Last week, I contacted my representative, Congressman Todd Akin (R-MO), about the Access to Legal Pharmaceuticals Act. Today, I received a response back, which was very disappointing.

From the office of Congressman Todd Akin:
Thank you for writing regarding HR 1652, the “Access to Legal Pharmaceuticals Act.”

This legislation, introduced by U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), mandates that pharmacists ensure that prescriptions are filled regardless of whether they violate the pharmacist’s religious or moral beliefs.  

This measure is intended to make oral contraceptives and contraceptive devices available at the expense of the conscience of many American pharmacists who either are morally opposed to contraceptives or are concerned by the abortive properties of certain prescription drugs.  For example, “morning-after pills” may prevent implantation of an embryo, thus causing an abortion.

Contraceptive drugs and devices are available and legal.  Though many Americans will disagree on the morality of contraceptives and abortive drugs, it is unconscionable to create a federal statute intended to
bully pharmacists into violating their personal beliefs.  I do not support this legislation.

Thank you for contacting me on this matter and feel free to do so again on this or any other issue in the future.

He refuses to say directly that he opposes contraception, but that is clearly his view. He also pulls out the old lie that contraception or EC is abortion. So, I sent off a couple of LTE’s which I’ll reprint here.

I recently wrote my congressman in the 2nd district of Missouri, Todd Akin, on the subject of HR 1652, the “Access to Legal Pharmaceuticals Act.” I urged my representative to support this act that ensures that all Americans will have access to contraception.

Unfortunately, Representative Akin responded that none of us have a right to contraception such as birth control pills. Apparently, he believes that allowing a woman to choose when she wishes to become pregnant is against his morals. He cowardly hides his beliefs in language such as, “it is unconscionable to create a federal statute intended to
bully pharmacists into violating their personal beliefs.”  My morals state that using the powers of the government to control what people may do with their own lives and bodies is wrong and un-American. If, as a pharmacist, you do not want to distribute medicine, find another line of work.

Allowing individual pharmacists to decide which prescriptions to fill, and which to deny, will most harm those in rural areas and the poor, where there are fewer pharmacies and long distances to the next. This is a serious problem that could affect the lives of millions of Americans.

A huge majority of this country want access to legal contraception. We must put the spotlight on this important issue; otherwise our access to contraception could be slowly and silently destroyed.

I felt the need to publicize this a bit more so I posted here as well. It becomes hard to believe those who claim that the religious right is not about controlling women, when they oppose contraception.

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