Tuesday, March 28, 2006

"Changing the law won't work"

Elizabeth Hovde's column last week in the Columbian regarding South Dakota's ban on abortion included sentiments I hear often from both pro-life people and agnostic-on-abortion people:

Changing the law won't work.

Still, I have always thought that recriminalizing abortion would be a disaster. At current rates, it is estimated that one in three American women will have had an abortion by age 45. Three-plus decades of Roe means women would obtain abortions legally or illegally in droves. And the "quality" and safety of the operations would likely go down.

Miss Hovde, says that "even as a pro-life person, I find that this news from South Dakota isn't the kind to get giddy about. I recoil at the thought of an outright abortion ban after 33 years of legalized abortion."

Sadly the argument for why we can't recriminalize abortion is the same one that was used to decriminalize abortion. The misguided and misnamed South Dakota Campaign for Healthy Families, which is attempting to overrule that state's new abortion ban, linked to her article as an example of reasoning for keeping the current abortion regime in place, i.e. recriminalizing abortion will lead to back-alley abortions, death, and the maiming of women.

This reasoning rests on several false assumptions:
--Women "choose" abortion.
--All or most of the women who "choose" legal abortion would be choosing illegal abortion.
--Churches, individuals and private organizations wouldn't step-up to address the needs of women facing unintended pregnancy in a post-Roe world.
--Legal abortion is quality abortion.
--Women have come to "rely on abortion" as birth-control. (a.k.a.The Sandra Day O'Connor reasoning for continuing legal abortion.)

The reality of what a woman is going through during a crisis pregnancy, how those around her can and do influence her decision, why a women ends up on the receiveing end of an abortion, and the truth about the aftermath is not as clear-cut as those in the pro-choice camp make it out to be.

Pro-lifers need to start challenging these assumptions with the facts and questioning the status-quo that says legal abortion is better than illegal abortion. If you are a pro-lifer who is fearful of illegal abortion because you believe women will die you simply haven't been doing your homework.

Good Friday Prayer Vigil -- West Seattle -- April 14, 2006

Fr. Bloom of Holy Family Parish in the White Center neighborhood of West Seattle invites you to a Good Friday Prayer Vigil.

I am hoping to organize a massive prayer vigil at White Center’s Planned Parenthood. The basic plan is this: gather at Holy Family “Ailbe House” (former convent, 9641 20th Ave SW, Seattle, Wa) at 7 a.m. At 7:15 walk to Planned Parenthood praying the rosary (it is about a ten block walk during which a complete rosary is said). At Planned Parenthood pray the Luminous and Sorrowful Mysteries, using the attached format, followed by the Chaplet of Divine Mercy (PP employees and clients start arriving at this time.)

On the way back to Holy Family Church we will pray the Glorious Mysteries. The concluding time will be about 8:30. I would like to have as big a group as possible. We are fighting a real spiritual battle here in White Center – and need all the support we can get. I have attached the original letter sent to the local Planned Parenthood director when we started these vigils the summer before last. It explains the issues and how we have approached these prayer vigils.

Fr. Bloom

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Is Your Pharamacist in Partnership with Planned Parenthood?

You can search by zip code, area code or city and state to find out which pharmacies in your area carry the abortifacient Plan B. (I suggest copying and pasting the list into a Word document on your computer in case this search feature is removed in the future.)

The reason this drug is in your local pharmacy is because the Washington State Pharmacy Association partnered with Planned Parenthood of Western Washington and other pro-abortion groups in 1997 to help them market and distribute the drug without a prescription from a doctor.

Teens hear and read about this drug from advertising campaigns put out by Planned Parenthood. They then go to the pharmacist or Planned Parenthood where, after answering a few questions and signing a consent form, they are given the drug.

Pharmacists have been instructed that per Washington state law they MUST give Plan B to any woman or girl who requests it and they may NOT tell parents if their minor children request the drug. They have also been instructed to refer any teen or woman who requests this drug to a "family planning clinic", i.e. Planned Parenthood, where she can be put on oral contraceptives or informed about the availability of abortion in the event her pregnancy continues.

Why do our pharmacists, "health experts", and the people running the State Department of Health think they can love our children better we can?

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Mike McGavick Proposes Abortion Ban...On the Moon

I recently had the pleasure of corresponding with the McGavick campaign regarding Mr. McGavick's position on abortion. In press interviews around the state McGavick has tried to paint himself as "moderate" and in the "mainstream" on the issue by saying he supports parental notification, bans on partial birth abortion and bans on funding for abortion. He doesn't support a constitutional amendment because he doesn't "see it doing anything productive in his mind."

Let's read that again: A constitutional amendment protecting the most innocent and vulnerable among us wouldn't be "productive."

Mr. McGavick might as come out in favor of banning abortion on the Moon, Mars and Venus for all the good his stand on abortion will do. As I explained to the McGavick campaign, parental notification and PBA bans would be out of his hands as a U.S. senator. His campaign refused to answer my other questions about abortion related issues that would come before him.

Mr. McGavick, as heard in this audio, stated he wouldn't do anything to stop the abortion industry until people change their hearts. On the contrary, it is Mike McGavick is who needs to change his heart and mind before he will get elected to the U.S. Senate.

Below is the text of my correspondence with the campaign:

Hi --
I heard through the grape-vine that Mike McGavick told Steve Hammond that he is pro-choice. Is that true?

Hi Mary,

Thanks for taking the time to write us.

Mike would not support a constitutional amendment banning abortion as he doesn’t see it doing anything productive in his mind. He does support parental notification and a ban on partial birth abortion.

Hope this helps clarify his position for you. Feel free to write us again in the future.


Hi --
I appreciate your reply, however, it doesn't really answer the question -- Is Mike McGavick pro-choice?

Your answer is basically the same one he gave to the Seattle Times last year and appears to be somewhat of a dodge. I understand that parental notification and PBA bans poll well, and than even self-identified "pro-choice" people support these things, but I doubt that Mike will have a chance to vote on them if he is elected to the Senate. The federal PBA ban is working its way up the courts and parental notification is something that is taken up in state legislatures, not Congress.

Here are 3 real-life examples of areas where Mike would have an opportunity to show his true colors. Can you tell me how he would vote?
--Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act (To prevent the transportation of minors in circumvention of certain laws relating to abortion.) This is especially critical to our state because Washington State has such a robust abortion industry and because they already help facilitate the transportation of minors here from Alaska, Oregon and Idaho for abortions.
--A fifth Supreme Court judge who may be the final vote needed to overturn Roe v. Wade.
--Lifting the gag rule on international family planning providers (aka Planned Parenthood). This is something many Republicans have voted in favor of when it has come up before the Senate in the past.

Most of all I want to know if he identifies himself as "pro-choice".

Best regards,


Thanks for your reply. I’ll do my best to elaborate.

I can understand how his response may seem like a dodge. I assure you though, it is not. Yes, it is an uncommon response because it does not place him directly on one side or the other of the issue. Hence, the reason he does not like to label himself with either side’s title – pro-life or pro-choice.

