Saturday, January 26, 2008

Today in Godbaggery

by MzNicky

My friend Cathy called me last week to say she was on her way from Kingsport to Knoxville to help her daughter Meghan find a different hospital for the imminent birth of Meghan's third child. Why would she want to do that, I asked? "Because," Cathy replied, "Meghan wants to have her tubes tied after the baby's birth, and now that St. Mary's has taken over Baptist Women's Hospital, they no longer provide tubal ligations."

"Whoa, whoa," I said. "That can't be right. It's right there in the name: 'Hospital for Women.' It's not possible they're refusing to do a tubal ligation at a hospital intended specifically for women!"

Not only it is entirely possible, it's true. According St. Mary's spokesperson Debra London, quoted in today's Knoxville News-Sentinel, the procedure is "at odds with Roman Catholic beliefs." Thus, now that St. Mary's Health System has merged with Baptist, this and other services are no longer available for women at any hospital within the Baptist Health System.

Of course, a St. Mary's patient has never had the option of tubal ligation, unless she might die without it and the system's patriarchal bureaucracy decided to relent. And now, that antediluvian misogynistic godbaggery has spread to K-town's Baptist system as well! Way to send women's health care in Knoxville back about half a century or so, guys! Thanks ever so!

While noting that tubals after childbirth were performed on about 9 percent of Baptist Hospital for Women's patients last year, London, obviously focused on what's most important, dismissed those patients as a "component of our business [that] is negligible. We feel this is not an issue because these services are available elsewhere in the community." In other words, like my friend's daughter, nearly 10 percent of women giving birth at the west Knoxville facility are now being told to make sure the door doesn't hit 'em in the ass when they leave.

By the way, the infertility and reproductive work that was being done at Baptist is also out; Der Popenf├╝hrer no likey that stuff, either. Anna Roberts, office manager for that now-ejected program, observed: "We understand the restrictions they have on their guidelines. We respect where they stand on their issues."

Really? Why?

By the way, Meghan, her new baby boy, and her newly ligated tubes are fine and doing well—just not Baptist West. Meanwhile, I now have to find a new gynecologist, one who's not affiliated with this ghastly new unholy alliance. Wish me luck.