Why Government Loses Public Trust–Indiana Version

Most of us would avoid patronizing a butcher shop where the butcher routinely put his thumb on the scale.  We would take our business elsewhere.

When our state government lies to us, however, most of us can’t simply move elsewhere. Worse, we may not even find out that we have been misled.

I don’t know how it is in other states, but here in Indiana, we are most likely to encounter biased information when the people running the state are religious zealots. Mike Pence was uninterested in the nitty-gritty of governing, but he was intensely focused on imposing his religious beliefs on Hoosiers–he saved his real enthusiasm for his anti-gay, anti-woman efforts.

I had a much better impression of current Governor Holcomb, who has seemed refreshingly free of the urge to sermonize and actually appears to be tending to the issues facing Indiana. But then I came across this report.

Indiana ranks as one of the worst states in the nation when it comes to its infant mortality rate. In his state of the state address earlier this month, Gov. Eric Holcomb (R) called attention to this crisis and announced the goal of improving the state’s status in the coming years. As part of that process, in November 2017 the Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) launched a new mobile app for its existing statewide campaign aimed at improving Indiana’s infant mortality rate. The app, Liv, was developed with state funding and includes pregnancy and parenting guidance.

It also provides users with contact information for health and service providers, along with basic descriptions of what the users can expect from those providers. But the app’s resource list excludes evidence-based family planning clinics and centers, such as Planned Parenthood and All-Options Pregnancy Resource Center (PRC), while including crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs): fake clinics that do not provide medically sound reproductive health care and actively lie to people seeking services.

Public health research shows that access to comprehensive family planning programs and services can help reduce infant mortality. Nonetheless, continuing the legacy of former Indiana Gov. Mike Pence (R), this app—and ISDH’s larger infant mortality initiative—promotes ideology over evidence.

Infant mortality is the result of a combination of factors, including poverty and lack of prenatal care. But research shows that comprehensive contraception and family planning help reduce infant mortality rates.

For example, as research from the Guttmacher Institute shows, access to contraception gives women the tools to space their births: “By allowing women to time and space the number of children they want, contraception prevents unintended, often high-risk pregnancies—too close together, too often, too early or too late in life—that can lead to maternal and child death and injury.” Additionally, addressing unintended pregnancies by increasing access to contraception and family planning services also contributes to increased prenatal care provision by establishing connections between patients and providers.

When policymakers allow ideology to trump evidence, and erect barriers to access for family planning services, you get the results we have been seeing in Indiana. In 2011, only 68 percent of infants in the state were born to women who had received prenatal care in their first trimester–and nearly half of all pregnancies in Indiana are unintended.   

Using taxpayer dollars to direct vulnerable women to crisis pregnancy centers, while omitting information about high-quality health services available through Planned Parenthood, is worse than irresponsible. Crisis pregnancy centers are purveyors of dogma, not medically-accurate information. They have no place on a state-run registry.

Women using the app don’t have to go to Planned Parenthood. But they are entitled to know that it is an option. For state government to omit a medically-appropriate service from a directory it has created and disseminated while including a “service” that offers dishonest “counseling” is unforgivable.

It certainly isn’t the way to cultivate public trust.

 

 

 

35 thoughts on “Why Government Loses Public Trust–Indiana Version

  1. You need to talk with my pediatrician source in Southern Indiana. Ground zero for high infant mortality rates and severe breathing problems–asthma.

    She has researched the link between mercury and high infant mortality rates. Mercury comes from coal burning stacks. Indiana is rated in the Top 3 Most Polluted States because we have 3 extra large coal burning facilities. All in Southern Indiana.

    Now, what about the data collection?

    Air monitoring devices?

    And this pediatrician doesn’t even know who the Koch brothers were. She went to the Statehouse to testify about the link and during her testimony, our trusted servants turned off her microphone.

    Pence spent $500,000 to have Big Data crunch numbers but with selectively positioned or lack of air monitoring devices, guess what?

    “It’s the mothers fault, end of story. More education is needed.”

    The Koch’s and Duke Energy make a fortune in Indiana and Hoosiers suffer the public health consequences. And Trump’s EPA removed the carbon tax which tried to assess a cost for their polluting the air. The World Health Organization says citizens subsidize the carbon industry hundreds of billions annually in public health and environmental costs.

