Attack on abortion
can delay life-saving
Complications during the first trimester of pregnancy — specifically threatened miscarriages and ectopic pregnancies — are common presentations in the emergency departments across the nation. There are two specific cases of ectopic pregnancies that vividly stand out in my practice of emergency medicine thus far.
The first was a young female with pelvic pain. Ultrasound done in the ER showed a viable intrauterine pregnancy — heart beating and squirming around — beautiful. His twin was located outside the uterus, a very rare heterotopic pregnancy. The twin pregnancy had suffered fetal demise a few weeks earlier and now this nonviable pregnancy threatened both the life of his twin brother as well as their mother. My patient was taken to the OR with my OBGYN colleagues. A healthy baby boy was delivered later in the year.
The second case that stands out to me was a colleague of mine. A physician. I immediately diagnosed her ruptured ectopic pregnancy in the ER due to her positive pregnancy test and identification of the massive amounts of blood that was spilling into her abdomen. In the OR, they identified the several units of blood that she had lost. Further delay in her care may have resulted in death.
Ectopic pregnancy is something every emergency medicine physician must think about while managing female patients of childbearing age. A study published in 2005 at Kaiser Permanente in Northern California found that ectopic pregnancies make up around 2% of all pregnancies.
Early diagnosis and prompt management is critical. Equally essential as the immediate management of anaphylaxis, strokes, or heart attacks.
My wife and I have three healthy, beautiful children. However, her very first pregnancy resulted in a natural miscarriage. We were heartbroken — but she didn’t require surgery or medication.
Miscarriage (the medical term for miscarriage is “abortion”) is a very common medical phenomenon during pregnancy. A Norwegian study published in the British Medical Journal found miscarriage rates as high as 23% of all pregnancies. My wife had a “complete abortion” or miscarriage — meaning no additional procedure or management was required. But that is not the case with every miscarriage. There are “incomplete abortions” or miscarriages where part of the fetal tissue is left behind in the uterus and the mother continues to have bleeding, sometimes substantial and life threatening. There are also “septic abortions” where some remaining fetal tissue leads to infection that again, can be threatening to the mother if management is not appropriate.
I read current headlines in horror which describe patients who have ectopic pregnancies or life-threatening miscarriages, and then have their life saving surgeries delayed — or possibly denied.
Confusion in the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade abounds. The legal fallout to this decision is only the tip of the iceberg and should not affect the appropriate and lifesaving management of our female patients. These aren’t just MY patients. There are YOUR daughters, YOUR wives, YOUR sisters. I would expect a husband or father to be furious if there was delay in the management of their wife or daughter with anaphylaxis, a stroke, or a heart attack. I would expect a husband or father to be even more furious if their wife or daughter was hemorrhaging to death — and we could have saved her — but we weren’t legally allowed to.
Van Den Eeden et. al. 2005 “Ectopic pregnancy rate and treatment utilization in a large managed care organization” Obstetrics & Gynecology
Magnus et. al. 2019 “Role of maternal age and pregnancy history in risk of miscarriage: prospective register based study” British Medical Journal
Todd Crane, MD
Ascension Via Christi
Manhattan Emergency Dept.
‘Value Them Both’ amendment affirms founders’ intent
Here’s an exact quote of a message I recently received on my phone: “Hi Norbert! KS women, children, and our state constitution are under attack. Can we count on you to VOTE NO on Aug. 2nd to PRESERVE our constitution and PROTECT women and children?”
It is filled with lies. The Value Them Both Amendment does not attack our state constitution, it clarifies/affirms what our founders intended. A NO VOTE does not PRESERVE our constitution or PROTECT women and children as the message asserts. In fact it harms women. Often not only physically, but emotionally and spiritually. It doesn’t PROTECT children, it always kills a helpless, growing, innocent child, regardless of that boy or girl’s stage of development.
Our Supreme Court has clearly and comprehensively determined that the Roe and Casey court cases were wrongly decided, and abortion legislation should be decided at the state level.
As the US and KS Constitutions obviously declare, we are endowed by our Creator with the right to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.
Nowhere in either document is there even a vague hint of a right to abortion. Before Roe, most states had laws that criminalized abortion.
Vote YES! Value Them Both!
Far right a greater threat
Mr. Shea, in his latest column, suggests that all see Pastor Shadrach Mashach Lockridge’s YouTube remarks: “It’s Friday, but Sunday’s Coming.” I did, and it is a powerful and inspiring message of faith. I don’t think it would have any impact on all Americans, but will reasonate with most Christians. For the immediate future, I fail to see the relevance.
That said, given what I have seen from Mr. Shea’s columns, he seems to see the Democratic Party having been hijacked by Socialists at some point in recent time. Mr. Biden, a radical? Please! Perhaps it stems from the original decision by the SCOTUS on Roe v. Wade. That was a bomb shell, just as its overturn has been. Perhaps it also stems from the Party supporting LGBTQ rights. It may stem from many things. The Party has supported many social liberation issues beyond the African-American sphere. And I feel fairly certain that Mr. Shea is opposed to most or all of those. But do these make the Party subversive to the Constitution and the American form of government?
Liberals and Conservatives meet in a very broad democratic center, anywhere in the democratic part of the world. Some vear away on both sides toward State Socialism on the Left and Fascism on the Right: two forms of government that are authoritarian or totalitarian and non-democratic. We still see these and other non-democratic forms in the world. It can be argued that those are on the rise.
For well over a century, the trend in democracies has been toward greater involvement by government into the social and economic spheres of society. In this country, that has come by changing from a low population, largely rural society to one that is highly populous and urban. There are a great deal more interests contending among each other and fewer “winners” and more “losers.” Among the “Guardian” institutions of society from the family on up, government is a referree and enforcer, if you will, and the democratic challenge is government mediating among those all of those interests in achieving a broad inclusionary balance among them.
Where there is fear and anxiety leading to anger, there is danger. Where those exist in the body politic, things can get out of hand. We went through a civil war, but never had there been an insurrection against our basic democratic process until Jan. 6th. That came, Mr. Shea, not from the Far Left but the Far Right.
From 1933 to 1980, the White House and/or Congress, with exceptions, was in the hands of Democrats. (Look it up.) That began to change. The Reagan “revolution” was based in the 1964 Presidential campaign of Barry Goldwater. The Democratic hold, in spite of two terms of Clinton and two of Obama, weakened, as did the broad center that had existed through the Cold War, Vietnam, Watergate, and even through the Reagan years when he had to deal with either a divided Congress or an opposing one, which continued through the first Bush administration, and Clinton had to contend with an opposing Congress through 6 of his eight years. The second Bush administration was unified for all but the last two of his eight years. The Democratic Party under Obama lost more governmental power over all since Eisenhower as Republicans gained ascendency in state governments and Congress. That meant the power to set Congressional districts and set voting rules.
So, Mr. Shea, where is any threat to our political institutions and the Constitution coming from? The Center for Strategic and International Studies concludes that Far Right extremism is a far greater threat than that on the Left, though that certainly exists. That tends to be more in reaction to that on the Right. The protest demonstrations after the murder of George Floyd were over 90% peaceful, and much of the violence of the rest may have been provoked.
The dramatist, Sam Shepard opined: “Democracy’s a very fragile thing. You have to take care of democracy. As soon as you stop being responsible to it and allow it to turn into scare tactics, it’s no longer democracy, is it? It’s something else. It may be an inch away from totalitarianism.” Given some of Mr. Shea’s rhetoric, and that of others like him, and a few on my side of the fence, I wonder how close we are to that inch?
1013 Houston St.