Gibson Report ~ #2 ~ Ruthless Reality: Making Abortion Illegal or Unattainable as a political strategy to Win Elections:

by faithgibson on March 16, 2019

in Contemporary Childbirth Politics, Wise Words ~ Good Ideas

Gibson Report~2019_#2

Easy shortcut to share for this Gibson Report, part 2 –>

http://tinyurl.com/y6jpguf2


Pregnancy – planned or unplanned – is a gender issue that originates with the male of the species.

The way to eliminate non-medical abortions is to stop the problem at its source — the end of the penis of the man who is about to father a baby.

The cure for this men’s problem is both simple and effective.

“If you don’t want to raise a baby, then don’t ejaculate in a woman’s birth canal! “

This eliminates the complicated issue of unwanted pregnancies, which simultaneously eliminates the need for abortion services, and best of all, gets male legislators, judges and US Supreme Court Justices out of the business of legislating and criminalizing abortion services.


Every baby has a birth right to be a welcomed, well-cared for child that makes his or her parents happy and proud. A happy childhood is the best preparation for becoming a healthy, happy and productive citizen ^O^

~ 1920 to 1971 ~

Surprising Facts: 51 years of positive Republican politics on:  

1. Family planning services
2. Safe and legal abortion services
3. Women’s reproductive rights


This post is the second half of a political report from another of my websites.

Recap of Part I: The previous post told a very different political story about the Women’s Equal Rights movement and publicly-financed access to effective contraception and safe abortion as a regulated medical service.

These policies were not something that originated with, was promoted by, or even supported by the Democratic Party.

Before the 1980s, the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) and access to women’s reproductive health services (including contraception and safe legal abortions services) were NOT partisan issues, except to note that historically, Republicans offered more support for the ERA, family planning, Planned Parenthood, and safe abortions services than the Democrats.

Political support for Planned Parenthood began in the 1920s, again with Republicans substantially outnumbering Democrats.

In the 1950s, notable conservatives like Barry Goldwater and his wife served on the board of their local office of Planned Parenthood, signaling that family planning was, politically speaking, a “family value“.

Legalizing access to contraception as provided by Planned Parenthood was broadly supported by both doctors and clergymen.

In 1960, Planned Parenthood’s Clergymen’s National Advisory Council issued a statement titled “The Ethics of Family Planning“. It described family planning as fulfilling “the will of God” by allowing “married couples to enjoy intercourse for the sake of love”.

When efforts to legalize abortion first began in the 1960s, it was not spearheaded by women’s rights organizations but the doctors, lawyers and clergymen that ran Planned Parenthood.

Planned Parenthood, legal abortion and Title X were all supported by none other than and Republicans Barry Goldwater, and former presidents Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan.

Politicizing Female Biology:

Disturbing Facts ~ 57 years of going backwards by waging war on women’s reproductive issues as a partisan strategy by the GOP to win elections

The partisan dismantling of legal abortion began during Nixon’s first term. In 1971, senior White House adviser, speechwriter, and right-wing conservative Pat Buchanan told the president that his prospects for re-election would be improved:

“if the President should publicly take his stand against abortion, as offensive to his own moral principles.”

Buchanan, who’d been born into an Irish Catholic family of nine and recipient of 12 years of parochial schooling, explained to Nixon that abortion had become “a rising issue and a gut issue for Catholics“.

Both men knew that Nixon didn’t oppose lawful abortion. Nonetheless, a week later the president jettisoned his previous support of abortion and issued a public statement that referred to his:

personal belief in the sanctity of human life — including the life of the yet unborn.”

This strategy was carefully calculated by the Nixon Administration to deliver the entire Roman Catholic and Christian conservative voting block to him, and by extension, the Republican party.

Unfortunately the political hypocrisy of Nixon’s public statement was revealed in 1973, when he was caught on tape saying:

“There are times when abortions are necessary“, and when on to mention a pregnancy resulting from from sex between “a black and a white”

(ref# 24; These TruthsA History of the United States by J. Lepore, 2018).

If interested in reading the political background, here is an easy-to-share shortcut to Part ONE https://tinyurl.com/y6bpyw7f  


Part Two

The GOP decided to make abortion illegal or unattainable as a political strategy to win elections.

That means wealthy women win, while poor women lose, as well as their families and the rest of society. 

