Uncategorized

New Women’s Wellness and Fertility Center in NH includes NaPro surgeon (and they’re hiring!)

I keep forgetting to tell you! There’s a new women’s wellness and fertility center opening in Manchester, NH, right inside Catholic Medical Center. They offer standard OB/GYN services  and well woman exams, and their new doctor, Dr. Sarah Bascle, is a surgeon who is trained in NaProTechnology.

As you may know, NaPro is not only ethically sound for Catholics, but it often has a high rate of success treating women suffering infertility, repeat miscarriages, endometriosis, PCOS, and other fertility issues, bringing healing where standard medical procedures fail. NaPro isn’t magic, but it’s real medicine, not woo, and it can be life-changing.

The Women’s Wellness & Fertility Center of New England opens in winter of 2017, and they are now pre-registering patients. Check out their webiste here, or call 603.314.7595.

They are also still hiring for a few positions, including an experienced Certified Nurse Midwife. Here’s some more info about that.

Best of luck to them! Many couples will travel for hundreds of miles to work with a NaPRO-trained doctor, so I’m thrilled to finally have one in New Hampshire.

 

Uncategorized

NH Defunds Planned Parenthood!

planned parenthood

Yes, the videos are working.  And yes, it helps when you write to your rep! Or at least it seems to have worked in my state of NH, where the executive council just voted to snatch $639,000 in state funding away from Planned Parenthood. That accounts for about a third of their public funding. (Their federal funding is, of course, untouched.) The $639,000 will go to four other health clinics.

According to the local TV news site:

Republican councilor Chris Sununu was at the center of attention Wednesday. He has previously voted to support Planned Parenthood contracts. In 2011, when the council rejected a contract with Planned Parenthood, he was one of two Republicans to buck his party and vote in favor of the contract. Sununu is now widely known to be considering a run for governor in 2016. He said he received more than 1,000 messages from constituents and they overwhelmingly urged him to reject the contract.

Sununu comes from a family of socially useless conservatives, but he obviously believes that the politically expedient thing, at least right now, is to back away from the increasingly toxic Planned Parenthood.

Sununu said multiple times that he is pro-choice and thinks the state should look for other providers to contract with for family planning services.

“Things are different now,”he said. “We have to take a step back and just take a pause and say ‘Is this a company and a business that we should be actively engaging (with)?’”

No, friend, it is not.

It doesn’t look like council has the muscle to force an investigation of Planned Parenthood right now. Our governor, who is lackluster on a good day, thinks there’s nothing to see here. But there are eight more videos to come. They appear to be increasingly damning, and I have high hopes that at least some states will investigate the deeply corrupt monolith that is Planned Parenthood, and will find malfeasance and fraud as well as violations of federal law. We may really see the foundation beginning to crack at last.

And yes, I’m taking some pleasure in thinking about how badly Cecile Richards must be sleeping, wondering what else is out there. May she have a change of heart as she squirms.

The main takeaway? Take the time to write those letters, even if it’s just an auto-generated email from a pro-life site. Even if your reps only listen to you because they want to keep their jobs, they may actually be listening!

Uncategorized

But what will poor people do if Planned Parenthood is defunded?

Woman_receives_mammogram_(2)

On Wednesday, NH voted to withdraw nearly $650,000 of state funding from Planned Parenthood. Even the pro-choice legislatures of our state have long chafed against funding the top-heavy, corrupt, inefficient monolith of Planned Parenthood — not because we love babies, but because we hate wasting money.

Naturally, people concerned about the poor are upset about the vote to defund, because Planned Parenthood is like the classic abusive boyfriend: They’ve got us convinced that we need them, we’re going to be lost without them, we’re no goodwithout them, we’ll never make it on our own.

Yes, well.

New Hampshire is actually a pretty good state to be a poor woman in (it’s rated 7th in the nation for the quality of its healthcare).

