Epilog

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Original 4-part Post:  Bad Ideas ~ Gov. Northam and a troubling 35-year old college yearbook picture dug up right-wing anti-abortion group

Lessons from History and a first-person account of 101-year-old Maggie Nichols, whose father was born into slavery and lived to see his people emancipated and to tell the tale 



When I was 15, my parents decided to move 
from the Detroit area of Michigan to the sunny South, in an effort to get away from the brutally cold and icy winters.  My dad drove the whole family – me, my mom and my 3 younger siblings — to Orlando in early September of 1957 in an old Plymouth sedan. 

During the 5-day trip, I vividly remember driving through South Carolina late one afternoon and seeing a prison “chain gangs”. I was shock to see a string of 8 or 10 men in black and white striped prison garb was chain to together by one ankle. They were all black and being forced to cut down weeds at the side of the road while two white shariffs with guns on each hip and holding shotguns stood guard over them. That was only the first of many experiences ahead of me that revealed just how mean and cruel the human species can be to other human beings.  

While we traveling, my mother, who had been born in Texas, tried to prepare me for the poverty that was ubiquitous on the ‘wrong’ side town. She simply described this issue as “colored housing”.

But in my youthful naivety, I expected to see houses painted in pastel shades of sky blue, rose pink and daisy yellow. Imagine my surprise to instead see rows of unpainted rundown shacks owned by slum landlords and all the other indignities that abound in racially-segregated ghettos on the ‘bad part of town’

That fall I started high school in an all-white segregated public school (William Boone) and shopped in segregated stores with signs pointing to “White” and Colored” drinking fountains and bathrooms. 

After graduating from high school I enrolled in an all-white nursing school, which also was the only one in the county. It provided clinical training to its students in Orange Memorial Hospital, which at the time was also strictly segregated.

OMH is now known Orlando Regional Medical Center and is just 4 blocks from the Pulse nightclub;  ORMC’s emergency department is where all the victims of the shooting were brought. I can’t imagine what would have happened if it still was a segregated institution and some or all of the wounded had been black.   

But I was a student before desegregation, and one particular “color” related experience has stuck in my mind all these many years. I had been assigned to One South, which was the all-black ward on the hospital’s ground floor, right next to the institutional laundry, kitchen and morgue. The ward had a census of 40 patients – a mix of all ages, all genders and all ailments — men, women, infants and older children that were really sick, badly injured, recovering from surgery or in labor. 

I was working nights on a long busy shift with one charge nurse and one nurse’s aid, both of whom were also black. Sometime around five in the morning, all three of us — the RN, nurse’s aid and me  — were helping to change the gown and put dry sheets on the bed of very ill and elderly male patient. I so vividly remember the mix of all our arms as we were trying to move the man, whose own arm soon became part of the mix of limbs.

At that moment, I was startled by a kind of out-of-time experience, as I noted all those soft smooth brown arms and one pair of pasty white sickly arms in the middle of the mix and wondered what terrible thing had befallen that person to make his or her arms so pale and weird. Then I realised that the ‘weird arms’ in question were actually my own.

To say that experience was an “eye opener” is a masterful understatement, but it was only one of many.  I saw up close, and personal and on a daily basis the institutionalized and systemized cruelty that was a fact of life in the South. There was nothing I could personally do to change this system except go the extra mile when every circumstances allowed me to ‘cross’ the color line, one hopes in moments of compassions.

Racism is now and has always been immoral. The tacit  acceptance of it by our constitutional system of government resulted in terrible public policies that were and still are ultimately bad for everyone. They continue to reverberate in our country today, in small hiddens acts of discrimination and in the White Nationalist hate groups and their acts of domestic terrorism, accompanied by corruption in state and local governments. 

And yes, the now infamous photo of Gov. Northam in black face and his buddy in a KKK costume obviously stands for historic events that are particularly galling to black Americans who must live forever with the realities of slavery and racism. Virtually all their ancestors and distant relative bore the bitter yoke of being legally classified as “property”, and the indignity of being counted as only 3/5ths of a ‘person’. 

Regrettably the Civil War, which was suppose to ‘free the slaves’, merely replaced private ownership of black slaves with public policies of social enslavement enforced by brutal Jim Crow laws.  The result was a century of institutionalized bigotry, brutality, and lynchings at the hand of the KKK and other systemized atrocities! 

