The Washington Times' Truth War

Photo by PinkMoose

If you lie to your readers:

"This means that American tax dollars can now be used to provide abortions around the world...."

Who are terribly misinformed to begin with:

By: Maranatha.Shalom

But, I have spent many years in this [abortion] "debate", so perhaps I have some information that you do not have. I don't know -- maybe this has been a passionate pursuit of yours as well.

This is why I ask: "When do you think life begins?"

Because most people would agree that an unborn baby that is, say 8 months developed, is a baby -- and should be entitled to at least some protections of the law.

Can you agree with that?

Because if you do, -- and here's my point -- do you also know that under our current laws, that baby, 1 month from being born, has NO legal protections from our government. Do you know that if the mother, for whatever reason, decided to abort this child, that she could legally do so.

If you understand all of this, and still agree that abortion on demand should be legal, then, to be honest, I have to question either your sanity, reasoning ability, or your morality.

And you refuse to publish accurate comments, tailored to the tone of your community ('cause I'm nice that way and think disseminating information takes precedence):

The good news is that, although Obama is president, he still can't use his power to issue an illegal order.

Using American tax dollars to provide abortions has always been [Helms Amendment; Section 104(f) of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, as amended; Annual Foreign Operations Appropriations Acts], and still remains illegal.

Also, Maranatha.Shalom, I'm sure you'll be happy to learn that third trimester elective abortions are illegal in this country.

You end up with an editorial in the Washington Times.

Birth of Octuplets, Who Gets To Decide?

Photo by peagreengirl

Commenting on the woman who recently gave birth to octuplets conceived via ART, Dr. James Grifo, professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the NYU School of Medicine had this to say:

"I don't think it's our job to tell them how many babies they're allowed to have. I am not a policeman for reproduction in the United States. My role is to educate patients."

I couldn't agree more! The job of telling women what pregnancy decisions they are, and are not, allowed to make and of policing female reproduction is the exclusive purview of:

1. Religionists

2. Politicians

3. Strangers who are not the patient's Ob/Gyn

For Poor People, No Family Planning Funds And Off With Their Heads

Women's reproductive healthcare is not important.

Evaluating the economic stimulus effect of states using Medicaid money for family planning without the need for a waiver from the Department of Health and Human Services on its merits is not serious business. It's just a sideshow.

After all, it seems our beloved politicians agree in a most harmonious bipartisan manner that providing family planning funds for the low-income is, by definition, an example of wasteful spending that would neither create jobs nor otherwise improve the economy.

Dog Zen

Sleeping is seriously cute business this Monday morning at, you guessed it, the Rule of Dog

Reproductive Health News Roundup

- Top Tennessee legislative issues: amend the constitution to restrict pregnant women's access to medical care, and expand gun rights. [Also, taxing the c&@p out of poor smokers, always a worthwhile endeavor.]

- From Helen Jaques, Spousal abuse increases the risk of miscarriage by 50%.

- Tony Perkins and his merry band of totalitarian terrorists at the Family Research Council continue to put out low-quality propaganda.

- Adiana, the minimally-invasive transcervical tubal sterilization system, has received EU approval.

President Obama Makes War Veteran Army Sgt. Herrera Cry...Not

Did the Associated Press just print a big, fat lie about a war veteran, Army Sgt. Margaret H. Herrera?

Here's how AP reports what happened at last night's Commander in Chief Ball (emphasis mine):

At the Commander in Chief Ball, Obama and Vice President Joe Biden each saluted the nation's military men and women via satellite. Biden said he wasn't looking forward to his moment in the spotlight — the dancing, that is.

"The thing that frightens me the most (is) I'm going to have to stand in that circle and dance in a minute." At that, he laughed and did a quick sign of the cross.

The Obamas were more enthusiastic, splitting up to dance with Marine Sgt. Elidio Guillen of Madera, Calif. — who was shorter than dance partner Michelle — and Army Sgt. Margaret H. Herrera, who cried in the president's arms.

I was absolutely dumbfounded when I read that, for two reasons.

First, I was watching TV and I saw the President dance with Sgt. Herrera in real time. There was no crying; they chatted and danced.

Second, I also happened to catch a post-dance interview with Sgt. Herrera and I was struck by her composure and utter professionalism. When asked the typical, silly "Your house was just totaled by a hurricane, so, how do you feel?" "How did you feel being up there dancing with him...were you worried?", her answer was:

No Ma'am, I'm a soldier. We handle pressure very well.

