February 14, 2006


Beggars & Choosers

...It’s interesting to see how the term “pro-choice” is becoming more and more misleading. If anything, choice is something about which the movement cares little, and a recent Massachusetts ruling against Wal-Mart is just more proof of this assertion.
...Now, before I continue with this essay, I feel the pressing need to make a brief announcement: To those right-wingers who are reading this and think that I’m one of you, look elsewhere—or better yet peruse my posts on wiretapping without warrants and the No Child Left Behind legislation. It’s more than likely that you’ll think that I’m a liberal. On the other side of the coin, to those left-wingers who are reading this and think that I’m a conservative (or “neo-con,” which has become your trendy catch-phrase) nutcase in disguise, you can peruse my other posts, too. I’m calling this as I see it, and it’s rather easy to see.
...The court ruling in question forces Wal-Mart pharmacies in Massachusetts to carry emergency contraception pills (a.k.a. morning-after pills) whether they want to or not. The decision was made by the state’s Board of Pharmacy after three women sued Wal-Mart for failing to carry the pills, and it’s similar to others that have been brought against other pharmacies across the country which have made similar decisions.
...I probably shouldn’t be shocked to hear that a private sector pharmacy isn’t allowed to make a choice as to which pharmaceuticals it carries. It’s becoming popular to sue when someone makes a choice that others don’t like. A few months ago we saw California posers Motley Crue sue NBC because NBC didn’t want them to perform on their network again after vocalist Vince Neil decided to illustrate—on live TV—his limited vocabulary that consists mostly of profanity. As if it weren’t an absurd move to begin with, the band sued the network on the grounds of free speech violations—even though NBC isn’t a government entity.
...In the case of the morning-after pills, it’s unfortunate that the three women didn’t make a move that might have required using some intellect (maybe that explains it), whereby they could have recognized that Wal-Mart was exercising their choice and chose not to sell a particular product. A wonderful response would have been a public campaign against Wal-Mart, including a push for consumers to boycott their pharmacies. If enough people boycotted, the power of the market might encourage Wal-Mart to begin offering the pills. Even if it didn’t, consumers could protest by shopping at other pharmacies that do sell the pills.
...Then again, organization requires effort and we all know that it’s easier to just file a lawsuit.
...There’s really no reason to think that there is a concept of freedom of choice anymore for anyone, or even a true state of being “pro-choice.” It’s become clear that when someone actually attempts to use their right to make a choice, they must now worry about budgeting for legal fees due to the potential of being taken to court when another person doesn’t like the choice that was made. All the while, the ones who file the suits are doing it for “choice.”
...“Pro-choice” people are for choice as much as “pro-life” people are against the death penalty. Perhaps it shouldn’t be any surprise.


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