The Reality of Racism ~ A Personal Experience

In 1976 I became a VISTA volunteer (domestic Peace Corps program); I was assigned to community development project in a tiny town of 400 in a strictly segregated cotton and tobacco farming region of North Carolina. At one time in the distant past, the entire town had been one very large cotton plantation. 

I choose to spend my time in the segregated half, which was literally on the ‘wrong side of the tracks’. It was beyond shocking, but also a valuable learning experience. Mcommunity development efforts included starting a farmer’s market and opening the town’s first and only laundromat

Maggie Nichols ~ One Hundred years old in 1976

But one particular story changed my life and will be with me forever more. One of many families that I worked with was Maggie Nichols, a wheelchair-bound elderly black woman who was 100-yr-old in 1976.  She and her 70-year old daughter lived in what I would charitable describe as a hovel with no running water or indoor bathroom. Since there was no running water, the kitchen was a little shack separated from the house by 15 feet, a necessary precautions prevent a kitchen fire from also burning the house down, since there was no running water to douse the flames.

 

The living room was a dark ugly green that made it hard to see in spite of the single light bulb strung from the ceiling on long electrical wire. All the windows were covered inside with cardboard to keep out the cold. When it rained the roof leaked, which required buckets in several parts of the living room and sleeping quarters to catch the constant drips.

For reasons I can no longer remember, I visited Maggie and her elderly daugher 2 or 3 times every week. Very slowly a friendly relationship of trust developed. Soon they started talking about things that I’m sure they did usually did not say to “while ladies”.

On one my weekly sojourns, just days before my assignment ended, Maggie’s described a conversation that she had with her dad. According to her best recollection, she was about 10 years old at the time (1886-ish) and her dad was about 40. She thought her father was born in 1845 but wasn’t sure. But despite the vagaries of her memory on these minor points, she said she’d never forgot that conversation. 

As told by her, he started by saying:

“Maggie, I want to tell you something important and want you to never forget it.

When I was born, we was all slaves, but when you come along, …. we was FREE PEOPLE!

Of course, print words can never do justice to this historic conversation, as the tone, cadence and emotional energy that changed mere words into such an elegant statement: “but when you come along, we was FREE PEOPLE !”, with emphasis on the words “we was free people!” 

This gift made me into a time-traveler, one of few people living today that has had the privilege of hearing the exact words as they were spoken by Maggie’s father more than 90 years before, his inflection, his emotions as a man born into slavery in 1845, lived as a slave and eventually was emancipated in 1864.

I shall be forever grateful to Maggie for trusting me enough to tell me this story, one that I will never forget, nor never tire of telling to anyone who is the least bit interested.  

 

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How to Ruin a Democracy for Fun and Profit: An Intergenerational Passion Play in Three Acts

The Cast of Characters:

 

The GOP’s politically-based anti-abortion strategy used as a partisan wedge issue

The anti-abortion, right-wing newspaper First In Freedom Daily and its official policy to solicit “hot tips” from its readers

A 35-year-old yearbook photo from Eastern Virginia Medical School first published the First in Freedom Daily as a hot tip from one of its readers

The irrational and undemocratic policy of “zero tolerance” as applied to partisan politics, the workplace, public schools and other areas of public life

What was behind the demand by Democratic politicians for Gov. Northam to resign only hours after the yearbook photo was published

The American institution of slavery and its shameful legacy — bitter racial divide, segregation, Jim Crow laws, prejudice and institutionalized injustice


 

ACT I ~ GOP Politics of 1971 Meets the 2020 Presidential Election 

Act One tracks the intertwining of 3 issues: (1) the GOP’s long term anti-abortion strategy; (2) opposition research by a right-wing North Carolina online newspaper; (3) the infamous photo from Eastern Virginia Medical School’s 1984 yearbook.

@@ #1 @@

The demand by Democrats that Democratic Gov. Northam resign is a manufactured political scandal. Its origins lie in GOP strategies first developed in 1971,  when President Nixon was gearing up to run for a second term. At that time, Nixon’s senior advisor and speechwriter, Pat Buchananinformed him that abortion has become “a rising issue and a gut issue for Catholics“.

Mr. Buchanan went on to say that Nixon’s chances for re-election would be dramatically improved if:

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

Nixon and Buchanan both knew that Nixon was had always supported abortion as a regulated procedure performed legally by medical professionals. In fact, Nixon signed Title X in 1969, which was the nation’s only dedicated source of federal funding for family planning and legal abortion services for low-income families.

