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Archive for the ‘Abortion Supreme Court’ Category

Abortion Blockade

Abortion Blockade

What in God’s name is  going on in the Commonwealth of Virginia?

Last week, the state House and Senate in Virginia passed a bill that requires women to undergo an ultrasound procedure before having an abortion and, in many cases, it would require them to have a transvaginal ultrasound!     That’s right, I am not making this up.  In many cases, especially early abortions, the doctor would be forced to insert a probe inside the woman’s vagina in order to see the reproductive organs.

Vaginal Probe State Mandated Penetration

Vaginal Probe State Mandated Penetration

The anti-abortion crowd gets more disgusting with each passing year.

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John Boehner

At this point, I assume you know that a new health care system is being implemented in this country.  If you don’t know this then…..well, there is no sense in reading this cause, honey, you are on another planet.

We’ve heard all the arguing and seen some of the commercials and watched the elections and all.  We’ve heard how the new Speaker of the House, John Boehner, has vowed to repeal the new law.  Well, that’s a total crock because while the House of Representatives will vote to repeal it, it’s unlikely that the Senate will do the same and, if by some chance they do repeal it, well, Obama-Man is sitting there with his ole veto pen.  End of story.

We’re gonna be living with this new law for some time.  That being the case, I thought I would regularly send you a short explanation of what all of this means to you to cut through all of the stuff that you see and don’t have time to sort out.

A number of the provisions of the law will not take effect for quite a while, but some things are already in effect.  So, right now, here’s the deal:

Any health plan that you get through your job or any new individual plan has to let any kids you have under 19 to have coverage.  In other words, they cannot be denied coverage if they are already sick or have some medical condition.

If your health insurance allows you to have coverage for your dependents, then they can be covered until they are 26 years old.  After that, you kick them out of the house and they’re on their own.

Insurance companies cannot drop you from their plans when you get sick just because you made a mistake on your coverage application.

Many insurance companies say that during your lifetime you can only be covered up to a certain point.  Today, there are no limits.

If your employer offers a health plan, you generally can’t be turned away or charged a higher premium because of your health status or disability.  This protection is called “nondiscrimination.”

If family members are eligible but are not currently enrolled under your health plan at work, you may be able to add them during a “special enrollment” opportunity outside of the usual “open enrollment” period.

Not too shabby, huh?

There’s so much more to come!  Stay tuned.

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Today Show

I have been watching the “Today” show for a good thirty years.  I’ve been through dozens of co-hosts and countless funky weathermen.  Unfortunately, in the last few years I’ve watched “Today” morph from a true news show to a morning version of “Entertainment Tonight.”  And I’m tired of it.  So, Matt and Meredith and Al, if you are listening, I need to tell you that I’m gone.

The tipping point came yesterday morning.  Waiting for my coffee to brew, buttering my toast, I switched on the TV to Channel Four and heard that familiar opening theme.  You know the one I’m talking about, the one that starts with the three heavy notes.  I can’t convey that sound in writing, but if you take a second you’ll hear it.  Then, after this dramatic intro, you hear the somber voice of Matt Lauer.

“Soaker,” he announces.

Huh?   Did he say “soaker?”    What the frig does “soaker”  mean?

I glance at the television and see a quick shot of a street and it looks like it is raining.  I am puzzled.

He then gives us the next one word verbal “headline,” which I will get to in a minute.

After this titillating intro, Matt proceeds to give us a little more information on that FIRST story on this NATIONAL television broadcast that is being watched my MILLIONS of Americans.  I have to assume it’s something significant.  I am on the edge of my seat.

He proceeds to tell us that it is raining pretty hard in Florida.  Yep, that’s it.  The first story of the day is that it is raining heavily somewhere in the state of Florida.  People are getting – you guessed it – soaked.  What the heck?  Is that it?  Are you kidding me?

