. You are free to do whatever you wish, you always were.
posted by elpapacito at 3:33 PM on September 23, 2006


:-) Eheh Mom says I am not allowed to play with you, you actually have an enemies list on your userpage BUTT LOL ROFLMA0 !
posted by elpapacito at 1:37 PM PST on September 23


you are dumb
posted by Optimus Chyme at 3:41 PM on September 23, 2006


I suggested to keep your option open, I never said you must.

Let's go at this logically, shall we?

El papacito presumption #1: A woman who opts to be sterilized can never have children. This is not actually true. They may not be able to give birth to children, but lots of people who can't biologically reproduce have children. Like some gay men, for instance.

El papacito presumption #2: A woman who has not been sterilized can have children easy peasy. Also false. If this were true, there wouldn't be 9.2 million women seeking fertility treatment in the US.

In conclusion: this is not a black and white issue. A surgical choice, for whatever reason, is not an on/off switch for a woman's future, with or without children. Unless, of course, you want to suggest that the best families are those with biological children with the genetic material of both parents.

What are you actually mourning here, el papacito? A woman's future, or the classic, leave-it-to-beaver nuclear family?
posted by Hildegarde at 3:55 PM on September 23, 2006


Optimus Chyme writes "you are dumb"

Mommy Optimus said I am dumb ! WAAA ! He snarks at me and then he doesn't handle my comebacks ! :(

Hildegarde writes "El papacito presumption #1: A woman who opts to be sterilized can never have children."

Where-da-f*ck-did-I-wrote-that. Show me , pretty please ? Yes, nowhere. You assumed that I held this position, but that is ok you assumed a lot so far I am getting used to it. What I time and again repeated is that it becomes less easy , but hey let's just read into elpapacito writing that he's just demanding us to behave the way he likes ! Increasingly I think you two were separated at birth.

Hildegarde writes "El papacito presumption #2: A woman who has not been sterilized can have children easy peasy."

Your counterargument is that, because 9.2 million woman have problems, then it is not true that is easy ! Elpapacito must be a liar running some religious librlul wingnut association , maybe he is the Pope and he is a mysoginist and wants to dictate the future of our uterus ! NEVER EVER !

Oh let's conveniently overlook that 9.2 million woman are not BILLIONS of woman having children without particular problem , we will claim that statistics are fine ONLY when they support our positions ! I bet the next time Hilde will accuse me of being chauvinist, in hope that every other woman will fill compelled to agree with her otherwise they must be traitors or dumb bitches.

Hildegarde writes "What are you actually mourning here, el papacito? A woman's future, or the classic, leave-it-to-beaver nuclear family?"

Oh no hilde just claims I have ulterior sekrut motives. I am mourning a woman future ? WHAT ? Leave-it-to-beaver ? Oh it must be some inside-code-talk of ....people like Hilde I guess.
posted by elpapacito at 5:55 PM on September 23, 2006


Maybe because you just can't help not doing what a man tells you or anything said by a man is threatening to you ?

Nah, dogg. When my manfriend asks for a blowjob, he usually gets one.
posted by pieoverdone at 6:50 PM on September 23, 2006


Nah, dogg. When my manfriend asks for a blowjob, he usually gets one.
posted by pieoverdone at 8:50 PM CST on September 23 [+] [!]


You can't get pregnant from giving blowjobs so I'm not sure what all the hub-bub is about. (/smirk)

elpapacito: Leave it to Beaver was a black and white television show in America showing an idealized 1950's American family... 2 kids, stay at home mother, prosperous father. It has become a mostly pejorative phrase insinuating the person wants to return to a time where women had very little say in family matters and usually had no life outside of child rearing and housekeeping. I'm simplifying but this will get you close, you damn dirty piazzaiolo. ;)
posted by Ynoxas at 8:41 PM on September 23, 2006


Ain't this thread dead yet?


posted by davy at 10:06 PM on September 23, 2006


Hitler! Nazis! Diverticulitis!
posted by davy at 10:16 PM on September 23, 2006


However, to play devil's advocate, how do you feel about doctors being forced to render medical services that violate their moral principles?

Provided they're a totally private practice, they shouldn't be forced. By the same token, EC should be over-the-counter.


What if you required medical professionals by law to provide pain medication to anyone who asked for it?

