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just fill the prescription

By Diogenes (articles ) | Jun 02, 2006

I notice that NARAL is cackling gleefully, and with reason, over Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich's latest. A pro-abortion Democrat (excuse the near-redundancy), he had earlier issued an executive order requiring pharmacies to provide contraceptives, including so-called "emergency contraceptives" that can be abortifacient. He also refused to permit a conscience-clause by which pharmacists with moral objections to contraceptives or anti-implantants might be exempted from their legal obligation to dispense them. This week Blagojevich ordered pharmacies to display posters informing customers of their rights -- or better, alerting customers to the rights the pharmacist does NOT have. As you can see, the poster positively encourages customers to kneecap non-compliant pharmacists by reporting them to the state authorities.

Note that the language of the poster is neither neutral nor official ("citizens have the right to purchase and be supplied with all legal pharmaceuticals ...") but blatantly ideological and tendentious ("pharmacies don't have the right to stand between you and your doctor"). Blagojevich is using his office not to execute laws impartially but to buy, at public expense, propaganda for the world-view in which his curtailment of liberties is justified. Imagine if the shoe were on the other foot, and Governor Jeb Bush (vindicating the First Amendment rights of Floridians) ordered that all bookstores -- even those owned by Muslims, Jews, or atheists -- were required to stock and sell Catholic bibles, and to display a non-compliance threat showing a crucified Christ and the words, "No one has the right to stand between you and Your Redeemer." Call me cynical, but I can't believe civil liberties groups would sit still for that.

The same Gov. Blagojevich puts those tax dollars to work with the government website in which he reminds us of his role as Illinois's champion of women's rights and tags himself with the motto, "Ensuring access to affordable contraceptives." Like a momma bird, he even swallows the rationalizations provided by NARAL and then spits them up for us half-digested:

You shouldn't have to wonder whether your local pharmacy will fill your doctor's prescription. That's why I recently issued an emergency rule that orders every pharmacy in Illinois that sells contraceptives to accept and fill all birth control prescriptions. No delays. No hassles. No lecture. Just fill the prescription.

Thank you, Governor. I think we get the point. But we're not quite finished with you yet. On the same web-page is a link to Illinois' Division of Professional Regulation, where we're meant to find an Online Complaint Form (clearly another way of putting uncooperative pharmacists on notice). Included in the form is a drop-down menu with some 180 professions against which complaints may be filed. In terms of the kinds of malpractice for which most citizens would seek remedies from the state, the listed professions range from the predictable (roofing contractor, nursing home administrator), through the baffling (geologist, massage therapist), and on to the bizarre (esthetician, euthanasia tech). Euthanasia tech...? But most interesting, and significant, are the omissions. No listing for "civil servant." No listing for "governor."

Probably not an accident.

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Show 36 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: Andy K - Jun. 11, 2006 8:48 PM ET USA

    Dear Obl. OSB, The headline on the poster's picture, and the picture itself, merely speaks of birth control prescriptions, not of "emergency contraceptive" (whatever that means?). Now, how many are going to see the distinction in this clever piece of propaganda?

  • Posted by: Andy K - Jun. 11, 2006 8:45 PM ET USA

    Dear AMDG, I agree with your most recent points addressing my questions. Thank you much.

  • Posted by: Andy K - Jun. 11, 2006 8:44 PM ET USA

    Dear Serviam, Thank you for the article; it is most enlightening.

  • Posted by: Laity1 - Jun. 08, 2006 12:51 PM ET USA

    check it out: http://www.thewandererpress.com/b4-21-2005.htm

  • Posted by: benedictusoblatus - Jun. 06, 2006 6:04 AM ET USA

    Once upon a time Catholics lived in Catholic countries or "ghettoes" within other countries. Of course they didn't see the benefit at the time, but I can see it quite well. Surrounded by Catholics they could at least attempt to live their lives in a Catholic fashion. Daily Mass, novenas, processions, catechism .... The parish was the center of life from birth to death, not a cold desert like some Calvinist meeting hall. The Gov might help force people back to such a life!

