Sunday, March 17, 2019

Bill Crawford: Does Pro-Life Mississippi Let People Die or Help Them Live?

Is Mississippi only pro-life when it's easy? Or are we pro-life when it's hard too?

I am led to ask these questions by two occurrences discussed below. (Too many similar tragedies and uncaring attitudes occur across our state.)

This first one was profiled in the Clarion-Ledger last week.

"A woman died after suffering a simple asthma attack," read the headline. "Shy Shoemaker was a 23-year-old mother who died Jan. 27 in rural Chickasaw County after her family said she suffered an asthma attack," reads the article. "There was only one ambulance working the county that night, and the hospital's emergency room closed down in 2014."

“Someone dying from an asthma attack should never happen,” Ryan Kelly, executive director of the Mississippi Rural Health Association, told the newspaper. "What happened to my cousin could have happened to anyone," LeKearis Shoemaker said. "If there ain't no ER, ain't nobody (there) to help."

The second occurrence was the following from a responder to my column last week that appeared in the Jackson Jambalaya blog.

"Never mind do hospitals need to be saved. Is it the responsibility of the taxpayers to save them, or the communities they are in, or even the people who go to them for medical care?"

"People die every day who would live if the government would intervene, and some of them die even when the government intervenes and tries to help them, so let's not make such a big deal out of it."

Is our pro-life position in Mississippi to let some people die and call that no big deal?

If not and we care about lives like that of the young black mother in rural Chickasaw County, our pro-life position has some hard work to do.

Why did that emergency room in the Chickasaw County hospital close? State Sen. Russell Jolly, of Houston, told the Clarion-Ledger the hospital was forced to close its emergency room because Mississippi did not expand Medicaid. “They could not keep that emergency room open because they couldn’t get paid." The Chickasaw Journal reported the hospital "wrote off $3 million in unpaid medical bills" the year before it closed its emergency room.

To provide access to healthcare in these rural areas would take some heavy lifting. We would need to provide urgent care and/or emergency room access 24/7; improve 24/7 telemedicine services; link telemedicine to first responders and provide them better equipment and training; and get more doctors, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants into rural communities.

Like it or not, the only real money source to pay for most of this is some form of expanded Medicaid.

Most pro-life groups, including those in Mississippi, have opposed Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) because of potential funding for abortions and contraceptives.

However, in 2013, when then governor John Kasich, a conservative and Christian Republican, expanded Medicaid his way, the Ohio Right to Life chapter fully endorsed the expansion. "Our mission is to support life from womb to tomb," said the chapter president.

Dare Mississippi find a way to do this?

That brings us to the ultimate pro-life challenge regarding the sacredness of life — do we let some people die for lack of access to care, or do we help them live?

If we choose life, I do, then we need a hard pro-life push to make Medicaid expansion happen the right way.


Crawford is a syndicate columnist from Meridian.

46 comments:

Anonymous said...

Sadly, Pro-Life , like the NRA has become a powerful political lobby and those who benefit from the issue don't have to be ethically or morally consistent. They just have to maintain their leadership position and raise money.

Pro-life has evolved toward no birth control being unacceptable and ignores the biological realities of pregnancies and child birth. They do not ask " Why do women miscarry or abort naturally"? Nor do they ask " Why do women die in childbirth"?

As a result, the movement extremists, want every pregnancy to result in birth ( The Kentucky " hearbeat" law is an example) so the legal definition will lead to extraordinary measures being required for every birth even 6-21 weeks when the fetus cannot survive. Instead , it will be doomed to a slow and torturous death.

The truth is that women who miscarry in the first trimester will not likely see anything in that process other than lots of blood and perhaps, after birth (which is not the fetus and looks like a good size chuck of meat). Indeed, not seeing the afterbirth could cause her to lose her life which is why women usually are given and D and C afterwards.

And, no one seems to care what happens to unwanted children who make up the roles of abused and neglected children in this Nation.


Anonymous said...

Pro life is such a ridiculous term for them. A more accurate term would be anti-safe abortion. I’ve never heard a single one of these protestors argue for increasing medical care, after school programs, food stamps, or child care. That tells me all I need to know about their true beliefs.

Anonymous said...

