Monday, November 06, 2006

Geoff Simpson (D) makes Common Cause with State's Abortion Industry to deny First Amendment Rights to Pharmacists

At right you can see an image of the flier that was sent out by the Washington State Democratic Party on behalf of Geoff Simpson (D) who is running for re-election 47th legislative district.

Below is a letter sent to Mr. Simpson from pharmacist C.J. Khaler. Below that is Simpson's resonse and further response from Khaler.

Original letter
Dear Rep. Simpson:
I am writing you to ask you to do the right thing - publicly apologize to Jim Ramseth, the owner of Covington Pharmacy.

Recently the Washington State Democratic Central Committee mailed a postcard to the voters of your district that "criticized" Covington Pharmacy for taking a stand on the issue of the emergency contraception pill. Its owner Jim Ramseth refuses to dispense the pill on the basis of his freedom of conscience to act in accord with his ethics and morals. While refusing to dispense the pill, he provides to patients with such prescriptions a list with contact information of other pharmacies within a close proximity to his pharmacy where they may go to get the prescription filled.

Article 1, Section 11 of the Washington State Constitution states: “Absolute freedom of conscience in all matters of religious sentiment, belief and worship, shall be guaranteed to every individual, and no one shall be molested or disturbed in person or property on account of religion”. As a member of our government, you must and should uphold our constitution and not violate it. Jim did nothing but act on this freedom of conscience that this constitution guarantees.
In addition, Gov. Gregoire, has said “As Governor, I do not believe the state should discriminate against any citizen. I also believe that personal religious beliefs are protected by our Constitution.” I realize that your campaign office did not sponsor this postcard. However, the postcard does support your re-election. It is up to you to stand up and apologize to Jim and let the citizens of Washington know of your integrity.

Correspondence between Simpson and Kahler
Simpson: What is it exactly about the mailing that you did not like? It simply reprinted information that appeared in in the second largest newspaper in Washington State.

Pharmacist: I repeat. As a member of our government, you must and should uphold our constitution and not violate it. Jim did nothing but act on this freedom of conscience that this constitution guarantees. The postcard singles out Covington Pharmacy and its owner, Jim Ramseth, for acting on his state guaranteed right of conscience. The postcard suggests that Covington Pharmacy has done something wrong, and that is just not right.

Simpson: I disagree that pharmacists should have the right to refuse to dispense emergency contraception.

Pharm: And why don't they have this right just as legislators, firefighters, physicians, nurses, and all citizens of the US who are guaranteed this First Amendment right? It is possible for patients to get legal prescriptions filled and pharmacists to be able to refuse morally objectionable presriptions if all are willing to be tolerant of different religious beliefs and find a way to work together.

Simpson: Thousands of abortions per year could be averted and millions in scarce health care dollars saved if emergency contraception were more readily available.

Pharm: What is the source for these statistics?
(Editor's note: Widespread use of EC in Europe has shown to be ineffective in decreasing abortion rates, though rates of VD have increased.)

This is not an issue of access to legal prescriptions. There are adequate locations where a patient can access Plan B in Washington:
a. WA pharmacies:
With a prescription: at 1177 community pharmacies
Without a prescription: 418 pharmacists have a collaborative agreement with a physician to dispense Plan B
b. WA physicians
c. WA health centers or departments
d. WA hospital emergency rooms
e. Planned Parenthood of Columbia/Williamette: Overnight mail on
Monday thru Friday
f. In advance as recommended on the Plan B website


In fact, Washington pharmacists have led the nation in allowing pharmacists to write prescriptions for Plan B under a protocol arrangement with a physician. Approximately 3600 pharmacists have been trained with the Emergency Contraception Provision by a Pharmacists training program through the Washington State Pharmacy Association. Approximately 200,000 Emergency Contraception prescriptions have been written and dispensed by pharmacists in WA since 1997. This number does not include Emergency Contraception prescriptions written by physicians and ARNPs.

