Masimo Pigliucci – Abortion ethics without the experiences of real life is just inadequate

I thought the debate was over. Pro-Choice vs. Pro-Life? We sit and debate ethics in the ivory tower when we should base our ethics on real world outcomes. It is for this reason we have recently clashed with Secular Pro-Lifers and the rather puzzling stance.

In every case they don’t think women or doctors should be punished either criminally or monetarily for abortions but they want abortions as a practice to stop. They have offered no real world solutions to the issues and the real world solutions if any are frankly magical and require people to work like the hypothetical humans in their world. Masimo Pigliucci weighed in with two articles on the topic.

Philosophy is great, but we shouldn’t decide how we behave solely on philosophy without looking at the real world consequences of the action.  [Read more…]

You will know them by their love

Wendy Davis has become a house hold name for her epic filibuster.

On Friday, Senators convened to debate the Texas Abortion Bill. But one thing missing? The objections this time were simply ignored.

The Texas Abortion bill is a religious bill. I don’t think anyone is a fan of abortion. It is a medical procedure. Most sensible humans aren’t having one for “lolz”. Yes there are some people who abuse it but frankly there are people who abuse chocolate and we don’t legislate that and chocolate is infinitely deadlier than abortions (People die from diabetes and cardio-vascular issues more regularly than abortions after all). [Read more…]

Rick Perry – What if Your Mother Aborted You

“It is just unfortunate, that she hasn’t learned from her own example that every life must be given a chance to realize its full potential and that every life matters.” – Rick Perry

Rick Perry said that at the National Right to Life Conference (I wonder if the National Right to Life Conference is anti-death penalty?) about Senator Wendy Davis after her marathon 13 hour stall for time (AKA a filibuster) last week.

At the core of this argument is an idea of “What if you never existed? WHAT IF YOU WERE THAT BABY!” [Read more…]

Uteruses Do Not Work That Way

Swanson: I’m beginning to get some evidence from certain doctors and certain scientists that have done research on women’s wombs after they’ve gone through the surgery, and they’ve compared the wombs of women who were on the birth control pill to those who were not on the birth control pill. And they have found that with women who are on the birth control pill, there are these little tiny fetuses, these little babies, that are embedded into the womb. They’re just like dead babies. They’re on the inside of the womb. And these wombs of women who have been on the birth control pill effectively have become graveyards for lots and lots of little babies.

Peeples: We’ve actually heard on both sides of that. We’re researching that and want to make sure we speak correctly to that in our second film. But we have medical advice on both sides of the table there, so we want to make sure that we communicate that properly.

Swanson: It would seem, and I realize that people are a little split on what are all the effects of the birth control pill, but it would seem that there’s a tremendous risk in the use of it for the life of children.

(Courtesy of Right Wing Watch)

The only thing you should do at this statement is cackle because Swanson clearly has no idea how the uterus functions or how foetuses look like.

Taking the OCP doesn’t turn your uterus into the blob. It stops you from ovulating. There are no fertilised eggs reaching the uterus to do anything. In fact if you were pro-life the OCP would be PERFECT as contraception since no zygotes die.

Unlike those filthy murderous copper Ts (they stop zygote implantation).

Faith and Begorrah

Well faith certainly. As of now most of us have heard about the death of Savita Halapannavar who was denied life saving medical care. For those who haven’t? Savita required an abortion. Not because she wanted one but because she needed one. She had a medical condition where her cervix prematurely dilated. Now there are some cases where you can save the child (my cousin’s kid is one such child. Medication and surgical stitches to keep the os shut if you must know.), but this was not such a case. After trying everything, Savita agreed that an abortion was in her best interest. She was denied one by the laws and indeed doctors at an Irish hospital. She was told that “This is a Catholic Country”.

