Tag Archives: advocacy

Pro-Birth Is Not Pro-Life

 

I was amazed when I read the headline, “Catholic Nun Explains Pro-Life In A Way That Will Stun Many.”  My curiosity encouraged me to read the article.  I thought, “What new slant/opinion/explanation would a Catholic nun give to this very heated, controversial topic that has been keeping right-wingers, pro-lifers, pro-family and “family values” folks, hot under their collars and vitriolic noises spouting from their mouths?”

SisterImage above and quote below are from an article by Leslie Salzillo, originally posted in the Daily Kos, and appearing in the Liberals Unite news magazine, dated July 31, 2015.

In one simple quote, Sister Joan Chittister, O.S.B. sums up the hypocrisy in the ‘pro-life’ movement:

“I do not believe that just because you’re opposed to abortion, that that makes you pro-life. In fact, I think in many cases, your morality is deeply lacking if all you want is a child born but not a child fed, not a child educated, not a child housed. And why would I think that you don’t? Because you don’t want any tax money to go there. That’s not pro-life. That’s pro-birth. We need a much broader conversation on what the morality of pro-life is.”

I would add to the above quote:  “not a child loved.”  When an unwanted child is born, in many cases, the parent becomes an abuser, and the child suffers emotional and, perhaps also, physical abuse.

Any individual who would take the time and use average intellect, should understand the difference.

I’ve had many conversations with individuals regarding, if laws were passed in our country restricting abortions under ANY circumstance, who would support all the unwanted children that would be born?  The extreme, religious conservatives in Congress and in some states, want to restrict contraception information and other health care by clinics to couples or women or men who can’t afford private physicians, by limiting or stopping federal funding.  State funding through Medicaid is restricted in some states, because of those states’ refusal to expand necessary funding.  It makes no sense to someone who looks at the world through clear, unclouded glasses.

What also makes no sense is the fact that women, who can’t obtain abortions safely and legally, will obtain them “in the back alley.”  They put their lives in jeopardy.  Let’s be realistic here.  If a woman is desperate for an abortion, she will try any means to accomplish her goal.  And, she may not want to “wait 24 hours to think it over.”

The ultra-conservatives in our Congress want the general public to believe that Planned Parenthood is aborting left and right – like it’s an epidemic.  And that fetal body parts are being sold as an additional “side business” to support expenses of abortions.  Not true.

From HLN:

  • Anti-abortion group released video of what they contend is proof that Planned Parenthood sells organs and tissues
  • Planned Parenthood insists it does not make a profit from fetal tissue
  • The advocacy group says the money discussed on the video had to do with the cost to transport donated tissue
  • Selling fetal body parts is against federal law

The following quote is from Vox:

Planned Parenthood uses federal funds to cover reproductive health services — but not abortions

Both Title X and Medicaid provide low- to middle-income women with financial assistance to cover family planning costs. Medicaid might, for example, reimburse Planned Parenthood when it provides a patient with an HPV vaccine. And a Planned Parenthood clinic could use Title X grants to subsidize the placement of an IUD, which can cost upward of $500 for an uninsured patient.

The exact family planning benefits that Medicaid covers varies from state to state. But generally, many states will cover contraceptives, STD screenings, HPV vaccines, and cancer screenings as well as sterilization and reversal procedures — and will reimburse Planned Parenthood when it is the provider.

For more information about the services that Planned Parenthood offer, please click on the following link:

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2015/07/30/1406997/-Anti-Choice-Extremists-Shut-Down-Planned-Parenthood-s-Website-Homepage

BTW, Planned Parenthood clinics offer services for men.  I believe most people don’t know about those health services offered at the PP clinics.

 

[ Header image is from http://www.freewebheaders.com ]

 

 

Is ME (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis) A Hidden, Mysterious Disease?

 

It isn’t.

It might seem like it, according to the treatment it gets from our highly-regarded Health & Human Services Department (HHS), National Institutes of Health (NIH), Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and other sub-departments of the huge HHS.

It seems like there is a vendetta against ME patients in the U.S., and also in other countries, where very ill patients are diagnosed and treated for psychosomatic illness, when they are really suffering from a multi-symptom, extremely painful and debilitating disease.

The whole body is affected.  Not just nerves; not just the brain, not just the lymph nodes; not just the immune system; not just the muscles, not just the major organs of the body – BUT ALL.

Another thing:  Approximately 80% of patients who are suffering with ME are women.  Some scuttlebutt I’ve heard has suggested that, since such a huge percentage of patients are women, some governmental entities may not put as great importance on funding for research for ME as they would if the disease was weighted differently.