I cannot continue this part of the story without truthfully describing the actual reality of illegal abortions, facts that I lived with as an ER nurse in a busy hospital in the years before Roe v. Wade

Simply making abortion illegal and unsafe did not mean that abortions didn’t occur, just that they were dangerous illegal back-alley procedures sought out by desperate women and performed by people that didn’t know what they were doing.

Bungled abortions included unwashed hands and unsterile instruments; both dramatically increased the risk of virulent infection or torrential hemorrhage that ended in death or disaster for the mother

All About the Money: Abortions for the Rich and Famous ~ Easy-peasy!

The first and most fundamental truth about anti-abortion laws in the US is economic, that is, wealthy and/or well-connected women have absolutely NO problem getting an unwanted pregnancy lawfully and safely terminated.   

These wealthy women just get on a plane and fly off to another state or country where abortion is lawful. That ‘choice’ also provides these economically secure women access to a well-staffed clinic or hospital and well-trained professionals who have the knowledge, skills, sterile equipment and access to emergency resources that virtually assures a safe outcome.

But the benefits of wealth are not restricted to women along, as the men who impregnated them directly benefit from their ability – via wealth — to have these inconvenient problems just ‘go away’ almost as if my magic.

Newspapers occasionally run stories about right-wing conservatives — US  Senators, Congressmen or high-ranking political operatives — who quietly arranged and paid for a legal abortion for a mistress or paramore. Obviously permitting his girlfriend to give birth to his baby would have created a scandal and threatened his career. So he was delighted to pony up the bucks to fly his sweetie off to someplace that, for a price, would quietly and safely relieve him of this burden. 

Odd thing, but in the 45 years since Roe v Wade became the law of the land (1973), I’ve never heard a single anti-abortion activist mention this loophole for the wealthy. Nor have I heard any of them suggest passage of laws that would prohibit women of childbearing age from off flying to countries with legal abortion services unless they first provided the airline with a certified copy a negative pregnancy test performed within the previous 24 hours. 

I can only assume that millions of anti-abortion activists believe safe legal abortions are OK for wealthy women, but not for ordinary American women of limited means.  

Abortion for the not-rich, not well-connected ordinary, often desperate women

When it comes to the not rich or famous — ordinary women of limited means. While we tend to think of abortion as mainly a problem for teenage girls and single women, the vast majority women that seek abortion services already have families of several other children.

My role as an ER nurse brought me face to face with terribly disturbing realities that most anti-abortion activists are unaware of, or they knowingly refuse consider

For example, ER nurses can tell that a botched-abortion patient has been admitted to the unit by the putrid and fulminating smell of sepsis. At this stage of a virulent infection, the fetus would have already died. If the mother was very lucky, the permanent damage would only be irreversible infertility, since this kind of pelvic infection eats up her fallopian tubes and ruins her ovaries.

If unlucky, she would also die a painful and miserable death from the infection.

Funny thing, but when pregnant women die as a result of a botched abortion — whether self-induced or at the dirty hands of a back alley butcher — the UNBORN BABY always DIES as well.

For anyone who wants to save unborn fetuses, I’m here to tell you that making abortions illegal does not accomplish this goal, no matter how well-intended you might be.

Me peeking over my mom’s shoulder at my brand new little brother Roger born Jan 26, 1949

Making abortion illegal in the US, which is to say unattainable — whether the barriers are financial or geographical, disproportionately targets poor women with many other children, or very young women without an independent income. 

Often these are single mothers who are the family’s sole support. When they die from a botched abortion, their children are orphaned and become wards of the State. 

This demographic of not-rich women cannot afford to drive or fly to another state or country to access legal and safe medical services. And for the same economic reasons, this demographic groups of women can least afford to lose their job due to pregnancy or the need to care for their newborn

A different but no less disturbing reality of our crazy abortion laws are the changes made to Title X some years ago by a GOP-dominated Congress 

When Title X was first passed (and signed by President Nixon) it specifically authorized medical facilities run by the US Armed Forces to provide safe abortions services to members of the military and their family.

But Several years ago, the a Republican-dominated Congress amended this federal law in an “across the board” prohibition of abortions services under all circumstances. It denies funding to women’s health clinics overseas if they so much as provide information to the mother about where she mother can find safe and legal services. 

