(Watch out: I'm going to get political. And Angry.)
Allison, at Our Own Creation has a post today asking readers to be sure that they sign the March of Dimes petition to support research on preventing premature birth and helping to save those born prematurely.
What gets me about her post, based on a report from the CDC, (and since I am someone who teaches about political ideologies and the impact of where we draw that line between the public and private spheres) is this: the United States, with our privatized, world-renown quality of medical care (if you can afford it, of course) ranks number 29 in the world in infant mortality. Tied with Slovakia. And BEHIND Cuba at 28. A communist country with (if I recall correctly) SOCIALIZED health care. So, all you folks who say that socialized medicine (among other services) drive down the quality and motivation of those in a given service... how do we explain this? We, in the United States who theoretically "value life" and all those "pro-lifers" who treasure the lives of the unborn... But only if you can pay for it. I'm not saying that our medical system should be socialized, but let's not pretend that our capitalist system is the only way to do it.
Why is it that the incidence of autism is, as noted on Antigone's blog, about the same as that of stillbirth (almost 1% of births). The problem of autism gets lots of attention, but we tiptoe and avoid conversations about how to save the lives of children who are wanted, whose mothers have made the difficult decision to bring a child into the world no matter her circumstances... I've worked in special education. I understand many of the implications of this disorder. Autism, which affects millions of kids and families, many of whom can live good, productive lives with a little help and a little good education. But stillbirth, dead babies, are whispered about like cancer was in the 1940s. Don't want to make anyone uncomfortable, I guess.
Did anyone catch McCain's sarcastic concern for women's health at the debate last night? I love how he, with two little twitches of his fingers, dismissed the struggle of 99.9% of women who seek abortions, a fraction of those at late term. The idea that women go into such a procedure so callously offends me to my core. The idea that we would make such a decision with so little consideration of the implications, the pain, the loss of everyone involved? And the idea that doctors who perform such procedures don't really give a shit and are perfectly content to collude with all those horrible, irresponsible women who treat life so callously.
Cecily, at Uppercase Woman, expressed this so much more eloquently than I, and I would encourage you to read her post on the subject.
I try to be respectful of differences of opinions, sometimes I even think I can understand the viewpoints of those who are opposed to a woman's right to choose. Can anyone explain to me how any of this makes sense? Please?
Depending on the kind of comments I get, I may just turn off comments. Or take the whole thing down. I'm just really freaking angry right now.
It occurs to me that these are all issues that affect women most directly. I think that says a lot, though I'm not prepared to articulate it quite yet.