Saturday, 30 June 2012

What Would Jesus Do?

Most certainly ^NOT this.
Youth activists with The New Abortion Caravan are descending on Ottawa this weekend with billboard-size abortion images. At 2pm on Saturday, they will be bringing bloody pictures and a child's coffin to the prime minister's private residence. Then on July 1, they will be displaying abortion images near the Parliament Hill Canada Day celebrations. They also plan to hand-deliver postcards bearing graphic images directly to homes across the city.
My daughter's sister-in-law lives in Ottawa. She is a devout Catholic and though not a shrieking zygote zealot, she would prefer to live in a world where women didn't have abortions.

She recently miscarried at 21 weeks of gestation. It was a much wanted pregnancy; she, her husband and their children greatly anticipated the birth of a sibling.

I'll suggest that she avoid the areas where the Whingebago aka FetusMobile will be travelling. Oh, and anywhere the antiChoice brigade might be Crusading for the christian Sharia and distributing their graphic images.

It would be a horrific trigger event, to inflict upon someone who has recently experienced a medical and emotional trauma. Her husband is a gentle fellow but he might react strongly to such rabid insensitivity and bullying by the fetushizers.

Friday, 29 June 2012

USian Anti-Abortion Ads! On Our Tellies!

Today on Twitter. Fetus fetishist ad. @MuskokaMoneybag tweeted about it, then tracked it down.

It's from Alliance for Life.

It doesn't look like a Canadian setting, does it? Not a typical bunch of Canadian Ordinary Joes and Janes, either.

We don't do 'missing milk carton children' in Canada any more.

And I have never -- and neither had MuskokaMoneybag -- seen an anti-choice ad on Canadian telly.

I went looking. And found this.

It comes from a xian production company, Virtue Media, which for a 'modest' licensing fee, will allow fetus fetishist orgs to pollute the airways with sanctimonious glurge.
VirtueMedia™ offers Right-to-Life/Pro-Life groups an opportunity to air proven-effective commercials that educate the culture of the sanctity of every human life, and other ads that reach abortion-vulnerable women offering help and healing.  The cost to a Right-to-Life/Pro-Life group is the contribution of a modest licensing fee.

USian glurge imported to Canada to promote USian abortion insanity.

We want this here?

ADDED: Alliance for Life is behind the We Want the Debate Campaign.

UPDATE: Saturday, June 30.

The campaign has legs/dough. If you see an ad, please let us know.

UPDATE: I should have done this earlier. There is a campaign to complain to Advertising Standards Canada. Helpful instructions at the link.

Charge Him!

Several tight-lipped -- not to say mealy-mouthed -- reports of an 'incident' between Rob Fucking Ford and a TTC streetcar driver.
A TTC operator was counselled about his behaviour after an incident with Mayor Rob Ford on Wednesday.

The driver got up from the  seat of the TTC vehicle he was driving to speak with the mayor,  which he should not have done, according to TTC spokesman Brad Ross.

“The operator was counseled, i.e. spoken to, about leaving his seat, which is not permitted,” Mr. Ross wrote in an e-mailed statement Thursday night. “The matter is now closed.”

The operator was driving a streetcar at the time of the incident, according to a report in the Toronto Star. Mr. Ross told the newspaper that drivers aren't allowed to leave their seats "to have a discussion of any kind with a motorist."

He declined to comment on what the driver said to Mr. Ford. The incident didn’t cause the operator to miss any time at work, according to the newspaper.

Mr. Ford did not immediately return a phone call requesting comment on the incident.
So, what the hell happened? Don Peat has the answer.

Gee, isn't blowing by open streetcar doors highly illegal? Yep.

And incurs a big fucking fine? Yep.

As a regular streetcar sacrificial lamb rider, I am incensed. Everybody who rides streetcars has seen near misses, pulled people about to step off into the path of an oncoming car back, kicked and spat at these scumbag scofflaws.

Thank gord, I've never seen a hit (not gonna call it an 'accident'), but I betcha several TTC drivers have. Like one I had once. The same motherfucking driver blew past open doors TWICE. First time, TTC guy yelled, blew horn. Second time, same reaction. (To cheers from passengers, BTW.) Next intersection, streetcar caught up to asshole stopped at a light. The driver got out, knocked on car window, and when asshole opened it, he screamed at him.

Asshole flipped the bird and blasted off.

To more cheers from passengers, the shaking TTC guy got back in his seat.

I'm betting he *had* seen the outcome of squishy human meeting speeding steel penis substitute.

It's no secret that I despise Rob Fucking Ford. Hysterical overreactions to comedians in his driveway and reporters near his house, public drunkenness, scoffing at driving and cellphone use laws, let alone his attempted destruction of a city I love.

Now I've had it. Well and truly had it.

Charge Rob Fucking Ford.

I have just begun.

UPDATE: From Don Peat.

MORE HOLY FUCKING HELL: From the update, Rob Fucking Ford called the TTC to complain about the TTC guy???????
The union boss said it’s not the first time Ford has complained about one of his members to TTC management.

UPDATER: The Star.

MORE: The Storified version from SolChrom.

Royal Temper Tantrum

They're having a spot of bother over democracy and abortion in Liechtenstein.
Prince Alois upset some when he threatened last August to use his veto should the electorate vote to legalise abortion in the mostly Catholic country, the only nation named after the family that bought it.

''Every human life, especially that of an unborn child, needs to be protected,'' he said in a speech that month. ''Abortion is not an acceptable solution for the problem of an unwanted pregnancy.''

Women in Liechtenstein who have an abortion can be imprisoned for as long as one year, according to the country's criminal code.
It seems his papa had something of a temper tantrum and got himself some more power in this supposedly democratic country bank state.
When his father, Hans-Adam II, warned that he might leave Liechtenstein nine years ago, the electorate granted him more powers in what the Council of Europe said was ''a serious backward step'' for democracy. ''We are the last monarchy where the sovereign definitely has the last word, and this is not good because it's undemocratic,'' said Mario Frick, former head of government.

''It is a contradiction in terms that Liechtenstein calls itself a direct democracy, when the people do not have the last word.''
Is this what Stevie Peevie has in mind for Canada? Prosperity over democracy?

Works for teensy Lichtenstein.
Liechtenstein has the highest gross domestic product per person in the world when adjusted by purchasing power parity, and has the world's lowest external debt. Liechtenstein also has the second lowest unemployment rate in the world at 1.5% (Monaco is first)*.

I bet they don't have terrorist environmentalists or child pornographer–supporting Internet activists either.

Just siddown, shuddup, and enjoy your purchasing power.

*Doesn't it drive you nuts when something is called the 'second biggest/smallest' without being told what's numero uno?

Thursday, 28 June 2012

The Vatican Taliban beat goes on!

It appears the Fathers of the Catholic Church feel that their image needs a little public relations adjustment gilding. And they've found a guy who can help them with that!
The Vatican has hired an American journalist from the Fox News Network and member of the conservative Catholic group Opus Dei to help improve its relations with the media, a senior Church source said on Saturday.