  • Posted by: benedictusoblatus - Jun. 06, 2006 5:56 AM ET USA

    Andy: so-called "emergency contraception" acts to prevent implantation of a fertilized ovum. It is by its nature abortifacient. To prescribe, sell or use such a product for that purpose is about as clearly sinful as anything can get.

  • Posted by: jai - Jun. 05, 2006 9:25 PM ET USA

    For two days I have held myself back from seemingly aggressive comment on this topic. I am disgusted to hear Catholics tempering the value of life in response to this and to previous articles as though menstrual discomfort...yes, discomfort...is a terminal disease requiring hospice like care and medical intervention beyond the pale. When did we become such wimps and so influenced by the comfort-at-any-price-give-me-pain-meds crowd?!!

  • Posted by: jai - Jun. 05, 2006 8:43 PM ET USA

    I am amazed that people on this site who claim to have links to the medical profession advocate the prescribing of BCP's. The medical literature supporting alternatives has been readily available for well over 10 years. Believe it or not....read BELIEVE...there are medical practices in this country which are NFP only and are successfully NFP only practices despite the naysayers who prophesize liquidation post haste. I am employed by one of these practices proclaiming life with holy boldness.

  • Posted by: jai - Jun. 05, 2006 8:38 PM ET USA

    Yes, AMDG, I agree with you that doctors are culpable....Catholic or otherwise....for prescribing artificial birth control pills for any reason whatsoever. There are valid, proven, medically effective alternatives to BCP's for all the gynie difficulties for which BCP's are prescribed. The remedies are simple and well known. Most are available over the counter. It is disheartening that even Catholics who should know better rationalize the use of BCP's as a miracle hitherto unknown by science.

  • Posted by: - Jun. 04, 2006 9:44 PM ET USA

    Andy K: Pharmacists know why most women want birth control prescriptions filled. (The reason most people buy knives from Cutco is not to slice & dice their children, so your analogy is somewhat lacking.) How about Catholic physicians? Are Catholic physicians who prescribe contraceptives free of blame? (I think that they are culpable.) Will Catholic MDs who refuse to write prescriptions for contraceptives be forced to not practice? (I think that day is coming.) God grant us courage!

  • Posted by: - Jun. 04, 2006 1:56 PM ET USA

    Andy, I hope the following url will answer your questions. http://www.all.org/article.php?id=10162&search=regulating%20menstruation

  • Posted by: Andy K - Jun. 03, 2006 6:34 PM ET USA

    Dear Serviam, Thank you for your contribution. If you can, please post some links to research and alternatives.

  • Posted by: Andy K - Jun. 03, 2006 6:33 PM ET USA

    Dear AMDG, You missed my point. I seek information on the state of sin the pharmacists are in when they fill the prescription without knowing why the patient requests the drug. I seek a moral theology answer, not to present a specious argument. If anyone can provide that, please do so. My understanding is that a pharmacist coerced into giving drugs commit no sin as free will is nullified. What happens if the pharmacist dispenses the drug without knowing the other party's intention?

  • Posted by: depeccatoradvitam - Jun. 03, 2006 1:11 AM ET USA

    Governor Blagojevich: Contracting for, Aiding and Abetting, and other means of enabling Premeditated Murder for the masses is genocide and crimes against humanity. 1.2M in the US/year are being lost; 1/3 of the African-American population in the US since 1973, lost; The Pulpits and the Cathedra are silent. Where have all the teachers gone? Our Lady of Guadalupe, protectoress of the Unborn, Pray for us!

  • Posted by: ladybird - Jun. 03, 2006 12:14 AM ET USA

    Serviam, so right! I wish to God that a pharmicist with a conscience had counseled me away from the "Pill" when I was young! I went along only for two years, but it did mask the only window of fertility God had planned for me! Ah, yes, it did keep me regular and it did relieve some of the extremes, but had a pharmicist refused and warned me of the risks I would have re-thunk it! To this day I resent those male doctors who reached for the new and easy solutions!

