Tuesday, April 22, 2008


Here's an interesting little item about a proposal to remove "Plan B" (aka "morning after") contraception from behind the pharmacist's counter and onto the drug store shelves:
"Canadians could have the most liberal access to the morning-after pill in the Western world, according to critics of proposed changes to how the drug is sold here.

An expert advisory committee has urged that the single-dose version of Plan B be available off the shelf at pharmacies, without women having to consult a pharmacist first. The recommendation would mean people could buy emergency contraceptives much the way they can Aspirin or vitamins."

"Emergency contraceptives would be more readily available here [under the proposal] than in any developed country," said Janet Cooper of the Canadian Pharmacists Association.

"I'm not sure how comfortable the general public might be if a 14-year-old could just walk in, pick it up off the shelf, buy it, not have any interaction with anybody and come back a month later and do the same thing. That's not in that girl's best interests."

Ha. If the Canadian Pharmacists Association is so pissed about it, maybe it's time for them to get a better leash on their members who won't do their jobs. Until such time, putting Plan B on the shelf is a brilliant idea. No more farting around trying to get the thing from a pharmacist who may or may not dispense it, depending on his "religious beliefs" or on how much of a judgmental prick he feels like on a particular day.

But let's act fast, because we've also got legislation in the works that might protect that pharmacist's right to be a judgmental prick -- another goofy Private Member's Bill, Bill C-537. Bill C-537 would allow health care personnel to opt of procedures that go against their religious beliefs, instead of doing what they should have done in the first place: make a different career choice that wouldn't put them in that position to begin with. The Catholic Civil Rights League is ecstatic about it, and you know that can't be good:

"The Catholic Civil Rights League welcomed the introduction of Private Member’s Bill C-537, April 16 by MP Maurice Vellacott (Saskatoon – Wanuskewin) to protect conscience rights of health care workers.

Introducing the motion in Parliament, Mr. Vellacott said it “would prohibit coercion in medical procedures that offend a person’s religion or belief that human life is inviolable. The bill seeks to ensure that health care providers will never be forced to participate against their will in procedures such as abortions or acts of euthanasia.” Private members’ bills do not often become law. This is the third Parliament in which Mr. Vellacott has introduced a bill on this topic."
The third time!? It must be the season for recycling failed socially-conservative private member's bills and giving them another kick at the can. Bill C-484 was another legislative retread that returned from the void to take a run at becoming law. Two anti-choice bills: one from the procedural side, one from the provider side. If I was paranoid, I'd be starting to feel surrounded.