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Sep 06 2013

It’s Not Empowerment, It’s Quackery

Prior to the Obstetric/Gynaecological adoption of abortion, it was one of the most riskiest procedures out there. Abortions historically have had some of the worst mortality rates and were generally a practice of last resorts.

We turned it into an outpatient procedure with an incredibly low mortality rate. There are different indications for abortions and what procedure needs to be done depending on the health of the mother and the gestational age of the foetus.

There is a large amount of quackery aimed at women that is aimed almost exclusively under the notion that it is feminist. It’s not. The adoption of medical abortion empowered women far more than the quacks. However doctors are rarely part of the dialogue, so you instead saw a massive movement to push the notion that medicine is anti-female. And many women believe in it.

Medicine doesn’t seem to have time for the patient because most doctors have massive queues of people who wish to see them. People are busy and so have to juggle patients. Not so in the private sector and indeed the Alt/Med brigade where the demand is low so they can see you for 15 to 30 minutes knowing full well there is no one being put out by the long consult.

I read this on Miri’s blog whiich lead me to the original post. And it made me bloody mad.

And I say mad because I have had to go see women who don’t have the choice of western healthcare and medical abortions make “do” with this sort of care and suffer. And the people who are lucky enough to have the heights of medical care are slumming it in order to claim some kinship of suffering and empowerment?

Bullshit. Medicine’s obstetrics and gynaecology developments has been to empower the woman. It’s reduced the pain associated with child birth. It’s increased survivability of children meaning women don’t have to birth as many to have a few survive till adulthood. And it’s reduced the number of unwanted births and given women agency in controlling their own reproductive cycle. And there are people pushing for non-medical abortion as some sort of magic wonderland of empowerment?

You can die, you can prolapse the uterus, you can cause an infection, you can cause infertility or you can straight up lose your uterus or cause a recto-uterine or vesiculo–uterine fistula if you faff around with dangerous “natural” methods or even rupture the organ. You can even damage the homeostasis of bacteria resulting in sepsis.

And the joke is medical abortion cannot be more natural. The unnatural one is this sort of alternative.

We use hormones. The same ones made by your body for medical abortions. These are naturally found within the body and cause a known method of shedding of the endometrium or preventing implantation to abort a fertilised egg rather than violent contractions and poison which can easily kill the foetus but not expel products of conception leading to sepsis.

It’s just… sad to read this. And the worst bit is if I actually covered abortions and pointed out how mad this is I would get a sizeable number of women defending the “right to make bad decisions” and push them as empowerment.

I have seen women claim anti-pain medication is anti-empowerment and helping delivery along is anti-empowerment. Not to mention that as a man I cannot help in delivery. And the websites of these individuals are filled with PROUD mothers who delivered dangerously blue babies and proud mothers who’s babies died in birth. And they are all proud of the achievement of childbirth which was the greater experience than the health of their babies.

Poking around I found out why they were all so proud.

They ban those who’s babies die in birth and who get mad and start asking for recompense for shitty advice only to find out that the certificate midwives are not medical practitioners and so are not liable for the advice they give. You are liable for listening to them. Of particular note was my learning about Mayer Eisenstein who’s nonsensical advice lead to the stillbirth of perfectly healthy infants and who then proceeded to blame the mothers for their deaths. Many a home birther has put up images of shockingly blue babies under the banner of feminist empowerment and I must disagree. This is not empowering, this is harming women.

To point out how bad blue babies are? It’s birth asphyxia. The second stage of labour must be completed in under 60 minutes. At 45 minutes we start preparing for episiotomy and forceps/vacuum. This is where the certificate midwife claim of “Doctors and their Knives” come from. Oh it’s also where many people have heard the “A Tear is Better than a Cut” which is where I quote Dara O’Briain and say “That’s why when we start surgery we page Dr. Bear”. And then we hear about how us doctors rush the delivery.

I have heard of such births taking hours. With dilation of cervix being noted 3 to 5 hours from delivery. And then the proud mother showing off their child who was “cursed” with cerebral palsy but is her special little child who she loves dearly. And I just weep inside because I know that this woman would never listen to me and if I ever said that I could have stopped it she would just get mad or not listen or call me oppressive. These women don’t want to hear why it was a bad idea. I have heard women in India who have had no choice but to undergo a home birth and eventually saving up for a hospital one and being so impressed by what we can do. It’s frankly shocking to think people would want to step back.

It’s better to think there was nothing you could do to prevent a tragedy then to realise the tragedy was your fault I suppose. And who am I to stop their delusion? They are obviously loving mothers.

However the people who must be gone after are the quacks and those who flog this as a proper alternative or even as a superior one.

So with this in mind let’s look at what’s wrong here. Apart from considering this a voice of feminism when it really is a voice to get women to willingly stop using real progress in women’s healthcare and instead do harmful things.

So I went to Planned Parenthood for a clinical abortion. In the waiting room there always seemed to be 15 or 20 other women, no matter how many left with the nurse. Evidently, it was “abortion day.” We shuffled through the clinic like beef cows. All of the women had the same horror-stricken, empty look on their faces.I sat there for an hour and a half, nervously leafing through People magazines in a desperate attempt to give a rats ass about the lives of Darryl Hannah and Princess Di. When they called my name, I probably would have shit my pants if there had been any digestion going on in my intestines, which there wasn’t. It’s hard to eat when you’re pregnant with a child you do not want. My boyfriend accompanied me into the exam room. I was told to strip and lay on the table, feet in the stirrups. I still remember the ugly swirl designs and water marks on the ceiling. After a while, the nurse came in and explained what would be happening.

Put it this way.

Planned Parenthood do a thankless job in a nation where people routinely try and stop women gaining access to the sort of basic obstetric and gynaecological care that is necessary for any group of people.

Every Day Is Abortion Day.

And do you want to know why women in abortion clinics in the USA look “horror struck”? It’s because they are constantly told that they are doing something wicked and destructive.

They are in effect murdering a life. That’s what they are thinking. Oh they may have stories of fancy boys and even ones of rape, but they are told by the voice of society that they are murderers and so they have haunted looks on their faces as they imagine a handful of cells is not just alive but sentient.

She referred to the machine used for clinical abortions as a “suction device,” which is a more professional way of saying “vacuum cleaner.” In theory, if not design, this machine is quite like the Hoover Upright, the Dust Buster, or the Shop-Vac in your closet at home. The nurse forgot to tell me how vacuum cleaners are useful for cleaning up messes, and in our society, a pile of kitty litter on the floor is treated much the same as an undesired embryo. The main difference (though hardly recognizable to Western Science) is that kitty litter is sucked from cold linoleum and an embryo is sucked from a warm-blooded, living, being’s womb. Instead, because I was crying like La Llorana, she said, “Are you sure this is what you want?”

