Objections to health care cover the spectrum of life-and-death concerns: that is to say, death panels to mandated abortions. Now that the death panel crap is being debunked by all sorts of information agencies, expressions of fears that health care reform will kill Grandma are being replaced by fears that health care reform will kill babies.
Well, if I were the one in charge of the secret lethal army of Metal Ones, I certainly would send them out for the babies and the old people first. That would leave all the angry able-bodied people around for a nice Terminator-style fight for the earth. It's good strategery.
All right, so I know that the sarcasm isn't really being very nice. There's a reason my sister gave me the secret super-hero name of "Sarcastro." I try to delete all such commentary when engaging in real dialogue with people who disagree--it's hard, and sometimes I miss my aim, but I do try. But this is my blog, which I began, after all, as a venue for saying whatever the hell I wanted in a desperate experimental attempt to really find my voice. Which, as it turns out, is really sarcastic. Who would've thunk.
Anyhow, I was reminded again today that US health care stats include a shamefully high infant mortality rate.
And I can't help but think of the awful, awful irony of people so completely convinced that it's reforming this health care system that's going to kill babies.
Get it straight. I love babies. I want to have more of them myself. I want to have more babies in the same serene, beautiful way that I gave birth to my first ridiculously healthy little girl. I want every woman who has a baby to be able to give birth in that same empowering way I did--that is to say, with her agency intact, with say-so over her environment and her body, celebrating the advent of life into the world. I want this for every woman regardless of the circumstances of conception. I want this for every woman regardless of whether or not she can pay for it or has insurance for it. I want every pregnancy and every birth to be the beautiful, spiritual, bodily experience it should be. I want every pregnancy to culminate in that. Every single one.
That's not how it is.
And, of course, that's not how it will be, no matter what kind of reform finally gets enacted, because that's my ideal. But I think we could be a helluva lot closer to that ideal than we currently are.
And the first step to moving closer to the ideal is simply recognizing how far we currently are from it, recognizing that having the highest mortality rate of any developed country means that babies are dying. And maybe that, in some undesired, unintended way, if we do nothing about it, if we refuse to recognize that, then we are all baby-killers.