    Even my own doctor talks about the high levels of contaminants in the air. She treats the elderly who get sick with breathing problems. Said cancer centers are a growing business in Indiana.

    Young kids, pregnant mothers, and older people breath faster than adults so they consume more of the toxic air. IDEM/Industry has carefully placed their air monitoring devices to ensure data isn’t collected and used against them.

    It’s far worse than you imagine…

  2. Lack of access to birth control is one of the reasons Indiana ranks 3rd worst in the nation when it comes to quality of life. Third worst in the United States! And state leaders think they are going to get the nod from Amazon?

  3. Pence did more damage than you thought. The people who develop apps like the one you mentioned are not in the Governor’s office. They are deeply buried in state agencies. The governor knows nothing about the details. The people on the top hire people who hire people who do all the damage.

    The same thing is happening in Washington, as it did during the Reagan administration. It took years to root out all of the moles hired in the ’80s.

  4. Well, the good news in this, if there is any, is that my young poor patients generally don’t have smart phones; therefore, the app is irrelevant to them.

  5. Here in Florida, the legislature is preparing to spend taxpayer money to fund CPCs across the state. You are not alone.

  6. If we had real and genuine access to healthcare in this country,this would not be such a big problem. Republicans don’t want Americans to have healthcare simply out of spite. Republicans have always been a hateful organization guided solely by big money. Democrats don’t want single payer to flourish because of the wishes of their donors. Hell,The DCCC has prohibited any real discussion and genuine support behind single payer. Gotta keep the party rolling in cash via acceptance of dollars from the Insurance and Pharma industries and advice form their lobbyists.

    https://theintercept.com/2018/02/27/dccc-internal-polling-congress-single-payer/

    An excerpt from the link.

    “An accompanying memo produced by Greenberg follows up with additional talking points for members of Congress to use back in their districts. It suggests focusing on criticizing Republican health care plans; “only if asked,” Democrats should focus on drug price negotiation, tax breaks for health care, and audits of insurance companies in order to reduce administrative costs.”

  7. It is up to all of us to put a stop to this!

    Please join me in calling (inundating) Holcomb’s office and the ISDH to demand that they change this app and every other source of info they provide to pregnant mothers.

    We must demand that they eliminate and replace those “fake clinics” evidence-based family planning clinics such as Planned Parenthood and PRC.

    Gov Holcomb’s phone number is: 317-232-4567
    His email address is: http://www.in.gov/gov/2752.htm

    The State Health Commissioner is Kristina Box. Her contact info is:
    kbox@isdh.in.gov
    1-317-233-7400
    Salary: $175,000.01

    The Deputy State Health Commissioner is Pam Pontones. Her contact info is:
    ppontones@isdh.in.gov
    1-317-233-7861
    Salary: $112,070.14

    The ISDH Chief of Staff is Trent Fox. His contact info is:
    trefox@isdh.in.gov
    1-317-233-7877
    Salary: $108,150.11

    Here is a link to the organizational chart for the ISDH: https://www.in.gov/isdh/files/isdh-mgmt-org-chart.pdf

  8. Correction to this paragraph in my prior post:
    instead of –
    We must demand that they eliminate and replace those “fake clinics” evidence-based family planning clinics such as Planned Parenthood and PRC.

    I meant to type – demand they include evidence-based family planning clinics such as Planned Parenthood and PRC.

  9. I suggest that your characterizations don’t reflect actual truth. Rationalizing the murder of human babies is, I know, a sticky business. I don’t think Indiana allows babies, however, to be born and then harvested for body parts for low brow places like Indiana University. “excludes evidence-based family planning clinics and centers, such as Planned Parenthood and All-Options Pregnancy Resource Center (PRC), while including crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs): fake clinics that do not provide medically sound reproductive health care and actively lie to people seeking services.” I suggest the composer of this drivel is a liar but it is probably true that the largest murderer of babies is excluded from being part of a program that wishes to reduce infant mortality. Compare and contrast the two facilities at 86th and Georgetown Road and lay off lying about Mike Pence?

  10. I disagree with blaming GREED for Republican policies which hurt everyone except the rich and near-rich.

    One conversation with an angry republican enlightened me. Republican policies that hurt the lower classes come not from greed but from shear meanness of ego. The conversation was with an acquaintance, who was so angry with me that he could no longer cover up his motivation for wanting to devastate the middle class. He screamed a diatribe that I will paraphrase.

