Friday, September 19, 2008

The Bush administration hates you, your uterus, and your civil rights.

From HERE:


LAST month, the Bush administration launched the latest salvo in its eight-year campaign to undermine women’s rights and women’s health by placing ideology ahead of science: a proposed rule from the Department of Health and Human Services that would govern family planning. It would require that any health care entity that receives federal financing — whether it’s a physician in private practice, a hospital or a state government — certify in writing that none of its employees are required to assist in any way with medical services they find objectionable.

Laws that have been on the books for some 30 years already allow doctors to refuse to perform abortions. The new rule would go further, ensuring that all employees and volunteers for health care entities can refuse to aid in providing any treatment they object to, which could include not only abortion and sterilization but also contraception.

...Women patients, who look to their health care providers as an unbiased source of medical information, might not even know they were being deprived of advice about their options or denied access to care.

The definition of abortion in the proposed rule is left open to interpretation. An earlier draft included a medically inaccurate definition that included commonly prescribed forms of contraception like birth control pills, IUD’s and emergency contraception. That language has been removed, but because the current version includes no definition at all, individual health care providers could decide on their own that birth control is the same as abortion.

The 30-day comment period on the proposed rule runs until Sept. 25. Everyone who believes that women should have full access to medical care should make their voices heard. Basic, quality care for millions of women is at stake.

You can send your comments to HHS by clicking HERE.

47 comments:

Simone said...

am i the only person that know that you can be pro-choice and pro-life at the same time. choose life for yourself and give everyone else the choice to choose for themselves.

Anonymous said...

What do we think will happen if Mrs. Palin assists as Prez??? She's definitely anti-choice,anti- birth control and anti-adequately advise young people of birth control options ALONG WITH abstinence. I'm sure she'd go right along w/ supporting this new rule.

God help us- if "McC&P" are elected

I agree with Simone- she's not alone.

Anonymous said...

Get over yourselves! If I have a deep-seated moral belief against contraception/morning after pill- why should I be forced to prescribe it to others. I can refer the patient to another health-care provider and that is that. DEAL.

Decs said...

So, you're ok with your Jehovah's Witness doctor refusing you a blood transfusion, too?

Anonymous said...

Palin is equivalent to an uneducated, gun carrying red-neck who doesn't know the difference between polar bears and dinosaurs.
Of course she is pro-life,she believes in Adam and Eve!
I would be embarrassed if i were a republican.

heartbreakingly beautiful said...

@ anon3:21: If you are decent enough to tell your patient that you have moral objections to some of her possible health choices, and you refer her to another doc, great. But this law change will not require that kind of full disclosure. A doc with moral objections could feasibly just not give her patients full info. Um, decidedly not cool.

decorno, fell in love with your blog a while ago because of the decor pics & rockin' attitude, and now am loving it even more with the economics & political mash-ins. Thanks for being so awesome.

Anonymous said...

anon 3:21: Wrong. Again. Idiot.

The refusers will be under NO obligation to refer patients to other doctors. All they have to do is say "I find such referrals morally objectionable."

We have a Catholic hospital here where the OFFICIAL POLICY is that the workers cannot even mention to rape and incest victims that there is such a thing as the morning-after pill.

Decorina said...

Women's reproductive decisions are the ONLY medical decisions that are subject to legislation of any kind. All other medical decisions are up to the patient with their doctors.

Get the freaking government out of our medical lives. If you don't want to prescribe one type of contraception or the other then become a veterinarian or a podiatrist.

If your belief in religion keeps you from providing options for other women's health care decisions, then get a job selling insurance.

Where would the esteemed candidate for VP be without the women's movement of the 1960's? And how can any woman with a conscience vote for a ticket with her on it, especially as the 2nd in line to an old fart like McSame?

And no, Simone, you are by far NOT the only woman that has figured out that we all need to be allowed to make our own choices, one way or another. Hijacking the term "pro-life" is as meaningless as hijacking the term "Christian".

Anonymous said...

Anon 3:21 - If you are a doctor, you first swore 'to do no harm'. Not providing all of the information to a patient is doing harm. If one has a deep-seated moral belief that prevents them from DOING THEIR JOB, they need to move on. {How many vegans sling BBQ or a leather manufacturer?}

The other day Palin referred to the "Palin and McCain Administration". If they win, the old man needs to get himself a foodtaster.

Anonymous said...

Doctors have their own beliefs, just like everyone else. You can't pass laws to make them believe something you want them to believe. If a doctor doesn't want to perform an abortion, she won't. If a resident doesn't want to watch an abortion, he shouldn't have to. Do you really want someone performing a procedure that they don't believe is right? Take the referral to see a different doctor.
I've had enough of non-medical, non-medically-educated law makers trying to dictate how I practice medicine.

