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I wrote about this back in July at my own blog, and I'll reproduce the entire posthere.

This new regulation, HHS-45-CFR part 88 is an abomination to all women, but one of the least talked about applications of it is how this will effect infertiles and recurrent miscarriers. By focusing on them I'm by no means denying the horrific effects this will have on women of normal fertility or pregnant women in general. Just, here's another perspective.

This has made the rounds amongst the feminist blogs, but I think it's equally important to women dealing with infertility and loss. So, here you are.

I've made it pretty clear that I am adamantly and proudly pro-choice, but I'm not debating actual abortion here, now. I've also written repeatedly about my belief, derived from logical conclusion, that any abortion restriction (ok, most) has a negative impact on miscarrying women.

Well, let me show you how.

Recently a draft proposal from the Bush Administration was leaked, and it is disturbing. In summation, the proposal does this:

Therefore, for the purpose of these proposed regulations, and implementing and enforcing the Church Amendment, Public Health Service Act §245, and the Weldon Amendment, the Department proposes to define abortion as "any of the various procedures—including the prescription and administration of any drug or the performance of any procedure or any other action—that results in the termination of the life of a human being in utero between conception and natural birth, whether before or after implantation."

Any drug, procedure, or any other action that could result in the demise of a fertilized egg. Let's break that down, shall we?

Again, we're assuming Bush gets his way and abortion is outlawed. This would at the bare minimum outlaw cancer treatment for women, antidepressants, most painkillers, many antibiotics, etc.

And, of course, IVF, embryo freezing (not all embryos make it), embryonic stem cell research.

It gets worse. Keep in mind they said "any action."

The Bush administration has already suggested that women of fertile age shouldn't handle cat feces due to risk of toxoplasmosis to their hypothetical potential embryo. So, there goes that.

In addition, consuming lunch meat, unpasteurized dairy, or taking a hot bath. Hell, drinking coffee.

"But Ashley," you say, "doctors and scientists know that those things don't cause miscarriage." See, that doesn't matter. Science, logic, and reality doesn't matter to these people. The government is seriously trying to enshrine in law the BELIEFS of, well, fucking crazy people.

"The Department proposes, then, to allow individuals and institutions to adhere to their own views and adopt a definition of abortion that encompasses both views of abortion."

This statement is prefaced by a discussion over the two competing views of the beginning of human life. The scientific community says that pregnancy begins at implantation, because that's a verifiable and testable moment, largely because the ZEF (zygote/embryo/fetus) interacts with the woman's system. The religious view point is that pregnancy begins the moment of conception. The thing is, there is no way we can possibly know when that is, at all. And considering the sheer number of chemical pregnancies, it's something that happens to pretty much every woman.

Now, of course, science knows that birth control pills, Plan B, etc. don't interfere with implantation, but the religious people believe this happens. That is enough to enshrine it in law according to this document.

I think you can see why this is disturbing. If you want to actually read the proposal, here it is: http://www.rhrealitycheck.org/...

**********

I wrote this back when I was in the throes of infertility and rather depressed by it. Now, at 15 weeks pregnant, this regulation scares me even more.

Should I develop severe pre-eclampsia and have an anesthesiologist with a "conscience" he could do his best to stop a termination procedure and thereby greatly increase my chance of stroke or death.

Were this pregnancy ectopic (thankfully it's not) and my doctor was a Catholic, I'd lose 50% of my fertility instead of just my pregnancy.

If this were a molar pregnancy (and thankfully, it's not) I could have a nurse refuse to assist in my termination, again risking my life.

Heck, if the nurse I had when I went to the ER with hyperemesis gravidarum had been a real stickler about drug labels, she could have refused to give me anti-nausea meds (I was given a class B drug, something that is only shown to be safe in gestating animals, not necessarily gestating humans), thereby increasing my dehydration and the risk to my child.

After this pregnancy, there's even more fun to be had at my expense by the religious reich. I have PCOS, which causes infertility and miscarriage (amongst other things). There is a chance that I will go back on the pill post partum in order to preserve my fertility; should a pharmacist refuse my prescription, they'd be making it potentially far more difficult for me to become pregnant again at a later date.

This regulation has so many more implications than just abortion and birth control, and could severely restrain the health choices of every woman between the ages of 10 and 60 in this country.

One final thought.....

Realistically, an oncologist can refuse to give any woman chemotherapy in the belief that she may be harboring a fertilized egg.

Originally posted to sunflwrmoonbeam on Thu Dec 18, 2008 at 10:14 AM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  On the Other Hand (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    northsylvania

    Is a good way to identify the assholes and quickly eliminate them when shopping for competent health care. I don't want any of these creeps to have anything to do with my body.