Actually the procedure is called Vacuum Aspiration. But it’s nice to hear people keeping it casual.

The Vacuum Aspiration method is the SAFEST abortion method and was instrumental in the astonishing fall in complication rate. Vacuum Aspiration has a 0.5% complication rate and mostly that’s infection rather than say “Perforation”.

To compare it to a Hoover is to do a disservice to both. It portrays this as some sort of method for cleaning up accidents rather than a serious piece of equipment that helps women undergo an essential procedure.

If there is one piece of advice you take from this it is this. Any person who uses the term “Western Science” and thinks Eastern Science is Different and Opposite and Equal is a bloody idiot.

Want to know something?

The Vacuum Aspiriation Method Was NOT invented in the “West”.

It was developed by Yuantai and Xianzhen in China who felt that this would provide a gentler approach to medical abortion and reduce the risk of perforation. The development of the soft cannula was in the west but the procedure was “Eastern” in origin.

The notion of western science is an insult to people from the “East”. The Higgs Boson had an Indian who was responsible for it’s discovery. Do you think we cannot do science? Or is our science equivalent to wishy washy quackery? There is science, it doesn’t matter who does it.

What other goddamn choice did I have? I muttered, “Just do it, please.” She shot something into my cervix with the ugliest needle I’d ever seen. (I don’t think my cervix was residing under the belief that it would someday have a large needle plunged into it, and so protested accordingly.) The pain was overwhelming; my head swam into the netherworld between intense clarity and murky subconscious.

You could have kept the baby or given it up for adoption.

This BTW is the administration of the anaesthetic.

Then I heard a quiet motor whirring. The lady told me to recite my ABCs. “A, B, C, D, E…” Something entered my vagina, deeper, deeper, deeper than I imagined anything could possibly go. “F, G, H, I, O, W…” The walls of my uterus were being sucked, it felt like they were going to cave in. I screamed “O, P, X, X, D, VOWELS, WHAT ARE THE VOWELS? R? K? A! A’s A VOWEL!” And then my organs were surely being mowed down by a tiny battalion of Lawn-Boys. “S, did I say S?” My boyfriend who was crying too, didn’t tell me whether I said S or not.

Interesting.

We use the same anaesthetic to pull teeth. When I needed to have my jaw reset, I had to lose 4 teeth. I was busy so I said “take em all in one go”. I had the same anaesthetic in a lower amount. The most pain I felt was a slight tingling and later some soreness.

I stitch people up with the same anaesthetic.

For the past 40 years, the cannula being used for this is a soft rubberised one to reduce the chance of perforation. And resistance to local anaesthesia is a rarity. In fact in 4 years of rotations I have never seen one.

Oh interestingly enough there is a condition called DUB. Dysfunctional Uterine Bleeding. It’s a disease of exclusion. Basically there are a variety of causes of bleeding when you rule them out you come to one where there is a hormonal imbalance. Sometimes it affects the really young. Sometimes the old.

What you do is you either do a DnC (dilatation and curretage) or pass in a catheter with a balloon that is inflated and filled with hot water or one of many ablation procedures. All under cervical anaesthesia only.

The inner lining of the Uterus or the Endometrium has no pain receptors. Now the outer lining can detect pain and it is from there period pain arises but the inner surface since it is shed regularly is pain free.

There was a two-inch thick pad between my legs and blood gushed out of me. The motor has stopped whirring. I was delirious. I asked, “What do you do with all the fetuses? Where do they go? Do you bury them?” The lady ignored me, which was fine, I had to puke. She led me into a bathroom and I vomited bile, green foam. Then I went to a recovery room, laid down and cried. There was another nurse woman in there, she patted my hand, reassured me, “I know just how you feel.” I said, “You’ve had an abortion before, too?” She said, “No, but I know how you feel.” I told her to get the fuck away from me. For two weeks, there was a gaping wound in the center of my body. I could hardly walk for five days.

I have a feeling that there is NOTHING you can say to a patient like this. They resent the procedure and they are angry at having to undergo it and there is nothing you can do to bring patient satisfaction. Some patients come in bruising for a fight.

I know of later term abortionists who have had to do the procedure on pro-lifers and did so under the angry glare of people who had to eat humble pie. Or worse, he had to tolerate their insults while he did the procedure or they left quietly and were back outside protesting without any sense of hypocrisy a week later.

There are just some patients who will never realise what you have done for them or how much you had to put up with their stances and them making your life difficult.

Imagine those Planned Parenthood nurses who live in the shadow of murdered staff, violence and threats and exclusion and excommunication. Imagine them knowing they are helping women make a difficult decision being insulted by someone who simply was angry.

Then, stupid me, a couple of years later, I got pregnant again. I lived in Seattle still, but was just about to move to Olympia, to begin school at The Evergreen State College. This time, I didn’t feel like the city was trying to keep me there, but I certainly wondered if this was going to be some kind of new trend in my life-every time I’m about to move, Hades sends a soul my way. I couldn’t really see myself having an academic edge with a bun in the oven, so I had to face the reality of going to that machine once again. This time I was more terrified than before. I knew all too well what that rectangular box and its quiet motor had planned for my reproductive system. Have you any idea how it feels to willingly and voluntarily submit to excruciating torture because you dumbly forgot to insert your diaphragm, which gives you ugly yeast infections and hurts you to fuck unless you lie flat on your back, anyway? I was to withstand this torture because I was a bad girl. I didn’t do good. I fucked up.

This ladies and gentlemen is why you always insist on a condom. It is superior to a diaphragm and reduces STDs. Use both. They synergise.

Ugly Yeast Infections? 0.5% of the time perhaps, not compared to say non-medical abortions which are worse.

The funny thing here is the dates.

You see… Generally the first trimester of abortion has always been a medical abortion. You take a series of pills which changes the hormone composition of your body which sloughs off the endometrium. You feel pretty lousy but you aren’t pregnant any more. It’s rather surprising to hear this being done unless the individual has gone in after the third month and even then there are medical options.

I had the same choice as before, that glowing, outstanding choice we ladies fight tooth and nail for: the choice to get my insides ruthlessly sucked by some inhuman shitpile, not invented by my foremothers, but by someone who would never, ever in a million years have that tube jammed up his dickhole and turned on full blast, slurping everything in its path.

The procedure was invented in China but it’s adoption was due to a British Woman called Dorothea Kerslake who pioneered it’s use in the West and made it the procedure of choice doing more than 5000 abortions with it and not losing a SINGLE patient. It was considered a near miraculous invention in terms of safety and comfort.

As for tubes jammed down dickholes I will point out to you that catheterisation involves “jamming tubes down dickholes”.

Have a look. It’s educational. No Really. You can see the level of care and elegance we put into sterile technique. And then compare it to her story.