  • Posted by: David Ancell - Jun. 02, 2006 11:41 PM ET USA

    As a pharmacist, fortunately not in IL, I hope that governor gets his rear end thrown out of office at the next election. He is clearly abusing his office. I fear the day may come when those who adhere to the Gospel will no longer be able to practice in health care. Then again, there is a nationwide shortage of pharmacists. That leaves at least the possibility that the whole state of IL could some day pay the price for this.

  • Posted by: Gregory108 - Jun. 02, 2006 9:35 PM ET USA

    It is an outrage that a pharmacist should be forced to choose between losing a license or livelihood and contributing to the murder of a child! What's next? Force doctors to do abortions or leave practice? How about to administer euthanasia? The cry of the clergy, bishops and laity in Illinois should be deafening! Half that state is Catholic! Why don't I hear the cries here in Michigan? No one should be forced to kill! What a worthless, evil, criminal governor! What a worthless legislature too!

  • Posted by: - Jun. 02, 2006 7:41 PM ET USA

    Andy, the pill has absolutely no proven medical value! It is commonly prescribed by doctors who either do not know any better, or are not willing to research products that can cure. The pill only masks symptoms, which is not helpful. No woman needs the pill.

  • Posted by: TheJournalist64 - Jun. 02, 2006 7:17 PM ET USA

    I was conceived in Illinois out of wedlock in 1946. Thank God it didn't happen sixty years later. I'd be in some septic tank.

  • Posted by: - Jun. 02, 2006 6:30 PM ET USA

    Andy K: Women who need hormonal regulation for reasons other than contraception can have such reasons specifically put on their prescriptions. (The number of cases of this is QUITE SMALL in comparison to the number of women who use birth control pills for contraception.) These pharmacists need our support! Catholic MDs, RNs, etc. should be concerned about what is brewing here. This "persecution" will not stop with pharmacists. We may ultimately be "selected-out" of many areas of medicine.

  • Posted by: Laity1 - Jun. 02, 2006 5:43 PM ET USA

    If you think this governor is something, try checking out our Atty. Gen. Lisa Madigan - now there's a real piece of catholic-for-choice work. And, know that priestsforlife were there as she showed up for an address at St. Ignatius.

  • Posted by: Laity1 - Jun. 02, 2006 5:37 PM ET USA

    Andy K: that's a specious argument Coach & Pete: as sarsfield said, Bishop Paprocki has called Gov. Rod to task on such issues - even to the point of pointing his finger at him and speaking directly to him as he sat in the pew during the Bishop's homily. That's as direct as it gets, with all the faithful sitting there and hearing it. Of course, the Gov continues in the devil's work, with the Bishop's words shed like water off of a duck. God bless Paprocki!

  • Posted by: Andy K - Jun. 02, 2006 4:27 PM ET USA

    I will admit concern of pharmacists denying women who have legitimate need of the hormone treatment for regulating their cycles. However, I would assume that these women would glady take their prescription elsewhere. So, is it morally appropriate for a pharmacist to give the prescription, which has proven medicinal value, even if the patient uses it for murder? This is like asking Cutco to not sell knives because in some instances they can be used for murder. Intention is important here.

  • Posted by: coach1 - Jun. 02, 2006 4:12 PM ET USA

    As an Illinois Roman Catholic I never cease to be amazed at how our Bishops are so adept at ignoring social issues such as the above. They are also very good at ignoring liturgical abuses, abortion clinics, teaching the laity through the catechism BUT the money pitch - straight A's for that subject. I have tried to get through to various pastors and assoc. pastors over the last 40 yrs for some of these issues and have been blown off with a shrug or one compared me to a communist. Rome wake up!!!

  • Posted by: Pseudodionysius - Jun. 02, 2006 1:50 PM ET USA

    "No listing for "governor." Procurator, praetor and the Saturnalia are missing as well.

  • Posted by: sarsfield - Jun. 02, 2006 1:38 PM ET USA

    Pete: In fairness, it should be pointed out that Chicago's Bishop Paprocki has publicly confronted the Gov on this and the Diocese of Belleville called for a boycott of one pharmacy chain that fired some pharmacists who objected. It would be nice, though, if the Cardinal would weigh in in some public fashion.

