Enjoy Dahlia Lithwick while you’ve got her in Slate, because sooner or later she’ll be snatched up by the NYT or WashPost or some other smart editor, and she’ll file less often, or you might have to register to enjoy her common-sensical looks at jurisprudence.
Should pharmacists be allowed to refuse to dispense birth control? she asks today. Answer: Hail no:
A woman’s decision to use birth control or emergency contraception is between her and her physician, period. Hard questions about the circumstances of her pregnancy, her marital status, and her alternatives can be asked there�if they need be asked at all. But for a pharmacist to subordinate a physician’s judgment to his own is the height of arrogance. Reports from around the country�of pharmacists delivering hectoring lectures, discriminating against unmarried women, or refusing to return prescription forms to be filled elsewhere�reveal what happens when pharmacists are allowed to interpose their own values between a physician’s medical judgment and the needs of her patient. Does the guy who drives the Pfizer delivery van hold an analogous right to be a conscientious objector?
It includes liberal lofty quotes from that twit from Pharmacists for Life, too. What. A. Tool.
Oh, but there I go, being a violent, dismissive lefty again.
We’ve had a string of lovely, coolish spring days of late. The forsythia blooms against a blue sky more suited for Arizona than the Midwest. I moved the potted rosemary out to the front porch, and they think they’ve died and gone to Italy. It’s perfect weather for just about everything, so what happens? The newspaper finds something wrong with it. Whatever happened to April showers? Who the hell cares! It rained all goddamn winter!
You can see where my ace news sense has taken me — like a vertical blur straight to the top of my chosen (coff) profession. (coff.)
One thing we did yesterday in the cool blue afternoon was head off to Kate’s school for the Celebration of Learning, sort of a parental open house in which we (I, anyway — Alan was working) were encouraged to paw through their portfolios of work and marvel over the wonders therein. I’m not going to say this is a bad idea, but it is a different idea. When I was growing up, my parents knew who my teacher was, and had at least one conference with him or her in the course of the year, but otherwise, they had their jobs, the teacher had hers. No news was good news. I brought home my papers; if they looked good and there was no note accompanying them, everything was fine.
Compare that to today, when we know our children’s teachers the way we know…our hairdressers? Our therapists? Somewhere in there, anyway. If the teacher is good — something my parents could count on — your frequent meetings are pleasant. If not — something more of my friends report — well, let’s all have root canal together, eh?
I know the meme of the moment says that parents are the true pains in the ass, and it’s the talk of the teacher’s lounge. I hear less about the very common phenomenon of lousy teachers. Here’s a note a friend sent to her son’s teacher earlier this week:
Dear Ms. —-,
I have a couple of questions about the current spelling words list. Since words 8 and 10 are directly related to the science curriculum, did you intend for word No. 9 to be �dominant� — as in �dominant trait� — rather than �dominate�? I just want to make sure X is focusing on the word you intended the children to study and learn.
Also, I�m sure you�ve probably caught this already, but there is no �t� in �crucifixion.�
One of these days I want her to write a book with that title: “There is no T in ‘Crucifixion’ — Catholic Schooling in the Era of Declining Enrollment.”
Kate’s portfolio was up to snuff. We celebrated with ice cream. I will try to remember these days when good report cards are routinely rewarded with iPods and cell-phone minutes.