The Inhuman Shitpiles she describe have faced down death threats and even been shot and wounded but still gone back to give women the kind of treatment she thinks is “bad”.

The scary thing is nearly every single piece of progress in Obstetric Care has been mainly in the hands of men. Cleaning hands? Men. Sterile Fields? Men. Anaestheisa? Men. Forceps? Men. C-Sections? Men.

This is due to medicine being a man’s game in the 18th Century. Women rarely got educated and the few that did rarely got to train as doctors. To ideologically claim that these men were part of the patriarchy and therefore all their achievements should be tossed out of the window when it comes to women is an act of madness. It isn’t Feminism. It’s shooting women in the uterus for ideology and is no different from the misogynistic MRAs.

I never called myself feminist. I never marched under it’s banner. That’s something people described me as. You don’t describe yourself, others describe you. And I am damn sure whatever this nonsense is, it does not help women in any shape way or form to denigrate one of the most important health services for them. I have been called many horrible things by women who are feminists but I know what I do works. I know that women are better for my actions and that’s because I actually work in the field while the people who insist I am harming women by telling them what to do are not. Feminism isn’t smoking cigarettes, feminism is making sure women get real medical care.

 

After this, I studied different kinds of medicines and healing methods. One thing college was teaching me was knowledge helps me transcend anger at all the injustices in the world. Therefore, upon self-examination over why I had the desire to physically mutilate individuals whose convictions were in direct opposition to mine, I delved into histories and applications of medicines far and wide.

As I said. There is real medicine, evidence driven medicine. Then there is quackery. It doesn’t matter who does the research, science is science.

I found one thing that was a constant: Healing starts from within. It appeared to be some kind of law, no, more than a law. (Is breathing a law? Is waking up a law? If so, maybe the notion of healing coming from within is a law as well.) This concept is completely alien, even deviant, in our culture. In this society, we look to the outside for just about everything: love, entertainment, well-being, self-worth, and health. We stare into the TV set instead of speaking of our own dreams; wait for a vacation instead of appreciating each day; watch the clock rather than listen to our hearts. Every livelong day we are bombarded with realities from the outside world, seemingly nonstop. Phones, car alarms, pills, coffee, beepers, ads, radios, elevator music, fax machines, gunshots, bright lights, fast cars, airplanes overhead, computer screens, sirens, alcohol, newspapers. One hardly has the opportunity to look inside for love and peace and other nice things like that. Western medicine, that smelly deaf dog who farts across the house and we just don’t have the heart to put out of its misery, is based on a law opposite the one the rest of the universe seems to go by, namely, Healing Has Nothing To Do With You, Just Follow The Directions On The Label.

This is a statement of the most shocking privilege.

I have seen women die on the table trying to get “coathanger” abortions. I have had to listen to women say that they have thrown themselves out of windows to abort their child knowing fully well that I can write the names of two tablets that would have done the same thing without them having to break bones. And I had to steel my heart so that I could hear another story and another and another.

I have heard stories of women who do not have TVs. Who do not have phones, cars, computers and the many horrible things our western society has. And most of all they don’t have that smell, deaf dog who farts. They don’t have medicine.

And with every story I have to harden my heart because I have to hear more of them. Breaking down to cry is not a luxury I have.

These women would think this person is an idiot. It’s like looking at starving children and going “I wish I was that thin, lucky bastards”.

In order to think that Evidence Based Medicine has done nothing to improve our lives is to live in such a privileged world. To be free of death and disease and disability to the point where you don’t think health is important.

In America, we don’t (and we’re also not encouraged to) look inside ourselves for healing, finding truths or answers. If you want to know something, you find out what The Person In Charge Of This Area says. The weather is not to be discerned by looking at the sky, the mountains in the distance, or by listening to the song of the wind. You will find it in the Report of the Meteorologist. And likewise, if you are pregnant and don’t want to be, you don’t look to yourself and the your immediate, personal resources in your immediate, personal world, you pay a visit to the Abortionist, who will subsequently predict the climate in your body for two weeks, guaranteed. And so, la dee dah, once, twice, three times a lady, I got pregnant again. It was the same boyfriend as the other two times only now we were breaking up. It was the most fucked one of all because I didn’t want to be with this man and I shouldn’t have fucked him, but it was his birthday and he was fun to romp with and blah dee blah blah blah. No force on earth could make me feel like I wanted this child, and furthermore, I promptly decided there was to be no grotesque waltzing with that abhorrent machine.

At this point my mind rebelled. Wait what? WHAT?

We talk to the meteorologists because it’s a goddamn science. It’s not super accurate but it’s accurate enough so that we can make plans. I don’t know how to look into myself to detect hurricanes. It’s one of the things I know I am not good at. I watch the weather reports like other sensible people.

And I weep because the poor fuckers who come in after their home abortions have gone wrong have no choice. The stigma of abortion keeps them away. The lack of facilities means they cannot get them. Or they lived in places like the Philippines where abortion was illegal and so the illegal abortion was the only way.

But no this is someone healthy who thinks she knows better.

So, I started talking to my girl friends. I was living in a small town with a high population of like-minded women, so that was one thing in my favor right there. Against me was the fact that I was eight weeks along, which is too advanced for an organically induced miscarriage, according to most sources. I made an appointment at the Women’s Clinic as a back-up in case my way didn’t work out.

You mean idiots? Just because you have a group of like minded people doesn’t make you intellectuals. And yes, it is condescending but what is one to do when you hear something like this when you live in a place where you are trying your level best to do things so that women don’t do what I think they are going to do.

An organically induced miscarriage? I know what it means.

You see there is a notion that the medical abortion offered is not natural. But drinking a variety of abortifactent potions is because “tradition”.

Well the thing is that the medical abortion is done using hormones. They are the same hormones that are found in healthy female bodies and altering the balance leads to the expulsion of the products of conception. You cannot get any more natural. Botulin Toxin is 100% natural, doesn’t mean it’s safe you know.

My dear friend Judy, the masseuse and scientist, was my biggest resource. She and Panacea found some herbal tea recipes a Boston Anarchist-Feminist group printed. (I tried to contact this group, but they seem to have disbanded.) She came to my house almost every night and massaged my uterus where you are not supposed to massage pregnant women who want to keep their babies. She also did reflexology by rubbing either side of my Achilles heel on both feet. I knew a naturopath in Olympia, who was one of my inspirations for learning about healing from within. She taught me this thing called “imaging.” It may sound terribly new-age, but through imaging, I got rid of this weird bump I’d had on my labia all my life. Since imaging goes on in your own head, I can’t tell you how to do it specifically. The basic idea is every night, when you are falling asleep, imagine the part of your body that’s giving you problems, changing. For the bump on my labia, I imagined all this beautiful soft flesh growing over and absorbing the bump. When I was pregnant, I imagined the walls of my uterus gently shedding.

