Post-Roe landscape endangers lives, economic of climate change, and moreJuly 19, 2022
Bess Levin at Vanity Fair runs down just how catastrophic Republican’s post-Roe policies are for women:
Over the weekend, the Idaho Republican Party voted against adopting an amendment that would have added an exception to its official policy on abortion for cases to save the life of the mother. […]
Elsewhere in reports of horrifying repercussions from the Supreme Court merely kicking the abortion question to the states, a woman bled for more than 10 days after suffering an incomplete miscarriage because a Wisconsin hospital wouldn’t perform the procedure; a woman with an ectopic pregnancy had to seek emergency, out-of-state care because a doctor in her home state was worried he’d run afoul of the law; administrators at a Kansas hospital temporarily required “pharmacist approval” before prescribing medications that stop postpartum hemorrhages—as in hemorrhages that occur after someone has given birth—because they are also sometimes used for abortions; and a 10-year-old rape victim in Ohio was told they must give birth to their rapist’s child or seek care elsewhere.
Michelle Goldberg at The New York Times:
I thought I was sufficiently cynical about the anti-abortion movement, but I admit to being taken aback by this blithe, public disregard for the lives of women, including women suffering the loss of wanted pregnancies.
“Just travel to a blue state for an abortion!” means nothing when (1) Republicans are already gearing up to criminalize interstate travel for such healthcare and (2) abortion procedures may be required as part of emergency care in some situations, such as ectopic pregnancies or some miscarriages. In short, Republican post-Roe policies have made red states deadlier than blue states.
But COVID is only the latest chapter in the story of politics and health. “COVID has really magnified what had already been brewing in American society, which was that, based on where you lived, your risk of death was much different,” says Haider J. Warraich, a physician and researcher at the VA Boston Healthcare System and Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.
In a study published in June in The BMJ, Warraich and his colleagues showed that over the two decades prior to the pandemic, there was a growing gap in mortality rates for residents of Republican and Democratic counties across the U.S. In 2001, the study’s starting point, the risk of death among red and blue counties (as defined by the results of presidential elections) was similar. Overall, the U.S. mortality rate has decreased in the nearly two decades since then (albeit not as much as in most other high-income countries). But the improvement for those living in Republican counties by 2019 was half that of those in Democratic counties—11 percent lower versus 22 percent lower.
On a final note and a different topic — climate change — Paul Krugman analyzes the latest on trying to confront the crisis and dedicates his column to the economics of climate change. It doesn’t just make moral and ethical sense to act on climate change, it makes economical sense as well! But numbers on a ledger have done nothing to sway Manchin or Republicans:
But none of [Sen. Joe Manchin’s opposition to climate change policies] would have mattered if Republicans weren’t unified in their opposition to any action to limit global warming. This opposition has only grown more entrenched as the evidence for looming catastrophe has grown — and the likely financial cost of effective action has declined. […]
The fact is that one of America’s two major political parties appears to be viscerally opposed to any policy that seems to serve the public good. Overwhelming scientific consensus in favor of such policies doesn’t help — if anything, it hurts, because the modern G.O.P. is hostile to science and scientists.