politicians, stupid people


Yesterday, as I was waking up on my last day in Poland, I read an article a friend of mine shared about Ohio’s relentless push to end abortion. The article, which came from a site called Insider.com, was based on a news item that was in The Columbus Dispatch. Since I am in Europe, I can’t read the original article without a VPN. Fortunately, I have a VPN, and am now reading the article. I know I have at least one regular reader in Ohio who has commented to me about how frightening the pro-life agenda is in Ohio right now. The article I just read is not very comforting.

House Bill 413 proposes that “a fetus would be legally considered a person, and those performing an abortion could be charged with aggravated murder.” Furthermore, anyone providing an abortion “shall suffer death or be imprisoned for life.” I hasten to add that at least this bill doesn’t subject women who seek abortions to the death penalty, unlike recently proposed legislation in Texas. I guess the lawmakers figure the poor pregnant people are “misguided” and need a firm hand to help them make decisions more in line with their way of thinking.

My first reaction to this? Wow! It seems very strange to want to impose the death penalty on abortion providers when one is arguing for the pro-life movement. After all, every abortion provider was once someone’s unborn fetus, too. Why kill competent healthcare professionals for helping their patients? Why put them in prisons, where their skills will erode and they will cost taxpayers money while potentially enriching shareholders at privately run corrections facilities? It makes no sense to me at all.

I have come to understand that this kind of extreme language is par for the course when it comes to pro-life wingnuts. However, one thing that I cannot wrap my head around is the insistence that ectopic pregnancies can be made viable. In the Columbus Dispatch article dated November 15, 2019, it is stated:

Exceptions for saving the life of the mother are limited — including a requirement to attempt to implant an ectopic pregnancy into the woman’s uterus. Critics say the procedure is not supported by science and puts the woman’s life at even greater risk.

Now… I distinctly remember back in May 2019, writing a post about this very same ludicrous argument that ectopic pregnancies can somehow be salvaged by technology that doesn’t yet exist. At that time, idiot lawmaker John Becker, who apparently has zero knowledge about pregnancy, anatomy, or physiology, proposed House Bill 182, which would prohibit most private insurance coverage for abortion. The bill included language addressing treating ectopic pregnancies (when the fertilized egg attaches outside of the womb, usually in one of the fallopian tubes). When this was big news, Becker said:

“Part of that treatment would be removing that embryo from the fallopian tube and reinserting it in the uterus so that is defined as not an abortion under this bill,”

Back then, I wrote that no ectopic pregnancy I have ever heard of could be salvaged. Indeed, ectopic pregnancies are true medical emergencies, and they almost always end with the termination of the pregnancy and possibly a significant downgrade in the woman’s fertility, since there is a good chance the affected fallopian tube might also have to be removed. More importantly, there does not currently exist any medical procedure that would allow a physician to “re-implant” an embryo into a woman’s uterus. The technology simply isn’t there yet. If it was there, a lot of women who have ectopic pregnancies would be all for getting the procedure done. Contrary to what the pro-lifers in Ohio seem to believe, most pregnant women look forward to being mothers and don’t plan to terminate their pregnancies. I fail to see why ectopic pregnancies need to be addressed by the pro-life crowd.

As I recall, Becker got a pretty good backlash for his ignorant and tone deaf comments on the ectopic pregnancy issue. I thought maybe his fellow lawmakers would get a clue and at least consult someone in the maternal healthcare field who knows more about pregnancy than they do. But no… they’re still discussing requiring physicians to re-implant non-viable embryos resulting from ectopic pregnancies into the uteri of women who surely have enough trauma to deal with. Under this bill, if the physicians don’t try to save the ectopic pregnancies by using currently non-existent technology, they could wind up facing the death penalty.