I should know, having been a poor woman in New Hampshire for the last forty years, give or take a few sojourns north and south.  I have always gotten free, excellent prenatal care and postpartum care, free pap smears, free breast exams, free STD testing, and — well, I’ve been offered free birth control, if by “offered” you mean bombarded with non-stop, wall-to-wall, relentless harangues about how important it is for me to get my free birth control now now now. Even when I told them I didn’t want it, they put a bag of condoms in my suitcase at the hospital anyway.

I have gotten all of these things for free. And I have never set foot in a Planned Parenthood.

But what would we do without Planned Parenthood?

NH has offered free medical care to children, pregnant women and the elderly and disabled for years, and it recently expanded Medicaid to cover all poor people. Here is a pdf of the handbook that lists (starting on page 15) all the services which are free to poor people. It includes preventative care, including regular wellness check-ups, and  all prenatal care, including nurse midwife services, pregnancy related services, services for conditions that might complicate pregnancy, lab work, birthing centers, family planning, medically necessary hysterectomy, prescription drugs, and a myriad of programs to help you have a healthy pregnancy. They literally pay you to take care of your baby, offering cash incentives for well-child check-ups.

But what would we do without Planned Parenthood?

New Hampshire will take the $600,000+ they were going to give to Planned Parenthood and instead will distribute it among the Concord Feminist Health Center, the Joan G. Lovering Health Center on the Seacoast and Weeks Medical Center in the North Country.

But what would we do without Planned Parenthood?

New Hampshire’s Let No Woman Be Overlooked Breast and Cervical Cancer Programoffers

women’s health exams, mammograms, pap test, and pelvic exams to women age 21-64 who have no health insurance or have insurance that does not pay for screening tests and with family incomes at or below 250% of the Federal Poverty Level.

Here is the list of sites which offer free mammograms and pap smears:

Berlin Coos County Family Health Services – North 752-2900
Colebrook Indian Stream Community Health Center, Inc. 237-8336
Concord Concord Hospital Family Health Center, Concord 227-7000×2921
Conway White Mountain Community Health Center 447-8900 x305
Derry Women’s Health Associates 421-2526
Franconia Ammonoosuc Community Health Services 444-2464 x0
Franklin Health First Family Care Center 934-0177
Gorham Coos County Family Health Services – South 466-2741
Groveton Weeks Medical Center 788-2521
Hillsboro Concord Hospital Family Health Center, Hillsboro 464-3434
Keene Cheshire Medical Center 354-6679
Laconia LRG Healthcare 524-3211 x2940
Lebanon Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center 653-9321
Littleton Ammonoosuc Community Health Services 444-2464 x0
Manchester Catholic Medical Center 626-2626
Manchester Elliot Hospital 668-3067
Manchester Manchester Community Health Center 626-9500
Nashua Lamprey Health Care 883-1626
Nashua St. Joseph Hospital 882-3000 x67188
Newmarket Lamprey Health Care 659-3106 x7455
Newport Newport Health Center 863-4100
North Conway Memorial Hospital 356-5461 x2388
Peterborough Monadnock Community Hospital 924-1795
Plymouth Speare Memorial Hospital 536-1104
Portsmouth Families First of the Greater Seacoast 422-8208 x222
Raymond Lamprey Health Care 895-3351 x7390
Somersworth Goodwin Community Health Center 749-2346
Warren Ammonoosuc Community Health Services 444-2464 x 0
Whitefield Ammonoosuc Community Health Services 444-2464 x 0
Wolfeboro Huggins Hospital 569-7500
Woodsville Ammonoosuc Community Health Services 444-2464 x 0

But what would we do without Planned Parenthood?

Uninsured people can get STD testing, pregnancy tests, counselling, and ultrasounds at these clinics around the state.  My daughter volunteered at one of these clinics. It’s a few blocks away from Planned Parenthood, and unlike Planned Parenthood, but like many of the other clinics around the state, it also offers things like free diapers and baby clothes, car seats and strollers, parenting classes, and help navigating social services.

