June 18, 2008

Dr. McIlheran's advice for rape victims

The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel's "generally right-wing guy" Patrick McIlheran thinks it's wonderful that a Washington, D.C. pharmacy has stopped dispensing contraceptives altogether.

That's because if the pharmacy bans all birth control pills (which have other than contraceptive purposes), then that would necessarily include the so-called "morning after pill," Plan B, since, McIlheran claims, it's been shown to prevent implantation of fertilized eggs.

As evidence for the foregoing proposition, McIlheran links to a spec sheet that suggests in passing that Plan B "may inhibit implantation" of a fertilized egg despite the drug's explicit formulation for preventing pregnancy and the spec sheet's bold, underlined warning that Plan B "is not effective in terminating an existing pregnancy."

But that remote, merely alluded to possibility is good enough for McIlheran. And more than sufficient for Patrick McIlheran M.D. to describe Plan B as an "abortifacient."

Then McIlheran goes on to compare being pregnant with having the flu. Well, it's not exactly the same: "You generally don’t just unknowingly catch it" (pregnancy), observes Mr. Dr. McIlheran.

Doc Mac admits (albeit parenthetically) that some women do "catch it," for example, you know, victims of rape. But according to Dr. McIlheran's professional colleagues at the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, "this is a comparative handful."

So to blazes with them, because the alleged comparative handful of inhibited implantations of two haploid cells clearly trumps the documented comparative handful of rape victims.

Zygotes FTW!

And anyway, advises Herr Doktor Patrick McHippocrates, y'all rape victims can just up and locate another pharmacy, because you have all of 72 hours before Plan B doesn't work at all anymore.

So go catch a bus along with your flu/pregnancy by rape.

Of course if one pharmacy refusing to dispense contraceptives according to so-called "moral objections" is wonderful, then more pharmacies similarly refusing must be even more wonderful and the next thing you know, your 72 hours starts running down in a hurry.

Thus proceeds the logic of the male "pro-life" aficionados, and woe betide those women who "unknowingly catch" a pregnancy.

12 comments:

Thomas Joseph said...

There is obviously not going to be a win/win situation here, but what needs to happen is that we need to have a system where a woman can go to a hospital to get immediate treatment after such instances. There are other issues besides pregnancy which need to be attended to and can all be taken care of in a clinical setting. What also needs to happen is that we need to set up better support networks so these individuals who are obviously in a very vulnerable state, feel as if they're not being socially traumatized further. Thirdly, we need to have a better means to prosecute rapists. I'm not a big fan of the "This is what you did, so you deserved it" defense ... but from what I hear, it's admissible which is why a number of victims never go to court ... they don't want to deal with it.

illusory tenant said...

I'm not a big fan of the "This is what you did, so you deserved it" defense ... but from what I hear, it's admissible which is why a number of victims never go to court ... they don't want to deal with it.

I'm not sure what you mean here, because evidence of the victim's past sexual history is generally not admissible.

It is, however, true that the State putting the victim on the witness stand is tricky business because she's then subject to cross examination and many defense lawyers are somewhat indelicate in their questioning.

Which is why a lot of sex crimes get bargained down to plea deals on lesser offenses.

JesusIsJustAlrightWithMe said...

Why should any business be required to sell any product it doesn't want to sell?

illusory tenant said...

I think that's a separate question. What's remarkable to me in this instance is McIlheran's reasoning.

Faced with one hypothetical and undocumented quantity of zygotes and one concrete documented quantity of rape victims, McIlheran defers to the cells.

Thomas Joseph said...

It is, however, true that the State putting the victim on the witness stand is tricky business because she's then subject to cross examination and many defense lawyers are somewhat indelicate in their questioning.

Which is why a lot of sex crimes get bargained down to plea deals on lesser offenses.


That's what I meant (re: indelicate questioning).

John Foust said...

It's simple: they're giving you more choices by giving you fewer choices! Heaven knows you can't be a good Catholic in a drugstore full of choices!

gnarlytrombone said...

Why should any business be required to sell any product it doesn't want to sell?

Because it's a pharmacy, not Bob's Crab Shack. Pharmacies are regulated according to medical standards and pharmacists are licensed according to professional standards. This is prima facie evidence of incompetence on both counts.

JesusIsJustAlrightWithMe said...

"I think that's a separate question. What's remarkable to me in this instance is McIlheran's reasoning."

Yeah, okay. His reasoning is pretty douchey. But I still think his conclusion is alright.

"Pharmacies are regulated according to medical standards and pharmacists are licensed according to professional standards."

Hmm, perhaps I was unclear. Let me try again: Why SHOULD any business be required to sell any product it doesn't want to sell. Your response, gnarly, was essentialy "they are required to because they are required to." That's at least a little circular.

gnarlytrombone said...

No, I said they should because that's what modern (i.e., post-12th Century) pharmacological standards require.

If someone doesn't want to adhere to those standards, he or she is perfectly free to operate Bob's Magical House of Abstinence Herbs. But they can't call themselves a pharmacist.

JesusIsJustAlrightWithMe said...

"No, I said they should because that's what modern (i.e., post-12th Century) pharmacological standards require."

Good lord, what's wrong with you? Let me try one more time. WHY SHOULD modent pharmacological standards require a business to sell anything it doesn't want to sell?

Here are some answers that I would consider useless:

Stupid Answer #1: Because modern pharmacological standards are modern.

Stupid Answer #2: Because modern pharmacological standards are pharmacological standards.

gnarlytrombone said...

Did you attend a non-accredited school? What do you think "standard" means?

JesusIsJustAlrightWithMe said...

*sigh* I know what a standard is. I'm trying to figure out why you think the standard you're talking about should be what you seem to think it is. It's a "why" question. It's a "should" question. I'm not asking what a standard is or what this particular standard is. I'm really not sure how I can be much clearer.

My position is that a store that's privately owned should be able to sell whatever the hell it wants. If what it sells doesn't meet some standard set by some group (the APA maybe), that group should provide notice that this particular pharmacy doesn't meet the groups standards. No law necessary.