Saturday, June 29, 2013

Do You Not Know, Have You Not Heard? Questions every young American should contemplate the first/next time she votes:

That the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists issued a press release dated June 7, 2013, opposing undue political interference in the doctor-patient relationship.  They also have issued a formal Statement of Policy:
See also the New England Journal of Medicine article that describes the forms of undue political interference:

That ethical informed consent in medical research is a principle that should carry over into ethical clinical practice untainted by undue political interference:

That ethical informed consent as we know it today is the direct result of the Belmont Report issued in the wake of the Tuskeegee Syphilis Study scandal:

That undue political interference in women's health care already has taken a devastating toll in women's lives both here and abroad:
Consider the case of Danielle DEAVER.

Consider the case of Savita HALAPPANAVAR:

Consider the case of Carolyn JONES:

Consider the case of NATIVE AMERICAN women:

Consider the case of American women serving in "our" military -- especially BEFORE you enlist:

Consider the case of Ann KEENAN and how those who refuse to learn from history have no qualms about forcing others to repeat it:

Consider the plight of millions of women around the globe:

That in this day and age, every woman's access to information, education, and medical services for her reproductive health is not just some extra pork in her state's budget, it is a basic human right:

That many committed Catholics also believe in the right -- and the duty -- of every woman to plan her pregnancies for the sake of her children:

That even with the best state-of-the-art medical testing, things can still go very, very wrong:

That it is incumbent upon every voter to check out the scientific reliability of research cited by politicians to the extent she can:

That TRAP laws have nothing to do with regulating hunting in your state:

That political ends make sacrificing women's ethical health care an expedient means only if women are gullible enough to vote shysters into office:

That not every doctor weighing in on women's health care knows what he is talking about:

So make sure that you consult a doctor who knows what s/he is talking about:

That you also should inform yourself about how religious doctrines enforced by clerics with no medical qualifications whatsoever can affect the quality of health care you will receive at any hospital BEFORE you permit yourself to be admitted:

That, when it comes to financial accountability, Planned Parenthood is NOT the institution on international criminal watchlists for its money laundering practices:

That those opposed to ethical reproductive health care would do better to take care of the children we already have in this country:

That a painful truth in human history is that some women can and do behave just as treacherously toward other women as some men do:

That a hopeful truth in human history is that other women find the courage to speak out and to help eachother:

Thursday, June 27, 2013

WHAT I DID ON MY DAY OFF: I went to Governor Kasich's office after the rally to tell him what I think of him.

As you all know, Governor John Kasich is so terrified of women in pink carrying 17,000 petitions from Ohio citizens that he was a no-show at his ceremonial office in the Ohio statehouse earlier today.  When called at his working office in the Riffe Center across High Street, his office said that a representative would arrive in ten minutes to receive the petitions.  The governor's representative also was a no-show.  So, those carrying phones began calling his office again. After the callers waited on hold for several minutes, the message came
back from our illustrious governor that his office was too understaffed to send even a clerk across the street.   Would we care to troop across the street and deliver the petitions at his working office instead?  Well, the decision was to stack those 17,000 petitions at the locked door of the ceremonial office in the
statehouse and get on with our business.
After that, I walked to Grant Hospital to make a payment on a bill.  On the way, I stopped at the offices of Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio to say hello.  Then, at the hospital after paying my bill, I bought a cup of fancy coffee in the lobby.  There I buttonholed two young ladies to tell them what had happened.  By the time I was done, I had two more voters committed to showing up on Election Day next year.
Of course, as a worker bee COTA rider, I still had a few errands to run on my day pass.  Walking back toward High Street on the way to the bank, I decided to stop at the Riffe Center reception desk.  They
directed me to the 30th floor after checking my bag.  When I got to the 30th floor, I met an Ohio state trooper and asked whether the Governor's minions took walk-ins or where to go to set up an appointment.  He graciously explained the procedure to me, and I proceeded to fill out the form:  Date, Name, Address, Phone Number, Brief Description Why You Want To See The Governor.  Knowing that they would never agree to see me, I left this message -- more or less -- for Ohio's Fearless Fuehrer:
I just stopped by to tell you that I wrote a $50 check for an UNRESTRICTED donation to Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio in response to your abject cowardice earlier today.  In addition, I buttonholed two young ladies at the fancy-schmancy coffee shop and convinced them to vote against you in the next election.  I heard it through the grapevine that your office is too understaffed to send even a clerk to pick up the petitions of 17,000 Ohio citizens.  Maybe you should contact your cronies at JobsOhio, and they can connect you with some qualified help.  The moral of this story is, disrespect one old coot and you will end up with three Democrats. (By the way, I helped Mark Kirk* during his first run for the [US] House [of
Representatives] years ago.)