This lack of availability is further supported by the fact that while only 25 formal complaints of a pharmacist refusing to fill a prescription have been filed with WA Board of Pharmacy for the period of June 28, 2004 to June 6, 2006 (2 years), only 1 was for Plan B. It has been estimated that the pharmacies in WA will fill 85,000,000 prescriptions in 2006 including approximately 24,000 prescriptions for Plan B.

Simpson: Plan B is not an abortifacient. It prevents fertilization from ever taking place.
(Editor's note: Obviously Mr. Simpson hasn't done his research. Wonder who he's been talking to that would give him such erroneous information.)

Pharm: Your statement is not accepted by all health care professionals. According to The Developing Human: Clinically Oriented Embryology, 6th Ed, Keith L. Moore, PhD. & T.V.N. Persaud, MD, (Philadelphia: W.B. Saunders Company, 1998), the embryology text currently used at the UW School of Medicine: “(The zygote) results from the union of an oocyte and a sperm. A zygote is the beginning of a new human being. Human development begins at fertilization.”(p.2-18) “Postcoital birth control pills (‘morning after pills’) … These hormones prevent implantation, not fertilization. Consequently, they should not be called contraceptive pills. Conception occurs; but the blastocyst does not implant. It would be more appropriate to call them “contraimplantation pills.” Because the term abortion refers to a premature stoppage of a pregnancy, the term abortion could be applied to such an early termination of pregnancy.” (p. 532)

Handing out lists of other pharmacies is not adequate. Time is of the essence when unprotected sex has occurred, such as a condom breakage, and women should not be forced to go from pharmacy to pharmacy to prevent an unwanted pregnancy.

Pharm: A woman has from 72 to 120 hours (depending on your source) to take Plan B for effectivenes. See above statistics for sources of availability. In addition, she has a responsibility to seek the out the right health care professional to give her the care she desires. A woman may not go to any physician to get an abortion. Likewise, she may not go to any pharmacist to get a prescription for Plan B.

If we spent as much time in trying to figure out how to live together in a diverse society, as we spend in digging in our heels to support our position, this issue would no longer be debated.


Sincerely,
Geoff

5 comments:

Geoff Simpson said...

Why are you afraid to post the real exchange?

Subject:
Re: Do the right thing
From:
Geoff Simpson
Date:
Thu, 02 Nov 2006 20:16:41 -0800
To:
"Charles (C.J.) Kahler" cjkahler4(at)msn.com



Charles (C.J.) Kahler wrote:
>
> Charles J. (C.J.) Kahler
> cjkahler4@msn.com
> 425-657-0260
>
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: Geoff Simpson
> To: Charles (C.J.) Kahler
> Sent: Tuesday, October 31, 2006 3:09 PM
> Subject: Re: Do the right thing
>
> Charles,
>
> What is it exactly about the mailing that you did not like? It simply reprinted information that appeared in that appeared in the second largest newspaper in Washington State:
>
> http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/local/283106_planb30.html
> I repeat. As a member of our government, you must and should uphold our constitution and not violate it. Jim did nothing but act on this freedom of conscience that this constitution guarantees. The postcard singles out Covington Pharmacy and its owner, Jim Ramseth, for acting on his state guaranteed right of conscience. The postcard suggests that Covington Pharmacy has done something wrong, and that is just not right.
>
I'll attach a copy of the mailer since you apparently have not seen it. I did not violate anyone's rights, on the contrary, I am trying to protect people's rights against activist pharmacists who choose to lead the charge to prevent women from preventing an unwanted pregnancy. My mailer stated my position clearly: “Decisions about family planning should be made by women, with their families and doctors. Not by pharmacists, insurance companies or politicians.” Mr. Ramseth stated his position clearly in the newspaper: In the mind of pharmacist Jim Ramseth, there is a moral hierarchy when it comes to preventing pregnancy: Selling condoms and birth control pills is OK. But the emergency contraception known as Plan B is not, and Ramseth refuses to provide it.

