Sunday, October 2, 2022

Last Call For The Road To Gilead Goes Through Arizona

The point of Arizona's abortion ban isn't just abortion, it's to make women and their families miserable, compliant, and to wipe out the most marginalized among us with the fewest resources in order to resist. 
A 14-year-old Tucson girl was denied a refill of a life-saving prescription drug she had been taking for years just two days after Arizona’s new abortion law had taken effect.

14 year old Emma Thompson has debilitating rheumatoid arthritis and osteoporosis which has kept her in and out of the hospital for most of her life. She relies on methotrexate to help tame the effects of the disease.

But methotrexate can also be used to end ectopic pregnancies, to induce an abortion and that’s where the problem arises.

“As a mother who has had to deal with my child being very ill most of her life, I was scared, I was really worried,” said her mother Kaitlin Preble. “I was shaking. I was in tears. I didn’t know what to do.”

The young girl’s physician, Dr. Deborah Jane Power said “this was the first pediatric patient that had been denied her medication.”

She admits she was angry which spilled over into a Twitter post where she said “welcome to Arizona, she was denied because she’s female” and she said she was “livid.”

The treatment for Emma has been years in the making.

“This child’s care has taken a lot of work to get her to a place her pain is totally manageable, she can attend school in person,” said Dr. Power.

Which is echoed by her mother.

“It’s her first year and she’s in high school and it feels like a dream,” Preble said. “She’s not in a wheelchair, she has a social life and friends for the first time and a life all young people should have.”

Which is why there was so much anxiety for the 24 hours between being denied until finally getting the prescription approved.

“I was scared, I was really scared,” Preble said. “I’m like if they deny this then we’ll have to find a different medication and we don’t know if it’s going to work.”

Dr. Power says a refusal has happened to some older patients but never someone so young and so quickly after the territorial abortion law written in 1864 had taken effect.

“My concern was the pharmacist chose to not refill because methotrexate could be used to cause an abortion,” Dr. Power said. “And then the pharmacist would be responsible.
And in state after state with these bans, pharmacists are risking felony prison time if they fill the "wrong" prescription, and people who use drugs that could be used to tend a pregnancy are facing life without them.

But the majority of white women are still going to vote for the people who did this, because they're scared too of the controlling men in their lives. Ladies, find the courage or your daughters are doomed.

Republicans hate women across the board.

Never forget that.

Sunday Long Read: Getting Schooled By TV

As Scalawag Magazine's Eteng Ettah reminds us in our Sunday Long Read, the most powerful and impactful fantasy show of 2022 isn't HBO's House of the Dragon, or Amazon's Ring of Power, but ABC's Abbott Elementary, where the fantasy is a Philadelphia elementary school that isn't swarming with "school resource officers" giving Black kids hundreds of dollars in fines each month.


Just like when the bus shows up as soon as you make it to the stop, Abbott Elementary came into my life right on time. Last fall, in addition to navigating the general crisis-laden state of the world, I had also been binge watching and tuning in to so many heavy and brooding dramas (think Succession, Scenes from a Marriage, Squid Game) that I desperately needed a change in pace. With Abbott Elementary, what I got was not only a cheerful single-camera mockumentary, but also an unexpectedly abolitionist storyline.

Abbott is easily among the best shows that premiered in this current TV season, and the Emmys are rewarding it with seven nominations. The show boasts a predominantly Black cast, with Quinta Brunson at the helm as the show's creator, executive producer, writer, and lead actress. Brunson builds a universe set in her hometown of Philly, offering a window into the low-resourced settings Black children often find themselves in.

Schools in the greater Philadelphia area are among the most segregated in the country. Although Black students comprise 56 percent of the study body attending public schools in Philadelphia, they receive 74 percent of in-school suspensions and 72 percent of out-of-school suspensions. Black schools are also heavily policed. According to data from the 2017-2018 school year, in 46 states, the rate at which Black students were referred to law enforcement was higher than the rate for all students. Last year, A Center for Public Integrity analysis of U.S. Department of Education data found that nationally, 4.5 students are referred to law enforcement for every 1,000 students enrolled in school.

According to the Pennsylvania Advisory Committee of the U.S. Commission on Human Rights, from 2015 to 2016, Pennsylvania ranked second in the nation in arrest rates for both Latinx and Black students. In Pennsylvania, Black students are three times as likely to be arrested as their white classmates with Black girls being five times as likely to be arrested as white girls.

But instead of giving cops a role in this storyline, Brunson bakes in abolitionist-aligned themes, like offering care, grace, and protection to the most marginalized members of a community (i.e. the Black children who attend Abbott Elementary); relying on community to improve and increase material resources in the school; and keeping school resource officers and cops out of the schoolhouse entirely. The latter is a significant choice by the writers, considering that poor, Black schools are mired by extensive police presence.

Abbott Elementary won 3 Emmys this year, for casting, writing, and for Best Supporting Actress in Sheryl Lee Ralph. The fantasy is that this is what American schools should be like, rather than the juvenile prisons most of them are.
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