He honestly believes in the restrictions I mentioned in the previous email. However, he does not honestly believe a constitutional amendment banning the practice is right. In holding these three opinions many people call him pro-choice because he doesn’t support the ban. But, many people call him pro-life because he supports many restrictions. If he calls himself pro-life, people attack him for being disingenuous because he doesn’t support 100% of the pro-life agenda. If he calls himself pro-choice people attack him for being disingenuous for not supporting 100% of the pro-choice agenda. So, you can see our dilemma. Therefore we tell people whatever they want to know about specific issues and allow them to draw their own conclusions. Does this make sense? I wish I could give you a simplistic answer but the issue for us is complicated – as I’m sure it is for many others.

Thanks for your patience reading this. If you’d like me to clarify anything, feel free to respond again. I’m happy to help however I can. Thanks for your time!

Hi --
Well, first of all, despite your claim, Mike's response is not an uncommon response. It is a very common response from people who haven't fully examined the abortion issue because it is a very painful and difficult thing to do. People don't want to examine what is arguably the preeminent injustice of our time. Complicating matters is a reluctance to confront our own indifference and to realize that we perhaps had some part in it, that we did nothing to prevent it, and that we may be unwilling to risk our careers and personal and professional relationships and ambitions in order to stop it. So I don't think Mike gets any points for blazing any new trails on this one. Seen in this context your answer does make sense - Mike is confused. There's also the possibility that he has confronted the reality of abortion and believes there's nothing wrong with it, that it is good for the state of Washington and the country, and there is no Right to Life. I honestly don't know how Mike has come to his beliefs about abortion, or what they are exactly, but that is the purpose of this conversation and something I hope you can enlighten the folks of Washington state about. Enlightenment, however, seems more and more elusive with every email.

I'll ask you again, can you tell me how Mike would vote in a real-world situation (see my 3 examples)? Parental notification and PBA bans are not real-world because they will not come before a Senator McGavick. You keep mentioning his support for parental notification and PBA bans like I'm supposed to be impressed and that this somehow vouches for his pro-life credentials. Those issues are off the table, goodbye, never-to-be-seen by a Senator McGavick so who really cares what he believes about those issues. Even pro-choice voters are going to recognize that there is something half-cocked about his support for these issues.

Either Mike believes that it is wrong to kill unborn children in the womb, or he does not. It is that simple. What in particular makes it complicated for the McGavick campaign?

I'm curious why you keep bringing up the Constitutional amendment. It's a rather obscure part of the abortion debate that doesn't get any press but since you keep bringing it up can you explain what you mean when you say that "he does not honestly believe a Constitutional amendment banning the practice is right"?

The issues I asked you to comment on are pressing and will likely come before Mike were he elected. Contrary to your assertion that Mike doesn't like labels, according to my sources Mike HAS labeled himself "pro-choice" in his private conversations. Why won't he come out and say it in public? That at least would be the honest answer and pro-life and pro-choice people alike could at least respect him for being honest and decide whether to vote for him or not. Equivocating won't win him any votes.

Not answering a question by answering a question that wasn't asked is a dodge. In fact what Mike is doing is equivocating - making a statement that is not literally false but that cleverly avoids an unpleasant truth; namely that it appears he would do little to nothing to stop the abortion regime in this country, or around the world for that matter. If he really had a problem with abortion he'd be telling the voters what he'd do about it and how he differs from Maria Cantwell on the subject. After reading your emails I can only conclude that for all intents and purposes, he takes the exact same position she does on a Constitutional amendment, parental notification and PBA. It's like the old joke about the difference between Democrats and Republicans -- The Democrats propose a bill to burn down the Capitol. The Republicans offer their own bill to burn down the Capitol but phase it in over 5 years. It's the same disastrous result.

Best regards and I look forward to your reply,

Hi Mary,

Thanks for your patience – I’ve been waiting to respond so I could gather some more information. To be honest, there are some things that Mike is still considering, still debating personally – many of which are things you brought up in your comments. I’d like to give you a full answer right now but there isn’t one other than his position on those aspects I mentioned earlier.

I can understand how this may be disappointing right now but I would also add that this is something Mike is paying a lot of attention to right now. The campaign is still very young and he will address this issue fully but isn’t ready at this time.

Thanks for your understanding and patience.

Alliance Defense Fund Letter to WA Pharmacy Board

If you are looking for legal explanation and reasoning in support of a conscience clause for the pharmacists of Washington, the Alliance Defense Fund has a great letter.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

30 Years is Enough

France has stricter abortion laws than Washingonton but even France is fed up.

Unlike Washington where any time for any reason is the rule, terminations in France may be performed only before the end of the tenth week of pregnancy

You can even go to jail for "incit[ing] others to pregnancy terminations" and advertising abortion services.
Article L. 647. Any persons who by any means whatsoever have incited others to pregnancy terminations, even if the latter are legal and even if no actual abortions are performed as a result of such incitement, shall be sentenced to two months' to two years' imprisonment and/or a fine of between 2,000 and 20,000 F, without prejudice to the provision of Article 60 of the Penal code.

The same penalties shall be imposed on any persons who, by any media whatsoever, other than publications restricted to physicians and pharmacists, have disseminated propaganda or publicity concerning either establishments in which pregnancy terminations are performed or medicaments, products, and objects or methods intended to procure, or presented as being of such a nature as to procure, an abortion.

Why aren't all those Seattle liberals who love France so much demanding we change our abortion laws to be more like France.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Mixed Messages

They call it "Emergency Contraception" but the advertising on this bus in Vancouver, Washington says you can "take it within 5 days" to prevent pregnancy. Sounds like plenty of time to find another phamracist if they one down the street doesn't want to fill it.

The consent form a woman must sign to get the drug says, "New information shows that EC may sometimes prevent pregnancy up to five days after sex, but EC works batter [sic] the sooner you use it."

According to the World Health Organization's study on the effectiveness of Plan B, the drug was found to be significantly more effective the earlier it was used with in a 72-hour interval. The efficacy of levonorgestrel (i.e. Plan B) was only 58% when begun within 49 to 72 hours after unprotected intercourse.

If the efficacy is only 58% at the 49 to 72 hour interval why are they advertising it as effective up to 5 days? So what's its efficacy after 72 hours? Where's this "new information" coming from? Is there a study we can see? What exactly does Planned Parenthood tell women seeking Plan B about its efficacy?-- Try it, if you're still pregnant come back for an abortion? Does this sound like bait-and-switch to you? What about false advertsing?

The FDA seemed to think so. When Planned Parenthood pulled the same thing in their Seattle advertising campaign rolling out Plan B, they received a warning letter from the FDA .
Prescription drug ads are false or misleading if they suggest that a prescription drug is more effective than has been demonstrated by substantial clinical experince (21 CFR 202.1(e)(6)(i)).
If there is substantial clinical experience we'd sure like to see it.