In spite of his personal support for safe legal abortions, a week later, Nixon publicly stated that he was opposed abortion on moral principles. Like a small snowball rolling down hill, anti-abortion became the GOP’s biggest and most effective political tools for convincing Catholics and conservative Christians to switch parties and reliably vote the Republican ticket.    

@@ #2 @@

Right-wing news service “First In Freedom Daily” and its encouragement of snitches

 Let’s start where our story started and examine the original motives and methods.

The first action in this disturbing story begins with a fiercely anti-abortion North Carolina right-wing online news service — First In Freedom Daily. The FIFD also engaged in systemized muckraking as a matter of policy. It urges its readers to dig up “hot tips” for their newspaper.

The GOP’s political strategy of opposing abortion was kicked into high gear by an abortion bill pending before the Virginia State Legislature. The First In Freedom Daily falsely portrayed this law on its website with a headline that read: 

Democrats in Virginia Propose Law Allowing Abortions Mere Seconds Before Birth”. 

This is an example of fake news at its worst.

But from a political strategy, digging up on Virginia’s Democratic governor would give Republicans an opportunity to exert political power over the state’s Democratic legislature.

First In Freedom Daily’s solicitation of ‘hot tips’ paid off when one its readers got a copy the Eastern Virginia Medical School’s 1984 yearbook and the found a 35-year-old photo of two medical school students, one dressed in blackface and the  other in a KKK costume. The caption beneath the picture identified 25-year-old med student Ralph and unnamed friend.

Other yearbook photos for EVMS’s 1984 class included students dressed up in drag and other costumes, wrestling and clowning around and engaging in outrageous behavior generally categorized as “college boys going wild”.

While the yearbook doesn’t say the students in these photos had been drinking, it safe to assume that a communal loss of inhibitions AND good judgement is a predictable side effect of consuming large quantities of alcoholic beverages.

It would be better if college students didn’t drink, but history has already proven that abolition doesn’t work. 

Unfortunately, thoughtful reflections on fundamental fairness did not deter the staff of the First in Freedom Daily in their promotion of the GOP’s anti-abortion strategies.

Instead of second thoughts, the F.I.F. targeted the respected and popular Democratic governor of Virginia, where an objectionable abortion bill was working it way through their state legislature.

It was ridiculously easy sabotage Northam’s career — just slip this controversial photo into the relentless 24-hour cycle of cable news and sit back while the story was picked up by mainstream news outlets. Then GOP operatives used the offensive photo to fan a wisp of smoke into a conflagration of outrage by people only too willing to shot first and ask questions later, if at all. Then our partisan political system used the outrage this provoked to justify its acts of character assignation and public humiliation. 

It must be noted that these actions were never based on any personal beef with the Gov. Northam; there were simply as a tool to gain a partisan advantage by appealing to the GOP “base”. 

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 The Infamous Photo:

Proof of an Unforgivable Crime?

Much Ado about Nothing?

A Lesson in Democracy for Everyone? 

 

The vast majority of American agree that black-face is demeaning and offensive, that the KKK trafficked in unforgivable sins for more than a century and it’s policies remain an affront to a civilized society to this very day.

Now examine the “crime scene“.

Whether picture in question is Gov. Northam himself as a 25-year-old med student or of another unnamed EVMS student has either not been established or is not public knowledge at this time.

Nonetheless, a photograph of two med student dressed up in blackface and a KKK costume is obviously offensive and insulting by contemporary stands. It also is evidence of poor judgement by everyone involved judgment:

  • The Eastern Virginia Medical school’s staff, who authorized its publication in the yearbook,
  • Officials of the educational institution who officially tolerated such intolerance
  • The young men in the picture

The photo in questions was similar to dozens of other pictures of EVMS students displaying bad judgement in a variety of ways.  We must also note that the staff of the medical school approved the contents of the 1984 yearbook – blackface/KKK photo and all — before its publication and the administration of EVMS did not object. 

While this is all very troubling, we are still talking about an old photo from a dusty college yearbook dug up by right-wing operatives who gleefully used it for their own partisan purposes. 

During the 35 years prior to its politicalization, this picture sat between the dusty pages of a college yearbook, causing no direct harm or injury to anyone, and  would have remained there in perpetuity if not for ‘opposition’ research instigated by right-wing GOP operatives.

