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Oh, the things you’ll learn about “Science” from the interwebs!

Far right wing talk show host Kevin Swanson has a few things to say about birth control.

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.

I am astonished at the specificity of that citation: “some evidence from certain doctors and certain scientists”. If anybody can track down the scientific paper in which that was published, I’ll not only post the verification, but I’ll reproduced the illustrations of the uteruses with the little tiny baby graveyards in them.

For now, this is the best I can do. I’ve taught histology, we even have slides of sections of uteruses (which, unfortunately, do not have the information about whether the source was a godless fornicator on the label), and this is what they look like.

Uterus

What Swanson said wasn’t science. It’s something different. I think the technical term is making shit up.

Comments

  1. says

    Oh FFS. I am so sick of these idiots. First, I loathe the use of “womb”. It’s a uterus, dude, and if mine contains a massive “baby” graveyard, that’s fine with me. My uterus, my business. Your nose, stick it back on your face, thankyouverymuch.

  2. says

    Awww, don’t be so hard on the feckless bastard. He just got raised wrong and now he can’t run away from the stupid.

  3. glodson says

    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.

    Really, I don’t have any commentary. This doesn’t require it. I can mock this statement by just quoting it. However, it is worth noting that in a few weeks, one of us will have to refute this claim.

  4. Beatrice says

    Wouldn’t that be quite a lot of teeny tiny fetus-babies, for example for a woman who has been on the pill for twenty years? I am morbidly fascinated by this shit.

    This is on the level of that special barrier that prevents pregnancy in case of rape idiocy.

  5. says

    I remember a movie about a grandfather with a pregnant granddaughter in a birthing class and he berates the lady teaching it for using the word womb. He said “What the hell does that mean? It sounds like fruit of the womb, call it what it is, It’s a uterus. Funniest movie I ever saw.

  6. Becca Stareyes says

    My only consolation is that anyone with a uterus who paid attention in health class should know better*: ‘what is a period’ is probably the first bit of remotely ‘sexual’ health education we get.

    Then again, today’s news convinces me that most people don’t pay attention in health class when we get to female anatomy.

    * The rest of you should as well, but the normal operation of a uterus is a bit less critical when you don’t have one.

  7. Sastra says

    I wouldn’t be too surprised if the source of this astonishing claim is that somebody looked at a slide picture like this and thought that those ‘endometrium’ looked suspiciously like zygotes. So that’s what they must be. Teeny tiny little fetuses.

    That’s what ‘science’ is, you know. You go and look at something and come to your own conclusions. “I saw them, I saw them little dead babies with my own eyes! Just look for yourself — see???” Scientists.

    And don’t listen to other scientists, they’re biased.

  8. Pteryxx says

    wait, what the hell? I thought the homunculus theory went out in the late 1800′s? ‘But there must be tiny babies in there SOMEwhere!’

    Then again, today’s news convinces me that most people don’t pay attention in health class when we get to female anatomy.

    Most people got to have a health class?

  9. jnorris says

    All those itsy-bitsy, teeny-tiny dead fetuses embedded in the uterus. This kind of shitte can only happen when people get abstinence only sex education AND brain damage from exposure to AM Radio.

  10. TriffidPruner says

    Ugh, do not dismiss this one too easily. To my ear, that “graveyard of tiny babies” trope is exactly, perfectly tuned to be a self-reproducing meme. It can be reduced to a one-sentence “elevator pitch”; the whole idea can be conveyed in a tweet. It instantly conveys a striking visual image. It hooks neatly into things girls are taught about menstruation and gains credibility and memory stickiness from that association. Once heard it cannot be unheard, and any woman who hears it is never going to feel the same way about taking the pill again.

    You are in on the birth of a new meme. Like watching a rattlesnake emerge from the egg…

  11. says

    Once heard it cannot be unheard, and any woman who hears it is never going to feel the same way about taking the pill again.