Please write to:
Joan Hankin
Consumer Promotion Analyst
Food and Drug Administration
Division of Drug Marketing, Advertising, and Communications
HFD-42, Rm 8B-45
5600 Fishers Lane
Rockville, MD 20857

Refer to matter: MACMIS ID# 11214 and NDA 21-045

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Gov. Gregoire Assists Assisted Suicide

Washington Will Have End of Life Web Site for Living Wills, Advanced Directives
Olympia, WA (LifeNews.com) -- The Washington Department of Health plans to set up a web site specifically to catalog the living wills and advanced directives on file from state residents. Gov. Chris Gregoire signed a bill on Friday creating the web site. Residents can rescind the documents or doctors can access them at any time. Assisted suicide advocates backed the idea saying it would prevent doctors from giving lifesaving medical treatment to those who don't want it. The web site would also help make sure patients who want to be properly treated wouldn't be denied medical care

Friday, March 17, 2006

Are You Experienced?

Timeline and Milestones in Planned Parenthood/Washington State Pharmacy Association/Barr Laboratories Partnership and Drug Distribution Plan

Program for Appropriate Technology (PATH), PPWW and other public health agencies form Northwest Emergency Contraception Coalition (NECC).*see link below (page i)

Women's Capital Corporation, a privately help company is organized to bring Plan B to market. Five Planned Parenthood affiliates make equity investments in WCC, including Planned Parenthood of Western Washington (PPWW).

July 1997 – A pharmacist particpant at a NECC meeting pitches the idea of helping NECC to promote Emergency Contraception (EC) through collaborative practice legislation. Planning begins on The Emergency Contraception Collaborative Agreement Pilot Project (ECCAPP). The Project’s goal is to introduce and market Plan B through pharmacies and test the drug on women in Washington state.

The Washington State Pharmacists Association (WSPA) board of directors is reluctant to take on the Project. WSPA is shown data showing that almost half of the 56,000 unintended pregnancies in Washington State resulted in induced abortions. (Source for this data is not provided.)* (page i)

In a stroke of brilliance and insight the WSPA decides after reviewing the data that partnering with the state’s largest abortion chain to distribute an abortafacient drug and refer potentially pregnant women to the chain’s abortion centers would be a good way to help decrease the number of abortions in the state.* (see page i).

Several large, important and prominent groups filled with highly educated people sign off on the Project or agree to be part of the project advisory committee:
Washington State Trial Lawyers Association
Washington State Medical Association House of Delegates
Largest malpractice insurer in Washington
University of Washington School of Pharmacy
Various professional, legal, and state and county health organizations

Some members of the Washington state legislatures are also asked to serve on the committee.

Interestingly enough, parents, pharmacy patrons, child protective groups, parent groups, civic organizations, youth group counselors, school officials of schools near prescribing pharmacies, sexual predator watch groups, and abstinence educators are not asked about the Project nor asked to serve on the advisory committee.

Pilot Project is launched.

Training program for pharmacists is launched. Planned Parenthood and other ECCAPP members help craft training materials.

To increase pharmacist participation, low-cost training is offered to pharmacists on weekends and evenings. Pharmacists are taught how to facilitate parent-minor discussions regarding the child’s contraceptive use. Training program includes instructing pharmacists that they may not inform parents of minor children about their child’s use of the drug. Pharmacists are taught to refer patients out for further contraceptive and “family planning” services. Patients are given a list of “local physicians or clinics where they can be seen."* (page ii)

Advertising campaign is launched.

July 1998
Due to the Pilot Project’s aggressive marketing, advertising, and public awareness campaign, Plan B is now carried in 111 pharmacies in Washington State.

June 1999
The Pilot Project helps facilitate Collaborative Practice Agreements (CPA) by matching Planned Parenthood affiliates and state and local county health departments with pharmacists. Pharmacists are overwhelmed with willing collaborators. They are tickled and a bit amazed that they would get such a positive response.

The Project streamlines and simplifies the process for hooking-up pharmacists with their local Planned Parenthood or state government collaborator.* (page ii)

The WSPB institutes a fast-track review of EC collaborative practice agreement protocols that adhere to a protocol template designed by a "WSPB consultant (and collaborative agreement specialist.)"* (page ii and page 17)

143 pharmacists carry and prescribe Plan B.* (page iii)

July 1999
FDA approves sales of Plan B on July 28, 1999 and the Pilot Project ends. Planned Parenthood continues marketing and merchandising of Plan B through pharmacy visits and collaboration with schools of pharmacy and pharmacy trade groups to train pharmacists as "Certified ECP Providers."

January 2002 -- Scottish Council on Human Bio-ethics' "Briefing Paper on the Morning-After-Pill," is released showing that despite a sharp increase (almost 300%) in the number of EC prescriptions in Glasgow between 1992-1999, the abortion rate did not decline.

November 11, 2002 -- FDA Warning Letter to Women's Capital Corporation for ads that are "false, lacking in fair balance, or otherwise misleading in violation of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (Act) and applicable implementing regulations.....the...radio and print ads overstate efficacy, fail to convey important limitations on use, and minimize important information about risks associated with the use of Plan B..."

October 2003 -- Barr Laboratories submits a letter of intent to purchase WCC.

December 12, 2003
Barr Laboratories submits "Overview of Existing State Distribution Mechanisms and Barr's Proposed Educational Program and Distribution for Plan B." Includes sample "Collaborative Protocol Agreement" (CPA) for pharmacists prescribing Plan B that is amazingly similar to the one used by ECCAPP and Planned Parenthood.

Protocol recommends, among other things: referring patients out to "family planning clinics" no less than five times; administering Plan B as a first course of action in the case of sexual assault, then contacting CPS; referring patient to another ECP provider if ECP is not available; allowing for a patient to maintain a supply of ECPs at home. The Protocol mandates training to ensure pharmacists follow the above procedures and requires that the pharmacist have a "crisis plan if the pharmacy operations are disrupted by individuals opposing emergency contraception."The Protocol does not allow for the prescribing of pre-natal vitamins or the referral out to a crisis pregnancy center. Protocol does not allow for referral out to appropriate professionals who can help address any ambivalence a patient may be experiencing regarding a possible pregnancy. The protocol offers no guidelines for addressing coercive or abusive situations. Parents or guardians will not be notified when minors seek this drug. There are no provisions in the Protocol for a pharmacist to request a history of the patient's use of oral or other hormonal based contraceptives to consider whether Plan B may elevate her risk for breast cancer, blood clots, stroke, depression, heart attacks and Cervical dysplasia.

In order to mitigate legal risks to the manufacturer, identify pharmacists who become disillusioned with the CPA, don’t believe Plan B is helping patients, notice abuse of the drug, become concerned about health effects of Plan B, want to limit its use, or want to cease their CPA, pharmacists must meet with their prescriber quarterly.

No plan is made to track or study effects of Plan B on STD and abortion rates in Washington.

February 26, 2004
Barr Completes Acquisition of Women's Capital Corporation and Plan B Emergency Contraceptive. Barr agrees to pay a total of approximately $21 million, net of cash acquired, including approximately $9 million of assumed liabilities.