Laura @ the shorehouse. said...

Short and sweet: Thank you for posting this.

Anonymous said...

As a physician assistant, I find it reprehensible that a medical provider would not discuss all legal options with her patient.
Get over yourself, you so-called doctor.

Anonymous said...

"Women's reproductive decisions are the ONLY medical decisions that are subject to legislation."

Ok, that is an exaggeration.

Just off the top of my head, I know that doctor-assisted suicide is subject to legislation. As is the buying and selling of organs.

And every medical decision your doctor makes, from prescribing controlled substances to the use of various medical devices to keeping his or her credentials up to date, is subject to regulation by the FDA at the federal level and/or by local regulatory bureaus and agencies, which in turn are all controlled by federal and local legislation.

elaine said...

Jesus H. Christ. I came home from the office after a shitty week of work, poured myself and big ol' glass of Pinot Grigio and read this post. My god do I fucking HATE George Bush and for that matter, pretty much the entire Republican party - a bunch of ignorant, zero real-world experience pieces of shit. I say it's a war. Let's out these hypocrites (publish the names of their mistresses, daughters, wives who have had abortions).

But my god do I love me some Decorno.

Anonymous said...

anon 6:38

Then don't practice gynecology.

Don't specialize in field that will present you with things you find distasteful.

it's not a cafeteria line, where you get to pick and choose.

If you go into proctology, you're gonna spend the day looking at anuses.

If you go into dermatology, you'll have to burn off genital warts, even if your patients got them from doing things you find icky.

If you go into gynecology, you will have to at least occasionally have to evacuate uteruses. It's part of the job.

Anonymous said...

PS: Do you you approve of pharmacists refusing to fill prescriptions for diaphragms, because they don't approve of birth control?

Or filling contraceptive prescriptions only for married women?

Or only for married women who have had four or more babies?

According to the Pope, in vitro fertilization is immoral and wrong. Do you approve of pharmacists refusing to dispense fertility drugs?

How will the law decide which refusals are "reasonable, moral objections" and which are unreasonable?

Anonymous said...

If a cashier is a strict Catholic, should he be be allowed to refuse to sell someone condoms?

s. said...

When you look at how many unwanted, abused, neglected children exist in this world, why would anyone want to FORCE a woman to have a baby if she didn't want to?

And, agreed, Simone! I wish more politicians understood that many who could never select to have an abortion themselves, still staunchly support others' right to make their own decisions. *sigh* Why oh why isn't there a stronger libertarian movement in this country?

Anonymous said...

"Take the referral to see a different doctor."
--Anon 6:38

WHAT referral? Who said any of these doctors are going to provide referrals?

What if they're the only gynecologist in a small rural town?

Curious said...

I don't have a comment so much as something I'm curious about...Decorno readers are smart, informed people, so I figure if anyone will know...

This is all purely hypothetical...I was thinking about all of this and this question came to mind ( I had just read an article about someone who had hired a surrogate to carry her child)

If I hired a surrogate and then a checkup revealed something was wrong with the fetus/baby, and it was early enough in the pregnancy that abortion was an option, what happens there, if say, I would terminate the pregnancy if carrying myself ? Given that surrogacy is a contractual situation, does the surrogacy agreement consider this possibility?

Anonymous said...

Wow- you are all unbelievable. What is all this me, me, me, business? No one should tell a woman what to do with her body- it never should have been legislated.
On the same note, she has no right to tell a doctor what to do, either.
Referral? What do you need that for? Everyday, people decide they don't like this doctor, or that diagnosis, or the course of treatment and they seek a second or third opinion.
Does anyone believe there is a childbearing aged female that does not know about abortion or the morning after pill? Seriously?
None of you want to be told what to do or how to do it, yet you have no qualms about dictating the actions of other?
When you demand your "right" to do this or that; you are ok with refusing someone else their "right" to go the other way?
It is a motorcycle riders head- shouldn't she be the one to choose whether a helmet is for her or not?
It is a smoker's lungs- shouldn't they be allowed to choose to pollute them? You still get to choose whether you eat there or not- but you strip away their right to do so also.
Unbelievable- or at least it should be.

Nina79 said...

I think if I was American I would consider emigration.