*2008 Barry Goldwater, Sr., Award

The Ohio state troopers and the lobby reception desk personnel were most gracious and professional.  I look forward to electing a governor worthy of their loyal service.

You know, the one good thing about getting gray and arthritic is that you finally can get away with telling people what you really think.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

To The Ladies Of The 130th Ohio General Assembly

As you most certainly must know by now, The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists issued a press release on June 7, 2013, opposing undue political interference between doctors and their patients.  This organization of QUALIFIED medical professionals views the political threat to women's health care so seriously that they also have issued a formal Statement of Policy.  You can access their Statement of Policy in pdf format through a hyperlink in their press release (assuming you care enough about other women patients to bother):

In their press release, these obstetricians and gynecologists specifically oppose subjecting patients to unnecessary tests and procedures like ultrasounds for no medical reason.  They reject being forced to recite scientifically disputed -- and even disproven -- scripts as if they were holy writ, for that can only subvert the relationship of trust between them and their patients.  Evidently, doctors don't like being forced to pervert informed consent for base political reasons anymore than any sane patient wants to be betrayed and put at gratuitous risk by statehouse-sponsored lies:

Unfortunately, the 130th General Assembly has been a breeding ground for assinine TRAP bills like Ohio HB 200; bills to pervert informed consent; and even budget amendments to defund Planned Parenthood by rigging the Title X grant approval process as payback for refusing to play political footsie by betraying their patients.  The willful ignorance and the reckless disregard for patients behind these bills couldn't be crasser.

Accordingly, any woman in the 130th General Assembly who supports this ongoing idiocy -- or remains silent in her own caucus lest she be outted as a woman of true conscience -- deserves to take her place next to Gertrud Scholtz-Klink in the annals of history:

Time is short, ladies.  Either speak up as real women asserting EVERY woman's right to consult her doctors without undue political interference or get ready to stand next to Gertie for all time according to the motto that Gertie, Gertie, Gertie was a hack, hack, hack.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Thank you, Ohio State Senators Tavares and Turner!

Thank you, Ohio State Senators Tavares and Turner, for standing up for Planned Parenthood in the Ohio Senate!

There is a perverse conceit among those subverting women's access to competent reproductive health care that only "right-to-lifers" stand up for defenseless life.  Does that conceit stem from ignorance and a willful lack of self-discipline to step back and look at each patient's clinical picture?  Does it stem from an obtuse arrogance that insists that those who do not share their sectarian beliefs have no morals and therefore cannot come to the conclusion to terminate a pregnancy in the "true" faith?  Or does it stem from a cynical opportunism to advance a "holy" cause in order to distract the chumps back home while the would-be crusaders sweep their own misdeeds and malfeasance at the statehouse under the carpet?  Whatever the motives, the doctrinaires of the 130th General Assembly have been feeding themselves a line of bull for so long that some of them actually have come to believe it.

Truly ethical medical practice demands that the entire medical team recognize, acknowledge, respect, and act according to the patient's medical reality, her socio-economic reality, her religious convictions, and her informed consent about her health care.

That real patients with real problems suffer gratuitous danger at the hands of interloping fanatics never quite registers with those out to defund Planned Parenthood at any cost -- as long as some other woman must pay the price.  What other mentality could possibly explain, for example, how so-called medics let Savita Halappanavar die last year just because she and her husband had made the mistake of moving to "a Catholic country"?  If you don't know already how or why Savita Halappanavar died, please DO READ:;;;;;;;;

Despite the malicious misinformation spread by some, Planned Parenthood does truly good work even when that work includes abortion (  But then, rolling up your sleeves, washing your hands physically instead of figuratively, and actually caring for real patients in real distress in sometimes dire circumstances doesn't leave much time to fend off sanctimonious grandstanding by medically unqualified lobbyists operating on murky finances.  When it comes to public policy, never mind that women serving in the United States military rife with rape must resort to reproductive health care at Planned Parenthood off base when they are denied it by law on base.  That's some thank-you-for-your-service-honey (;;