2004 California law suit reveals that Planned Parenthood cut a secret deal with Barr Laboratories that would enable the nation's largest abortion provider to make millions of dollars in profits selling Plan B kits.

July 2005
According to a July 29 press release by the Lyon, France-based International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), which is part of the World Health Organization (WHO) says that women increase their risk of breast, cervical and liver cancer if they use oral contraceptives Other recent studies show the greatest cancer risk is to young women, particularly teenagers, who use the pill. Planned Parenthood denies link or cause for concern.

Fissures develop in relationship between WSPA and PPWW. PPWW and NWWLC now attack pharmacists who refuse to fill prescriptions for Plan B as religious fanatics who are trying to impose their morality on others. Planned Parenthood Federation of America leans harder on the FDA and Bush Administration to approve over-the-counter sales, by-passing pharmacists altogether.

March 10, 2006
In meeting before the State Board of Pharmacy, Planned Parenthood fights against conscience clause for pharmacists in Washington and uses argument eerily similar to that surrounding demand for legal abortion saying EC must be given "on demand" with no restrictions.

Planned Parenthood says they now have 400+ pharmacies in the state of Washington who carry Plan B. State abortion lobby (WA-NARAL) speaks against conscience clause and in favor of drug alleged to reduce the need for abortion.

March 12, 2006
KING 5 "Up Front" program on conscience clause controversy quotes spokeswoman from local abortion clinic repeating undocumented allegation that Plan B reduces the abortion rate.

No spokesperson or expert available to explain why the abortion industry would be promoting a drug that supposedly reduces their primary source of revenue.

Standard CPA Protocol used to train pharmacists is almost an exact copy of the one put forward by Barr Laboratories and ECCAPP 8 years ago.

Mainstream media and major state newspapers completely clueless about any of the above, instinctively latch on the arguments put forward by PPWW.

March 14 – US Senate candidate Mike McGavick (R) refuses to comment publicly on the controversy affecting his state.

March 17, 2006 – Washington senator Patty Murray, along with NY senator Hilary Clinton, put pressure on Bush administration to approve OTC sales of Plan B. Threatens to hold up president’s new nominee to FDA.

Planned Parenthood continues to run ads in Washington state, which the FDA previously described as "false, lacking in fair balance, or otherwise misleading in violation of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (Act)", for overstaing efficacy, failing to convey important limitations on use, and minimizing important information about risks associated with the use of Plan B.

*Pharmacist Prescribing of Emergency Contraception: The Washington State Experience

Letter from William J. Perez, MD, MA to Washington State Board of Pharmacy

March 8, 2006

Washington State Board of Pharmacy
c/o Steve Saxe, Executive Director & Asaad Awan, Board Chair
Department of Health
P.O. Box 47863
Olympia, WA 98504

Subject: Conscience Clause

Dear Board Members,

I write to support the pharmacists of the State of Washington and their right to retain a meaningful conscience clause in order to protect themselves and their patients. It is my understanding that after much debate, the State Pharmacy Association crafted just such a clause and approved it, only to now have it challenged by Planned Parenthood and other advocates of abortion.

I work with pharmacists on a daily basis, and have done so for many years. There are few professions for which I have more respect. Pharmacists as a group are extremely intelligent people who make a big difference to both doctors and patients in improving health care and making it safe. Naturally, they come from all walks of life and have varying positions on issues, such as abortion, that divide our entire culture.

Pharmacists are also called upon to make judgments on a constant basis. They must clarify, interpret, instruct and counsel. They are an invaluable resource to our community. Pharmacists are not simply “medication dispensers” or human vending machines. As much as any other, this is a profession which requires clear thinking, integrity, and indeed, a strong moral compass. Sadly, there are those who would crush this moral compass in our pharmacists in order to promote their favored policies.

Make no mistake: Despite what you may hear from lobbyists, this issue is about the rights of pharmacists versus the dictates of powerful special interests. Planned Parenthood would have you believe it to be an access issue. This is a red herring. The issue before you is a pharmacist’s right of conscience. The pharmacists I know are as fine a group of patient advocates as I know. To lecture them on “putting the needs of patients ahead of themselves” is condescending and insulting. If a pharmacist refuses to fill a prescription, it is because he or she is convinced great harm could be done by doing so. This is true whether Planned Parenthood agrees or not.

I understand that there has been an organized letter-writing campaign to your board as well as the governor in order to prevent pharmacists from exercising their right of conscience. A statewide group of professionals is to lose a right of conscience statement they crafted themselves after careful deliberation. This will be in order to placate those purportedly concerned with a hypothetical scenario about which you are sure to hear: This will probably be a rape victim in a one-horse, one-pharmacy town, who has no car, no phone, and no hope on this earth but to force a pharmacist to violate his or her conscience. I ask you to not allow yourselves to be manipulated by an organized lobby that has a much louder political voice than its support in the general public would justify.

Much of this debate boils down to one’s views on abortion. People can play games with words, but the fact remains that if a drug prevents implantation of an embryo, that embryo will die. Many people consider this to be a grave moral evil. Some of these people are pharmacists. Why do so-called “pro-choice” people wish to deny a principled choice to pharmacists? They are trampling on the rights of pharmacists for a political agenda. Are we becoming so beholden to the sacred rite of abortion that we are willing to force men and women to cooperate with it, even if they consider it gravely immoral, all so that a patient won’t have to drive to the next pharmacy? This would be draconian indeed, and an unconscionable imposition of a highly divisive world-view on people of good will.

With such an important issue, it is important that the board hear from both sides and decide your course of action in a fair manner. I respectfully urge you to allow the pro-conscience side to have an equal say, and to excuse any board members with ties to Planned Parenthood or similar organizations from voting on this issue, as they will clearly have a skewed viewpoint.
I wish to make a point here that I believe is extremely important; one that goes well beyond this particular issue. If we require pharmacists to violate their consciences on issues of grave importance in order to keep their jobs, we guarantee a group of pharmacists who have become comfortable violating an important code of ethics. I ask you, is this really a quality we want to ensure in our pharmacists?

Let’s be realistic. If there is a conscience clause (Scenario A), a woman seeking an abortifacient may, rarely, run into a pharmacist who cannot in good conscience fill the prescription. She might then have to go to another pharmacist in the same or a different location. In Scenario B, the pharmacist is coerced into filling the prescription against his or her conscience. In both cases, the woman gets the medication, but in Scenario A the pharmacist is protected as well. Why would we prefer Scenario B? Hyperbole aside, in the real world people will get the medications they want. The only issue is whether we will force the pharmacist to comply over and against all objections.

The talking points at the Planned Parenthood website make clear that they view pharmacists as drug dispensers, and that any exercise of judgment “interferes with the doctor-patient relationship.” As a physician, I can tell you that this is sheer rubbish. Pharmacists are capable professionals who must refuse to fill certain prescriptions.

