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View Diary: Rape victim denied birth control on religious grounds (211 comments)

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    •  Very rare situation (1+ / 0-)
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      I agree with you, if there's only one pharmacy in 50 miles or something, and no other way to get the medication, that's problematic.  As it would be for any medication that I want, but that a pharmacist does not stock.

      But that's hardly ever the case these days.  

      If there's another pharmacy in the general area, then I think the owner of a store -- any store -- can stock what he wants to stock, and if he doesn't have what his customers want, they go elsewhere and he loses sales.  That's how all retail businesses operate.  

      •  ANd what happens if the patient (8+ / 0-)

        doesn't have a car to drive those 50 miles?  Likely with students.  I never had a car in college or grad school.  Neither did most of my fellow students.

        My former pharmacist went on local TV and announced he would not carry Plan B (however, I know for a fact that he has no issues with the Pill, because I was on it). Last time I went there, the teenager at the counter was on her cell phone, peopel were backing up, and the combo of the owner's holier-than-thou bullshit plus her Southern Belle attitude tipped me over. I announced very loudly that due to increasingly wretched service AND the owner's refusal to carry Plan B, I would no longer patronize the palce.  And started using my online pharmacy bennies and got 3 months for the co-pay for one month.

        Win-win., I save money and I bet he lsot several young female customers that day.

        The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

        by irishwitch on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 10:54:41 AM PDT

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        •  I applaud you (1+ / 0-)
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          that is exactly as it should be.  A retail business was not satisfactory, so you exercised options to get what you needed elsewhere, at a cheaper cost, and let other customers decide if they want to patronize that place as well.

          It's a two-way street.  A retail business gets to decide what it wants to sell and why. And customers get to decide if they want to patronize that business.  

          •  Is it just religious discrimination you support (4+ / 0-)
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            cybersaur, Tonedevil, BYw, LSophia

            in the case of distribution of medications, or do you also support discrimination in provision of services? So if the only physician in town refuses to treat a pregnant woman because she got pregnant out of wedlock and he disapproves, do you also support that?

            •  It's really unfair to change my words and (2+ / 0-)
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              VClib, erush1345

              accuse me of "supporting religious discrimination."  

              So let me tell you what I think.  There's a balance here. Yes, the woman has a right to obtain medication -- any medication -- that she needs.  But she doesn't have the right to designate which store has to sell it to her.  

              There's a balancing here.  The Constitution protects the "free exercise" of religion -- even religious views that you think are completely illegitimate.  So, if Plan B is contrary to the religious views of someone, that doesn't meant that the state can't grant him a pharmacy license -- THAT would be religious discrimination as well.  And, that would be problematic, because the state is forbidden from discriminating against him on the basis of religion, while private individuals - like private business owners -- absolutely CAN discriminate in any way not prohibited by the civil rights laws.  Nothing in the civil rights laws requires them to sell something that violates their religious beliefs (however illegitimate those beliefs might be).  Nothing in most state pharmacy licensing procedures requires a pharmacist to agree to sell certain medications in exchange for getting a license. That would likely be illegal as discrimination by the state.

              So, as I said, it's a balancing -- both sides have rights and interests here.  The woman has a right to obtain medication she needs (but not a right to make any particular store sell it to her), and the pharmacist has a right to the free exercise of his religion.

              That's why I said it's more problematic in a monopoly like situation, where the recognition of one right completely deprives another of her right.   But where it's not - where there is competition, I think that there would be a constitutional violation for the state to step in an order a private business to sell something that the business owner did not want to carry in his store on religious grounds.  

              •  no (0+ / 0-)

                That isn't discrimination based on religion.  It's discrimination on refusal to perform the conditions of the license.  Requirements to fill all medically safe prescriptions is a completely facially non-discriminatory requirement.  And it's not even religiously biased, since there are certainly members of every religious grouping who both would and would not dispense medications, so it would also fail the "religiously required" prong here.

                in the end, the job has certain requirements that are of general and non-dscriminatory nature.  There's no conflict here.

                Courtesy Kos. Trying to call on the better angels of our nature.

                by Mindful Nature on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 06:41:22 PM PDT

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          •  You also dodged my question. (9+ / 0-)

            Typically. What about that college student who relies ont he pharmacy she can walk to because she doesn't have a car? VERY common situation.  I guess she's just screwed again by the pharmacist after the rape.  I could have been that girl. So could a number of my friends.

            The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

            by irishwitch on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 11:42:21 AM PDT

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            •  Actually, most colleges I know (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              splintersawry, erush1345

              have student health clinics that carry all sorts of birth control, including the morning after pill.  Many distribute birth control free of charge.  For the very reasons you stated -- because many students do not have cars.

              I'm in New Orleans, so I'll use Tulane as an example.  They have a health clinic on campus for that very reason. Most public universities do as well. Or, most places have a pharmacy within reach using public transportation.  

              Again, I completely recognize that it is problematic when there is a monopoly situation -- where a pharmacy is the ONLY option for a large number of people.

              My point is (see my comment above) if one is talking about what a private individual is required to sell at his privately-owned store, there are two sets of rights at issue here -- the rights of the woman to health care (but she doesn't have the right to demand that a certain doctor provide that health care to her, for example, because he happens to be the closest) and the right of the business owner to the free exercise of his religion, which is constitutionally protected, no matter how illegitimate you or I think a particular religious belief is.  

              I think that the solution has to be a balancing of rights.  A woman doesn't have the right to demand that someone violate his religious beliefs so as to save her from going an extra six blocks to another pharmacy.  On the other hand, in an extreme situation, like if she literally has no other options -- like only one pharmacy in town, no public transportation, etc. -- her need for medication may be more important that the constitutional rights of the business owner.  

              I'm a lawyer, so I'll give you another example.  If you get arrested, you have a constitutional right to a lawyer.  But if I don't do criminal work -- which I don't -- you don't have the right to demand that I act as your lawyer on the grounds that I'm the closest and most convenient lawyer, and that it's a holiday and you can't find another lawyer right now.

      •  problematic? really? (11+ / 0-)

        Hardly the case these days my ass - people come to the town I live in because it has 3 pharmacies - the closest for up to 100 miles in some cases - and we're the county seat.
        But we still don't offer bus services that allow for convenient access to the 3 we have spread over a 15 mile area - even IN town without a car it's hard to get your meds.


        And we sail and we sail and we never see land, just the rum in the bottle and a pipe in my hand...

        by Mortifyd on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 10:58:32 AM PDT

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      •  No. It's not 'very rare' (11+ / 0-)

        simply because you declare it so

        "I'm sculpting now. Landscapes mostly." ~ Yogi Bear

        by eXtina on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 11:05:52 AM PDT

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        •  I agree that in those cases where (0+ / 0-)

          there is effectively a monopoly, the local residents should have more input into what is carried by a privately owned business.  

          But in those cases where there are options, and competition, then it's up to the business owner what he/she wants to carry in his/her store.  And up the the customers if they don't want to patronize that store --  and to do exactly what iriswitch did.  

      •  again, not rare at all! (2+ / 0-)
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        Tonedevil, BYw

        Not everyone lives in an urban area.

        Husband looking for work in NoVA/DC! Skilled in web content manag. & Photoshop. Please email me at if you have any leads!

        by fille americaine on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 03:48:11 PM PDT

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