Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Fanatic Pharmacists

The blogosphere, and especially political blogs by women, are full right now of the stories about pharmacists who refuse to fill medical prescriptions at whim, and the Republicans who goad and deify them. I'd like to review a few salient points that so far seem to be missing from the conversation. (If you're new to the issue, a good starting point is the ever-fabulous Bush v Choice blog.

Framing, Framing, Framing

Folks, these nut jobs are NOT "activist pharmacists." That's a Frank Luntz-tested GOP meme there, you're spending your own bandwidth to pass around.

Where I come from, "activists" are people who work hard to effect positive change. You know, suffragettes, civil rights workers, Cesar Chaves and the farm workers union. Not regressive, misogynist, religious zealots.

Sorry. Stinky GOP meme. If you are going to write about the issue, drop their language. Call them puritans, women-haters, anti-choice, prudes, religious fanatics, American taliban, luddites, GOP whores du jour, but not activist pharmacists.

The 800 Pound Gorilla

Where is Big Pharma in this conversation? Are Ortho et al happy to have their market share cut down by petty tyrant pill-withholders in rural America? Are they happy to be losing money?

Why aren't they raising hell? Where's the sweetheart deal? What are they getting in return for losing customers?

Big Drugs and the theocrats and the neocons and the republican radicals are all in bed together. So, how much does it cost to buy the cooperation of the Pharmaceutical industry? How many shekels were women's bodies sold out for this time?

The Lysistrata Strategy

If Big Pharma and the GOP are turning their backs on women, let's turn our backs on them.
  • Don't sleep with republicans. (Not that you would, of course.)
  • Stop using prescription birth control.
  • You heard me. Assault them in the sales figures--it is the closest you can get to kneeing a corporation in the balls.

    Why aren't women talking about The Billings Method of cost-free, side-effect free, non-carcinogenic, natural fertility control? It is advocated by the World Health Organization as 98.5% effective. It costs nothing. It works. And it doesn't put your dollars into the hands of people who donate them over to the GOP.

    Granted, Billings doesn't provide protection against STD transmission, and it requires the cooperation of your partner, so it is most appropriate for use in long-term, monogamous relationships. But hey--that is still an awful lot of us.

    Let's turn the tables: if crazy pharmacists want to boycott women, let's have women boycott pharmacists.

    Right now, the Pharmaceutical industry insists on selling us shoddy products that make us sick, financially prop up the party that is dead set on turning us into wombs-for-the-emperor, and rolls over and plays dead when fanatics refuse to fill our medical prescriptions. They can go to hell. Hit'em where it hurts: stop giving them our birth control dollars.

    That should get their attention, even if the ruckus over fanatic pharmacists doesn't.
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