Greetings Kmarekites. I’ve been down with a strained back and watching the news and reading a lot– so much news, so little time.
I’ve still been going to health lectures and panels, hearing interesting things. It’s striking– the level of the discussion among professionals and field workers vs what is floating in the political mainstream. That stream is pretty polluted lately.
Some years ago I was talking to an elderly woman from Liberia. She was a retired midwife, sometimes traveling far into the interior of the country where she was the only medical provider women could look to. She told me that she had an urgent message–”space your children.”
I heard those exact words last week at a talk on maternal-infant health. As part of the support for teen mothers birth control is included. Preventing pregnancy that a woman is not prepared for, physically, socially or emotionally is part of maternal-infant health.
At the same talk, I heard a case worker describe the scores of phone calls and resource-chasing she had to do to get one of these young mothers to a dentist willing to pull a painful, infected tooth. This woman and her husband were uninsured and strained just to deal with the bills they had every month. The reason they even had this help in a crisis is because they were on a limited insurance program for maternal-infant health, and the case worker did not settle for less than helping the whole person.
‘Space your children.’ –ideally at least two years of recovery time. Two years also for a young father and mother to keep on with work and education, so that they can provide for the child they have.
Myself, I’m one of Irish twins. I know that many of us grew up in a world where we did not have the power and responsibility to choose when we are able to best care for another child.
But coming from that world, and seeing the good and the bad, I know we owe this generation a better chance. We should not ration out a vital health resource like birth control to those who have the most money. This is our power and responsibility to apply justice to health care, and to give the best chance to the coming generation.
Yes, birth control for the sake of the children, and for the sake of the men who want to be good fathers.
And please be aware that Gov.Chafee wants to cut dental benefits. People do die of an infected tooth. Let’s not let that happen in RI.