Savita contracted septicaemia and died. Because doctors were unwilling to terminate a foetus even one that was going to die ANYWAYS due to the open Os. If this had occurred in England, Wales or Scotland she wouldn’t have had any issue. She was at just 18 weeks. The child is completely unviable so that argument doesn’t hold water (Brains and hearts are all well and good, but lungs only develop by week 24 which is why the cut off between late and early abortion is at 24 weeks in the west. It’s at 28 weeks in India and many third world nations due to a lack of technology.). This wasn’t late term this was a cut and dry case. Where the science of medicine actually indicates that abortion is the correct medical procedure to resolve this case. Savita actually tried to delay the abortion for as long as possible too but her attempts failed and she was resigned to losing the pregnancy. There is in fact a law in Ireland indicating that this procedure should be done. To therefore deny her the the right to an abortion is frank lunacy. Your faith as a doctor should not exceed patient welfare particularly if the law is on the patient’s side.

This is a Catholic Country. Really? And how has that worked out for Ireland which has listed some of the worst kinds of abuse of the catholic church. Everything from the Magdalene Laundries to the Christian Brothers (Two infamous organisations that were complicit in the systematic physical abuse of generations of children. Where perceived sin and guilt were used to harass children into blind obedience.) and the well known paedophile priest scandals.

One would think that Ireland would learn to be better than all that. To embrace science and logic without the men in robes telling them what the fuck they should do.

“This is a Catholic Country” should be a statement of apology and embarrassment. Not one of pride. All this has demonstrated is the shocking nature of faith. That people are willing to believe in fairy tales to the point where they do things because their personal imaginary friend has told them to and they have made an entire constitution that acknowledges this imaginary being. That’s not a mark of respect, that’s a mark of a delusion albeit one that we widely accept as normal. If any man said “I do this because the tooth fairy tells me to” he would be ridiculed.

There are countless ways to acknowledge life. Catholicism doesn’t give a flying fuck about the quality of life of it’s adherents. Fitting for a religion that prides itself on torture, but Catholicism seeks to make life as miserable as fucking possible. The treatment for pain is an opiate right? Never mind the addiction. Or the crippling constipation. Or the inability to think clearly. If your primary problem in life is that “life sucks” then Catholicism is great! But so is Heroin. Neither are good for you. They just stop you giving a fuck about how sucky your life is.

Ireland is great! It’s a first world nation (even after bullshit like this). People don’t have anything to be sad about. So you just need to invent things to make people miserable. The abortion ban is this. The church has fought against abortion, divorce and contraception.

It’s time for Ireland to go cold turkey. Ireland does not lose it’s nature if it stops listening to celibate men obsessed with sex, robes and stupid hats. You can be catholic in your own house and church and mind, but not force your ludicrous god on others. Hell! If you feel so strongly against abortions then don’t get one. Stick to your guns then. But to stop others?

Legalise abortion, ban the church from the law.

[Edit = added stuff about the case for those who were unaware]

Rights of the Silent majority – Danielle Deaver

All across the world we as human beings are fighting for the rights of the “silent majority”. Women tend to outnumber us men, and rather than make grandiose comments about how useful/useless the other gender is, I would rather there be a world where there is no discrimination on gender at all.
Afghani women are fighting for the simple right to let foreign groups run their halfway houses for abused women. Because the afghani government thinks those houses are encouraging women to run away and be difficult. The republican party fights against basic rights of a woman to decide when to terminate her own pregnancy.

With this in mind I submit to you the case of Danielle Deaver

I am quite inured to suffering. Medical students learn to empathise with our patients then shelve it away somewhere so we can sleep at night or have lives. It’s not always perfect as the medical profession is one of the professions with the highest affliction of PTSD and various stress addictions but we try our best. I have seen and smelt an autopsy (the pristine surfaces of CSI would quickly become a charnel house of blood and decomposition gases). I have held to date 3 infants who died in my hands due to something completely out of the mother’s control. But the worst thing I have seen is the anguish that a mother goes through while making the decision. I am of the opinion that we need the truth, The abortion law should extend to 28 weeks and late term abortions be a medically sanctioned procedure if the baby or mother is at risk post 28 weeks. We should inform her of the alternatives to ensure she knows. In addition we should ensure our children know what sex is like and what happens and how to use contraception from a sensible age.

