Archive for the ‘health care’ Tag


By definition, banning abortion is condemning a potential person to a life of being unwanted. The reasons are as varied as the individual situation. Poverty, genetic predispositions, lack of a nurturing growth environment post birth, a poor uterine environment for any number of reasons, or other reasons why the birth mother (and/or the father) isn’t able to raise the infant to adulthood. I’m sorry to say this, but if there were really concern for a good life, there’d be all kinds of movement going on now from the “pro-lifers” to make childhood care available to everyone, to provide sufficient financial guarantees to carry that person through a healthy lifetime of need for nurturance, housing, health care, education, attention through thick and thin. Instead there are efforts to cut back on aid programs. Those who push for government control of birthing seem to be the same ones who argue for removal of aid. What is the real motive?

I had an interesting brief discussion recently with a person claiming a “pro-life” position.  I understood him to say something like, “Yes, I understand it can be hard for the mother, but I’m more concerned for the child.” The funny thing is, that’s my main concern too – care for the child. What kind of life will that unwanted child have? I know, you’re going to tell me there’s always adoption. No, there isn’t always adoption. How many potentially adoptive parents are willing to take on a lifetime of caring for a badly limited infant who will require care for a lifetime?  How many understand that the baby is not a blank slate? The newborn has not been removed from an empty box . There has been a nine-month relationship with a primary caretaker. Do you think it’s just nothing to be removed from that place without lifelong grief? Or maybe even that first uterine “home” wasn’t so great to begin with for reasons of maternal health, or even the stress of the situation. Or maybe the grief is even stronger because the birth mother has provided a loving relationship even more stressful to leave. A baby brings along a whole slew of characteristics that may or may not fit well with a secondary environment – a foster or adoptive home — no matter how loving, even if there were enough available.

I’ve just hit the tip of the iceberg here. Whole libraries have been written to help understand human development. What will be the effect of this “pro-life” movement ten, twenty, thirty, etc. years from now on our national need for health care, control of violence, creativity … ?

It’s a bit ironic, isn’t it, that the Chinese who enforced the one-child edict are now in need of more people. Where will we be as a result of our similarly communist-like control of birthing?

I do believe that most pro-life folks feel theirs is the loving position. I also believe they have all the right they need to preach pro-life as a choice, including the pro-loving moral obligation to back it up with real support, beyond just supplying a layette. The opposite of “pro-llife” is not “abortion.” The opposite of “pro life” is freedom of choice, religion, moral belief, and understanding of the personal situation.

MY HOLIDAY WISH LIST   Leave a comment

It’s that time — time to reveal my holiday list to those who care. Today it’s the first in a series of five (or maybe more if I think of them) developing out of recent government entries into reproductive concerns.

My first wish is addressed to all those life-loving people who want sperm cells to have clear access in the race to enter an ovum, allowing the resulting zygote to develop into an embryo, thence into a fetus, and ultimately a birthed baby. While invoking governmental intervention to assure nothing intervenes in that process, it follows they would want similar legislation to guarantee a healthy environment in which that development will occur. My first holiday wish of 2022, then, is for similar governmental concern to guarantee the health of all, male and female, involved in the process, especially the wombs that function to deliver healthy newborns. Basic requirements would be the best of prenatal health care and, equally important, sufficient financial support to maintain a healthy living and nutritional environment for both the developing individual and their carrier-and-nutrient- provider.

PRO-LIFE?   9 comments

Every stage of my career has called for making complex things simple, but no matter how much sleep I lose, or how much thinking I do in between, or how much I focus on the issue when I do my daily half-hour walk, or how long I sit in front of the computer and try, there’s just no way I can make it simple. The killing of the right to abortion reaches into every aspect of life like athletesfoot creeping into the tissues. So I’ve decided to focus on just one piece of it, ignoring the women and their families who are impacted, the chipping away at freedom, the children who are threatened with the loss of a parent, the pain suffered by women denied palliative medication …. Nope, I’ll pretend the only thing that matters is that every zygote should be allowed to develop into an embryo, every embryo should be allowed to become a fetus, and every fetus should be allowed ultimately to be expelled from the uterus on its path to the outside world.

It seems to me that the first thing that matters is that the environment in which the development happens should approach an ideal if we want to reach our survival-to- birth goal. But there seems to be a problem when we look at the evidence.

“According to this year’s America’s Health Ranking Annual Report, the U.S. infant mortality rate is 5.9 deaths per 1,000 live infant births, while the average rate of infant mortality among the OECD countries is 3.9 deaths per 1,000 live births. Compared with other OECD countries, the U.S. ranks No. 33 out of 36 countries (Figure 62). Iceland is ranked No. 1 and has the lowest rate with 0.7 deaths per 1,000 live births. Mexico is ranked last with 12.1 deaths per 1,000 live births. New Hampshire and Vermont are tied for the top state in the U.S. with 3.9 deaths per 1,000 live births. These two neighboring states have achieved an infant mortality rate equal to the OECD average. As the bottom-ranked state, however, Mississippi has an infant mortality rate more than twice that of the OECD average at 8.9 deaths per 1,000 live births and internationally ranks below all but two of the OECD countries. Over the past 50 years, the decline in the U.S. infant mortality rate has not kept pace with that in other OECD countries. When examining sex- and age-adjusted infant mortality rates from 2001 to 2010, the U.S. rate was 75 percent higher than the average rate in 20 OECD comparable countries.” (Copied from the web.)