Without $650,000 from the state.

But what would we do without Planned Parenthood?

Here is a list of FDA certified mammography facilities. It includes nearly 9,000 places where women can get mammograms. Planned Parenthood is not one of them. Not one. Because they don’t offer mammograms, but only referrals (i.e. a piece of paper with an actual doctor’s address on it) for mammograms.

But what would we do without Planned Parenthood?

The truth is, most of what Planned Parenthood offers is abortion. That’s their cash cow. The reason they say it’s only 3% of their business is because they count everything that goes along with abortion as an individual service: you go in because you’re pregnant, and they give you a pregnancy test, and an STD test, and an abortion, maybe some antibiotics, and a box of birth control pills. Guess what? Planned Parenthood just provided five services — and abortion was a mere 20%. Now mix in a bunch of teenagers who stop by to get free condoms, and it’s pretty easy to get that number down to 3%.

It’s a stupid game, but it works. And it makes people think,

What would we do without Planned Parenthood?

We would do fine.

We would do fine.

*
*
*

Uncategorized

What book gets your region right?

town pound

It’s hard to say which is more satisfying: a book that introduces you to a fascinating, new, unfamiliar world, or a book which is set in a time and place that you know intimately, and which really nails it.

For me, The Dogs of March by Ernest Hebert is a great example of the latter. It’s set in a fictional small town of Darby, New Hampshire, and man, is it familiar. It gives us painfully accurate picture of the small town full of foster children, incestuous shack people, pompous little fief lords, renovating interlopers, and limping, buck-toothed junk car collectors, who see no difference between the beauty of the snow on a stone wall and the beauty of a burnt-out washing machine riddled with bullet holes for target practice.

The Dogs of March (first in a series, The Darby Chronicles) introduces us to Howard Elman, foreman at a weaving factory in the early ’80′s. He hasn’t yet figured out that he’s going deaf, and he hasn’t yet figured out that there is nothing he can do about the way his world is coming apart and being rebuilt for some new purpose that doesn’t mean anything to him.

Here he appears around Thanksgiving in the dorm room of his son Freddy, the first of his children to go to college, with an early Christmas present:

Father and son looked at each other as if each had come across a crime. Both spoke at the same moment. Freddy said, “‘Lo,” and Howard said, “Where’d you get that goddamn beard?”
“I didn’t get it; I grew it,” said Freddy.
“Ain’t you smart,” yelled Howard. This phrase he could utter in a hundred ways, to convey degrees of sarcasm, exasperation, frustration, criticism, irony, cosmic outrage, even affection; a phrase that filled in when he had no other words; a staple–like rice or potatoes or refried beans–that could be fed into the maw of a starved vocabulary.
“You’re always yelling at me,” yelled Freddy.
Dark hair enveloped his face from the bottom of the eyes to the throat. A pink slash showed where his mouth was. His ears were partially hidden.
“You look like a goddam A-rab,” yelled Howard.
“The word is Arab,” yelled Freddy.
“Ain’t you smart,” yelled Howard.
“Arab, Arab, Arab,” yelled Freddy.
“Ain’t you smart,” yelled Howard.
“Oh, I ain’t smart,” yelled Freddy, with emphasis on the “ain’t.”
“I’ll smarten you up,” yelled Howard, taking menacing steps forward, rifle at order arms, its butt skipping along the floor.
Freddy stood his ground, teeth chattering, clenched fists quivering at his sides.
The two stood breathing fire on each other for a few seconds.
Then Howard backed up. He realized he had been wrong. For  man who had never learned to apologize, he did his best. He brought the rifle to present arms, and said, “Merry fucking Christmas.”
“No, not to me,” said Freddy.
“Trade it for a shotgun, then,” said Howard.
Freddy shook his head no no no no and retreated.
Howard remained in the middle of the room, holding the gun in offering.
“Ain’t nothing wrong with this rifle,” he said.
“I’m not interested in killing animals,” said Freddy with a shrug of hopelessness.
Dread rolled over Howard. College had pulled his son apart, scattered beliefs, habits, and loves like so many bits of a machine, and was now rebuilding him into a customized version of Freddy Elman.