I hope and pray that American women never fall prey to the kind of state-sponsored sanctimony that with utter disregard for her defenseless life and for no defensible reason put Savita Halappanavar into a coma and then an early grave  (;  Nevertheless, I fear that exactly that will happen in Ohio at the hands of the 130th General Assembly and the Kasich administration.  For all their dissembling about alternative vendors for Title X services, those spearheading the move to defund Planned Parenthood in the Ohio Senate know full well that they are putting other women at risk to receive substandard medical care (  That they are deadset to impose harebrained sectarian doctrines that violate the the truly ethical precept that the patient's needs come first is the price they're willing to let defenseless poor patients pay (unless, of course, those patients FINALLY get a clue politically and show up at the polls to vote next election day!)  If sabotaging access to competent care at the hands of qualified physicians and nurses means subjecting patients to indefensible risk, oh well, those women shouldn't have been struggling in the worst economy since the Great Depression and needing charity health care in the first place.  The social services policy expression of this mentality is that it's not the 130th General Assembly's problem if thousands of minors are living on the streets of Columbus (  How else do you explain an Ohio General Assembly that kowtows to a career narcissist dangling her sentiments from a rented crop duster buzzing the Ohio statehouse on one hand and turns its back on its own youth on the other hand?

Does ANY member of the 130th General Assembly have a license to give any woman even a lousy manicure or a haircut?  Not one member of the 130th General Assembly has a license to practice medicine, yet too many have no compunction about committing medical malpractice by proxy as long as some defenseless woman, her family, and their caregivers suffer the consequences.  Maybe the 130th General Assembly should defer to the judgment of QUALIFIED physicians, especially those that have kept up to date with developments in their field (;  Unfortunately, too many members of the 130th General Assembly behave as if they wouldn't know the difference between a tongue depressor and a shoehorn if they fell over them, but, dang, those boys sure think they know enough to tell women and their doctors what to do in the examination room and the operating theater (;

Based on the job performance of the 130th General Assembly and the Kasich administration to date, it's easy to write off poor and underemployed women when the politicians' own cushy jobs with health insurance benefits are safe in a gerrymandered state.  Then they can let Ohio's illustrious Lieutenant Governor and Director of Insurance tell all the lies and cavort for all the fundraisers of the party faithful she likes (  The truth be told (for once), it ain't like they ever really wanted Ms. Taylor to get a handle on Medicaid expansion to care for all those babies born to Ohio women with no education and no jobs (That would be too much like right, not right wing:;  Obviously, the Republican Party in Ohio today could never attract, much less support, a candidate the caliber of Dr. Cox in Oklahoma (  But then, the Ohio State Senate and the Kasich administration have far more lucrative fish to fry in this budget (;

Planned Parenthood has worked tirelessly for almost a century to get education, information, and contraceptives to women in the first place so that they would NOT have to resort to abortion in the second place.  None other than that archprogressive Richard M. Nixon (who once referred to himself as an empiricist) signed Title X into law.  Since then Planned Parenthood has consistently qualified for Title X funding not because they are politically connected and rigging the grant approval process, but because Planned Parenthood has delivered patients the best services for the lowest cost to taxpayers as determined in a nonpartisan review process required by federal law (

Some argue that they do not want their tax dollars disbursed to organizations whose practices conflict with their religious doctrines.  Well, child sex abuse and international money laundering repulse me, yet I see no move in the Ohio General Assembly to defund organizations operating in Ohio that are affiliated with notorious chronic violators.  You have no idea what I'm talking about?  That's not surprising given the caliber and depth of international news reporting in Central Ohio (Please DO READ:;;;

N.B.:  Planned Parenthood NEVER has used Title X funds for abortion services and ALWAYS has accounted for every penny they spend by law.  Please, somebody, do open the books of Ohio Right to Life!  Who has been funding them, and how and to whom exactly have they disbursed their funds these many years?  Oh, forgive me, I'm comparing apples with oranges.  Ohio Right to Life provides no bonafide medical, educational, or social services that I'm aware of.  Getting the real work done is Planned Parenthood's job.

