The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services have decided to "re-define" contraception (i.e., hormonal contraception aka, The Pill) as "abortion."
Feel free to read the draft regulation here, and if you're female, prepare to seethe.
Because, yes, a woman who needs a medication (one that almost every single woman in the U.S. has taken for one reason or another in their lifetime) should be made to run a gauntlet of health care providers who refuse to — y'know — provide health care by making hormonal birth control less accessible.
And can all you gals out there tell me why this is so?
Here's a hint: Because clearly if you've got an icky vagina you'll only just abuse the privilege of having access to birth control. YOU CAN'T BE TRUSTED YOU DAUGHTER OF EVE YOU!
And if you're poor? You're double-plus screwed (<----- see what I did there?), because your health care options are pretty limited. People with health insurance and money can always tell nutjobs like this to go screw themselves and go find a doctor who will write that script, but if you're poor or if you're in a medically underserved area? You may find yourself living "Every Sperm Is Sacred" for reals.
So, what's with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services actually redefining the meaning of the term "abortion?"
Well, it's to protect aaaaaalllllll those people who should've flunked medical school and should be bared from treating a patient...ever...because they never passed their clinical pharmacology classes.
If your hospital, medical clinical, physician's office, doc-in-the-box, or any other point of contact between patient and doctor accepts any money from the U.S. Government, said medical organization will not be able to fire these ignorant fools just because they refuse to write scripts for or fulfill scripts for medications that are indicated for contraceptive purposes.
You think I'm kidding about how these people should've flunked out of medical school? Take a look at how hormonal contraception actually works. (To get you started, look up the brand name or the generic name of any contraceptive drug here at the drugs@FDA Web site). Anyone who actually knows anything about the mechanism of action for hormonal birth control will tell you that it is in no way an abortion. It's not even in the same universe as an abortion, let alone the same ball park.
So, what kinds of hormonal birth control might be affected? The pill, the patch, subdermal capsules, hormonally-treated barrier methods. In short, a whole rainbow of contraceptive options could be affected by this.
By the by, if you need The Pill to treat your endometriosis, difficult menstrual periods, acne, post-hysterectomy hormonal imbalance, osteoporosis, or any of the other indicated and off-label uses of hormonal agents...you're just as fucked as the women who use it for actual birth control.
That's right ladies, we're all sluts now.
Here's what drives me wild about this: If you don't want to take hormonal birth control because, for religious reasons, you think it's abortion, then don't take it. You're scientifically and medically wrong for believing it, but if you're being honest about basing your decision on your personal moral code, my hat's off to you.
But when you start pushing your damn morality (and, I might add, your medically and scientifically wrong ideas) on people who do not share your belief system, you deserve my foot hitting your crotch at a very high rate of speed.
You also deserve to have your medical certification and licenses yanked.
You deserve to be fired.
If you've got a moral problem with providing health care to patients within their framework, then you shouldn't be in the medical field at all. Period.
For more information on this abandonment of sanity, here's the article from the New York Times.
Tristero at Hullabaloo has some commentary on this.
Here's commentary from RH Reality Check, which tracks reproductive health issues.
twistedchick has some important background on the roots of this DHHS proposal as well as ways you can register your opposition with the DHHS and your local Senator.
And once more with feeling, The DHHS proposal.
Now, if you'll excuse me, it appears I've got a revolution to start planning for. Send lawyers, guns, and money.