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Saturday, June 23

Religion: Still Screwing Over Women and Science

This goes SO FAR beyond 'get your rosaries out of my ovaries' that I can't even begin to verbalize how pissed off I am. Full article

Catholic and conservative Christian health care providers are denying women a range of standard, legal medical care. Planned Parenthood M.D.s report patients coming to them because other gynecologists would not dole out birth control prescriptions or abortion referrals. Infertility clinics have turned away lesbians and unmarried women; anesthesiologists and obstetricians are refusing to do sterilizations; Catholic hospitals have delayed ending doomed pregnancies because abortions are only allowed to save the life of the mother.

"It's obscene," says Jamie D. Brooks, a former staff attorney for the National Health Law Program who continues to work on projects with the Los Angeles advocacy group. "Doctors swear an oath to serve their patients. But instead, they are allowing their religious beliefs to compromise patient care. And too often, the victims of this practice are women."

Once again, I am so grateful to live in the liberal, reality-based, educated, North Eastern edge of the country. As some of you know I have been working within my hospital and state-wide community to help get a law passed which would mandate that ALL Pennsylvania hospitals offer emergency contraception to rape victims. And of course, being a proactive hospital, after the ban on intact dilation and extraction was signed my hospital suggested that all OB/GYN physicians conduct ALL abortions that are past 12 weeks WITHIN the hospital, as opposed to in the private offices. Why? Because the hospital has a stable of lawyers who can review, document and 'bullet-proof' each case. (Most of the procedures we are getting are chromosome based, between 12-16 weeks gestation) We are going to challenge the ban and show, in excruciating detail, who is getting these procedures and why.

Can you imagine having your water break at only 14 weeks gestation and knowing that the child is dead and STILL not be able to obtain an abortion, because the local hospital merged with a Catholic hospital which now refuses to perform the procedure for anything other than immediate risk to the mother's LIFE. Imagine being the doctor or patient who heard this: "I was told I could not admit her unless there was a risk to her life," Dr. Goldner remembers. "They said, 'Why don't you wait until she has an infection or she gets a fever?' They were asking me to do something other than the standard of care. They wanted me to put her health in jeopardy."

So, remember ladies, check to see if your local hospital, doctor, pharmacist or other health provider's superstitious beliefs may cost you your life, your health, your family or your fertility. The answer may horribly surprise you.

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