Pitts, the Pharmacists, and the Pill


Here is a direct quote from a recent essay by Knight-Ridder columnist Leonard Pitts Jr. and published in the local daily: Though no one seems to have hard numbers, published reports suggest a widespread pattern of fundamentalist Christian pharmacists refusing to fill prescriptions with which they disagree [note: How does one disagree with a prescription…a doctor maybe, but a prescription?]. And a chilling [chilling?…mercy!] report last month in the Washington Post suggests that some have gone even further. It told of pharmacists who refuse to dispense birth-control pills to unmarried women [horrors!], of those who will not sell contraceptive pills or devices to anybody and of those who not only won’t fill morning-after prescriptions, but who hold the prescriptions hostage [Ever heard of kidnapping/rescuing a prescription?], refusing to return them to customers, knowing time is of the essence because the pill is less effective if taken too long after intercourse [How can one take a pill too long…or too short…or too wide…or too high…or too low, maybe? Aren’t pills just sorta gulped down, regardless of after anything?].

Well now…this is serious business, although there’s no corroboration (hard numbers) by even the iconic Washington Post of any of this stuff, nor is there anything but suggestions (published where?…Pitts didn’t say) regarding some sort of widespread pattern. Isn’t this sort of vagueness simply exhilarating? However, suppose that these terrible, earth-shaking constrictions upon the very life of the nation are taking place? The notion that a retailer can decide what he/she will and will not vend is certainly not the American way, is it? Isn’t capitalism supposed to precisely equate with communism, the system wherein vendors sell only what the state allows and demands?

Hypothetical: Mr. Pitts owns a book-store, but refuses to sell “sex toys.” What right does he have to make that determination in light of the fact that a few million citizens enjoy these titillating trifles and should not be traumatized because of repressed hormonal desires caused by Mr. Pitts’ refusal to sell them their toys? Shouldn’t they be able to sue Mr. Pitts, perhaps engaging the services of John Edwards, a distinguished malpractice (in this case mal-vending) lawyer of some renown and recent vice presidential hopeful? The very idea that Mr. Pitts can conduct his business as he sees fit is too passé, too arcane, too unrealistic, too politically incorrect, far too unsophisticated in this enlightened post-modern age to be given credence. So, according to the tenor of his rant against the pharmacists (fundamental Christians, therefore, loony-tunes, anyway), Mr. Pitts would not refuse to sell the little sex enhancers, ergo, the unraveling of the hypothetical. More’s the pity, but Pitts would be politically correct, socially aware, operating via the herd instinct, and therefore dumb as a gourd.

More delicious in all of this is the fact that Pitts has introduced a whole new segment of the population ensnared in victim-hood, the very keystone of current politically correct society. Anyone doubting this should simply ask Jesse Jackson, a main inventor of the concept. Pharmacists are not responsible for the behavior of people that might lead to pregnancy, so why should they be responsible for whatever the behavior incurs? Could Pitts actually conceive of the fact that people, instead of condemning pharmacists for not nullifying their mistakes, should just not make the mistakes? Probably not. After all, the anchor of present society is strongly grounded in victim-hood, according to his take, the victims in this case being those who can’t keep their panties on and must rely on the good services of the pharmacists to correct their deficiency, known as Post-Intercourse-Trauma-Syndrome, or by its acronym, PITS, ironically.

Transfer Pitts-speak to the medical profession. Should all doctors be required, whether they like it or not or if they conceive of abortion as murder, to perform abortions, a relatively simple procedure? Both the pharmacist and the doctor, either by oath or intent, see as their responsibility the maintaining of the health of their clients. Neither is responsible for cleaning up the non-medical mess brought upon individuals by themselves because their GQ (genital-quotient) is greater than their IQ. The pharmacist who considers the morning-after pill a form of murder has as much right as a doctor who feels the same, regarding abortion, to follow his/her convictions, at least until the state steps in and makes laws governing the whole matter, as is the case (at least with regard to interpreting the law by the Supreme Court) with Roe vs. Wade.

This is no brief against either birth preventives or abortion. In this corner, the only thing worse than an abortion is the bearing of an unwanted child, often to be unloved and abused/killed by live-in boy friends or hateful stepfathers. The cases of such abuse in this country are accounted on practically a daily basis in all forms of media. The offspring conceived in the throes of lust within the framework of fornication/adultery/carelessness are at risk and often wind up as wards of the state, either in foster homes, institutions, or prisons. So…Roe/Wade serves its purpose, not least because a woman who will kill the life inside her is not fit to be a mother, and the stud who is complicit in the matter is not fit to be a father.

Pitts concludes that the maddening thing (also more galling) is that laws have been passed in four states and are under consideration in 12 others that legitimize the rights (noted as “lunacy” by Pitts) of pharmacists to refuse to fill prescriptions, on the basis of their moral convictions, dealing with contraception. One wonders how Pitts would react to laws forcing him never to adversely mention racism in his essays in order to protect the rights (lunacy?) of racists not to suffer discrimination in newspapers. Would he object to those laws on the basis of his convictions, not to mention that of freedom of speech? If not, why should he think pharmacists should be made to violate their convictions, particularly if they are breaking no laws?