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US pro choice action opportunity

(The below is the text of a message I received from NARAL's pro choice action network)

It should be simple: a woman walks into a pharmacy with her
prescription and walks out with her medicine. Right?

If only it were that easy.

Rogue anti-choice pharmacists across the country are refusing to
fill safe, legal prescriptions for birth control. Some
pharmacists lecture women, humiliate them in public, and refuse
to hand back the prescription even after they refuse to fill it.
This is outrageous -- and it must be stopped.

I just took action with NARAL Pro-Choice America to stop
pharmacy refusals. Join me today! You can ask your members of
Congress to support legislation to ensure women have their
prescriptions filled -- click here:


( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 7th, 2006 08:28 pm (UTC)
Big Source of Irritation
I take birth control to control endometriosis and not to control pregnancy. I think these pharmacists need to realize that there are other applications for birth control other than no pregnancy. I know a lot of women with various gynocological problems that aren't related to pro or anti-prenancy.

Thanks for the info.
Jun. 7th, 2006 08:46 pm (UTC)
Why can't the doctors or nurses hand it out and bypass the pharmacist.
Jun. 7th, 2006 09:01 pm (UTC)
One point that can't be made too often:

Any pharmacist who hassles or lectures a customer in such a way that other customers or nearby store employees can hear them is in violation of Federal law. This is a HIPAA violation of confidentiality and can be taken up with the regional Federal enforcement agency to get that pharmacist censured or fired. Just leapfrog right over the small-town mentality and go straight to the thousand-pound gorilla!

True, that won't help a woman in an emergency situation -- but if it happens enough times, we can do a lot to stop this plague even without recourse to Congress. Take a friend with you when you go to get your prescription filled, so that there is another person there who can testify to the violation.
Jun. 7th, 2006 09:38 pm (UTC)
Then I wonder why they need to pass another federal law to prevent it (which is what this action campaign is about)? Maybe this law has more teeth?
Jun. 8th, 2006 12:42 am (UTC)
HIPAA only comes in if it happens in front of other people. If you're the only person within earshot, no violation -- that's why I said "take a friend with you".

I'm guessing that the law they're pushing for is more comprehensive and addresses the issue directly, rather than as a sideline to "patient confidentiality".

Note that I am not a medical professional. But this is what I've been told by someone who is.
Jun. 7th, 2006 10:36 pm (UTC)
If a pharmacy is not, for whatever reason, a *full service* pharmacy, they should post that fact where it can be clearly seen before entering the store -- and the location of the nearest one that is.

The only acceptable grounds for keeping an unfilled prescription, so far as I can see, is if there are reasons to believe that it is fraudulent. In which case, the cops should be called and either the customer charged (if warranted) or the prescription returned. (Too many false alarms, and the cops may begin to consider charging the pharmacist....)

I don't think pharmacists can be required to dispense everything to everyone, but I see nothing wrong with having them bear a very visible cost of choosing not to do so.

Jun. 7th, 2006 11:40 pm (UTC)
pharmacists.. refuse
to hand back the prescription even after they refuse to fill it.

I hadn't heard that one but I guess I am not surprised. I wonder if calling the police would get them to give the person's property (the paper) back to them.

If outlawing abortion really were the will of the people, they would have done it already. They don't have enough support to amend the constitution, so they are left with not-so-ethical means to try and pursue their agenda. I just don't see what's so "moral" about trying to force one's beliefs onto another.

Jun. 8th, 2006 12:46 am (UTC)
Yes, there have been several such incidents. Refusing to return the prescription is illegal, and AFAIK in each of those cases the pharmacist has indeed been fired after the police were brought in.

This is the same kind of behavior that the President has been engaging in for 5 years -- "who cares if it's legal or not, I'm doing it anyhow and you can't stop me" -- so no one should be surprised that the attitude is trickling down.
Jun. 8th, 2006 05:09 am (UTC)
refuse to hand back the prescription even after they refuse to fill it.

I work in a medical office (and took hormones for endometriosis for years). We'd be all over that. We'd a) call the pharmacist in question and b) tell patients, "Ya know? We've had some problems with that pharmacy".
Jun. 9th, 2006 05:25 pm (UTC)
What can non-USians do to help right this idiocy?
Jun. 9th, 2006 05:42 pm (UTC)
dipped if I know. personally, knowing that people in other countries care about women's reproductive rights helps me feel less alone, so talking/writing about it is good. and y'all have your own battles to fight too...knowing people outside the US are trying to keep their countries from turning into another US is always a relief.
( 11 comments — Leave a comment )

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