Pennyroyal tea, reflexology and naturopathy.

Pennyroyal tea has been linked to maternal deaths. You simply haemorrhage out.

Eight days passed from when I started inducing miscarriage to the morning my embryo plopped onto the bathroom floor. Judy’s consistent massages and me imaging the lining of my uterus away every moment of my days, I feel, were the most crucial elements of my success story. I was absolutely focused on miscarrying and I felt Judy’s gentle, yet firm prodding moved things along quite nicely. It was an incantation. Me and my women friends did magic. Esther’s love made magic. She supported me and stayed with me every day. Bridget thoughtfulness made magic. She brought me flowers. Possibly most magical was the fact that, after the first couple of days, I possessed not one filament of thought that filled me with glimmers of self-doubt. With that core of supportive women surrounding me and with my mind made up, I was pretty much invincible.

It must be nice living in such a fantasy world.

Do you remember at the start of this when I said that there were women who birthed blue babies after hours of struggling and then watched the baby die or grow up to be severely damaged and be proud of that?

How do you think I feel right here? This isn’t support. This is the perpetration of inferior medical care for women under the guise of feminism and bullshit. This is walking on the corpses of women who have died doing things like this because some idiots think that feminism means never associating with anything a man has worked with.

It’s the same sort of logic where people tell me that I cannot deliver children.

Many women I know have tried to induce miscarriage and failed because they drank the tea and went about their life as if everything was normal, waiting for the herbs to work their wonders. If you want to successfully induce miscarriage, plan on devoting Your Entire Life to the attainment of this goal. Breathe, eat, shit, and sleep thinking of nothing else but the lining of your uterus shedding.

Funny how medical abortion takes a few hours and you can go home and get on with your life rather than having to sit with a drum circle of like minded people hoping the poison you drank doesn’t kill you but only the parts of you that you don’t want. And the ultimate joke is that women who take these would probably feel worse  and that the cognitive dissonance and placebo effect make them ignore the real discomfort they feel.

Pennyroyal is a liver toxin.

The herbal teas and other oral and topical applications I prescribed to myself were little helpers. They served to further direct my own focus and aid me in achieving my goal. Herbs are particularly good little helpers because plants easily and synergistically jive with one’s own magic and are quite willing to work with you if you respect them. The herbs I chose were Blue Cohosh Root and Pennyroyal Leaves. Blue Cohosh is an abortifacient. That mean is brings on contractions and makes your body think it’s time to give birth. Blue Cohosh is a serious fucking plant and is not palatable. Before even looking at it in your local herb emporium, read up on it. I suggest doing so before there’s even a need. Pennyroyal is a much tastier herb, but don’t let that fool you. It ain’t messin’ around any more than Blue Cohosh. If you swallow Pennyroyal oil, chances are you’ll keel over, but we’re not concerned with the oil here, so just put it out of your mind. Think about the leaves. Pennyroyal is a member of the venerable mint family and tastes just fine. It is an emmenagogue, which means it greatly encourages the lining of your uterus to shed it’s monthly juices, but it’s a powerful abortifacient as well.

Blue Cohosh and Pennyroyal are dangerous to use. Full Stop.

This is not feminism. This is a moron. If you really think women deserve better then stop listening to these people. Miri may have been gentle but I am not because I know what these are.

One way to let your herbs know you respect them right off the bat is by never letting them touch metal. Store herbs in glass, boil water for tea in either glass or enamel pans and steep your tea in ceramic or glass pots. I used quart Mason Jars for steeping, and a wooden spoon for stirring. (Stir all herbal teas moon-wise) The reason for all this hoopla is metal has negative ions which draw out and absorb the beneficial properties of herbs. You aren’t supposed to take these teas for more than five days, but by my fifth day, I knew something was happening. I also knew I wasn’t hurting my body. If you have none of the symptoms of miscarrying (sharp, jabbing pains deep in your uterus or blood spotting) by the fifth day, or, if your body is somehow telling you it is terribly unhappy, stop taking these herbs. They can fuck you up (See “Does PennyRoyal Kill”).

Metal Has Negative Ions?

There is a common sexist belief that women cannot do science.

This doesn’t help. Metal has Positive Ions. So Na+, Al2+, Fe3+, Ca2+. That kind of thing. And this is the person who was represented in a book on feminism. Imagine the damage this person’s story has done to young girls wanting to fight for equality who instead was taken in by bullshit just because it was labelled as such?

Also? Many miscarriages are painless. Considering 50% of all pregnancies end in miscarriage, most women don’t even realise they miscarried.

When I bought the Blue Cohosh and Pennyroyal, I also purchased a tincture of Shepherd’s Purse. If I were to start hemorrhaging, which is always a possibility when messing around with either of these herbs, the Shepherd’s Purse would abate the bleeding until I got to a hospital. Since it could save my life if the need arose, I never went anywhere without that little brown bottle.

Yes, where women who are desperately trying to fight the stereotype that “Feminists” are man hating idiots would fix you with the manocentric maleocratic medicine.

Oh wait!

Remember. Many of my patients who did things like this didn’t have that sort of back up.

To make the tea, I cupped my hand and filled my palm with equal amounts of Blue Cohosh and Pennyroyal. I put each herb in a separate Mason Jar. I never let the water come to a full boil. When the bubbles were just about to roll, I poured it into the jars, about 3/4 of the way to the top. Then I stirred, screwed lids on and let it brew for about fifteen minutes. I poured half of each in a cup with some honey and drank it. Sometimes it took me an hour to finish it all off. I ate a bowl of rice or couscous (any bland, easily digested carbohydrate will do) while I drank the tea. This was the only time I ate. I did this tea ritual in the morning and again at night. Along with the tea, I ate copious amounts of Vitamin C, another abortifacient. Vitamin C will not harm you in any way, but it does cause the runs.

1.5 to 2 million children a year die from “the runs” each year. Just pointing out that saying Vit C doesn’t do any harm but causes diarrhoea which is nothing is frankly a stupid thing to say. Oh just 10 years ago it was killing 5 million children a year but we fought the causes of Diarrhoea and made improvements to water.

That’s it for the oral applications. Topically, I used regular old parsley, which contains progesterone, the hormone present in the body right before starting your period. Also an abortifacient, the active ingredient in parsley was once used by pharmaceutical companies as an abortive compound. I got me a nice bunch of organic parsley. Organic is important because you don’t want anything that’s soaked up god-knows-what poisons lurking around in your pussy for hours. I washed it, wadded seven or eight sprigs into roughly the same shape as a tampon and slipped it on past the ol’ rubyfruit canal. Don’t be shy with the parsley, shove it on up as far as it will go. You want it as close to your uterus as possible. I put fresh parsley wads in at eight hour intervals.

Do you have any idea how insane this sounds to someone with any knowledge of medicine?

