GWS: Is this really happening in the USA?

I am reading "Full Frontal Feminism" by Jessica Valenti, and I am appalled, by some information. The book was edited in 2007, so is not old news.

Some of the issues that Valenti addresses are:

1- Pharmacists all over the country have been refusing to give women birth control, because of the introduction of something called " conscience clause laws".

2- There are more anti-choice "Pregnancy crisis centres" than health clinics that offer abortions. These anti-choice centres intimidate or trick women into remaining pregnant.

3- There is still between the poor black population coercive sterilization!! (I remember the Nazi era with this!)

Sorry guys, I don't live in the USA, but something really wrong seems from all this. Why people then say that feminism is not necessary when these things are happening there?

Please help me understand, because form here it seems like back to the past :-(

All this information is backed up with sources in the book.


I would like to explain more about # 3: Coercion sterilization are pushed under the guise of "helping women", original name of the organization CRACK (Children Requiring a caring Kommunity), it changed today to "Project Prevention". The organization pays female drug addicts for surgical sterilization. Why to do that instead of helping them getting treatment for addiction??

23 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Best Answer

    All three have happened in my state, NC. Many parts of our state are rural, so there is not a pharmacist on every corner, like some middle-class Americans have. Not only do the pharmacists refuse to sell products their stores carry (over the counter AND prescribed contraceptives), but many pharamacies refuse to sell prescribed contraceptives, which is their right. It also forces women to find transportation to a pharmacy in another city that will fill their prescription. I know it's hard to believe, but it seems some Americans are not aware that other Americans not only do not own a car, but have limited access to affordable transportation. Ironically enough, many US states are considering laws to protect the PHARMACISTS, so they can refuse to do their job, instead of protecting women or men who need contraception. In NC, the last I heard, pharmacists have to find alternatives for customers if they refuse to fill their contraceptive requests:

    We have many pregnancy crisis centers-if Americans looked at the telephone yellow pages, that's about all you see in many areas of the country, "pregnancy crisis counseling":

    Many women's health centers have been closed down by bombings, arson and murders in the US. Some states have one or two locations left-all the rest have been forced out by intimidation and violence. The perpetuators are sometimes caught, but the results are effective. Closed health clinics.

    According to a Frontline series done by PBS" Between 1996 and 2000, the number of U.S. abortion providers declined by 11 percent -- from 2,042 to 1,819. As of 2000, 87 percent of U.S. counties did not have an abortion provider." I'm sure it's only gotten worse:

    My state was one that was caught still sterilizing black men and women, as part of different "health" programs for over 40 years:

    US Forced Sterilization still continues with vague consent required (2005 article):

  • 4 years ago

    Religion really shouldn't have an influence on society. But that doesn't mean its people can't be religious. There is a separation of church and state, but that doesn't mean the people in said state have to be atheist. Religion is a highly personal thing--between a person and their deity. Its no one else's business and no one should feel they have to be a certain religion. The state should not be a religion because it should never have that much power. Essentially, spirituality is a highly individualized concept and should be practiced that way. It shouldn't matter what religion the president is (as long as he/she doesn't lie about it). Religion should not be in debates when political opponents come to a head. I can care less about their religion--what is MORE of value is how one wishes to fix the economy, health care, stances on military, education, immigration, and the such. How does religion play in to all that? It simple doesn't. Now, while I agree religion shouldn't be taken OUT of certain aspects (for example, it's Merry Christmas, not "happy holidays," and its a "Christmas tree" not a "holiday tree"), there should be no reason religion should be pushed onto new things. Religion does not need to run a society in order for the society to be good. Society, without religion, will run as well as the societal values are--and no, religion is not the only thing allowed or able to make moral values and ethical rules.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    I think it happens or something sad happens everywhere. I don't know where you live but I am sure it's not perfect. The US often lets their problems be very public when most countries are the opposite.

    1- Yes, but there is a pharmacy on nearly ever block. The ones that refuse things like birth control don't stay in business long because no one goes to them after they refuse. Would you go to a restaurant after not getting served food because the server is a vegan? No. Same thing with pharmacies. It happens, but it's rare. The law is there so the people can't sue them for it. People have become too sue happy.

    2-I have heard of these places. Only knew about one. Once the community found out about it then protested in front of the building until it closed.

    3-Never heard of this. Doesn't sound like these operations are forced. They never narrow it down to race because that's illegal. They might narrow these offers to dominantly black neighborhood but it would still be open to whites. An interesting fact for you is most people going to the hospital for over dosing is house wives.

  • 1- Pharmacists all over the country have been refusing to give women birth control, because of the introduction of something called " conscience clause laws".

    Yes I have heard of this. I'm not sure how diffuse it is, but I'm guessing that it isn't as widespread as you might have heard. I have only heard of a few cases where pharmacists have refused to give out birth control to women.,9171,1...

