Revenge on the Pills
November 26, 2004

There are numerous philosophies that surround the morality of birth control. There are some who are staunchly opposed to birth control in all of its forms. Less than a decade ago, this meant condoms, birth control pills, and everything in between. There is a significant debate going on amongst those who feel that even "the pill" is both unhealthy and a hindrance to the body's natural process. These people prefer natural methods of birth control, and usually have upwards of 13 children. More power to them. Today I'm not entirely interested in that debate because I think it to be a matter of personal conviction between a couple (ahem, a married couple) and God. I bring this up because today, birth control has expanded to include the "morning after pill", a last minute attempt to end a would-be pregnancy. Many qualify this as a step further than contraception, but few if any pro-life groups have gone as far as to call it abortion because there is currently no way to know if fertilization has occurred so soon after intercourse. But I'll tell you what I call it--another reason for people to be sexually reckless.

Back in 1999, Wal-Mart caused quite a stir when they decided that their national retail chain of stores would not sell "Preven" (the morning after drug) in any of their pharmacies. They cited it as a business decision. Immediately thereafter, family planning advocates (read: Planned Parenthood) were up in arms. Gloria Feldt, president of Planned Parenthood was noted as saying:

"Pharmacies have a moral obligation to provide health care to women, and frankly, emergency contraception prevents unintended pregnancies...There are many tens of millions of women of reproductive age in this country. Meeting their needs is an extremely good business decision."
Strongarming Wal-Mart into carrying yet another contribution to our society's casual sex philosophy didn't seem to work. And since then, there have been many privately owned pharmacies that have chosen not to carry the "morning after pill". One pharmacy in particular, owned by Lloyd Duplantis in Gray, Louisiana, has chosen not to carry any type of contraception.

"Lloyd's Pharmacy" as it's called, was recently in the media when a woman got upset because she couldn't get her birth control prescription filled. Duplantis, who is the president of "Pharmacists for Life International" told CBS cameras:

"I don't sell condoms. I don't sell foams. I don't sell creams. I don't sell anything to do with contraception."
There are many who may take issue with Duplantis being so extreme in how he runs his business. After all, even most married couples use some form of contraception. But there is something admirable in the fact that Duplantis wants to run his business according to the principles on which he stands. We will all be held accountable to our consciences and as a privately owned pharmacy, Duplantis is certainly within his rights to stock whatever drugs he sees fit.

Whatever your feelings on contraception, there is a certain reality at work in our society. We live in a murky culture full of sexual compromise and meaningless sex. The condom industry isn't racking up sales from Mr. & Mrs. Johnson; they're racking up sales from teenagers and adults who are having sex with multiple partners. Remember "Jimmie Hatz" the "urban" condom? That was directly targeted to young people. Earlier this year, the pharmaceutical company "Barr Laboratories" sought FDA approval to make "Plan B" (another version of the morning after pill) available over the counter. The reason they did this was to get it into the hands of those unable to easily get a prescription. Read between the lines and the agenda is quite clear. Get them hooked early, and get them hooked young.

The reality is that the people most worried about an unwanted pregnancy are the ones who are unmarried and uncommitted. This is not to say that married couples don't worry, but the threat is certainly significantly greater with the person you just met last night at the club versus your own spouse. In the case of Lloyd Duplantis, he feels that supplying contraceptives only supports a greater problem we have in our society and that's the abundance of pre-marital sex.

I feel it important to paint this issue with the right brush because the media will distort things to make the actions of Duplantis and others who've followed suite seem antiquated and discriminatory. No matter what your birth control philosophy, one has to admit that our society needs more people like Lloyd Duplantis to take a hard stance and counter the culture. It makes us think. It sends a message not just concerning birth control, sex, and pregnancy, but also concerning how closely our "work" should be tied with our beliefs. There is a lot of compromise going on even among those who call themselves "Christians" and it certainly is refreshing to see someone put their convictions into action--even if it means bad press.

Posted by Ambra at November 26, 2004 2:33 AM in Culture
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Good post. I hope Mr. Duplantis will see a reverse backlash and that people seek him out for business because of his stance. I do get tired of hearing the media making a big stink on how people choose to run their private businesses.

For those of you who are single, keep the faith, keep pure, and be confident that the Lord will send you the best partner when the time is right. For you married folk, you've already been blessed so you know better!

