A few days ago I posted about the new toy safety regulations that will go into effect in a few months, which would effectively drive small businesses that hand-make their toys, out of business. The good news is that due to public outcry it seems Washington, DC, is already working to change this.
Unfortunately, today I come to you with another important issue at hand. I normally keep abortion talk out of this blog-- I am strongly pro-choice and not ashamed to publicly say so, but I also recognize that issue as an extremely personal and volatile one and haven't felt the need to bring it, or the controversy that always follows, here. However today I heard of a new rule just passed by President Bush that allows "anti-choice medical staff [to] withhold information about abortion, birth control, and sex education from their patients. Facilities that receive family planning funding, like Planned Parenthood, will have to certify that they will not refuse to hire nurses and other providers who object to abortion and even certain types of birth control. For example, a doctor who opposes pre-marital sex could refuse to provide a prescription or even information about emergency contraception to an unmarried woman."(text is from an email from Planned Parenthood)
Let's throw the abortion part of this out the window. I'm willing to take a wild guess and assume that the vast majority of my readers support a woman's right to have access to birth control, whether she is married or not. I have been very fortunate in that birth control has always been cheap for me thanks to good insurance, but I know many, many women out there have to pay the $40-$50 PER MONTH for a pack of pills, out of pocket (don't get me started on how ridiculous it is for insurance companies to not cover contraception, when the cost of prenatal care, childbirth, and pediatric visits is astronomical by comparison). Many women and families depend on places like Planned Parenthood for affordable birth control and basic health care, because they cannot afford it elsewhere. If such a trusted facility is allowed to have staff that purposely choose NOT to provide this basic yet vital information to someone who needs it, someone who depends on you for it, well, that seems very, very wrong to me. And when that information could be about emergency birth control, where it could actually PREVENT an unintended pregnancy, potentially eliminating the need for there to even be a discussion about abortion, well, it seems outright malicious.
Many women and families depend on places like Planned Parenthood to get affordable birth control, with little or no other options.
To be completely honest, I don't understand how someone can be allowed to omit such important information to a patient. Your own morals and beliefs should not enter into the equation, at least not if your chosen profession is a medical field. If you're allergic to cats you don't go get a job in a vet's office. If you don't believe in proper preventative health care for women and families, then don't become a doctor (or nurse, or pharmacist) that has to deal with that field.
If you're as appalled by this as I am, please go here to ask the Obama administration to reverse this new rule. All you have to do is type in your name and address, and you're done. Thank you.