    2- "There are more anti-choice "Pregnancy crisis centers" than health clinics that offer abortions. These anti-choice centers intimidate or trick women into remaining pregnant".

    I've personally never heard of an anti-choice pregnancy center. All the hospitals and pregnancy centers where I live allow women to abort if they desire or if they need to. I'm guessing that pregnancy centers who are anti-abortion might have a religious tinge to them. I've seen commercials for these places on television a few times, but I can't say how widespread they are.

    "3- There is still between the poor black population coercive sterilization!! (I remember the Nazi era with this!)"

    If it is occurring, then it is illegal. If it does occur, then it isn't working. Nobody can be sterilized in the United States unless they sign all the correct medical papers to do so. Even then the procedures can be expensive. Since there are many African Americans who are poor they probably can't afford being sterilized.

    "Project Prevention". The organization pays female drug addicts for surgical sterilization. Why to do that instead of helping them getting treatment for addiction??

    I've never heard of it but that doesn't mean it doesn't exist. Sounds like a rather secretive project if anything. I'll have to look it up to say more about it.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    1. Yes, this is true. Some pharmacists are refusing to fill birth control prescriptions if doing so conflicts with their religious beliefs.

    2. I don't know if there are "more' pregnancy crisis centers than health clinics that offer abortions, but I have heard stories over the years of young women who were not counselled that they had a choice. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, IMO. But masquerading as an organization that offers a choice is.

    3. Now this one surprised me. I have never heard that poor back women are forced to undergo sterilization.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    In the area of the U.S.A. that I live in the first two things you mentioned are very true. However, with #1 I think it's mostly the morning after pill that pharmacists are refusing to dispense. Although I've heard of the pill not being dispensed, too. #2 is certainly true. Fake pregnancy crisis centers are more common than real ones around here---just fronts for adoption agencies and Pro-Life groups. I don't have any knowledge of #3 going on, haven't heard anything like that but I'm not saying it isn't possible. I just don't know.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    I'm not sure. But I'll tell you about abortion. It is expensive here and health insurance does not necessarily cover it. Part of the country are conservative, while others are liberal. Certain regions have an abundance of abortion clinics while some have one! Even tough the U.S. advocates freedom of religion, it often is sweeped by religious passions. This plays a key role in Even the election here.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    yes, a pharmacist can legally refuse to fill prescriptions for birth control in some cases based on his/her religious beliefs.

    yes, there are more "pregnancy crisis centers" than health clinics that offer abortion as a choice. currently, fewer than 20% of all counties in the lower 48 offer abortion services to it's citizens. women often must travel several hundred miles to find a provider.

    yes, some black women are targeted for sterilization not because they are black but poor. in the state that i live in a few years ago the state offered to pay for tubal ligation for any woman receiving public assistance. i believe this policy still stands.

  • bijou
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    Isn't it ridiculous!!!

    I personally know 2 pharmacists who said that they HAVE refused to sell the morning after pill to patients/customers. After I closed my gaping mouth, I unleashed my wicked heathen tongue upon them. Didn't do much good, lol, but I felt better. This is in Missouri, which is one of the blue collar states that's full of conservative fundamentalists, so it shouldn't be surprising.

    As far as the pregnancy 'crisis' centers, what a joke! We have at least 6, YES that's SIX within walking distance of my home. The Planned Parenthood people were forced out of our town (by Mom's taking their babies in strollers to busy intersections, having ther BABIES hold signs of cut up fetuses, nice parenting there). They made them move out of our county! So, now teen pregnancy is on the rise in the county, along with STD's and everything else. People should think of the ramifications before taking such illogical drastic measures. Do the centers hand out the pill or condoms or safe sex guides or have medical doctors on staff - NO. F.cking stupid if you ask me. How the county can let them run basically a medical facility with no medical staff or license is beyond me! They advertise as such, and not as a counseling center. Sick sick people!

    Edit: Optimus, on #2.... I'd like to think the same. I'm a pretty loyal friend, and I've been to both pregnancy 'crisis centers' and and Planned Parenthood. The counseling at PP was clinical, caring, and completely unbiased, while at the 'crisis center' it was obviously Christian based and to be honest, overbearing and down right creepy. We couldn't get out of there fast enough, and were loaded with items like blankets, baby footprint pins, not pamphlets on finding a good OB/GYN or psychologist.

    Any pregnant woman seeking counseling first needs to talk to her M.D., and if she's religious a visit to her clergy. These centers are medically uneccessary.

  • Serena
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    I know this isn't exactly answering your question as I don't live in the States, but even here in Canada there are problems with 1) if you include the "morning after" pill.

    I had to go through the humiliating experience of being treated like a juvenile deliquent (I was 24 at the time). After I had to explain in detail precisely what had occurred, the pharmacist decided I was "responsible" and started to treat me better.

    I had to give full details of my "encounter" before he would release the drug to me. Even though here it's supposed to be "over the counter" medication.

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