    I think this ^ is a load of horseshit. Any woman who does not want to get pregnant isn’t going to be “haunted” by such idiocy. Are there idiots out there who will buy this crap? Sure, but they aren’t exactly bright to begin with.

  12. TGAP Dad says

    Ooh! I can do it, too! Look:
    I’m beginning to get some evidence from certain doctors and certain scientists that have done research on people’s brains after they’ve gone through the church, those who went to church every Sunday, and they’ve compared them to the brains of people who abstained from church. And they have found that with people who went to church, there are these little tiny lesions, these little tumors, that are embedded in the brain. They’re just like dead brains. They’re on the inside of the head. And these brains of people who have been going to church, effectively have become graveyards for lots and lots of intelligence.

  13. otrame says

    Triffidpruner, that was a terrible thing to say about poor innocent rattlesnake babies. Same on you.

  14. says

    I blame YHWH for killing all those little humunculae babies:

    Overall miscarriage risk is 17-22%; risk after gestational sac is visible is 12-15%
    Miscarriage is one of the most frequent problems in human pregnancy. The most widely accepted definition is that proposed by the World Health Organization in 1977. The incidence among clinical pregnancies (a pregnancy that is confirmed by both high levels of hCG and ultrasound confirmation of a gestational sac) is about 12-15%, but including early pregnancy losses it is 17-22%

    Yup, YHWH cruelly uses His superpowers to abort about one in five pregnancies.

    Link here.

  15. marcus says

    “I think the technical term is making shit up.”
    I don’t even think he’s that close. “Making shit up” actually requires cognition.

    @Becky
    I must say that after loving many, many people, over the course of 57 years, who had a uterus, and been a partner to a lot of the complications that seem to attend them, that uteri seem almost as intelligently designed as prostates. Therefore, it is my feeling that anyone who really believes in “Intelligent Design” should be given, free of charge, one of each.

  16. glodson says

    It hooks neatly into things girls are taught about menstruation and gains credibility and memory stickiness from that association. Once heard it cannot be unheard, and any woman who hears it is never going to feel the same way about taking the pill again.

    It only finds fertile grounds where ignorance rampant. Most people will dismiss this outright. Don’t get me wrong, this is an idea we’ll likely hear again. But it will be laughed and mocked by the vast majority. This idea is contingent on people being woefully ignorant of the basics of human biology. There are people out there like that, true. But not the women who would fall for this likely would be indoctrinated to the point that they wouldn’t use the pill to begin with.

  17. carlie says

    We’re only about six months away from somebody trying to make a law requiring we teach kids the homunculus theory, aren’t we?

  18. carlie says

    Jeez, hadn’t even read Pteryxx’s comment when I wrote that. I thought it was my turn to get the brain today, Pteryxx! ;)

  19. Pteryxx says

    Are there idiots out there who will buy this crap? Sure, but they aren’t exactly bright to begin with.

    Sheesh, they’re not idiots, they’re being kept ignorant and lied to. We already have huge problems with women themselves AND the population at large believing BS about abortions killing babies, women asking to be raped, men needing sex and raping if they don’t get it, and even that sex doesn’t cause pregnancy but babies just happen when a man and woman marry. How about the lie that abortions cause crippling lifelong guilt? That’s a line of BS that causes mental trauma in some women because they bought into the self-fulfilling prophecy. Or that “blue balls” is a thing, or that girls can’t get pregnant if they have sex standing up or for the first time? This crap flourishes in the absence of real education, such as in Christian schools and homes where no alternative explanations are allowed. Anyone want to bet that this specific lie shows up in teaching materials or crisis pregnancy center literature within five years? (I’d say two or less.)

  20. Pteryxx says

    Sorry carlie, just taking it out for a walk. Sometimes the thing runs away with us, y’know? *hands over leash* ;>

  21. upsidedawn says

    But if you don’t use birth control pills but also don’t get pregnant but a few times, what happens to all the other teeny tiny babies? Don’t they get, er, flushed?