If we are to consider unlikely, hypothetical scenarios, consider this one: A man comes in with a prescription for a drug known to be used for date rape, and the pharmacist has reason to believe that is exactly what he plans to do with it. Should she fill the prescription? Most of us would agree she should refuse, yet the position of those who oppose this conscience clause clearly states that she should suspend all thought, get out of the way of the “doctor-patient relationship”, and send him out the door with the drug. The only difference is the particular issue to which the pharmacist conscientiously objects.

Our nation’s founders recognized certain inalienable rights and our constitution reflects this. Wishing to sidestep these rights, and often the will of the people as well, abortion purveyors use well-funded lobbying efforts and the courts to impose their will on others. They are attempting to strong-arm and intimidate you. The Pharmacy Association worked hard and came up with a good policy. I urge you not to allow yourselves to be bullied into stripping their right to protect themselves and their patients.

We live in times that are both exciting and frightening on the biomedical front. Arriving on our doorstep (or already entering the building) are cloning, embryonic stem cell research, and euthanasia among other things. It is entirely possible that we may see fetal farms for organ transplants, experiments on prisoners or the disabled, human-animal hybrids, etc. Are you willing to let others dictate that pharmacists must buy into and cooperate with any and all biomedical technologies, or will you stand with the pharmacists for a sensible and reasonable conscience clause in order to protect them from the selfish interests of others?
As for me, I stand with the pharmacists.

With Respect and Gratitude,
William J. Perez, MD, MA
Staff Anesthesiologist, St. Clare Hospital, Lakewood, WA
Vice President, Washington State Catholic Medical Association

Testimony of Matt Muckler, Legislative Director for the Washington State Catholic Conference

Testimony on Conscience Clause
Board of Pharmacy
March 10, 2006

Protection of Religious Freedom

Good Afternoon Mr. Chairman and members of the Board. My name is Matt Muckler and I am the Legislative Director for the Washington State Catholic Conference, which represents the Catholic Bishops of the State of Washington on issues of public policy.

All people have an obligation to form their conscience and then to follow it. Simply put, an individual’s conscience is the faculty by which one discerns what is right from what is wrong. In a pluralistic society such as ours, there are occasions when the observance of a civil law could cause persons to violate their conscience.

The United States has long recognized the right of its citizens to honor their conscience in the face of laws that contravene their religious beliefs. This right was granted in the First Amendment that upholds the right of all Americans to worship freely, unencumbered by state intrusion. Laws whose observance could cause people to violate their conscience often involve issues that are morally controversial in our society.

The central issue at stake is the protection of the religious freedom of individuals to provide services in a manner consistent with their moral beliefs. To recognize this moral dilemma a law can contain an exception for those who object to its mandated actions based on conscience. This is often called a “conscience clause.”

In 1995, the Washington State Legislature passed legislation that stated, “the legislature recognizes that every individual possesses a fundamental right to exercise their religious beliefs and conscience. The legislature further recognizes that in developing public policy, conflicting religious and moral beliefs must be respected.” (RCW 48.43.065)

Mandating that persons provide services to which they morally object would violate their right to exercise religious freedom guaranteed in both the federal and state Constitutions. In recent years, however, it has become increasingly clear that the rights of individuals to follow their conscience are not adequately protected by current statutes. An example of this would be requiring pharmacists to dispense drugs that would violate their conscience, drugs like Plan B, an emergency contraceptive that is a potential abortifacient.

Individuals do not lose their right to exercise their conscience once they enter the health profession. In order to fully protect pharmacists, this civil right must extend to pharmacists who may have to dispense a drug to which they conscientiously object. Legal recognition of the civil rights of pharmacists in no way infringes on the rights of patients. Patients have a right to receive health care services, but not a right to force any particular individual to provide them.

For generations of Americans it was unthinkable that one person would attempt to force another to act contrary to that person’s religious conscience. Forcing people to choose between conscience and government has never been the American way. Thus, we have a tradition and a body of constitutional law that have protected the right to act in accord with one’s conscience.

We ask that you respect the religious freedom established by our founders and enact a conscience clause for pharmacists.

Letter from Shane E. Macaulay, M.D. to Washington State Board of Pharmacy

March 10, 2006

Washington State Department of Health
Board of Pharmacy
CenterPoint Corporate Park
20435 72nd Avenue
Kent, WA 98032

Dear Members of the Board:

I am a physician in private practice in Washington State. I have followed with interest the issues surrounding the assault on the right of pharmacists to exercise conscience in dispensing medication, and would like to make some comments to the Board on the subject. Thank you for taking a few moments to read this letter.

The right of all health care workers, including pharmacists, to act in accord with their conscience is fundamental to sound policy, ethics and human justice. It is recognized by the American Pharmacists Association Code of Ethics (IV) and is firmly enshrined in Washington State law (RCW 9.02.150, RCW 48.43.065 (2)(a) ). Recognition of this right to conscience is essential for the protection of the integrity of the entire profession of pharmacy.

Fundamental to the attack on the right of conscience is a devaluation of the profession of pharmacy and a disrespect for the knowledge, training and professionalism of pharmacists. Those who would deny pharmacists the right to exercise conscience would reduce pharmacists to mere dispensing clerks. In my medical training, pharmacists were an integral part of the health care team. In hospitals they joined the physicians rounding on patients and made recommendations regarding medications that were almost uniformly followed by the physicians. Stripping pharmacists of their autonomy and ability to critically analyze medications will reduce their value to all patients and impoverish the medical profession, and can be expected to produce alarming increases in medication errors.

If pharmacists are truly integral and valuable members of the healthcare team, they should be accorded the same rights and protections granted to physicians and nurses, and Washington State law recognizes this. No physician or other health care worker can be required to participate in not just an abortion but in any “specific service if they object to so doing for reason of conscience” (RCW 48.43.065 (2)(a) ). The misrepresentations or medical ignorance of objectors to conscience rights notwithstanding, emergency contraception medications clearly have abortifacient mechanisms that may even be the primary mechanisms of action, by making the endometrial lining non-receptive to implantation and thus causing fetal demise; this is noted in the FDA-approved drug statement for Plan B. Therefore, pharmacists are and ought to be protected by conscience provisions in Washington law regarding abortion. However, since Washington law protects all conscience, not just as it relates to abortion, disagreements regarding abortifacient mechanisms of contraceptives are moot; they are raised by objectors to conscience rights as a diversion from the real issue of the right to conscience.

Regarding the duty to refer when a pharmacist exercise conscience, it is the patient’s obligation in all cases to find appropriate medical services. The pharmacist is not an employee of the patient and is not obligated to arrange for the patient’s healthcare. If a patient goes to a physician’s office and is told that the physician is not taking new patients or does not provide a certain service, the physician is not given the obligation of tracking down another provider or arranging an alternative appointment; the duty remains with the patient to arrange his or her own health care. It is appropriate and consistent with the treatment of other health care professionals that pharmacists not be unfairly burdened by obligations not imposed upon their colleagues.

The Board received a letter dated August 4, 2005 from the Northwest Women’s Law Center (NWLC) and various abortion providers expressing opposition to the right of conscience of pharmacists. Without attempting a lengthy review of this letter, I believe a few comments are necessary to correct misunderstandings or misrepresentations made to the Board therein.