    “We don’t care if we lose a little money, Bud. Hell, if everyone had to take a cut, we’d take a cut and throw a happy party for it. Go ahead; take fifty thousand from everyone. Make my day. Fifty thousand won’t hurt us hardly at all, but it sure as hell will hurt the assholes you kiss. Wipe ’em out. Cure the cancer. Go ahead, have fun with my fifty thousand; the rest of us sure as hell will have some fun. Yep, use my fifty thousand to bury a dozen or so of those scum. Yeah, I’ll have some regrets—like it’s a damn shame how long it takes for lazy scum like you and your kind to starve.”

    When republicans say they don’t necessarily make every decision for the purpose of making, I suggest we start believing them.

  11. It’s always interesting to read about state government from afar because the ying and yang read about reflects both the competence of those governing and the culture of those voting. In short a snapshot of the state.

    Of course it’s easier to not move into a state than to move out of one so the information means different things depending on your reference. I’ll bet as a result though the movement of US population has been more red state to blue state than blue to red so the culture of both probably stays pretty static.

    Given that I’m pretty sure that I’d make a frustrated Hoosier and am therefore not likely to indulge.

    Of course what you who are Hoosiers must suffer through is the disconnect between people who are “protecting” their culture and the reality of the world we are living in and the gulf between the two.

    Not good for business I’ll bet especially in this post manufacturing age.

    Perhaps your state is a microcosm of the country which is a microcosm of world tensions?

    Of course the truth is that time can’t unwind so the gulf can only get wider until…….

  12. Dammit! I get tired of this site posting my comment right in the middle of proofreading and correcting. At least, there should be a way to edit.

  13. Good grief! I had no idea that Indiana was in such bad shape regarding their assault on women and their reproductive rights. It seems that mindless religion continues to reap the consequences doled out by the dumbest of the dumb and the most worthless zealotry any decent person could imagine.

    As far as Leon Dixon’s comments go: that kind of right-wing propaganda based on lies and intellectual sloth underscores where the problems lie. Abject ignorance and adherence to fantasies is the rot of our nation and Dixon is all in on that score.

  14. Edited, i.e., one word added.

    I disagree with blaming GREED for Republican policies which hurt everyone except the rich and near-rich.

    One conversation with an angry republican enlightened me. Republican policies that hurt the lower classes come not from greed but from shear meanness of ego. The conversation was with an acquaintance, who was so angry with me that he could no longer cover up his motivation for wanting to devastate the middle class. He screamed a diatribe that I will paraphrase.

    “We don’t care if we lose a little money, Bud. Hell, if everyone had to take a cut, we’d take a cut and throw a happy party for it. Go ahead; take fifty thousand from everyone. Make my day. Fifty thousand won’t hurt us hardly at all, but it sure as hell will hurt the assholes you kiss. Wipe ’em out. Cure the cancer. Go ahead, have fun with my fifty thousand; the rest of us sure as hell will have some fun. Yep, use my fifty thousand to bury a dozen or so of those scum. Yeah, I’ll have some regrets—like it’s a damn shame how long it takes for lazy scum like you and your kind to starve.”

    When republicans say they don’t necessarily make every decision for the purpose of making money, I suggest we start believing them.

  15. @ leon dixon

    Your post exposes you as a member of the lying Evangelical Fake Christian society. You see nothing wrong with denying pregnant women access to medical care or denying women access to birth control.

    As a member of the female gender I believe that you and your ilk have absolutely no right to tell women what they can or cannot do with their bodies or their own health care. Shame on you and pence and every other man (or ignorant woman) who believes that you have the right to decide what is best for women’s bodies.

    If you were a decent person you would be fighting for access to quality health care and financial assistance of all kinds for the women and children who don’t have enough resources to provide food, shelter and clothing.

    To sit on your high horse and demand that women be forced to give birth to babies that they are unable to take care of is the height of hyprocrisy when you make no mention of taking care of those children after they are born.

    You and pence and the rest of the evangelical hypocrits should be required to volunteer your time and money to take care of those women and children to help them obtain good paying jobs and access to quality health care so they can have the opportunity for a good life. It is far too easy for people like you to sit on the outside and judge others. Here is a tip for you – you are being judged by the man upstairs and I believe people like you make him very sad because you are not following his teaching.

