Friday, June 10, 2005

A Chance to make a Difference

New York State Senate Higher Education Committee currently has a Bill (S3661) awaiting a vote. It has already been approved in the Assembly.

Bill Summary:
"Authorizes nurses and pharmacists to dispense emergency contraception upon the prescription and order of a
non-patient specific regimen by a licensed physician, certified nurse practitioner, or licensed midwife; enacts the "unintended pregnancy prevention act"."

What a sorry State to live in. I'm embarrassed to be from New York.

I beg you, for the safety of women, for the protection of the unborn, contact your New York State Senator as soon as possible.

The New York State Catholic Conference has put together a list of Ten Reasons to Oppose Unregulated Access to “The Morning-After Pill”

1. The Health of Women Will Be Put At Risk. Pharmacist distribution of emergency contraception (EC) exposes women to mega-doses of potentially dangerous hormonal medication without a medical exam or physician oversight.

2. Families Will Be Undermined. Pharmacist distribution of EC would enable a 13-year-old girl to obtain these high doses of hormones without her parents knowledge or her doctor’s guidance. The State should not be placing vulnerable young women at risk.

3. Doctors are a Necessary Part of Medical Treatment. If every possible pregnancy is an emergency, then so is every possible heart attack and seizure. If we don’t bypass doctors in those instances, we shouldn’t carve out an exception for pregnancy. This is common sense.

4. EC Pills Can Be Dangerous. According to the FDA:“The effect of repeated use of emergency contraceptive pills (more than once in a menstrual cycle or in multiple cycles) is unknown.” Emergency contraceptive pills can cause heart attacks, strokes, and disabling or fatal blood clots.

5. Women Do Not Deserve to be Guinea Pigs. “Collaborative agreements” between a physician and pharmacists do not exist for any other type of prescription medication in New York State. Regular doses of birth control pills -- containing much lower doses of hormones -- require a physician visit and prescription for every patient who obtains them.

6. Patients Deserve Safety. New York State regulates weight loss pills, dietary supplements and body-building aids. It is considering additional restrictions on simple fever thermometers and the free dispensing of sample drugs by physicians. Eliminating regulations on complex chemicals like EC, made of the same hormones found to increase risk of several serious diseases, flies in the face of patient safety.

7. Women Deserve the Truth. EC pills can work by delaying ovulation and preventing conception, acting as a true contraceptive. But EC pills can also work by preventing implantation of a developing embryo, thereby causing the abortion of a human being. Simply labeling EC “contraception” does not make it so. Women have the right to know the truth about these powerful drugs, and the state should not deny them the facts.

8. Pharmacies are Not Medical Clinics. Pharmacists are currently dealing with growing and burdensome workloads as well as compliance with new state counseling requirements and new federal privacy regulations. Can pharmacists be expected to provide patient evaluation, patient education and direct provision of EC? Will pharmacists be expected to recognize and report suspected cases of sexual abuse? Are pharmacies appropriate environments for sexual health counseling?

9. Potential for Misuse is Great. The potential for routine, even frivolous use of EC exists, and has been confirmed by a United Kingdom study that found “high levels of repeat use” among all age groups.* Moreover, since Great Britain deregulated EC in 1999, there has been an explosion of sexually transmitted diseases, especially among the young. The Public Health Laboratory Service details large increases in syphilis, Chlamydia, herpes and gonorrhea cases.

10. EC is All About Politics, Not Women’s Health. Family planning proponents admit that “EC is more expensive than other routinely used contraceptives, it is significantly less effective, and its use is associated with greater discomfort,” yet they strive to eliminate all common sense regulations on these powerful drugs. Jane Bogess, Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health, May/June 2002

16 comments:

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This is frightening. I'll talk to my Senator when I see him.

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