Opponents of conscience rights claim in the NWLC letter that refusing to fill a prescription represents an attempt by pharmacists to “force their personal values” or impose their own morals on the patient, but a moment’s reflection shows that this is not the case. If a passenger hails a taxi and tells the taxi driver to drive 20 miles an hour faster than the driver feels it is safe to do, we would not accuse the driver of imposing his morality on the rider if he refused. Similarly, if a patient approaches a pharmacist and asks for a prescription to be filled that the pharmacist considers morally objectionable, a pharmacist is not imposing his or her morals on the patient by refusing to participate.

Charges of sexual discrimination in exercising conscience are misdirected. Such charges would be valid if there were a gender-based refusal to provide pharmaceutical services, but in fact it is a medication-based refusal. Pharmacists who exercise conscience do not refuse to serve women in general, they only refuse to dispense particular medications in accord with the protections afforded them by RCW 9.02.150 and RCW 48.43.065.

Concerns regarding the ready and rapid availability of emergency contraceptive medications in locations rural or otherwise are unfounded, as these medications are available statewide from pharmacists, emergency rooms, physicians who choose to dispense them and from Planned Parenthood clinics, as well as through overnight mail.

While the letter writers correctly state that Washington women have a right to choose emergency contraceptive medications, they are in error when asserting that Washington law does not permit pharmacists to refuse to dispense contraception because of personal beliefs; Washington State law explicitly does protect this right in RCW 48.43.065 (2) (a).

The parties to the NWLC letter recognize that Washington State law does not support their claims, therefore they seek to force the Board to provide them a regulatory end run around the clear protections guaranteed to exercisers of conscience in Washington State. If Washington law did support their claims, they would have already sought and received broad injunctive relief in the courts. The Washington State Board of Pharmacy should not be pressured to develop policies in conflict with Washington State law, but rather should continue to ensure policies in accord with that law, as well as with the fundamental human right not to participate in actions which are held to be morally unacceptable. The protections afforded to pharmacists and other health care workers under Washington State law are laudable and we would wish these protections were similarly provided in all states.

The ultimate question regarding the right to conscience is whether pharmacists are simply drug dispensing clerks who must unquestioningly fill every prescription presented to them, or whether they have the autonomy and indeed the duty to behave in a manner reflecting their broad understanding of medicine, and respecting individual ethics. I contend that the entire history and tradition of pharmacy as a profession reject the former proposition and endorse the latter.

Thank you for your consideration and for your efforts to protect the profession of pharmacy.

Shane E. Macaulay, MD

Abortion Pill RU-486 Kills Two More Women

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Two additional deaths have been reported after women took the abortion pill known as RU-486 or Mifeprex, U.S. regulators said on Friday.

The Food and Drug Administration said it has not been able to determine the cause of the newly reported deaths. Four previously reported fatalities were linked to a bacterial infection that developed after the women took the abortion pill, which is sold by privately held Danco Laboratories.
HT: Becky Steffan, Aquinas Books, Kirkland, Wa.

However, five women have died (four in the US and one in Canada), not four as reported by Reuters. In addition -- "An examination of over 800 RU-486 regimen adverse event reports reveals a high number of serious and life-threatening bleeding cases."

The RU-486 abortion regimen was tested in Washington state by Seattle abortionist Suzanne Pomppena. At a workshop in 1999, Dr. Pomppena told her audience of prospective chemical abortionists, "a nurse-practitioner or a certified nurse-midwife, or a physician's assistant can provide non-surgical abortions in your facility. If that's true, it's a great way to add revenue to your clinic."

No word yet on where the newly reported deaths took place or where the abortion drug was administered.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Pro-abortion Rep. Rodney Tom of Medina Switches Parties

Pro-abortion Bellevue republican switches parties to run for senate.

According to public disclosure records, Mr. Tom (R) State Representative donated $100 to WA-NARAL last year.

One memorable quote from the article: "In the old days if you were a businessman you were a Republican," he said. But as the district changed, he said, the Republican Party has gotten more conservative and come under control of what he says is the "far right."

Oh, really?

You mean under the control of "far right" pro-abortion republicans like these:
Jennifer Dunn (Wish List member)
Ralph Munroe (Honorary Board Member of Planned Parenthood of Western Washington)
Dan Evans (Promoter of Referendum 20 and legalized abortion in Washington state)
Slade Gordton (Promoter of Referendum 20 and legalized abortion in Washington state)
Bill Finkbiner (Member of Mainstream Republicans)
Doug Sutherland, Commissioner of Public Lands (Member of Mainstream Republicans)
Sam Reed, Secretary of State (Member of Mainstream Republicans)
Etc., etc. etc...

Now that Mr. Tom has moved to the (D) column, Mainstream Republicans will need to take his name off the list of Board Members and Sponsors, but I suppose there are no philosophical reasons they can't still collaborate.

Here's the so-called Mainstream Republicans statement of "principle" on the life issues:

We value life and seek to protect it - We should not attempt to legislate a definition of life.

If you don't know what life is how are you going to defend it? Sounds like the answer from the Mainstream Republicans is -- you don't.

Three Rich White Women vs. The People

If you haven’t heard already the pharmacy board meeting was packed. According to the Seattle Times there were over 100 people from around the state. In fact, it was standing room only with lots of people lined up along the backs and sides of the auditorium. Only two people spoke on behalf of PP and NWWLC – Karen Cooper from NARAL and a woman from Radical Women. (I think this might have been the same woman who had the bull-horn at the last SNMA event.) I wonder why Planned Parenthood feels they have to keep their people at home.

Of course, no discussion of abortion would be complete without invoking the mythical bad-old days of “coat-hanger abortions”. The woman from Radical Women was happy to oblige and morosely pointed to her lapel pin with the coat-hanger with a red slash through it when she got up to speak.

Per Planned Parenthood’s usual tactics in the legislature -- The meeting room was changed. I don’t know what was up with the microphone but my hunch is that the microphone was working fine, they just turned off the sound so that no one in the audience could make a recording.

The crowd was diverse ethnically, polite, and eager to inform the board about all aspects of the issue. The comments from the concerned citizens were wide-ranging and intelligent – touching on the legal, moral and philosophical arguments, the Bill of Rights, keeping pharmacists independent from Planned Parenthood, the harm abortion does to women, the medical facts, and just plain respect for the professionalism and good judgment of pharmacists when serving their patients.

Yet, the ghost of Margaret Sanger filled the room…

The very well dressed and proud ladies from Planned Parenthood and NWWLC were left citing the bevy of laws they and the legislature in Olympia have been busy shoving down our throats for the past 37 or so years – from Referendum 20 and “the right to abortion” and the “right to birth control”, to the “right to privacy” so that no parent in the state can be notified if their daughter gets on birth control pills or has an abortion -- as justification for their current project.

