Wednesday, April 13, 2005

The People Who Actually Have to Live With These Policies

I’m getting rather tired of posting about the contraceptive / pharmacy issue that I have been talking about lately. I wasn’t planning on talking about it again today, but then I found this story over at Pacific Views.

Natasha tells about what happened several years ago when she discovered that she had a large ovarian cyst, at the same time she discovered she was pregnant.
I was told that it required immediate how-fast-can-you-put-your-things-in-order-and-get-on-the-schedule surgery, and that I could bleed to death if it should burst for some reason. It was suspected that the condition was aggravated by scarring from a major abdominal surgery I had as a child.
(Emphasis mine)

Lets explain this real slow here. Her life was in danger. Clear enough?

Moving along, her health care service was Catholic, so an abortion was out of the question. Surgery couldn’t happen without one, either. Fortunately for her, she did miscarry naturally. She has quite a bit to say about the pain and seriousness involved in the surgery and recovery – making the very strong point that “female problems” can be a hell of a lot more serious and life-threatening than, say, mild monthly cramps that men seem to imagine.

Anyway, tying this in with my pharmacist posts. Six months after the surgery, the cysts started coming back. The treatment to fix it was – you guessed it – birth control:
Lucky me, I live in a state where pharmacists have to do their jobs or find another line of work. I was no longer married then, and after a lot of recent and bitter wrangling, I wouldn't have been up to the task of explaining to some ignorant busybody that I really needed my prescription. The surgery had ended up costing me an ovary, and I was petrified of losing the other one, or losing my job because of missing too much work for more inpatient treatment.

Her last few paragraphs basically sum up my feelings on this whole issue:
Because I'm a woman, a routine medical problem for which there was a widely known treatment could have become life-threatening. Because I'm a woman, the medication which prevented a relapse might now in some parts of this country be denied to me at the whim of a pharmacist who doesn't even know me. Because I'm a woman, there are people who think they should get a say in my private medical decisions. People who think they have a right to endanger my life because some medieval-minded lunatic needs to get the faithful worked into a lather.

I have two words for those people and their so-called 'conscience.' Take a wild guess what they are.
(Emphasis mine, again)

My comment here -- birth control is medically necessary, goddammit. And it is not up to that guy behind the counter at Walgreens to decide when it is necessary and when it isn’t. Period.

The link to Natasha’s story was via Amanda at Pandagon.

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