The question is, ladies: Which party respects and cares about you?

*Republican men covering their eyes*
"Endometria of the right ovary! What's an ovary?!? We don't want to hear about all your medicine and science, y'all! What happens is that God puts a baby in a married woman and it's up to us to make sure that that baby gets out alive, galldangit! Apart from that, we don't want to talk about what goes on up in her hoo-ha!"

Click here to see an explanation of the painful, bleeding infertility “fungus” known as endometriosis!  Oh, what fun to have the inner lining of your uterus growing like wildfire all over the inside of your abdominal cavity!

To the men of the Republican party: You know those birth control pills that only…how do you fellas refer to us ladies…oh, yeah…that only “sluts” take? This condition is why I must take them. (I’m not even going to discuss a woman’s undeniable right to take them for contraceptive purposes; that is a whole other rant against blatant ignorance and disrespect towards women.)

Also, this is why I fully support Obama’s Affordable Care act (a.k.a. “Obamacare”). The surgery mentioned in the article linked to above…the surgery to remove the endometriosis if the pills stop controlling it? Yes…I know you Republican men don’t want to think about disgusting things like ovaries and uteruses and how it all works, but take a second and skim the article. At best, it’s an uncomfortable condition; at worst, it’s excruciating, fertility-killing and debilitating. Even though I (thankfully) have had no major problems caused by this condition for several years, my insurance company has pre-announced that they will deny coverage should I ever need this surgery. You know, “pre-existing condition” and all.

No matter how much I pay out in premiums every month, every year, should I need more extensive treatment, I will have to pay for it out of pocket. Obama cared enough to address this issue and for this he gets my support. Obama is on the side of women—and for that, he should get ALL of our support.


A call for a change of tone…

I just read a disturbing news article about a bomb that was set off on Sunday at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Grand Chute, Wisconsin.

“Better to blow up both the mother AND the unwanted baby to protect the sanctity of life.  And if she was heading in for prenatal care or if she wasn’t pregnant and was coming in for a health screening, well…  Collateral damage.  This will send a message to them all.”

Is this what someone who sets a bomb outside of an abortion clinic is thinking?  I have a feeling that there are a lot of people who—even if they wouldn’t go so far as to set a bomb themselves—would agree with this spiel wholeheartedly.

Thank goodness no one was hurt this time, but this is very serious and scary.  We’ve got to work to lessen the dehumanizing and hostile tone that this discussion has taken towards women in general—and especially women who use services from providers such as Planned Parenthood.

Increasingly hostile political discourse creates a class of “evil others” who must be stopped at all costs.  I truly believe that this sort of discourse can push certain people to act out in violent ways.  We need only to remember how a man murdered a crowd of people in front of a grocery store while targeting Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords to see how escalating rhetoric can have horrifying results.

I’m very worried that in the weeks and months to come, we are going to see more incidents like the one in Wisconsin.  I fear for the lives of the women who seek care at these clinics, as well as the doctors, nurses and other staff members who are caught with potential targets on their backs while simply trying to provide healthcare to women with little or no income.  And I wonder what it will take for the right to change the tone of this discussion.  I fear for where this is all heading.

An OB-GYN’s perspective on the abortion debate…

I had my annual checkup today and was talking to my OB-GYN about a medical mission that he had just returned from in Guatemala.  He and a group of other doctors—surgeons, internists, etc—go into villages where medical care is scarce and surgery is typically inaccessible.  He talked of women having very little access to birth control; that some of them have four, six, even eight children and often their husbands must leave them in Guatemala, alone with the children, to come to the United States to work and send back money.  (Sometimes the husbands send back money for the first year or so, then meet another woman in the States…and then the money for the wife and all those children suddenly dries up, but that’s a different story.)

We started talking about the ongoing abortion/contraception discussion in the United States.  I noted how frustrating it must be for him to travel to parts of the world where there is no hope of easy access to contraceptives, only to return here where we CAN give our citizens access to contraceptives, but put limits on it or refuse it altogether.

My doctor shook his head and sighed.  “Don’t get me started,” he said.

He told me that, as an OB-GYN, what disturbs him the most is limiting a woman’s right to terminate a pregnancy.

He looked absolutely haunted as he talked about seeing “horrible genetic things” during his years of caring for pregnant women and delivering babies—things that would make people think twice about limiting a woman’s right to end a pregnancy.

And what of situations where the mother’s life is at stake?  Situations like a tubal pregnancy, where the decision literally comes down to ending the life of a baby (that cannot survive in the Fallopian tube, regardless) in order to save the life of the mother.

“It can be tubal; it will even have a heartbeat, but it’s going to kill her [the mother].”  He lowered his head.  “And where does that leave me?  Where does that leave her?  It’s easy for them to make that kind of decision on the other side of things, but where does that leave everyone on this side of things?”

I think this is a perspective that has been missing from the abortion debate.  My doctor is a regular OB-GYN.  He does not work for a scary, evil abortion clinic.  His job is to deliver babies and care for women and to provide the best and safest care for ALL of his patients—both the born and the unborn.  When our nation’s doctors are against where this discussion is heading, does that mean anything?