Better question: What if the law was no longer used to enforce idiotic moralities and adults weren't told what they're allowed to put into their own bodies?


unless there is a medical reason that dictates vasectomy as the only choice, I think they may be foolish or misguided.

Only to someone who is so narrow-minded that they cannot believe other people may really know they don't want kids. I know a lot of things about myself. I'd never want to live within a very big city, though I'd hate way out in the country. I don't like tomatoes. I hate turtleneck sweaters, and I think pleated pants look stupid. Also, I never want kids.

It's very easy to for me to know this, because it's me.
posted by spaltavian at 10:28 PM on September 23, 2006


spaltavian writes "may really know they don't want kids"

Of course they know they don't want kids, did I ever suggest you (or others) secretly want kids and don't know it ? Bah, that'd be most likely bullshit.

spaltavian writes "Also, I never want kids."

never ? Ok, mind explaining my how you are so friggin sure you will _never_ want, except that you feel like that right now and maybe you have felt like that for the last 20 years ? Because you see, we narrow minded individuals are so narrow, so stupid we like to keep our options avaiable. Obviously that doesn't imply you open minded, smart individuals should do as we do. I sincerely hope that you can share your clue with me, would you be so kind to explain me how you are sure you will _never_ ..just because I would like to have your kind of security. Oh but don't feel compelled to answer me, I am just a fool , a fool on the hill.
posted by elpapacito at 3:12 AM on September 24, 2006


Mommy Optimus said I am dumb ! WAAA ! He snarks at me and then he doesn't handle my comebacks ! :(

It's not that I can't handle it, it's that I'm not going to bother responding to some Mahir-sounding ESL motherfucker who believes that the data in my profile is true and betrays some serious reading comprehension issues in the process, and then who continues to berate people for having sterilization procedures a) as if anyone cared and b) as if anyone cared in particular what you think of the matter.

I mean, if you're willing to make up insane motives for other people, I think it's fair that I point out that you somehow embody the very worst of the Italian male stereotype.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 8:03 AM on September 24, 2006


Optimus Chyme writes "it's that I'm not going to bother responding to some Mahir-sounding ESL motherfucker"

Wow that's colorful ! And watch, you just responded :) ..what's a mahir-sounding motherfucker, anyway ? Can I eat it ?

Optimus Chyme writes "you somehow embody the very worst of the Italian male stereotype."

As opposed to the very best of the italian male sterotype ? You see you can call me names, point out my ethnicity, you can even call me wop (which means without papers, a sorry moment of italian past in which we were compelled by poverty to emigrate..and we still do to an extent) if you so wish, all of this suggest me that you would rather find a fault in me then in my arguments, possibily because calling a person "stupid american" or "sleazy wop" or "woman" or "man" is a lot easier then arguing one thoughts.
posted by elpapacito at 8:41 AM on September 24, 2006


never ?
Yes, never.

Ok, mind explaining my how you are so friggin sure you will _never_ want, except that you feel like that right now and maybe you have felt like that for the last 20 years ?

There's an old saying. "Know thy self". It's not some special cosmic knowlege only the wisest of is can access to know if we want kids. I hate kids, I don't like taking care of stuff, I don't get joy out of family. I don't want to lose independence, I care more about different oppurtunites, I want less strain finacially. These aren't moods, some aren't even feelings but thought out value considerations. They aren't going to magically reverse because I see kids hugging Santa Claus. I don't want kids, what can you not understand?
posted by spaltavian at 9:39 AM on September 24, 2006


I never want kids. I've got a vasectomy scheduled for the earliest date the HMO allows; the HMO set a silly 30-day waiting period, as if at 43 childless years old I'll suddenly change my mind. I'd've gotten it done years ago but the Primary Care Provider said to ask the HMO and several times over the past few years I couldn't get a straight answer from the HMO about whether they'd pay for it. Finally I went to a urological practice myself and got them to do the bureaucratic heavy lifting.
posted by davy at 8:02 PM on September 24, 2006



that's no reason for the electorate not to try this november

riotgrrl69 rules!
posted by Neiltupper at 6:47 PM on September 27, 2006


Well, the Biting Beaver is now pregnant.
posted by caddis at 1:29 PM on October 9, 2006


I figured the thread would be closed by now. we made fandom wank by the way.
posted by delmoi at 9:09 PM on October 12, 2006


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