The United States has high rates of premature births and of infant mortality.
“Although American hospitals excel at saving premature infants, the United States is similar to developing countries in the percentage of mothers who give birth before their children are due, the study’s chief author noted. It does worse than any Western European country and considerably worse than Japan or the Scandinavian countries… That stems from the unique American combination of many pregnant teenagers and many women older than 35 who are giving birth, sometimes to twins or triplets implanted after in vitro fertilization, the authors said. Twins and triplets are often deliberately delivered early by Caesarean section..Also, many American women of childbearing age have other risk factors for premature birth, like obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure or smoking habits. And the many women who lack health insurance often do not see doctors early in their pregnancies…”
The United States also has high rates of infant mortality.
“According to a new analysis, the United States now ranks 41st in the world in terms of neonatal mortality, the death rate of infants less than one month old. The rate is higher in the United States than in, among others, Cuba, Slovakia, Croatia and all of Western Europe and Scandinavia.”
Where are so-called “pro-life” forces addressing these concerns? Where are they?
What they do instead is make it all worse.
Here in Texas, the state government and the state’s conservative voters support and pursue policies of hardship and death.
“The analysis of official state and federal data by the non-partisan Center for Public Policy Priorities found that 1.2 million Texas children have neither private nor public health insurance….Almost 40 percent of Texas mothers received little or no prenatal care and one in seven babies were born premature, statistics show. The difference between being insured and uninsured is stark: 90 percent of insured kids are healthy, while only 58 percent of kids without insurance are considered healthy.”
No provision has been made to provide these services elsewhere despite the great number of Texans without health insurance.
All our Republican leaders do in Texas is oppose efforts to expand health insurance coverage and block ways for women to get care.
This is not unlike what we are seeing from conservatives on the national level.
I don’t get how these people who enact these policies and support these policies live with themselves.
There will be a March 12 rally at Planned Parenthood in Houston to protest the drastic and unwarranted cuts for the health care needs of so many Texans.
And don’t forget the Texas forced sonogram law which many see—correctly in my view—as a form of state-mandated rape.
Below are details of the March 12 event. What I have posted is a Planned Parenthood press release that I received.
The only regretful aspect of this press release is the failure of Planned Parenthood to include any men as speakers, and, by doing so, to ignore the obvious fact that this is a matter for all Texans and not just women.
All people are connected. Health and human rights are universal concerns.
Here is the press release—-
TEXAS WOMEN TO GOVERNOR RICK PERRY:
“DON’T MESS WITH US”
Community Leaders Speak out at the Latest Stop on the
Women’s Health Express
Houston, Texas — In support of Texas women and in response to the disastrous women’s health policies of the Perry Administration, Texas women, health providers, elected officials and other women’s health supporters and community partners speak out tell Governor Rick Perry: DON’T MESS WITH TEXAS WOMEN.
On March 12, 2012, the Women’s Health Express will be rolling into Houston to meet supporters who will rally against the State’s continued attacks on women’s health care programs. From all across the country, women have been mobilizing to fight back against politicians who try to restrict women’s access to reproductive health care. Now, Governor Perry is about to see what happens when you mess with Texas women.
WHAT: “Don’t Mess With Texas Women” Rally
WHEN: March 12, 2012 at 11:30 am/Official program to begin at 11:45 am
WHERE: The Women’s Health Express Bus at PPGC: 4600 Gulf Fwy Houston, TX
SPEAKERS: State Representative Carol Alvarado
State Representative Jessica Farrar
Dr. Michelle Curtis, OBGYN
A patient who receives health care through the Women’s Health Program
Melaney Linton, CEO, Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast, Inc.
More than one-quarter of Texas women are uninsured, and women in Texas have the third-highest rate of cervical cancer in the U.S., yet Texas Governor Rick Perry is effectively sabotaging the entire Medicaid Women’s Health Program, risking the health and lives of thousands of women who rely on the program for lifesaving screenings for breast and cervical cancer, birth control, screenings for diabetes and hypertension, well woman exams and more.
Perhaps even more shocking, this is just the latest move Texas officials have made to deny health care to women.
In the last few months, budget cuts passed by the state legislature and signed by Governor Perry cut the state’s family planning program by more than two-thirds — which will take health care from 160,000 women per year. These cuts also affect services including Pap tests, clinical breast exams, and birth control. The well woman exam a woman receives through WHP is often her only opportunity to receive health care.
For more than 75 years, Planned Parenthood has been Texas’ most trusted source of nonprofit reproductive health care. Planned Parenthood’s 65 health centers in Texas provide health care to nearly 260,000 Texans each year including 104,604 cervical cancer screenings; 122,928 breast cancer screenings; and 440,931 tests and treatments for sexually transmitted infections.
The Harris County Republican Party will be holding its 2012 convention at one outlet of the Grace Community Church chain.
“… we will be having our County/SD Convention on Saturday, April 21st at Grace Community Church, 14505 Gulf Freeway, Houston, TX 77034. Please mark your calendars for this date! We will update the website as further details are finalized.”
I imagine that Grace Community Church is a tax-exempt outfit.
Yet the Harris County Republican Party convention will be held at Grace.