    In conclusion – who is lying about pence? He is pure evil and shame on you for thinking that there is even one decent bone in his body! Wake up!

  16. Leon; get back to us after you have watched your own grown human daughter suffer the devastation of a theraputic abortion of a dead, severely infected mass which was once the beginning of a fetus, to save her life. Or suffer the death of a 24 year old granddaughter who suffered a seizure condition which caused the possibility of fatal seizures prior to her pregnancy. Her option to try to carry her baby to term, which increased the possibility of her death, resulted in the loss of her and her daughter. This is what is being forced on many young women; we have seen no statistics regarding the deaths caused by denying them the chance at life with an abortion but they are just as dead as my granddaughter and great-granddaughter. How many have lived but with severely increased health problems making providing adequate care of an infant difficult if not impossible. Or the birth of an severely physically and mentally afflicted child whose chances of life beyond birth were limited. Of course; the availability of birth control would have prevented these deaths.

    The permanent effects on the bodies of healthy women happily carrying their babies, planned for or surprises, is something men do not comprehend. This issues are not political and not religious; I gave birth to four sons and one daughter, none of them were Christian, Jew, Muslim or Buddhist. Nor were any of them Democrat, Republican or Independent…they were my babies and each of them deeply loved long before their births.

    Mike Pence is the liar in this case…and in too many others.

  17. Greetings Nancy. You did one hell-of-a-job. Your comments directed to that little person identified as Leon are terrific. Those religious types are hateful. I only direct the previous sentence toward the hate filled ones, not toward true believers. And the name Irvin is male as am I. 🙂 🙂 🙂

  18. It’s starting to look like these “Christian Nazis” don’t care anymore about dead school children than they do about pregnant women. Don’t forget 60% of the Christian churches in Nazi Germany finally voted to be Nazified. With the growing Alt-Right, it looks like the end result might not be too much different here in the U.S.

  19. Greetings JoAnn. I didn’t see your comments because I was writing. But as I wrote to Nancy , the same goes for you. Irvin

  20. Marv and Irvin – Thanks for being supportive of women on issues that affect our bodies and our lives. We need men like you to speak up and speak out against the “Christian Nazis”. Marv – I like the term “Christian Nazi” and will be using it in the future to describe or address those people. Thanks!

  21. William thank you for the link to The Intercept Article. The DNC, which represents Democratic Corporate Party, does not want any debate on Single Payer, or Universal Health Care. What DNC wants is to preserve the existing system – a profit based system of Health Care, with a bit of tinkering, that is turn a square wheel into an octagon shaped wheel.

    The Corporate Democratic Party also now seems to be in their duck and cover mode on gun control.

    Nancy, good retort to leon dixon. = To sit on your high horse and demand that women be forced to give birth to babies that they are unable to take care of is the height of hyprocrisy when you make no mention of taking care of those children after they are born. =

    I often wonder when I see pickets in front of Planned Parenthood, how many of these people have adopted or taken into their homes children in the foster care system???

  22. Nancy,

    When you are addressing these people, you might want to warn them about what happened to the “Christian Nazis” in Germany. They were warned continually about the path they were following, failed to heed all warnings, and eventually were responsible for destroying their own country.

  23. I sometimes think this raging abortion argument (if that is the argument) is a diversion foisted off on us by the rich and corporate class designed to get the vote of single-issue voters, a vote which, as it happens, entrenches the power of the rich and corporate class. Does anyone reading this think for one minute that a hedge fund operator or stockbroker on Wall Street gives a hang about this issue (other than how it affects their greedy pursuits)? I don’t.

    We have been had on the framing of the issue, if an issue. We are not even arguing the right question, which is whether women have a right to manage their own reproductive health, and if you take a Pence-like view of this so-called issue, then what’s next? Will the legislature tell Hoosier women what day of the week they can get their flu shots? It seems strange that members of the Republican Party who harp incessantly on the evils of government intervention in the private lives of their citizens are themselves playing Big Brother in the lives of such citizens in matters unrelated to government functions which ordinarily include such areas as public safety, taxation, and the like. I think essentially telling its citizens what to believe and how they must act on such beliefs is not a function of government.

