"Pro-life" pharmacies

Here’s an article in today’s Washington Post about a new “pro-life” pharmacy which won’t dispense any type of birth control, including condoms or birth control pills.

Now, ever since the Plan B contraceptive (or morning-after pill) has been available at pharmacies, there has been some controversy over “pro-life” pharmacists refusing to dispense this type of contraception. OK fine, I can sort of understand that since the mechanism it can work by is to prevent the implantation of a fertilized egg, whereas the pill just prevents ovulation, and condoms are just a barrier.

But refusing to provide condoms or any other type of contraception is over the top. However, that’s not even what I am pitting here… I can acknowledge that any privately owned retail establishment has the right to sell or not sell whatever they want.

I am pitting the ignorant attitudes and ideas behind these “pro-life” pharmacies because they are very dangerous to womens’ health.

Example 1:

Example 2:

I just cannot begin to understand the rationale behind these statements. The pill leads to a plethora of societal woes? Wait a minute - doesn’t it prevent a much larger societal woe - unwanted pregnancies? Blocking access to contraception helps the community and promotes healthy lifestyles? HOW?!?

And on the second statement - the guy says he’s worried that steroidal contraceptives hurt women (of course pregnancy can hurt her much worse). So then if that is his only objection, why won’t they dispense other contraception such as condoms, spermicidal film or foam, etc? Does he agree with IUDs or diaphragms or sterilization? Probably not. So acting like he is acting out of concern for a woman’s health is utter bullshit.

What do these people honestly want? Do they want women to just keep bearing children throughout their lives until they hit menopause or die in childbirth?? Or maybe women should just withhold sex from their husbands? That’s a pretty effective form of birth control.

I wonder if this asshole has ever studied the side effects of about a billion other drugs he probably sells.

Excellent point.

See, he obviously doesn’t care about the side effects of hormonal contraception. I think it’s all about men wanting to maintain control over womens’ bodies. Women are objects that are owned by men and that need to be controlled by men.

In my family history, I have seen the heartbreak and suffering that results when, under Catholicism, women spend their fertile years giving birth to child after child after child, and chaos and dysfunction results.

Restricting a woman’s right to control her fertility is a very dangerous thing. I am scared.

Another thought. In researching my family genealogy, there are a bunch of branches going back into the 1700s and 1800s who were Catholic. These families had, on average, anywhere from 10 to 16 children (and those are only the ones that survived to adulthood).

Does anyone honestly think that, if given a choice, these women would have chosen to bear that many children? I can’t imagine the suffering these women went through.

Reliable and safe contraception is one of the most important advancements benefiting women in the modern era, I think. It’s a human rights issue, plain and simple. And to think there are still people out there fighting against this fundamental right is mind boggling to me.

Can someone please explain how contraceptives (like condoms) “promote the spread of sexually transmitted diseases”? I think these people have a synaptic misfire!

If these people are so proud of what they’re doing, why won’t they advertise that “THIS PHARMACY DOES NOT CARRY OR DISPENSE CONTRACEPTION OF ANY KIND” ? Because they know that they would lose business.

As a commenter on the Washington Post so eloquently put it:

Well I can’t answer that, but I do know how the pill causes the spread of STDs: It enables unmarried women to have unmarried sex <GASP!> and everyone knows that unmarried sex is sinful and results in STDs (and sometimes bastard children - oh wait, the pill does prevent that).

In other words, if women are able to control their bodies and their fertility, it will turn them into sex-crazed horndogs who will go out humping everything in sight.

One “argument” is the lie spread by the catholic Church that condoms have pores in them that allow HIV through, and that since condoms encourage sex they increase the likelihood of people being infected since condoms supposedly don’t protect them.

As for why, I think it’s less about the desire for control than it is hatred. I think that the “pro-life” movement is mainly motivated by the desire to hurt and kill as many women as possible.

I wanted to see if this was really the case because it just sounds so absurd, so I went looking for a cite, and sure enough, I found one.

In addition to that nugget of bullshit, here’s what some churchgoers in an Africa already ravaged by AIDS and ignorance about how it is transmitted are treated to:

IMHO, this kind of shit makes the Vatican no better than a cold-blooded killer. Worse, maybe, because no other murderer has the potential to influence the actions of a billion people. I just can’t believe they could be so callous as to think that one little tenet of their religion is so important as to be worth being responsible for killing millions of people through this kind of disinformation.