The most laughable rhetorical device employed by NWWLC is one commonly known among logicians, and familiar to parents everywhere, as “Teenager’s Last Stand” – i.e. everybody else is doing it (whatever “it” may be--smoking pot, staying out late, having sex, etc.) so I should be allowed to do it too. They cited various state legislatures which have passed laws removing the right to conscience for pharmacists and instituting “must fill” laws, insisting that Washington should do it too.

Roberta Riley from Planned Parenthood, clearly excited to be hanging with the older girls, dressed in sensible black and sporting that latest dark and moody shade of MAC lipstick bought just for the occasion, shocked the audience with a description of how Planned Parenthood marched through Washington like Germany through France. Without resistance and efficiently working the plan laid out for them by Barr Laboratories, the manufacture of Plan B and financial partner with Planned Parenthood, they have been playing kissey-face with every pharmacy in the state since 1997, to the point where over 400 pharmacists now carry Plan B, effectively making every pharmacy that carries Plan B a de-facto adjunct of Planned Parenthood.

At one point a board member literally put her head in her hands.

Nancy Sapiro looked like she’d just fallen out of bed. With the rumbled hair and funky cat-eye glasses, she appeared to be going for the busy-busy-busy lawyer look. During the public comments, they all scribbled furiously away, taking copious notes. I guess they were getting lots of ideas for new laws they could get the legislature and the governor to pass. Do they have hearing training camp for these ladies to learn how to do the exaggerated eye-rolls and head-flips every time a speaker points out some unsavory truth about Planned Parenthood?

In the end they threatened the Board with legal action if they “attempted to redefine pregnancy.” In case you didn’t know, the “experts” are telling us that pregnancy begins at implantation and therefore drugs that prevent implantation of a blastocyst are not chemical abortions. The thing they don’t want to confront is the fact that a human being at the blastocyst stage is a human being regardless of implantation. When the general public knows more about biology, reproduction, and embryology than the average physician or pharmacist, it’s no wonder there’s a health care crisis.

Keep writing those letters and don’t forget to send a copy to your legislator. The next battle will be fought there.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

News and Views

---According to the Mercer Island Reporter, Mercer Island Abortionist Dr. Charles Flake was was charged with having improper relationships with patients by the Washington state Department of Health (DOH). Mercer Island was an abortion destination prior to Washington's passing of Referendum 20.

---This came to my in-box yesterday from a close friend: "Please storm heaven – a young woman is being pressured by her parents to have an abortion. She really wants to give life to the baby outside the womb, but wants to please her parents. I do not have a name, but God knows who she is. PLEASE pray…thank you and God Bless Please pray for her."

---A pair of twins and their mom were saved from abortion a few weeks ago at the Cedar River Clinic thanks to dedicated pro-lifers who pray outside the abortion center there. The twins were 4 months gestation at the time of their scheduled abortion.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Project Rachel Director Testifies before Washington State Pharmacy Board


Testimony before the Board of Pharmacy, Kent WA

My name is Valerie Jacobs. I am a master’s level therapist. For the past twelve years I have counseled hundreds of women to help them resolve a variety of emotional and psychological stress symptoms related to abortion ranging from anxiety and depression to nightmares, flashbacks and suicidality.

The Northwest Women’s Law Center, together with certain identified family planning providers purport to represent the uniform voice of women of Washington for the purpose of ensuring ethical conduct by professionals to protect women’s health and safety.

I am here to speak for those women whose voices Northwest Women’s Law Center and certain family planning providers refuse to recognize and whose health and safety has been compromised by their own unethical professional conduct.

Planned Parenthood and other family planning providers figure regularly in women’s stories of abortion trauma. Most prominently described are failure to take time to adequately assess well-documented risk factors predicting post-abortion psychological trauma, failure to take time to provide adequate information, and failure to take time to proactively provide support for alternative choices.

Each of these failures represents a failure to take sufficient time with women who are experiencing a state of crisis and are in conflict about their choices. A woman’s best interests are served by calming the sense of crisis and slowing down her decision-making process, taking time to adequately inform and proactively support alternative choices. Instead, women report that their clinic experience engendered a sense of urgency to make a choice which caused them lifelong negative health consequences.

*[I was contacted by such a young woman at the beginning of March. Planned Parenthood confirmed her pregnancy on a Tuesday afternoon, scheduling an abortion before the end of her brief visit. The following Thursday the pregnancy was terminated;
by evening the young woman was depressed to the point of suicidal ideation. This story has been reported to me in hundreds of variations.]

The language of Northwest Women’s Law Center attempts to create a sense of crisis and urgency where there is none. There is no crisis of availability or access either to abortion or contraception. To the contrary, women say to me, “Why was it so easy?” I would urge the Board to make a calm and measured judgment to uphold the right of pharmacists to choose according to their consciences in this matter.

*This paragraph was omitted from testimony due to pressure to hold to a two-minute time allotment.

Reagan Wing's Doug Parris Advises Pharmacy Board

Doug Parris of the Reagan Wing presented the following thoughtful and sobering commentary to the Pharmacy Board last week during their open forum discussion of the proposed Conscience Clause and attempts by Planned Parenthood to force every Washington pharmacist into prescribing the Plan B "morning-after-pill".

Comments to State Pharmacy Board, Friday 3/10/2006

I’m the statewide President of the Reagan Wing of the Republican Party, the Washington State affiliate of the largest Republican organization in America. In speaking to a government bureaucracy in a Democrat Administration I don’t expect to find a lot of philosophical agreement. [reactions of smiles and laughter from the panel]

I don’t expect you to understand or agree about the role of the philosophy of Margaret Sanger in founding the Culture of Abortion and Contraception or to see the connection between it and the ravages of that culture; the explosion of sexual promiscuity and the resultant breakup of the family that has disproportionately afflicted blacks and the poor.

I don’t expect you to agree or understand that it is a culture of poverty and parallels an explosion of sexual disease. And since it directly attacks our morality, America’s Judeo Christian foundation, it has also resulted in the explosion of sexual assault and sexual predators. But I don’t expect you to understand that. [reactions of frowns and grimaces from the panel]

But you need to understand the role of Margaret Sanger’s philosophy of eugenics in the process of German Socialism in the ‘30s, because in advocating this regulation Planned Parenthood has crossed a very significant line. They are seeking to compel and constrain the actions of private citizens and private businesses. These people have a RIGHT not to prescribe these drugs because this is a FREE COUNTRY. Or is it?

Planned Parenthood and their allies can no longer claim to be the advocates of CHOICE because they seek to constrain the choices of others. They are CLEARLY, UNEQUIVOCLY, and OBVIOUSLY the advocates of DEATH. [reactions of shock and discomfort from the panel] [30 seconds remaining yellow flag]

But you do not need to agree with me on the philosophy of Life. This proposal is an assault on American freedom… [please conclude red flag]

This is not China, this is not Russia, this is not even Germany; in implementing this “little” tyranny you are abrogating American ECONOMIC FREEDOM and a tradition that goes back well over 200 years. And in doing this you will meet a kind of resistance you did not anticipate.