Ambra, I don't mean to cause a stir but I just have to comment on one thing you said. You said, maybe tongue-in-cheek, that those who refrain from using birth control usually have 13 children. That is not true. Please don't paint us with a broad brush. My husband and I have been married for almost nine years and we have only three children. We'd like more but God has not blessed us with any more just yet. We believe God is in control of both parts, opening AND closing the womb, for His good and perfect reasons.

blessings

That's just my typical sarcasm Merideth. I know many couples that are trusting God in this area and haven't had any children yet. I also know the opposite. I think it's entirely based on the conviction of the couple.

Since I have never taken a "morning-after" pill...I'll refrain from commenting on that part.

As for pharmacies/pharmacists who refuse to fill birth control prescriptions, that's simply WRONG. There are thousands of women who take those pills for reasons *other* than preventing pregnancy. There are also thousands of women who, if they became pregnant, would face serious physical consequences -- death being one of them. What would these pharmacists propose to these women? Take their chances and see what happens?

Thanks, but....I'll follow my doctor's instructions and patronize businesses who support the choices of ALL women. Not just women who follow their beliefs. You don't HAVE to take birth control pills -- I fully support a woman's right to control what goes into her body. But for a pharmacist to make that decision, sorry. I can't see that as being a good thing, as there is the potential for other medications to be restricted as well.

What about anti-depressants? Am I depressed because I don't pray enough? What's to stop my pharmacist from denying my Wellbutrin because he or she feels it's "interfering" with my body's "natural processes"?

And you know damn well these same pharmacists are handing out Viagara without a second thought.

I'm really tired of my body being a political and religious battleground. BACK OFF.

Um, I believe the solution is simple: go to another pharmacy. No one is being strong armed to patronize these business.

There are a million and one "special scenarios" for why women may take birth control, but the topic here isn't politics and the government or Christians trying to control a woman's body...the topic is free enterprise, and the fact that anyone who owns a business is under no obligation to stock contraception no matter how much bullying they get from Planned Parenthood.

Just read a few days ago that the morning after pill has caused heart attacks and even death in at least five people from various countries including the United States.

Perhaps the pharmacies are actually saving two lives? Mom and child?

I wrote about this further, including a quote from the head of the gynecologists and obstetricians association, on my blog on Nov. 24(Drugs-I Was Right post).

The idea that less access to birth control/condoms = less people being irresponsible is irrational. The pro-life movement didn't take off until whites realized that their birthrate is at ZERO while everyone else's is on the rise.

I wonder if he would've gotten the same reaction if he was simply out of stock of birth control items.

"The idea that less access to birth control/condoms = less people being irresponsible is irrational. The pro-life movement didn't take off until whites realized that their birthrate is at ZERO while everyone else's is on the rise."

Kiesha no one stated that equation you just gave. The reasons for not stocking contraception is not a means to an end, but a choice not to be a contributing factor to the behavior.

And it's interesting that you package the pro-life movement as a means of increasing the white population when in actuality, the pro-choice movement was spearheaded by wicked and racist individuals as an effort to stop people of color from procreation. (Google that one for the real facts...)

Look at the message these condom companies are sending.."Kids are bad":

http://www.big-boys.com/articles/nokids.html

Note: this is a forwarded link, I have no idea what is on this site besides this video.

"the pro-choice movement was spearheaded by wicked and racist individuals as an effort to stop people of color from procreation. (Google that one for the real facts...)"
I know all about that it's called eugenics. But the thing is: it backfired. Those same people are kicking themselves now and have turned pro-life.

"a choice not to be a contributing factor to the behavior."

You're engaging in semantics. If they think that selling condoms and birth control is contributing to the behavior then by that logic it follows that less condom/birth control availability = less casual/irresponsible sex. Idealistic, but irrational.

Keisha wrote: "...it's called eugenics. But the thing is: it backfired. Those same people are kicking themselves now and have turned pro-life."

Actually, "those people" are dead now. The biggest group of people behind the "pro-life" movement are evangelical Christians and Catholics who believe murdering an unborn child is wrong.

However, how do you reconcile your philosophy with the fact that statistically, people of color are murdering lots of babies too? So this is an effort just to stop the white babies from being killed?


Keisha wrote: "You're engaging in semantics. If they think that selling condoms and birth control is contributing to the behavior then by that logic it follows that less condom/birth control availability = less casual/irresponsible sex. Idealistic, but irrational."

No, it follows the logic of a clean conscience actually. If you believed smoking was wrong and decided not to carry cigarettes in your corner store, that doesn't directly cause more people to quit smoking, and I highly doubt anyone feels that way. People who are addicted will find a way. Just like people who want to fill voids with premarital sex will do it anyway.