Burke, 52, a native of St Louis Missouri, has been working for Fox for 10 years. Before that he worked for Time magazine in Rome. He has also written several books, one about an Italian soccer team.
We presume that this recent legal decision in the US will be among those that will occupy Burke and require that he crank out a new flavour of bullshit to replace the old one.
Msgr. William J. Lynn, a former cardinal’s aide, was found guilty Friday of endangering children, becoming the first senior official of the Roman Catholic Church in the United States convicted of covering up sexual abuses by priests under his supervision.

The single guilty verdict was widely seen as a victory for the district attorney’s office, which has been investigating the archdiocese aggressively since 2002, and it was hailed by victim advocates who have argued for years that senior church officials should be held accountable for concealing evidence and transferring predatory priests to unwary parishes.
With willfully deaf, blind and dumb faithful followers like this one, how can they possibly go wrong?

Added: A good overview of the pedophile priests issue in the US, here.

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Christian pathologies and serial killers.

What's the connection between women murdered by serial killers, a judge's legal pillory and the physical abuse of a girl?

Men. Men - Dominique Strauss Kahn-types - who declare they “love” women but in fact practice a range of manipulative tactics that have one purpose: to ensure a woman is available, willing or not, to service their needs.

Men who sexualize women, who can casually say about a friend of yours: "I'd fuck her!"

Men who offer to pay their wives for sex. Men who use their status and power in the work place to elicit "favours". Men who feel that if they've provided dinner, they're entitled to a roll in the hay.

Men who fetishize *exotic* women of African, Aboriginal, Asian, Middle Eastern, South Pacific ancestry. Men who project their needs and desires onto women and assume their raging fantasies are shared.

The stink of male entitlement and privilege oozes up from news stories these days.

This, for example:
A Manitoba man has been spared a criminal record for whipping his 11-year-old foster daughter with a riding crop as punishment for bad school behaviour. [...]

He admits striking the girl 10 times in the buttocks, which caused her to go to hospital with minor injuries. [...]

Crown attorney Debbie Buors told court the man quoted Bible verses as he struck the girl, who was put in his family’s care by Child and Family Services after being seized from a distant relative.

He was telling her "Spare the rod, spoil the child" and "When you are evil you go to Hell," while dishing out the punishment on the family’s property in eastern Manitoba. [...]

"Verbal words were not having an effect on her. She was going to have to have a spank," the man told court on Monday. He said he’d used corporal punishment in the past on his other children as a "last resort."

"I don’t think (at the time) it was out of order. I’m finding out now maybe it was," he admitted.

The man said the criminal case has ripped his tight-knit family apart because he hasn’t been allowed to see the girl for the past three years while on bail awaiting trial.

"I feel like my child has been abducted from me," he said.
That girl was probably removed just in time from his clutches. In a few years, he would have probably moved on to sexual assault, and quoting Bible verses in support.

Such overweening proprietary, misogynist behaviours manifest themselves in a multitude of malevolent actions.

This, for example.
Judge Douglas is facing four allegations of wrongdoing here.

One is that she allegedly participated in her lawyer husband Jack King's scheme to entice a client of his into having sex with her and thus sexually harassed the man; that she failed to disclose this in her application for the bench; that she altered a diary entry and thus tried to thwart the CJC investigation, and that, as a result of the public availability of intimate sexual pictures of her on the web, posted there by Mr. King and Mr. King alone, she is unable to continue sitting as a judge.
More information about the case from today's piece by Blatchford, whose focus has been true and rigorous on this story. As I pointed out in a tweet earlier this week, this is a cautionary tale for women who believe in the "justice" system. There are men who relish the adversarial tenor of the law and will exploit it to screw women, with or without their consent.

And then, there is this:
Shawn Cameron Lamb, 52, has been charged with three counts of second-degree murder for the deaths of Tanya Nepinak, Carolyn Sinclair, and Lorna Blacksmith, police announced Monday morning. Police are also investigating whether the accused could be involved in other unsolved cases of murdered or missing women, the source says.

All three women worked in the city’s sex-trade industry. Police said the bodies of Sinclair and Blacksmith have been located – reportedly in dumpsters and wrapped in plastic – while the search for Nepinak’s remains is ongoing.

Court records obtained by the Free Press show police believe Nepinak was killed Sept. 13, 2011, Sinclair was killed Dec. 18, 2011 and Blacksmith was killed Jan. 12, 2012.
By the way, Lorna Blacksmith was not a sex trade worker. That fact is important to her family though probably irrelevant to her killer.

No woman is safe from predatory men who, (paraphrasing the words of Mark Steyn) can conveniently use institutions to justify their pathologies.

BREAKING! LifeShite Lies!

In addition to the scourges of breast cancer, infertility, and insanity, tireless fetus fetishists scientists spinners have discovered yet another tragic sequela of abortion!

Abortion causes violence against women.

Except. Well. No. They've got it exactly bass-ackwards. (emphasis mine)
Because of this basic disregard for women’s well-being, I worried that anti-choicers would immediately start angling to find a way to use this study to try to bully abused women out of getting abortions those women deem necessary.  And sure enough, that’s exactly what happened. Life News deliberately lied about the research to make it seem that the abortion came before the abuse for these women, implying that the women brought violence onto themselves by choosing abortion.  In reality, of course, the abuse predated the abortion in all of these cases, which were taking the histories of women getting abortions.  By implying that the violence came after the abortion, Life News joins forces with wife beaters everywhere by using the threat of violence to control women’s bodies.

And this is why anti-choice claims to be “pro-woman” are so laughable.  You cannot be pro-woman while using the threat of domestic violence to control women’s reproductive choices.  You cannot be pro-woman while telling women lies about domestic violence and pregnancy in hopes they make choices that will usually end up putting them in more danger.  You cannot be pro-woman when you distort the realities of abortion and domestic violence in ways that will, if you’re successful, lead perhaps to fewer abortions but certainly towards more beaten and even murdered women.
The LifeShite article also lied about the participation of Planned Parenthood; it was part of the study. Its chief operating officer was an author, for cripes' sake.

LifeShite also said that PP doesn't screen for these situations or for 'coerced abortions'.

From a credible link:
Studies such as this can help portray abused women in a more positive and empowered light, said Penny Dickey, a study author and Planned Parenthood’s chief operating officer.

She said Planned Parenthood has done brief general screenings of its patients for about the last 10 years, and it will continue to “in an effort to figure out how to provide help for patients who are suffering, so that they know where to go and from whom to seek help.”
I have a feeling this is going to grow legs among the hypocritical 'pro-woman/pro-life' gang. Mrozek will be on it any second.

(Yeesh. Do NOT google images for 'wife beater'.)

h/t for RH Reality Check link to JJ

(Not So) Baseless Smears!

Waaaah! Somebody smeared Stephen Woodworth, he of Woodworth's Wank/M312, on Twitter! While he was getting his sick mum a hamburger! His press release, sans mention of the burger. (By the way, the Guelph Mercury does a pretty nice smear of the guy who posted it.)

It was all over the place and while I didn't retweet it, knowing by now that Woody is far too slippery to come out and say something that explicit, lots of people did.

deBeauxOs pointed out (can't find the bloody tweet) that while the quote is a conflation of Santorum and Woodworth (and doesn't that creep a body right out?), it seems to reflect his view of the issue.