Organic often means they have used some organic pesticides which are often WORSE. Just because something is natural doesn’t make it safe. I repeat. Botulin Toxin is perfectly natural too.

I don’t think your body can digest enough parsley to release parsley progesterone to cause an abortion. Particularly via the vagina.

After a week of non-stop imaging, massages, tea drinking, talking, downing Vitamin C, inserting parsley tampons and concentrating, I was brushing my teeth at the sink and felt a very peculiar mmmmbloommmp-like feeling. I looked at the bathroom floor and there, between my feet, was some blood and a little round thing. It was clear but felt like one of them unshiny superballs. It was the neatest thing I ever did see. An orb of life and energy, in my hand.

Please don’t play with the Products of Conception. It’s treated as biohazard for the same reason. I swear some people will touch anything.

And Jesus H., wasn’t I the happiest clam? It hardly hurt at all, just some mild contractions. I bled very little, felt fine in two days. I wore black for a week and had a little funeral in my head. Organically inducing a miscarriage was definitely one of the top ten learning experiences in my life thus far. You know its like when Germany invaded Poland. I once read how in the ghettos of Warsaw, the people fighting the Nazis were amazed at first that a Nazi soldier would die if you shot him. They suspected that Nazis could die, but felt like they were somehow superhuman.

I repeat. You are not doing women a favour by accepting this person into your ranks and giving her a platform.

That’s how I felt after I aborted a fetus without paying a visit to that sickening vacuum cleaner. I felt like I imagine any oppressed individual feels when they see that they have power, and nobody – not even men and their machines, nobody – can take that away.

Unless it went wrong of course. Then this individual would have no trouble utilising Marconi and Bell’s inventions to contact a vehicle created by Diamler and Benz to travel to the evil female oppressing hospital.

I learned that the fight for human rights does not take place on some bureaucratic battleground with a bevy of lawyers running from congressional suite to congressional suite, sapping resources into laws. The war for peace and love and other nice things like that is not waged in protests on the street. These forms of fighting acknowledge the oppressor outside of yourself, giving that entity yet more life. The real fight for human rights is inside each and every individual on this earth.

This is not human rights. This is a travesty of education.

While traversing along this line of thought, I realize that I just might sound like a young women who has never experienced the unspeakable horror of back-ally abortions, and I am. I also realize that it might seem as if I’m ungrateful to all the women and men who have fought their hearts raw for equal rights and legal abortions, but I am not. I think of it like this: The fact there now exists a generation of women who can actually consider clinical abortions to be an oppressive diversion to one’s own power is based wholly upon the foundation that our mothers and sisters have built for us. I sincerely thank the individuals who have fought so hard for themselves and their daughters. I thank the people who bent over backwards so that I have the luxury of experiencing the beliefs I now hold. Evolutionarily speaking, however, it is quite natural for this fight to progress into a new arena, since by no stretch of the imagination is this fight over. The squabble between pro-lifers and pro-choicers serves only to keep our eyes off the target? patriarchal society.

These people are idiots of the highest order. You can call me condescending but I also call people who insist on setting their own bones and pulling their own teeth idiots. They are not voices of reasonable people but of people who are sandwiches short of a picnic.

This is not a new arena, this is flogging quackery to women.

Concentrating on the power within our own circle of women was once a major focus of the women’s health movement. I think we would benefit from once again creating informal health collectives where we discuss things like our bodies and our selves. If we believed in our own power and the power of our immediate communities, then abortion clinics, in their present incarnation, would be completely unnecessary. Let the fundamentalist dickheads burn all those vacuum cleaners to the ground. If alternative organic abortions were explored and taken seriously, there wouldn’t be much of an abortion debate. Abortion would be a personal, intimate thing among friends.

It was in many parts of the Philippines. Friends would recommend their medicine woman and hold each other down while she massaged the uterus causing physical trauma and abortion.

If the police came friends would cover for each other and give alibis too.

And what they so desperately wanted was that dreaded vacuum cleaner.

And when they went wrong? Well then friends would quietly take you to a hospital and leave you there.

Alone. It was terrible the first time I saw it. Doctors would fake reports so that these women would have real healthcare and not go to jail.

And you want that experience when doctors don’t have to protect you?

This is not a feminist but someone who makes bad decisions and wants you to make them too to validate her own bad choices. This does not empower women, but entrenches pseudoscience and quackery within feminism. It is an indicator of the quackery mainly aimed at women because of the perceived notion that women aren’t good at science. So women in science are never held as role  models, so young girls never go into science and produce a new generation that doesn’t understand science and doesn’t produce outspoken skeptical voices that pertain to issues that mainly affect women? Miri and me are great but frankly more women would listen to this if a woman actually spoke about this.

Can you say Amen.

Can you say POC retention with septicaemia?

I Understand That People Don’t Understand Contraception.

This piece has made me write the Idiot’s Guide to Contraception and Abortion. In the hope that more female skeptics will have a piece of literature they can read to get a rough idea and face down things like this.

And to point out the damage this does?

There are quackery associations in India that sell things like this and would gleefully jump on the “feminist” band wagon for money. Even advanced Americans are using this! You too can use it, don’t go to the doctor! What do they know!

This was painful to write. I hope it’s painful to read. Sometimes you must realise that what pretends to be your ally really is not.

25 comments

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  1. 1
    inquisitiveraven

    I’m looking at that passage about metal and ions and wondering if that woman understands what an ion is. She doesn’t seem to be thinking of it in terms of electrical charge, but rather as positive = good/negative = bad.

  2. 2
    PatrickG

    This was painful to write. I hope it’s painful to read.

    I can imagine it was painful to right. It certainly was painful to read and I appreciate you not pulling any punches.

    I found her website, and this part of the FAQ made me laugh (in the unfunny way):

    ?: Will you tell me how to induce a miscarriage with herbs and meditation?

    A: No. If you were to hemmorage to death because of the advice I gave to you, I would never forgive myself and I would prolly sit in jail for a long time while I was busy not forgiving myself. Do not ask me this. Instead, get the safest possible clinical abortion you can get, and start organizing a women’s health collective in your community. By sharing knowledge and compiling this information, you and your community can take care of reproductive and general health concerns as they arise. You can make an investment to protect those in your community so that they won’t have to face the same horror you had to face.

    You cannot learn different healing methods without taking the time to do so.

    Face, meet palm. Here’s how I read this:

    [Paraphrase] This awesome herbal thing is incredibly dangerous, so I don’t want you to die, thus you should get a safe clinical abortion (which won’t kill you, or I wouldn’t tell you to do it) while you’re learning about this incredibly dangerous thing that you should ideally be giving to other women because getting that safe clinical abortion (remember, it won’t kill you!) is like staring into the void and having it stare back — HORROR! Also, I’d hate to go to jail. Now read up so you can administer deadly herbal remedies in your community! Just don’t tell anyone I sent you. Jail sucks. Plus I’d feel bad.

