The GOP's "women's health" argument put to bed

Doctors are needed for abortions, but not for live births:

This Article may be cited as the "Home Birth Freedom Act."

The General Assembly makes the following findings:

(1) There is a need for a person to have the freedom to choose the manner, cost, and setting for giving birth. (2) Access to prenatal care and delivery services is limited by the inadequate number of providers of midwifery services, and the practice of midwifery may help to reduce this shortage. (3) There is a need for the safe and effective delivery of newborn babies and the health, safety, and welfare of their mothers in the delivery process. (4) In the interest of public health, the State should promote the regulation of the practice of midwifery for the purpose of protecting the health and welfare of women and infants. (5) Midwifery is a profession in its own right, and it is not the practice of medicine.

This diary is not intended to disparage those who believe in and/or practice home delivery via midwifery. But it demonstrates beyond a shadow of a doubt that Republican claims of concern for women's health are merely a cloak to hide their true intent. And I'm surprised nobody has brought this up in debate yet. A lot more women die in childbirth than in pregnancy terminations, but Republicans are just fine with leaving the doctors out of that process:

The 20th century saw a dramatic decrease in pregnancy-related deaths, largely because of improvements in sterile techniques — reaching the lowest point in 1987 at 7.2 deaths per 100,000 live births. The most recent figures available show the rate hovers around 15 deaths per 100,000 births — placing the U.S. near the bottom among developed nations.

The rate of severe complications during and after delivery have also doubled in the last decade, according to a 2012 federal study. Near-misses, where a woman nearly dies, increased by 27 percent.

That means each year in the U.S., about 700 women die of pregnancy-related complications and 52,000 experience emergencies such as acute renal failure, shock, respiratory distress, aneurysms and heart surgery. An additional 34,000 barely avoid death.

That's approximately 680 North Carolina women that barely avoid death every year, and Republicans are just fine with them doing that at home where there's no emergency care handy.

Please, will somebody in the Legislature tear off that mask of concern?


Senator Hagan e-mail

Here's a piece from a recent e-mail:

Less than 24 hours.

That’s how long it took the North Carolina Senate to sneak sweeping anti-women’s health measures into a totally unrelated bill and then force a vote on it.

The legislation will limit access to preventive care and health services, and it does nothing to improve patient safety.

The only way to stop the bill now is to tell North Carolina lawmakers to protect women. The legislation is moving quickly so we need to act right now. Let’s show them their deceitful attacks on women’s health won’t stand.

She's recently endorsed marriage equality, voted to close the gun show background check loophole, voted for LGBT employment non-discrimination, and voted for immigration reform. I expect there is some risk in taking those kinds of position before a potentially low turnout non-presidential election year in the south. Her opponent is likely to be a leader in a General Assembly that has been passing the kind of legislation she decries in the e-mail.

I know the 2013 legislative session isn't over yet, and there are the 2013 municipal elections ahead as well, but I can't get my mind off the 2014 election cycle for some reason. I wonder if it is going to be a low turnout election, or if all the activity at the General Assembly this summer is going to drum up a more engaged public.

The changed bill title...

Changed bill title:

Bill 353 entitled:
An act Harley thought through Honda restriction of Yamahas' right to control their own Kawasakis.