Now since Woody's got me blocked, it is huge pain in the ass to track down his actual tweets. Luckily, @lahtay44 copied his answer to a question on rape.

Typically, he deflects.
@WoodworthMP: **For some the answer might be different if question was"Do you support a raped woman's right to take her child's life?"**

I don't know if that was in answer to SomeCndnSkeptic, who has been asking for Woody's view on pregnancy resulting from rape for fucking months. I've asked him and will report.

So. You decide. The false quote is grosser, but is it fundamentally different from the loaded-language answer Woody did give?

Image source.

ADDED: SomeCndnSkeptic replies.

ADDED: LifeShite links to this post! *Waves* at LifeShiters. Be sure to check this post from today too.

ADDED: LifeShite says I'm accusing fetus fetishists of condoning rape because they oppose abortion even in cases of rape. Have a read of this old post on how ff's discount the incidence of rape-caused pregnancy and thus, 'hey, hardly anybody gets knocked up, what's the big deal with no rape exemption?' I do call that condoning rape, wouldn't you?

Monday, 25 June 2012

In Their Own Words

The thing about dog whistles is that dogs yap when they hear them.

Back in 2008, while Ken Epp was insisting that his private member's bill, C484, the 'Unborn Victims of Crime' bill, had absotively nothing, nada, zip, zero to do with abortion, our old pal Johnny 'Tubesock Holocaust' Pacheco kinda blew that gaffe by calling it Kicking Abortion's Ass Bill.

Now, a Catlick organ has done it for Woodworth's Wank. Look at the headline.

Personhood motion to get more time

This is how they see it, people. This is the first step towards creating personhood for zygotes and restricting the rights of incubators.

Thanks to JJ for the webcache link.

ADDED: Of course, Tubesock himself calls it a 'personhoood' motion.

The Minister will be disrupted ... members of the Conservative government will be distupted ... by Canadian doctors across this country.

If the video above cannot be viewed here, please go to the youtube page where it was posted. There were nation-wide protests organized by doctors last week to protest Harper's cuts.

An Edmonton doctor says people will die if planned cuts to refugee health benefits go ahead.

"It would be hard to imagine how that wouldn't happen," said Dr. Stan Houston, a professor of medicine and public health at the University of Alberta.

The Interim Federal Health Program, which provides temporary health insurance to refugee applicants who aren't eligible for provincial or territorial coverage, will be pared back, starting June 30.

The program will no longer include vision, dental or supplemental health benefits for asylum seekers. Most pharmaceutical benefits will also dry up.

Some claimants will still have access to hospital services, doctors and nurses, ambulances and medications or vaccines in urgent or essential situations.

Others, including those whose claims have been rejected, will have access to services only to "prevent or treat a disease posing a risk to the public health or a condition or public safety concern."

In Edmonton, the cuts could mean pregnant women will have labour complications because they haven't had any prenatal care, people with chronic illnesses, such as diabetes and hypertension, will be left untreated, and disabled people will not be able to participate in their lives and the economy, Houston said.

Refugees come from places where their lives are in peril and they need a "full spectrum" of health care, said Erick Ambtman, executive director of the Edmonton Mennonite Centre for Newcomers. About 1,500 refugees used the centre last year, for everything from therapy to parenting classes.
Compare the facts presented by these physicians with Harper cabinet Minister Oliver's dissembling and prevaricating.

The Hippocratic oath is said by medical students upon the completion of their course work and before they begin the practice of medicine. It says, in part:
I will remember that I do not treat a fever chart, a cancerous growth, but a sick human being, whose illness may affect the person's family and economic stability. My responsibility includes these related problems, if I am to care adequately for the sick.

I will prevent disease whenever I can, for prevention is preferable to cure.

I will remember that I remain a member of society, with special obligations to all my fellow human beings, those sound of mind and body as well as the infirm.
The physician and the medical student who stood up to denounce cuts to the refugee health program said doctors tried to meet with government ministers but were refused access. They chose this *uncivil* and *dramatic* recourse to ensure that the factual information Cons deliberately silenced would be known.

More about Dr. Chris Keefer, who practices family medicine at the Brampton Civic Hospital, and medical student Faria Kamal, here.

Saturday, 23 June 2012

Gore and Death Fetishists

Huh. The brouhaha -- I'm not going to elevate this idiocy to 'debate' -- around Woodworth's Wank has not been a total waste of time. I have learned two things. Well, one thing has been reinforced, but the other is new to me.

First, the primitive mindset of the fetish fetishists is revealed yet again by their belief in the magic of the holy/bloody image. Remember ultrasound jesus?

This kinda stuff really floats their little mental boats, as exemplified by the reincarnation (snerk) of the Fetusmobile, or Whingebago, as Niles styles it.

Here's SUZYALLCAPS, also known as SHE Who Redirects Links to HER Blog to Holy Fetal Pr0n, on Choice Chain, part of the current Gore Tour. (I'm using a hyperlink to see if SHE can resist her usual juvenile redirect, and, in so doing, proving my point.)
This is why Choice Chain is powerful. Feminists can argue that abortions don't look like this. But their argument is pretty damned weak if they won't show what a dismembered embryo or fetus looks like.There is one picture of an abortion on the internet that shows more non-embryonic tissue than anything else. But if the feminists do not counter with a substantially different picture that compares apples to apples, i.e. dismembered fetuses to dismembered fetuses, they're being misleading themselves.

That's why abortion pics can and do change opinions. I'm not saying they're a magic bullet. But they're one weapon in the pro-life arsenal. And that they're the reason why many people have changed their minds.
There SHE goes lying again. SHE really does believe in the magic. But then SHE believes in bleeding icons, drinking blood, and eating flesh of fairies.

So, by HER lights, feminists fail the 'I'll show you mine if you show me yours' competition, ergo fetus fetishists WIN!

Except, er, actually the feminists already WON this one.

But whatever. . .

The other thing is new. Fetus fetishists actually believe that Culture of Death malarkey. It's not just a handy label. They actually believe that women who seek abortions actively, passionately WANT a dead fetus. They want to KILLKILLKILLKILL it.


'Bodily autonomy' is just some lame excuse to KILLKILLKILL.

Just who is obsessed with gore and death here, hm?

And they call us sick.

Friday, 22 June 2012

The Pre-Born Personhood Initiative

An anti-abortion group in Ohio is facing a significant shortfall in the number of signatures needed to ask voters in the presidential battleground this fall whether the state constitution should declare that life begins when a human egg is fertilized, putting up another obstacle for the "personhood" movement.
They've got just 5% of the signatures needed.

And they don't seem to be trying very hard. They're not spending any money. Even the the Catlick Church isn't on side.

I wonder why.

Oh look.
The personhood movement has already faced setbacks in other states this year. Supporters fell short of the required number of signatures to qualify for the November ballots in Nevada and California. And in Oklahoma, the state's highest court halted an amendment effort there to grant personhood rights to human embryos, saying the measure is unconstitutional.

Voters have rejected similar proposals that made ballots in 2008 and 2010 in Colorado.

They also defeated the initiative in November 2011 in Mississippi, which has some of the nation's toughest abortion regulations.
Coz it's a loser idea?