All I can do is just shake my head at the sheer cruelty and lunacy of the right wing nutjobs in Ohio who keep pushing this UNCONSTITUTIONAL legislation. They really should be ashamed of themselves, not just for trying to deny reproductive freedom to Ohioans, but for being just plain stupid and ignorant on the topic for which they claim to be so passionate. Ectopic pregnancies are not viable and they have nothing to do with abortion. Pro-lifers need to get a clue and stop pushing this nonsense before more innocent people die. Then, they need to take it a step further and realize that there are situations in which an abortion is the appropriate medical decision and sometimes should be allowed for the health of the mother. And then they need to butt the hell out of other people’s private healthcare decisions.

And… just to bring Donald Trump into this– I just read that he’s been trying to push a rule that would allow healthcare professionals to refuse to treat people on religious grounds. The measure, which would have gone into effect yesterday, was struck down a federal judge who, thank GOD, realized the chilling effect that could have on our already horrendous healthcare system. U.S. District Court Judge William Alsup was the third judge to reject the measure, writing “When a rule is so saturated with error, as here, there is no point in trying to sever the problematic provisions. The whole rule must go.”

Alsup continues, ” [the Trump administration rule] upsets the balance drawn by Congress between protecting conscientious objections versus protecting the uninterrupted effective flow of health care to Americans.” Then he cites a scary hypothetical scenario, quoted below, in which “ambulance drivers” (who really should be referred to as EMTs or paramedics), could legally abandon a pregnant person en route to the hospital needing an emergency abortion. I would assume an ectopic pregnancy would be one of those situations, although I sure would hope that anyone choosing to work as an EMT or paramedic would know better, and understand that without surgery that will effectively terminate the pregnancy, someone with an ectopic pregnancy will likely DIE without medical intervention. Those who are truly pro-life should recognize that the person who is growing the fetus deserves care and protection, too.

“Under the new rule, to preview just one example, an ambulance driver would be free, on religious or moral grounds, to eject a patient en route to a hospital upon learning that the patient needed an emergency abortion,” wrote Alsup. “Such harsh treatment would be blessed by the new rule.”

I really think we’re seeing a lot of these ridiculous, extreme, church sponsored pro-life rules being proposed because we have an incompetent jackass in the White House who will champion and embolden these people into pushing their sick and intrusive agendas. Extreme Christians have gained too much power and are trying to force their religious views on the entire country. I really hope that people will open their eyes and vote against Trump in the next election. He’s destroying lives, and that will, in turn, destroy the country. We need to get him out of power, pronto, and elect someone decent who will restore humanity to our government before it’s too late. Trump admires dictators, disrespects women, non-whites, and the poor, and cozies up to the ignorant simply to win their votes. This anti-woman legislation that punishes women who are pregnant and threatens healthcare providers with the death penalty is a huge step backwards into the Dark Ages. We simply must elect more competent and compassionate people.

For more on Ohio’s House Bill 413 and all the craziness it proposes in its over 700 pages, have a look at this link.

politicians, stupid people

Just plug and play that umbilical cord…

Lately, I’ve been writing a lot about abortion and women’s rights to have them. As I’ve explained many times in the past, I am not necessarily a fan of abortion. I’d like to see them happening less often. I probably wouldn’t make that choice for myself and am getting to the point at which it will never be something I’ll have to face. Still, as a would be public health professional, I think it’s important that women have safe, legal access to abortions and that they have privacy and autonomy over their healthcare.

I have noticed a lot of increasingly restrictive anti-abortion bills being presented. I know what they’re about. Republicans want to make abortion illegal and they pander to their supporters with increasingly ridiculous ideas designed to criminalize abortion and send more people to prison. It’s mainly to force the issue to the Supreme Court, where pro-lifers think they might have a shot at overturning Roe vs. Wade. However, even though American women still have a Constitutional right to abortion at this point and time, that’s not stopping men from trying to pass more laws to gain control over women’s reproductive systems.

