Monday, March 22, 2010

Oh, Baby

This couple came into the pharmacy last week with a newborn baby. Now, I think it's safe to assume that they were the parents, and I swear the Dad looked about 15 years old.
Mom didn't look much older. I've got professional co-workers in their 30's who just had babies and are overwhelmed and exhausted. I can only imagine how these kids are feeling.

I also worked with a technician recently who I was meeting for the first time. She was telling me how she had been admitted to a very competitive college program a few years back, but didn't like it and dropped out. I'm not sure what happened in the interim, but today she has a school-age child and infant TWINS. She is a single mom, and drawing some state assistance.

I'm sure the kids are all real cute, but I'm a practical person. I can't help but think of the struggles ahead for people like these. I can't quite figure out how people find themselves in these situations. Life can be messy, I know, but........??

In my view, birth control is an essential part of public health (and public economic health, too). I get really irritated with old-guy politicians and other morally-superior folks who want to make birth control sound like merely an excuse for wild women everywhere to have promiscuous sex. And the issue of pharmacists who won't dispense birth control because of a moral objection has always exasperated me. I most certainly understand the differing views on dispensing something that interferes with an established pregnancy, but that's clearly not what we're talking about here.

If a pharmacist has a problem with the idea of birth control, they cannot work in a retail/community setting. There's just no way around it. They can work in other areas where they will never need to come in contact with birth control, if that's their issue --- hospital, pediatric, long term care pharmacy, industry, academia --- and they will suffer no loss in income, prestige, or opportunity for advancement -- so there's no need to cry discrimination.

I must admit I don't get it -- how someone can go through all the training that pharmacists must endure without understanding that birth control is part of public health. When women control their own fertility it has a demonstrable effect on poverty rates, the workforce, and the economy. I'm not saying don't have kids, I'm saying have them when it's the right time in your life.

I know it's a complicated issue. But WOW, did that baby's daddy look young.


Phathead said...

My wife is slowly pushing for kids, but I've been struggling to get her to understand that I want to wait until I'm nearly done with pharmacy school. I figure it won't be fair to her or the kids with the amount of studying I need to do. I grew up without a father and don't want my kids to do so as well.

was1 said...

The root of the problem is Dads who don't stick around. The cause of that is a liberal, "me first" society that has made it acceptable to make babies outside of marriage and government agencies that pay women for reproducing.

Who cares about marriage when its so easy to get divorced? You often hear, "I have to think of myself", but there is no Self in marriage. Both individuals in a marriage must put their "selves" secondary to the marriage. Marriage is the creation of a single entity without which there is no family, no home and no security. As long as the attitude remains that marriage is disposable we will continue to have disposable babies. We have children growing up with no fathers, disjointed families and paid surrogates as defacto parents. Sadly, I'm sure it will get worse before it gets better.

@phat... be careful. thinking about babies can make you pregnant. ;)

Pharmacy chick said...

I respect the right for people to have their personal views and vows. but at the same time I also recognize that when I signed on to work for a particular company I also signed on to reflect the policies and procedures that company. I would NEVER refuse to fill a birth control for a person because of some held belief unless it was some constitutionally protected virtue or it was illegal. If its a legal prescription issued within the guidelines by the state and federal govt then I am going to fill it at the request of the patient. My beliefs are not of paramount importance here. My company stocks and sells BC. I dispense BC. I have taken BC. I dont' have the right to place my values on the head of another person if I dont agree with their beliefs. That being said however, the only prescriptions I have an issue with are those for assisted suicide. i didn't sign on as a pharmacist to kill people, even if they want to kill themselves. And since it is a protected by law, I am covered. Call it a double standard if you will.

The Redheaded Pharmacist said...

The teenage pregnancy rate in the United States is nothing sort of alarming! But I can't help but wonder what if anything can be done about it.

Bulrush said...

Even if a city offers free birth control (pills or condoms), girls will still get pregnant because they (or the guy) are too embarrased to go get it (for free). Unplanned pregnancies don't just happen with the impoverished, it happens with college girls too.

I'd love to ask those college girls: "How embarassing is it to have an unplanned baby? Is it better or worse than picking up those free pills?"

Jenn said...

Don't you love the current state of politics?