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The Tally Ho

Friday, February 03, 2006

Going too far

See? It's February, and still the "choice" posts roll in. Yes, here at the Tally Ho we will keep blogging these issues all 12 months of the year!

Annoying detritus from work: Catholics for a Free Choice has just released a survey which shows 35% of Catholic hospitals in New York, South Carolina, California, and Washington State do not provide emergency contraception (those states have "EC in the ER" laws, saying that hospitals must provide EC to female sexual assault victims upon request. (It does make me pleased that almost 3/4ths have SANE-trained nurses who specialize in collection kits and testing/treatment for sexual assault. If you have the time, it's worth reading the full report.) This is relevant to everyone in those states because as hospitals consolidate, the closest/only hospital may be a Catholic hospital, even if the patients and medical staff are not Catholic. In many cases, the hospital's stated EC policy diverged from the day-to-day availability. Again, it's worth remembering that EC will inhibit ovulation, but not implantation, which puts it on par with other hormonal birth control (page 3). (found via Kaiser DWHPR)

Next, a report from San Antonio saying that Mexican pharmacies are stocking EC and customers are "mainly young, even teenaged, women who buy the pill, and that some of those women are from the United States." Gasp! They're buying a drug that an FDA committee has already recommended for over-the-counter use! And they get it so easily! With only a "short trip" across an INTERNATIONAL BORDER! (I'm sorry, I can't restrain the sarcasm.) Which do you think is easier: going to the drugstore down the street for condoms and foam, or crossing the border to Mexico to get EC? My opinion is that if teen girls are taking the trip to Mexico for EC they probably need it to avoid pregnancy (duh) when they can't find a confidential doctor and/or aren't in relationships where they can negotiate condom use. Anyone who's taken EC knows that it is a last-resort drug with some pretty nasty side effects. Perhaps someone who lives in that part of the world could clue me in on how much of a short/easy trip this might actually be.

Finally, AlterNet reports that some female soldiers have died of dehydration because they are afraid of being assaulted or raped by male soldiers if they use the latrine after dark.
[former Abu Ghraib commander, Col. Janis] Karpinski testified that a surgeon for the coalition's joint task force said in a briefing that "women in fear of getting up in the hours of darkness to go out to the port-a-lets or the latrines were not drinking liquids after 3 or 4 in the afternoon, and in 120 degree heat or warmer, because there was no air-conditioning at most of the facilities, they were dying from dehydration in their sleep."

This kind of puts to rest the theory that women shouldn't be in combat because male soldiers would be so devastated if they got hurt. It's a pretty horrible story. (Hat tip: Phoenix Rising.)


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