    Eeewwwww!

    Now we will know who they are.

    __________________________
    The problems we face today cannot be solved by the minds that created them.

    by Pluto on Thu Dec 18, 2008 at 10:24:08 AM PST

    •  Yeah, but rural women (8+ / 0-)

      or the women who live in the bible belt, or who only have access to Catholic hospitals (a good friend in WV is in this situation)

      And the list goes on.

      Not everyone has choice when it comes to healthcare. I'm in a rather major town in Illinois and there are only two (large) clinics and two hospitals. Both clinics are secular, one hospital is Catholic and the other has highly questionable billing practices and has screwed over a large number of my friends.

      Ideally, I'd not go to either hospital. So, what do I do, drive 3 hours to Chicago?

      •  I Would Imagine This Would... (0+ / 0-)

        ...be an excellent opportunity for competent physicians to gain market share of women patients, the majority of whom like total control what goes on in their underpants.

        __________________________
        The problems we face today cannot be solved by the minds that created them.

        by Pluto on Thu Dec 18, 2008 at 10:48:41 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Too bad there's a shortage (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Ice Blue, chemicalresult

          Especially in rural areas.

          And, in the meantime, women suffer and/or die.

          •  A Shortage of What? (0+ / 0-)

            Doctors who are not mentally cripled by religion? Do they tend to be rural?

            If so, that would be a problem.

            Whatever happens, these same rural woman, still have to use an imbecile for doctor who thinks that she is a disgusting piece of shit for dumping a clot of cells she does not want.

            It sucks either way. What can be done?

            __________________________
            The problems we face today cannot be solved by the minds that created them.

            by Pluto on Thu Dec 18, 2008 at 11:10:04 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Physicians (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Ice Blue

              There's a PHYSICIAN shortage.

              Meaning people have a hard time finding a doctor, and it's only going to get worse.

              And, as I've been saying, in the meantime, women suffer and/or die.

              •  Because they can't find a physician? (0+ / 0-)

                I know that I do have problems getting referals to specialists. It's annoying.

                Is that why they are dying?

                __________________________
                The problems we face today cannot be solved by the minds that created them.

                by Pluto on Thu Dec 18, 2008 at 11:16:14 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Ok, let's put it this way (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  sardonyx, Pluto, chemicalresult

                  These groups are a) actively proselytizing and winning lots of converts, and b) until now, or a month from now, doctors were required to do what was best for the patient.

                  So, say the OB you've had for your last 3 pregnancies suddenly converts and you have an ectopic. OB decides MTX is wrong, and you lose your tube. There goes half of your fertility. That, or you die. (Cf: Ron Paul)

                  And yes, women without access to prenatal care have a much higher risk of a negative outcome to their pregnancy. Last I checked Mississippi has the highest maternal and neonatal death rate in the country.

                  As it is I have a hard time getting in to see my OB, and I have an option of about 40 of them in my town. However, most are either known religious, known butchers (episiotomy, high c-section rate), don't take my insurance, practice only at the Catholic hospital, or are male (I WILL NOT see a male gyno.) That leaves a very select few who are secular, natural birth friendly, take my insurance, and practice at the secular hospital. On top of it, I need to find one who doesn't despise fat women.

                  To my knowledge, my OB is not religious (or, at least, not in a way that's dangerous to my health), but if she is I have no idea where I'd go.

              •  The nursing shortage is hitting us hard, too. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Pluto

                There are a very few nurses and PAs around here who I'd trust with my life.  Very few.  Most of the rest got their certificates from a local vocational school and are as dumb as a box of rocks.

                A jackass can kick down a barn but it takes a carpenter to build one.--Sam Rayburn (D-TX)

                by Ice Blue on Thu Dec 18, 2008 at 11:25:21 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  At one point I wanted to be a massage therapist (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Ice Blue, Pluto

                  and as an prereq to the program I had to take anatomy and physiology for people going into medical programs. Most of my classmates were looking to be nurses, PAs, xray techs, etc. And they were all frightfully dumb. Like, couldn't understand basic science dumb.

                  I no longer trust nurses implicitly. They have to prove they're not idiots before I'll stop treating them like one, and it's a damn shame.

                  •  After I had my stroke, my neurologist needed (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Pluto

                    another CT scan, and I had an allergic reaction to the dye.  I was ready to puke, but the dumbass tech left me strapped and clamped in the scanner while she ran to find a doctor.  You don't know helpless until you're gulping down your own vomit while your head's in a vise grip.

                    The radiologist spoke with her afterwards.