Thank you, again, Ohio State Senators Tavares and Turner.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Also Kittycorner From the Ohio Statehouse

There are several sandwich shops kittycorner from the Ohio Statehouse.  A friend of a friend of mine works in one of them.  She does not speak about her daughter because it is too painful.  Her daughter is a crack addict and running the streets Lord only knows where.  Before disappearing, the addict-daughter left her daughter behind for the grandparents to rear.  The grandparents are doing the best they can for their grandchild in the worst economy since the Great Depression.

It would not surprise me in the least to learn that one or several of our august Ohio legislators are regular customers in the shop where the friend of my friend works.  It would astound me to learn that even one of them has looked up from his or her sandwich long enough to learn what that grandmother and grandfather are going through.

In the 129th General Assembly, the idea has been floated to require all welfare recipients to undergo drug screening to qualify for state aid.  It is most telling that the idea has been dropped not for any compunction about illegal search and seizure but because "our" illustrious politicians fear that the State of Ohio would then be on the hook to pay for rehabilitating the addicts.

Ethics, boys and girls, ethics...

Ohio Legislators Need To Meet That Woman On The COTA Bus

If it were up to me, I would force every single Ohio legislator to ride Central Ohio Transit Authority (COTA) busses all day at least one day a month.  My intention is not to punish our august legislators but to turn their gazes away from the mirror and turn their attention toward someone other than themselves.

The main COTA bus-stop for southbound riders to transfer to different bus routes is in downtown Columbus -- kittycorner from the Ohio Statehouse.  I would assign them to meet and greet that one woman I have watched board the bus in her wheelchair.  She has had a little girl with her every time I have noticed her.  The child waits for the bus driver to secure the woman's wheelchair into position before climbing into the woman's lap.  You can tell when they have been grocery shopping or to some food bank because plastic bags containing groceries dangle from the wheelchair.

I have no idea whether that woman is the little girl's mother, grandmother, or aunt.  I do think that every Ohio legislator is way past due for a reality check to learn up close and personal how that woman makes it through one day.  Maybe our august legislators would pontificate less about food stamps and the working poor and legislate a little more to help women like her rear that little girl.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

An Open Letter To the 129th General Assembly In Support Of Planned Parenthood

An Open Letter To the 129th Ohio General Assembly In Support Of Planned Parenthood:

I was a patient of Planned Parenthood as a young woman in Chicago in the mid-1970s.  I was underemployed, and, although I had health insurance through my employer, women's preventive health care either was excluded from coverage or was applied toward a hefty major medical deductible.  Turning to Planned Parenthood meant that I could get my annual Pap test and pelvic exam done for a modest fee.  There were basic lab tests and other educational services at the clinic if I wanted them.  Nobody forced me to do anything I did not want or need.  Subsequently, I went on to better jobs, but I will never forget that Planned Parenthood was there for me when I was young, underemployed, and I needed that annual check-up (Compare:

Several years later, I went to work in a leukemia and immunogenetics research group of the German Research Society (Special Research Area 120) in Tuebingen (1983-1987).  There I learned what it means to live and work in a foreign country that has instituted universal health insurance for all its citizens and legal residents.  For well over a century, no patient who needs medical care must go without it for lack of affordable health insurance in Germany.

Some years after that, I went to work in the Clinical Transplant Laboratory in the Surgery Department of the University of Chicago Hospitals (1992-1999).  There I performed clinical tissue crossmatches for both cadaveric and living-related solid organ transplantation.  I will never forget that night on call duty when I had to pick apart the lymph nodes of a three-year-old toddler.  The child had been sitting on his own front stoop on a summer afternoon when he was killed by a gunshot wound to the head in gangbanger crossfire.  So, I can tell you how it feels to work under pressure at a laminar air-flow hood and to flick those Terasaki plates and to power up that flow cytometer even as your heart goes out to a grieving mother.

However, your first duty on the job is to do what you need to do for the patient.  The patient's needs come first, not your emotions, not your political preconceptions, not your sectarian fixations.