But the real issue here is proportionality, or in this case, the disproportional response, one that never looked at other and even more compelling facts before judging Gov. Northam to be guilty of an unforgivable crime.

In fact, the Virginia governor has an excellent record of public service as a pediatrician and politician during the three-plus decades since his graduation from EVMS.  As judged by his accomplishment, he is a respected and successful person.  An yet that can’t be the end of the issue, not a country that lives in the shadow of  a past history of black slavery and its contemporary consequences — the deep wound we call the racial divide.

Our country was forged by a war of independence fought to rid itself of oppressive British colonialism. Since winning our Independence, we have been a country that devoted itself to democracy — the pursuit of life, liberty and happiness, with equal justice for all. And yet collectively, we still haven’t decided if the slogan “Black Lives Matter” is a question or a statement.  Do “black lives matter”?

Putting the photo and surrounding events in perspective: I lived in a segregated southern state for two decades — 1957 to 1976. I saw systemised cruelty, irrational hatred, and crippling poverty up close and very personal. It made me sick-to-my-stomach back then, and still brings tears to my eyes today. This was an inexcusable crime against humanity that will forever be a stain on our democracy!

But Gov. Northam himself did NOT personally commit any of those crimes. Assuming the photo actually is of him, he is quite obviously guilty of being really stupid as a 25-year old college student at the Eastern Virginia Medical School

If the People of Virginia want to recall Gov. Northam, they can petition their State Legislature to do so. In the meantime, we must collectively eschew McCarthyism, “zero-tolerance” policies (also a really bad idea) and a trigger-happy, “shot-from-the-hip” style based on attempts to achieve a partisan advantage.

It is extremely unhelpful and unfair idea that poor judgments of medical students should be judged retrospectively decades later based on the assumption that every 25-year old medical student is a “mature adult” who is personally experienced in the ways of the world

Hint: My 25 year-old grandson is currently a freshman in medical school. He is a good students, smart, gets great grades, lots of friends, has been given added responsibilities by his professors — an all round wonderful young man who makes his grandmother proud.

However, he is just that — a young man, without the depth of experience with the complex larger world and in particular, the political ideas that apply to Gov. Northam that he will develop over the next decade or two of his life.

My eldest grandson and his little brother clowning around in the school’s anatomy lab

I would hate to have some random act that he did as a student — a photo, comment in the school paper, etc., that did not itself violate the rules of his college — would be used to summarily end his career 35 years later.

 

 

 

I invite all patriotic Americans to the higher ground of civic virtue, justice and compassion, which rejects  any “jump to judgement”, replacing it instead with fact-finding and deliberation.  

To paraphrase a famous silent motion pictures actress Mae West, who remarked on more than one occasion: “sometime a banana is just a banana”.

It’s also true that sometimes an old photograph is just an old photograph



Click here for ACT II: Politicians and public spokesmen who should have known better but instead created a firestorm in a cracked teapot

  • Why a policy of ‘mountain-out-of-a-molehill’ is bad for democracy
  • Why ‘zero tolerance’ is not only a failed policy but downright dangerous to civil a society

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Topic 4.

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

Wealthy Women Win, Poor Women (their families and all the rest of us) Lose 

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 include unwashed hands and unsterile instruments; both drastically increase the risk of virulent infection or torrential hemorrhage that ends in death or disaster for the mother

Abortion 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 women, as the men who impregnated them directly benefit from their ability – via wealth — to have these ‘inconvenient’ problems ‘fixed’.

Newspapers often run stories about conservative 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 create a scandal and threaten 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 lan (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.  

When it comes to the not rich or famous — ordinary women of limited means — my role as an ER nurse or working in Labor & Delivery Room nurse brought me face to face with terribly disturbing things 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 only permanent damage would be irreversible infertility, as this kind of infection seals 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.

Making abortion illegal or unattainable in the US, whether barriers are financial or geographical, disproportionately targets poor or very young women without an independent income. Often these are single mothers who are the family’s sole support.

This demographic 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, they 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 Republican-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 Congress amended this federal law in an “across the board”  prohibition of abortions services in any and 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

But the damage of unsafe illegal abortions is NOT strictly a problem for mothers or unborn babies. 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 It’s a story you’ll never be able to get out of your mind

It began when this man 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 her, 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 stick sharp pins into the fabric without harming the baby or jabbing one’s own fingers.  I can’t imagine trying to do this as a 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.  