The arc of the story follows a series of losses, errors, and painful discoveries, but it is somehow not a difficult book to read. Along with the brutal and tragic are dozens of little jokes and lavish gifts of beauty, as Howard, his long-suffering, teardrop-shaped wife Elenore, and his circle of malformed friends and privileged enemies rearrange themselves into a new world order — while other things, like Howard’s duty to strike back against the savagery of the dogs of March, never change.

A beautiful, frightening, tender-hearted book. And if you’ve ever been to a town meeting in a small town, you won’t want to miss chapter 13, where the wealthy, litigious newcomer tries to ram through her own agenda; the delusional, power-hungry selectman makes a tactical error; the white-bearded old loon is, as usual, the only one who talks sense, and the single-minded fire chief just wants a new firetruck, and can’t seem to get it.

What book or movie would you recommend, if you wanted someone to understand the place where you live?

Uncategorized

NH Medicaid May Cut Payments for Circumcision

AS0016701FC20 Baby, visiting doctor, stethoscope examinationphoto courtesy of Wellcome Images

 

The state medicaid program should no longer pay for elective circumcisions in NH, says a proposed bill. 

The bill’s sponsor, state representative Keith Murphy of Bedford, describes the practice as unethical.

“To me there’s something fundamentally wrong about strapping a baby boy to a board and amputating perfectly healthy, normal tissue,” says Murphy.

The American Association of Pediatrics doesn’t agree that the practice is “fundamentally wrong.” In an August, 2014 statement, they said (emphasis mine):

Evaluation of current evidence indicates that the health benefits of newborn male circumcision outweigh the risks and that the procedure’s benefits justify access to this procedure for families who choose it, however, existing scientific evidence is not sufficient to recommend routine circumcision. Therefore, because the procedure is not essential to a child’s current well-being, we recommend that the decision to circumcise is one best made by parents in consultation with their pediatrician, taking into account what is in the best interests of the child, including medical, religious, cultural, and ethnic traditions.

Sanest thing I’ve heard all year. Give the parents lots of sound, medical information, and then let them make up their own minds when they’re deciding how to get their kids the best care for their circumstances.

Uncategorized

There is no real choice in my state.

PIC local candidate with “flu shots cause autism” car

I’ve had it. I’m sick of it. I’m sick and tired of telling these people, “Yes, please, this is what we want. No, thanks, I won’t insist on you even pretending to represent me in the most important issue in the world. I’ll vote for you because I always vote for you, because I always vote for you, and you know I always vote for you.  Oh, I’m sorry, was this crucifix around my neck getting in your way? I’ll just twitch that to the side so you can twist the knife a little more easily.”

Can’t do it. Can’t do it one more time.

Read the rest at the Register. 

Uncategorized

Why I will never be a real New Hampshire girl

I mean, besides that I’m not a girl. This car decal is cropping all over the place. I mean all over the place. Stop at any traffic light in the state and you will see it on at least three or four cars. It really bothered me, because it seemed to suggest some kind of infernally complicated tool, like a pair of Goth pliers modified for torture. It also suggested the legs of a dancer with a set of extra arms, tortuously morphing into . . . something else, I know not what, but nothing good.  Here is the decal:

Sinister, eh?

Well, the other day, it finally hit me: it’s a deer. It’s made by a company that sells hunting products. I suppose you all realized this right away. Well, too bad! I’m not always thinking about deer all the time. Sometimes I’m thinking about Goth pliers modified for torture. I suppose that makes you better than me, deer freak.

They even have his-’n’-hers decals, with a buck and a doe intertwined

which, when you think about it, is not very romantic, because BANG BANG. But what do I know. I’ll never be a real New Hampshire girl.