Viewpoints: If Roe Falls, Birth Control May Be Next; How Should Abortion Rights Be Protected?
Editorial writers take on these public health issues.
The New York Times:
How The Right To Birth Control Could Be Undone
The leaked draft opinion of the Supreme Court’s decision overturning Roe v. Wade has prompted a flurry of debate about the fate of other so-called unenumerated rights — rights that are not explicitly outlined in the Constitution — including the right to access contraception. (Melissa Murray, 5/23)
Los Angeles Times:
Best Way To Protect Abortion Rights? Finalize The ERA
When Roe vs. Wade was decided in 1973, it was rooted in rights that flow from privacy — not equality. As the country has now seen in the leaked Supreme Court draft ruling, that right to privacy is about to be demolished. Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. bemoans in the draft opinion that Roe “was remarkably loose in its treatment of the constitutional text,” basing the right to abortion on the right to privacy when neither is “mentioned” in the Constitution. While we can’t change the composition of the court poised to overturn Roe, we can change the text they are charged with interpreting. It’s time to finalize the Equal Rights Amendment and enshrine gender equality. (Kate Kelly, 5/20)
Will Ohio's Constitution Be Amended To Allow Abortion Access?
With the U.S. Supreme Court likely to overturn Roe vs. Wade by letting each state regulate abortion as it wishes, the General Assembly’s Democrats are proposing a state constitutional amendment to guarantee Ohio’s women access to abortion. It’s likely that if the proposal reached Ohio’s ballot, voters would approve it, which is required for amendments to the state constitution. But getting the measure on the ballot would first require the approval of 60 Ohio House members and 20 state senators, which is why Democrats said that their plan, at a minimum, would advance discussion of the issue. (Thomas Suddes, 5/22)
Los Angeles Times:
Leave Abortion Law To The States? Just Look At The Fugitive Slave Act To See How That Will Go
Why not leave abortion to the states? One of the most common arguments made by those who want to downplay the significance of Supreme Court Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr.’s leaked draft opinion in Dobbs vs. Jackson Women’s Health is that it would not make abortion illegal. Rather, it would merely return the abortion debate to the legislative sphere, where it belongs. Individual states would pass their own abortion laws, as restrictive or nonrestrictive as their electorate wants them to be. (Ronald J. Granieri, 5/19)
What Alito Doesn’t Understand About Pregnancy
When I train medical students, I emphasize that almost nobody is more acutely aware of time than an obstetrician is. Whenever doctors in my field are briefed about a new patient, the first question we ask is: “How many weeks?” The answer affects everything. A pregnant patient diagnosed with high blood pressure at 12 weeks is usually suffering from chronic hypertension, a condition not immediately dangerous to her. At 37 weeks, a similar blood-pressure reading signals preeclampsia, a direct risk to the patient and her fetus. A patient whose water breaks the week before her due date, at 39 weeks, is probably going to have a healthy baby; someone in the same situation at 20 weeks faces a terrifying ordeal that will probably end in infection and pregnancy loss. The dangers that a patient faces, the treatment options we can consider, the risks she may be willing to take—all of these evolve over the nine months of a pregnancy. The only people who understand this better than obstetricians do are our pregnant patients themselves, who count every passing moment in their bodies. (Chavi Eve Karkowsky, 5/21)
The Star Tribune:
Build On Insulin Affordability Reform
Access to insulin can be a matter of life or death for those with diabetes, a disease that more than 37 million Americans live with. But the drug's soaring price can alarmingly put it out of reach of those who need it. "The price of insulin has risen inexplicably over the past 20 years at a rate far higher than the rate of inflation," according to an analysis published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings in 2020. "One vial of Humalog, which used to cost $21 in 1999, costs $332 in 2019, reflecting a price increase of more than 1000%." (5/22)
Make Health Care Tax Credits Permanent
Nothing keeps Ohioans up at night like the cost of health care. With the rising cost of food, rent and child care, too many families are left worrying about how to pay the bills and make ends meet. Half of Americans worry about keeping up with health care costs, not only because it drains our bank accounts, but because we literally can’t live without it. Fortunately, the American Rescue Plan, signed by President Joe Biden last year, was historic legislation that drove down health costs at a time when access to quality care had never been more vital. In addition to making critical investments to fight the pandemic, the American Rescue Plan made health care premiums more affordable than ever. (Ozie Davis, 5/21)
The U.S. Needs Its Local Public Health Officials Back, Stat
In many ways, the most important scientific battlefields have become the forums and meetings of local government. During the first year and a half of the pandemic, while I and many others were participating in local county council and board of education meetings virtually, a misinformed group was showing up in-person and dominating the public comments section of these forums. The group members’ wild conspiracy theories went completely unchecked as this vocal minority applied pressure to elected officials to go against accepted science. They continuously called for the dismissal of our top local health officials. We were naive to believe that those efforts would fail. (Jared DeCoste, 5/20)
Rare CUP Cancer With No Known Origin Or Treatment Plan Killed My Mom
Most bobbleheads go up and down. Sitting on the dashboard, they nod along with the music you're playing as your car hums along. They're happy little things. My own head goes the other direction. As cancer ruthlessly dragged down my mother this spring – less than two months between diagnosis to death – I often found my chin moving methodically from left shoulder to right, eyes bleary and cast down at the floor next to my mother's bedside, a physical manifestation of my disbelief. (Kyle Bagenstose, 5/21)