Religion Is Not An Excuse For Refusing to Give Medical Care


We’ve all heard the stories about the nutbag pharmacists, nurses and doctors who refuse to provide women with adequate health care because of their “religion.” Women are refused emergency contraception, and even standard birth control pills and devices, with alarming regularity. Anti-choice groups have pushed for “conscience clauses” in state law, allowing medical professionals to refuse to do their jobs.


But it’s not just about contraception any more: It’s also about the right to have children. Pamela reports that a woman in California was refused IVF treatment by a doctor who said that treating her would be against his religion.



Now why in the world would a doctor who disagrees with IVF be working at a fertility clinic, you ask? Because he doesn’t oppose IVF, exactly — he just doesn’t like lesbians, and this woman happened to be one.


But at least they’re being honest here: It’s not about “life.” It’s not about babies. It’s about social control. It’s about whose lives are deemed worthy, and which choices fit into the narrow worldview of religious conservatives. The “pro-life” opposition to abortion and contraception doesn’t come from a serious concern for all those fertilized egg-babies out there; it comes out of a concern for changing gender roles, and the evolution of the family into a unit that is increasingly non-patriarchal, egalitarian and diverse. It’s very much about a class of viewpoints: The feminist/humanist/scientific/modern view, which wants to allow individuals the right to self-determination, and the conservative/regressive view, which wants to take us back to a Golden Era of the family that never actually existed in real life, wherein men were in charge and women knew their place.
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