                    A jackass can kick down a barn but it takes a carpenter to build one.--Sam Rayburn (D-TX)

                    by Ice Blue on Thu Dec 18, 2008 at 11:47:00 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

        •  If only the market were that wide open (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Ice Blue, Pluto

          Quite apart from the numerous and incisive comments made here regarding those who, due to location, have limited choices to begin with, most physicians that I know of, in urban areas where there are ostensibly more choices, are overwhelmed already. The best doctors are the ones you'll have a hell of time getting an appointment with.

    •  In an emergency (7+ / 0-)

      You do not have the luxury to "shop." And an emergency is precisely when a woman would be most vulnerable.

      "I can't come to bed yet! Someone is WRONG on the Internet!" - XKCD

      by SingularExistence on Thu Dec 18, 2008 at 10:27:15 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  In What Sense? (0+ / 0-)

        I can't get the scenario. You mean rape?

        __________________________
        The problems we face today cannot be solved by the minds that created them.

        by Pluto on Thu Dec 18, 2008 at 10:49:28 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Severe pre-eclampsia (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Ice Blue, NogodsnomastersMary

          for one. Car accident.

          This regulation could feasibly deny any medical care (x rays, chemotherapy) to women of child bearing age for fear that it will harm a fertilized egg.

          •  Oh Dear. (0+ / 0-)

            This is a reach, don't you think?

            __________________________
            The problems we face today cannot be solved by the minds that created them.

            by Pluto on Thu Dec 18, 2008 at 11:03:03 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Totally plausible (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Ice Blue, Pluto

              All too often we have to deal with the letter of a law, and not the intent. And the letter clearly allows such things, as I prove above.

              Did you read my diary?

            •  Furthermore (0+ / 0-)

              a common chemotherapy drug, methrotrexate, is also an abortifacient.

              So, oncologists could refuse to give ANY patient this drug because it's an evil abortifacient, but specifically women.

              •  Well, I Wouldn't Let a Doctor (0+ / 0-)

                Like that anywhere near my body if I had cancer. How horrifying to think they are now forced to do this while despising you the whole time.

                They should say so up front, even if the measure is not passed. These idiots must be identified now.

                __________________________
                The problems we face today cannot be solved by the minds that created them.

                by Pluto on Thu Dec 18, 2008 at 11:13:30 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Reasons why I'm grilling my doc tomorrow (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Ice Blue, Pluto

                  Because I'm undergoing a semi-complicated pregnancy (partial previa at 12 weeks, borderline HG, all after recurrent pregnancy loss) and scared out of my mind. I really need to know who I can deal with.

                  But this also applies to nurses and other practitioners. And you can't talk to every staff member at the hospital. You never know who's going to be working.

          •  This clause permits them to deny treatment (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Pluto

            but does it also shelter them from the resulting lawsuits if this denial causes harm to the woman?

            Fuck federal laws, once a provider begins costing a hospital money, he or she would be toast.

            A jackass can kick down a barn but it takes a carpenter to build one.--Sam Rayburn (D-TX)

            by Ice Blue on Thu Dec 18, 2008 at 11:16:35 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  No (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Ice Blue

              Because sometimes the appropriate treatment is expensive.

              I have an online friend who's pregnant with twin and suffered preterm premature rupture of membranes of one of her twins at 13 weeks. He has no chance of survival, and there's a high risk of infection to both the other fetus and the mother. Most doctors have recommended termination, and the mother refused. Her care is getting extremely expensive and who knows how much insurance is paying for, and how much they'll be able to afford.

              The doctors could have refused to treat her because she didn't follow their recommendations (and this is indeed quite common...ob's fire patients all the time), but because they're decent people they've been trying to help her despite the fact that she's having the pregnancy from hell.

              She's now 21.5 weeks and it looks like will have one live, if extremely premature baby at the end of this. If they were looking at cost and likelihood of payment, this wouldn't be true.

              Admittedly, this is not the same as a lawsuit, but you can't look at the bottom line when it comes to stuff like this.

        •  Well, there's that (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Pluto, sfbob, NogodsnomastersMary

          There are also things that can crop up during pregnancy (a friend of mine needed an emergency D&C, for example), there are situations where heroic efforts to save a fetus could damage a woman's health or fertility, there are drugs and treatments that might endanger a fetus but would nonetheless be the safest course of action for the woman, etc.

          The point is, by the time you get to a situation where you need urgent care, you're sick. You're scared. You're too weak to comparison shop. And you should not have to.

          Every woman in this country should have the right to obtain medical care independent of the judgment of religious bigots.

          "I can't come to bed yet! Someone is WRONG on the Internet!" - XKCD

          by SingularExistence on Thu Dec 18, 2008 at 10:58:34 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Indeed. (0+ / 0-)

            Hospitals will need to make serious policy announcements and disclose whether they employ mentally-disabled doctors in their emergency rooms.

