Stephanie has a post about a town without contraception. I followed her link to get more details on the situation in Bartlesville, Oklahoma.
Some Bartlesville women are taking issue with a recent directive prohibiting doctors affiliated with Jane Phillips Medical Center from prescribing contraceptives, saying the decision is not only an affront to women but could have an economic impact by driving patients away from local doctors.
Confidential sources told the Examiner-Enterprise this week that a meeting was held Wednesday to inform local doctors of gynecology and obstetrics that they can no longer prescribe contraceptives of any kind — if they are to be used as birth control.
Stephanie fills in the missing background:
Bartlesville is a town of only about 35,000 people. They have one hospital, Jane Phillips Medical Center. That hospital is part of Ascension Health, a large Catholic health care consortium, and nearly all of the OB-GYNs in town need to maintain privileges there in order to do their jobs.
Ah, one of those situations – where the Catholic church gets a monopoly on health care and uses its monopoly to refuse to provide vital services to women. The Catholic church has a monopoly on health care in Bartlesville so it’s exploiting its monopoly power to prevent women from having sex without getting pregnant. The Catholic church is using its power to deny women access to birth control – as if it were 1880 instead of 2014.
Back to the Examiner-Enterprise:
When contacted Friday, JPMC officials referred the E-E to Cheena Pazzo, director of St. John Health System Community and Physician Relations.
Pazzo offered the following statement via email:
“Consistent with all Catholic health care organizations, St. John Health System operates in accordance with the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Facilities.”
The ones drawn up the the US Conference of Catholic Bishops. Why are we in the US allowing Catholic bishops to control a large chunk of our health care? They are bishops. Our health care is none of their business. And by “our” I mean all of us, including Catholics. If conservative Catholics want to do what the bishops tell them to do, more fool they, but they can go ahead – but that does not mean the bishops get to impose their religious “directives” on anyone whatsoever.
This should not be happening. It’s an outrage. It’s grotesque.