    Well, that’s my bit of expressed anger for the day, I suppose.

    Finally, on a cosmetic note, the unclosed italics tag near the top does make it harder to read. Not painful, but harder.

  3. 3
    PatrickG

    Fuck me, that’s “write”, not “right”.

    Tpyos! Why hast thou forsaken me!

  4. 4
    machintelligence

    I am very glad to see that you took the time to debunk this awful piece of woo. I might have tried myself, but my background is vertebrate ecology and population dynamics, so your knowledge is far more useful than mine. I do know enough that my bullshit detector went off scale when I read the original article. Ah well, bullshit is natural too. Keep up the good work.

  5. 5
    F [i'm not here, i'm gone]

    These forms of fighting acknowledge the oppressor outside of yourself, giving that entity yet more life.

    Don’t feed the trolls? Are you kidding me?

  6. 6
    Ysanne

    Incredible how stupid people can be. This woman is a shining example of someone who is giving feminism (and pro-choice) a bad name.

    The nurse forgot to tell me how vacuum cleaners are useful for cleaning up messes, and in our society, a pile of kitty litter on the floor is treated much the same as an undesired embryo. The main difference (though hardly recognizable to Western Science) is that kitty litter is sucked from cold linoleum and an embryo is sucked from a warm-blooded, living, being’s womb. Instead, because I was crying like La Llorana, she said, “Are you sure this is what you want?”

    WTF does she dislike about the nurse asking that? She’s crying and describing the procedure as if it were something someone is forcing on her, as opposed to the device that is going to get her what she wanted, i.e. an abortion. (Why doesn’t she get a medical instead of a surgical abortion, btw?) I mean, it’s not Western Science that asked to get that embryo out of her warm-blooded womb, it’s herself.
    If she doesn’t want that, fine, then just don’t have an abortion. Even better, if she wants neither an abortion nor a pregnancy, what about being just a tiny bit more careful with contraception? The way this woman can’t be bothered to use a damn rubber or anything else properly, and then moans about how she’s getting “accidentally” pregnant again and again sounds like a direct quote from a slut-shaming pro-lifer’s wet dream. Except she then somehow confuses the possibility of getting an abortion with a form of punishment.

    We use the same anaesthetic to pull teeth.
    [...]
    You know people say that we don’t believe when women say things to us as doctors?
    What do you expect me to think when someone says that they felt intense pain upon administration of an anaesthetic so powerful that we do minor open surgeries using it and the patient doesn’t even respond.

    Which anaesthetic do you mean? Does in really work in absolutely everyone? For example, there are a few people for whom lidocaine doesn’t work, one of them happens to be a friend of mine. He knows which other local anaesthetics do, and makes a point of telling doctors ahead of minor surgery. Unfortunately, when he needed his privates stitched up after an extremely embarrassing bedroom accident, the ER doctors didn’t believe him and just went ahead with lidocaine, i.e. without actual pain relief.

    The inner lining of the Uterus or the Endometrium has no pain receptors.

    Pressure/poking against the wall of the uterus can still hurt a lot, though, even when done carefully with a blunt, rounded instrument. It’s a “wtf is this, OW it makes me dizzy” type of pain, at least for me and other IUD-wearers I’ve talked to, including my OB/Gyn.

  7. 7
    Avicenna

    I will change that then, my patients have high pain tolerances and often don’t complain so that may be it.

  8. 8
    llyn

    Let the fundamentalist dickheads burn all those vacuum cleaners to the ground. If alternative organic abortions were explored and taken seriously, there wouldn’t be much of an abortion debate. Abortion would be a personal, intimate thing among friends.

    Has this twit’s brain fucked off so far into Fairyland that she has forgotten why the fundamentalist dickheads object to abortion? Its not due to the failure of medical abortions to invoke the warm fuzzies.

    Her promotion of Pennyroyal Tea is also hair pullingly frustrating, mostly because she’s aware that ingesting enough of the stuff could be very dangerous. But she doesn’t seem to understand that making a tea or tisane is not the best way of delivering a measured dose. Gah.

  9. 9
    opposablethumbs

    Let the fundamentalist dickheads burn all those vacuum cleaners to the ground. If alternative organic abortions were explored and taken seriously, there wouldn’t be much of an abortion debate. Abortion would be a personal, intimate thing among friends.

    This also leaves me speechless. Does this person not realise that “alternative” and “organic” methods have been in use for many centuries, and if they really were so bloody marvellous and effective history – and the present, in most parts of the world – wouldn’t have the long and bloody trail that it does of women dead and maimed by home-made abortions and attempted abortions. She is advocating a return to uncertain, dangerous and desperate measures, and advocating for other women to have less choice. She is callously dismissing all the people who don’t have “friends” like hers but who damn well have the right to expect their medical needs to be met openly, by the state, without hiding in back rooms.

    Speaking as someone who has had two IUD failures followed by two early, legal, safe abortions, completely free of other people questioning, let alone attacking, me for my choice (and free of charge, thank you NHS), I find her description of how unpleasant the procedure was for her very surprising. I don’t remember it as unpleasant at all and felt nothing but relief. Maybe she was very unlucky – or maybe her expectations affected her experience to some extent. (I don’t remember with absolute certainty which methods were used in my own case – this was some time ago now – but they were definitely both “mechanical” as it were, rather than medical. Both D&C, iirc. And not unpleasant at all). This woo and quackery and willingness – in fact, active desire – to return to secrecy is profoundly anti-woman and is the very antithesis of empowerment. Give me an informed choice, qualified professionals, measured doses and sterile instruments any damn day. I’m glad my daughter has no truck with this nonsense and my son also, and hope that the same is true if my son should have a partner considering these issues some day.

  10. 10
    SRC

    There ain’t no cure for stupid, yet. Not surgery or herbs. Forget the ungrateful patients and carry on, Doctor.

  11. 11
    Anna Y

    I really feel like you are being unfairly dismissive about the physical pain this woman describes, so I just have to add my voice to that camp. Criticizing her logical fallacies is fine, but it seems to be a trope for a lot of doctors I’ve known to dismiss their patient’s experience of extreme pain when they believe the pain shouldn’t be happening / has no real cause. I know that a lot of hospitals and private practices in the USA are now actively trying to work against this tendency, and utilize a “pain chart”, etc, but it’s still not every hospital or every practice or every doctor.

