margotvankapelle: (cantcurestupid)
There is one Very Special Snowflake on my FB who posted about the Todd Akin debacle I posted about earlier today and he keeps on with strawman arguments and rape apologism and Godwin's Law and I am currently grinding my teeth down to little bitty nubs.

Anybody have a spare bazooka they're not using?  I'll bring it back as soon as I am done.
margotvankapelle: (cantcurestupid)
Are you fucking kidding me? 

I have many feelings on this.  They are all rage.

32,101 pregnancies resulting from rape per year is not "rare", and the 32,101 women whose lives are directly affected should be trusted to make the decisions that are right for them, not have to kowtow to what a delusional representative who has never met them, never heard their stories thinks is the right decision to make on their behalf.

Also, "legitimate" rape?  GTFO.

Hon. Todd Akin
117 Cannon HOB
Washington, DC 20515

Voice: (202) 225-2561
Fax: (202) 225-2563

http://www.facebook.com/CongressmanToddAkin


margotvankapelle: (Default)
So, this quarter's research paper guidelines consisted of "Cover a topic that is related to historical or modern nursing." *snerk* Really, could this be any broader? Anyway, I decided to write mine about birth control (including abortion) in the United States from the Civil War to 1973. I wanted to stay out of the modern birth control/abortion debate while educating my nursing cohort about the history involved with (and by implication, importance of maintaining a woman's) reproductive choice.

On the one hand, it's kind of awesome I am so excited about writing a research paper...on the other hand, it's kind of sad that I am this enthusiastic about writing a research paper.


Posted via m.livejournal.com.

margotvankapelle: (cantcurestupid)
For the record, one can watch the full documentary -- which I highly recommend -- here at PBS.  I loves me some public broadcasting, yes I do.

As all y'all know, I am going to be a nurse.  Having been interested in the body, all its weirdness, and all the Very Bad Things that can happen to the body, I tend to read anything I can get my hands on about epidemiology, the history of medicine (as I am interested in both history and medicine, the history of medicine is Very Much Relevant To My Interests indeed), plagues, pandemics, and assorted bacterial/viral/fungal Happy Fun Times resulting in the deaths of populations.

To say vaccines are worse than the illnesses they prevent is total, complete, and utter hogwash. 

Let's take the most famous example, the disease so feared it was the first to be eradicated from the globe:  smallpox.  Smallpox killed up to 60% of those infected and up to 80% of infected children.  It was implicated in 35% of cases of blindness in human history.  What is relatively unknown to most people is that in order to eradicate smallpox, governments began to require mandatory vaccination -- no exceptions.  In 1843, Massachussetts put the first madatory-vaccination law in place, and other states soon followed suit.  Within 60 years -- by 1897 -- the United States was almost completely free from smallpox.  The last naturally-occuring case of Variola major (the more deadly of the two strains) was diagnosed in October 1975.  The less-deadly Variola minor was last diagnosed in a naturally-occuring case on October 26, 1977.  Both cases were on the other side of the globe:  one in India, one in Somalia.

For those playing at home, that is within my lifetime.  I am only 34 years old.  We're not talking about hundreds of years ago, or even a hundred years ago...we are talking about less than 40 years in the past.  In the history of the world, that's practically nothing in the grand scheme of things.  And now most doctors or nurses wouldn't know what smallpox even looks like in the field.  They've never encountered it before, except perhaps in a footnote in an epidemiology class.  Maybe.

So that right there argues that vaccines are a damned good thing where the good of humanity is concerned.  Now let's look at some of the other vaccines, the ones to prevent diseases that have NOT been eradicated.  The ones the CDC still recommends.

Pertussis.  Whooping cough.  Sounds relatively innocuous, wouldn't you say?  Oh, it's just a funny-sounding cough, right?  Want to hear something that will make your chest ache?  Here ya go.  Pertussis really doesn't have any particular treatment beyond comfort care once you're infected...but that cough can make you vomit, faint, the blood vessels in the whites of your eyes to rupture, break your ribs, and asphyxiate to death on your own throat secretions.  Imagine coughing so hard your ribs break. The worst part about the whole disease is that babies that are too young to be safely immunized are the ones most at risk...because pertussis vaccinations don't give you lifelong immunity, most parents can carry pertussis -- and can wind up passing it along to their children.  In fact, in fatal cases in which a pertussis carrier can be identified, up to 80% of the time it is a family member of the dead infant who unknowingly exposed that baby to pertussis.  I can't imagine what sort of pain that must be for a family.

