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Friday, February 01, 2008

Catholic Advocate Network Opposes Pharmacist Conscience Bill


The Catholic Advocate Network out of Sioux Falls has picked up on SB 164, the bill in the South Dakota legislature to take away the right of a pharmacist to exercise their conscience in issuing dangerous drugs and abortifacents.

They have issued a comprehensive fact sheet that outlines the ramifications of this bill, and why it is based on a number of fallacious arguments.

Some of the consequences of SB 164:

- Takes away the right of a pharmacist to exercise his or her conscience in issuing drugs that may cause the abortion of a newly conceived human being

- Indirectly attempts to revise the definition of "unborn child" in South Dakota Codified Law 22-1-2(50A) which defines an unborn child as "an individual organism of the species homo sapiens from fertilization until live birth"

- Refers to "government intrusions" by "government entities" in such a way that contextually implies that pharmacists are government entities, and that by exercising their conscience, they are imposing a "government intrusion" on a woman seeking contraceptives or abortifacients

- Is written broadly to include "consenting individuals" which may also mean minors could have access to birth control without their parents knowledge or permission

The fact sheet also reveals the fallacious arguments which motivates such a bill:

- That greater access to contraceptives reduces abortion (it doesn't)

- That emergency contraception or Plan B doesn't induce abortions (it can)

- That laws providing greater access to contraceptives for teens reduces teen abortion rates (it doesn't)

Contrary to the odd language of this bill, instead of preventing "government intrusions," this bill would constitute a government intrusion upon the right of pharmacist to follow their conscience when it comes to selling drugs they believe are immoral. We don't really want people who ignore their conscience to be dispensing drugs, do we?

If you're a South Dakota citizen who believes pharmacists should not be robots, but should be able to exercise their conscience when it comes to selling drugs that can cause harm to human beings, and find some of the other effects of this bill undesirable, you may want to contact your legislators and the members of the Senate Health and Human Services Committee. The bill is scheduled for a hearing before that committee this coming Monday on Feb. 4.


3 comments:

Anonymous said...

"- That greater access to contraceptives reduces abortion (it doesn't)"

Prove it.

Bob Ellis said...

Consider this:

o David Paton, author of four major studies in this area, has found “no evidence” that “the provision of family planning reduces either underage conception or abortion rates.”

o K. Edgardh found that despite free abortions, free contraceptive counseling, low cost condoms and oral contraceptives, and over-the-counter emergency contraception (EC), Swedish teen abortion rates rose to 22.5 per thousand from 17 per thousand between 1995 and 2001.8

o Douglas Kirby concluded: “Most studies that have been conducted during the past 20 years have indicated that improving access to contraception did not significantly increase contraceptive use or decrease teen pregnancy.”

o Peter Arcidiacono found that among teens, “increasing access to contraception may actually increase long run pregnancy rates even though short run pregnancy rates fall. On the other hand, policies that decrease

Even "emergency contraception" hasn't had much of an impact:


o Sixteen months after 18,000 sexually active women in a health district in Scotland were each given 5 packets of EC, researchers concluded: “No effect on abortion rates was demonstrated with advance provision of EC. The results of this study suggest that wide-spread distribution of advanced supplies of EC through health services may not be an effective way to reduce the incidence of unintended pregnancy in the UK.”

o Over 2,000 women in the San Francisco Bay area were randomly assigned to one of three groups. The first were given packets of EC; the second were told how to obtain EC free from pharmacies; the third had to return to the clinic for EC. Over 80% of the women were also using another form of contraception.

After only six months, 7-8% of women in each group were pregnant. Conclusion: “We did not observe a difference in pregnancy rates in women with either pharmacy access or advance provision [of EC]; … Previous studies also failed to show significant differences in pregnancy or abortion rates among women with advance provisions of EC.”

o “Another commonly held view for which there is no documented evidence is that improving knowledge about and access to Emergency Contraception will reduce the number of teenage pregnancies. … Experience of use so far does not give any evidence of effectiveness. Prescribing rates of the morning after pill have multiplied steadily in Scotland while there has been no observed decline in the rate of teenage pregnancies or abortions.”

o “Despite the fact that emergency contraceptive pills (ECP) have become easily available across the country during recent years, abortion numbers continue to rise in Sweden, especially in the young age groups (<25).”

o The Washington State Pilot Project allowed pharmacies to dispense EC without a prescription from February 1998 to June 1999. Although pregnancy and abortion rates in Washington state dropped (before increasing slightly the following year),16 between 1996 and 2000, the decline in Washington state (3%) was actually smaller than the decline in the abortion rate nationally (5%).

Still other studies in places like Britain and Brazil have shown the same thing.

Access to contraceptives breeds a false sense of security. Even when used properly, it sometimes fails (even oral contraceptives).

Thinking your safe leads to more risky behavior, which leads to more sexual behavior, which leads more more pregnancy that would have occurred with a cautious mindset, and when the women are open to abortion, they end up having more abortions.

theo said...

Q.E.D.

 
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