    I believe in government regulation (for the common good) of bond and stock markets, programs of public safety and the like, but what I have for dinner and private concerns and decisions for my own health are none of the government’s business so long as the public at large is unaffected. As a male I will leave such decisions of reproductive health to women, and the women who (with one exception) have commented on this blog today are, in this male’s unasked for opinion, on the right track. Roe is not dead. Nor are individual rights.

  24. Gerald,

    You are correct. It is a diversion. The Republicans just want it all, and they’ll do anything and everything to get it. God tells them they deserve it, of course.

    Here’s something on another major topic. The whole world is watching.
    https://l.facebook.com/l.php?u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.vox.com%2Fpolicy-and-politics%2F2017%2F10%2F9%2F16448302%2Fguns-nra-sunday-lubach%3Futm_campaign%3Dvox%26utm_content%3Dentry%26utm_medium%3Dsocial%26utm_source%3Dfacebook&h=ATOT8etNdbmsHS7XC2ePtgIsLnCkI8UNV_Y2MLSNhmpMlgQqNu42m0yEN2fn4aU-3Y1Dj1H4J3A378z4S_Af3vFiKKeMbkvPSK6eWhiGRypCDsBlmIne_hHUGJeIgw90Wsc2O1Q&s=1

  25. The authoritarians just want to tell everyone what to do. Always and forever. They don’t give a hoot for the consequences of their actions. They just want the power to say and do as they instruct. They think that using 21st century technology is going to sway the people? They are delusional, sheesh.

    While they think they can eliminate abortions, they ignore history. The catacombs of the world have skeletons of infants that were either still-born or murdered after birth or left to die in caves. What that means to me is that women/adults have determined whether a child will thrive, for forever. Roe v Wade is not going to end and they can’t make it end because we outnumber their sorry selves. And I can’t believe we’re still discussing this shit.

  26. Marv –

    Re your comment “When you are addressing these people, you might want to warn them about what happened to the “Christian Nazis” in Germany. They were warned continually about the path they were following, failed to heed all warnings, and eventually were responsible for destroying their own country.”

    It seems that history is repeating itself and is taking place in this country. Some people refuse to acknowledge history and learn from it.

  27. Nancy,

    They need to be reminded history isn’t on their side. They have what amounts to an Achilles Heel. They are vulnerable once the society understands the “writing on the wall.”

  28. Just to prove how powerful the Theocracy has become here in the USA – Billy Graham lies in state in the under the capitol rotunda. The politicians must offer mindless praise to ingratiate themselves with the evangelicals to prove their loyalty to bible thumping.

    Another view of Graham is the Billy Graham and the Gospel of Fear. This type of analysis will never be aired on our Corporate McMega-Media.

    Among the comments in this article:
    Graham’s message was principally one of fear: fear of a wrathful god; fear of temptation; fear of communists and socialists; fear of unions; fear of Catholics; fear of homosexuals; fear of racial integration and above all, fear of death.

    As Truman said, years after his presidency, “Well, I hadn’t ought to say this, but he’s one of those counterfeits I was telling you about. He claims he’s a friend of all the presidents, but he was never a friend of mine when I was president.”

    In every way, Graham was the spiritual father of today’s right-wing religious leaders who so inhabit the national conversation.
    https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/02/21/billy-graham-and-the-gospel-of-fear/

    The author certainly has it right the gospel of fear has spread. Fear one way or another is a pillar of the Republican Party Base these days.

  29. Monotonous,

    “The author certainly has it right the gospel of fear has spread. Fear one way or another is a pillar of the Republican Party Base these days.”

    Don’t forget the HATRED that went along with the fear. Graham was admonished early on in his career for his anti-Semitism.

  30. Hate, fear, anger and scapegoats are the ingredients in all successful propaganda. The source and agenda changes but those ingredients are what makes it compelling to authoritarians.

  31. Mike Pence needs a nice comfy padded cell with all the rest of his ilk! Hopefully in Camp #5 Guantanimo, Cuba! “TRUMP AND PENCE & CO. FOR GUANTANIMO IN 2018!” pass it on! ~8)

  32. Imagine what we could accomplish, if women stopped having sex till this matter is resolved to our satisfaction. How long do you think it would take..a week, a month?

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