I still hope to live someday in a United States where the children of poor and underemployed mothers will have better prospects in life than to serve as spare parts repositories for those wealthy enough and connected enough to enjoy the security of good health insurance to the exclusion of the working poor and those too sick to defend themselves (Compare with  Until that day dawns, women at my end of the socioeconomic spectrum will continue to rely on Planned Parenthood for competent reproductive health care provided by practitioners with medical ethics that women can trust in a nonprofit, nonsectarian setting (Compare with

Looking back approximately 135 years to a broader historical context, I remind the 129th General Assembly that Otto von Bismarck (1815-1898), hardly a bleeding-heart liberal, never wanted universal health insurance, social security, or workmen's compensation (with or without bogus coin collections) for Germany.  Bismarck had to compromise to retain skilled workers that were leaving Germany in droves for better wages, but no benefits, in the United States.  To his credit, Bismarck had the intelligence and the political acumen to move ahead of the curve even if he did not like that curve (  More than one-hundred years later, Germany still serves as a model for a nation state that cares for all its citizens and legal residents for the sake of that country's social stability and economic competitiveness in the world market (

The historical record goes on to tell us that, in the century following Bismarck, Germany did not produce Margaret Sanger (1879-1966), family planning activist, but rather Beate Uhse-Rotermund (1919-2001), Luftwaffe pilot and businesswoman (;  Perhaps Ms. Uhse-Rotermund's entrepreneurial spirit and business acumen appeal to the 129th General Assembly as the more suitable model for Ohio's daughters to emulate (,1518,786667,00.html).

Be that as it may, the historical record also tells us that, to his credit, President Richard Nixon (1913-1994) displayed his political acumen when he signed Title X into law in 1970 (; Today Ohio wage earners like me can only hope and pray that our illustrious Lieutenant Governor and Director of Insurance somehow will snap out of it and get to work on a sane health insurance exchange for Ohio (;;

In the meantime, both Senate Bill 201 and House Bill 298 appall me for what they fail to do as much as for what they threaten to do (  For example, child rape and child abuse offend my God.  Yet I see no provision in this bill to forbid my tax dollar from subsidizing Viagra for the next old goat to bugger a child in a stadium locker room, a rectory, or some public restroom (;;;  I see no provision in this or any bill before the 129th General Assembly to help victims recover from the ravages of child abuse, although I am sure that organizations like SNAP could give the Ohio legislature some pointers (;;;;  I do not want my tax dollar frittered away on fertility treatments for some "octomom" who needs psychiatric counseling more than she needs in vitro fertilization, but I see no provision for that contingency in this or any bill before the Ohio legislature (;

The TRUTH is that NONE of the Title X funds Planned Parenthood receives is spent on abortion services.  ALL Title X funds in Planned Parenthood's budget are disbursed to provide medically and ethically sound health care services to mostly poor and underemployed patients in a nonprofit, nonsectarian setting that they can trust in the absence of universal health insurance.  We know this because Planned Parenthood's budget is audited by law, not to mention hostile fishing expeditions at taxpayer expense (  With due regard for the maxim that trust is good, verification is better, Planned Parenthood's bookkeeping and regulatory compliance have withstood that scrutiny with integrity as opposed to the likes of Paul Casimir "The Gorilla" Marcinkus (1922-2006) or Thomas W. Noe (1954-) (;;;

Planned Parenthood's agenda always has been to inform their patients; to support them in their decisions about their reproductive health; and thereby to empower them (;  Planned Parenthood has NEVER betrayed their patients by keeping them ignorant, afraid, or dependent (Compare  Whatever a patient's faith may or may not be, Planned Parenthood employees do not foist their personal religious beliefs on her by intimidation or by withholding medical treatment that could save her life (Compare;

In conclusion, I welcome Planned Parenthood in my neighborhood.  I can no longer abide the travesty of the 129th General Assembly on my tax dollar (;;  What you propose to do with reckless disregard for the consequences to poor and underemployed patients today is as damnable as what you have left undone in health care reform to date.  So, I have posted this open letter to put Ohio's 129th General Assembly on notice that, to paraphrase an expression from the vanished world of my Chicago Catholic and my Cleveland Lutheran grandmothers, you cannot urinate up my back and tell me that it is raining.  No more blue-dog split-personality tickets for me (  From now on I urge every voter to vote Planned Parenthood pink right down to her, or his, underwear on Tuesday, November 6, 2012.  It is the only decent thing to do in light of "our" Ohio legislature's abysmal job performance.

POSTSCRIPT:  Contact Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio to learn what you can do to support their mission (  You can email them ( or phone them at 614-244-2235.  In the meantime, take heart, speak up, and remember that the only poll that counts is the one that is taken on Election Day.

N.B.:  The internet websites originally cited in this post were accessed on January 17-20, 2012.  Additional citations were added in February and March 2012 in honor of Ohio Women's Lobby Day.