The other 20% is comprised of men and children.  Yes, children!  Also, it is not unusual for members of the same family to fall ill with ME.  Outbreaks have also been reported within communities.

blue ribbon for me

Unraveling the “mystery” about ME:

 

  • Myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME) is a debilitating, often disabling, illness recognized as a neurological disorder by the World Health Organization since 1969.

  • After an outbreak in Nevada in the 1980s, the CDC coined the term “Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.”

  • There are no FDA-approved treatments and no diagnostic tools for ME.

  • Between 836,000 and 2.5 million U.S. residents are afflicted with ME, with 84 to 91 percent not yet diagnosed. True numbers are highly under reported

  • ME-related medical expenses and lost productivity cost the U.S. up to $24 billion annually.

  • In research funding, ME receives less money for research than hay fever, and ranks far below similarly disabling illnesses; such as:

  • 1) ME: About $2 per patient per year in NIH funding ($5 million in FY2015);

  • 2) Multiple sclerosis: About $250 per patient ($103 million in FY2015); and

  • 3) HIV/AIDS: About $2500 per patient ($3 billion in FY2015).

  • Patients with ME score more poorly on quality of life surveys than patients with multiple sclerosis, stroke, diabetes, renal failure, lung disease, heart failure and various cancers.

  • At least one quarter of ME patients become housebound or bed bound, often for years. Many become unemployed.

Loss of job as disease progresses has dire economic consequences for patients, families, and the country as a whole, when considering the loss of productivity.

Ask most any person in the medical community if they heard of “ME” or “Myalgic Encephalomyelitis” and, guaranteed, almost all will answer, “No.”  Ask if they’ve heard of “Chronic Fatigue Syndrome” or “Chronic Fatigue” and more often than not, they will say, “Yes.”  But, they really have no idea at all what it is.  I speak from my own personal experience.  The many doctors I’ve visited over the last year, when asked, had the identical response.  Also, this type of response is reported by patients when questioned about their doctor visits.  Too often, they encountered uninformed and uncaring doctors.

Medical schools should begin instituting information about ME in their curricula.

Thank the CDC representatives for that great faux pas 30 years ago in Nevada, while investigating an outbreak, when they imprinted “Chronic Fatigue Syndrome” (CFS) on all patients, and which, unfortunately, stuck.

The ignorance shown in the face of a “mysterious” disease 30 years ago is continuing.

 

[Indented information is from #ME Action]

[Image is from bingdotcom]

#ME Where Are We?

 

During the first half of this year, there was much going on in the Health and Human Service (HHS) Department and regarding ME (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis):  we had the IOM’s (Institute of Medicine) outstanding, positive report (in my opinion) and then there was the P2P (Pathways to Progress) report.  The former was indicative of forward movement in the cause of ME and the latter, was not.

We’ve been ignored.

There were stand-offs, delays, and hidden refusals when the FOIA was used to obtain documents vital to the ME cause.

And where are we?  After all the hullabaloo and interviews of patients including Laura Hillenbrand, author of “Seabiscuit,” Jen Brea, co-developer of a movie, “Canary in a Coal Mine,” I ask again:

Where are we?

It looked like we had some strong headway for a while, in getting ME recognized as a VERY SERIOUS disease (which it is of course), and as such, needed MUCH MORE grant money from the NIH (National Institutes of Health) for some serious and more timely research.

As far as I can see, we are not much further along in our battle – yes, I said, “battle” – to get concrete help for our ME patients – in order to get them out of the greatest “funk” – in the world.  My choice of word – being polite.  I am totally frustrated, angered, impatient, sad, screaming inside.

People running and doing walks, making videos, giving speeches, begging Congress, growing gofundmes on the Internet, writing articles in popular newspapers and magazines, yada, yada.

Still, I ask, “Where are we?

 

 

 

Out Of The Mouth Of A Marijuana User

 

Cyd Maura, is a responsible woman, a marijuana user, well educated, and no one would ever think she was a “stoner.”

Her short video explains her experiences and beliefs:

 

14 Wonderful, Unique and Funny Ways Kids Have Explained Disability

My granddaughter has Asperger’s on the Autism Spectrum. This post is a celebration of her and all the other kids who have what are known as “disabilities.” But, these kids DO NOT believe they are disabled. You will laugh at their senses of humor! 🙂

kraftycatcreations

-Fern

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http://themighty.com

At The Mighty, we know that sometimes kids can offer us a brand new perspective on the world. So, we decided to ask our readers who are parents to share some of the wonderful, unique and funny things their kids have said about their disability.

