Regarding Abortion

I wish to offer a calm and logical discussion of abortion. We may disagree, but my desire is for you to follow my line of thinking and keep dialogue open.
Please note that this discussion may seem graphic to some readers. I encourage parental advisory for young readers.


I. My position.

    Key to this argument is the determination of when human life begins.

        At conception

        At viability

        At birth

    For those of us who believe human life begins at conception or at viability, we must consider the rights of the unborn child. I believe that fetus is a citizen protected by the rights found in the Constitution.


II. Abortion itself is a medical procedure.

    Abortion should be regulated and held to the same standards of any medical procedure.

        Informed consent

        Follow-up by the medical team as with any other abdominal procedure

        Administration of oral abortion agents must be in hospital setting

        Abortion providers must have admitting privileges to a local hospital

        Make available mental health follow-up similar to what we see with other procedures such as amputation, colostomy placement, traumatic injury, disfigurement.

        Informed consent of the method of disposal of the fetal tissue


III. Abortion should not be forced upon:

    Taxpayers

    Those religiously or morally opposed to abortion

    A woman who wants to continue a pregnancy but someone in power over her doesn’t

    Employers who provide health coverage but are morally opposed to abortion/abortifacients


IV. Ethics.

    Taxpayer dollars must not go to the acquiring of fetal tissue such as brain, liver, thymus.

    Fetal tissue must not be injected, cultured or otherwise fused to animal tissue for experimentation.

    Fetal tissue must be disposed of in a way that matches the culture or dignity requirements of the mother.


V. Life/health of the mother:

    Because abortion is a medical procedure, it is already and will continue to be available in those rare cases. 


VI. Closing thoughts.

    Those of us who are against abortion are not against the person who has had an abortion. We all have made tough decisions in life. We are all worthy of the same dignity and kindness. Your voice and your heart are still important to me.


Again, I understand that we may disagree about abortion but I do thank you for taking the time to read my thoughts.


Miriam

 

Education

I. Premise.

    CoVid-19 (hereafter referred to as CoVid) mercilessly struck Vermont’s education. With the closing of schools, parents who had trusted our school system to offer socialization, childcare and education suddenly had to be the source of all three. Some of my friends who were even essential workers had to cut their hours or quit their jobs to meet their children’s needs.
    CoVid forces us to examine alternative means of education. In the face of CoVid, it is understandable that teachers and parents fear contracting the disease. Hybrid education (part school attendance and part in-home/online) is only a stopgap measure. It cannot continue endlessly.

    Because Vermont’s education system is already upended, let’s look at what will meet our children’s needs for socialization, childcare and education.

II.    Options.

    A. Just open the schools entirely.  I don’t see this happening any time soon.

    B. Continue hybrid schooling.

        1. What is the financial impact per student? per school?

        2. What is the impact upon the parents? upon the students?

        3. We still have areas in Vermont with poor internet availability. This puts some students at a disadvantage.

    C. Supply vouchers for charter schools, school choice, private schools and homeschooling.

        1. According to vermont.gov's education page, https://education.vermont.gov/vermont-schools/school-operations/home-study, in 2019 education cost $15K+ per equalized student. 

        2. Should parents opt for a non-traditional school setting, any decrease in cost could be returned to the family or to the school. For example, if a homeschool curriculum cost $500.00 per year, then the differing $14.5K could be returned to the family to address the cost of a parent staying home to teach rather than to work.

        3. We want to keep our teachers employed. Let’s look at class size. (I haven’t found the cost of having smaller classes. If anyone has that data, please let me know!)
    Noise levels will decrease, helping the education atmosphere. In our multi-language areas, smaller classes will allow teachers to better provide for the linguistic needs of ESL students. On the whole, teachers will have more time to spend with each child. Smaller classes will reduce risk of CoVid transmission.

III.    Mental and Physical Help

    A. Children and parents need our support and encouragement during CoVid. It is immensely difficult to have relationships almost entirely via video feed. We need each other. As human beings, let’s check in on our friends who have children. How can we help them?

    B. Not every parent, no matter how motivated, is comfortable being tutor, socializer and parent all at once. Let’s continue to look at what will help all the parties involved: student, parent and teacher. We all want to get back to school. We need to. Safely.





Links

Homeschooling requirements:

https://education.vermont.gov/vermont-schools/school-operations/home-study

Vermont cohort spending per equalized student (2019):

https://education.vermont.gov/documents/data-per-pupil-spending-fy2019

Vermont spending compared to other states (2018):

https://www.vermontbiz.com/news/2018/june/07/us-census-vermont-fifth-highest-school-spending-student#:~:text=The%20states%20spending%20the%20most%20per%20pupil%20were,%28%2418%2C402%29%20and%20Vermont%20%28%2417%2C873%29.%20Lowest%20was%20Utah%20%28%246%2C953%29

Rural students without internet:

https://www.nbcnews.com/tech/tech-news/rural-families-internet-face-tough-choice-school-rcna84

Vermont students without internet:

https://broadbandnow.com/Vermont

 
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