This restriction also applies to military doctors and prohibits them from providing abortion services when the fetus has birth defects incompatible with life, such as anencephaly (absence of the brain). These mothers are forced choose between (a) an out-of-pocket expense over $10,000 OR (b) enduring their doomed pregnancy for 9 months, while the family lives every day with the knowledge that the baby will be stillborn, die at birth or shortly after. 

The Ultimate Nightmare ~ a real-life story you’ll never be able to get out of your mind!  

But the damage of unsafe illegal abortions is NOT strictly a problem for mothers. In many cases, these tragedies involve other family members, including small children, and ultimately ruins other lives. One example is provided by the first-person account of a man in his late 50s, recounting events that occurred when he was a child.  

It began when he was 7 years old and living with his mother and 15-month-old baby sister. One evening after the two children had been put to bed, his mother went into the bathroom and locked the door.

Early the next morning his baby sister woke up hungry and crying hysterically to be picked up and fed. But oddly, his mother did not come out of the bathroom to take care of the baby, in spite of his calling her again and again. So he got up and banged on the door and kept calling her, but she wouldn’t come out and didn’t say anything to him.

He didn’t know what was wrong or what to do next, except to give his crying baby sister a bottle. This settled her for a while, but her night diaper was soaked. He did his best to change her diaper, but he couldn’t get it to stay put.

Many a grown man has failed to figure out how to get a diaper to properly cover the business-end of a wiggling infant and keep it in place while trying to stick sharp pins into the diaper without harming the baby or jabbing one’s own fingers.  I can’t imagine trying to do this as a 7 year old child.

But that first bottle and diaper change was only the beginning of the many problems these children faced. By the end of the day, milk carton was empty so he could no longer give a bottle to his baby sister. He tried to stop her cries by stuffing tiny morsels of different foods in her mouth, while staving off his own hunger with dry cereal and cold leftovers.

The warm sunny day gradually faded into a cold dark night. There was no heat in the house and he didn’t know how to turn the overhead lights on. The little boy did his best to take care of his baby sister, but still, he was only 7.

He was lonely, frightened, and just  couldn’t understand why his mom wouldn’t come out of the bathroom in spite of his pleading and knocking on the door. After it got pitch dark, he took his little sister to bed with him, but his inability to diaper her properly meant that both of them got wet and cold and smelled bad. It was the longest and most miserable night of his young life. 

This living nightmare melded into a long and increasingly intolerable second day. By then all the accessible food had been eaten and the children had no more dry clothes. There was no one for him to talk to, no one to comfort them, no way to know how much longer this would go on, and worst of all, no explanation for why his mother wouldn’t come out of the bathroom and take care of them like she usually did.

Had he done something to make her mad at him? Was he being punished? Even so, why wouldn’t she come out to take care of his baby sister? Surely she hadn’t done anything to deserve being neglected like this. No answers came.  

Finally a neighbor happened by late in the afternoon of the second day and found the two children all alone. The reason was soon apparently. After breaking the lock on the bathroom door, they found his mother lying dead on the floor in a dark pool of her own blood, the fatal consequences of her attempt to abort an advancing pregnancy.

The brief but shocking glimpse of her partially-naked body smeared with blood and folded into a crumpled heap on the bathroom floor can never be erased from his adult mind. 

This badly traumatized little boy grew up to be a man whose life was forever haunted by this tragic experience.  Nonetheless he was willing to share the story of these horrific events with a national radio audience, hoping it would keep this awful thing from befalling other mothers and other children.

The take-home message is simple — society is obligated to be both ethical and compassionate by providing access to effective contraception and safe, legal abortion services.

The cost of the alternative is just too high — gruesome, painful and unnecessary maternal deaths and unborn fetuses and orphaned older children forced to bear the unbearable.  

The Endless & Illogical Gender War to Control Female Reproductive Biology

In general, men do not bear any of the burdens associated with pregnancy — not the physical experience of morning sickness, not stretch marks, awkwardness, anxiety over finances or the loss of income at a time of increased expense.

Instead, many men choose a one-night fling or have affairs and then go away, leaving the impregnated woman to live every hour of every day for nine long months, endure many hours of painful labor and the hard work of pushing an eight pound baby out and then breastfeeding him or her round the clock. This is inevitably followed by shouldering near-total responsibility to raise the child for 18-plus years.

