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  • Sunday, May 01, 2005


    Catholic Health Care

    As much as I profess to be moderately well-read in feminism and have a basic understanding of the problems women face in a sexist (and often misogynist) society, I can still be shocked deeply by some stories. I came across the following on Bitch, Ph.D., a new fav blog of mine. If you follow the link, be sure to also read the comments. There are several other stories from readers.
    My current Catholic College experience:

    Graduate student health insurance requires that I obtain my medical care from the undergrad student clinic. My doctor is not allowed to talk about birth control options with me. She's not allowed to discuss any pill-related problems. If I'm spotting and having mini strokes, I'm shit out of luck. She doesn't abide by these rules because she's not a moron, but I know that some of the other (male) doctors there do follow these rules.

    My doctor is not allowed to give me birth control even though I'm an adult and married and too poor to buy diapers and babyfood. She has made up a medical condition for me requiring birth control as a treatment so that I can at least get a prescription.

    I can not get the pill at the University Pharmacy (which is the only place that accepts my prescription card) even though they think the pill is for my "medical condition". I have to go off campus and pay full price for my pills.

    Another link on Dr. B's blog brought me to this lovely story in the Denver Post:
    Imagine two rape victims taken to the same hospital emergency room. Imagine them put in adjoining examination rooms.

    Let's say they have identical injuries.

    Presume everything about them is the same except for where they are in their menstrual cycles.

    Do they deserve access to the same medical treatment?

    At most Catholic hospitals in Colorado, they can't get it.

    The protocol of six Catholic hospitals run by Centura calls for rape victims to undergo an ovulation test.

    If they have not ovulated, said Centura corporate spokeswoman Dana Berry, doctors tell the victims about emergency contraception and write prescriptions for it if the patient asks.

    If, however, the urine test suggests that a rape victim has ovulated, Berry continued, doctors at Centura's Catholic hospitals are not to mention emergency contraception. That means the victim can end up pregnant by her rapist.

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