These were your answers:

1. “‘I’m not Autistic, I’m Cara.’ My now 9-year-old daughter said that when someone called her autistic instead of saying she had autism. Well played, baby girl. Well, played.” – Kim Vivanco

2. “My cousin says she has ‘Up syndrome’ because she’s happy, not sad.” – Cassie Collins

3. “My oldest son is in fourth grade…

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TED talk: Jimmy Carter Why I believe the mistreatment of women is the number one human rights abuse

I had no idea that Jimmy Carter was a supporter of Women’s Rights. It was a pleasure to listen to him on this video.

Chilli ME Challenge

 

Do you remember the “Ice Bucket ALS Challenge” of last year?  Well, now, we have the “Chilli ME Challenge.”

Awareness for ME/CFS/SEID/CFIDS needs to be addressed and put forth in all media.  The need for research is dire.  There are many brilliant and talented scientists who are ready to continue their intense and costly experiments and “all we need” is more money from our government’s NIH (National Institutes of Health).

Although the number of sufferers of ME/CFS/SEID outnumber the combined number of patients who have MS, Lupus and HIV/AIDS, the amount of grants for ME/CFS/SEID research is only $5 million as opposed to $250 million for the other diseases named above.

ME symptoms

Below is a short video of one woman’s (Simone) acceptance of the challenge.  Before she eats the hot chilli, she gives a quick summation of most of the symptoms that people worldwide suffer with this disease.

 

Considering the Emergency Room? Here Are Some Pointers to Keep in Mind if You Have Chronic Pain.

Here’s some very good ER advice for people with chronic illness and suffering pain.

Finding Out Fibro

What to Do When You Have to Resort to the Emergency Room (When You Have a Chronic Illness)

A trip to the ER is no fun, no matter how you spin it. When you’re a chronic pain patient or someone with a chronic illness that can cause bouts of severe pain, it can be a complete and total nightmare.

A patient with chronic pain can help the Emergency Room staff to understand that their medical problems, especially pain, are a legitimate emergency by following a few guidelines and suggestions that will lessen some of the unpleasant drama of going to the ER.

Always bear in mind that the Emergency Room is a last resort, and Urgent Care will almost always turn away a patient with a chronic illness. Hospitals are so wrapped up in covering their asses legally that they have started turning away chronic pain patients much like Urgent Care does…

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Two ME Sufferers Are Interviewed For An ME/CFS Awareness Video

Thanks to Tom Kindlon for this ME awareness video.  Two ME patients answer pointed questions from Dr. Franky Dolan, regarding their symptoms and how having an “invisible, multi-symptom disease” has affected all aspects of their lives.

What is striking in this video (9 minutes; 40 seconds) is the seemingly happy, carefree vibes given off from the two women by their laughter and body language – until they seriously answer the questions.  This “mask” is the common outward appearance donned by very ill people when they are with those who are not ill.

Sadly, Amberlin, the woman on the left, wearing sunglasses due to light sensitivity (common with ME), died by suicide a few years after this video was made.  The seriousness of, and debilitation caused by, myalgic encephalomyelitis, has resulted in many suicides.

 

New Technology Has Advanced Viral Detection In M.E. And Other Chronic Illnesses

 

Cort Johnson has written an article for Simmaron Research, entitled, “Quantum Leap in Viral Detection Could Impact ME/CFS and Fibromyalgia.”

Antibodies to over 200 viruses scanned – in a drop of blood.

Antibodies to over 200 viruses scanned – in a drop of blood.

In the article, Cort gives details of this new technology which expands the ability to understand many diseases.  Prominent researchers (Mark Davis, and Stephen Elledge, among others), have reported some breakthroughs as a result of this new technology, which follows:

    • exposures to herpes viruses, in particular, vastly alters the states of our immune system;
    • there’s a lymphatic network in the brain;
    • two of the three researchers mentioned are also working on ME/CFS;
    • the average person tested had been exposed to about ten viruses and some tested had been exposed to as many as 25, with Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) leading the list;
    • herpes viruses, rhinoviruses, adenoviruses, influenza viruses followed;
    • they are working on similar tests to assess auto-antibodies and antibodies to bacteria and fungi.

I advise you to read the complete article to get the complete story – it’s written clearly and is easy to understand, as is Cort’s usual style.

[image from Simmaron Research]