The point is, those who feel strongly against any particular lifestyle (especially those who've seen it destroy family members) are accountable to their conscience of what they know is wrong. Not contributing to that lifestyle in that way is a decision many have made on many different issues.

In fact, I'm sure even you've made it at some point or another.

Preach it.

:)

I have a large family. half the time I got pregnant, I was on bcp's, jokingly referred to as "pregnancy pills" by my husband! They regulate periods and this I know from expereince, not jokingly but because they really do stop mid-cycle bleeding and when you get pregnant, well, they definitely stop it, and God-willing it doesn't resume and you get off the pills. I cannot stop mid-cycle bleeding without them. Since we are afraid to have more at this time and need to expend the house, the transportation, etc., before we have more, we do bcps and NFP with condoms (this is so far working, but with my body, we never know for sure. Will my reproductive organs take matters into their own hands?)

Birth control pills are not just for birth control and for me they aren't worth the money if I rely on them for bc. I wish the pharmacies would give other reasons for their existence.

Condoms have been deemed inneffective in preventing the transmission of most Sexually Transmitted Diseases. So no. I think it is completely rational to see someone who knows that we dont need any more band aid approaches to dealing with this epidemic. But we need to get to the root of the problem. Good old self control.
It is so simple yet we make it so complicated so that we dont have to answer to it. "It just couldnt possibly be that easy, we must make it into billion dollar studies on how to make condoms more accessible visible "Wrap it up" campaigns and the such.
What a bunch of hogwash. This industry capitlizes off of the instant gratification population that is expected to buy into this lie!
Advocate

On that link to the video-- my kids all seem to try it once. They are usually four to six years of age. I throw myself on the ground wherever we are at and scream and make noise. Once another mother was in the same situation and being that she was on my wave, joined me. Our two kids stepped back and watched. I've had people stand over me and stare and then i get up, brush myself off, smile and usually say, "you with you thought of that first!" or something like that.

Oh-- and in my above post, I meant /expand/ when I mistyped, /expend./

advocate: Deemed ineffective by whom?

The National Institutes of Health(NIH).
Advocate

Funny you mention 13 kids. As a requirement for graduation from the Jesuit University I attended, we had to take a class called "Christian Marriage." The highlight of the class (at least from the Priest's point of view)was a guest speaker/prominent Catholic doctor. He came to teach us about natural family planning ... He had 13 kids (or at least his wife did). One son was even in the class (he failed to show up that day) and he dated the girl downstairs from me ... She said they also had a 5 year old at home and that the mom always looked frazzled ... There was a lot of 'giggling' in class that day and incredulity ... Sorry, Catholic or not, 13 kids didn't sound feasible or appealing ...

Kiesha,

I know all about that it's called eugenics. But the thing is: it backfired. Those same people are kicking themselves now and have turned pro-life.

No, and pace Ambra, their legacy did not die with them -- they simply morphed into Planned Parenthood and other similar organizations that kept the same aims but packaged them differently. Gone was the overt talk of "race suicide" among the blue-blood WASPs, of explicit eugenics, and of preventing "undesireable" immigrants or established ethnic groups from reproducing (which included, by the way, not just blacks, though they were certainly -- and still are -- one of the chief targets of the population controllers). Instead, you got talk of improving the lot of the poorer classes by helping them to limit their family sizes, but eugenics is never far from the logic of pro-abortionists to this day.

Besides your historical sense being seriously lacking on this subject, your depiction of the modern pro-life movement is no better. The modern pro-life movement knows well that minorities disparately targeted and impacted by abortion relative to wealthy whites, and thus that eliminating abortion would result in more members of these groups being born. In other words, if the modern pro-life movement is just a bunch of whites who want to have more babies than the blacks, they sure are going about this in a self-defeating way.

Natural Family Planning can be used to plan when to have children as well as when not to have them, so a large family is not an indicator that NFP is bunk (I know that you did not say that explicitly, but anecdotes such as these often have that point implied). In fact, it is not unusual to find couples who both use NFP quite effectively yet still have large families, mostly because its practitioners have a fundamentally different attitude towards sex and procreation than the cultural mainstream.

As for whether having 13 children is practical, I think that is dependent upon a couple's personalities and situation. I've seen many parents frazzled with one or two children, but I have known others with far more who are better composed than my wife and I are with just three.

Aw man, you missed your chance!
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