Anonymous said...

anon 5.39- You may be onto something. It reminds me of an issue after our baby was born.
When my wife went in for her post deliverary follow-up, the doc did not suggest, nor did she ask my wife- she told my wife that since she just had her third child, that is enough, so when does she want to schedule the tubal ligation.
I was outraged. Shouldnt that be our choice? After all, I have a good, stable, high paying job with health benefits. Who's business is it if we want 1, 3, or 10 children?
To me, that doc is one step closer to mandatory steraliztion.
For the record, our oldest was a "honeymoon baby", but for the other two, my wife brought up the subject of the next child.

David said...

Dr. Anonymous 6:38,

If the sign outside your office states your beliefs on these issues then a patient can make up her own mind.

But if you're taking patients without making it abundantly clear that your beliefs may affect the treatment you offer, that's just plain old bait-and-switch.

If you're only going to treat based on your personal moral convictions, than you need to only treat patients who share those convictions.

Anonymous said...

anon 5:39

So you support a doctor telling a gay patient:

"I choose NOT to prescribe anti-HIV medicine because you shouldn't have been having gay sex; I think it's a sin."

and you're okay with a pharmacist refusing to fill a prescription for anti-HIV medicine for the same reason?

Anonymous said...

PS:

AND you're okay with a clerk at a drugstore saying to you:

"I refuse to sell you a copy of Playboy because I think nudity is evil and I know you're going to masturbate to it."

Anonymous said...

Anon 5:39 - "she has no right to tell her doctor what to do, either." She has a right to expect her doctor to provide all of the medical information available, she has a right to expect them to do their job. A medical referral is most often required so that your insurance will cover your visit to another doctor. And are you seriously comparing the right to smoke to the right to choose when and if a woman has a child? "You still get to choose whether you eat there or not- but you strip away their right to do so also." what are you talking about?

Anon 6:41 - while tempted to call bullshit that your doctor would said it in that manner, I know that it is standard for doctors to ask about long term contraception at the postpartum checkup. It is actually more common that women cannot have a tubal ligation, or her partner have a vascetomy, because of the religious affiliations of the hospital. Personal experience.

Anonymous said...

If this becomes law and Palin is elected, I'm moving to Canada. Political asylum.

Anonymous said...

I hope they pass this law for all workers. I work at Walgreens, and because I'm aesexual and find all sexual activity offensive, then I wouldn't have to sell condoms, lube, or vaginal spermicide.

I'm also a vegan, and my second job is at Whole Foods. I wouldn't have to sell any meat or meat-based products. Or honey. Or eggs. Or cheese. I also object to non-organic produce. I wouldn't have to sell that either!!

GO ME!!!!! IT'S ALL ABOUT ME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

L said...

Palin is so Ego-driven it consumes her and renders her delusional. "Yup, I'm ready" - this from someone who hasn't the foggiest idea what is required of a president; for starters, you need to be an honest person with integrity! Her ambition has completely blinded her and you could say, she's putting it before our country. The audacity of her to think she can run our country! It should be a red flag to all. It takes more than moxey to be a president, as we have learned from the failed presidency of George Bush.

To compare her to all who have gone before this under-educated, delusional woman, would be like picking a LOTTO winner to put in the White House. I say "White House" because that's her destination - make no mistake about it.

Anyone out there who is thining of voting for this ticket is dooming the future of their children!

Anonymous said...

Oooooo! I forgot! I also find the following ingredients objectionable and major contributors to the obesity/heart disease/diabetes epidemics and overall increase in healthcare costs:

-partially hydrogenated anything
-high fructose corn syrup
-artificial sweeteners of any kind
-genetically modified anything
-preservatives
-rancid oils
-flavor enhancers

So...if you're in my line at Whole Foods, I won't ring up any item with those ingredients. Hopefully they'll upgrade the scanners to automatically ding these items; otherwise I'll have to read each item individually and approve.

But think how much healthier you'll be if the government makes you follow MY own personal philosophy on life! Hear me now, thank me later!

Like I said, GO ME!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

"If this becomes law and Palin is elected, I'm moving to Canada." It's a lovely sentiment, and we Canadians would be thrilled to have you. Sadly, literally millions of Americans talk like this every 4 years, and then no one ends up moving to Canada, as much as we'd welcome you.

Yes, gay marriage and abortion are legal here and we're truly proud of that. But high taxes (on every level - except death taxes... 'cuz Cdns rarely die with enough money to give the government a moment of interest), socialised medicine and state- subsidised Roman Catholic education are all realities here, too.

There's a reason that virtually all immigration between Canada and the US is one-way: that many of the best-educated and ambitious Canadians leave due to a phenomenon called "The Brain Drain."

At the end of the day, Americans may talk about leaving their country but will stay put because they like their creature comforts and they can "live richer" in the US than just about anywhere else on the globe.