  22. chrisv says

    It troubles me so that we spend billions of dollars “educating” citizens to achieve this level of understanding. Very, very depressing.

  23. raven says

    Is it any surprise that this jackass is a proponent of Christian homeschooling?

    Christian homeschooling* is just a way to make sure your kids don’t know more than you do.

    It also sets them up to fail in life. We live in a complicated age.

    * Most homeschoolers aren’t xians these days. And like anything, it can be done well or bad.

  24. raven says

    And these brains of people who have been going to church, effectively have become graveyards for lots and lots of intelligence.

    There is a lot of evidence for fundie xian induced cognitive impairment.

    1. Michele Bachmann, Sarah Palin, and Rick Perry.

    2. Internet trolls.

    3. Even the statistics. Fundies score low on intelligence tests, education levels, and socioeconomic status.

    The mechanism however isn’t known. Maybe all that cognitive dissonance takes up too much room in their consciousness.

  25. pensnest says

    marcus @ #16

    uteri seem almost as intelligently designed as prostates

    In my admittedly limited experience, a prostate is more fun.

  26. ChasCPeterson says

    I guess maybe everybody knows this, and that’s why nobody’s mentioned it? But just in case: there are two reasons this is bullshit. 1) Birth-control pills work by preventing ovulation. The longer somebody’s been on teh Pill, the fewer chances they’ve had to contribute to an embryo in the first place. 2) Menstruation. I know there are relatively recent exceptions to this now, but the typical triphasic Pill regimen includes a phase when the entire endometrium (where an embryo could implant if there was one) is sloughed and then built anew from scratch; in any case the amount of estrogen is calibrated to minimize endometrial development anyway. So it’s total bullshit physiologically.

    I loathe the use of “womb”. It’s a uterus, dude

    Why? It’s perfectly good anglo-saxon. That’s like insisting on ‘feces’ instead of ‘shit’.

    those ‘endometrium’ looked suspiciously like zygotes

    If I may?
    ‘Endometrium’ is singular and refers to the entire multicellular layer of tissue. The objects visible within the endometrial layer are glands (cleverly caled ‘endometrial glands’).
    A ‘zygote’ is a single cell and doesn’t really look like much at all. If endometrial glands were mistaken for anything it would have to be at least a blastocyst-level embryo.
    [/terminology]

  27. flek says

    It strikes me that all he thinks it takes to spontaneously generate tiny dead babies is taking birth control seeing as he doesn’t seem to mention any sex being involved. As if he thinks ovaries eject miniature babies which require contact with a sacred sperm in order to generate a soul and come to life and when prevented from ensoulement by means of hormone pills they become embedded in the uterine wall like some kind of Lovecraft story.

  28. Sastra says

    ChasCPeterson #27 wrote:

    If I may?

    Most certainly, and thank you. Like the anti-abortionists, I go by dimly remembered lessons and ‘folk’ biology.
    Unlike them, however, I don’t think I can just look at pictures of what apparently are endometrial glands, spot what I think is a vague resemblance to a blastocyte-level embryo, and conclude that hey! Scientists must have missed something! And I bet our own scientists have caught this, so I’ll just go ahead and say they did.

  29. Ogvorbis says

    ….. How is this man an adult and unaware of what menstruation involves?

    Well, when it happens to his wimmenz, he makes them go off to a little shack out in the back yard, doesn’t let them be seen in public, and doesn’t even let them go to church until the curse is over.

    Sadly, not joking. I knew a family that treated women that way when I lived in New Hampshire. Forcing women to go somewhere else is a great way of maintaining personal ignorance. Not so sure how he got around even theoretical knowledge of how menstruation works, though.

  30. rowanvt says

    I just sent him an email. I made sure to stay nice and sugar-sweet in it. I wonder if he’ll actually respond, as I tried to write it as concerned-christian-woman as I could.

