Monday 16 April 2007

Feta Rights Denounced by Miss Emily Litella

This evening, we have invited our popular guest commentator, Miss Emily Litella to share her concerns regarding Fetal Rights.

“What is all this fuss I hear on television about Feta Rights? It’s disgraceful! Why should Feta have more rights than American cheddar? And, in the first place, who started the idea of giving special rights to cheese? Maybe if we were all dairy or goat farmers living in France making one of those 753 French cheeses we would want special rights but the United States was not even invited to be part of the I.O.U.!!

Besides, feta is not even a French cheese, it’s Greek!

Not that there’s anything wrong with the Greek people. A country that lets women have their very own little Lebanese island where they can all live and not have to ask permission for their rights can’t be all that bad. But I digress. Feta rights are stupid! And those great big signs that the Feta Rights people wave around on television with pictures of gigantic Feta cheese curds – well you’d never see me eating one of those with my Greek salad! Yuck!

This is one more example of a special interest group – and I’m talking here of those Feta makers – going to Washington DC to lobby for special rights. I’m telling you, I’m sick of it! Where will it all end? Will the government be giving Velveeta its own special status next? How about Cheez Whiz which is just runny Velveeta in a jar?

I say that we tell those Feta Rights people to go home and make their flaky spinachgoatPitas and stop annoying the heck out of the rest of us who never eat that kind of cheese anyhow.

And another thing … you can’t slice Feta and put it on American apple pie!!!

What!? What!? It’s not Feta Rights?!? Oh ... never mind then.”

In loving remembrance of Gilda Radner (1946 – 1989), who created Emily Litella.

Originally posted at Birth Pangs

Tuesday 10 April 2007


Fetus-fetishizers expend a lot of time, energy and money on one target: criminalizing abortion.
Here’s a modest proposal that would direct such resources elsewhere, with more positive results. If they let go of the fear, hatred and religious dogma that contaminate every action they take and every word they say - they could transform the sword of compulsory pregnancy held over women’s bellies into useful and concrete services.

INSTEAD OF standing outside clinics for the purpose of intimidating women and medical staff, those shouting, threatening men could work at refurbishing and maintaining daycare and playground equipment for children willingly brought into this world.

INSTEAD OF paying for the printing of repulsive pseudo-scientific propaganda, money would be better invested in the cost of school books and supplies.

INSTEAD OF purchasing ultrasound equipment for “pregnancy crisis” in non-medical clinics, the funding would support prenatal and postnatal centres that provide free health care to infants and children, and the assistance their mothers require.

INSTEAD OF glorifying adoption as the perfect solution to any and all unwanted and unplanned pregnancies, counseling could be available for children who suffer from post-adoption trauma and for their adoptive and biological families as well.

INSTEAD OF lobbying government legislators to criminalize abortion and to control women’s bodies, the focus should be on advocating social and economic conditions that make life worth living for everyone.

INSTEAD OF pushing abstinence as the only answer to preventing pregnancy, information and contraception should be free and accessible to women and men who are sexually active.

Though fetus-fetishizers are rabid about the rights of those they call the “pre-born”, they don’t really give a damn for the rights and personal safety of pregnant girls and women or their health care providers. Doctors and clinic staff have been injured and killed by anti-abortion fanatics. Once women who’ve been deceived or coerced by fetus-fetishizers give birth, they’re no longer a concern. After they’ve carried the exalted product of fertilization by a sacred sperm to its term, they’re no longer of interest to abortion criminalizers.

INSTEAD OF the shaming and the blaming that turns the crank of the fetus-fetishizers …
the respect and the responsibility that choice offers.That’s the BIG difference between compulsory pregnancy and pro-choice.

Thursday 5 April 2007

I am Joe’s fetus.

Unprepossessing but potent, this small blob of tissue has been entrusted to Joe in the hope that he can grow it.
Joe lives in a world that has no female humans left in it. It’s the year 2222. There are no women because the hormones in Monsanto’s genetically-engineered-synthetic chicken breasts wiped out the whole gender.
So the men have decided that they must now bear children and Joe volunteered to carry me - one of thousands of embryos frozen during the In Vitro Fertilization craze - in a Monsanto-designed artificial uterus that’s been attached inside his abdomen.

Joe was selected because he is a healthy 25 year old man. As a soldier, he volunteered for the job because he has been promised that this duty will help advance his career in the military.Joe is the first man to carry out this experiment. I am being constantly monitored while Joe goes about his regular job, which has been considerably lightened to accommodate the important project that he bears.

The artificial uterus, in addition to all the normal features that would be found in the womb of a four-month pregnant woman, has links to the outside world through various electronic leads that allow the scientists to watch every step of my development inside Joe’s body. As well, needles are often carefully inserted by the Monsanto biomedical engineers into the walls of their patented FetusCarrier™ to ensure that the levels of their synthetic hormones are maintained.

The fuss that surrounds Joe and his FetusCarrier™ continues like this, day and night. When I first started moving around inside Joe, I could sense how nervous that made him. But his doctor and the scientists quickly reassured and congratulated him about his role in hosting my growth. It’s not very comfortable for me when they make Joe stretch out on a gurney while they prod and poke at him. I much prefer when he’s walking briskly, bouncing me around inside the squishy artificial amniotic fluid.