The reason so many millions around the world want to emigrate to your country is because of economic freedoms and opportunities; c'est tout. Where they ultimately want to live will not be determined by issues like abortion or gay marriage.

Anonymous said...

Your dog is 15, he's got cancer, he's frail and exhausted and now he is in excrutiating pain.

It's Sunday night. You take him to the only emergency-hours vet in your county to be put to sleep, only to have the vet tell you:

"Euthanasia is against my beliefs. I don't do it."

Kristin said...

Thanks for the post, Decorno. I hadn't heard of this, and I was able to pass the word around.

I am going to share a few personal experiences just so all of you know where I am coming from in my opinion that it is extremely important to protect women's rights to information and medical treatment regarding reproduction.

I was raised in a white community, middle-class, and in a conservative religion (although my parents were definitely less conventional than most that attended my church). I also benefited from being the youngest sibling of a very intelligent and thoughtful brother and sister. However, I did not receive much sex ed in school to speak of. This didn't much matter in high school because I wasn't sexually active. I never asked my parents about anything because it never occurred to me, and I'm sure they thought I would remain a virgin for several years yet. It all appeared to be so! When I did start having sex at 18, I didn't know much. Some (very basic) things I didn't know about, and I am either 1. infertile, or 2. very lucky that I didn't conceive as I started out college. There was a Planned Parenthood in my hometown and my college town, and it was from them that I received birth control and basic education. I would have never felt comfortable in talking to my family doctor about sex as he was a member of the same religion and I was freaked out a bit. So while I am smart, I am a walking example of a childbearing-aged woman who didn't know (much) about birth control or emergency contraception.

While practice has changed in the past five years regarding giving the Merena (sp? I'm not going to look it up) IUD to women who have not been pregnant, and while I'm sure that this has something to do with it, I long wanted to get the IUD instead of using birth control pills. I personally feel safer using less hormones, and I believe that the Merena is better for me than taking the pills. I switched jobs several times and so switched health insurances the past few years. I went to see many doctors before I finally got a doctor who gave me the IUD. (I don't have children and am not married but am in a long term relationship.) I have had no problems with it, am extremely happy with it, and I wish that my previous doctors would have given it to me when I repeatedly asked for it. I realize that being able to see multiple doctors is not the norm. Many women do have the choice to see different doctors. Many women live in smaller communities or have limited health care plans. Maybe they can only go to one or two clinics, and all doctors at the clinics have the same policy. My experience was frustrating, but it was also fairly benign. To up the ante, I know a girl who was date raped two years ago and had to go to THREE different medical offices to get Plan B. (The first doctor she saw even told her that she wasn't raped!!!) Let's just make this clear: the sooner you take Plan B after intercourse, the more effective it is as delaying ovulation in time to prevent fertilization.

Personal experiences aside, I believe it is important for all of us to understand the far-reaching implications of limiting reproductive freedom. As I said, I was raised in a conservative religion and environment, and I can understand when people object to feminist ideology based on religious or moral reasons. For me, it was a lot easier to recognize the implications of sexist attitudes and regulations when I was taught how sexism is used to assist racism. A good book for people to read if they are interested is "Killing the Black Body" by Dorothy Roberts. It talks about how policies target black women's reproductive freedom. Perhaps reading about reproductive freedom in the context of race helped me, a white girl raised in a white community, separate myself enough from the subject for me to "get it" better. Anything by bell hooks I heartily recommend, too.

Anonymous said...

"Referral? What do you need that for? "

"Does anyone believe there is a childbearing aged female that does not know about...the morning after pill? "

--anon 5:39

Where do you live, you out-of-touch moron? Pluto? Galaxy 51M3?

Anonymous said...

you Americans can keep your version of "democracy"... because to me it's sounding more and more like some of those governments you deposed not so long ago

alis said...

"Then don't practice gynecology.

Don't specialize in field that will present you with things you find distasteful.

it's not a cafeteria line, where you get to pick and choose.

If you go into proctology, you're gonna spend the day looking at anuses.

If you go into dermatology, you'll have to burn off genital warts, even if your patients got them from doing things you find icky.

If you go into gynecology, you will have to at least occasionally have to evacuate uteruses. It's part of the job."

---anon 8:53 PM

I couldn't agree more. Wtf are you doing working in a women's health clinic if you are against all that? You would be better off working at an orphanage, taking care of all the unwanted children in need of attention.

Anonymous said...

We Americans will keep our democracy, thank you very much. As fucked up as we think things are sometimes, we can make a difference. The first version of this bill was completely horrendous, we complained, and it was changed. Now we're doing the same with this second draft.

Anonymous said...

