Politics, not justice 6

By Tom Quiner

I’ve just become aware of a website called Justice, Not Politics.

The premise of the site is this:  if you vote against retaining the three Iowa supreme court justices up for retention (re-election), it is somehow unjust.

Why, then, does the Constitution even give us a vote on this issue if a contrary opinion of judges’ worthiness is automatically unjust?

The answer is: our vote against retaining Chief Justice Marsha Ternus, Justice Michael Streit, and Justice David Baker is not unjust, it is legal, and it is logical.

Think about it.  Marriage is the bedrock of civilization.  It is a beautiful institution established by civil and religious society to reproduce, sustain, and grow our communities.

Logically, it was defined as a union between a man and a woman by both civil and religious society since only unions between a man and a woman can reproduce and grow communities.  So it seems pretty illogical for the Iowa Supreme Court to say that traditional marriage laws are discriminatory. Even more, nothing in traditional marriage laws prevented men and women with homosexual desires from marrying.  By definition, though, they could only marry someone of the opposite gender.  By the same definition, men and women with heterosexual desires were prevented from marrying someone of the same gender.

The definition for marriage went further: one could not marry a blood relative, a minor, or more than one person.

The law was consistent, logical, just.

The law discriminated against certain behaviors, such as incest, polygamy, bigamy, adultery, and homosexuality, but not against persons.

So it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to a whole lot of folks that certain judges somehow found traditional marriage laws discriminatory.

Iowa would be better served with more level-headed thinkers on the court. Thank goodness Iowa’s constitution gives us the right to exercise this choice.  And a just choice it is.

Vending machine abortions victimize women 1

By Jeane Bishop

Elizabeth Cady Stanton

Four years ago I helped my daughter and her friend with their National History Day project.  The 10 year old girls studied Dr. Nancy Hill, a pioneer female doctor in Iowa.

The girls and I discovered that Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell, (1821-1910) the first female physician in this country, became a doctor in order to help women.  She wanted to give the women of her time medical care that was equivalent to the care that men received.

The idea of Blackwell becoming a physician was suggested by a friend dying of cancer, who told her, “If I could have been treated by a lady doctor, my worst sufferings would have been spared me.”

Blackwell saw that women were not getting the same care due to archaic Victorian standards of modesty that kept physicians from adequately examining a patient.  Layers of clothing were preventing doctors from seeing what they needed to see in order to assess and treat their female patients.  Ridiculously, even mirrors were used instead of a doctor looking directly at a female body in need of examination and diagnosis.

I thought about these things as I attended the Iowa Board of Medicine meeting on October 22nd here  in Des Moines.  I listened as speakers voiced concerns about an illegal practice going on in our state which allows a woman to receive medications which will kill the developing baby within her and then send her into “labor” while at home, delivering her dead baby there.

I wondered what Dr. Blackwell, suffragists Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and other of our foremothers would think of the shoddy way women in Iowa are being treated by this vending machine attitude to gynecological care.

Women that are not examined by a doctor are at an even higher risk as they may be experiencing an ectopic pregnancy or be unsure of the gestational age of their baby.  Failures and complications exponentially increase when the doctor does not examine her/his patient.

These feminist foremothers worked for equality without apologies.  These brave visionaries struggled for an America where women had the right to be in the workplace, school and home.  They believed women did not need to sacrifice their children to be anywhere.

Stanton, the first champion of women’s suffrage and a mother of seven, said, “When you consider that women have been treated as property, it is degrading to women that we should treat our children as property to be disposed of as we see fit.”

Interestingly, these women came from families involved in the abolition movement.  Abolishing slavery and enfranchising women made perfect sense to these clear-thinking Americans.

What makes perfect sense to me is that the remote-control abortion system discussed at the Iowa Board of Medicine meeting victimizes women further with substandard care.  Women deserve better.

Does Iowa really need another tax increase? 2

By Tom Quiner

Be prepared to vote on a “Land Stewardship” amendment to the Iowa Constitution.

The amendment calls for future taxes to protect Iowa’s environment (sales tax increases).

These taxes will help subsidize farmer’s conservation efforts.

The monies will be housed in a trust fund.

The idea is worthy, however an amendment is the wrong way to handle it. This is a function best left to the legislature. Do Iowa’s farmers really need another subsidy? A letter writer to the Des Moines Register, Kurt Johnson, said it well:

“Those who pollute should pay for the damages they cause — plus penalties — to help encourage prevention. Taxpayers should not pay for this. Polluters should pay.”