I'm in total agreement with the first two posts above. Pro-lifers are sanctimonious, religious extremists who blithely support selective abortion of innocent infant lives spawned by rape, rarely if ever adopt or help pay for the raising of unwanted children, and vilify women's desire and right to responsible planned parenthood.

If providing basic emergency services to rural communities is socialistic as the Republicans would have you believe, then sign me up for socialism and bear in mind that another name for helping our brothers and sisters is Christianity.

Anonymous said...

They aren't pro-life! They are pro birth. They don't give a rat's ass about a child once it's born. Disgusting hypocritical Bible thumping idiots!

Anonymous said...

If one believes that a young woman who (carelessly and selfishly mind you) becomes pregnant and have the child while she and the father have not even begun to prepare the circumstances of having an involved, mature, stable, earning marriage for the child, and the means to provide the time, attention, healthcare, education, etc. etc. etc. for that child and then call it "Pro-life"....Well THAT is the most narcissistic thing one could believe, and is a certain type of evil. The modern, and medically sound procedure for terminating/postponing a birth when the above circumstances are present is the most loving type of family planning there is. It is sad that the female has to suffer the physical aspects of the procedure, but that discomfort/pain is short and over soon enough....whereas a child brought into a world with an absent father, and impoverished, emotionally immature mother will cause a lifetime worth of pain and suffering that could....and should have - been avoided.

Rod Knox said...

It's quite hypocritical of those whose dalliances never came back to haunt them to condemn those who weren't so lucky. Maslow's opinion on sex seems quite reasonable but today fundamentalists just can't let reason and insight interfere with dogma especially with regard to 'those people.'

Anonymous said...

They would overturn Roe v Wade and replace it with what? No abortions at all. Then only the rich could afford to send their daughters "out of town to visit relatives" while they save everyone else from hellfire. Hell ain't for the rich anyway.

Anonymous said...


@2:51 PM

Well stated. I second that emotion................

Anonymous said...

Regardless of the lifestyle of this young woman, nobody should die from an asthma attack. Why was EMS (ambulance) service not available? Does the country not have a contract with the ambulance company to provide adequate EMS services? I understand why the hospital had to shut down the ER. Hospitals are a for profit business and like any for profit business, if it doesn’t bring in enough revenue it can’t keep the doors open. Still there is no excuse for what happened here. A woman died who could have been saved if an ambulance crew had been available.The county supervisors need to answer some hard questions as to why this service was not available.

Anonymous said...

John Kasich is a conservative? Seriously? He may be a registered R, but he is a RINO.

I would like to learn more about why this young mother died from an acute asthma attack.

Was she without intervention meds? If yes, why?

Medicaid alone will not keep an ER open.

Medicaid patients who use an ER as a substitute for seeing a family doctor or a walk-in clinic will break an ER's pocket-book.

Anonymous said...

@4:22 PM, you are correct - hospitals can't operate in the red. ER docs are rarely employed by the hospital. They are contractors and don't work for free.

The victim of the asthma attack lived in a very rural area. There is no way that ambulances can be posted on every corner, or even within 10 minutes from every residence. If someone loses their airway due to asthma for longer than 4-5 minutes the outcome will not be good.

This coverage gap can be filled by rural and usually volunteer fire departments, but even then the response time is likely not rapid enough to intervene in an acute asthma attack. As a former EMT, I have experienced this.

I would like to know if she had medication available for an acute event. If she didn't, then the outcome was predictable. An ER is not going to save someone who is some distance away in this situation.

RIP young lady.

Anonymous said...

How hard are the pro life folks trying to help out the widows and orphans trying to cross the border? Or hell, just helping the ones here?

Steel Forceps and Stirrups Don't Excite ME! said...

It's not the obligation of pro-lifers to raise the children that would have been aborted. So, you liberal abortionists can just stop with that mantra right now! Your constant comment is 'They don't care, so what about those kids who are born?" That's not the issue. The issue is whether or not the dunderheads will prevail in the continued execution of children.

Oh...and in the midst of your false claims, please give examples of mothers who have died in childhood when abortion would have saved their lives. Stop now! Because you can't provide examples.

Anonymous said...

Looks like the usual bovines from Donner's petting farm have gotten loose again.