Best of luck.
[laughter from the audience]

Sunday, March 12, 2006

An Open Letter to Governor Gregoire

Below is a letter sent to Governor Gregoire in response to her defense of Planned Parenthood:

Dear Governor Gregoire,
I am writing to express my strong support for the right of the Pharmacy Association to provide a conscience clause for pharmacists who opt out of providing certain drugs that go against not only their religious or moral beliefs but of good medicine as well.

I realize that there are varying opinions among pharmacists on the Emergency Contraception drug in particular. However, the opinion of many pharmacists and doctors that the drug is an abortafacient is a professional opinion based in science. Washington State law already provides a conscience clause for doctors who choose not to provide abortions so it should follow that pharmacists should have the same option to not provide a drug that essentially does the same.

Governor Gregoire, I also happen to know that you are a Catholic and should know full well that the moral law that the Catholic Church upholds applies to all of mankind, but has special weight upon Catholics and particularly Catholics who hold power in public office. I appeal to your conscience, Governor Gregoire. Please do not forbid good pharmacists from excercising their consciences.

Michelle McIntyre

Friday, March 10, 2006

Right of Conscience on KING 5 TV

For those in the Puget Sound region - KING 5's television news magazine will air an episode on the pharmacists fight to be able to exercise their right of conscience. In-studio taping occurred this morning, and Dr. Shane Macauley was kind enough to represent the good guys opposite a lawyer for the NW Women's Law Center.

They may also include an interview with C.J. Kahler a pharmacist who supports the right of conscience. My understanding is that they will have a crew today at the Pharmacy Board meeting in Kent, where Planned Parenthood and the NW Women's Law Center are scheduled to make a presentation - public comment will follow. Be sure to tune in if possible on Sunday night: KING 5 Up Front every Sunday: 4:30 on KING 5, 10:30 p.m. on KONG 6/16.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Prescriptive Authority Agreements for EC in Washington

The more I dig into the EC/Plan B Prescriptive Authority Agreements that Planned Parenthood and Olympia sprang on us the more disgusted I get.

Here an article from the Journal of the American Medical Women's Association that explains the Prescriptive Authority Agreements and how they introduced EC to state, including the testing conducted on the women of Washington.

The David and Lucille Packard Foundation provided funding for the study. That's the same outfit that provided funding for developing and marketing Plan B. So the same foundation that worked to develop a product is the same one testing its market introduction. That doesn't seem like such a good idea.

Here's all the groups who thought it would be a great idea to basically let anyone in Washington get their hands on EC/Plan B:

Program for Appropriate Technology in Health (Also participants in bringing Plan B to market)
Washington State Pharmacist’s Association
University of Washington Department of Pharmacy
Washington State Board of Pharmacy
Elgin DDB

(Is there anyone left in the state who is independent of Planned Parenthood?)

Even the Washington State Trial Lawyers Association seemed to think passing these pills out was a good idea. When I looked at the form that women, or men for that matter, have to sign to get EC, I thought it was a trial lawyers dream come true.

Everyone of JAMWA's listed "benefits" of EC/Plan B could now be openingly questioned thanks to new studies and information coming out of Scotland and Finland where EC is widely available. (Scottish Council on Human Bio-ethics' "Briefing Paper on the Morning-After-Pill," Jan. 2002).

Knowing what we know now about EC/Plan B, it's time to revisit PAA for Emergency Contraception.

By the way, can we get the follow-up reports on unintended pregnancy (i.e. increased sexual activity) and abortion rates where they tested this pill? It would be good to see the STD rates as well.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Planned Parenthood Marches On

Planned Parenthood (PP) is aggressively directing people to contact the State Board of Pharmacy and the Governor to not allow pharmacists the right to exercise their conscience. They are attempting to pressure the governor and the Pharmacy Board to force pharmacists of the state to fill all prescriptions -- including those for the "morning after pill" or Emergency Contraception (a.k.a. EC or Plan B).

Here's a few of the problems even if you don't have a problem with abortion, abortifacients, believe that EC is truly contraception, or just think pharmacists should give people any drug that's legal:

  • Anyone in Washington can get a prescription for emergency contraception (EC) WITHOUT a doctor's prescritption. Basically, a person in Washington state self-prescribes MAP by filling out a brief form at the pharmacy. That would include sex offenders to give to their victims. (One local abortion center is recommending that women have a packet of Plan B on hand at home, "just in case". What would prevent molesters and rapists from keeping a stock of them?)
  • Teenagers of any age have easy and immediate access to EC. What would stop the school districts from giving it out in the nurses office or in one of their "school based health clinics?" Will boyfriends be pressuring their girlfriends to go get it?
  • We know coersion and intimidation have long been a part of what keeps the abortion clinics humming along. A NTY article just this week highlighted this fact.
  • If we get the "comprehensive sex education" that PP keeps pressuring the legislature to pass, every teenage boy in the state will know about Plan B and how easy it is to get.
  • Teenagers can get these prescriptions without the knowledge of their parents. In fact, thanks to Olympia, doctors and medical professionals are legally bound NOT to tell parents when their children get birth control, abortion, EC, and any other "reproductive health" services.
  • In countries where MAP is easily and widely available, promiscuity among teenagers has increased, STDs have skyrocketed especially among teenagers. Abortion rates have also increased. But isn't abortion and the treatment of STDs part of PP's business for which they receive lots of federal, state and county money? Emegency Contraception might be more accurately described as a "gateway drug" to STD treatment medicines, anti-biotics, RU-486 (chemical abortion), and old-fashioned surgical abortion.
  • Apparently, Olympia in all their wisdon approved the distribution of Plan B without a doctor's prescription. The pharmacist just has to grab it from behind the shelf. Some of the pharmacists like the arrangement because it makes them "feel like doctors."
  • Planned Parenthood stands to make oodles of bucks off of this -- approximately $20 per pack. PP of Western Washington was an initial equity investor in the Women's Capital Corporation (WCC) to develop and distribute Plan B. After it's approval by the FDA, WCC, including the patents to Plan B, was bought by Barr Laboratries. (Who knows how much PPWW made off that buy out?) Now, PP has a sweetheart deal from Barr Laboratories to buy Plan B at bargain basement prices. Ya think they might have a financial interest in getting this drug into the hands of as many people as possible despite the problems with it?
  • Before their purchase by Barr, WCC ran an advertising campaign in the Seattle area which received a warning letter from the FDA for its false and misleading information.
  • How are women, girls, parents, and people who would encourage the use of Plan B, going to know the risk if they haven’t consulted with a doctor and the advertising has been faulty and negligent?

    Now we know why Patty Murray, the senior senator from Planned Parenthood, has been teaming up with Hillary Clinton to beat up on the FDA for not approving OTC sales of Plan B.

    PP is presenting their case for why pharmacists should blindly and silently hand over a pack of Emergency Contraception to anyone who asks for it, at a public meeting before the Pharmacy Board this Friday, March 10th at 12:00 noon:

  • CenterPoint Corporate Park Creekside Bldg. #3,
    2nd floor
    20435 72nd Ave
    Kent, WA 98032

    The public is welcome to attend.