Matt and Meredith

Then, for a live, action-filled report on this breaking story, the camera cuts to some dweeb who is standing in the middle of this “soaker” wearing the obligatory heavy rain gear.  His hood is over his head but, honestly, I don’t see any rain falling on him.   Now, mind you, he is not talking about a hurricane.  No one has mentioned the word “tropical storm.”   Heck, he hasn’t even used the word “tropical depression.”   No, it was just a lot of rain.  It was a “soaker.”

They cut to a street where you can see some water backing up.  I also see cars flying back and forth, zipping right through the puddles.   Meanwhile, this brave reporter, who wants us to think he is risking his life for us, is using the obligatory buzzwords to keep our attention.  “I will add, Matt, that there have been no DEATHS or no SERIOUS INJURIES due to this STORM. “

This was the first story of the day.  This was the hard news that the producers of “Today” thought I just had to know.   Then there was the second most important story of the day.

It seems that there was some beauty contest in Australia or New Zealand or one of those semi-English speaking countries.  After hours of inane interviews and silly talent displays, the field was pared down to two young girls.  The emcee, a woman, took out the card with the winner’s name on it and, in true Ryan Seacrest form, milked the announcement for several minutes.  The tension was palpable.  Finally, she declares the winner and the place goes nuts.  The new Miss Marsupial is screaming her lungs out, jumping all over the place.  The runner-up gives her the obligatory hug while no doubt cursing her under her breath.

But, wait a minute!   The emcee is yelling something over the din.  She is screaming “I made a mistake, I made a mistake!”   Well, it seems that she screwed it up and named the wrong person.  So, she had to suck it up, stop the premature celebration and announce, practically in tears, that the original winner was really the runner up.

A funny story, if you ask me.  Maybe a little sad as well.

But my point is was this really the SECOND MOST IMPORTANT

Anne and Al

NATIONAL story of the day?  I mean, c’mon folks, do I really need to know about this screw up?  Didn’t anything happen somewhere in the rest of the entire world that qualified as real news?   We’re in a war for God’s sakes, didn’t we win some skirmish somewhere or capture some terrorist?   Didn’t some city or state pass some controversial new law?   Believe me, Matt, I can take the hard news if you got it.

But the more I think about it, maybe the “Today” show and other “news” shows are just giving the public want they want.  Maybe most folks don’t want to hear about some boring debate in the U.S. Congress, even if it is about a bill that would reduce carbon emissions and possibly stave off the DESTRUCTION OF OUR PLANET.  Maybe people just don’t want to be too serious and they’re just looking for fluff.  In some ways I guess can’t blame them.  But, for me, I must say adios Matt.

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Abortion Mental Health

Abortion Mental Health

I am supposed to use this blog to talk about “healthy women.”   All right – I will be honest with you.  I am by no means an expert in women’s health, but, sure, I could do some research on some issue and pass it on to you and you could read it or not.  But then this blog would be like billions of other blogs out there.  It would be BORING.

So, I’m gonna stretch my jurisdiction a bit and you can tell me if it makes sense.  I am going to focus on things that affect our mental health.  In other words, I am going to talk about some things that DRIVE ME CRAZY.

The first thing I want to talk about is the local TV weatherman or – politically correct moment coming – weatherwoman.  No, that’s not even right.  I think they now call themselves “meteorologists” or, if they are over 25 years old and their acne has cleared up, they are called a “chief meteorologist.”

Did you ever notice how these people are on the TV screen every ten minutes?  Seriously, watch the news for one hour straight and tally up how much time is devoted to talking about the weather.  As if things can change that quickly in your local area.  I mean, is there no other news out there?  Why the heck to we have to be barraged with the same information every ten minutes?

Then, notice how each weather segment now has a title.   “Now, from Channel  4’s STORM CENTER, here is Benny Silverman with the STORM CENTER news!”   The oh-so-perky Benny Silverman comes on, horn rimmed glasses and bow tie, and proceeds to tell us that it will be a sunny day, temperatures in the mid 70’s, great bike riding weather.  “And that’s my report from the STORM CENTER!  Back to you, Betty.”

What just happened?   What about the friggin STORM?

