Monday, January 17, 2011

Give Them an Inch...

And they will take a mile.

A recent news item illustrates the extent to which the religious have an inherent disrespect for the rights of others, particularly those who don't agree with them.  The religious believe that they live under a totalitarian dictator and that this is right and good.  They believe that those of us who do not share their thinking in this regard are simply perverse and evil.  Unfortunately, they also believe that they have a mandate from the imaginary dictator in their minds to bring the rest of us to heel--by any means necessary.  I have mentioned this aspect of their personalities in passing in past posts.

The recent news item concerns a pharmacist who refused to dispense medication to a woman to stop bleeding because she believed that the woman needed the medication because she had just had an abortion.  The pharmacist invoked the so-called "conscience clause" in state law that allowed her to refuse to dispense emergency contraception or drugs that would cause abortion if she had a personal moral objection.  The law requires that the pharmacist refer the patient elsewhere if that is the case.

The pharmacist in this case called the nurse practitioner who prescribed the anti-bleeding drug and demanded to know if the patient had recently had an abortion.  If the information had been supplied, it would have been a direct violation of Federal law.  When the request for information was refused, the pharmacist hung up on the nurse practitioner and refused to dispense the medication or refer the woman elsewhere.

There are several salient points here that should be separately and clearly stated:  First, if the woman was bleeding because she had an abortion, that means the abortion had already occurred and that it was impossible at that point in time to prevent it.  Second, the pharmacist showed utter disregard for the law by invoking the "conscience clause" when it clearly didn't apply, demanding information that was forbidden to her by law, and refusing to follow the requirements of the same "conscience clause" that she invoked.  Third, the patient had dangerous uterine bleeding--anti-bleeding drugs are not prescribed unless the bleeding is serious--meaning a potential threat to the patient's life.

As one news article dealing with this incident put it:

"Essentially, the pharmacist was saying that, while her conscience was just dandy with letting a woman bleed out, it would have a problem saving her life if it was even a possibility that the blood loss was connected to an abortion.  The pharmacist's conscience being so fickle, apparently also prevented her from even referring the woman to a pharmacy who would fill her prescription, leaving her alone, bleeding, and lost. Someone care to explain to me how this qualifies as pro-life?"

In other words, this pharmacist took it on herself to pass a potential death sentence on this woman simply because she may have had an abortion.

This incident, like others, shows very clearly that the "pro-life" movement is not pro-life:  It is pro-authoritarianism and anti-sex--just like the religion that is using it to manipulate voters to gain power and wealth.

This incident reveals the extent to which the religious are mindless authoritarians who do not believe that they are bound by "earthly" laws but only by the "laws" of their religion--as defined by the leaders of that religion, of course.  This aspect of their personality is precisely why church and state must be kept separate, even to the point of keeping religious people out of positions of power unless they are able to execute their duties with reference to the laws of man and not those they believe are the laws of god.  This is also why there can be no compromise with them on this principle:  No moment of silence in schools, no conscience clauses for pharmacists.  Any attempt to compromise our principles regarding this turns them into petty tyrants intent on forcing their religion on the rest of us.

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