Archive for the ‘pregnancy’ Tag

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’M PRO-LIFE, THEREFORE I’M PRO CHOICE   4 comments

There’s nothing so beautiful as a happy, thriving child. And nothing so sad as a child born into poverty, neglect, and even abuse. So why am I pro-choice?

#1. I am not in favor of condemning a child to misery and a tragic adulthood which might well ultimately negatively affect the surrounding society.

#2. The person carrying the embryo/fetus/ultimate child is not an empty box just carrying a load. That person is a host whose body functions change to supply the necessities for the potential life within. Indeed, the life within may cause severe health hazards for the bearer. Consider, for example this observation to be found on p. 43 of the September 2021 issue of the Scientific American.

Autoimmunity may be an unfortunate by-product of the

Complex immune response women need to bear children

And that’s not the only health danger — even to the point of death.

#3. The life of the pregnant one is every bit as important as that of the potential child. In fact, given life circumstances, may be many times more crucial to the goodness of life.

#4. For all these reasons the decision to birth a child is one that belongs to a woman, her doctor, her relationship to others, and her spiritual advisor.

I just reviewed Elizabeth Warren’s book, Persist   2 comments

No doubt there will be those who refuse to read Warren’s book believing that they already know what she will say and that they won’t like it. What a shame to miss out on this well-wrought memoir of a woman who has experienced so many of life’s contingencies. From impediments to education for reason of financial difficulties to creating a successful plan to accomplish the goal; from refusal of a place at the legal table for reason of gender to loss of a teaching job for reason of pregnancy. From almost making it to the presidential nomination to following through on plans through her position in the Senate.  From recognizing (p. 167) that “You can’t fix a problem you can’t see,” through seeing the problem, proposing a plan, and acting on it.

If you are old enough to remember the days when you could be denied access to a job because of being a woman, or be removed from a teaching job so students won’t have to witness the “show” of your pregnancy, then you’ll get some of the “I’ve been there” feeling. Or maybe you’re young enough that you never had to imagine such a situation.  Either way, you will be exposed to situations you will not experience. And one page will draw you on in fascination to the next. In other words, If this were a novel rather than a memoir there would be raves for a fascinating story .

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