On Twitter, I've been annoying the heck out of @roseblue/SUZYALLCAPS by characterizing Woodworth's Wank (M312) as a personhood initiative and posting links to possible implications of it, including criminalizing miscarriage, outlawing all abortions, banning hormonal and IUD birth control, possibly even banning in vitro fertilization treatments.

Those concerns have been raised in Ohio, but are dismissed by the measure's proponents.
Supporters in Ohio have hoped to alleviate those concerns by rephrasing their proposed amendment to say it wouldn't affect "genuine contraception" or in vitro fertilization procedures.
Well, then.

On Twitter, when I asked if M312 would entail investigation of miscarriages. @roseblue/SUZYALLCAPS said: 'No'.

And we all felt reassured.

Thing is, SUZYALLCAPS doesn't like the characterization as 'personhood'. SHE knows that under that rubric, it has LOST big time, and among the strongest voices against it are 'infertility advocates'.

(Plain text to avoid juvenile fetal porn redirect.)

SUZY says:
This is why I think pro-lifers should use the label "fetal rights" or "unborn rights" advocate.

Because that's what it ultimately is about.
Right, then.

Here's your assignment, fans of women's rights: Tweet, blog, and talk about Woodworth's Wank as a 'personhood' initiative.

It's not, of course, but as I'm saying on Twitter:

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Spurgies Unite!

I find the 'beard-no-mustache' look very creepy. And I just found a word for it -- spurgy*.

So, this guy definitely is creepy.

But then again so is this guy.

You remember him? Dominionist Mike Schouten, vocal backer of Woodworth's Wank, based on the Bible, of course.
The mission of is to build support for federal legislation that restricts abortion to the greatest extent possible. This mission is based on the Biblical understanding regarding the role of government to promote order and restrain evil.
Bad shit happens when spurgies follow what they think is a 'higher' calling.

*Do you suppose that's a soft or hard g? I kinda like soft.

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Are there *good* and *bad* abortions?

First, read this to understand the particular meaning I'm addressing when I use the terms *good* and *bad* with regard to the medical termination of a pregnancy.
I am making a decision.

The only thing that makes my abortion decision different from anyone else’s abortion decision is that some people who are against abortion will think that my abortion is acceptable.

Some. Not all. Maybe not even most. I honestly have no idea. My life is not in danger, after all. I have not been raped. I merely think that I might not want to sit around, feeling the symptoms of pregnancy, for god knows how long, until a heartbeat stops and the ripping pain kicks in and the blood starts flowing on its own.

Let me be clear. I have options. It’s just that they all suck. That’s kind of how bad news related to pregnancy works.

If you are pregnant, and do not want to be, all of your options suck.*

If you cannot seem to get pregnant, and want to be, all of your options suck.**

If you are pregnant, and won’t be soon, all of your options suck.

There is no universal good option. There is no universal bad option. But for each individual there is an option that is the least bad. Here is why I am pro-choice. If someone has to make a decision and the best they can hope for is the least-bad option, I don’t believe I have any business making that choice for them.
This is the decision that CON CPC MP Stephen Woodworth would want to criminalize.

Instead of letting a woman and her attending physician determine why a pregnancy might be terminated, Woodworth wants to debate how the government would legislate to control these decisions.

Such as anti-choice legislators in Georgia are currently doing.

In addition, if a woman were in the same situation as the author describes in her plight, and she chose to let "nature take its course", her miscarriage could be investigated by police to ensure that she had not engaged in any criminal activity that would have caused the embryo or fetus to be expelled from her uterus prematurely.

This is the inevitable outcome when legislators decide what is the "right" gestational period, when "personhood" commences and who owns women's reproductive capacity.

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Taking on Sex-Selective Abortion

Indian women take on the sex-selective abortion issue.

Mumbai (AsiaNews/Agencies) - About 225 women, members of the first all-female village council (gram sabha) of Haryana, have decided to set up vigilance committees to stop selective abortions and female feoticides. According to their proposal, each of the 14 districts of the village of Bibipur (Jind district) will have its own committee, made up of three women and one man with the task of monitoring and controlling pregnant women. The move is significant because Haryana is one of the Indian states in which the practice of gender selection is most widespread.

The women made their proposal in the presence of the sarpanch (village head), Sunil Jaglan, who gave full approval to the project. "From this moment", he explained, "the anganwadi (a sort of health worker, ed.) must record every woman in the second month of pregnancy. Up to now, the state, by law, already records pregnant women from the fourth month. Our hope is that lowering the limit will serve as a deterrent, and that other villages will follow our example."

A woman named Birmati explains that the gender test costs 5,000 rupees (70 euros) and the same again for an abortion. She suggests:
If the same money were instead deposited into a fixed deposit at the birth of the baby, the family would not need to worry about her future. When she grows up, the bank can provide them with sufficient financial support for her studies and for a good marriage.

In Canada, an editorial in the Calgary Herald is calling for an end to 'entertainment' ultrasounds.
An ultrasound is a medical procedure, not a party trick. Its long-term effects remain unknown and Health Canada warns about possible risk for a woman and her baby. Health Canada recommends "diagnostic fetal ultrasounds should be done only when the expected medical benefits out-weigh any foreseeable risk." That's a sensible rule for any pregnant woman.
Here at DJ! we've covered the weird fascination fetus fetishists have with ultrasound several times. They believe that forcing women to look at pulsing images of their innards will dissuade them from abortion.

To that end, the Knights of Columbus have a program to raise funds to buy equipment specifically for fake clinics.

Multiple ultrasounds are a relatively recent phenomenon. Back in the day, there were few machines and they were reserved for high-risk pregnancies. Even now, current guidelines recommend two ultrasounds per uncomplicated pregnancy.

So, while prochoice people are generally not in favour of pregnancy regulation, I personally wouldn't have a problem with outlawing non-medically necessary ultrasounds. Especially if that included non-medically necessary but coercive and manipulative ultrasounds offered by the fake clinics.

Of course, regulating non-medical ultrasounds -- it's done in several Excited States -- is not the whole answer to sex-selective abortion. Women, whether on their own or pressured by family and cultural expectations, will seek and no doubt find ultrasound operators willing to risk whatever sanctions for a few bucks.

More important is elevating the value of women in the benighted communities where this goes on. Maybe the community teams and a very practical idea like Birmati's could go some way towards altering people's perceptions of women.

Monday, 18 June 2012

Chocolate Milk Martyrgasm!

“We are disturbed that this man would bully and assault young women trying to speak up for other women as well as children,” said Stephanie Gray, executive director of the Canadian Centre for Bioethical Reform.

“But we are inspired by the calm response of our team members who refuse to fight violence with violence.  By their actions, my courageous colleagues echoed the sentiment of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. who once said, ‘We will match your ability to inflict suffering with our ability to endure suffering.’”
Saintly, I tells ya, they're saintly.

I just love chocolate milk as a 'weapon'. Sticky, non-toxic, non-staining. Tasty even.

Unlike the preferred weapons of the fetus fetishists: handguns, sniper rifles, fire bombs, and, as JJ added on Twitter, garden shears.

Saturday, 16 June 2012

On Father's Day and Pathological Liars

Tomorrow is Father's Day. My father's been dead for almost 35 years. He was, as they say, a colourful character -- raconteur, man-about-town.