You tell me, am I missing something? Here's one view:

And another one (starting @ 8:12):

President Obama In Action

Photo by jurvetson

President Obama is off to a good start:

WASHINGTON (AP) — One of President Barack Obama's first acts is to order federal agencies to halt all pending regulations until his administration can review them.

The order went out Tuesday afternoon, shortly after Obama was inaugurated president, in a memorandum signed by new White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel. The notice of the action was contained in the first press release sent out by Obama's White House, and it came from deputy press secretary Bill Burton.

Dog Zen

Your Monday morning dose of adorable from Rule of Dog.

Virtual [Rectal] Birth

Forget vaginal or C/S delivery. It seems that in Second Life rectal delivery is all the rage (@ 6:12).

Due to my obvious bias (assisting RL deliveries) I'm going to refrain from critiquing virtual births. But one thing I must insist on is a depiction of the correct organ system. Delivery isn't so much about the digestive system as it is about the genital one*.

*I've considered for a moment that there might be some technical limitation in rendering a realistic delivery that I'm not aware of [hopefully that explains those odd large breasts thrusting through the bottom of the patient's gown], but if you can show a baby coming out of the rectum I don't see why it's not possible to show it emerge from the vagina.


Pregnant 92-Year-Old Woman

If you're a 60-year-old fetus you had better have some plans for your retirement:

Doctors treating an elderly Chinese woman for stomach ache were stunned when they found that she had been carrying an unborn child for 60 years.

Ninety-two-year-old Huang Yijun, of Huangjiaotan, revealed that her child had died in the womb way back in 1948, and that she did not have it removed because doctors would charge 100 pounds for the job.

"It was a huge sum at the time - more than the whole family earned in several years so I did nothing and ignored it," the Sun quoted her as saying.

The secret surfaced after Huang hurt her stomach, and went to hospital for a scan.

Now, the clinical history is a bit sketchy but the most likely presumptive diagnosis is a lithopedion (litho = stone; pedion = child), or "stone baby." [Warning, graphic pics!]

Lithopedion [Warning, path specimen!]

A lithopedion is a rare phenomenon with only a few hundred cases report in the medical literature. Usually, a lithopedion occurs after a fetus dies during an ectopic abdominal pregnancy and is too large to be reabsorbed by the body (EGA 14 wks and up).

To shield itself from the degenerating tissue of the fetal foreign body the woman's body will encase the fetus and/or its covering membranes in a calciferous substance.

Believe it or not, forming a lithopedion is a best case scenario. The alternatives, from Williams 21ed, p. 900 (text references omitted):

If the fetus dies before reaching a size too large to be resorbed, it may undergo suppuration, mummification, or calcification. Bacteria may gain access to the gestational products, particularly when they are adherent to intestines, resulting in suppuration. Eventually, the abscess ruptures, and if the woman does not die of peritonitis and septicemia, fetal parts may be extruded through the abdominal wall or more commonly into the intestine or bladder. Mummification and formation of a lithopedion occasionally ensue, and calcified products of conception may be carried for years. There are instances in which a period of 20 to 50 years elapsed before removal of a lithopedion at operation or autopsy. Much more rarely, the fetus is converted into a yellowish, greasy mass to which the term adipocere is applied.

The body is quite an amazing apparatus, no?

Bernard L. Madoff's Mirage

This is the Lipstick Building where the Madoff magic happened. Or, rather, the Madoff mirage:

BOSTON (Reuters) – Bernie Madoff's investment fund may never have executed a single trade, industry officials say, suggesting detailed statements mailed to investors each month may have been an elaborate mirage in a $50 billion fraud.

An industry-run regulator for brokerage firms said on Thursday there was no record of Madoff's investment fund placing trades through his brokerage operation.

That means Madoff either placed trades through other brokerage firms, a move industry officials consider unlikely, or he was not executing trades at all.

"Our exams showed no evidence of trading on behalf of the investment advisor, no evidence of any customer statements being generated by the broker-dealer," said Herb Perone, spokesman for the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.

U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Victimized By Sex Slaves

Photo by MonkeyMyshkin

How deranged do you have to be to make helping victims of human trafficking all about *your* beliefs and dignity as opposed to, you know, the lives and dignity of the victims?

BOSTON – A federal lawsuit filed Monday claims Roman Catholic bishops are wrongly imposing their religious beliefs on victims of human trafficking by prohibiting grant money to be used for emergency contraception, condoms and abortion care.