    “Hello there! I wanted to inform you that you made something of a rather large mistake on how the uterus works. I don’t know why these scientists and doctors you talked to sought to mislead you so very badly. Maybe they think poorly of you and wanted to make you look foolish. I do not know. However, every month when a woman goes through menstruation she sheds the endometrium, the layer that the eggs attach to. This is why she bleeds each month. The body is getting rid of the old tissue, and then creates new tissue in preparation for the next egg. This means that the old egg gets flushed out of the body as well during menstruation. Because of this, it’s actually impossible to have a ‘graveyard’ of these eggs in her womb. If the body didn’t do this, those dead eggs and embryos would begin to decompose, potentially leading to a uterine infection called a pyometra. Pyometra are life threatening and require hospitalization. Fortunately, pyometra is very uncommon in humans, partly because the body doesn’t let dead things stay inside the uterus.”

  31. a_ray_in_dilbert_space says

    But wait, given the well know liberal bias of reality, what choice do conservatives have but to make shit up?

  32. cactuswren says

    Of course pro-illegal-abortion people make shit up — so much so that my preferred term for them has been for years “pro-lie”. But this is the most preposterous piece of bullshit since a story I heard some years ago about a woman who supposedly got a pelvic examination in the seventh month of pregnancy and, I was assured, somehow got a bubble of air into her uterus (the punchline being that for the last weeks of her pregnancy she had to sleep sitting up, because — or so I was told — every time she lay down the bubble got across the fetus’s nose and mouth and it kept her awake with its crying).

  33. DLC says

    Mr Swanson provides yet another proof of why science education is so incredibly important in the United States. Be for or against birth control, for or against abortion, but at least get the goddamn science right.
    Something tells me the last time Mr Swanson was in a science class, it rained that day and the teacher didn’t show up.

  34. says

    Becca stareyes

    My only consolation is that anyone with a uterus who paid attention in health class should know better*

    Anyone who’s ever opened a book about biology, medicine, reproduction, or human health written since ca 1800 ought to know better than this.

  35. Nepenthe says

    *sigh*

    Having a “womb” would be so much less upsetting if it really was a graveyard of microscopic babies. That’s at least mildly amusing.

  36. grumpyoldfart says

    Don’t worry, not one of his listeners would be silly enough to believe that story. Americans are too smart to fall for that sort of rubbish.

  37. Fred Salvador - Colonialist says

    Wouldn’t having a graveyard of decaying foetus-corpses in one’s viscera put you at risk of septicemia or something? I don’t know, medicine is all nonsense to me.

    Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some Kleenex tissues to dispose of.

  38. kayden says

    Did anyone ask Doctor Swanson for the source of his info? Or was he allowed to spout of his “information” without any challenge?

    Even if what he says is true, isn’t that between the woman and her doctor? If there is a graveyard in my uterus, that’s my business, yes? I’m sure there are some consequences of taking birth control or any other medication. User’s choice — user’s risk.

  39. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    We should launch a kickstarter for the Self-Cleaning Womb, a high-temperature, high-capacity system that eliminates the wasted space of traditional wombs through clean, efficient cremation.

  40. ButchKitties says

    @35 How ignorant of biology does a person have to be to not realize that even if there was a bubble of air in the uterus, it wouldn’t be able to touch the fetus unless it also got inside the placenta? And if her water had broken at seven months, sleeping positions would be the least of her concerns.

    I weep for the state of health education in this country.

  41. says

    I’m sure that if some public official takes this up then The Rachel Maddow Show will do another segment in which she addresses men from a faux basement rec room to explain to them in very simple terms how “lady parts” actually work. I do hope some nitwit radical republican blathers on about this in public. Those TRMS segments are hilarious.

  42. says

    @ Josh #43

    We should launch a kickstarter for the Self-Cleaning Womb, a high-temperature, high-capacity system that eliminates the wasted space of traditional wombs through clean, efficient cremation.