The Pastor of Grace is Steven Riggle.
Here is some recent news about Mr. Riggle from the Houston Chronicle—
“Taking advantage of his mega-church pulpit on Sunday morning, Pastor Steve Riggle of Houston’s Grace Community Church advanced his crusade against Mayor Annise Parker’s public support for same-sex marriage by urging Houston’s lesbian mayor to either stand up for traditional marriage “or do the honorable thing and step down.”…Speaking at the congregation’s 10 a.m. service, Riggle promised some 3,000 worshippers “the shortest sermon that has ever been preached in this congregation.” After reading 25 Bible versions of the Genesis account of marriage as a man “leaving his father and mother and being joined to his wife,” Riggle spent the next 50 minutes reading a letter he wrote to Parker last week, summarizing her response and then reading a new letter he has written to the mayor…At the morning service, Riggle also objected to the description of Parker’s partner as “the First Lady of Houston.”
The issue is not if Mr. Riggle hates gay people. I have no idea what Mr. Riggle feels in his heart. I have no idea how Mr. Riggle sees any issue other than his stated views on gay marriage. The issue is that Mr. Riggle supports policies that would deny free Americans the basic right to get married.
Why is the Harris County Republican Party comfortable holding any event at Grace Community Church? How is the prohibition of gay marriage consistent with keeping government out of people’s lives?
Well…If you are in league with statewide Texas Republicans who enacted in our legislature what some see as state-sponsored rape in the form of the Texas forced sonogram law, and that is going after cancer screenings offered by Planned Parenthood in a state with the highest percentage of uninsured people in the nation, I would wager that Mr. Riggle’s opposition to gay marriage is small beans in the context of public policy that violates women and leads to people’s death.
(Here is information on the services provided by Planned Parenthood of the Gulf Coast. You can also make a donation at this site.)
Respecting Women & Pro-Life Policies For Texas Republicans Involves Forced Sonograms And Denying Cancer Screenings
However, here in Texas–despite all the tough talk about intrusive government– such a law is already on the books.
“The original Virginia bill that garnered so much national outrage required doctors to perform a sonogram in advance of the abortion, using a transvaginal ultrasound if necessary, to determine the gestational age of the fetus. After originally championing the bill, (Governor) McDonnell walked it back under pressure, working to produce a revised version that assures that women seeking abortions won’t be subject to a vaginal ultrasound. Women will be offered the chance to review the image of the fetus on a belly sonogram, but aren’t required to look at it.
The Texas law is more strict: It requires women to have a sonogram at least 24 hours ahead of an abortion, and the doctor to play the heartbeat aloud, describe the fetus, and show the woman the image, unless she chooses not to view it. Although the Texas law doesn’t specify what kind of ultrasound — belly or transvaginal — abortion providers say they almost always must use the transvaginal probe to pick up the heartbeat. “
In Texas women are at risk from a predatory state government, and from a conservative movement that is always on the prowl for a new conquest in the war against women.
Of course the attacks on Texas women don’t stop with the forced sonogram bill. Not content with forced intrusive procedures by order of the state, Republican legislators and Republican statewide officials are moving in for the kill.
“Texas health officials apparently have chosen to end their participation in the Women’s Health Program, which pays for health screenings for tens of thousands of poor Texas women. Tom Suehs, who heads the Texas Health and Human Services Commission, formally ruled …that Planned Parenthood can’t receive funds from the Women’s Health Program. Federal officials have previously said that state officials couldn’t cut out specific providers. So the state’s decision to exclude Planned Parenthood because it’s an abortion provider could end the Women’s Health Program in Texas and deprive thousands of poor women of services such as Pap smears, cancer screenings and contraception.”
Texas conservatives say they like small government. Yet they pursue some of the most invasive and intrusive polices imaginable.
Texas conservatives say they are “pro-life.” Yet they pursue policies that kill people.
Republican Texas State Rep. Says Birth Control Is Target Of State Budget Cuts—They Are Telling You What They Are
Republican Texas State Representative Wayne Christian says that cuts to family planning agencies by the Texas legislature are about birth control as well as about abortion.
(Above–Wayne Christian on the left with Texas Governor Rick Perry. These men are concerned that Texas women have access to birth control.)
“The goal is to get government money out of the abortion process and if contraceptive services have to suffer a bit of collateral damage in the process, so be it. When The Texas Tribune asked state Rep. Wayne Christian (R-Nacogdoches), a supporter of the family planning cuts, if this was a war on birth control, he said “yes.” …“Well of course this is a war on birth control and abortions and everything, that’s what family planning is supposed to be about,” Christian said.”
I bet folks in these fine Texas counties use birth control.
I wonder in how many town hall meetings or voter forums that Rep. Christian has told his constituents that they should not use birth control?
So much for government staying out of your life.
The good thing here is that at least Rep. Christian is telling you up front what he supports.
This is just as we are seeing with Republicans in 2011. They are telling us that Texas-sized use of the death penalty and letting the uninsured die is a cause to cheer.
We are going to have an election in 2012 and we are going to have clear choices to make.
I’m looking forward to the election and to knowing where we all stand on the issues before the nation.
When somebody tells you who and what they are–You should believe them.