Wednesday, March 22, 2017

If Planned Parenthood Is Defunded, Will FQHC's Be Affordable For All Women?

Recently, Live Action posted a story on their website exposing the myth that has been circulating around pro-choice circles. That myth is that if Planned Parenthood (PP) is defunded, women will not be able to get accessible healthcare, and the alternatives will be too expensive. Of course, we have to define healthcare, as I (and many others) would argue that abortions and contraceptives are not healthcare. But the biggest issue here, of course, is abortion. Several lively conversations ensued on public social media, and I interacted with two people. Well one, I suppose would be more accurate. And even that one wasn't interested in having a conversation of much substance. What I noticed, in the replies to this story, was that many Americans who are pro-choice and/or support PP are incapable of rational discourse; they are incapable of interacting with ideas other than their own, and instead throw around ad hominem attacks, or simply dismiss any point made with a wave of the hand since they can't come up with a rebuttal. For if they did offer a rebuttal, that would mean they would have to consider the points made by their interlocutor, and it appears that it's too much for many people to contemplate for even a second that they're position on a matter as grave as abortion is wrong.
Christ Blessing Little Children- Marie Ellenrieder

The first "exchange" I had was in response to someone simply posting a meme in reply to the article. In response to my and others' comments, all the person could do was dismiss everything said by saying a condescending "Oh honeys!" This is where intelligent debate dies. Less and less it seems that two people can exchange ideas and have a thoughtful conversation, and instead immediately dismiss the opposing sides thoughts. This is different from finding your opponents logic in actual error. We can't just dismiss someone's opinion, no matter how ridiculous we find it. We still have to interact with it, and not just declare "you're wrong", but prove and demonstrate why this is so.

The other dialogue took place with a woman who felt that Live Action was spreading "lies" and that women would never be able to afford visiting an FQHC (Federally Qualified Health Center). She was mistaken. I'll post my response to the first young woman, followed by pseudo-dialogue I and others had with the second woman immediately after. My words will be in blue, my interlocutor's in red, and other people in various colors.

My response to this meme:

It doesn't follow that repealing abortion laws in the United States would force women to use coat hangers. Also, even with access to legal abortion, illegal and "backalley" abortions still take place:
"Pro-choice advocates like to say that there will be abortions no matter what, so we might as well make them legal and safe. But perhaps it's time to turn that on its head. There will be illegal abortions no matter what, so we might as well enact abortion laws that recognize the humanity of the preborn child and the predatory nature of the abortion industry."
Furthermore, [from a great essay on National Review]:

"In [Dr. Mary Steichen Calderones' 1960 paper 'Illegal Abortion as a Public Health Problem'], we learn that in the pre-Roe era, the incidence of maternal deaths resulting from abortion was quite low, nothing like the tens of thousands of deaths in the wire-hanger mythology. 

" Dr. Calderone’s estimate, '90 percent of all illegal abortions are presently being done by physicians. Call them what you will, abortionists or anything else, they are still physicians, trained as such; and many of them are in good standing in their communities. They must do a pretty good job if the death rate is as low as it is.' Bear in mind that this comes from an advocate of legal abortion at a time when abortion was broadly illegal...

"The wire hanger, then... is a grotesque fund-raising tool, but then abortion is a grotesque business. The wire hanger is a way to change the subject from the reality of abortion in these United States, which is that it exists mainly as a tool for enabling sexual convenience at the cost of a human life."

In response to this article, which I linked to above, another woman had this to say:

Jo: Bullshit lies, they might have access but they won't be able to afford it.

Nicholas: False. FQHC's (and RHC's) are required by law  to serve all people in their area, regardless of their income and ability to pay. This is made clear in 42 U.S. Code § 254b, found in [this link]. FQHC's exist to specifically serve “a population that is medically underserved, or a special medically underserved population comprised of migratory and seasonal agricultural workers, the homeless, and residents of public housing”; this also applies, obviously, to people that are not underserved and do not fit into said categories.

Furthermore, if you open the link to the document and read, 42 U.S. Code § 254b(k)(3)(G)(iii) states the following:

"The Center (I) will assure that no patient will be denied health care services due to an individual’s inability to pay for such services; and

"(II) will assure that any fees or payments required by the center for such services will be reduced or waived to enable the center to fulfill the assurance described in [the above] subclause (I)..."

In addition, 42 U.S. Code § 254b(r)(4)(A-B) states:

"Rule of construction with respect to rural health clinics

"(A) Nothing in this section shall be construed to prevent a community health center [an FQHC] from contracting with a Federally certified rural health clinic [an RHC]... for the delivery of primary health care services that are available at the clinic or hospital to individuals who would otherwise be eligible for free or reduced cost care if that individual were able to obtain that care at the community health center...

