Wingnut pharmacists to rape victim: Sorry, we won't help you.
(Arizona Daily Star) After a sexual assault one recent weekend, a young Tucson woman spent three frantic days trying to obtain the drug to prevent a pregnancy, knowing that each passing day lowered the chance the drug would work.
While calling dozens of Tucson pharmacies trying to fill a prescription for emergency contraception, she found that most did not stock the drug.
When she finally did find a pharmacy with it, she said she was told the pharmacist on duty would not dispense it because of religious and moral objections.
“I was so shocked,” said the 20-year-old woman, who, as a victim of sexual assault, is not being named by the Star. “I just did not understand how they could legally refuse to do this.”
Women who report sexual assaults to police receive treatment, examination and the immediate offer of emergency contraception at a local emergency room, according to the policy of most Tucson hospitals.
But, like many sexual assault victims, the 20-year-old woman did not report the assault because she felt traumatized and guilty she had put herself in a situation that left her vulnerable. She was mistakenly locked outside a gathering at a friend’s house and accepted the offer of a neighbor to stay at his place.
“This (sex) was with someone I did not even know and did not want to have intercourse with, and I am in no place now to have children,” she said. “I just don’t think this should be the pharmacist’s decision.”
Controversy over emergency contraception is roiling now at the national level, with FDA scientists resigning over the agency’s refusal to allow emergency contraception to be sold over the counter, without a prescription.
The issue surfaced in Arizona last winter, when Gov. Janet Napolitano vetoed a bill that would have permitted pharmacists to refuse to dispense it on moral or religious grounds.
But her veto was essentially meaningless, as most of the drugstore chains that dominate Tucson already allow that as a matter of corporate policy. Most also require that the customer be immediately referred to another pharmacist or drugstore willing to fill the prescription.
“He (the manager) said he would fill it himself if we could get there before his shift ended, within 10 minutes,” said Sabrina Fladness, a University of Arizona student and [friend of the assault victim].
“But we were more than 10 minutes away, so that was impossible. So he said we would have to come back the next morning” – after the shift of the refusing pharmacist ended.
“He made no provision for getting it that night,” she said.
And this is Tucson, Arizona, not exactly a rural backwater where there are only a few pharmacists available. What is the rape victim in Enid, Oklahoma or Girdwood, Alaska or any other remote town supposed to do in an emergency? And who are these idiot pharmacists who believe God prefers rapists to be fruitful and multiply?