There has been little to no drive by the medical profession to weigh in on the topic, we know very well when the various parts of the body develop. It was taught to me after my anatomy classes and is vital to understand how the body develops and how common birth defects occur. Calling a foetus a human being that requires a right to live is all well and good but you forget that we also have a right to die. And in a lot of cases that right remains with the mother.

It does not matter if the baby is alive in utero, what matters is what it can do outside. Not having lungs is a no brainer. 28 weeks was stated because that is where the baby can viably survive outside amniotic fluid. 
This child died painlessly but traumatically. Let it die in peace, let the mother have no excess nightmares and let doctors be allowed to give relief.  


In recent days we have seen a drive in the US to repeal a vast amount of women’s rights. Both the Republican party and their more right wing counterparts are notoriously anti abortion, which is a touchy subject at the best of times. We have seen vast amounts of legislature in place this year aimed at the removal of women’s rights.

It is a movement filled with people who seem to love the phrase “speaking as a mother”. This phrase seems to be pervasive in American society. That somehow the ability to produce an offspring entitles you opinion to be more valid than someone else’s. Speaking as a mother has been used to provide opinions from people on everything from the economy to the various wars the US has gotten a lot of us embroiled in.

It is here that the religious right gain their support for such anti female bills. The right to one’s own body is sacrosanct. We repeatedly drill it into people that you can do what you want with your body as long as it causes no harm to others and we judge you of sound mind. I know a lot of feminists will disagree with me, but I am of the opinion that while men have kept women down, the biggest hurdle to women gaining equality has often been other women.

It comes from one of the strangest observations. In India there is a big issue with dowry related crimes. Women would be sent back to their parent’s house disfigured or threatened to bring a dowry back or face abuse. Women have been tortured, driven to suicide and even murdered for dowries. The ultimate joke is this. The laws exist to punish the people and almost every single time it is women perpetrating the crime on other women. The biggest culprits are the older generation of women. The evil mother-in-law is a trope here that mirrors real life similar to the wicked step mother trope.

I write in regards to the recent idea of the heart beat bill which seeks to prevent women from seeking abortions at 6 weeks of pregnancy, making abortions all but impossible to administer.
It is a farce, and an abuse of ultrasound. Just because something has a heart does not mean it is alive. By that logic if your heart stops beating then you are dead, not a candidate for a heart lung machine. The foetal heart has a long way to go from the twitching mass at 6 weeks to being the ultimate pumping solution. I fear these kinds of stunts make people think of the foetus as a completely developed human being rather than a block of cells that requires development well into the 28th week of life before it can be even classed as a human being.

Do you want to know how to reduce abortions ladies and gentlemen of the American right? It’s simple and costs next to nothing? Teach your children safe sex at schools. Do not pull out the nonsense of abstinence only education. That kind of education is like telling soldiers to dodge rather than giving them bullet proof vests when they go to war. I guarantee you the number of abortions will go down rather than up.

Until then, this is a basic right of any woman to her body and all you are encouraging is coat hanger sales if this bill passes.  

Six Pregnancies

Oh my, as if women didn’t have enough issues with their rights to have a child without people pretending to offer unbiased medical attention. 

I understand a fair few comments on that page wonder if this is a good resource to encourage women adoption over abortion. A lofty goal and one I can understand your logic, but frankly carrying a child is a big stress. Yes it may sound like callousness but quite frankly life doesn’t begin at any specific foetal age. It is a continuation of life since at no point does “life begin” sperm is alive, so are eggs. The fusion of it does not create life, merely continues it in a different individual who will one day be developed enough to live independently. Until then it is a growth of sorts. 

The decision to abort is never an easy one despite how blasé the above paragraph is. You are taught to show compassion irrespective of the person’s views. To never judge because you can never understand how difficult the decision is. For each mother the decision to abort is a little private hell of ifs and buts. 

It never helps when there are individuals out there who wish to prevent these women from the basic human right to decide what happens to your own body. I do understand the need to have proper non judgemental advice and council but that’s what we hope doctors learn.