            __________________________
            The problems we face today cannot be solved by the minds that created them.

            by Pluto on Thu Dec 18, 2008 at 11:05:15 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  It's not just the doctors (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Ice Blue, Pluto

              It's nurses. It's pharmacists. It's administrators. It's the freaking receptionist.

              Any and all of these people can make decisions or judgment calls that have a direct and potentially devastating impact on a woman's life or health.

              And George W. Bush just gave them the wrecking ball.

              "I can't come to bed yet! Someone is WRONG on the Internet!" - XKCD

              by SingularExistence on Thu Dec 18, 2008 at 11:16:59 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  These re all Good Points (0+ / 0-)

                Even if this doesn't pass -- I want a new bill proposed that all heath workers must disclose whether or not they are being controlled by the Spaghetti Monster -- and thus could endanger your life.

                I am absolutely serious about that.

                __________________________
                The problems we face today cannot be solved by the minds that created them.

                by Pluto on Thu Dec 18, 2008 at 11:20:03 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

    •  I'll be questioning my (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Pluto, NogodsnomastersMary

      pharmacist today.

      and this will be a huge topic of conversation at the health care meeting I plan on attending tomorrow night.

    •  For those of us with that luxury, yes, (4+ / 0-)

      For those using the only medical care for 50 miles, not so much.

      the third eye does not weep. it knows. Political compass: -9.75 / -8.72

      by mijita on Thu Dec 18, 2008 at 10:40:52 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  The people who try and add their religion into (0+ / 0-)

    the health care of others will find themselves out of a job.  Who's gonna put up with that shit?
    Many religions have different health remedies.

    You said:

    The scientific community says that pregnancy begins at implantation, because that's a verifiable and testable moment, largely because the ZEF (zygote/embryo/fetus) interacts with the woman's system. The religious view point is that pregnancy begins the moment of conception.

    Life begins in my balls, and I need more to protect me than a rubber sleeve.

    The only answer is free vasectomies for poor men worldwide!
    Nothing is greener!
    Nothing is more anti-war!
    Nothing is more pro choice or anti-abortion

    Stop giving war mongers soldiers and prisons new tenants.
    Unplanned,unwanted children and their parents are killing us all!

    Anytime you blame the poor, you are complaining about the behavior of the slaves, when you should be doing all you can to stop the slavery. - A Seattle Comedian

    by THE BIG FUNNY on Thu Dec 18, 2008 at 10:35:20 AM PST

  •  Congratulations (2+ / 0-)

    and best wishes for a dreamy pregnancy!

    I was totally enthralled during my pregnancy, even though I was wetting myself (he sat on top of my bladder), huge swelling, vomitted the whole pregnancy (my husband had a good time making me vomit and then wet myself laughing afterwards).

    And yes, dickWad has done it again.  During my pregnancy, it was soon after a near-death accident.  I was still in need of many x-rays, many, many tests and if I were pregnant now - zip. Nothing to be done.

    Just when you think dickWad has "done it all" - he ups the ante!  Prison is too good for this man.

  •  Er (0+ / 0-)

    Were this pregnancy ectopic (thankfully it's not) and my doctor was a Catholic, I'd lose 50% of my fertility instead of just my pregnancy.

    The CHAUSA (Catholic Health Care Association of the USA) does hold that using MTX in ectopic pregnancies is permissible. There are Catholics or another Christians who dissent from the CHAUSA position, but polls have suggested that a large majority of America Catholics support it.

    Besides, there are certainly cases where MTX is not a viable treatment option for an ectopic pregnancy. You wouldn't be able to blame a doctor's religion for that.

    I'm 100% against this new regulation, but we should not oppose it by resorting to questionable distortions like this.

    "The universe is run by the complex interweaving of three elements: energy, matter, and enlightened self-interest." - G'Kar

    by croyal on Thu Dec 18, 2008 at 10:46:09 AM PST

  •  There's a physician at my rural public (0+ / 0-)

    hospital who already wears her venomous catholic views on her sleeve.  She adores teen breeders, but when I told her about my abortion she treated me like dirt. This twit's young enough to think if Roe v. Wade is overthrown, every pregnant woman will blissfully carry their babies to term.

    As a pre-menopausal woman, I'd already be terrified to go to her for cancer treatment.  If there was a chemo treatment for it that caused birth defects, would she tell me about it?  I seriously doubt it.

    A jackass can kick down a barn but it takes a carpenter to build one.--Sam Rayburn (D-TX)

    by Ice Blue on Thu Dec 18, 2008 at 11:08:33 AM PST

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