  • Posted by: Gene Church - Jun. 02, 2006 1:08 PM ET USA

    TXCATHOLIC, If a pharmacy owner chooses not to carry a particular line or product, they should be allowed to. All groceries do not carry alcohol. And all pharmacies do not carry all medications. The Governor chose, in this instance, to mandate that pharmacies MUST carry birth control and abortifacients. A business should have the right to refuse.

  • Posted by: Pete133 - Jun. 02, 2006 1:03 PM ET USA

    The Gov is almost as much an embarrassment as some of the bishops. Too bad his opponent in the upcoming election is no shining star either. Another clear case for voting for "None of the Above". I don't think they could handle all the complaints if there were a category for "civil servant". I also notice the deafening silence from Cdl. George and the bishops of Illinois. God forbid we upset or criticize the Democrat politicians!

  • Posted by: Fiducia - Jun. 02, 2006 1:02 PM ET USA

    The exercise of conscience in the workplace is not protected. There have been several serious instances in my own career when I angered my employers by refusing to lie. Faithful Catholics are increasingly put in a position of choosing between prosperity, recognition, and social acceptance in this world and the next.

  • Posted by: Eleazar - Jun. 02, 2006 12:53 PM ET USA

    TXCatholic: So there will be chaos…so what? No store stocks every brand of every product. There are enough pharmacies willing to stock these drugs and enough pharmacists willing to fill the scripts, that the government need not use its power to force an individual to violate his/her moral beliefs, or risk the salvation of his/her immortal soul. P.S. If you really do support the availability of these drugs, I respectfully recommend you change the “Catholic” portion of your screen name.

  • Posted by: - Jun. 02, 2006 12:10 PM ET USA

    TXCatholic: You need to learn your cathechism better. Factor VIII, wine, and pork chops are not intrinsically evil. Artificial means of contraception are intrinsically evil. Factor VIII is to sustain life and wine and pork chops are dietary proscriptions. The birth control pill and "emergency contraception" are specifically meant to deny life. Furthermore, orthodox Jews, many Muslims, Ghandi (a Hindu), and until the 1930's many protestants have at some point taken stands against contraception.

  • Posted by: sarsfield - Jun. 02, 2006 12:08 PM ET USA

    TXCatholic doesn't understand the issues here. It's about "Plan B," which one Ill. legislator has described as "the least prescribed drug in the country." The Illinois pharmacists who are being hunted down by the Gov. all entered the profession before it came on the market. Even now it makes up less than .001% of the prescrips. presented annually to a retail pharmacist. Simple accomodations exist but are refused by the Gov. Would TXCatholic really quit his job under analogous circumstances ?

  • Posted by: ladybird - Jun. 02, 2006 12:07 PM ET USA

    TXCatholic, you can always go to another checker or another establishment! You can't get pork at a Kosher deli or a Halal grocery! You can't force these establishments to sell it to you! We are up against this here in WA too! Thank God our Pharmacists already have a conscience clause - but our Catholic Gov has asked the pharmacy board to eliminate it! What for?! Anyone who wants contraceptives or abortifacients can get them within 24 hours from Planned Parenthood!

  • Posted by: mattkennel - Jun. 02, 2006 10:21 AM ET USA

    I believe St. Paul said it best, "...For although they knew God they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking and their senseless minds were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man or birds or animals or reptiles. Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity ... because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie."

  • Posted by: - Jun. 02, 2006 9:31 AM ET USA

    Imagine getting to the check out stand with wine and the check out person says he can't sell it to you because of his religious beliefs. Imagine trying to get Factor VIII in the hospital but the nurse says that she cannot dispense blood products to you because of her religious beliefs. Imagine trying to by some pork chops, but the checker says she can't sell because of her religious beliefs. There would be complete chaos! You're a pharmacist. Do your job or get another one.

  • Posted by: Pseudodionysius - Jun. 02, 2006 8:34 AM ET USA

    Were there categories for Dash-2 Bishops or Caesar's Pet Prelates?

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