    Let me share a personal experience of a D&C. It was my first abortion (I went on to have a couple more, “medical” ones, as opposed to surgical). I was not entertaining any false beliefs about the sentience of my fetus or feeling guilty. I was freaked out about being pregnant when I didn’t want to be: I think it is a profoundly terrifying experience when your body betrays you like that. I was not even particularly fearful about the upcoming procedure. You see, I hail from Russia, where I lived until my mid teens, and they didn’t seem to believe in anesthesia there, especially for children. Kids in my class and my neighbors have had their adenoids removed without any. I’ve had teeth removed or drilled almost to the nerve without any (as a result, I was TERRIFIED of dentists, a fear that soon evaporated after I found one in US who took pain relief seriously). So, I was actually pretty optimistic about this not being a harrowing procedure. Just in case, I paid an extra $100 for what they called “twilight sleep anethesia”. I know that’s vague, but they didn’t tell me any more details than that (it was a LOT of money to me then, money I could barely afford to hand over, but the salient point is that I COULD and DID afford it, and many women sitting in that clinic probably could not).

    The procedure was EXCRUCIATING. They didn’t give me a shot in the cervix (at least I don’t recall one, but they did warn me that the “twilight sleep” stuff might make me forget the entire thing), but they did put a contact anesthetic on it. The dilation part hurt like hell (messing with my cervix in any way always hurts a lot. It’s like a bad cramp, my insides feel like they are being twisted. My cervix is probably way more sensitive than many women’s, but somehow knowing that doesn’t make the pain any less painful. PAP smears have become a nightmare over the years). The next part, that involved a cannula, hurt worse. My uterus must not have gotten the memo that it wasn’t supposed to hurt, so it HURTHURTHURTHURT. It felt like there was a cat trapped in my belly desperately trying to get out. Interestingly enough, this “twilight sleep” thing, while not seeming to do anything about the actual pain, made it extremely difficult to react to it. My vision was blurred and my head was swimming and my body was very heavy and didn’t seem to want to respond to any commands I was sending. The most I managed in response to the ripping pain in my belly was a low and long grunt/moan, which seemed to rather surprise the doctor.

    None of this is to complain about my treatment at the clinic, btw. Yeah, my experience of D&C was awful, but I get it. It’s an outpatient clinic. They don’t know the patients that show up for abortions, don’t have a detailed medical history or even experience with these particular patients, so they don’t know what problems might be lurking, or what idiosyncrasies they might have. Honestly, just then, I was pretty young and had little experience with GYN care, so I didn’t even know I was more sensitive to pain in those parts, so I couldn’t have told them even if they asked. They have to keep the costs down, because even at $300 something, this procedure is prohibitively expensive to the women who are often the most desperately in need of it. So I get it, they do the best they can with what they have, and they provide a desperately needed service. If I wanted to blame anyone for this experience being as bad as it was, I’d be likely to go after the entire health care system, that creates this bottleneck of need/service/cost.

    Despite the procedure feeling like someone took a blender to my insides, there were no complications for me: no perforations, not even an infection. My lower abdomen was very painful for a week after though. I’d actually had far less pain from getting a tubal ligation several years later. Go figure!

    Anyway, my point is, unless you’ve personally had this procedure AND had it hurt like hell, you don’t get to dismiss a report of horrible pain. You are a doctor and you see many patients, I’m sure you’ve had some experience with individual differences. Yeah, maybe something shouldn’t hurt particularly badly. Yeah, maybe most times it doesn’t. Yeah, this woman who decided to embrace quackery after a very painful experience is engaging in some very bad thinking, and is propagating some very harmful ideas. The fact that she is conflating “this hurt so bad” with “this must have been harmful” is worth all the rational criticism you can throw at it. But please don’t dismiss the “this hurt so bad” part with “it shouldn’t have hurt that bad, therefore it couldn’t have, so she must be making it up/must have been prejudiced to begin with and let it color her experience/made her exaggerate”, just don’t do it, because it’s callous and cruel and much more scary when a doctor says it (and I don’t think I need to explain why that is).

  12. 12
    Timid Atheist

    Thank you for writing this. It’s important to address such things. This hits close to home for me because I’ve been sitting on something that’s been bothering me for awhile.

    My parent has been diagnosed with cancer. Before that diagnosis they weren’t feeling well and went to someone who is not a medical doctor, but a alt medicine person who “determined” parent was suffering from heavy metal poisoning. Parent still didn’t feel well and continued to be sick and then started losing weight. That is when parent went to a medical doctor and was finally diagnosed with cancer. Parent never had heavy metal poisoning.

    This kind of misleading rhetoric is what leads people down very bad paths. Traditional medicine is not perfect, but it sure as hell is better than unproven methods or methods that harm or make the patient worse. I truly hope no one has followed this woman’s advice.

  13. 13
    dianne

    Re pain during an abortion: IIRC, about 60% of women have pain receptors in their cervix and lidocaine (if that’s what it was) stings, so I can easily believe that she felt pain, possibly misattributing it to the “C” part of the D&C when it was really the “D” causing the pain. Also, though the uterus lining doesn’t have pain receptors per se, there does seem to be something about manipulation of the area that causes discomfort and nausea. Nonetheless, I suspect that a lot of her discomfort had to do with ambivalent feelings about the whole situation. I’m glad the nurse did ask her if she was sure about having the procedure because if she hadn’t the patient would likely now be saying, “I was forced into it without consent” and at least that question made her acknowledge that she was an active participant in the decision.

    This piece has made me write the Idiot’s Guide to Contraception and Abortion.

    Oh, yes, go for it please! I don’t know that the Idiot’s Guide series would really publish it, but it would be an incredibly useful thing to have available…

  14. 14
    estraven

    I had an abortion at a clinic decades ago, and while I’ve never regretted it, I feel it could have been less traumatic than it was. I was given some valium but no actual painkillers. The valium confused me; I was in a bathroom and didn’t know where I was supposed to go. Finally a nurse found me and said she’d wondered where I was. By then probably most of the valium had worn off. The procedure was excruciating–and I’d given birth once already, so I knew from excruciating. I held the nurse’s hand and I’m sure I bruised it. The recovery room was like something out of the Inferno, a lot of women on cots crying, and crying out in pain. If we want women not to fear clinics, perhaps we could do something to make clinics a place not to fear.

    Also, I hope you aren’t dissing midwives generally. My daughter had a midwife for both her children and wouldn’t have had it any other way. In our state, at least, licensed midwives have to keep to “best practices.” Also, daughter gave birth in an alternative birthing center located within a hospital, so quite safe. As for me, i was so fed up with hospital births after two of them that had I had a third child, I might well have tried a home birth. The hospital atmosphere encourages looking at patients as a collection of organs rather than as people, in my experience. Yeah, I know, so what it saves lives, but I didn’t like the way they treated the whole giving birth experience. I especially didn’t like not getting my infant for breastfeeding on demand. This is the kind of thing that drives mothers to think about home births. The hospital staff just ignoring your wishes and doing whatever is convenient for themselves–and delivering the baby in its little cart when s/he’s hungry just isn’t all that convenient to an overworked nursing staff. But establishing breastfeeding early on IS important. So I’m somewhere in the middle on all this, I guess.

