Monday, 7 July 2008

The "20 Weeks" Shootdown

Nadine Dorries must be stopped. I mentioned this briefly earlier in Feminist Issue Week, but I feel it could use a more comprehensive attack.

So, the site linked has her "20 reasons" why abortion is all bad and wrong and kills babies and shit.

Reason One: "Public, parliamentary and medical opinion is changing on late abortion. 63% of MPs, two thirds of GPs, nearly two thirds of the public and more than three-quarters of women support a reduction in the 24-week upper age limit."

Bollocks: No source for any of this information is provided. Not even a link to highly biased anti-abortion site. For all we know, she could just have made this up. And if 63% of MPs support a reduction, why didn't Dorries' previous limit-reduction bill go through? Could it be that this is a big fat lie? Could it be that the only link marked "evidence" links to an article in the Telegraph written by Dorries herself? No, surely not.

Reason Two: "High profile cases of babies surviving well below 24 weeks like Manchester's Millie McDonagh, born at 22 weeks, and the world's most premature baby, Amillia Taylor, who was born a week younger, both in October 2006."

Bollocks: Ooh, two babies. Two! That's quite the case, Nads. Notice there is no mention here of severe medical problems, or the fact that - hmmm - one cannot in fact painlessly remove an unwanted live foetus from a woman, stick it in an incubator for four months and then put it up for adoption. Women are not incubators.

Reason Three: "High resolution 3D ultrasound images, pioneered by Professor Stuart Campbell, have shown babies in amazing detail 'walking', yawning, stretching and sucking their thumbs in the womb."

Bollocks: So fucking what? This isn't an argument, this is a stupid woolly "oh, but it's a baybeeeee!" line of reasoning. Foetuses are not doing these things in the way babies do them. This is the horrible emotional blackmail of trying to make vulnerable pregnant women believe that as soon as the egg implants, it's a real live baby. It's disgraceful, frankly.

Reason Four: "In top neonatal units, such as in Minneapolis, Minnesota, 80% of babies born at 24 weeks and 66% of babies born at 23 weeks will survive. Recent figures from University College London are similar."

Fucking MINNEAPOLIS. They'll survive in MINNEAPOLIS. For fuck's sake. We're already getting into the repetitive stuff: babies cannot be removed and incubated at this point, which means the woman would still have to go through an unwanted pregnancy for MONTHS and give BIRTH. Also, she yet again links to an article in a right-wing paper in which she herself is quoted extensively. If you're trying to get the law changed, you can't be so fucking sloppy.

Reason Five: "Recent research, such as that by Professor Sunny Anand from the University of Arkansas, has shown that fetuses are well enough developed to feel pain down to 18 weeks gestation."

Bollocks: Yet again, her link is a Daily Mail article which is mostly about her. Not the actual research. Oh, no, we couldn't have that. Also, you can find one person with the title "Professor" who supports any crazy belief. And really, you'd think she could find more than one, because a lot of research goes into this stuff, and why is 80% of her data American? Minnesota? Arkansas?

Reason Six: "Mothers first feel their babies kick at 19 weeks in a first pregnancy and at 17 weeks in a later pregnancy."

Bollocks: That's not an argument. That's stupid emotional blackmail. She just wanted to get "mother" and "baby" into it somewhere. Next.

Reason Seven: "Stories of babies born alive after botched abortions, as young as 16 weeks, are increasingly common and have understandably shocked the public."

Bollocks: All this says to me is that doctors aren't getting enough training. She implies with this that actual live children are produced, as opposed to almost-dead foetuses with no chance whatsoever. Also, this didn't shock me. Frankly, I'd never heard of this, and I keep a pretty close watch on this stuff.

Reason Eight: "The number of abortions carried out between 20 and 24 weeks has been rising in recent years. Lowering the limit to 20 weeks for normal babies will save almost 2,300 young lives per year."

Bollocks: What do you mean "young lives"? It's not a kid, it's a foetus. This one depends entirely on you already believing that it's a kid and has always been a kid. I don't. I'd rather the abortion rate rose than the number of unwanted kids rose. Also, the Telegraph article she links is the most disgusting piece of misogynistic crap. The thrust of it is essentially "women are dirty sluts and unfeeling bitches".

Reason Nine: "Leading public figures including Opposition leader David Cameron are calling for a cut to at least 20 weeks."

Bollocks: Ha! David fucking Cameron is her next reason! I don't even understand why this is important. She's already pretended, sorry, stated using hard, well-sourced and appropriately-linked data, that at least two thirds of everyone supports her campaign, so why does she need to say, "Oh, and he does, too! You've heard of him!"

Reason Ten: "Britain has the most liberal abortion laws in Europe. A termination can be obtained up to 24 weeks of pregnancy - double the limits in France and Germany and six weeks later than in Sweden or Norway."

Bollocks: Erm, so what? Again, this only works if you already think it's an awful, horrible thing. I think this reflects badly on France and Germany (12 weeks? Really? I'd love to know stats for death-by-illegal-abortion from these countries), and it makes me proud that my country is supporting women's rights better than our friends across the channel. It also makes me nervous about the EU, to be honest.

Reason Eleven: "The methods required to abort a post 20 week baby are abhorrent. To avoid a live birth a lethal injection is given into the baby’s heart through the mother’s abdominal wall. The baby is then delivered stillborn or is surgically dismembered and removed from the uterus limb by limb."