Measles.  Yeah, that rash that your grandmother lived through, but you probably didn't have to -- because your parents vaccinated you.  Sure, measles doesn't have a high rate of complications in healthy adults, but what about that person sitting next to you on the bus...the one you don't know is immunocompromised, because most people don't go around with a "I had a transplant and am on antirejection drugs" signs.  In immunocompromised populations, the fatality rate from measles is around 30%. 

While I'm at it, since the measles/mumps/rubella (MMR) vaccine is the primary one Jenny McCarthy et al. froth at the mouth most about, there is such a hullabaloo raised about autism caused by vaccination and it is rage-inducing.  These people go on and on about vaccines causing autism, because apparently there's nothing worse in the world that autism.  I beg your pardon?  Autism is somehow worse than death?  Or causing pregnant women to miscarry is okay as long as your kid is neurotypical?  *flail*headdesk*flail*  These anti-vaccination people don't seem to realize -- in fact, their health depends on -- the herd immunity that the rest of the (vaccinated) population provides. 

So to say I Have Issues with anti-vaccination tropes is a little bit of an understatement.
margotvankapelle: (asshat)
Originally posted by [livejournal.com profile] gabrielleabelle at Mississippi Personhood Amendment
Okay, so I don't usually do this, but this is an issue near and dear to me and this is getting very little no attention in the mainstream media.

Mississippi is voting on November 8th on whether to pass Amendment 26, the "Personhood Amendment". This amendment would grant fertilized eggs and fetuses personhood status.

Putting aside the contentious issue of abortion, this would effectively outlaw birth control and criminalize women who have miscarriages. This is not a good thing.

Jackson Women's Health Organization is the only place women can get abortions in the entire state, and they are trying to launch a grassroots movement against this amendment. This doesn't just apply to Mississippi, though, as Personhood USA, the group that introduced this amendment, is trying to introduce identical amendments in all 50 states.

What's more, in Mississippi, this amendment is expected to pass. It even has Mississippi Democrats, including the Attorney General, Jim Hood, backing it.

The reason I'm posting this here is because I made a meager donation to the Jackson Women's Health Organization this morning, and I received a personal email back hours later - on a Sunday - thanking me and noting that I'm one of the first "outside" people to contribute.

So if you sometimes pass on political action because you figure that enough other people will do something to make a difference, make an exception on this one. My RSS reader is near silent on this amendment. I only found out about it through a feminist blog. The mainstream media is not reporting on it.

If there is ever a time to donate or send a letter in protest, this would be it.

What to do?

- Read up on it. Wake Up, Mississippi is the home of the grassroots effort to fight this amendment. Daily Kos also has a thorough story on it.

- If you can afford it, you can donate at the site's link.

- You can contact the Democratic National Committee to see why more of our representatives aren't speaking out against this.

- Like this Facebook page to help spread awareness.



margotvankapelle: (tiltingatwindmills)
More like 20 minutes or so. I'm in line at Ye Olde Polling Place, and I should be done voting fairly shortly.

Those of you who know me can probably guess for which candidate I am voting. For those who can't discern my political leanings, I am voting for John McCain and Sarah Palin.

I have liberal friends, conservative friends, libertarian friends, socialist friends, moderate friends, and apolitical friends. That I am a friend does not change based on whether or not our politics agree; rather, it is being able to hold a civilized discussion and a mutual respect for each others' points of view that keeps us friends.

Please do not bash the adherents of one party or another -- it's ugly and disrespectful. That being said, I'm open to hearing your viewpoints and sharing my own.

*sigh*

Oct. 2nd, 2008 10:33 am
margotvankapelle: (mryuck)
Can we *please* go back onto the gold standard?

The silver standard?

Phase it in over 5-10 years, maybe?

Please?!
margotvankapelle: (tiltingatwindmills)
With the election coming up, I have views I'd like to express that I don't want to irritate my friends' list with.

If you are interested in hearing my views on political stuff, please comment to be added.

ETA: I tend to be a bit on the right when it comes to the political spectrum. Let's put it this way: I grew up listening to talk radio, feel nostalgic reading _The American Rifleman_, and tend to vote for Republicans.

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