Commentary by Judie Brown
Bipartisan efforts in Congress always challenge my imagination. While I am aware that politics is the art of compromise, I have never understood how elected officials can honestly say they’re doing their job when they choose political unity over doing what is right. When bipartisanship takes over, both sides of the political aisle seem to agree on something that thrills neither side but provides politicians with the opportunity to claim unity. That can be the only explanation as to why members of both parties are saluting a new proposal, the Access to Birth Control Act-or the ABC Act in Capitol Hill parlance.
This proposal is really threatening because it would deny pharmacists the right to follow their consciences as they carry out their duties. Specifically, it singles out pharmacists who refuse to fill birth control prescriptions. Never mind that these healthcare professionals understand that their true responsibility is dispensing drugs designed to help those who are ill. No, the purpose of this legislation is to force them to dispense medication to healthy people who wish to avoid certain undesired consequences of their sexual activities.
What is it about birth control that a growing number of pharmacists find problematic? In a nutshell it’s the fact that most so-called contraceptives can kill a preborn child before he’s had a chance to implant in his mother’s womb.
Rep. Carolyn Maloney of New York, one of the congressional sponsors of the Access to Birth Control Act, told a gathering of feminists and media types, “An American woman can decide to put her life on the line for our country in Iraq, but she can be prevented from making basic decisions about her own health here at home.” Maloney further claimed that “Access to birth control is a women’s health issue, a private matter and a constitutional right. No one-not pharmacists, politicians or religious leaders-should be able to tamper with that right.”
It’s difficult to understand how she can compare the creation of a new life in the womb with the war in Iraq. On the one hand we have a mother who is carrying a special gift that is anything but a health hazard; on the other hand we have a woman who has freely chosen to join the military knowing that she may have to put her life on the line for her country. Both motherhood and military service are noble endeavors; but what does either have to do with this misguided attempt to justify the killing of tiny human beings in the first days of embryonic life?
In case Rep. Maloney has not noticed, there is nothing in the Constitution that guarantees anyone the right to “protected” sex. The Constitution provides our nation with the guidelines necessary to defend and protect the people of this nation; it has neither article nor amendment addressing her proposed mandate that pharmacists medicate the healthy so they may satisfy their sexual appetites regardless of the possibility of pregnancy.
What we do have in America is the right to expect to be treated in a way that is commensurate with our safety and the safety of this nation’s progeny. The birth control pill provides neither. They are not safe for those who use them and they can be deadly for those who are conceived while those pills are being employed.
Sen. Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey, co-author of the ABC proposal, told the same gathering, “No woman should be denied the medicine she needs to stay healthy. This bill is about basic health care for women in the 21st century, care that shouldn’t be withheld by pharmacists with an agenda. Passing this legislation would ensure that women get the care they need and the care that their doctors determine is necessary.”
Once again, political types, carrying the water for the proponents of unfettered sexual activity, describe the possibility of pregnancy as a health hazard and suggest that pharmacists who cherish life, appreciate parenthood and understand the problematic nature of birth control are somehow mean spirited ogres with an agenda. It is not the pharmacists, who know the truth and do not want to be a party to abortion, who have an agenda; rather it is those who hold promiscuity and abortion in such high regard that some actually treat them as sacred.
“Safe and legal” are the buzz words upon which the architects of the culture of death have built their house of cards. These people have convinced the public that birth control has nothing to do with abortion, and they have argued in vain that birth control actually curtails the number of abortions. In the process, “safe and legal” practices have condemned millions of preborn babies to death and have jeopardized the lives of countless numbers of women. At whatever point these realities finally come to the attention of the unknowing, apathetic public, one wonders what a terrible price the advocates of these deadly practices will have to pay.
For now, though, it is clear that pharmacists are going to have to make a choice, take a stand, and do what is right and good for those who come to them with prescriptions. Pharmacists, if this bill ever becomes law, will be punished for caring more about the ethical practice of their profession than they do for the “safe and legal” hogwash that has come to be accepted by far too many in our midst.
I do, however, have a caution for all those who are working so hard to defeat this measure. Please stop talking about what these courageous pharmacists “believe” and start talking about what they know, clinically, to be the facts. There is no belief whatsoever involved with the fact that basic biology has not changed: a human embryonic child exists at the instant the sperm and the egg unite. The chemicals contained in most birth control methods will make it impossible for that child to complete his task and implant in his mother’s womb. These are facts, not “religious beliefs” as is often alleged by the promoters of such legislation.
Give pharmacists credit for understanding the truth and wanting to practice their trade ethically. As Pharmacists for Life International has stated, it is crucial “to make pharmacy once again a life-saving profession, a mooring from which it has drifted.”
For my money, it is high time for pharmacists to stand up and proclaim that they will commit to helping anyone who is ill; but they will simply refuse to provide perfectly healthy Americans with medications that may kill innocent human beings and possibly maim those who use them.
If the true concern is “safe and legal,” then members of Congress are considering the wrong ABC. They should drop the language of the Access to Birth Control bill and be more focused on Applying Biology Correctly.
Release issued: 14 Jun 07