Bollocks: More fucking emotional blackmail, and only works if you believe all abortion is infanticide, which it's NOT. Jesus, Nads. Must try harder.

Reason Twelve: "A recent Royal College of Psychiatrists report acknowledges a link between abortion and mental illness. This is worse with late abortions, especially those for fetal abnormality."

Bollocks: What the fuck does that mean? Well, it's a proper link (as in, it takes you to the Royal College of Psychiatrists and not the Daily Mail), and says nothing of the sort. It says "mental disorders can occur for some women during pregnancy and after birth." So, perhaps, it's just that pregnancy can be a pretty bloody traumatic thing to go through. It also says there is no conclusive evidence about links between abortion and mental disorders (NOT mental illness - depression is a mental disorder, but our Nads makes it sound like abortion gives you schizophrenia) and says nothing at all about late abortions or foetal abnormality. She's even spelling 'foetal' the American way, for God's sake. I now know why she hasn't given proper links for any of her other 'reasons'.

Reason Thirteen: "The vast majority of late abortions (after 16 weeks) take place in private clinics but are classified as ‘NHS Agency’ (ie charged to the NHS). Abortions over 20 weeks cost from £1,300 to £1,600 each and there are inevitably financial vested interests involved."

Bollocks: This one is an absolute fucking disgrace. It's like saying that hospitals try to convince you that you need major operations when you don't, because they'll get paid more. This borders on libel, frankly. How dare she accuse doctors of putting off abortions to get more money? Ugh.

Reason Fourteen: "Babies are now undergoing surgery in the womb under 24 weeks, the photograph of Samuel Armas having surgery at 21 weeks for spina bifida has received international attention."

Bollocks: This has nothing to do with anything, except that she wanted to crowbar another real kid in here. That's not a reason. It also reinforces the idea that women aren't really people when they're pregnant, because that must have been a terrible experience for her.

Reason Fifteen: "Very few if any UK graduates are now willing to perform abortions beyond 16 weeks. Almost all doctors performing late abortions in the UK, in BPAS clinics, are from overseas."

Bollocks: And suddenly, we run out of links. How does she know this? Apparently, that's not important. It seems pretty xenophobic to me - "it's those bastard foreigners! You hate foreigners, right?"

Reason Sixteen: "A Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) guideline, supporting an upper limit of 24 weeks, was published in 2004 and needs to be updated in line with the latest evidence on fetal sentience, ultrasound and neonatal survival."

Bollocks: No links to this 'latest evidence'. I maintain that ultrasound is irrelevant, neonatal survival is irrelevant given that the foetus (you're British, Nadine! It's got a fucking O in it!) will generally have to remain in the unwilling woman's body for months on end. I think foetal sentience is bollocks, too, since she seems to relate that directly to the ultrasound stuff. Notice that an actual medical body supported 24 weeks and some crazy MP with no actual fucking work to do is claiming it's wrong. Was she supporting 24 weeks in 2004? I might have to go a-hunting for that information.

Reason Seventeen: "The British Medical Association’s opposition to lowering the limit is not supported by the majority of its members and almost 1,000 BMA members recently signed a petition against attempts to further liberalise BMA policy."

Bollocks: What a confusing sentence. She offers no evidence of the limit not being supported by the majority of BMA members. She does link to the petition, however. The petition invited ME to sign it, and I don't have squat to do with the BMA. This has nothing to do with the Associaton's members at all - it can be signed by any arse on the internet. This woman is such a fucking liar.

Reason Eighteen: "Pregnancy testing kits are freely available at chemists and there is now little excuse for not diagnosing pregnancy long before 20 weeks."

Bollocks: What the fuck? Ooh, because Superdrug sells pregnancy tests, there's 'little excuse' for not knowing you're pregnant. Well, if you're not looking for a fucking pregnancy, that's not necessarily true, is it? Some women don't put much weight on. Some women still have periods. Oh, and you know that foetal abnormality thing? Not so easy to diagnose early. But we can't say that, because then you couldn't blame all the stupid women, could you? Fucking hell, the tone of that 'reason'! I feel like a nine-year-old at a Catholic school being told off by a nun for not doing her homework.

Reason Nineteen: "The House of Commons Science and Technology Committee’s report recommending retention of the 24 week upper limit was heavily influenced by pro-abortion witnesses."

Bollocks: She links to a Times article. The article talks about the report which was published (it also recommended scrapping the "two doctors must give permission" law and allowing nurses to perform the procedure), which two MPs disagreed with. Can you guess the name of the female one? That's right, Nadine is linking to her own opinions YET AGAIN. For fuck's sake.

Reson Twenty: I can't write this one out, because Reason Twenty is a picture of a foetus face.

Bollocks: Nadine has run out of ideas, and has to resort to pictures. Her brain has melted from all this meticulous research she's been doing. A picture of a foetus face is not an argument. The foetus face comes from the Life Institute. That'll convert the waverers nicely, Nads.

Then she says that all evidence points to cutting the limit, and links to her own fucking article. Really, Nadine. If "all evidence" points that way, show me some of it. Show me any of it. "Evidence" is neither your opinion nor legitimate sources which say nothing related to what you claim they say. If you're going to try and wrest control of my body and hand it over to David Cameron, you're going to have to try harder than that.

1 comment:

TS (and BJ) said...

Bravo. You really nailed it. I'm so sick of pro-lifers make us out to be these baby killing fiends when they don't even care about the women CARRYING the fetuses.