Tuesday, 17 July 2012

The Science of Personhood

Because I was getting no action on my oft-posed question to supporters of Woodworth's Wank, aka M312, I decided to help them out.

I went looking for the sort of experts fetus fetishists would want to hear from and found this *science* page at Personhood Canada. (BTW, it is a project of Alliance for Life Ontario, the gang behind the Merkin anti-abortion ads currently showing on CTV.)

I was doing my debunking thing, when I hit the bit from the 40+ year-old pamphlet from New Zealand and got that déjà vu all over again feeling.

Yup, I had LMAO'd at it more than two years ago. But, despite the strong evidence that it hasn't changed -- why leave in that lame-o reference if they actually had anything better? -- I'm going to do it again in the current context of M312. (Also. I had already found a buncha links.)

Here's the page, unaltered, except broken up.
There is no question about when human life begins.

In the widely used medical textbook, The Developing Human, Clinically Oriented Embryology, 6th Edition, Moore, Persaud, Saunders, 1998, states on page 2 that “The intricate processes by which a baby develops from a single cell are miraculous .... This cell [the zygote] results from the union of an oocyte [egg] and sperm. A zygote is the beginning of a new human being ....” On page 18 this theme is repeated: “Human development begins at fertilization ....”
From a website at University of New South Wales, the first text listed is indeed Moore, Persaud, et al., but not surprisingly, the 2011 edition, which is not the edition cited. Does the newer edition not contain the key words -- 'baby' and 'new human being' -- so ardently desired by the fetus fetishists? Dunno, do we?
Dr. Jerome Lejeune, “Father of Modern Genetics” and discoverer of the cause of Down’s Syndrome, stated, “To accept the fact that after fertilization has taken place, a new human has come into being is no longer a matter of taste or opinion . . . it is plain experimental evidence.”
‪Jérôme Lejeune‬ is who they say he is and if he said that, big surprise. He was Catholic and tight with the Polish Poop.
Afterward, Dr. Lejeune regularly traveled to Rome to meet with the Pope, to attend meetings of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, and to participate in other events, such as the 1987 Synod of Bishops. The Holy Father wanted to name Jérôme Lejeune as the president of a new pontifical academy that was dear to his heart: the Pontifical Academy for Life[1]. Dr. Lejeune painstakingly drafted its bylaws and the oath of the Servants of Life that each member of the Academy must take. He wanted the Academy, founded on February 11, 1994, to be a true center of contemplation and action to expand the culture of life.
But the doc died before he could get things really rolling. He's up for sainthood though.

Now the howler from New Zealand, from a pamphlet intended for new parents, mind.
"The unborn baby is alive from the first moment of conception of a single egg and a single sperm." N.Z. Health Department: Pamphlet No 83 Your New Baby (Government Printer) 1969.
Next one is kind of interesting.
"Dr. McCarthy de Mere, medical doctor and law professor of the University of Tennessee, testified: "The exact moment of the beginning of personhood and of the human body is at the moment of conception."
Googling the good doctor nets one a bunch of links to fetus fetishist sites citing that very quote. And searching the University of Tennessee's site gets one bupkis. Total fabrication?

Then they trot out poor conflicted Bernard Nathanson, the Abby Johnson of his day. (Blogpost coming on Ms Johnson.) Note helpful paraphrase in square brackets.
Former abortionist and founder of the National Abortion Rights Action League, Dr. Bernard Nathanson, said "It is atrocious for anyone now to maintain that a fetus [unborn child] is simply a lump of meat, or something insignificant or an unprotectable life."
From Wiki:
Nathanson grew up Jewish and for more than ten years after he became pro-life he described himself as a "Jewish atheist". In 1996 he converted to Catholicism through the efforts of an Opus Dei priest, Rev. C. John McCloskey.
And he was married four times. Some issues there.

The most breathtaking piece of chutzpah is citing Dr Evil Incarnate, Alan Guttmacher.
In 1933, abortion advocate and former medical director of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Dr. Alan Guttmacher, wrote, “We of today know that man is born of sexual union... and that the embryo is formed from the fusion of two single cells, the ovum and the sperm. This all seems so simple and evident to us that it is difficult to picture a time when it was not part of the common knowledge.” And in 1961 Dr. Guttmacher wrote, “Fertilization, then has taken place; a baby has been conceived.” If a man who has dedicated his life to promotiong contraception and abortion can acknowledge the scientific facts of when life begins, why can’t we?
Dr Guttmacher also said:
"No woman is completely free unless she is wholly capable of controlling her fertility and...no baby receives its full birthright unless it is born gleefully wanted by its parents."
The page ends with some links to videos of THE MIRACLE of mammalian fetal development.

So, some of these people are dead and others are, er, difficult to locate. The dates are not terribly recent, which is the supposed point of this whole Wank -- to modernize an OLD law.

But that's all they got, people.


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