Anonymous said...

Selective Christianity is rampant in this country. May be the one category Mississippi leads.

Anonymous said...

Individuals of means will always have access to safe abortions. Increased restrictions will not decrease abortions. Access to birth control and family planning does. This state is pro birth but it sure as heck isn't pro life. Abortion is about politics and nothing more.

Anonymous said...

Only damn people who are for Abortion are those that are Alive.

Anonymous said...

Christians tend to get a little maniacal about abortion because we believe that murder is a particularly heinous sin.

Anonymous said...

Do call yourself Pro Life if you believe in the Death Penalty.

Anonymous said...

@4:55 - yes, and if you can’t see the difference you’re especially dense.

Anonymous said...

How can the religious right, rationalize their stances is beyond me. The Abortion/Death Penalty debate it just the beginning.

Anonymous said...

Once again Crawford purposefully conflates association as causation. To conclude that an asthma death in 2019 was due to an ER closure in 2014 which resulted specifically from the non-expansion of Medicaid is Mississippi is intellectual dishonesty. Bill Crawford no longer expects to be taken seriously as he marches in his senior years towards full laughing-stock status.

Anonymous said...

It costs over $1,000,000 to put a fully staffed ALS bus in service. 70% of E-911 call outs are refusals, meaning the ambulance service gets nada 7 out of 10 roll outs. If there is not enough BLS transport gravy in the county to make the bus profitable, there won't be a bus there. Welcome to Economics 101.

Anonymous said...

@4.55 and @8.10 (perhaps the same person),

Because "the religious right" (I am a Christian and arguing from a Christian ethic - call me "religious right," whatever) believes that murder is a particularly heinous crime, it is deserving of the death penalty. Note the word "penalty". If someone knowingly and either in a premeditated fashion or in the act of another crime takes the life of another person, the appropriate "penalty" is death.

So, yes, I am opposed to abortion (undeserved killing of another human) but support the death penalty (appropriate penalty in specific cases). I do not support capital punishment in any cases other than murder, and I would support the aborting of any fetus convicted of murder.

Anonymous said...

So if I'm against you heathen freaks chopping up babies in the womb I am now responsible for raising and welfare of said babies?

Did you know, you den of vipers, the fetus naturally tries to escape the surgical scalpel in its' last moments?

My mom was a crack whore, no telling who my Dad was. I would have been a great candidate for you sicko fucking baby killers to come slaughter. Thankfully the Lord, my true father, delivered me from above out of your merciless hands. I look at my young children now and know how fortunate all of us are.

This hits close to home because I found out years ago my mother did intend to get an abortion 35 years ago. She was just too much of a derelict to go through with it. I think about it sometimes and it makes me raging mad. You people would make Hitler blush. That's a mighty lot of confidence there will be no judgement day. I think most of those who are complicit will burn in hell. I wish I could caste you all into a pit with the lifeless bodies of the babies you have endorsed killing.

Anonymous said...

6:02 pm

In my family tree alone, 4 died in childbirth before I turned 18.

Two had weak hearts and both they and the child they were carrying died while they were in labor.

Their heart attacks didn't happen close enough to a hospital to save either and the last died in the car on the way. Her children were in the car . The my maternal grandmother's children found their mother on the floor.

My aunt that died in the car, was refused an abortion " to save her life" because The Medical Review Board thought her heart might be strong enough to survive. They were wrong.

By the way, if all abortions except to save the life of the mother are illegal, who do you think makes that decision? Well, before Roe, it was a bureaucracy and they seldom decided fast enough.

The other two female relatives died while trying to miscarry. For one, the head of the fetus was malformed and was too large pass through the birth canal. For the other, she died of infection because the miscarriage was incomplete. Both were in their 40s.

Did you even know that late life pregnancies can happen ? Some women don't go into menopause until their 50s. That doesn't mean they are healthy enough to bear a child.

Did you know that estrogen makes cancers grow faster? If a woman is diagnosed with cancer and gets pregnant, have you bothered to learn the risks to the mother and the child?

Do you know what medical conditions in females can adversely affect the development of a fetus?

