#516 Referendums, Telehealth, Just Mercy June 19, 2020
Update on Peace & Life Referendums Good news! In Colorado, where the Prohibition of Late-term Abortions needed 10,000 more signatures, and turned in over 48,000, Initiative 120 is officially on the ballot for November 3, 2020. Also in Colorado, a group is gathering signatures for paid family and medical leave. We’ve added a topic page for why this is important against poverty, abortion, and euthanasia. This includes portions of a supportive speech by Rep. Henry Hyde.
Update on Grassroots Defunding: Telehealth Planned Parenthood has been developing telehealth options for a while now, but now due to Covid-19 restrictions this has accelerated dramatically – available from most centers, even replacing a few centers. So we added a page focused on telehealth to our project on finding alternatives to Planned Parenthood.
Meanwhile, the temporary closings hit a peak of 47 centers (out of around 600) in May. Some are starting to re-open; the last we checked PP had 37 still temporarily closed. But another center has permanently closed, bringing the total up to 22 permanent closures since March 1. We’ve added the specific permanent closures to our list and explanations of temporary closures.
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In January, when Just Mercy was in theaters, we explained: Based on a 1980s case with a man on death row in Alabama from shockingly shoddy evidence, this movie portrays how racism becomes lethal when connected to the death penalty. A connection to war is also shown when another man on death row was suffering from PTSD from his combat experience in Viet Nam. The heroes form an organization to provide equal justice in such cases; that’s all they advocate for. Still, the movie makes a good case against having the death penalty at all. Now because of recent events the movie is available for free viewing in June. Julia Smucker offers a review in Justice Littered with Injustice: Viewing Just Mercy in a Charged Moment.
More on Movies - Police Brutality
Back in 2018, an excellent and realistic Hollywood movie about a fictional case of a police shooting of an innocent Black man came out, called The Hate U Give. At around the same time, the movie Gosnell was released. Given our predilection for making connections, we covered both with this post: Movies with Racism Themes: “Gosnell” and “The Hate U Give”.
Charles C. Camosy New York Times, May 17, 2020 We knew that institutions caring for the elderly and disabled in close quarters would be particularly vulnerable during the pandemic. But we did not act. . . Nursing homes got virtually nothing. Well, that’s not entirely true. In New York and other places we gave them patients, and even nurses, infected with the virus. The result has been a raging wildfire of infection and death . . . Even before the pandemic, these were places where what I call “throwaway culture” was thriving. The staff aren’t paid a living wage, often have poor training and are hopelessly overworked . . . Part of the price we pay for living in a death-denying, consumerist, throwaway culture is that we must push these kinds of grim realities to unseen places . . . The pandemic forces us to look. . . . Times like this have produced major cultural changes in our past. If we do take a hard look, we may change more than just the way we treat older Americans. We may, along the way, find a way to push against throwaway culture in all its forms.
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