Well I, and many other liberals, said it would happen and now it has begun. An Oklahoma mother brought her daughter to a local hospital after she was raped only to be turned away and refused help by a doctor because it went against the doctor’s religious beliefs to provide emergency contraception (also too, they refused to examine her and collect evidence of the crime). This refusal is entirely legal in states like OK, AZ, SD, MS, GA, ID……it is called a “conscience clause”.
The number of professions who are getting “conscience clauses” seems to be growing and oddly enough (actually not oddly, this is expected) their conscience only seems to apply to issues that affect women. It’s getting extended to other “health care” workers like pharmacists who can refuse to give medication to a patient if it violates their religious conscience. Taking the example above from OK….if this young woman did manage to find a doctor to give her emergency contraception, she could face the difficulty of also potentially getting rejected by a pharmacist as well. Can you imagine having gone through the trauma of rape, going to the hospital and those medical professionals not only refusing to examine you and collect evidence for that rape (so no justice will be forthcoming for this crime) BUT to refuse to give you medication to treat a potential pregnancy AND THEN having to find a doctor (in this OK case the doctor wouldn’t even help her find a doctor who would help her) AND finally getting a prescription ONLY to have the pharmacist refuse to fill it? But wait, it gets better.
Arizona has even extended this kind of conscience clause to include college students in the field of counseling, social work and psychology. This exemption for students in these counseling-oriented fields go so far as to allow them to refuse training that might be required for professional competence. So the state legislature has decided in their infinite wisdom that students have a right to avoid being professionally competent if it violates their religious beliefs. Okay, take that same scenario I just described above….you have been raped and refused treatment at your local hospital and then rejected by a pharmacist. What if you never were able to get the emergency contraception and you became pregnant? While in therapy (because let’s hope you get therapy because you’re going to need it) the therapist has a religious objection to abortion and won’t discuss it with you or, worse yet, harangues you not to get one. THEN to add insult to injury, if you do go to a doctor who wants to help you with an abortion, he/she will be forced to give you an ultrasound (potentially a transvaginal ultrasound) and FORCE you to look at and hear the anti-abortion spiel the law requires them to read. Can you fucking imagine?
What other little exemptions and for what other professions do they have in mind? Are they going to start allowing the police to exercise their religious objections using a conscience clause? Some fundamental Christians believe a man has a right to beat his children and his wife. If a cop subscribes to that faith, can he refuse to enforce laws against domestic violence? No, of course not. The profession of law enforcement expects that personal beliefs cannot and should not get in the way of administering the law. ALL professions have taken this stance until this recent spate of laws.
I wonder if those conservative doctors, pharmacists and therapists ever stop to worry about all the single men they gave Viagra to without a second thought. How many of those went out and fornicated out of wedlock, making babies they had no intention of acknowledging and supporting? How many of those men were rapists? But for the victims, they obsess over the victims and their reproductive capabilities. Conservatives and conservative health care professionals have made sure that a victim will not only be more likely to get fucked before she ever arrives at the hospital but at every step after and in between as well.
Get your burqas ready ladies. I’m afraid we’re going to need them sooner rather than later.