The American Civil Liberties Union filed the complaint in federal court in Boston against the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The suit claims the agency, which distributes money to help trafficking victims, has allowed the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops to limit the services its subcontractors provide. The ACLU claims the bishops' conference is misusing taxpayer money and attempting to impose its religious beliefs on trafficking victims.


The bishops' conference, which promotes Catholic activities and does charitable and social welfare work, began administering the funds under the trafficking law in 2006, using social service organizations as subcontractors to provide the services. In its lawsuit, the ACLU said the agreements between the conference and the subcontractors explicitly prohibit them from using the funds to provide "referral for abortion services or contraceptive materials."

"We will continue to provide those services in the contract that are consistent with our belief in the life and dignity of the human person," said Sister Mary Ann Walsh, a spokeswoman for the bishops' conference, which was not named as a defendant in the complaint.

Also, why exactly do we need the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops as an intermediary between the money people (us, the taxpayers, via the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services) and the people who actually do the work (the subcontractors)?

Dog Zen

The Rule of Dog: Something to brighten up your Monday morning.

PZ Myers' Minions Invade NYC Subway

Forget hashish and other illegal drugs. Behold my brain on blog. Waiting for the train in a downtown station, I notice this mosaic wall art:

My first thought is: PZ Myers! Must send picture to Our Dear Leader!

Eight Reasons You Should Keep Coke Away From Your Vagina

Photo by Thomas Hawk

Just because people in the 1950s and 1960s reached for a Coke bottle after sex to use as a spermicide dispenser doesn't mean soft drink douches are an effective method of birth control.

From researcher Deborah J Anderson [yes, she really put a mix of sperm and soda under the microscope and studied it], here are the top eight reasons why, after sex, the soda goes po (you drink it), not pv (you don't spray it into your vagina):

1. Coke's assassin kung fu is weak against sperm.

2. In the race to the cervix, sperm leave Coke in the dust.

3. Unlike Coke and vodka, Coke and vaginal tissue don't mix well.

4. Neither, for that matter, does Coke and vaginal flora.

Photo by jaime4i

5. Coke or Pepsi, it doesn't matter. Just get off the soda and say No! to douching.

6. Secret potions have no business being anywhere near your genital region. On the other hand, secret spies might be just the thing to have in the vicinity.

7. Just because you've been drinking out of a bottle since you were a kid and/or you're a Pilates goddess, doesn't mean you have the skills to douche effectively with Coke.

8. A vaginal soda spritzer vs. >80 better methods of birth control. Discuss!

Photo by Brent and MariLynn

Increase in U.S. Teen birth Rate Due to Failure of Contraceptive-Focused Sex Ed

If only we could devote more funds and resources to, and drastically increase, federal funding for abstinence-only health "education," we might stand a chance to combat the scourge of medically accurate sex education.

Over-the-Counter Misoprostol (Cytotec)

Photo by SliceofNYC

The New York Times has an interesting article about the overt-the-counter availability of misoprostol (Cytotec) in small, family-run pharmacies in the city:

Amalia Dominguez was 18 and desperate and knew exactly what to ask for at the small, family-run pharmacy in the heart of Washington Heights, the thriving Dominican enclave in northern Manhattan. “I need to bring down my period,” she recalled saying in Spanish, using a euphemism that the pharmacist understood instantly.

It was 12 years ago, but the memory remains vivid: She was handed a packet of pills. They were small and white, $30 for 12. Ms. Dominguez, two or three months pregnant, went to a friend’s apartment and swallowed the pills one by one, washing them down with malta, a molasseslike extract sold in nearly every bodega in the neighborhood.

The cramps began several hours later, doubling Ms. Dominguez over, building and building until, eight and a half hours later, she locked herself in the bathroom and passed a lifeless fetus, which she flushed.

I suspect the number of repro aged women "suffering" from gastric ulcers will skyrocket once abortion is banned.

On a slightly more serious note, one thing that stood out for me in the article is the mention of two women, Amber Abreu, an 18-year-old Dominican immigrant from Massachusetts, and Gabriela Flores, a 22-year-old Mexican migrant farm worker from South Carolina. Both women have been arrested and charged with illegally performing an abortion and sentenced to probation and therapy (?), and 90 days in jail, respectively.

I wasn't familiar with their cases, nor with the fact that "performing an abortion" on yourself and "procuring an improper miscarriage" for yourself are criminal offenses. [In Massachusetts the charge could carry up to seven years in state prison.]

I guess when various zealots propose legislation banning abortion they really are most magnanimous when they include a clause to exempt women who obtain abortions from prosecution.

Dog Zen

The Rule of Dog: A little pick-me-up as you start your week.