The parent of our local paper, Fosters Daily Democrat, has this Sunday article:
Advocates: Emergency contraception still too tough to get – Law change does little for girls under 18
Girls 17 and younger will face significant barriers to getting emergency contraception even though the Food and Drug Administration has approved its over-the-counter sale nationally to women age 18 and over, women’s rights groups and health advocates say.
Girls still will need prescriptions from doctors or pharmacists to get the drug, also known as the "morning after pill."
- Females under the age of minority are finally identified as girls and not women
- The article states what the law says – you have to be 18 or more to obtain such medication
Pharmacists must be specially certified to write a prescription themselves. The certification program, called a collaborative practice, exists in nine states, including New Hampshire, Maine and most recently Vermont.
Chris Gauthier, a Maine Pharmacy Association board member, said pharmacists must undergo two hours of training, finish a learning module and pass an exam to become certified. A pharmacist then can seek agreements with doctors or nurse practitioners to write the prescription in their name.
Maine’s collaborative practice law lets anyone 14 or older meet with a certified pharmacist for an emergency contraception prescription.
New Hampshire’s training is similar to Maine’s, and about 100 of the state’s 1,000 licensed pharmacists have taken it, said Paul Boisseau, the New Hampshire Board of Pharmacy’s executive secretary.
The certification program is voluntary, and it’s not guaranteed every pharmacist will be able to prescribe and dispense the drug to teens, said Skeek Frazee, a spokeswoman for Planned Parenthood of Northern New England.
It’s also not guaranteed pharmacists will carry emergency contraception or honor a valid prescription for it. Some pharmacists may object to doing so on moral grounds that include the belief that it promotes promiscuity.
This I support – the ability for a pharmacists to pass on filling a script on moral grounds. You can bet your bottom dollar that if I were in this person’s shoes, and a high school freshman demanded that I fill a script, the first statement out of my mouth is "and your parents’ phone number is?".
The age restriction on non-prescription emergency contraception, coupled with pharmacists making moral denials, will lead to more unintended pregnancies among teens, Frazee said.
And to be fair, here’s the NARAL whine:
Lynne Snierson, a NARAL Pro-Choice New Hampshire board member, said pharmacists should be required to carry and dispense the drug if given a legal prescription.
"It’s denying a woman’s legal right to contraception," Snierson said. "I take personal exception when a pharmacist interferes with a person’s relationships with their doctor."
"It’s hurting women, and women it hurts most are young women with limited resources living in rural areas," Snierson said.
Yup, it is absolutely fair for NARAL’s political agenda, NARAL’s sense of morality to be uppermost and the pharmacist has to bow to it? Where’s the tolerance and consideration to the folks behind the counter? While the GIRL in question (again, we are talking about minors here!), both Planned Parenthood and NARAL always seem to want to treat minors as legal adults – they are not!
And in this article, we are talking about a GIRL getting a pharmacist to write a script themselves – no doctors involved!
Limited resources – here we see the entitlement mentality pop its head up. I hate to be harsh here, but again, it is a case of "actions and decisions have consequences". If you persist in this behavior, you have to be willing to take the consequences. NARAL and PP might think so, but I disagree that the whole of the society must provide the resources that NARAL and PP want to have available to this GIRL at the snap of someone’s fingers.
Their whole argument is wrong – as usual with folks trying to make political points, they hide the root cause. It is not the availability of this pill that will cause more pregnancies, it is having sex. No sex, no baby. And yes, this requires a sense of self-restraint that seems to be of little value in today’s society (and not just in this area either). This age of "victimhood" does not help – it has spread a sense of "it’s not my fault" mentality that truly lends itself to bad outcomes. Creating more of a divide between a child and her parents is a shame and a further dissolution of the family model.
Folks, it is behavior and morality that is the root cause. I disagree with folks that say "well, teens are going to do it anyways" and then tacitly act in ways that allow the teens to brush the consequences under the rug. Although many treat it as a mere physical act (or worse, just exercise), most teens are not ready for the emotional side. Why should we make it easier? Why do we eliminate the parents?
The wrong mentality isn’t that we don’t make the pill easier to get – it is those that prefer to sweep the linkages between decisions and consequences away that are wrong.