Topic 5.

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 physicality of morning sickness, stretch marks, awkwardness, anxiety over finances and 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 feed, care for and 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 legally or ethically deserve to determine their own reproductive biology and or choose whether or not they are able to take on the life-long responsibilities that go along with caring for and raising a child at that time in their lives.

 

It always wonders me when I see a room full of men in expensive suits and fancy watches 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! 

End unnecessary abortions and the irrational shaming of women by putting the responsibility squarely where it begins and where it all  belongs–  with the men who are having sex.  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.

Put the blame, and shame, and the social and economic expense squarely where it belongs — the man who ejaculated in the birth canal —  and this anti-woman, anti-abortion, unethical debate being used as a political football for partisan advantage with vanish like wisps of morning fog at sunrise.  

Until then, we will continue to have a certain class of men — mostly wealthy, in positions of political power and insulated against the effects of their actions — will continue to insist that 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 doctor preference or hospital protocols is to perform an elective Cesarean for a supposedly ‘large’ baby, normal twin pregnancy or the mother had a previous Cesarean delivery. If she refuses this advice, the doctor or hospital attorney simply call a juvenile court judge and generally get a court order to perform the 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 devote years of their life collecting and disbursing many millions of dollars in order to convince state and federal legislatures to close clinics that provide safe and legal abortion services.

This kind of “play to pay” wealth is also used to finances election campaigns that political operatives believe will bring about more favorable (i.e more restrive) abortions-related rulings by the US Supreme Court 

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 and 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, with “ownership” rights in the hands of male relatives, doctors, lawyers, and judges.

But these ‘alternative facts’ are 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

 

@@@

 

 


Unfinished Work-N-Progress ~ Part III – Unpacking the Gov. Northam’s story point-by-point and putting the story to bed


2019 ~ Proposed Changes in Title X

  • The current Republican administration has issued new proposed regulations in the federal family planning program under Title X that would make significant changes to the program and to the types of providers that qualify for funding.
  • These proposed regulations would:

    • Block the availability of federal funds to family planning providers like Planned Parenthood that also offer abortion services;
    • Curtail counseling and referrals to abortion services by Title X funded providers;
    • Eliminate current requirements that Title X sites offer a broad range of medically approved family planning methods and non-directive pregnancy options counseling that includes information about prenatal care/delivery, adoption, and abortion; and
    • Direct new funds to faith-based and other organizations that promote fertility awareness and abstinence as methods of family planning.
  • Sites that do not offer abortion services may still qualify for Title X funds, but may decide not to participate because of concerns about clinical standards of care, medical liability, and burdensome administrative requirements.
  • If fully implemented, the proposed changes to Title X would shrink the network of participating providers and have major repercussions for low-income women across the country that rely on them for their family planning care.

Bad Ideas ~ Part II-A, Topics 1, 2, & 3 ~ Gov. Northam, right-wing newspaper ‘First-In-Freedom Daily’ & political strategies to make abortions illegal and unsafe

February 11, 2019

Easy-to-share shortcut →  https://tinyurl.com/y6bpyw7f Note: I divided this material into two parts to make it more readable, so topics 4 & 5 are a seperate post. The link to it is at the bottom. Part ii-B has its own TinyURL, should you want to share the link with someone else. Topic 1. (of 5) 99 years of surprising facts […]

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Bad Idea ~ Part 1: Forcing Gov. Northam’s resignation after a right-wing group dug up a troubling 35-year old college yearbook picture

February 3, 2019

Warning ~ This post is very critical of both the Republican and Democratic Parties Civic Virtue vs. a Disproportionate Reaction & ‘shot first, ask questions later‘ political policy reminiscent of McCarthyism Easy shortcut to share ~ https://tinyurl.com/y38guybs Current attempts by politicians from both parties to force the resignation of Gov. Northam is unfair and bad for democracy. This politically-driven, “shot-from-the-hip” […]

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Why America’s Suddenly Leaping Forward — While the World’s Hurtling Backwards ~ repost MEDIUM

January 19, 2019

Reposted from MEDIUM ~ Online Journalism “Where Words Matter”  and Eudaimonia & Co Note from the Editor (me): I consider this to be the first and so far the only contemporary journalist to see a light at the end of our dysfunctional tunnel — one created by the GOP staring in the min-1970s and culminating […]

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