Thursday, February 09, 2012

Scary, Scary, Scary.....Indeed.


Yesterday we noted the tapestry of injustice that is Rick Santorum winning every caucus/primary in sight just a few days after he babbled on biliously about how abortion is linked to breast cancer....

Reader Chris commented:

The real wonder is that women aren't flooding the streets here to protest the same anti-abortion push by our own PM, which he has cleverly allowed his "independent-minded" backbencher to argue in order to hold on to his rightwing base ... am I the only one around here old enough to remember how hard women had to fight for this right?

Scary, scary, scary.

In answer to Chris' comment, I can only say that there are others who do, indeed, remember.

It's just not clear how many.

Which is darned scary.

And I reckon, you could say the say the same thing about the days before universality in healthcare in Canada, which our good friend Cathie did awhile ago:

"I remember the doctor's strike in July of 1962 in Saskatchewan. I was a teenager at the time, and I remember how scared we all were without doctors. And a baby died of meningitis because his parents couldn't find a doctor to care for him. I remember my parents, both CCFers, talking about how important it was that the government hold fast and keep up the fight.

According to a doctor in Prince Albert, who was one of the few at the time who supported medicare, the first summer medicare was in force he saw dozens of people with medical conditions they had neglected for years, because they couldn't afford a doctor and had been too proud to ask for charity.

We need to remember all of this -- how painful and dangerous and humiliating it was to be unable to afford a doctor; and how hard it was to bring medicare into existence. We simply cannot loose it just because we take it for granted now."

Then I chimed in on the matter of a women's right to choose:

I was a teenager in the 1970's, so I do not remember my parents' concerns about how they would pay the doctor's bills if I had become catastrophically sick when I was an infant.

But I did start my own family in the 1990's while living in the States so in this case I'm lucky, I guess, that the present day taught me history while I worried about my own child.

Anyway, because of my age I do remember the courage of
Dr. Henry Morgentaler in Canada and the importance of the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision in the States. And while I never had occasion to be directly involved in a situation where I would have needed the services they made available to all who chose to use them, I did have a friend who did.

And now, because of my obsessive reading, I find out that the good Doctor, on the cusp of fame and fortune, tried to access those services for his wife Sandy, but could not because she ran into trouble too soon.

"And so much for all that. I have to go upstairs and call the hospital. Sandy is in there again with another miscarriage - a real nightmare version, this time, since it puts me head on with the abortion laws. She's only two months pregnant, but the pain is so bad she can't stand up....and the pigs say they can't do a therapeutic abortion. All they do is keep her drugged up on codein and wait for God to work His Will. The D&C operation is as simple as pulling a tooth, but they won't do it.....and this is Colorado, which recently passed a "liberalized" abortion law. Man, I'm coming to really hate that word 'liberal'"
Hunter S. Thompson,Letter to Oscar Z. Acosta (his 'Samoan' Attorney), March 1970
Reprinted in: The Gonzo Letters Vol II, Simon and Schuster, 2000, pp 286-7.

At two months! This is way before quick, with a woman who had a history of life-threatening difficulties and still she and her husband could not make informed decisions of their own just three years before the first of many final decisions on Roe v. Wade.

Which makes it all the more important to forget about sifting through the tea leaves of 50,000 pages of side issues about what he said or did 20 years ago. Instead, during his confirmation hearings Democratic Senators must somehow find the gumption to ask the following direct question of Bush Supreme Court nominee, John Roberts:

"If there was a constitutional challenge to Roe v. Wade how would you respond?"

And if Mr. Roberts does not answer this direct question directly it is the Press' job to keep pressing him until he does answer directly.

It is the only way that the people of the United States will know what they are really getting.

And if Mr. Roberts does say that he would vote to overturn and he is still confirmed without a nuclear option-invoking fight from the Democratic party liberals and progressives in the States who believe in a woman's right to choose will finally come to understand that, in its present day guise at least, the Party has forsaken them.


I would suggest that we must do the same with every single one of the Conservative Reform Alliance Party 'rogues' if and when they wax craptacular on this issue.

Because, in my opinion at least, we cannot let them off the hook just because their dear leader immediately stands up and shouts, with fully modulated voice, of course, that the garbage that has just been dumped all all over the table is not actually there.

'On the table', I mean.




Chris said...

Nicely put, Dr. K.

I'm glad someone can articulate with such style the incoherent rage I feel more and more often these days. Thanks.

Chris said...

Oh, and another thing, since you brought up Medicare...

When my mum was a kid, she needed her appendix out, and it was so expensive, and my grandparents took so many years to pay off the doctor (in cash and with vegetables and flowers they grew), that for the entire rest of my mum's life that appendix sat in a little jar of pickling liquid in her bathroom cupboard.

Granted, our family might have a kind of black sense of humour, but I can tell you this, I know the value of our present medical system. And so do my kids.

Anonymous said...

As a senior on a pension. I cut my pills in half. An overseas friend, has one prescription identical to mine, hers costs half than what I pay.

It amazes me...Canadians can shop in the U.S. and save up to 50%. Gassing their vehicles up in the U.S. also saves them a lot of money.

Harper and Obama and their border talks, standing side by side. Obama said, but you Canadians please, can keep shopping in the U.S...We love you in the U.S. Harper never said a peep.

The U.S. said, Canadians spend billions in their country. I am very tempted to buy my prescriptions in the U.S. on line.

Living in BC, with the HST on pretty much everything, and now all the hikes on utilities, plus health care going up as well...I am losing the battle. I even sold my car. The cost of gas and insurance, is out into orbit. Food costs have mushroomed.

My pension was adequate when I retired. However, the price gouging, is really bad in Canada, and especially bad in BC. But then, everything is bad in BC.

RossK said...

Thanks Chris--

I must point out, however, that, as my Grandma liked to say, I'm not a 'real' doctor.


Thanks for sharing your story Anon--

I'm going to front part of your comment.

And if you are willing I'd very much like to hear more about how the true value of your pension, which I assume is fixed, has gone down since you retired.

My Email address is pacific gazette at yahoo dot ca.