Monday, November 18, 2019

History of American health

There is a heartbreaking story in a recent New Yorker that speaks volumes about the unhappy state of the United States.

As the war on abortion, on contraception, on Planned Parenthood, and on universal health insurance has taken its toll across rural America, what remains are Christian Crisis Pregnancy Centres. These are awash in money from both their churches and from state and federal funds transferred from medical/social programs, and they have become ubiquitous in the rural American landscape. They are mandated only to counsel against abortion and in favour of abstinence. But many of the good Christian women who staff them, often as volunteers, cannot help but see and empathize with the struggles of the young women who come to them, drawn by desperation, lack of alternatives, and the cash and other benefits the centres offer. 

Eliza Griswold's article, "The New Front Line of the Anti-Abortion Movement," explores how workers in and clients of these centres, awash in resources and unable to provide any of the most needed and useful services to women in regions beset by poverty, opioid addictions, teen pregnancies, and family breakdown, struggle along.

Meanwhile, a tiny factoid in a book review in the New York Times Book Review: over 14 years, 42% of 9.5 million Americans afflicted by cancer had lost all their life savings within two years of diagnosis.

Altogether, it encourages despair over the fate of this great nation, and wonder about how it got there.
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