In a week of outrages, one stands above all the others on the nausea scale.
Courtesy of Florida’s Republican Governor and 2024 presidential wannabe, Ron DeSantis, and his (in fear of him and Donald Trump) sycophants in the Florida legislature we discovered the story of the late Milo Dorbert and his family’s suffering.
His mother, (married, with a four-year old child – despite right wing mythology, most American women seeking abortions are married with at least one child), discovered the fetus’ abnormalities at 23 weeks during a routine ultrasound. Since Milo had Potter syndrome he had a life expectancy of minutes, at best a few hours. Under Florida abortion law the medically prudent abortion was not available despite the parents’ desire for it. (I thought the Republicans, especially in Florida, were champions of parental rights.) Milo lasted 99 minutes which he spent struggling for breath. It was like spending 99 minutes choking to death. Can you imagine watching your child or grandchild do that?
Let’s put that time in perspective. I have come to enjoy watching the English Premier League. Their games last 90 minutes of regulation time, along with halftime and whatever stoppage time the official deems appropriate. Longer than Milo lived.
Major League Baseball, (my favorite sport), has made a big deal of shortening their games for this season and the current average game time is still 2 hours and 36 minutes – 156 minutes. Longer than Milo lived.
NFL games are America’s favorite sporting events. The average game lasts 3 hours and 12 minutes – 192 minutes. Longer than Milo lived.
So, a soccer game, baseball game or football game lasts much longer than the life of Milo Dorbert did. That is not even considering the quality of life.
During those 99 minutes Milo’s parent got to watch him die. Think about that for a minute! His grandfather described it as, “…the law has created torture.” I find it difficult to disagree with his analysis.
Labor was induced at 37 weeks during which Mrs. Dorbert spent twelve hours in said labor. Think about that for a minute also. What was her “reward”?
This is not an isolated incident. I suggest you read Ruth Marcus’ Washington Post op-ed entitled, “For one family, Florida abortion law made a devastating loss into ‘torture”’. Marcus briefly covers several other post Dobbs abortion related outrages.
In reality this point is minor but there is also a financial cost which the legislators are bearing no part of. It already exceeds $20,000 and the meter is still running.
One of the bill’s primary sponsors, Republican Florida State Senator, Kelli Stargel said, “It was my intention not to require a woman to maintain a pregnancy when doctors agree that the baby (incorrect word Senator, the proper word is fetus) is not viable.” As we saw during the George W. Bush administration, the Republicans are especially inept at anticipation of the repercussions of their actions. Perhaps that illustrates (among other reasons) why people like Stargel are unfit for public office in a representative democracy. In coaching if you failed to anticipate what your opponent will do in response to your action you tend to lose and the losers do not tend to retain their coaching jobs very long. Perhaps we need to hold elected officials to the high standards we hold coaches to.
Would we accept that excuse from someone who claimed they didn’t intend to cause harm when they were drunk? Or when they fired a gun? (Sadly, in America the answer to the second example is “yes”.) In America, as an adult you are responsible for your actions and often the repercussions of them.
I have a new line for every 2024 Democratic candidate to use at or near the conclusion of their stump speech, “Remember Baby Milo!”.
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