    FTW!

  43. phoenicianromans says

    I am astonished at the specificity of that citation: “some evidence from certain doctors and certain scientists”. If anybody can track down the scientific paper in which that was published, I’ll not only post the verification, but I’ll reproduced the illustrations of the uteruses with the little tiny baby graveyards in them.

    I believe that this research appeared in the prestigious Academic Journal of People Who Have Email Forwarding Lists. This is, in fact, one of the most cited Journals in the entire WORLD, but those snobs at the Social Sciences Citations Index refuse to acknowledge its existence.

  44. says

    But what about lesbians?
    Do lesbian women who take the pill for other reasons than birth control have all the dead babbies, too?
    And what about me? Did I get rid of them with pregnancy? Or the D&C? Am I cleaaaaaaaan?

  45. Beatrice says

    Not taking the pill, I feel like I am missing on something. So many women have whole graveyards in their uteri, and I have nothing.
    Why can’t I ever be cool!?!

  46. WhiteHatLurker says

    Don’t worry, not one of his listeners would be silly enough to believe that story. Americans are too smart to fall for that sort of rubbish.

    Thanks for the laugh!

  47. cyberCMDR says

    It seems there is this whole swath of people in this country that have effectively assumed that the urban myths they tell each other constitute truth. The stories get refined in the telling (evolving as it were), so that they become more plausible to the gullible. Much like the “expertise” of many teenagers who think they know everything, but eventually learn that the world is more complicated than they assumed. These idiots never reach that point of awareness.

  48. eyeroll says

    TGap, that is a real good laugh!

    It seems that those who don’t have uteri are the ones most concerned by them. Sort of like popes and sex.

  49. adobo says

    Of course, Kevin should see the Graveyard of the Sperms. If he doesnt jerk off every fifteen minutes or so, the sight of those dead and decaying wriggly little things trying to escape his testicles only to be stopped by his ball sacks would make for good “scientific” investigations.

    So Kevin, please do spank the monkey as often as you can. I suggest even while doing your talk show!

  50. vaiyt says

    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 also found that if men ejaculate on plants, the fruit will come out penis-shaped. It’s true! Think of the Dong Trees!

  51. Erista (aka Eris) says

    They’re just like dead babies.

    What the . . . ?! What does he mean that they’re just like dead babies? In what way are they like dead babies?

    And, even if this was true, why wouldn’t he be freaking happy about this? According to the pro-lifers, a zygote is morally equivalent to a baby. Thus, if all of these little fetuses aren’t actually dead (and if they were, the women would be having serious issues with gangrene), then the women’s wombs aren’t like little graveyards, they’re like a hospital nurseries. If there is no difference between a fetus in the womb and a baby in the nursery, then there is no difference between a fetus in the womb and a baby in the nursery. It doesn’t make sense to count these unborn fetuses as non-living, non-persons when they’d count other fetuses as fully established people. Pick a side, people, pick a side.

  52. says

    You know, what with the massive overinflated cost of funerals and stockpiling our dead in expensive real estate, the uterine cemetery business could be quite lucrative.

  53. says

    Let’s see…. 12 years on oral contraceptives x approximately 12 fertility cycles per year…. does that mean I have 144 ish itty bitty dead babies in my womb? If I remember my fourth-grade sex ed, that’s 144 ish teensy tiny placentas? Can I harvest these somehow for the placentophagy encapsulation people? Do I charge by weight or volume?

  54. Azuma Hazuki says

    @50/GilliellPC

    Something even weirder actually. Since lesbians are all baby-killing man-hating misaaaaandrists who twist everything about womanhood into an evil Jungian shadow of itself, we have…wait for it…anti-dead-microbabies in there.

    This doesn’t mean zombie babies. It is a collection of microbaby-shaped (microbaby-ontologied?) “holes” in reality. Anyone who gets near us while pregnant will miscarry. And will also feel a series of warm pops as the dead-microbabies annihilate on contact with the anti-dead-microbabies. We, of course, are terminally frigid and the Stygian coldness of our reproductive tracts soak any heat produced into the void. It’s how we feed or something.