  15. 15
    carovee

    I read Miri’s post but not the original essay, and, lord-y, it is so much worse than Miri let on. What direction is “moon-wise”? Everything about this woman’s experience could be solved much better by repealing TRAP laws and making it easier for hospitals and regular clinics to offer abortions rather than having women spend a whole week thinking about her uterus and drinking dangerous herbs. Women could go to someone they knew, who had their patient history. And yes, there are “abortion days” because so many clinics only have a doctor on hand on certain days. That CYA paragraph is breathtaking: “Gosh, I’m so grateful to all those women who fought for medical abortion but its ok if republican’s take it all away because we can then focus on our ‘women power’ even though our foremother’s fought so hard for medical abortion”. WTF?

  16. 16
    scimaths

    I am glad that I was born in a country and era where we have vaccines, contraception, safe abortion and all the other “modern” benefits of no longer being in the Victorian or Middle ages for medicine.

    But you know what Avi, your blog piece here has more than a nasty whiff of “Dear Muslima” about it: Oh, why aren’t western women more grateful to those magnanimous men who brought us penicillin and obstectrics and sterile instruments (like no women had any involvement with any cultural progress of course), and we should be grateful and never critical of the patriarchs, we should shut up and just be glad that we aren’t being forced to give birth in complete squalor and pain.

    Why aren’t we thanking the men who made western medicine what it is today and let’s never complain about the men who ignore women’s pain, and dismiss women’s experience and tell women how their bodies should feel, and incarcerate unmarried mothers in lunatic asylums (yes, in my lifetime), and ignore women’s health complaints – unless they are doing their duty as wife and mother at which point they gain some status by association. Let’s pretend that sociopaths never become Drs, and never butcher women’s bodies or violate unconscious and anesthetised women.

    And should we tar all modern medicine and all modern Drs with the same brush of brutal paternalism ? Oh no, that would not do. But instead let’s tar all feminism because here we have one messed-up hippy who didn’t pay attention in chemistry class and is giving women who want to study science and feminism a “bad name”

    Yes, there is a point hidden in your essay up there – it is better that we all have access to sterile and safe medical procedures. But why are you wrapping it up in a package that actually craps all over feminism, women’s experiences and women in science ?

  17. 17
    geekgirlsrule

    In her defense RE: Medical abortion, this essay was originally published before medical abortions were common in this country, and her abortions predated that by some years.

    That is the only thing I can defend her on. I find her a dangerous flake, very anti-feminist, and kind of an idiot. The fact that she advocates AGAINST hormonal contraception, and then doesn’t even use condoms? I read the book this is from in my early/mid20s and even then all I could think was, “What a dangerously stupid human being.”

    And that was when I WAS big into woo.

  18. 18
    thascius

    @16-You must have missed in Avicenna’s article where he pointed out that WOMEN were responsible for some of the advances. And his piece hardly “craps all over feminism, women’s experiences, and women in science.” He’s pointing out the dangers of bad medical advice and bad science promoted by a woman who claims to be a feminist, but whose advice does nothing to promote the cause of feminism and would be very dangerous to any woman who actually followed it.

  19. 19
    Juliana Ewing

    There are plenty of legitimate criticisms to be made about the practice of obstetrics, no woo required to do so. That appalling article has absolutely nothing to do with the value of, say, Henci Goer’s Obstetric Myths Versus Research Realities.

  20. 20
    Avicenna

    Henci Goer’s Obstetrics Myths vs Research Realities is one of the sources of the “Tear heals as well as a Cut”.

    Seriously? He needs to read basic wound healing. Tears heal WORSE than cuts. Healing by intention is the basis of surgery and tears are harder to heal.

    And he doesn’t realise that it’s better to be safe rather than to take risks in a litigious society. I don’t have a copy of his book but frankly I am aware of some of his “criticism”.

  21. 21
    Juliana Ewing

    Henci Goer is a woman, for what that’s worth, and the lack of any benefit to the practice of routine episiotomy (which is what she was actually complaining about — see http://members.efn.org/~djz/birth/obmyth/epis.html ) is now well established in standard medical circles. The point is that an episiotomy is by definition a greater degree of perineal trauma than most tears that would occur in the absence of an episiotomy, not that any old tear heals better than any old cut.

    http://www.patient.co.uk/doctor/episiotomy-and-tears

    http://umm.edu/health/medical/pregnancy/labor-and-delivery/episiotomy

    http://www.wwl.nhs.uk/Library/All_New_PI_Docs/Audio_Leaflets/Obstetrics/Perineal_Trauma/perineal_trauma_vi.html

    http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/patientinstructions/000482.htm

  22. 22
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    Congratulation, you found fauxminism,also known as “I choose my choice feminism” (and damn you for suggesting that I don’t shit ancient wisdom that’s neither ancient nor wise, you horrible patriarchal oppressor).

    But as others have already pointed out, this isn’t just “ungrateful women going crazy”. Modern medicine and especially obestetrics haven’t only done a lot of good, they also have a lot to answer for.
    Pregnant women are still treated like public property and unfortunately necessary meat around the precious fetus. Talk with the oh so fortunate western women and they all have a story of abuse to tell. It’s getting better, but in no way is it good. During my reproductive career I encountered both the most caring and wonderful profesionals as well as horrible bullies and just plain carelessness.
    When I had my abortion it was the abortion of a wanted fetus people thought it was OK to leave me in the anteroom, already on the table with me feet fixed up in the stirrups for a full fucking hour. That didn’t make the procedure any less safe, but it was deeply dehumanizing and humilating in a situation when I was damn vulnerable.

  23. 23
    Ani J. Sharmin

    Thanks very much for writing this. I do feel sympathy for this woman, for the pain she experienced, but I fear that people who listen to her will be in danger. There are a lot of valid criticisms to be made about how society, including the healthcare field, discriminates against people based on gender, race, etc. but promoting pseudoscience just makes things worse, not better. I’d rather more people have access to good medical care, rather than people opting for things that are not supported by evidence.

  24. 24
    メンズナイキフリーラン+ 2

    I think the world of to spend remodelled year in Late York City.. this is nothing to be in a class too!
    メンズナイキフリーラン+ 2 http://www.nikefreejapanrun.com/メンズナイキフリーラン-2-c-1_49/

  25. 25
    Jane Peterson

    Second stage must last no longer than 60 minutes?!? Oh fuck yourself. You’ve got glaring issues with facts as well. Second stage of labor averages 2 hours in the primipara. Tears of the perineum heal more completely and women report fewer complaints with healing and function.

  1. 26
    The New Age can be as deadly as Catholic ignorance » Pharyngula

    […] Then go read Avi’s total destruction of the dangerous anti-medical quackery in the story. […]

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