UNDER PRESSURE: A CALL FOR CIVIC ENGAGEMENT
Vote as if your life depends on it because it literally might. This week, as a self-proclaimed pro-life nominee to the Supreme Court avoids answering questions about her past comments on the Affordable Care Act, I have had to begin taking medication for hypertension. I had low blood pressure for my entire adult life, but then Apollo Global Asset Management, while accepting half a billion dollars from the federal government according to a June 2nd article in Bloomberg, decided it would be to their financial advantage to downsize its Verso paper mills.
The hardest hit is the mill in my hometown; the mill where, until recently, my father worked. The necessity of the closures is something that should be debated, and I only wish that other journalists in this area would follow the money rather than parrot the corporate line, but I can wish in one hand and burst a stress ball in the other.
I am constantly worried about the good people who are out of work. I worry about my parents and others who are not yet eligible for Medicare who will not have insurance through an employer. Will they be able to purchase affordable healthcare through the exchanges? Or will the trial scheduled to go before the Supreme Court on November 10th overturn the ACA? Will millions of Americans be left without healthcare in the middle of a pandemic? Will it be “pro-life” Catholics who deliver a death sentence to so many people?
I continue to have nightmares inspired by COVID-19. Each one involves myself and others doing things we all did before the pandemic, such as Christmas shopping in a crowded store, swimming at a public pool, etc. No one is wearing a mask or socially distancing, and then all of a sudden, the terror sets in as I realize we are still in a pandemic, and I say, “what are we doing?!” I wake up. But too many people are sleepwalking through life, refusing to accept reality, choosing to follow the leader of the largest death cult in history.
In a pre-op appointment earlier this month, my blood pressure was through the roof. Was it a fluke? I monitored my blood pressure at home, and I clearly saw that it wasn’t. I quickly sought treatment in hopes that I could keep the date my procedure was scheduled for.
I was asked if I made any recent dietary changes. Nope. The only thing that is different is the increase in stress as I worry about those I love.
I am Catholic, and consider myself to be pro-life, and I can never understand anyone who identifies as a pro-life Catholic taking a stance against healthcare coverage that is obtainable by everyone. The official position of the Catholic Church is that healthcare is a human right. I also cannot understand anyone who identifies as pro-life being against common sense gun control legislation. Yet, if we look at past statements by Justice Amy Coney Barrett, those appear to be her positions on these life or death issues.
Whether or not the Supreme Court were to overturn the Roe vs. Wade decision, abortion will always be an available option to women of means. In a time when abortion was illegal in this country, a relation of mine who had the funds was able to get a safe abortion more than once. She was not a victim of rape, her life was not at stake, but this was also before the existence of the birth control pill.
The pill was something that the Catholic Church once saw value in because for many women with reproductive health issues, it can help preserve fertility while effectively treating painful conditions such as endometriosis. If we are being realistic, contraception is more effective at reducing the number of abortions than any policy decision.
Being pro-life is about more than fetuses; anyone who truly values life knows this. I have no doubt that Barrett will be appointed to the Supreme Court. I hope that this happens after November 10th. There will be six Catholics on the Supreme Court, including Barrett, Kavanaugh, Roberts, Alito, Thomas, and Sotomayor. I say this here to urge readers to write these justices, appealing to them based on their allegiance to an organization that has stated time and again that healthcare is a human right, and urge them to uphold the ACA.
And if you haven’t already, vote!