How is repeating his own statement a violation of the Constitution?
>
>
> I disagree that pharmacists should have the right to refuse to dispense emergency contraception. And why don't they have this right just as legislators, firefighters, physicians, nurses, and all citizens of the US who are guaranteed this First Amendment right? It is possible for patients to get legal prescriptions filled and pharmacists to be able to refuse morally objectionable presriptions if all are willing to be tolerant of different religious beliefs and find a way to work together.
>
As a full-time professional firefighter, I am not free to deny emergency medical care because of my personal point of view. I am required to treat everyone equally.

> Thousands of abortions per year could be averted and millions in scarce health care dollars saved if emergency contraception were more readily available. What is the source for these statistics?
>

I'm glad you asked: http://www.arhp.org/healthcareproviders/onlinepublications/clinicalproceedings/rhupdatecp/emergencyconupdate.cfm?ID=180

> This is not an issue of access to legal prescriptions. There are adequate locations where a patient can access Plan B in Washington:
>
> a. WA pharmacies:
>
> With a prescription: at 1177 community pharmacies
>
> Without a prescription: 418 pharmacists have a collaborative agreement with a physician to dispense Plan B
>
> b. WA physicians
>
> c. WA health centers or departments
>
> d. WA hospital emergency rooms
>
> e. Planned Parenthood of Columbia/Williamette: Overnight mail on
>
> Monday thru Friday
>
> f. In advance as recommended on the Plan B website
>
>
>
> In fact, Washington pharmacists have led the nation in allowing pharmacists to write prescriptions for Plan B under a protocol arrangement with a physician. Approximately 3600 pharmacists have been trained with the Emergency Contraception Provision by a Pharmacists training program through the Washington State Pharmacy Association. Approximately 200,000 Emergency Contraception prescriptions have been written and dispensed by pharmacists in WA since 1997. This number does not include Emergency Contraception prescriptions written by physicians and ARNPs.
>
>
>
> This lack of availability is further supported by the fact that while only 25 formal complaints of a pharmacist refusing to fill a prescription have been filed with WA Board of Pharmacy for the period of June 28, 2004 to June 6, 2006 (2 years), only 1 was for Plan B. It has been estimated that the pharmacies in WA will fill 85,000,000 prescriptions in 2006 including approximately 24,000 prescriptions for Plan B.
>
I've stated my position and I stand by it.

>
> Plan B is not an abortofacient. It prevents fertilization from ever taking place. Your statement is not accepted by all health care professionals. According to The Developing Human: Clinically Oriented Embryology, 6th Ed, Keith L. Moore, PhD. & T.V.N. Persaud, MD, (Philadelphia: W.B. Saunders Company, 1998), the embryology text currently used at the UW School of Medicine: “(The zygote) results from the union of an oocyte and a sperm. A zygote is the beginning of a new human being. Human development begins at fertilization.”(p.2-18) “Postcoital birth control pills (‘morning after pills’) … These hormones prevent implantation, not fertilization. Consequently, they should not be called contraceptive pills. Conception occurs; but the blastocyst does not implant. It would be more appropriate to call them “contraimplantation pills.” Because the term abortion refers to a premature stoppage of a pregnancy, the term abortion could be applied to such an early termination of pregnancy.” (p. 532)
>
Although it is theoretically possible, there is no scientific evidence that Plan B prevents implantation:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&list_uids=10561657&dopt=Abstract
>
>
> Handing out lists of other pharmacies is not adequate. Time is of the essence when unprotected sex has occurred, such as a condom breakage, and women should not be forced to go from pharmacy to pharmacy to prevent an unwanted pregnancy.
> A woman has from 72 to 120 hours (depending on your source) to take Plan B for effectivenes. See above statistics for sources of availability. In addition, she has a responsibility to seek the out the right health care professional to give her the care she desires. A woman may not go to any physician to get an abortion. Likewise, she may not go to any pharmacist to get a prescription for Plan B.
>
> If we spent as much time in trying to figure out how to live together in a diverse society, as we spend in digging in our heels to support our position, this issue would no longer be debated.
>
You are free to draw the line where you wish. I choose to demand that all pharmacists provide Plan B or turn in their licenses.