And yet it is men with power and influence — priests, ministers, rabbis, legislators, lawyers, judges, governors, presidents, and big donors to partisan politics — who insist that the female gender does not have the legal authority to determine their own reproductive biology, nor does she ethically deserve to choose whether or not they are able to take on the life-long responsibilities that goes along with raising a child at that time in their lives.

This is in direct contradiction to the 1972 the US Supreme Court, in which Justice Brennan wrote:

“… it is the right of the individual, married or single, to be free from unwarranted governmental intrusion  into matters so fundamentally affecting a person as the decision whether to beget or bear a child.” (ref #13, These Truths: History of the United States; J. Lepore, 2018)

It always wonders me when I see a room full of men in expensive suits, wearing fancy watches and pontificating about the woman’s absolute responsibility to avoid getting pregnant, as if men played no part in the act of conception.

My eldest daughter got the man’s part in sex and reproduction exactly right when she said:

If you don’t want a baby, don’t ejaculate in the birth canal! 

The way to end unnecessary abortions and irrational shaming of women must begin and end by immediately putting the responsibility squarely where pregnancy has always begun (with male ejaculation) and where it always belongs — with the men who chose have sex.

If any individual or any group wants a focus for their outrage, it’s proper place is on the man who fathered this “unwanted” child.

When a man chooses to ejaculate in the birth canal, he is logically responsible if his female partner become pregnant and it is he who logically must bear the cost for caring, feeding and raising the child.

By putting the blame, and shame, as well as the social and economic expense squarely, where it truly belongs — on the man who ejaculated in the birth canal — this debate, which is anti-woman, unethical, frequently fatal for both the woman and her unborn fetus, will no be able to be used and abused as a political football to gain a partisan political advantage.

Once we focus on the REAL ISSUE – men who ejactulate in the birth canal of a woman they don’t care about enough to be responsible for having impregnated them, the partisan issue of abortion will vanish like wisps of fog in the early morning sun.

This is where and how we stop abortions (both legal and illegal) and all their immediate and downstream consequences in instances were the termination of pregnancy was not a medical or personal necessity.

A Certain Class of Men

Until then, we will continue to have a certain class of men — mostly wealthy and in positions of political power, insulated by our social institutions against the effects of their actions — that will continue to insist it is solely the woman’s responsibility to prevent unplanned pregnancies.

And should she fail for any reason (he refused or forgot to use a condom or it broke) and her male partner decides not to “play house”, she is illogically bound to welcome the pregnancy gracefully and without complaint, and become solely responsible for supporting and raising the child.

These same men, and many others like them, boldly insist that it is “right and proper” to pass laws that make safe abortions either illegal or inaccessible. Likewise, they insist they are doing God’s bidding by sponsoring laws that permit the criminal prosecution of women they suspect of directly or indirectly causing a miscarriage or doing something while pregnant they believe might be risky to the developing fetus.

This kind of propriety “Father/Doctor Knows Best” thinking extends to term pregnancies when the obstetrician’s preference or the hospital protocols is to perform an elective Cesarean for any one of a long list of supposed problems they define as an “indication” for Cesarean delivery — a large baby, post-dates, normal twin pregnancy, breech, or if the mother had a previous Cesarean delivery, etc.

If she refuses this advice, the doctor or hospital attorney simply call a juvenile court judge and generally get a court order to perform Cesarean surgery without the mother’s consent.

All this is promoted by well-meaning people, as well as politicians seeking votes, and others who don’t know the real facts about unsafe abortions or just don’t care.

Nonetheless, many people who think of themselves as patriotic citizens devote years of their life collecting and disbursing many millions of dollars in order to convince state and federal legislatures to close clinics and criminalize abortion services.

This kind of “play to pay” wealth is also used to finances election campaigns that promise to bring about more favorable abortions-related rulings by the US Supreme Court (i.e. more restrictive and punitive, including criminal charges). 

Apparently, they want to be sure that other 7-year olds somewhere in America become orphaned and permanently traumatized when their mothers, desperate and in dire financial straits, attempt to end an untenable pregnancy, only to die on the bathroom in a pool of their own blood, leaving behind their orphaned children and a bottomless sorrow.