Another reason females die in childbirth is that they are old enough to be fertile ( 9 and 10 years old are no longer uncommon ages for puberty in girls) but their bodies are not able to birth a child. Their uteruses aren't ready and their hips aren't far enough apart.

You apparently don't read. You don't want to read unbiased or scientific literature, especially anything that deals with sex and child birth. You don't understand magnification either or fauxtography.


You oppose sex education so everyone can remain as ignorant as you are. Do you know how many teens think people have the same biology as farm animals?


So, you DO have something to do with what happens to an unwanted child after it's born if YOU force the birth to take place! Indeed, YOU also want our medical costs to go up by forcing pregnancies that cannot end any other way but in disaster. You want to pay for more welfare and more Medicaid . You must imagine that ALL fetuses develop so as to be viable and have parents that have the means to insure they have a good life.

Don't you just hate facts? Don't you just hate getting the gory details you want to ignore.


I could add more. I know of more. I've had natural childbirth several times and was there for the birth of grandchildren and delivered one child who came too soon.



Anonymous said...

@9:41, very convincing argument to wish death on those who support reproductive rights. I don’t think judgement day will treat you as kindly as you think so maybe we can both be “caste into the pit with the babies.” LOL.

Anonymous said...

One major problem is young girls get knocked up, then encouraged to abort by older women who assure them it is best. It isn't until ten years later that they have another baby when they realize what they have done. Many will never get over the fact they killed their babies based on advice from some lonely, aging, angry, feminist. These aged, angry, feminists have no one and nothing in the world except their cats who will actually factually eat their faces off once they die because it will be two weeks before neighbors notice the stench and call the po po. That's right you old lonely hags, look over at your kitties, they will one day eat your face. If you don't believe it, google it. Notice first reponders don't have cats. You have lived on this earth for 70 plus years and never managed to develop a love from anyone who will give a hoot when you die. This is price you pay for killing innocent babies. Enjoy.

Anonymous said...

10:14

Your verbose diatribe is glaringly obvious. How long have you been in the "Industry"?

Anonymous said...

9:35 and 9:41 It seems that both sides of this argument want to caste the other in the most extreme terms possible whenever making an argument. That seems to be the face of partisan politics today. But please understand I am a so-called pro-choice person who does not advocate killing babies at any stage of development. I think Roe V Wade reflects my views that the viability of the fetus, that is it's ability to live WITHOUT dependence on it's mother's body, ought to determinate whether the procedure is a legal abortion or murder. It's not perfect but it's an effort to set a limit that I think most sensible people support. At this point, it does not have to be expanded or abolished. The extremists on both sides will not be satisfied unless any procedure done after conception is murder, or in the other extreme, that any baby's life is in jeopardy unless it can defend itself. No limits for either. Both are ridiculous.

Anonymous said...

@11:34 - since you “know” all of the above, then you must also “know” that our laws regarding abortion have ALWAYS given physicians the discretion to abort a pregnancy that threatens the life of the mother. If a physician mistakenly deems a pregnancy safe to continue, well...that’s not because the LAW got in the way. Likewise, if a mother dies in child birth, that’s not because she wasn’t ALLOWED to have an abortion, it because she CHOSE not to have one or because there was no evidence that her health was so poor that a physician deemed continued pregnancy to be dangerous for her. (I’ll bet at least one of your cousins died because the cat sucked it’s breath out.).

Anonymous said...

I could add more. I know of more. I've had natural childbirth several times and was there for the birth of grandchildren and delivered one child who came too soon.

The sheer horror your children and grandchildren must have had to endure having a raving mad know-it-all mother/grandmother such as yourself.

Anonymous said...

@11:05 I didn't wish death upon you. I wished that you would be cast ALIVE into a pit with a pile of dead babies that you endorsed killing. I want you to then be able to crawl out of that pit of dead babies so you can continue your life knowing the real results of that which you support.

Anonymous said...

Thanks 11:53

Anonymous said...

Many people have abortions with no regrets.
Just like those who can put a man to death with no regrets.

I always taught that if I was going to be prolife it meant from "conception to natural death".

Anonymous said...

Is Abortion always murder? If not, why not?
If it is, is an accidental abortion caused by negligent or hazardous activity by the mother manslaughter? If not, why not?
Is the pregnant woman who takes a pill ending pregnancy after conception guilty of murder? If not, why not?

