Thursday, October 13, 2011

Not the Post I Wanted to Write

I had planned another blog post for today - one I've been ruminating about for the last couple of days. Often, ideas for posts come to me as I walk or read or find quiet moments throughout my day, and this one was no exception. But I was derailed by the issue that has screamed its way in to my email inbox and plastered itself across my Facebook page every day this week - HR 358.

[H.R.358 would allow hospitals to refuse to provide a woman emergency, lifesaving abortion care, even if she will die without it.]

Anyone who reads my blog can easily peg me as someone who ardently supports a woman's right to make her own health care decisions - proudly "pro-choice." And despite having grown up with that right in place (I won't say firmly), I have never considered myself as someone who takes abortion rights for granted. That said, I didn't truly believe it was possible for the House of Representatives to pass this bill today. I live in an area where my state representative shares my conviction on this issue, relieving me from any email efforts to remind him where I stand. He voted against the bill just like I knew he would. But that didn't mitigate my complete and utter shock at the news that the bill passed anyway.

I'm not sure what I find more perplexing about this.

1. That politicians would presume to tell physicians - professionals who have undergone years of specialized training in healthcare issues - how to do their jobs. Physicians do take an oath to "first do no harm" upon passing the bar and beginning their practice. It seems to me that letting a woman die when there is a life-saving procedure available to her violates that oath. Egregiously.

2. That despite the much more pressing issues facing our country (recession, wars, a broken healthcare system), and the certain knowledge that should this bill find its way on to President Obama's desk, he will veto it, they insisted on spending time and energy and money putting it to a vote. For what? To send a message? Believe me, the public is clear about Boehner's intentions to end legalized abortion in the United States. We don't need the message in any other terms. We get it. This is the seventh time a bill attempting to restrict abortions in the U.S. has been up for a vote this year.

I must say, I'm past being disgusted and fully immersed in confusion at this point. Are politicians so completely out of touch with what is going on in the country that they think this is pressing work? Have they become such automatons in their belief that it is important for them to wield their power to make laws and push specific agendas that they have lost the ability to be flexible and respond to what the people of our country are dealing with on a daily basis?


XLMIC said...

I am in the same place... agreement with you and having representatives that vote in agreement with us. I so appreciate your post. It is so clear and well-written and passionate. I just get so pissed that I stammer and then just shut up and stew. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

I am still at disgusted. Healthcare in this country is a joke to begin with so this shouldn't really come as a surprise.

Elizabeth said...

I don't even know what to say. I imagine they are literally squeezing these things through because they can with the attention of the country elsewhere.

Anonymous said...

These issues outrage me! I don't understand how a doctor can refuse emergency care for a woman based on their beliefs. My friend just had a similar experience that, because of the doctor's unwilling to take care of a miscarriage, caused my friend to end up in the hospital. It's so disgusting!

Wanda said...

I'm with you on this. It's a travesty.

Dan said...

Amazing isn't it? They know it won't pass, they also probably know it's ridiculous but they bother with the motion just to show how firm they are on this stupid stance.

Glad I live in Canada

Dee Ready said...

Dear Kario, I so admire your fierce, passionate defense of a woman's right to decide what is best for herself and for her body.

And I applaud what I consider to be truly "righteous" anger about that House vote.

I have concluded that many people in Congress are now voting for things they know the President will veto simply so they can tell their constituents in 2012 that they passed the bill and that a president they despise vetoed it. They will repeatedly block what they think he stands for because winning an election is more important than letting women choose or providing health care for all of us.

We are in a fine muddle in our country and I find myself some days on the point of despair.

I did so much protesting in the sixties and seventies when I was younger that I sort of got burnt out. But the time has come, as you have shown me, that I must start protesting again. Thank you for showing the way.

And thank you, also, Kario, for your comment on my recent posting. My mentor was a lovely and wise woman.


Dee said...

Dear Kario, It's Dee again--A friend sent me an article from the National Catholic Reporter on women and Walmart. It's finely written by a woman who has fought for justice for women for many years.

I thought perhaps you might want to read it.
If you do, go to

The writer's name is Joan Chittister. Like you she has a fierce sense of justice.

brenda said...

I am probably the least political person you are likely to find here, but I am flustered with what is going on in Washington. They are fighting each other, egos and agendas, with no concern for those of us on the front line living through this hell. said...

What is it you want Kari? What is it you want and why do you want it? What would be the perfect scenario? What would it look like?

To me the issue is so much bigger than just abortion. In a society where women and children were truly valued, the need for abortion would be rare.

(Also....have to put in my 2 cents, reminding that what we push against gets bigger. Mother Theresa never "protested" she marched "in favor of." I know you know this. Love).

Kathryn Grace said...

Had I seen this that week, I'd have taken heart that others felt as outraged as I. Thank you for using your eloquence to underscore a tragic misuse of power and taxpayer money.

The continuous assault on basic human rights in Congress continues. Just yesterday, the Senate voted to use military force on American soil, and anywhere in the world, to detain American citizens indefinitely without trial. Huffington Post published this piece about it last night: Senate Votes To Let Military Detain Americans Indefinitely, White House Threatens Veto.

If I remember my high school Constitution studies correctly, this is unconstitutional, yet they persist. As you state so well, this wastes our time, resources, money and distracts us from pressing, vital work.

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