I tend to stay away from political issues since this is a sugary-sweet type of blog that deals with nothing heavier than cotton vs poly-blends, but I just read an article and now I'm outraged!
I'm a Democrat and that's no huge secret but this latest bill from the Bush administration has left me seething. The cover issue is that this bill will allow medical providers room to follow their conscience but it will come at a cost. And surprise, surprise - women will be the ones who pay the price. This bill will allow any medical worker in a facility that receives federal funds - receptionists, volunteers, nurses and doctors - to decline to assist in any services they find objectionable. On the surface that seems fine, but let's think about how this will work in practice.
Scenario 1: Doctor or pharmacist decides that birth control is a form of abortion and simply refuses to inform the female patient of options available to her - or the pharmacist refuses to fill her prescription. Who are they to determine who should and should not be allowed to have access to family planning? They are not the ones who will be raising my children that I will have without birth control and not the ones who will shoulder this responsibility. Why should they be allowed to make this choice for me? Who are they to prevent me from having access to health care?
Scenario 2: Receptionist decides that he/she objects to homosexuality and refuses to book an appointment for a man seeking an AIDs test.
Scenario 3: Nurse refuses to administer emergency contraception to a rape victim in the ER.
You can see where I'm going with this. I firmly believe that individuals should have the right to make decisions that follow their own beliefs but what about when that decision is paid for by someone else?
What happens when your rights infringe on mine?
Are my doctors beliefs more important than mine?
Should my freedom of access to health care be optional?
Thank you for reading.