Just wondering.

Mbrookes said...

Why is there not more emphasis on the prevention of pregnancy? There are enough methods of prevention that some method should satisfy anyone. Of course, there are fails, but if used properly they are few and far between.

Anonymous said...

It’s too bad the church doesn’t take this hard of a line against priests who sexually abuse kids. I guess if they allowed abortions and birth control, it would limit the number of kids they have access to.

Anonymous said...

The person (same one) that posted 3 out of the last 4 comments is in desperation mode.

Anonymous said...

4:41, I see how you thought that, but actually "anonymous" is not the username of the poster. It means the poster is not known. Hope that helps!

Erbody’s anonymous said...

8:51 You must be new to JJ.

Anonymous said...

These same people voted for Trump, they really have no values, they sellout on one issue.

Anonymous said...

11:52 am You are assuming that doctors always agree when the life of the mother is at risk and have the same standards about how much risk is acceptable. In the case of my aunt, her personal physician had no question, but the Board that decided and who never saw her, did. Beyond that, they didn't consider how quickly she could get to the nearest hospital. In another case, they couldn't get a quorum and the mother was dead before enough members were available.

Some of us think the decision should be made by the personal physician and the family as they can best evaluate the situation.

From some of these comments,you'd think that no men were involved in creating a pregnancy or that every guy who is involved takes responsibility.
The " it's the slut's problem " seems to be the attitude. And, you sure don't like single mother families , do you?
Ever considered that requiring guys to use condoms and spermicide or else pay all the kids expenses until age 21 would be cheaper for society.

11:23pm The " industry" I was in was investigating child neglect and abuse . It involved, among other things, explaining to pregnant girls ( one was 10 years old) how they got pregnant. It involved teaching them how not to get pregnant again. I saw micro preemies. I held girls hands during their miscarriages. Did you know many first pregnancies end in miscarriage? And, my job involved helping girls who were raped and victims of incest. Have you seen the damage physically and emotionally sexual violence can do to a 10 year old who is raped?

By the way, did you ever look at the stats of girls that died from illegal abortions or were left infertile before Roe v Wade? Has it ever has occurred to you to look at how banning abortion actually worked.

11:53 and 12:47 pm I also know that you try to kill the messenger when you can't dispute the message. Unlike you, I also know what I don't know. Don't worry about my family... No unplanned or unwanted children or grandchildren ... all were born in wedlock and no divorces... all with college or better educations, independent and financially secure and healthy...can you say the same? PS knowledge was key to all those outcomes.

But, there sure are days when I wish I'd never seen the terrible things that can be inflicted on children. And, I sure wish I didn't know that more than a few of those children would never recover no matter how much help they received.

Anonymous said...

Lady you must consume most of the oxygen in live conversation... cause you sure overuse the bandwidth here.

Anonymous said...

Wait a minute. As I recall, Chickasaw County isn't that far in minutes from one of Mississippi's largest communities and one of the state's largest hospitals: Tupelo and Northeast MS Medical Center. I live in a rural county adjacent to another major medical center for our state. My county's rural hospital closed years ago. Though it would be nice to have that hospital back, the difference between going to it and a major hospital 30 miles away was 10 minutes, and, even then, in many cases the patient is sent to Jackson. While I think rural hospitals are important, let's not hyperventilate and overestimate Medicaid's relevance. I can't help but believe there are rural health care solutions that don't involve the perpetual growth of a big government program like Medicaid but it may require a change in a facility's business model and some creative thinking.

Anonymous said...

Chickasaw County is also about 60 percent white, so why we talk about the race of the patient in question is interesting. Seems with that sort of demographics whites are more likely or equally likely to suffer from the lack of a rural hospital. Of course, trying to racialize this issue and compare it to abortion is NOT a very compelling, relevant argument. Mr. Crawford's analogy may appeal to the left-leaning pro-abortion crowd who seize upon the comparisons made here, but they are a very small minority in Mississippi, and I don't think any lawmaker or voting citizen will find this thesis very compelling. Sorry, Bill, I normally find your stuff interesting, but this one's a bit off mark.

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