And a pathological liar.

One story -- I got a million of them -- from when I was about 15. Parents had been divorced for years at this point and papa wanted to take the kids to his winter haunt in Jamaica, where, unaccountably, he hobnobbed with the pooh-bahs. Serious pooh-bahs -- polo-playing, Rover-driving pooh-bahs.

So there we were having lunch with pooh-bahs, when one of the ladies leaned over and said to me: 'Your father tells me you go to Havergal. Do you know my neighbour's daughter, Prissy McPriss?'

(Havergal, for the non-Torontonians out there, is a fancy-schmancy private girls' school, which, needless to say, I did NOT attend.)

'Ah,' I said, stalling (I am my father's daughter, after all). 'What grade is Prissy in?'

She named some grade and I said something airy like: 'Well, I'm in Grade X, and the grades don't really mix much. Does she play sports?'

Tales of field hockey ensued.

While this was going on, I looked over at papa. He was grinning at me. I'd passed some kinda test, obviously.

Having a pathological liar for a father has its downsides -- like being blindsided by a question at lunch in fucking Jamaica -- but it has its advantages too. My homeroom teacher in Grade 12 -- not at Havergal -- told me I had the best shit-detector he'd ever met.

Of course, nobody needs be a child of a pathological liar to identify the multiple steaming loads of crap in this story.

Happy Father's Day.

Adversaries and adversaries

So this is a bit of a delicate post to write, because I'm going to disagree with two friends, one of whom is a fellow DJer. This is about the whole legal tiff referenced in the last post by Fern, where a friend, Dr. Dawg, has won a court case against some truly nasty Internet scum, people for whom I have zero respect and whom I would probably not miss if they disappeared magically from the face of the Earth.

But let me lay my cards on the table: by my own sympathies, I am what Dr. Dawg calls a Speech Warrior (tm). I feel that I have good reasons to believe that the "American approach" to speech matters is the most optimal one so far, barring the nonsense about speech being money, Citizens United, etc. But the idea that even an allegedly impartial court should be able to decide what thoughts are permitted to survive in public rubs me the wrong way for a whole lot of reasons, and makes me suspicious even of libel and defamation laws.

That said, I respect those who consider otherwise, as they have a point in the need to protect people and society from lies and the sort of harmful propaganda that leads to genocides, and so on. The horrible scumbags in question do certainly represent a tendency on that continuum. I can understand that those, like Dr. Dawg, who don't share my conviction on free speech, but share most of my other convictions, would therefore feel that they have the right to make use of Canadian law to protect themselves against what they probably correctly see as a sort of rhetorical assault. And while the law stands as it does, I don't begrudge them that opportunity.

And this is where I come to disagree with Fern. The courts in Canada are adversarial for a reason. They aren't calm legislative arbiters, serving a public function to lay down guidelines. They are legal boxing rings, or maybe pitched battles. And while that may seem unfortunate to some practically-minded people, people who just want well-engineered solutions, the "set phasers on pulverize" nature of the courts is one of its most important and best features. Consequently, one cannot simply be politically neutral and support both sides. One side must lose.

If you contribute to both sides (say, the Fourniers), and your political side loses (Dr. Dawg), then you have contributed to the financial costs imposed on your own political compatriots. And make no mistake, Dr. Dawg is a political compatriot par excellence: pro-choice, anti-racist, pro-environment.

Like I said, this debate saddens me, because I think it's ultimately the sort of clash of personalities that tends to rend left-wing sites asunder: the "engineering-minded" vs. the "battle-minded." When it comes to the courts, though, the "battle-minded" are right. There is no neutral solution-finding, only winners and losers. And the Free Dominionites must be ground legally into the dust.

ADDED by fh on June 19/12: Isn't this an interesting development? I wonder who will debate.

Friday, 15 June 2012

User Pay

Couple of things up front: I am not a lawyer. And I have not polled other DJ!ers on this. I'm speaking solely for myself.

I have no dog (so to speak) in this fight beyond my status as Internet user: blogger, Tweeter, and blog commenter.

So this happened.
Dr. Dawg will have his day in court, a panel of judges has ruled.

In a decision released Thursday, the Court of Appeal for Ontario reinstated the defamation suit of John Baglow, a.k.a. Dr. Dawg, an Ottawa blogger who said his reputation had been soiled in an online conservative chat room.

That allegation will now be the subject of a trial that could establish new rules for discourse in the Internet’s bruising marketplace of ideas.

“The issues raised in this action are all important because they arise in the relatively novel milieu of Internet defamation in the political blogosphere,” Justice Robert Blair said, writing for the three-member appeal panel.

Questions about what constitutes defamation in the caustic world of blogging have not been addressed by Canadian courts “in any significant way,” Blair noted. It means, he said, that a full-blown trial is needed to explore key questions, such as:

• Should the law accept that “anything goes” in the blogosphere?

• Are defamation standards on the Internet the same as those now applied to newspapers and TV?

• Should posts on a political blog be considered the same as ones on Facebook or Twitter?

A trial, Blair said, will allow the court — “whose members are perhaps not always the most up-to-date in matters involving the blogosphere” — to answer those questions with the benefit of cross-examination and expert evidence.

The appeal ruling overturns a lower court decision to throw out Baglow’s lawsuit before it could proceed to trial.
Relevant sections of the ruling at Morton's Musings.

So. There's going to be a trial. With facts and arguments and expert testimony and cross-examination.

You know, the stuff that helps inform the law in a fast-changing world.

And, presumably, at the end of the day, interested parties will have a better idea of what can and can't be said on the Innertoobz. And who is and is not responsible for content on a blog or discussion board.

How is this a bad thing?

Well, the bad part is that the individuals involved have to pay for it. And the costs could be substantial.

I'm no organizer but if someone would like to set up a way to fund BOTH sides of this case, I'd chip in.

Failing that, if/when Free Dominion and Dr Dawg get their own funding mechanisms in place, I'd chip in to BOTH of those.

It is not a matter of taking sides. It is a matter of setting some guidelines for current users of the Net and for future cases of outrage and umbrage.

Somebody's gotta pay for it. Why not the greater Canadian Internet community?

Image source.

MORE: With comments from a defamation lawyer.

UPDATE on Saturday, June 16/12: My response to Namó Mandos's post.

ADDED by fh on June 19/12: Isn't this an interesting development? I wonder who will debate.

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Fetus Focus Week on CBC

First we start with Michael Enright 'meditating' on abortion.

Then this morning, on the hour and half-hour news cycle on CBC Radio 1, we hear self-selective abortions could be on the rise!!! Yup, fetal gender testing discovered by CBC crack investigative reporting team SHRIEKKK!

And just to ramp up the shrieking, a quick interview with the doctor responsible for a male to female birth ratio study at St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto.

"Our findings raise questions about why there are more male liveborns than female liveborns among Indian couples who have had two or more previous babies," states Dr. Joel Ray, St. Michael’s Hospital and University of Toronto. 
All this is followed by a half hour devoted to fetus genome mapping on The Current.

Makes me wonder about the new Code of Conduct for CBC staff.

