In post-revolutionary Iran, "morality police" rode the streets on motorbikes searching for - and attacking - women who were "immoral", i.e., wearing lipstick, allowing a strand of hair to fall out of their chadors, walking on a sidewalk unaccompanied by a male relative. In Christian America, pharmacists refuse to fill prescriptions for products they don't believe women should use.
If you're not following this story, it's about Emergency Contraception, also called the Morning-After Pill, marketed under the name Plan B. (I blogged about access to EC in Canada here.) Pharmacists in various states have been refusing to fill prescriptions for these drugs, citing concerns of conscience. I know the thought of people - make that women - having sex without birth control, or of birth control failure, is a dire problem for other people's consciences. But if you can't do your job properly because your conscience is bothering you, you need to find another profession.
Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich recently ordered pharmacies in his state to fill all prescriptions, no matter what their employees' personal views. That's encouraging. Illinois State Senator Frank Watson, whose family owns a pharmacy that doesn't stock EC, says this is "an infringement on a business decision and also on the pharmacist's right of conscience." Ah, the old "business decision". Government out of our lives. But wait, doesn't that mean... Hm, this gets confusing!
Read about this from a pro-freedom, pro-individual, pro-responsibility point of view on the Bush v Choice blog from NARAL: here and here.
Facts about the Morning-After Pill here. This is not abortion. This is contraception. And this is not about fetuses or the "unborn" or the pre-born or anything they call the blobs of cells they purport to love so much. This is about people who oppose women's freedom. This is a direct attack on women's ability to control their own lives.
It's also why EC needs to be available over the counter.
And it's also a great example of why I can't wait to get the hell out of here.