"(B) In order for a clinic or hospital to receive funds under this section through a contract with a community health center under subparagraph (A), such clinic or hospital shall establish policies to ensure—

"(i) nondiscrimination based on the ability of a patient to pay; and
(ii) the establishment of a sliding fee scale for low-income patients."

Planned Parenthood also uses a sliding fee scale to make sure that all their clients are served. You can find more information and rebuttals to your comments at [this link]. You'll also find your claim refuted by reading 42 U.S. Code § 254b a little more in depth, in addition to the citations I just provided you.

So who exactly is it that's telling "bullshit lies"? Please make sure you have your facts straight before posting your claims, especially without anything to back those claims up. Thank you.

Jo: Well how many free clinics are there throughout the US, I really don't know as I've always had health insurance? In doing research on Planned Parenthood there are areas where they are the only ones available. In my opinion access is anything 10 miles or less from where one lives, no one should have to travel longer than that for healthcare.

Ruth: There are over 13,000 free/low cost clinics all over the country. That is compared to the less than 1,000 PP clinics...which are usually located in cities that have ample access to health care from a variety of sources.
And the free clinics offer WAY more services, catering to the whole family and often providing dental care as well.

And honestly, 10 miles or less doesn't get you very far if you live in a rural area where the population is small and the nearest neighbor on either side is several miles away. Generally, the clinics are spaced according to the population.

Nicholas: : I agree, Jo, access to actual healthcare should be available without needing to travel long distances. Have you seen the maps that compare the locations of PP clinics to FQHCs? The numbers show that the majority of people in this country have much better access to a FQHC than a PP clinic. You can see one of those maps here. The ratio of FQHCs to PP clinics is 20 to 1.

Also, you can see a state by state comparison at this link. The numbers are even more staggering, especially when you look at states like Alabama. There are 2 PP clinics in the entire state. There are over 230 FQHCs and RHCs in the state.

Madonna and Child With St. John- Andrea del Sarto
Jo: Liveactionnews is not a reliable source.

Nick: I also posted a link to the Lozier Institute. And again, if you're going to make a claim, prove it. Why is the information in this particular article not reliable or accurate? Show me why what is posted in these two specific articles are not factual.

Jo: I didn't say it wasn't, I said Liveactionnews was unreliable, I will do further research on my own.

Jo: "Christian" sites are unreliable, you can post all the links you want, I will not look at them I will go to government sites to look up the information.

Nicholas: Jo, whether a site is "Christian" or not, or from Planned Parenthood or not, the subject matter of the article is all that matters. With a wave of a hand, you dismiss relevant information simply because of a URL or a title of an article. If that's not sticking one's head in the sand, I don't know what is.
You keep saying Live Action is unreliable, but you never answered my question: Why is the information in this particular article I linked to not reliable or accurate? You do realize the map and most of the information that came from that article is also in the Lozier Institute article. I guess I should've flip flopped the two links so "" wasn't featured in big letters, since your prejudice doesn't allow you to click on such "unreliable" links.

All you have is your own prejudice of that site and "Christian" sites. You're doing the same thing political conservatives do when they refuse to read an article from Slate or Huffington Post. That's disingenuous. I read PP articles, and I have to admit that sometimes their articles are accurate in what they report regarding statistics. 

I hope you continue doing your own research, and then compare that to what was posted in the articles given to you here today. Let the facts stand on their own, no matter the source. To do otherwise leaves us in ignorance. Explore angles, and if one source is factually incorrect, then expose the error for all to see. Don't just say the source is "unreliable" without reading the specific article, and then walk away.
For your research purposes, Jo, here's a link to a secular pro-life site that has the same map and much of the same info that was posted in the Live Action link, which originated from the Lozier Institute link. This secular pro life article includes a link to the U.S. Department of Health and Services' interactive map of FQHC's, which you can use to fact check the map provided at all of the links I and Anne have given you. Best of luck with your research.

Jo: Pro life sources are extremely biased and quite frankly not a source i deem as credible I'd rather get my info from a mixture of sources.

Nicholas: I can certainly say the same for many pro-choice sources. Include both in your mixture of sources, as well as hard data, which was incorporated into the Lozier Institute link I provided. The Secular Pro Life article also contains sources of unbiased information. Seperate the facts from the fabricated. 

Once that's done, it's clear that the information that was presented in the original link posted by Live Action contains accurate and credible information, and does not contain any "lies" as you originally mentioned.

Jo:  Pro choice is a whole lot less biased than pro life, while I've been blessed to have never had an abortion I absolutely refuse to order someone else not to, it is the decision of the people involved and only the people involved, I find it utterly disgusting that some people would deny others of medical necessary help and education just because Planned Parenthood refuses to not talk about abortion as an alternative.

Nicholas: "Pro choice is a whole lot less biased than pro life..."