The thing that drives me totally nuts is when they give the temperatures in the local area.  They pull up a map and pick about 10 cities within a twenty mile radius and underneath the city’s name they post the current temperature.  “So, right now in Alexandria it’s a comfortable 71 degrees.  Up in Bethesda (30 miles away), it’s 72 degrees.  And look at Reston – they are at a chilly 69 degrees.   Better bundle up folks!”

Why for God’s sake do I need to know the temperature in every friggin town in my area?   It’s not like it varies by 15 degrees of so.  “Hey, Mabel, let’s drive up to Arlington today, it looks like it’s gonna be cooler up there!”  What the hell?

And don’t get me started on when the forecasters see a blip on their screen telling them that a gaggle of clouds is forming near some tropical island 1,000 miles south of Puerto Rico.  Oh my God – it could be the STORM OF THE CENTURY!   We need to monitor that one!   The meteorologist needs to stay here, send our weatherman to the ocean, put some rain gear on him and have him report to us in front of crashing waves!    And start running “storm alerts” every five minutes!

Do me a favor, folks.  In two minutes tell me if it’s gonna rain or not and tell me how high the temperature is going to get.  Then, God forbid, use all that extra time to tell me what is going on in the world.

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Abortion US Supreme Court building

Abortion & The Supreme Court

On January 22, 1973 the Supreme Court of the United States held that women had a right to terminate their pregnancies.  The case was Roe v Wade and no other Supreme Court case has had such a dramatic impact on the lives of women in this country.

Prior to that case, most states banned abortion.  Of course, those states could not ban the desire of a woman to obtain an abortion.  For hundreds, if not thousands of years, women faced with an unwanted pregnancy have always at least considered abortion and some obtained them.  That meant that many women each year were procuring illegal abortions.

The world of illegal abortion was always a world of whispers.  A woman would “get in trouble” and, if she felt there was absolutely no way that she could have the baby, she would quietly start talking to anyone she could trust.  In every major city, there always seemed to be a least one doctor who would be willing to do the abortion, but these “abortionists” usually performed these illegal procedures in the shadows, in dirty “back alleys” with unsterilized instruments, no counseling, no sophisticated anesthesia, and no follow up exams.  The result was hundreds and hundreds of women each year died on the operating tables or wound up in the emergency room of the local hospital with their “miscarriage.”

Incredibly, some women who could not find the abortionist wound up performing an abortion on themselves.   The bloody coat hanger became a (harsh but real) symbol of the pro-choice movement because so many women used them to self-abort.  Others concocted medical potions that they hoped would kill the fetus in utero.

There have been many books and movies about the world of illegal abortion.  John Irving’s “The Cider House Rules” is a good one and the movie “If These Walls Could Talk” contained an excellent segment on a woman seeking an illegal abortion.

Ultimately, some more enlightened states like Colorado, California and New York passed laws legalizing abortion.  Clinics were quickly opened and they were barraged with patients.  Women from all over the world, yes, the world flew into those states to procure a legal (and safer) abortion.  Clinic owners talk about sending out buses or limousines to the airport to transport the dozens of women who had flown in to get an abortion.

Then, everything changed on January 22nd.  The Court said abortion was legal in all of the states with some caveats – and the floodgates opened up.  Suddenly, all across the country doctors, feminists and others started opening up clinics.  The rest is a long story, but the story is a celebration to women’s health.  Today, abortion is one of the safest and most common surgical procedures performed on women.

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Abortion Supreme Court

Abortion Supreme Court

Do you believe that a woman should have the right to terminate her pregnancy?

Well, if you do then you need to find some time in the next week or so to take some simple, political action.

The question of whether or not abortion should be legal rests in the hands of the nine judges who sit on the United States Supreme Court.  As most of you know, it was the Supreme Court that made abortion legal in this country in the first place when they decided the Roe v. Wade decision in 1973.  On a 7-2 vote, the court held that the constitutional right to privacy extended to the right to have an abortion.   Parenthetically, with that decision the pro-life movement was born.

