Friday, August 25

Say It Isn't So

I try to keep this blog fairly politic free, but when politics or politicians I support trample on the rights (indeed the very life) of the unborn, I find it hard to keep quiet. Nobody reading this will probably be surprised that I enthusiastically voted for George W. Bush (twice), nor are you likely to be blown over by the fact that I actually support his administration in most of their efforts, especially his pro-life policies and the war in Iraq (imagine that!).

However, you may not know that I differ with him on his education policies or that I don't agree with some of his other domestic policies that only create more and bigger government. Still, overall, I have been a very strong supporter of President Bush and thought I understood his agenda, so to speak. So I was naively caught off guard and felt betrayed when I read the President's comments about the FDA's Acting Commissioner Andrew Von Eschenbach (the President's own nominee) and his proposal to make Plan B, the morning after contraception/abortion pill, available over the counter:

"I believe that Plan B ought to require a prescription for minors—that’s what I believe. And I support Andy’s decision."

Was there a mistake? Surely he didn't mean he actually supported making this so called "emergency contraception," a.k.a. abortion pill, available over the counter? Even "regular" birth control pills are not available OTC! He stood firm and took a stand over embryonic stem cell research, vetoing the bill that would federally fund it, and I was thrilled that he was delivering on his promise to limit federal funding of this research to the stem cell lines that were already in existence. He was doing what he could to protect the sanctity of life, so I thought. What happened in just over a month's time?

Surely there is a superior nominee for FDA Commissioner who's ideology isn't so tragically inconsistent with the President's stated goal of creating a "culture of life." These are embyros that will be prevented from implanting (hence, will die) are no less valuable than those that might be created and destroyed for stem cell research. I am saddened and disappointed, to say the least. Perhaps I misunderstood his statements. Maybe someone will clarify and/or correct me on this. I do so hope to be proven wrong.

"There are six things which the LORD hates, yes, seven which are an abomination to Him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that run rapidly to evil, a false witness who utters lies, and one who spreads strife among brothers." Proverbs 6:16-19

It is a poverty to decide that a child must die so that you may live as you wish--Mother Teresa

Ironic footnote: Though you may soon be able to abort a baby with OTC pills, in Oregon we can no longer buy sinus medication such as Sudafed and Tylenol Sinus over the counter--we must have a prescription. Purely nonsensical.


DebbieLynne said...

According to an article in the Boston Globe, the OTC pill will still be kept behind the pharmist's counter, and people will be screened before they can purchase it. That's different than picking up a bottle of Tylenol. Also, this pill sometimes prevents FERTILIZATION, although if it's taken at the latter end of the 72-hour window, it indeed is an abortifact because it prevents implantation of fertilized eggs. Still, I think Bush saw that there will be a screening process, and that it wasn't strictly an abortifact. I'd prefer not to have this pill at all, certainly. But also, let's not buy into the misrepresentation that anyone can pick it up.

Kim said...

No, this isn't RU-486, thankfully (though there’s still a movement to make it more easily available as well). And I do believe you’re right that Bush was pleased that his nominee put an age restriction--or “screening process” as you called it--on the OTC availability, indeed raising it from 16 which is what the application requested. However, I still submit that Plan B is equally as deadly to an embryo as stem cell research is, hence my opinion of the inconsistency in Bush’s thinking.

As far as the screening goes, a recent CNN article said, “The Food and Drug Administration said that women 18 and older—and men purchasing for their partners—may buy the Plan B pills without a doctor’s note, but only from pharmacies…not at convenience stores or gas stations. Pharmacists will check photo identification.”

One would hope pharmacists will be more vigilant than convenience store sales clerks, but, really, this is a poor excuse for a screening process. Canadian pharmacists recommended a true screening process when Plan B became available OTC in April of last year, but by December the Ontario province had already caved to pressure to seek no identifying information. Abby Lippman, Chair of the Canadian Women's Health Network said, “We hope pharmacists in other provinces follow suit, and that all other processes that impede or delay access to women and girls will be lifted."

Dr. Philip Hall, president of the medical staff at St. Boniface General Hospital in Winnipeg and professor at the University of Manitoba stated, "In my view, collection of personal information in this context is abhorrent and reprehensible…If the pharmacists don't need it for a bottle of aspirin, they don't need it for Plan B either," referring to the collection of identifying information.

Canadian Article

Patty said...

Amen Kim! I wish I could have said it like you just did!


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