This morning, I read about Ohio Republican John Becker’s plan to outlaw abortion. Becker’s bill, which reportedly has the support of one fifth of the representatives in the House, would prohibit most insurance companies from covering abortion services. Becker claims that his bill is intended to save lives and reduce the cost of health insurance. Personally, I fail to see how outlawing insurance to cover abortion would save money for health insurance. Pregnancy is far more expensive and dangerous than abortion is, particularly when abortions are done early. But Becker clearly thinks we have a big money drain in abortion services and he thinks his bill would “fix” that. Alright then. But that’s not what really gave me pause this morning.

In the next bit, I read this:

…the bill also speaks to coverage of ectopic or tubal pregnancies where the fertilized egg attaches outside of the womb.

“Part of that treatment would be removing that embryo from the fallopian tube and reinserting it in the uterus so that is defined as not an abortion under this bill,” Becker explains.

Say WHAT? Ummm… ectopic pregnancies are potentially deadly. I have never in my life heard of an ectopic pregnancy being viable. As far as I know, they have always resulted in medically necessary abortions. A lot of the women who experience ectopic pregnancies want their baby to survive, but must consent to an abortion to save their own lives. I think if the technology existed to simply “reinsert” an embryo into a woman’s uterus, a lot of women would willingly sign up for it. But… as Mr. Becker clearly didn’t learn before he spouted off this nonsense… plug and play embryos are not a thing. What’s more, trying to reinsert an embryo that is the result of an ectopic pregnancy would likely result in very high medical bills. Even if the technology existed, it would probably not be a simple undertaking. Moreover, it sounds like Becker wants to force women with ectopic pregnancies to undertake this non-existent procedure… and he no doubt would expect them to pay for it, too!

Becker insists his bill does not target birth control. He continues with:

“When you get into the contraception and abortifacients, that’s clearly not my area of expertise but I suppose, if it were true that what we typically known as the pill would be classified as an abortifacient, then I would imagine the drug manufacturers would reformulate it so it’s no longer an abortifacient and is strictly a contraceptive,”

So, basically Becker wants women to rely on the rhythm method, hormones, and their men to use condoms… or maybe permanent sterilization. Rhythm is not reliable. Hormones are potentially dangerous and expensive. And we all know that a lot of men don’t want to deal with condoms. Permanent sterilization requires surgery and a lot of doctors don’t want to do them on women unless they have already had children or are at a certain age… and sometimes they even need their husband’s consent! Also, permanent sterilization is meant to be just that– permanent. Although it can be undone, those procedures are invasive, expensive, and aren’t always successful in males or females.

I really think that these idiots– so many of them people who will never be pregnant themselves and lack the knowledge or training to comment intelligently on pregnancy– should NOT be allowed to make healthcare policy laws that affect roughly half the population. It’s an outrage that so many members of Ohio’s House are taking this bill seriously. Mr. Becker should be laughed out of office or, at the very least, take some courses that would familiarize him with how birth control works and how pregnancy works. Or maybe he should make friends with an empathetic doctor who can teach him about things like ectopic pregnancy. A woman’s reproductive system isn’t “plug and play”. You can’t just remove an embryo developing in a fallopian tube and stick it in a uterus.

So many people are against abortion because they claim it’s unbiblical and “playing God”. Well, if pregnancies are gifts from God, isn’t what Becker is proposing sorta playing God, too? I mean, God supposedly doesn’t make mistakes. What gives you the right to move an embryo from the place where God put it? (in case you missed the sarcasm, I am totally being facetious here…)

There are so many issues in the government right now that just seem plain stupid wastes of time to me. We’re wasting time and money on these bills that try to force women to give birth, yet we continue to do so little for the already born people who are being shot in schools, movie theaters, churches, grocery stores, concert venues, and malls. We have 12 year old boys grabbing baseball bats during school shootings so they can “go down fighting”. Frankly, I wouldn’t want to bring a baby into today’s world.

Anyway, no… you can’t fix an ectopic pregnancy by reimplanting it from the fallopian tube to a uterus. That is just plain asinine. I hope Mr. Becker is duly humiliated for even suggesting it.

Too bad we American women aren’t so fortunate. Middle Age Riot