Tuesday, December 07, 2004

"Apparently, for these people, life begins when you're just thinking about having sex..." 

... So quipped Stephen Colbert, in regards to pharmacists refusing to dispense birth control pills. Here is a summary of the basic issues involved, if you haven't followed the story. And here is a nasty religious righter's views, to give you an idea of what we're dealing with. My take:

The radical right -- suddenly concerned with workers' rights -- argues here that people shouldn't be forced to do something at work to which they're morally opposed. Generally I agree. But not when the task in question is one of your primary responsibilities and you knew that going in. People who dress up like bloody cows at animal rights protests don't go to work at Ponderosa.

So, as conservatives would normally say: tough shit. It's a big, free country out there. Find a job you can do, or find a way to have someone cover for you that doesn't interfere with the person's right to have their prescription filled. Birth control is perfectly legal (though Jerry Falwell isn't dead yet). And in addition to preventing unwanted pregnancies and avoiding abortions, plenty of women take the pill for medical reasons.

I guess this sticks in my craw because to me, there's a big difference between begging out of an unexpected task on moral or religious grounds, and engaging in an organized attempt to hijack a profession as part of an ongoing conservative-driven culture war.

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