  55. ck says

    Am I cleaaaaaaaan?

    Sorry, if you’re a woman, you can never be clean. Word of God, original sin, and all that.

  56. bad Jim says

    People frequently have the idea that they have something yucky going on in their viscera, hence douching, hence colonic cleansing. The idea that we’re intermittently full of shit or piss is pretty disturbing to people who’d prefer to think of themselves as pure.

    The idea that women are studded with blastocysts isn’t much different from the more common idea that our intestines are packed full of undigested food. (Not that it can’t happen; a few weeks ago my very elderly mother spent a week in the hospital because she was dangerously full of shit. Most of us are just one delicious taco away from painlessly but comprehensively evacuating our lower intestines.)

  57. Don Quijote says

    I think he has confused the idea of little guys inside the TV. They must be in there somewhere.

  58. What a Maroon, el papa ateo says

    Not only did he see little dead babies in there, but many of them were holding little signs in their little dead hands that read “Repeal Roe v. Wade!”

  59. shades says

    This is awesome — I haven’t felt so bad-ass since a vegetarian told me my stomach was a graveyard! Now my uterus is, too? MOVE OVER, PUNKS, I’M TOTALLY METAL!

  60. David Marjanović says

    First, I loathe the use of “womb”. It’s a uterus, dude

    I’m very surprised by this. I thought it’s the same thing, just in English.

    If endometrial glands were mistaken for anything it would have to be at least a blastocyst-level embryo.

    Oh, that’s what the kook is talking about! *lightbulb*

    Are they homologous to eggshell glands? :-)

    Well, when it happens to his wimmenz, he makes them go off to a little shack out in the back yard, doesn’t let them be seen in public, and doesn’t even let them go to church until the curse is over.

    Sadly, not joking. I knew a family that treated women that way when I lived in New Hampshire.

    *jaw dropping and bouncing around on floor*

    Don’t worry, not one of his listeners would be silly enough to believe that story. Americans are too smart to fall for that sort of rubbish.

    *quietly strangles grumpyoldfart*

    And will also feel a series of warm pops as the dead-microbabies annihilate on contact with the anti-dead-microbabies.

    I LOLed in meatspace.

  61. Mary Bahr says

    First – correction – rattlesnakes are viviparous – they give birth to live babies – no eggs Dude. But I loved the metaphor.
    Second my first thought is the biology at some Christian day school this guy probably had inflicted on him from an Oral Roberts Biology text (now there’s a mental image to make you shudder) that actually was written in the 17th or 18th Century. And now our tax dollars via voucher programs in many states including my own of “Floriduh” are funding the more biology courses just like this all over the Country. So we will have more of this kind of entertainment to come!
    Great comments!

  62. bradleybetts says

    “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.”

    PffffBWAhahahahahahaa… etc.

    No, no they didn’t. WTF? Also, how do you embed something into a womb? I assume he means the uterus, but it would be nice if he got his phrasing right. Also, would a lady’s monthly cycle not clear away the tiny wee corpses, assuming for a second that they actually existed?

    And he’s missed a great rhetorical guilt-trip there. He should have said they get trapped in the uterus… but *gasp* still alive. Just stuck there, in the wall, screaming and wailing and yelling pro-life catchphrases like something out of Dante’s Inferno or something…

    Seriously, it wouldn’t be any more ignorant than what he’s actually said.

  63. alwayscurious says

    In the picture above, is it the pink dots or the clear blobs that are the dead babies?

    Wouldn’t having a graveyard of decaying foetus-corpses in one’s viscera put you at risk of septicemia or something?

    I’m pretty sure the birth control pill also stops their souls from leaving and the souls of all those dead fetus corpses protect the heathen mother from septicemia.