>
> Sincerely,
>
> Geoff
>
> Charles (C.J.) Kahler,R.Ph. wrote:
>> Dear Rep. Simpson
>> I am writing you to ask you to do the right thing - publicly apologize to Jim Ramseth, the owner of Covington Pharmacy.
>>
>> Recently the Washington State Democratic Central Committee mailed a postcard to the voters of your district that "criticized" Covington Pharmacy for taking a stand on the issue of the emergency contraception pill. Its owner Jim Ramseth refuses to dispense the pill on the basis of his freedom of conscience to act in accord with his ethics and morals. While refusing to dispense the pill, he provides to patients with such prescriptions a list with contact information of other pharmacies within a close proximity to his pharmacy where they may go to get the prescription filled.
>>
>>
>> Article 1, Section 11 of the Washington State Constitution states: “Absolute freedom of conscience in all matters of religious sentiment, belief and worship, shall be guaranteed to every individual, and no one shall be molested or disturbed in person or property on account of religion”. As a member of our government, you must and should uphold our constitution and not violate it. Jim did nothing but act on this freedom of conscience that this constitution guarantees.
>>
>>
>>
>> In addition, Gov. Gregoire, has said “As Governor, I do not believe the state should discriminate against any citizen. I also believe that personal religious beliefs are protected by our Constitution.”
>>
>>
>>
>> I realize that your campaign office did not sponsor this postcard. However, the postcard does support your re-election. It is up to you to stand up and apologize to Jim and let the citizens of Washington know of your integrity.
>>
>>
>>
>> Thanks
>>
>> Charles J. (C.J.) Kahler
>> cjkahler4@msn.com
>> 425-657-0260
>

Lee Anne said...

Quoting Geoff 'If we spent as much time in trying to figure out how to live together in a diverse society, as we spend in digging in our heels to support our position, this issue would no longer be debated."

Geoff - do you really think that protecting the unborn is the same as digging in our heels to support our position? We are talking about REAL LIVE HUMAN BEINGS here - not some sort of maybe and kind of life here - -

There is nothing, nothing more precious than the gift of life and yet your party and you keep wanting us to believe that life is a cheap commodity.

What is cheap is your way of thinking - common and vulgar.

Life - it's a beautifl choice - -

Geoff Simpson said...

The quote belongs to Mr. Kahler, not me.

I do think that if you spent as much time promoting safe, effective forms of birth control including Plan B as you do digging up junk science to support your wacky views you may actually make a contribution to society instead of marginalizing yourself as a nut.

Mary E. said...

Wow. How much did the abortion lobby donate to your campaign anyway?

When your opposition resorts to name calling that's the first clue they have nothing of substance to offer.

Even if YOU aren't interested in learning the truth about Planned Parenthood and how contraception encourages abortion, I'm sure your constituents are and we will continue to educate them. I'm sure they don't like their representative kissing up to the state's largest abortion provider.

Lee Anne said...

Geoff - I apologize for attributing the quote to you. Please forgiveme.

Surprisingly enough, I do not "spend time digging up junk science to support my wacky views". I do not know where you got that information, but you are dead wrong.

Secondly, that I "may actually make a contribution to society instead of marginalizing yourself as a nut."

WHAT? I have marginalilzed myself as a nut because I know that contraception (read the pill, loaded with hormones that offer the woman blood clots, heart attacks and strokes...don't believe me, read ANY literature that comes in the packaging and listen, listen to the commercials on television that promote birth control pills and patches)in the form of pills and patches are injurous to a woman's health?

No, Geoff, I think you are wrong. I do contribute to society just fine, thank you.

To resort to name calling of me - geesh - can't you do any better than that - like know the issue?

I have been called worse, so I will put your 'nut' into the file of garbage and take it out on garbage day.

I trust you will accept my apology.

Bless you -