Wednesday, March 15, 2006

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.

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