My answer to all comments? VOTE for Obama. I could have possible handled McCain, but I cannot fathom Mrs. Palin.

andrea of ffft said...

Just for the record, we ship you guys back now. So far it is only the war resistors, but who knows what Shmarper has up his sleeve? I would be looking to Ron Paul if I were you... Obama isn't actually that different than McCain. We get entirely different news up here and you would most likely be surprised how many similarities there are, what they have found out about that guy. I think this election is some sort of sham with the candidates being all cut of the same cloth. I like everything that Ron Paul stands for, but I get that he would be going against the grain. I DO think it is interesting how much money the other candidates are putting out to shut him up though. That has to say something. Could they be *afraid* of him and his following?

Just sayin'

Anonymous said...

"...medical services they find objectionable..."

does this include not treating minorities if the medical provider is racist? or not treating homosexuals for their "moral" beliefs? i mean, how far is this going to go?? in extreme muslim communities (afghanistan comes to mind), women cannot be treated by men, and if there are no women doctors, then the women cannot be treated. i know that's extreme...but how far can this be taken? how much further down the tubes can this government take us?

and how on earth is this "smaller" government?? so the republicans don't want to regulate big business, but they do want to regulate medicine (but not universal, cuz that would be socialized?)--i'm so tired of the hypocrisy.

Anonymous said...

andrea - first, when people talk about moving to Canada, they are not talking about running for the border, they are talking about legally emigrating.

um, not much of a difference? wow.

also, how is either the McCain or Obama campaigns spending any money to shut Paul up? afraid of his following, again, wow.

Leigh said...

I wonder what your comments sections would look like if you didn't allow anonymous comments. Just curious. Maybe it would be fun to experiment.

Decorina said...

I have also thought about that, and today ran across this on a blog called Mudflats:

Also, noticing quite a bit of trolling lately. Some borderline, and some outright horrible. Generally, the best way to deal with a troll is not to feed it (i.e., don’t get sucked into the conversation) Healthy discourse is one thing, but inflammatory or insulting speech, or controversial topics raised just to annoy and provoke a reaction is another. The political points of view on this blog are obvious, so if you disagree, play nice and you can stay. Otherwise, “Don’t make me stop this blog!”

I find it is easier to know what the trolls are up to intellectually than it is to abide with their manipulative shit when it is posted...

Decs said...

Hi Leigh -

That's a really good question. My first instinct is to respond, "Well, the comments will look like every other decor/general interest blog out there" which means fawning over tassels and people just saying, "pretty!"

But that's not true. Part of the reason I get heated comments is because I invite people to share opinions, even unpopular ones.

Also, all kinds of people have a blog "handle" - meaning, they can register a blogger name like "Bob666" but that's just like being anonymous. It doesn't require them to have a blog or any other kind of "home address" on the internet. So, I let anonymous people post for that very reason - they can invent any persona they want anyway, so why make them jump through hoops.

I rarely delete comments, but I have in a few cases:

1) If someone is being personally attacked and I don't think they can fend for him/herself.

2) If someone bugs me. I rarely do this, but sometimes people leave really stupid or off-topic or baseless comments. When my ego is insulted, I usually just leave it be. But if my intelligence is insulted or if I am simply grumpy, I will hit the "kill" button on those comments.

I figured about about 5 months ago that this is my blog, not a free for all, so I edit as I see fit.

Generally, though, I find many of the comments highly entertaining, and I know that other people do, too. It's why this little ol' decor blog can get over 100 comments on a single post occasionally, and it's why more people are reading it than ever.

mhp said...

I think Skirt magazine said it best - the Supreme Court doesn't have a right to an opinion on my abortion unless one of the justices is the baby's daddy!

Anonymous said...

People just do not know the consequences of this stupid idea. My mother had four children when abortion and birth control were illegal, and doctors decided what they would or wouldn't do for their female patients. Most of us kids could not get out of the house fast enough and I for one never speak to my mother. It was hell to be raised by her and do not talk adoption, if this rule in in effect there will be more children up for adoption than people to adopt them.
Also, in my first married years I had a couple of miscarriages, one doctor refused to treat me because he thought I was 'enjoying' my miscarriage, another doctor read my records that said 'spontaneous abortions' which is the medical term for miscarriage in the first trimester and I got a chewing out from him because he thought I had had 2 abortions!!! not a terribly bright man, if you ask me. I also have a severely mentally retarded daughter born before Roe v Wade and there are people who come up to me and accuse me of having a 'botched abortion' because some people are so stupid that they think that is the only way you can have a retarded child.
The subject is just too complicated to mess with; so I support a fully pro-choice option.