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

More BAD Science

A commenter on yesterday's BAD Science post raised a new abortion 'complication'.

Abortion and autism.

I knew about the autism and vaccine, specifically measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR), fraud but an abortion and autism link was new to me.

I got googling.

Found something from a couple of years ago that attempts the feat and look who's propagating it. Big Nursie.

The allegation is abortion is linked because the vaccines use 'dead babies'. SHRIEEEK!
Indeed. And the study in question, the one being cited here, briefly summarizes the other studies that have been done that have pretty much demonstrated that there is NOT a link between MMR and autism. NOT. Not is. Is not. No link. No link mentioned in this study.

No link shown anywhere else. The only link is in the feeble and demented brain of “blogger Jill Stanek.” Jeesh.

So the MMR – autism link is dead, so the fetal tissues don’t really matter, but what about that? Are dead babies used to prepare the MMR vaccine?

Well, no. Human cell lines have provided some of the substrate for one part of the MMR vaccine (the “R” part) in the past, some of that from old non-abortive tissue lines, some from abortive tissue lines. But there were religious objections for using the abortive tissue lines, so now, if I understand correctly, we use … cow fetuses and human tissues that are not from abortive material. Which is probably inferior (but I’m not sure if it makes a difference in this case)

Lies, fabricated links, bad information, scare tactics. What are they getting out of this dishonesty?
I found another from the infamous Elliot Institute linking (in a roundabout way) autism to abortion.
Is it biologically plausible that prior maternal induced abortions elevate a newborn baby’s autism risk? In a word, yes. This is because of two mechanisms — preterm birth (very preterm and extremely preterm) and raised parental age at delivery. Six significant studies report that prior induced abortions boost extremely preterm birth risk (under 28 weeks’ gestation).

Extremely preterm babies have about 25 times the autism risk as do full-term (at least 37 weeks’ gestation) babies. The older the parents are at delivery, the higher the autism risk. In a 2001 study of French women, Dr. Henriet reported that French women with more than one prior induced abortion had 2.4 times (i.e. 140% higher) the risk of maternal age over 34 at delivery compared to women with zero prior induced abortions.
The 'six significant studies' links to a PDF. What the hell. I downloaded and got 'Does Induced Abortion Account for Racial Disparity in Preterm Births, and Violate the Nuremberg Code?'


It was published in the journal of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, which bills itself as 'A Voice for Private Physicians since 1943'.

Here's what Wiki has to say:

The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) is a politically conservative American non-profit organization founded in 1943 to "fight socialized medicine and to fight the government takeover of medicine." The group was reported to have approximately 4,000 members in 2005, and 3,000 in 2011. Notable members include Ron Paul and John Cooksey; the executive director is Jane Orient, a member of the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine.

AAPS publishes the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons (formerly known as the Medical Sentinel). The Journal is not indexed by mainstream scientific databases such as the Web of Science or MEDLINE. The quality and scientific validity of articles published in the Journal has been criticized by medical and scientific authorities.
Or, more succinctly, here's RationalWiki:
The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons is a small group of "conservative" quacks, cranks and fundamentalist zealots which likes to rail against such timeless evils as abortion, vaccination and the idea of universal health care coverage.
So, add the Association and, in particular, its journal to our list of BAD Science purveyors.

This is what CONs do

From serial sexual predator Vic Toews' office:
The federal public safety minister's office tried to scale back an apology the RCMP delivered earlier this year to the families of serial killer Robert Pickton's victims, Postmedia News has learned.

A senior adviser to the RCMP commissioner later wrote that the government's proposed revisions — which ended up not being adopted — drained the apology of its "purpose" and "impact," according to internal emails obtained under access-to-information laws. [...]

On Jan. 27, just days before RCMP investigators were scheduled to start testifying at the Missing Women Commission of Inquiry in Vancouver, British Columbia's top Mountie, then-assisstant commissioner Craig Callens, released a statement to media regarding the force's handing of the Pickton investigation.

"I believe that, with the benefit of hindsight, and when measured against today's investigative standards and practices, the RCMP could have done more," the statement read in part.

"On behalf of the RCMP, I would like to express to the families of the victims how very sorry we are for the loss of your loved ones, and I apologize that the RCMP did not do more."

Pickton, a pig farmer, was arrested in 2002 and eventually convicted of six counts of second-degree murder, though the remains or DNA of 33 women were found on his property in Port Coquitlam, B.C. He once told an undercover officer that he killed 49.

Email records show that shortly before the RCMP statement was issued, Julie Carmichael, press secretary to Public Safety Minister Vic Toews, wrote to Daniel Lavoie, the RCMP's executive director of public affairs in Ottawa, requesting changes to the text.

"Daniel — please find attached the revised product," she wrote. The next line was underlined for emphasis: "Please ensure the statement issued is reflective of these changes."

The revised statement did not include any acknowledgement that the RCMP "could have done more" in the Pickton investigation and the apology was limited to saying "how very sorry we are for the loss of your loved ones."
Is the Conservative Party of Canada accountable? No.

But it's clearly abject, callous, venal and odious.

Monday, 11 June 2012

PSA: BAD (biased, agenda-driven) Science

This article is from 2006, but the phenom is not only still going on, it's getting worse. B.A.D. (biased, agenda-driven) science.
Creating B.A.D. science is simple. In the anti-abortion movement, a handful of scientists with conservative political agendas first publish articles, studies and commentaries in scientific journals, generating scientific "knowledge" about the dangers of abortion with unsubstantiated claims using problematic approaches.

In the 1980s, they tagged onto a scientific debate about abortion and breast cancer that appeared in the journals beginning in the 1950s. By repeatedly making the same claims in a variety of publications, they create the appearance of a body of scholarship that can be used to support a political goal of presenting apparently legitimate scientific evidence to influence the abortion debate. Then B.A.D. scientists create their own advocacy groups which in turn inspire new grassroots organizations with an agenda based on the scientists' claims. Newcomers join online or at the local level, and a movement with serious policy influence is born.
Here at DJ!, we cover the BAD science beat as well as we can.

Now, since the Abortion Debate Nobody But Fetus Fetishists Want, aka Woodworth's Wank, aka Motion 312, is already raging on Twitter and Facebook, and since the Fetus Lobby threatens to unleash 'up-to-date' science on it, herewith as a public service, a list of organizations to watch for. (I may do individuals later.)

Every single one of these is a propounder of biased, agenda-driven 'science' advancing the usual bogus claims: abortion causes breast cancer, mental illness, and infertility; fetal pain; Post-Abortion Syndrome; pregnancy by rape is rare and therefore an allowable exemption, etc.

In no particular order:

A newish one: World Expert Consortium for Abortion Research and Education or WECARE (awwww) for short. It's fronted by our old pal, Priscilla Coleman, Perfessor of Home Ec and Slut-Shaming. Also among its members is Elard Koch who authored a fraudulent study of abortion in Chile claiming there is no illegal abortion there and nobody dies from it.

Another newish one: Modelled on the esteemed Guttmacher Institute, which was once the research arm of Planned Parenthood, Charlotte Lozier Institute calls itself the 'education and research arm of the Susan B. Anthony List'.

A Canadian one: The deVeber Institute for Bioethics and Social Research.