God help America, land of dispassionate, clever, mean and heartless hoards of arrogant, uber-rich and politically influential men who have convinced themselves that they alone know what is best for girls and women.

They believe they have the final say over all female reproductive functions, thus reducing the status of adult women to property, like breeder cattle, with “ownership” rights in the hands of male relatives, doctors, lawyers, and judges.

But these ‘alternative facts’ are flat wrong. Furthermore, no self-respecting man would stand for this if the gender roles were reversed.

The Critical Missing Ingredient – Civic Virtue

This is illogical and wrong for so many reasons, but the biggest of all is that it leaves out civic virtue — ethical principles that apply to a fair and functional government and the simple verbs of human compassion and caring for the weak and vulnerable with empathy and tenderness.

It leaves out the Golden Rule: 

Do onto others, as ye would have them do onto to you

 

 

Easy shortcut to share the link: http://tinyurl.com/y6jpguf2


Me on the occasion of my 76th birthday with my eldest daughter (the one who was born in the back seat of our Renault in the hospital driveway in my attempt to avoid to routine use of Twilight Sleep drugs, general anesthesia , episiotomy and unnecessary  forceps delivery

 

 

A Personal Note for those who wonder:

I am a religiously conservative Judeo-Christian.

Historically, my mother’s side of the family were Mennonites who emigrated to the American colonies from Bern, Switzerland (via Amsterdam) in 1737.

My father’s side of the family were Boones who emigrated from England to colonial America in the early 1700s to escape religious persecution. They were early members of the Religious Society of Friends (know as Quakers). One of Daniel Boone’s brothers — Charles — was an 8th great grandparent.

Both of my ancestral families were motivated by a genuine religious belief that arose with the Protestant Reformation.  In 1517 a Catholic priest by the name of Martin Luther nailing a list of 95 religious questions to the door of a church in Worms, Germany.

Protestantism was a direct result of the Gutenberg printing press, which made the first Judeo-Christian Bible available (and affordable) in the vernacular — the languages actually spoken in the different countries of Western Europe. Prior to 1443, bibles were all written in Latin and could only be read by priests and academics.

My ancestors emigrated to America to escape religious persecution by the Roman Catholic Church in Europe and the Church of England in the UK. For centuries, anyone who did not attend mass every Sunday,  financially support or was otherwise suspected by Church hierarchy of being a ‘heretic’, and thus subjected to extra-judicial imprisonment, torture, and execution of entire families.

Many of my religiously-conservative relatives were “old order”, eschewing modern conveniences such as electricity, telephones, and automobiles. This  ‘horse and buggy’ culture purposefully separated themselves from the ways of secular society

Romans 12-2:

And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. This was seen by many groups of “co-religionists” as as requiring true believer to separate themselves from “worldly” society.

These groups came to be know as “Old Order”, as they lived by the “Ordnung”, which is a set of rules for AmishOld Order Mennonite and Conservative Mennonites. Ordnung is the German word for order, discipline, rule. 

Forty years before the Revolutionary War, my Mennonite ancestors, the Shanz (also spelled “Tschantz”) settled in Montgomery and Bucks counties in southeastern Pennsylvania. In 1806, the grandchildren of my 8th Great-Great-Great Grandfather Jacob Shantz entered into a treaty with native Indian population (First Nation) of Upper Canada. They purchased land from regional indians that eventually become the province of Ontario that became the townships of Wollwich and the small towns of Kitchener and Waterloo.

However, in the early 1900s, my Mennonite grandfather emigrated to the greater Detroit area of Michigan, which is where my mother and I were both born. My grandfather became a naturalized American citizen and no longer observed the strict ‘Old Order’ ways of his Canadian relatives.

UNFINISHED (April 19, 2019)

I was a L&D and ER nurse for 15 years before cross-training into midwifery. As a professional midwife, I have a small private practice that provides community-based midwifery services.

Politically, I am an Eisenhower RepublicanIndependent and democrat with a lower-case “d”.

I believe that unwanted pregnancies should be prevented if possible; if not, they should be accepted if that is a possibility, and when that is not an option, based on medical or personal reasons, safe abortion services must be legally, geographically and economically available.

Period.

“False Association btw the routine use of c-EFM to prevent cerebral palsy in babies, pelvic floor damage in moms & protect OBs from lawsuits”

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