Over the years, the Supreme Court has obviously changed as justices have retired or died.  And over those years, the Court has never had an occasion to specifically decide whether or not abortion should remain legal.   For the most part, the cases dealt with peripheral issues, like whether or not states could enact parental consent laws or 24 hour waiting periods.  Still, in some of those cases, a justice might add, almost as an aside, whether or not they supported the original Roe v. Wade decision.  Thus, we now know that at this moment in time, the Supreme Court favors legal abortion by a 6-3 vote (although some pro-choice advocates express concern about the Court’s swing vote, Justice Anthony Kennedy).

But now Justice John Paul Stevens, a clear pro-choice vote, is retiring and President Obama has nominated Elena Kagan to replace Justice Stevens.  It is generally assumed that Ms. Kagan is pro-choice, although some Presidents have been surprised in the past.  Still, the consensus is we need her on the court to retain the 6-3 vote.

The next step is for the U.S. Senate to confirm the nomination but the Republican Party, led by numerous pro-life activists, will pull out all the stops to hamper or even prevent her from being confirmed.  Should her nomination be stalled, President Obama may be forced to find a more moderate justice, perhaps one that has no record on abortion, and that could be disastrous.

So, it’s time for you to take action.

Write to your two Senators and ask them to support Elena Kagan.  If you do not know who your Senators are, go to the U.S. Senate website for that information.  Sit down and compose a very simple message urging your Senators to confirm President Obama’s nominee.  If your Senator happens to be pro-choice, urge him or her to support Kagan to help preserve the right to choose.  If your Senator is pro-life, don’t mention the abortion issue.

The worst thing pro-choice people can do is to get complacent.  Democracy is a participatory sport, it takes energy and we owe it to future generations to do what we can to preserve this precious constitutional right.

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Abortion Chlamydia

Abortion Chlamydia

Chlamydia is the most frequently reported bacterial sexually transmitted infection (STI).  It is spread through oral, vaginal or anal sex.

Because the cervix (opening to the uterus) of teenage girls and young women is not fully matured, they are at particularly high risk for infection if sexually active.  Even newborns can be infected! During vaginal childbirth, an infected mother can pass Chlamydia to her newborn that can result in complications, including infant pneumonia.

The surest way to avoid transmission of any sexually transmitted infections is to abstain from sexual contact or to be in a long-term mutually monogamous relationship with a partner who has been tested and is known to be uninfected. Latex male condoms, when used consistently and correctly, can reduce, but not eliminate, the risk of transmission of Chlamydia. This means using condoms in all forms of sex: oral, vaginal and anal.

About three quarters of infected women and about half of infected men actually show no symptoms. Those who have reported symptoms say that they appear from one to three weeks after they were exposed to someone with Chlamydia.

In women, the bacteria first infects the cervix and the urethra (urine canal). Women who do have symptoms might have an abnormal vaginal discharge or a burning sensation when urinating. When the infection spreads from the cervix to the fallopian tubes, some women still have no signs or symptoms.  Other women, however, may experience nausea, lower abdominal pain, fever, low back pain, pain during intercourse, or bleeding between menstrual periods. At times, Chlamydia can even spread to the rectum.

Men with signs or symptoms might have a discharge from their penis or a burning sensation when urinating. They might also have burning and itching around the opening of the penis. Men or women who have anal intercourse may get Chlamydia in the rectum, which can cause rectal pain, discharge, or bleeding.  Chlamydia can also be found in the throats of women and men having oral sex with an infected partner.

Even though symptoms of Chlamydia are usually mild or absent, there can be serious complications that cause irreversible damage, including infertility.  One possible complication, Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID), if left untreated, can cause infertility or more frequent periods. Severe cases may even spread to the liver and kidneys causing dangerous internal bleeding, lung failure and death.

Chlamydia can be detected in sexually transmitted infection screening and treated immediately with antibiotics.  Indeed, the only sure way for a person who has been at risk for Chlamydia to tell whether they’re infected is to be tested.

After treatment, all sexual partners must be treated again to avoid possible transmission to others and re-contamination of you. Yes, you can get it back from your partner who may not even know they have it!

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