An old and venerable one: Breast Cancer Prevention Institute, featuring war-horses Joel Brind, Angela Lanfranchi, John T. Bruchalski and William L. Toffler.

One that has the honesty to call itself 'pro-life': Association for Interdisciplinary Research in Values and Social Change.

Another one with a cute acronym: MARRI Research Marriage and Religion Research Institute, which, as its title suggests is mostly into 'traditional' marriage and the horror of divorce, but also dips into the evils of contraception.

One of the grand-daddies and coiner of 'Post-Abortion Syndrome', Vincent Rue of the Institute for Pregnancy Loss, which still has no web presence.

And finally, another grand-daddy, The Elliot Institute, starring the 'Moses of the post-abortion movement'David Reardon.

There are probably more that I haven't run across yet. If you know of one, please add it to the comments and I'll update.

When fetus fetishists cite 'science' and 'studies', check to see if the paper or authors are affiliated with or funded by any of these.

If so, the work is BOGUS.

ADDED: From choice joyce in the comments: Pro-Life OB/GYNs. It doesn't seem to be a funding organization, but links to many of the usual suspects.

ADDED: Another totally bogus journal. Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons.

Bloviatin' on the CBC

Yesterday morning on the Sunday Edition, Michael Enright bloviated on the Abortion Debate (starting at 3:23, running to 7:25).

I made some notes:

Parliament is a house of debate, highest temple of debate in the country

Parliament should be able to debate on any subject

Bertha Wilson

Abortion is the most divisive, radioactive in US politics, we don't want this here

Parliament should debate any and all ideas

Limiting debate would reduce the power of Parliament, democracy itself
I was yelling at him throughout. Well, except at the very end about reducing the power of Parliament when I snorted tea out my nose.

M. Enright has drunk the KoolAid. Let's straighten him out, shall we?

Alternatively, there's a place for comments -- which are public after all -- here.

Damn. I just commented there, but didn't copy it first and now it's in 'pre-moderation' limbo. I'll come back with it, if/when it is approved.

h/t Niles

ADDED: CBC allowed my comment.
Really, Michael?

Parliament should be able to debate everything? Including Woodworth's disingenuous attempt to muddy the distinction between biological human and legal person with the sole purpose of recriminalizing abortion?

Parliament should debate the curtailing of some people's rights?

Because that's what this is about. Endowing fetuses with rights deprives women, aka incubators in this view, of their rights to autonomy.

This is known as a zero-sum game.

Let's have Parliament debate the rights of bloviating, entitled old CBC hacks to sully my morning with ill-considered baloney, shall we?

Sunday, 10 June 2012

Michigan goes AntiChoice crazy

Taking a page or 60 from Kansas, Michigan is pushing through a massive omnibus bill that dramatically limits abortion access and threatens to shut down all abortion clinics in the state. And Republicans can’t move fast enough on it.

The 60 page bill was introduced last week, but today lawmakers already held a hearing on it and plan on sending to the full House for a vote. According to Laura Bassett, almost 100 people showed up to testify against the bill, but Committee Chair Gail Haines (R-Waterford) abruptly ended the hearing and cut off all testimony after a Michigan Right to Life spokesperson and a few others in support of the bill testified.
Hunh. Typical antiChoice fetus lobbyist closes the debate after their side got to spew their disinformation. Taking notes, MP Woodworth?

The bill tries to essentially take every popular abortion restrictions working their way through state legislatures and put it into one big horrible law. The bill would criminalize all abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, with no exceptions for rape victims, the health of the mother, or fatal fetal anomalies. It would require health centers that provide abortions to have surgery rooms, even if they do not perform surgical abortions. The bill would also require doctors to be present for medication abortions and to screen women for “coercion” before providing an abortion. It would ban “telemedicine” abortions and would create new regulations for the disposal of all fetal remains.
From here.

Our reader k'in reminds us that Michigan used to have a proChoice governor, Jennifer Granholm.

Is this what women in Canada will have to endure, if Woodworth's *Kinder, Küche, Kirche* M312 recriminalizes abortion?
When she was pregnant with her second child, Jenni Lane of Ann Arbor, MI, was given a routine ultrasound at 18 weeks. Jenni, her husband, and their young daughter were delighted to learn they would be adding a baby boy to their family. But later that night, a phone call brought devastating news: the fetus Jenni was carrying suffered from a severe brain malformation.

Over the course of the next few weeks, Jenni visited specialists and genetic counselors to learn more about her son’s condition. When she learned that he was unlikely to even survive full-term, Jenni made the painful decision to terminate her wanted pregnancy, a decision she understandably describes as “incredibly difficult, and so deeply sad.” By the time her termination was scheduled, Jenni’s pregnancy was in the 21st week.

If Michigan’s extreme anti-abortion legislation — HB 5711, 5712, and 5713 — becomes law, women like Jenni will no longer be permitted to make such a decision.

Friday, 8 June 2012

Martyrgasm, Supreme Court Style

Linda Gibbons, serial and unrepentant clinic harasser, has had her day in the Supreme Court.
By an 8-1 margin, the justices rejected Linda Dale Gibbons’s argument that she should never have been charged under the Criminal Code for picketing too close to a Toronto abortion clinic.

The high court did not wade into the emotionally and politically charged abortion debate, but instead confined itself to a single, technical, legal point: whether Ms. Gibbons should be dealt with under criminal or civil law.

Ms. Gibbons maintains she should have been dealt with under civil law for disobeying a court order, not charged criminally.

She was charged under section 127 of the Criminal Code. She argued that she should have been entitled to an exemption under that section that would have taken her case out of the criminal courts.

The justices disagreed.

The ruling means she will go to trial if the prosecution decides to pursue the case.
(Comments are closed on the Globe story.)

Cue the martyrgasms!

From the NatPo:
Linda Gibbons, 63, who is in jail again, has long maintained she has a right to peaceful protest and that the courts were unfairly pursuing her because of her unpopular views on abortion.

Gibbons, calling from prison in Milton, Ont., said she was not surprised the court ruled against her.

“The courts and the government have failed in their duty to protect the unborn.”
Ya dimwit. The courts are pursuing you because you will not obey a COURT ORDER.

Now the conspiracy theory from LifeShite.

It's not a matter of DISOBEYING a court order, they say. She trying to overturn the bubble injunction.
The Supreme Court of Canada dismissed an appeal by pro-life prisoner of conscience Linda Gibbons on Friday morning as she continues her 18-year battle to overturn a Toronto injunction banning pro-life activity outside of abortion facilities.
. . .
Her lawyer, Daniel Santoro, argued that the Crown is taking her before the criminal court because the civil court would have the power to overturn the injunction.
Really, fetus fetishists should raise more money and buy her a lawyer who, you know, understands Law.

So, she's gonna keep getting her ass tossed in jail. Fine.

And DJ! is now done with her. (Unless, of course, more blazing brain damage is occasioned.)

Thursday, 7 June 2012

Liars Gotta Lie

When the morning-after pill was approved, the actual mechanisms weren't well understood. It was thought that one way it worked was to prevent implantation, and since most definitions of pregnancy use implantation as the starting point, Plan B didn't cause an abortion.