Jo, I'd love to know how you measure this bias, and how you've come to the conclusion that pro life sites do it more than pro choice sites. Could it be you believe this because you yourself are pro-choice, meaning you yourself are biased to believe what pro-choice publications say as being "true"...?

The Virgin And Child Surrounded By The Holy Innocents-
Peter Paul Rubens
Anyways, I don't know who here, or elsewhere is doing any "ordering", as you put it, but no one is ordering anyone to not have an abortion since that's impossible in the US; abortion enjoys the favor of the law. But we can certainly encourage and plead with others who are thinking of having an abortion (and those that believe they have this right, such as yourself) to not abort or support those that provide abortions.

I find it utterly disgusting that people are allowed to kill human beings that reside in the womb. No one has the right to decide if another person lives or dies (this is why I am also opposed to the death penalty), and then act on that decision by killing that person. 

If we believe what you claim, that an abortion is "the decision of the people involved and only the people involved", that would appear to presuppose that what is growing in the womb of the woman is not a human being, and that the person growing in the womb has no right to be involved in the decision making process (apparently made between the parents and the abortionist) that ends his or hers life. Your claim would be analogous to saying that when a sex trafficker sells a 15 year old girl to another man for one night, it's the decision of the sex trafficker and the client only since the 15 year old girl is seen as a piece of meat and not a human being. By your logic, we should allow the client to have his way with the girl since he doesn't view her as a person, but as simply a pleasure toy.

But I don't know what you specifically believe about the fetus/embryo/etc.... so I'll ask you a question, if you don't mind:

Is the organism growing in utero a human being? 

If so, how do you justify this human being's murder that was brought on by the decision of the mother (who may or may not have been coerced) and the person performing the abortion?

If not, why is the organism in utero (according to you) not a human being?

Jo: Pro life tells people what to do, pro choice lets them make their own decisions. The "organism growing in utero" is only a human being when it can survive out-utero, and it's not murder, no woman should be forced to carry a rapists sperm deposit if she does not want to, no woman should be forced to carry a dead baby or a baby that will not survive birth if she doesn't want to.

Nicholas:  Those involved in the pro-life movement tell people what they should do, i.e., not kill an innocent human being. Pro-choicers let people make decisions that result in the death of another person who cannot yet raise their voice.

Well, one thing I can agree with you on, Jo, is that no woman should be forced to carry a dead baby. I don't think anyone here is arguing that a woman should not have a procedure done if that is the case; what many people have a problem with is the direct killing of a human being. 

Second, the rapists sperm deposit ceases to be sperm if it fertilizes an ovum. If it does fertilize the ovum, we no longer have sperm and ovum; we have a zygote, a human being which will continue to develop in the womb for 9 months. That's just simple, biological science.

So if the baby in the womb is only a human being "when it can survive out-utero", then according to your logic, this means that babies born prematurely (and those still in the womb) in the 21st century at 22-25 weeks gestation are human, while those babies born prematurely at 22-25 weeks gestation in the 19th century were not human beings since it would be impossible for them to survive out of the womb without the help of 21st century technology.

How is it that one can be defined as a human being simply by what century they lived in? I hope you can see how absurd this is. What if, in the next 50 years, babies who are born prematurely at 19 weeks gestation can be sustained outside the womb with new technology? This would mean that babies who are still in the womb at 19 weeks gestation in the year 2067 are human beings then, right? But you mean to tell me that if a mother wishes to have an abortion at 18 or 19 weeks in 2017, it's OK and not murder because the organism growing in utero is not a human being since it can't live outside the womb with today's technology?

That is where your logic leads us, and it's ridiculous. My question to you is, when does life actually begin? Does someone's life begin only if modern technology is able to sustain that person outside of the mother's womb?
Virtue and Nobility Putting Ignorance to Flight-
Giovanni Battista Tiepolo

Jo: Thanks for the book Nicholas, thankfully I've no desire to read it.

Nicholas: Too bad. And that's where intelligent discourse dies, thanks for playing. Instead of focusing on my arguments, you complain my responses are too long. Anyone can make a one sentence claim, like you did over and over again, and unfortunately, it takes time to refute because your claims and logic are full of several errors. All you've done is prove that you can't back up any of the claims you've made today. You must be really scared of going down the rabbit hole that reading through these arguments lead to...

No big deal though, now all can see the many flaws in your logic, and in your position on abortion, so this wasn't all for naught. Have a good night.

Jo: All you want is for me to give in and agree with you, ordering me to believe as you believe, that ain't happening.

Nicholas: Nope, just to consider alternative viewpoints different from your own, and to have some dialogue. I really am interested in hearing your opinions, and interested in interacting with those opinions and viewpoints, but you haven't gone very far in depth with them, nor really fleshed them out. But if you don't want to dialogue, that's your decision. Hopefully we can at some point in the future; I'm always open to that. Until then, I'm bowing out. Good night.

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