I wonder: Will these pharmacies fill prescriptions for viagra?

In my years on this board I have come to have a degree of respect for the thoughtful among the rank-and-file pro-life contingent.

Not so their leadership and movement backbone: what they want, what they have always wanted and don’t bother to hide, is to roll sexual morality back to status quo ante, to a world where girlies kept their knees together out of fear of the consequences. It is not concern for embryos that motivates them, it is a desire to reimpose a high risk of pregnancy (which you are then stuck with) as a consequence of sex, so as to make sex outside of marriage too damn dangerous for most women to countenance. It’s not a side effect of what they are doing, it’s the goal.

Very well put. Thank you for focusing in on and illustrating this key motivation for the pro-life movement.

But can you help me understand why they would want to take contraception away from the average woman in a monogamous marriage, who want to plan their families and space their kids out? Do they expect married women to just keep spitting out baby after baby until they hit menopause? Or should these women just withhold sex from their husbands as a form of birth control?

Without birth control, a woman can easily have a baby every year or two until she’s into her 40s (see the Duggars). If a couple gets married in their 20s, that’s a lot of kids! Is this what they want for all married couples? If so, why? Because they think this is what the baby jesus wants? :confused:

And let’s not forget about women who don’t want kids. I guess they just have to live life without sex. Because after all that’s a woman’s purpose, to produce children, and if she won’t cooperate with god’s will, then she should just be celibate for the rest of her life, right?

The mind boggles.

According to the article:

How are pharmacists regulated in the US? Is there any equivalent of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, which, presumably, was set up exactly to prevent situations like this?

It’s regulated by the state, and laws vary from state to state. Some states have laws that require pharmacists to dispense contraception, others allow them the right of conscientious refusal.

From the article:

I once wondered why the “pro life” movement was against contraception if they really wanted to stop abortions. The real goal is controlling women and their sexuality. A woman in their view is nothing but a walking womb to be controlled by men. Someone may correct be on this but I believe every major “pro life” organization is also anti contraception and would outlaw it if they could. This pharmacy business is just a stop gap measure until they get one or two more supreme court justices to overturn not just Roe Vs Wade but the decisions permitting the sale of contraceptives. A woman’s right to control her fertility could be just one election away.

It was never about babies.

They believe in an afterlife; it’s a fundamental part of their beliefs that anything and everything in this world is secondary to their imaginary afterlife. And, there’s also the attitude that suffering leads to despair, despair leads to faith, and faith is the only good. To them, condemning millions of people is a trivial act.

And, there is the hatred Christianity has always shown women.

Or until ( and what I’m sure they’d prefer ) it kills them.

I’m neither a historian nor a sociologist, but I would imagine that most of these women considered that just a fact of life, if not the most important task of their existence.

Funny about that pro-choice movement - they often have little respect for the choices others make.

This topic came up before - and some people opined that pharmacists that wanted not to sell these products shouldn’t make the choice for the chains that employ them - which certainly seemed fair.

Now some of them have made that choice, and they’re being raked over the coals for it.

I think it is a poor business model, and these guys will likely lose their shirts. But it is their choice. Their business to run as they see fit. More power to them.


If the real goal was stopping abortions, these people would be throwing condoms and birth control pills at us. I use them so I don’t get pregnant and don’t have to get an abortion. I am 100% behind a woman’s right to have an abortion but I sure don’t want to have to get one, so I use protection.

Can’t these people realize them not selling Trojans and the pill won’t reach their goals? People will still have sex, there will just be MORE STDs and MORE pregnancies, probably MORE abortions, etc. Maybe less promiscuity but hey, a lot of the actual promiscuous people I know are the ones that are fucking stupid and don’t always protect themselves anyway. You can’t fix stupid, but you can make it worse.

Mr. Moto - If these people were not also spreading misinformation, it wouldn’t be the same problem. If this pharmacy simply said “For religious reasons we will not be stocking condoms, hormonal birth control, or the morning after pill” than that’s fine. People that don’t agree or need those things simply go elsewhere. But when they and those they are associated with promote the fact that “birth control is harmful to women” and how providing safe sex products promotes all this horrible shit, then they are just instilling doubt and fear into people to promote their agenda. If their claims were factual and backed up with good research, that’s one thing. But they aren’t.