I received a call this week from a worried pharmacist. I live in a state where pharmacists are required by law to dispense the morning-after pill, even if they have a moral objection.
MAPs are megadoses of the same hormones in birth-control pills and may cause abortions by stopping an embryo from implanting in the wall of the uterus, the reason for the moral objection.
This pharmacist was a sole-supporting mother of two. She said she had managed to avoid being forced to choose between her conscience and her job until the day she called me.
That day, she was the only pharmacist on duty when a MAP prescription was presented. Not knowing what to do, she went to the break room and prayed for God’s intervention. When she returned, she was relieved to discover the prescription was for a refill, meaning it was not planned for emergency use.
MAP profiteers make the ludicrous claim that girls and women would not use it as a primary means of birth control. Anyone with half a brain and who has ever behaved irresponsibly knows a significant segment of the female population, particularly the young, will quickly grow to rely on the MAP as Plan A if it is readily available.
And won’t rogue boys and men celebrate the day they can purchase the MAP? Imagine the possibilities – slipping it into girlfriends’ drinks or forcing it on little incest victims. No worries!
But I digress.
The pharmacist told me, “I was damned if I did and damned if I didn’t, particularly in this case.”
On the one hand, she was mandated by state law to dispense the drug.
On the other hand, not only have studies not been conducted on repeated usage of the MAP, neither have they been conducted on the long-term effects of taking just one MAP, the effects on women not screened for medical contraindications, the effects on adolescents (as required by the Pediatric Research Act of 2003), the effects of race, the effects of MAP’s interaction with other drugs, and even the effects of taking the MAP with food.
But studies on smaller dosed birth-control pills show they can cause significant or life-threatening conditions such as blood clots, stroke, and heart attacks. BCs are contraindicated for women with diabetes, a history of heart attacks, stroke or blood clots, a history of breast, uterine or liver cancer, and for women who smoke and are over 35.
If the aforementioned pharmacist did not dispense the MAP, she faced trouble now. But dispensing it potentially harmed her patient and might involve her in a lawsuit later.
In the interest of her patient’s health and her own conscience, the pharmacist refused to fill the prescription, explaining the risks.
For that decision, she now awaits the wrath of her employer. I gave her the name of an attorney.
But soon this may all be moot.
For some time, makers and pushers of the MAP, along with shrill feminist groups, have been pressuring the Food and Drug Administration to make the MAP available over the counter. The FDA, concerned about social health and safety ramifications, has resisted.
But on Nov. 3, four pro-abort members of Congress (Crowley, Inslee, Maloney, and Shays) introduced the “Plan B for Plan B Act of 2005.” If passed, the FDA would have 30 days to make a decision whether or not to make the MAP available over the counter. Failure to act would result in automatic approval.
And then pharmacists wouldn’t have to worry. Nor would doctors.
But isn’t that why the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, American Academy of Pediatrics, American Medical Association, and American Medical Women’s Association all support making emergency contraceptives available over the counter?
Bypassing them alleviates the threat of pesky malpractice lawsuits. Never mind the health and safety of American girls and women.