But I suffer through the examinations the scientists and engineers conduct of their FetusCarrier™, scrutinizing every aspect of its functions captured by all the electronic devices that were inserted into it, at the same time that they stuck me here. Sometimes I wonder if my continued existence is only an adjunct to the important scientific work that they’re doing in testing out the efficacy of their new product.

Originally posted at Birth Pangs.

Tuesday 3 April 2007

God wants you to carry your kidney stones to term

HOUSTON - Thurston Willaby was on his way to the hospital for surgery when he was approached by a couple who suggested that he had other options. He accompanied them to a ‘health crisis’ center, where he was given an ultrasound exam of his kidneys and promised help if he carried his stones to term.

“Once I saw the ultrasound pictures - I decided to keep them,” said Willaby. His stones were passed 3 months ago and Willaby can’t imagine why his doctor wanted to cut them out. To him the ‘health crisis’ center was a godsend.
“If it wasn’t for them, I’d have had that surgery,” said Willaby, a trucker with a family history of kidney disease. “It hurt like hell and I thought that I was going to die when those stones came out the natural way, but my counselor at the center prayed for me.”

The facility he visited is part of a burgeoning movement of free ‘health crisis’ centers set up by US Health Management Organizations to dissuade people from receiving expensive health care. The centers usually provide free tests, counseling, peer support and material aid such as hardwood sticks to hold in one’s mouth when passing kidney stones.

To many people, ‘health crisis’ centers, sometimes called “God’s Way” resource centers, provide a valuable service. President Bush is one of their supporters. People such as Willaby praise the emotional and material support they received, saying they are grateful to have avoided having a surgery.

Some agree that reducing surgeries should be a public policy goal but criticize the centers’ tactics. Many of the facilities masquerade as health clinics to pressure vulnerable people into avoiding surgery. In addition, they suggest that surgeries are frivolous and unnecessary, since they are expensive and require a lot of paperwork. William Gordon is among the people who feel that they were misled. The IT technician was headed for an out-patient surgery clinic when he saw an office in the same building that advertised free tests and said “People for Choice Health Care” on the door.

“I thought it was the clinic where I had an appointment,” said Gordon, “and the man behind the counter led me to believe they were expecting me.” The counselor asked intrusive questions about his religious beliefs, he said, and then told Gordon he needed to watch a video while he waited for the results of his test. “It was full of propaganda about the risks of surgery, and showed the instruments they use and body tissue being ripped apart,” said Gordon, who had his eye surgery later at a genuine health clinic. “It was meant to scare and manipulate me.”

Christin Nash of FearNot, an umbrella group that provides resources to ‘health crisis’ centers, contends the centers do not pressure clients; instead, they want to help people to make fully informed choices. “We don’t want them to feel coerced by their spouse or friends, their doctors or the hospitals,” said Nash. “We would like each person to decide, but having received all the necessary information and knowing that if they want to avoid surgery and let God help them deal with their crisis, that they’re not alone.”

Officials at Houston’s Free Health Crisis Care, where Willaby went, say they tell callers up front that they do not perform surgeries. “The counseling relationship has to be based on trust,” said Stan Digby, chairman of the center’s board, which is affiliated with the Green Cross HMO. “Right from the start, we’re going to be truthful.”
Serena Jones, director of client services at Free Health Crisis Care, said her staff is not judgmental and goes over both options with each client: no surgery or surgery.

The main room of the counseling center at Free Health Crisis Care looks a lot like a medical office, with its white cabinets, stainless-steel sink and specimen jars for urine collection. Atop a chest of drawers are four pink-rubber anatomical models (discretely covered with hospital gowns) of a human torso, a brain, an arm and a leg that have several surgical instruments, tubes and clamps inserted into them. Center staff said the models are used to show a client what their surgery could look like, but only if they want to know.

Nash said nearly all health crisis centers are “economics-based” and “pro-nature.” They feel that the ‘wait-and-see’ approach is God’s way. “As a Christian organization, we desire that (the centers’ clients) would come to know Jesus as the personal savior of their health,” Nash said. “Our primary goal is to prevent expensive surgeries and share the love of Jesus Christ.”

The National Hospital Federation issued a report on ‘health crisis’ centers last year. The NHF’s report states that although many centers look like medical facilities, “most volunteers who work directly with clients are not medical professionals. Their main qualifications are a commitment to Christianity and anti-surgery beliefs”. Also, the main source of funding and support for these so-called ‘health crisis’ centers comes from HMO’s and the health insurance industry.

The source of inspiration for this spoof came from a news item about ‘pregnancy crisis’ centers in the US. It concludes with this statement: “Many ‘crisis pregnancy’ centers receive federal support, mainly through programs that fund abstinence-only sex-education programs. According to the report, anti-abortion pregnancy centers have received more than $30 million in federal funding since 2001, when President Bush took office.”
Originally posted at Birth Pangs