But the lying liars insist that a whole complete 'person' is formed at the collision of egg and sperm, and so if implantation of the zygote is disrupted -- ABORTION!

From a report today:
Since then, the science has developed a much clearer picture of the drug's effects. Study after study has conclusively shown that emergency contraception (or EC) actually prevents egg release—and without eggs, naturally, fertilization can't happen, let alone implantation. Other studies have in fact shown that the drug is ineffective when taken after a woman has already ovulated. By this year, the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics issued a statement that the three emergency contraception drugs on the market conclusively "do not inhibit implantation."

Will this shut the liars up about 'abortifacient' drugs?

Fat fucking chance.


Way cool science.

In a development scientists are calling a "tour de force," researchers have reconstructed the genome of a fetus using DNA samples from the parents.

Because their technique did not require an invasive test to take samples from the fetus itself, it's an important step toward what could become a low-risk way to identify genetic disorders early in development, experts say.
It's non-invasive, highly accurate, and could detect roughly 3,000 conditions known as Mendelian disorders, including Huntington's, hemophilia, and sickle-cell anemia.

It's also currently wildly expensive and a long way off from your local clinic.
"I think this paper is a tour de force," Hamosh [Dr. Ada Hamosh, director of the Institute of Genetic Medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine] said. "This was unthinkable six months ago. Is it ready for any kind of clinical application? Not at all yet."

And oh, yeah. Fetus fetishists are already SHRIEEEKING about it. Designer babies! Genetic engineering! Abortions, abortions, abortions!

Should such a test become widely available, will it be misused? Yup.

But would it save people from despair? Yup.

One of the cruelest diseases is Huntington's disease. If one of your parents has it, you have a 50 per cent chance of getting it.

I have a friend whose father had it. She and her two brothers watched him die and her mother suffer. They all decided not to have children.

There is a test and none of them got it done. I mean, who wants to know years in advance what a horrible future you're facing?

When her twin brother was diagnosed in the mid-90s, she pretty much stayed drunk for a couple of years (early symptoms can look like inebriation). When he needed care, she sobered up and took it on.

Brother committed suicide while he still could. My friend went off the deep end again.

This was a family blighted by fucking Huntington's.

Test for it? Hell, yeah.

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

The Vatican Taliban gets pissy with an uppity nun

Though I'm not a fan of the NYT's Maureen Dowd, her succinct overview of a theological dispute between Sister Margaret Farley and the dogmatic Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith (aka the Catholic Sharia) is pitch-perfect.
[...] the latest chapter in the Vatican’s thuggish crusade to push American nuns — and all Catholic women — back into moldy subservience.

Even for a church that moves glacially, this was classic. “Just Love: a Framework for Christian Sexual Ethics,” by Sister Margaret Farley — a 77-year-old professor emeritus at Yale’s Divinity School, a past president of the Catholic Theological Society of America and an award-winning scholar — came out in 2006.

The Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith, which seems as hostile to women as the Saudi Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice, spent years pondering it, then censured it on March 30 but didn’t publicly release the statement until Monday.

The denunciation of Sister Farley’s book is based on the fact that she deals with the modern world as it is. She refuses to fall in line with a Vatican rigidly clinging to an inbred, illusory world where men rule with no backtalk from women, gays are deviants, the divorced can’t remarry, men and women can’t use contraception, masturbation is a grave disorder and celibacy is enshrined, even as a global pedophilia scandal rages.

In old-fashioned prose steeped in historical and global perspective, Sister Farley’s main argument is that justice needs to govern relationships. In the interest of justice to oneself, she contends that “self-pleasuring” needs “to be moved out of the realm of taboo morality.”

The photograph of Sister Farley is taken from her page at Yale Divinity School. Note that she doesn't wear traditional nun burqa garments.

This fundamentalist zealot, clearly a supporter of the savagely misogynistic Catholic Sharia, trashes her for her radical feminism. Heh.

My dream debate would be Sister Farley going 9 rounds against the odious Margaret Somerville - who has never had and never will, a book on Amazon's bestselling list.

Woodworth Is a Scaredy-Cat

So, somebody in the PMO leaked to the Globe yesterday.
The Prime Minister’s Office is putting heavy pressure on members of the Conservative caucus to vote down a Tory MP’s effort to trigger a legislative review of when human life legally. It’s unusual for a PMO to work against its own MPs’ motions and private members’ bills but Stephen Harper’s Conservatives are anxious to avoid association with any legislative activity that could be characterized by opponents as re-opening the debate over abortion.

MPs are privately being reminded that support for fellow Conservative Stephen Woodworth’s motion would be considered a vote against Mr. Harper’s wishes. Word being spread in the Commons lobby recently by senior Tories – not the PMO – went even further, saying a vote for Mr. Woodworth’s motion is a vote against Mr. Harper.

This informal coaxing is focused on those who are not considered to have taken firm positions in what has become a polarized debate, including rookie Tory MPs elected for the first time last year as well as fence-sitters and those with strong ambitions to rise in the caucus.
Which was echoed by the Sun (emphasis mine).
Conservative MPs are under intense pressure from the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) to vote against a Tory MP's non-binding motion that calls on Parliament to study when human life begins.

Tory sources say Prime Minister Stephen Harper wants southern Ontario MP Stephen Woodworth's motion eliminated before Parliament rises for the summer in late June.

"The PM himself wants this vote beaten down," one source tells QMI Agency.
There were rumours on Twitter yesterday that Woodworth's Wank would NOT be debated tomorrow nor be voted on on June 13.

So I was wondering if Woodwank were being strong-armed into withdrawing it, which, as I understand things, is the only way to stop it.

But no. This morning:


What's so urgent about Scott Brison's -- a Lib, mind, though former Con, -- private member's motion?
M-315 — April 25, 2012 — Resuming consideration of the motion of Mr. Brison (Kings—Hants), seconded by Ms. Murray (Vancouver Quadra), — That the Standing Committee on Finance be instructed to undertake a study on income inequality in Canada and that this study include, but not be limited to, (i) a review of Canada’s federal and provincial systems of personal income taxation and income supports, (ii) an examination of best practices that reduce income inequality and improve GDP per capita, (iii) the identification of any significant gaps in the federal system of taxation and income support that contribute to income inequality, as well as any significant disincentives to paid work in the formal economy that may exist as part of a “welfare trap”, (iv) recommendations on how best to improve the equality of opportunity and prosperity for all Canadians; and that the Committee report its findings to the House within one year of the adoption of this motion.
Well, that's all laudable, I guess.

But now in 14th place and with little time before the House goes on vacay, The Wank® is unlikely to see the light of day until fall.

Is Woody cruising for a bruising from the PMO? Or just trying to stay alive to fight another day?

Or. Using that well-known Fetus Lobby tactic of Stringing the Fetus Fetishists Along.

And while I was writing that, Kady O'Malley did a quick explainer. (That's why she gets the big bucks. She's fast.)
Under the rules governing private members' business, Woodworth can keep his motion alive virtually indefinitely by trading down the precedent list whenever his name threatens to reach the top. At some point, however, one suspects that his supporters might start to wonder why he seems so reluctant to put the question to the House.
Stringing them along.

Yup. They seem to like it.