Friday, May 11, 2007

Is your doctor's office in a doublewide?

So, I'd like to publically announce my astonishment at what happened to me today. I had a doctor's appointment at Pope, my first one there. Imagine my surprise when I am pointed towards the medical building. Which is a trailer. Like your old art trailer in the back of the school? Yeah, that one. It has approximately two exam rooms. I can't believe the difference in Pope and Charleston.

My appointment was mainly for the purpose of getting my birth control pill prescription filled. So, I had to go through all the nurse stuff (getting my vitals, why am I there?, what meds am I taking? etc.) My reason for being there? Well, as soon as I said why I was there, the nurse kind of chuckled and said, "Oh, they sent you to the wrong doctor. She's pro-life and won't prescribe birth control." I was absolutely shocked. I have heard of pharmacists refusing to fill prescriptions of BC before, but I NEVER thought it would happen to me. I just sort of sputtered for about 30 seconds.

My thoughts in those 30 seconds: Should I take this as a sign that we're supposed to try to start our family now? Stephen will be thrilled when I tell him this. What money will we use on this child? Can I get this prescription from a different doctor? What if my insurance doesn't cover that? I have to find someone to prescribe this for me. IS THIS LEGAL??

(My mind was racing.) In the end, one of the nurses tracked down a doctor who would sign the order for my pill and I got a three month supply. But even now, I am feeling many different emotions. Concern - I don't know if this is legal, but everyone went along with it so I assume it is. Anger - who is she to decide if I can't use birth control? Judged - I am a 24 year old married woman who is a deeply devoted Christian. How dare she make me feel as though I should be ashamed for being on birth control? How dare she make me feel like I am a 15 year old sneaking in a forged permission slip so that I can go bang a few guys from my high school when my parents are out of town? Worry - what if this was my opportunity to get off the pill and now I've blown it? (Because I'm not willingly going to quit taking it just yet.) Sadness - how many people are having to pay out of their pockets for BC because of doctors like this? Or worse yet, how many can't afford to pay out of their pockets and get pregnant and feel like they have to abort their children or give them up for adoption?

My research on the Internet mainly follows pharmacists who won't fill prescriptions. Many conservatives (not necessarily of any specific religion) believe that pregnancy begins at the moment of fertilization and that the Pill kicks in after fertilization, therefore killing whatever life may be in the womb. ( One major point in this battle is the fact that the Pill is used for so many things besides birth control. Many people use it to control acne, balance their hormones, shrink fibroids, reducing ovarian cancer risk, and actually several other things. If I told my doctor I was using BC to control my acne, would she have prescribed it to me?

One doctor from Duke says it all: "I have a hard time with people who market themselves as women's health care physicians but who won't prescribe such a basic part of women's health care. We're seeing a growing trend among pharmacists and medical practitioners who consider it acceptable to impose their morality on women's bodies. I don't think moral aspects should be a concern. Imagine a pharmacist asking a customer whether his Viagra prescription is to enhance sexual performance in his marriage or in an extramarital affair. Never!"

Well, my soapbox is getting full. I better get off of it. Anyone else got anything to say about it?

1 comment:

Eric M. Ashley said...

I was under the impression that birth control works in one of two ways: one type allows the fertilization to take place and then "clears the wall" so to speak. While, the other prevents the fertilization from taking place. (I believe this is what we were told when my wife went on birth control when we were first married.)

I would have a problem with the first type because I believe that life begins with conception, but the second type does not allow the conception to take place.

Sorry you have to go to the doctor in a doublewide. And sorry for jumping into your blog discussion, since I have no idea who you are. Have a good day.