Alright everyone, please calm down. Missouri has not gone charging full speed reverse back to the 1920s and passed a law that outlaws Emergency Contraception, let alone one that allows pharmacies to opt not to stock the medication for ‘ethical reasons.’
There was some wingnut grandstanding, but Representative Emery does this or something like it every year, and even when the republicans had both chambers by wider numbers and the Governor’s office it went nowhere. That is because Matt Blunt would have signed it and nobody really wants it, but they voted for Emery’s perennial bill as an amendment to an omnibus bill that is never going to see the light of day. Perhaps you have heard of this game we like to play around here? It’s called “Missouri Politics.” Or Calvinball. They both work.
But on the other hand, P.Z. Meyers was paying attention to this idiocy, so maybe something got past me while I was gearing up for Truman Days? The fact that P.Z. was paying attention to our devolution experiment in the statehouse merited a little cursory legwork. Or at least picking up the phone and calling a couple of friends in the state lege. Specifically two Democratic state reps whose numbers are in my cell phone. (The stenographer ain’t the only one with cell phone numbers, you know. He just likes to remember when that was the case and pretend it still is.)
Let’s have a little background – the Missouri legislature is a textbook example of what happens when term limits become reality and any state considering them need only look at our statehouse to see the folly of that notion. There is no institutional memory, no comity and no cooperation; just agenda pushing and “making ones mark” in the limited time they have in office – because once they get there they like it and don’t want to leave. House districts are small, and there is a lot of competition for who can win the Crazy-stakes and get their name known so they can run for the Senate – where the numbers are far fewer. Hence we end up with morons equating SCHIP with slavery and a Representative who, in 2009, makes reference to the “War of Northern Aggression.”
Not to put too fine a point on it, but the republicans in the Missouri House of Representatives are, to a member, well and truly insane. They offer all manner of idiotic bills and amendments that will never see the light of day, and Emery attaching his bill as an amendment to SB 296, legislation dealing with professional registration, is merely supporting evidence of same.
“338.575. 1. No licensed pharmacy in this state shall be required to perform, assist, recommend, refer to, or participate in any act or service in connection with any drug or device that is an abortifacient, including but not limited to the RU486 drug and emergency contraception such as the Plan B drug.
2. No civil or criminal cause of action shall accrue against a pharmacy due to a refusal to perform, assist, recommend, refer for, or participate in any act or service in accordance with subsection 1 of this section.
3. No board, commission, or other agency or instrumentality of this state shall deny, revoke, suspend, or otherwise discipline the license of a pharmacy, nor shall it impose any other condition of operation due to a refusal to perform, assist, recommend, refer for, or participate in any act or service in accordance with subsection 1 of this section.
4. No pharmacy shall be denied or discriminated against in eligibility for or the receipt of any public benefit, assistance, or privilege of any kind due to a refusal to perform, assist, recommend, refer for, or participate in any act or service in accordance with subsection 1 of this section.”;
Yes, it is offensive wingnut language, but the only reason it passed was because it is dead on arrival back in the Senate, while giving some of the blue dogs and slightly less insane republicans (in a clinical setting they would be allowed the occasional daypass, vs. lockdown and chemical restraints) cover to pretend they tried to do something for the frothing masses who would turn back the calendar to pre-suffrage if they had their druthers.
Instead of taking Douglas Adams’ advice (“Don’t Panic!”) or maybe even doing a little digging and sussing out the actual, ya know, facts, Left Blogistan erupted on Sunday, laboring under the misconception that this odious piece of trash is either already the law or as good as enacted, but it is not. In fact, it is already held up in the Senate because it is in violation of Article III of the state Constitution, which addresses limitation of the scope of bills.
And even if they had managed to slip Ruffies to the entire Senate – and nothing less would allow this horrible piece of legislation to move out of reconciliation and to the floor – much less to the Governor’s desk. And if it did make it that far it would be vetoed so fast that heads would spin. Unless someone in the wingnut caucus has mastered Jedi mind tricks, that is. And everyone knows that there is only one person in the state lege who possesses such a gift, and she is a Democrat.
Crossposted at They Gave Us a Republic