Does Iowa really need higher taxes, especially during this steep recession?  No. Let the legislature carve out funding from existing taxes if land stewardship is a priority. And it IS an important issue, but one best left to the legislature to handle.

Be prepared to vote NO on the Land and Water Legacy Amendment.

The risks of a “vending-machine attitude” toward gynecological care Reply

By Tom Quiner

Maggie Dewitte is Executive Director for Iowans for L.I.F.E. She stood up before the Iowa Board of Medicine last Friday and read a statement prepared by Dr. Donna J. Harrison on the dangers of telabortions. Dr. Harrison is President of the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists (www.aaplog.org).

Here are the takeaway points from Dr. Harrison’s statement:

• Telabortions are a threat to women’s health.

• Telemed dispensing can’t properly evalute uterine and other physical abnormalities that may create a life-threatening complication to the patient.

• The “abortion pill” (RU-486) is not FDA approved for use in pregnancies beyond 49 day’s gestation due to dramatically increased risk of complications. Without an ultrasound, gestational age estimates were more than two weeks off in half of the women according to studies Dr. Harrison quotes. Telabortions do not provide women with ultrasounds or any kind of exam before dispensing the pills.

Here are Dr. Harrison’s complete remarks:

“Telemed dispensing of abortion drugs are not only a gross disservice to women seeking abortion,  but are also a real threat to women’s health, as it is not possible to either accurately assess  the stage of the pregnancy,  nor accurately screen for pregnancy abnormalities such as ectopic pregnancy, which is an absolute contraindication to the use of mifepristone.  Nor can telemed dispensing allow for evaluation of uterine, or other physical abnormalities that may present a life or health threatening complication for the woman.

The purpose of a physician or practitioner visit is to screen for contraindications to abortion.  Many of these contraindications will not be apparent from history, which is why a physical examination is critically important to adequate pre-abortion counseling.  Since mifepristone is not FDA approved for pregnancies over 49 day’s gestation, it is imperative that the gestational age of the pregnancy be accurately assessed prior to dispensing mifepristone.   Administration of mifepristone beyond the 49 day cut off exposes the woman to dramatically increased risks of hemorrhage, infection and failed procedures necessitating a subsequent surgical abortion.   Spitz, et al, one of the principle investigators in the U.S. clinical trial leading to FDA approval, investigated the ability of patient history to predict gestational age, and found that over half of the women had dates more than two weeks in error when compared to the simultaneous ultrasound required prior to mifepristone administration in the clinical trial.   Thus, depending on history alone, which is what happens with telemed abortion dispensing, will result in the use of mifepristone in women who are beyond the FDA approval limitation, and into the gestational age where failures and complications exponentially increase.

Ectopic pregnancy, which is present in approximately 3 out of every 100 pregnancies, is an absolute contraindication to mifepristone use.  It is not possible to do adequate screening for ectopic pregnancies via a telemed dispensing system. Further the side effects of prolonged bleeding and pain, which accompany the normal mifepristone abortion, are identical to the bleeding and pain experienced with ectopic pregnancies.  Masking ectopic pregnancy symptoms led to the death of one of the 8 women who died in the first two years after mifepristone approval.

The FDA, in its approval of RU-486/mifepristone for abortion, recognized that for the safety of patients, significant controls on dispensing must be in place, and required two in person visits as a condition for approval of this drug.  RU-486/mifepristone causes increased hemorrhages, infections and failed abortions as compared to surgical abortions, as has recently been documented in several recent publications in the medical literature.  And the incidence of hemorrhage, infection and failed abortion increases dramatically as gestational age increases. The CDC estimates that the risk of death from a mifepristone abortion due to clostridium sordellii infection alone is 10times the risk of death from a surgical abortion at a comparable gestational age.

The impetus for telemed abortions does not come from improving patient care, but rather from increasing profits.   The burden of proof of improved patient care via this system is on the proponents, who have not shown decreased complications or improved outcome.   And there is no logical reason to expect improved outcome from a vending-machine attitude toward gynecological care.  This is an abuse of women.   On behalf of the women of Iowa, we ask the Iowa Board of Medicine to deny endorsement of this abusive practice.”