Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Farmers vs. pharmacists

lobbied the Legislature for a pharmacists' "conscience clause."
In Minnesota's 7th Congressional District (stretching from the Minnesota River Valley to the Canadian border), Long Prairie, MN pharmacist Michael Barrett is the republican challenger to eight-term DFL incumbent Collin Peterson.

Barrett falls in line with a majority of the Bush initiatives and seems to be a party line republican. The scariets part of his campaign platform is that he has lobbied for and supports a pharmacists' 'conscience clause' which essentially allows pharmacists to pick and choose what they dispense at their given place of employment. If they staunchly oppose birth control, they can deny a woman her pills. In a rural area, which the 7th district definitely is, this sort of clause could be detrimental.

Imagine having to drive from town to town in rural Minnesota hoping to find a pharmacy willing to fill your prescription. Imagine now that you are in search of the 'morning after' pill which is legal to obtain from a pharmacy if unprotected sex occurred. The pill prevents implantation of the zygote and if used properly and if taken within a somewhat short period of time. Imagine then the frantic driving from town to town only to be turned away by 'conscience'-minded pharmacists such as Michael Barrett.

While the entire subject of womem's rights is politically divisive, Barrett chose it as one of his issues and his lobbying for the pharmacists' "conscience clause" made it his issue. If he continues to parade this issue, he is definitely at risk of losing the female vote in the 7th district.

Incumbent Collin Peterson, however, is taking the stance of helping farmers. This only makes sense given the rural nature of the district. I, by default, side with Peterson. Given his efforts to further the development and use of ethanol within Minnesota and around the country, he is the person who will work for Minnesota's farmers. While my farming parents are not in this particular district, if re-elected Peterson would do what's best and further demand for ethanol will only serve to use more of the very corn my parents raise each year only to sell at prices which are currently at the same levels they were in the early 1970s.

If you enjoy the wholesomeness of Minnesota and the services its family farms provide, Collin Peterson is the right person in Minnesota's 7th Congressional District.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Don't be so quick to blame Republicans for the bullshit pharmacists' "conscience clause." This is the work of DFLer Mary Ellen Otremba, author of some of the most vile and pernicious legislation ever introduced in Minnesota. Otremba is MCCL's biggest whore at the capitol, Democrat or Republican. So let's give credit where credit is due on this one.