Until recently, Wal Mart pharmacies had chosen not to carry the so called “morning after” emergency contraceptive. That changed recently in Massachusetts when a group of women successfully sued Wal Mart to carry the morning-after pill.
There are two sides of the argument here. First, pharmacies are regulated. They are required to carry certain medications. This makes sense. If you go to the emergency room and are prescribed medicine that is necessary for treatment, you expect a pharmacy to carry the medication.
Imagine being diabetic to discover that none of the pharmacies in your town carry insulin. Thankfully, diabetics don’t need to worry about that because insulin is one of the medications pharmacies are required to carry. It makes sense to require a pharmacy to carry such a medication, doesn’t it?
And this is the argument that is being used by those who support the new Massachussetts policy that forces pharmacies to carry the morning-after pill.
Now, I agree that the morning-after pill should be available to women who need them. But I believe those women are of a very narrow set.
You see, sex is generally a voluntary act (rape being the obvious exception). There happens to be a very well known “side effect” of sex for women, and that is pregnancy. I hate to call the miracle that is the creation of new life a side effect, but it gets the point across. Now I understand that the sex drive is a very strong thing, and asking people today to just “abstain from having sex if you don’t want to get pregnant” is a pretty tall order. Good thing there are so many preventative steps one can take to keep from getting pregnant.
If you’re going to have sex, take preventative steps. Heck, take them all if you can and be totally redundant.
The morning-after pill is a preventative, not life saving, measure. Pharmacies shouldn’t be required to carry it anymore than they should be required to carry sinus sprays.
Requiring hospitals to carry the morning-after pill for rape victims makes sense to me. But pharmacies? I tend to disagree with the State of Massachussetts on this one.
I was in a motorcycle accident a little over 10 years ago. I needed treatment. Some of it was required to save my life, some of it was not. But a woman broke the law and pulled her car out in front of me, thus causing my accident and resulting injuries. It would be a different story if I refused to wear any protective gear and purposely slammed my motorcycle into a brick wall.
If a woman is a rape victim, by all means administer the morning-after pill. If a woman voluntarily has sex without taking preventative measures, well that’s something else. We shouldn’t force private companies to carry what too often is essentially an afterthought for people that are sleeping around.