If you’re curious, OECD refers to “the Paris-based Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) [which] is an international organization that promotes policies to improve the economic and social well-being of people worldwide” (Also copied from the web).

Since this kind of information is easily available for anyone dedicated to the “pro life” position, it’s obvious that the next step, after requiring every pregnant woman to give birth, is to press for the provision of ideal health care for pregnant (and potentially pregnant) women. That, it seems to me, would require lobbying on a federal level, or at the many state levels, for funding for universal maternal care.

Also, given that human infants are born helpless, requiring many years of care just to stay alive, one would assume that those who are pro the life of all fetuses would lobby to follow through with the project by funding parental leave for a sufficiently long period of time as well as providing perpetual support of the health of the parent(s)/caretakers with adequate insurance. And, of course, there would be the need for food and shelter throughout the years. That would require lobbying for sufficient affordable housing for all families as well as sufficient incomes to provide food and clothing.

I said I’d keep it simple. None of this says anything about the overall quality of life of the individuals as their lives develop. Just the basic demand that life be required.


I confess, I’m pro-life. Therefore I’m pro-choice; pro Planned Parenthood; pro-gun control; anti-death penalty; pro habeas corpus; pro universal health care; pro caring for the environment; anti-war; pro-diplomacy; pro equalizing education opportunities; pro caring for our national and local infrastructure; pro Public Radio; pro being an informed voter; pro a rational and humane immigration policy. Also I’m pro separation of church and state; anti-torture; pro promoting the general welfare (see preamble to the constitution of the United States); pro equality for women; pro protecting the vulnerable, pro recognizing that “defense” and “war” are not synonyms.

Obviously I’m an idealistic dreamer. Still, I’d love to see the positions of all candidates for public office on health care, gun control. response to climate change, repairing the infrastructure, torture — i.e. all of the above. Hint: I don’t consider it a “position” to rant against the stance of one’s opponents no matter which side one is on.

OK. Tomorrow it’ll be back to business –Helping with Forgiveness Decisions.



As I understand it, the basic position of the Tea Party Folks is that we should all be responsible for ourselves. Yet they oppose the Individual Mandate which requires exactly that. Without it, the responsibility for the medical care of the uninsured and their children lies with the tax money provided by the rest of us. Unless, of course, the position is that the uninsured should receive no medical care.

JUST LIKE MY FATHER   5 comments

My niece, the nurse, gave me permission to quote this.
“I would like to vent. I do sound just like my father and am glad for him that he need not deal with some of the stuff that is going on now. I’m having some problems adjusting to life as it is being lived now. For example:
     –  I believe that when you are talking on the phone in your home or at work, you are occupied. People who would like to talk with you should either wait or, at least, ask to be excused.  And, if you choose to respond to the interruptor other than to say, “I’ll be with you in a minute”, you are equally disrespectful.
     –  I believe that if you are interested in communicating with another living person, that is what you should be doing for the time it requires. I cannot be convinced that if you are reading texts on your phone and responding to them, you are really paying attention to me.
     –  I believe that working mothers – or fathers for that matter – need to be available to the family in the event of emergency.  Most work places have a telephone where emergency contacts can be made in the interest of family health and safety. If it is necessary to be on a cell phone with family throughout the work day, then it may be necessary to stay home, or to teach manners.
     –  I believe that television is an amazing invention and that all that has come of that with the introduction of cable is almost beyond comprehension.  And, I believe it can be turned off, that it should not be a significant part of the work day in the absence of national crises and that if it is on, that does not excuse one from relationships with people you are being paid to take care of.
     –  I believe that people who make the choice to work in the field of human services should actually have as the primary focus of their work day, the service of humans.
     –  I believe that if people have been hired to do a job they should do it. They should not spend any bulk of paid time arguing about why they shouldn’t have been expected to do it.
     –  I believe that groups of unrelated people from diverse backgrounds will  have problems dealing with coworkers at times. I can’t understand why those conflicts should so defy the expectations of the workplace or the needs of people served and yet be viewed as more important.
     –  I believe that unions have done much to improve the working conditions of many workers in positions with little control over their job sites.  I do not believe that unions excuse people from working at their positions with appropriate efforts to do the job expected or to use that membership to rationalize their way out of accepting the responsibilties of service.
     –  I believe computers have opened vast new worlds to us that we are only beginning to understand. And I believe that if your job requires providing care for people, computers are solely for the purpose of legally required documentation of said care. Accessing personal sites should be reserved for one’s off duty time and evidence that is being abused should be addressed.
      –  And, sadly for me in these times, I believe that if you aren’t doing your job and there can be clear evidence of that, you should not continue to be employed  to do your job.  There are some of us suckers who keep plodding on with the original goals intact, self-advocating for fair compensation, perhaps, but providing the service dependent people require.
I don’t think I am really finished.  But I must go to work now to make it possible for staff to meet their job requirements and to listen to all the things management and medicine are doing wrong. From where do people get their sense of pride these days?     N

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