It's a dream shared by conservative politicians and Vatican bishops, as well as so-called "sane" people like E.J. Dionne, Joe Biden, and Chris Matthews. It's a dream America in which abortions are illegal and birth control impossible to get. This is one doctor's experience
. It could become commonplace in the Romney/Santorum America:
Read the whole thing.
I was in clinic when I heard the overhead STAT page to the emergency room.
As I sprinted down the stairs, I ran through the possible scenarios. I wasn’t on call, so the day to day gynecologic emergencies weren’t my purview. I hadn’t operated on anyone in the past few weeks, so unlikely to be one of my own patients with a complication.
Logically there was only one conclusion.
A nurse was holding the staff entrance to the ER open. From the look on her face I surmised this was to save the minute or two it would take to punch in the numbers on the lock and inquire at the desk for patient’s whereabouts.
“Down there,” she pointed.
On the gurney lay a young woman the color of white marble. The red pool between her legs, ominously free of clots, offered a silent explanation.
“She arrived a few minutes ago. Not even a note.” My resident was breathless with anger, adrenaline, and panic.
I had an idea who she went to. The same one the others did. The same one many more would visit. A doctor, but considering what I had seen he could’t have any formal gynecology training. The only thing he offered that the well-trained provers didn’t was a cut-rate price. If you don’t know to ask, well, a doctor is a doctor. That’s assuming you are empowered enough to have such a discussion. I was also pretty sure his office didn’t offer interpreters.
There have always been abortions. For a relatively brief time in our history, desperate women who at one time would have gone to butchers like the one whose butchery brought the that nameless woman to the hospital had access to clean facilities run by caring physicians. All that is different now. There are states in this country where there are no abortion providers. There are other states where one doctor risks his/her life to fly in once a month. There are still others where doctors who used to perform abortions won't do it anymore because they are afraid for their lives. And the butchers have come back in those states to fill the void.
The organizations that view women as people and not just incubators have been so focused on making sure that a challenge to Roe v. Wade
doesn't get to the Supreme Court that they have allowed incremental challenges to a woman's right to control her own body to pass unchallenged, to the point that now there are states seriously talking about declaring fertilized eggs, up to 50% of which may pass in a normal menstrual period, as being the same as actual people. That such a law failed to pass in Mississippi last year is immaterial. Discussions of egg personhood have given rise to the current foofarah about contraception.
Birth control prevents unwanted pregnancy. Unwanted pregnancies that are prevented are not aborted. Birth control is far more "pro-life" than the fetophiles who are perfectly happy to see the life-blood of women such as the one described in Dr. Gunter's account above drain into America's sewers. It's just punishment for their lack of chastity
, in the view of sick, twisted people like Dierdre McQuade of the Conference of Catholic Bishops. How else can you explain a worldview that would rather see women hemorrhaging in hospital emergency rooms than let them control their own bodies?
I remember a few years ago reading an article about how young women were unconcerned about the anti-abortion rhetoric of the right and how frustrated at their lack of concern older women were who remember the fight for abortion rights, and even some who remember the world before Griswold v. Connecticut
. "Oh, they'll never make abortion illegal again," one young woman was quoted as saying. Well, yes they will, as we are now seeing in states where abortion may still be legal, but is impossible to obtain. Now they're coming for your contraception. And they'll get it too, if we let them.
Labels: America Gone Mad, contraception, The Republican War on Women