Patterns In Science and Politics Dangerous if Missed

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Patterns In Science and Politics Dangerous if Missed

Scott Swenson

If you miss the patterns, in science or in politics, you miss the point, and right now there are patterns a plenty in the forces attempting to shape reproductive health. Yesterday’s hearings by Rep. Mark Souder in the deaths of several women, all linked to certain bacteria, and a few as to whether or not the bacteria has to do with variations on the approved protocol of Mifepristone (RU-486), the prescribed abortion medicine, demonstrate an effort to use tragedy for political gain as opposed to advancing medical, scientific or public health understanding and awareness.

If you miss the patterns, in science or in politics, you miss the point, and right now there are patterns a plenty in the forces attempting to shape reproductive health. Yesterday’s hearings by Rep. Mark Souder into the deaths of several women, all linked to certain bacteria, and a few as to whether or not the bacteria has to do with variations on the approved protocol of Mifepristone (RU-486), the prescribed abortion medicine, demonstrate an effort to use tragedy for political gain as opposed to advancing medical, scientific or public health understanding and awareness.

As quoted in Reuters "Our focus should be seeking the truth concerning the cause of C.sordellii infection rather than attempting to bully the FDA into taking action unsupported by science," Maryland Democrat Elijah Cummings said. But Ohio Republican Rep. Jean Schmidt challenged [FDA officials] to pull the drug, saying, "Just because you don't know how the infection occurred, we do know that they took the drug and they died."

No. What we know is that bacteria is a part of every death and that should be the focus of inquiry and that the medicine was not involved in all cases. To distort this issue for political gain is to endanger the lives of women. Medical News Today provides the best medical information supported with a number of links for anyone seeking truth about the medical issues involved.

Amy Allina, Policy Director of the National Women’s Health Network is quoted in the Atlanta Journal Constitution, "Medications are one of many possible factors," she said. "Certainly the FDA has been under a lot of pressure from anti-abortion activists" to take mifepristone off the market.

Roe has collapsed and Texas is in chaos.

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Former FDA official Dr. Susan Wood testified yesterday that, “This pattern of infections and death after pregnancy is indeed disturbing, and tells us once again that we need to do more to ensure safe pregnancy and safe motherhood. This is not limited to women who have been exposed to mifepristone, and to focus solely on women who have had a medical abortion is to miss the real threat to the health of women.” She concluded “Please do not allow politics to trump science once again when the health of women is at stake.”

Patterns continue to be seen as forces that believe in sex only for procreation state that "contraception is to blame for decline in morality" while Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton is suggesting these same "ideologues" want to restrict access to contraception even further. Christina Paige outlines this War on Sex in a great piece on Alternet. She writes, pro-lifers “are also leading campaigns against the only proven ways to prevent abortion: contraception. Shocking as it may be, there is not one pro-life organization in the United States that supports the use of contraception.” She reports the American Life League explained, "We have been working to prove that prescription contraceptives have nothing to do with woman's health and well-being but are recreational drugs that prevent fertilization and abort children."

It may be a while before the CDC firmly establishes patterns and determines the cause of the deaths currently in question. There is ample evidence to understand the patterns of ideas, misinformation and censorship used by ideologues to make a minority viewpoint on contracpetion and reproductive health overall, a dominant political force to intimidate politicians and threaten the health and well being of many in the process.