June 21, 2012
Rejected comment

One fun thing about working at a site, not just writing for it, is you get to see the reader comments that come in but aren’tpublished. Here’s a lengthy tome on a piece of mine from last month, on anti-abortion protesters in Ohio and their belief that anything contradictory to biblical law is, in fact, unconstitutional.

I suspect that most of the founding fathers more or less thought that life began at the moment of ejaculation.

Spermatozoa was discovered by Anton van Leewenhoek and Johan Ham in 1627, but how it worked was a mystery for another couple of centuries or so. Not until 1875 did Oscar Hertwig conclusively demonstrate, with a handy sea urchin, “that the sperm head fused with the female genetic material inside the egg to form the nucleus of a new being.” http://www.seductionlabs.org/2007/04/02/a-brief-history-of-sperm/

To a spermist, the womb merely served the the teeny tiny embryo it was given, so a child would be the property of its father. I think that was generally the Biblical view as well, with the “seed” being conceptualized as an unformed child. Conception was generally thought, I think, to have happened when the womb accepted the man’s unformed life and began to form it, rather than having rejected it. Bad womb, bad bad womb… for rejecting a man’s seed.

The mammalian egg wasn’t confirmed by the Estonian scientist, Karl Ernst von Baer, until 1827, I think.

So…when the country was founded, the founding fathers were ignorant of the very most basic scientific facts of conception.

Has Christianity ever come up with a satisfactory theology of the human ovum and the fusion of male and female genetic material? If there was one leveler of the sexes towards greater equality, I would think it would be that rather recently established fact.

In any case, life obviously began eons ago and not at any “moment” in the process of conception. Processes may have arbitrarily designated milestones, so to speak, but there could not be a “moment” when conception happens, as every
“moment” in the deep time since life appeared on earth is necessary for every other moment. Conception continues life, not creates it anew. I’m not even a new being, really, as I have the genetic material of both my mother and father. I’m not really a new being, I’m my parent’s son. The odds that I exist at all, considering the millions of sperm and egg combinations, are astronomical…but if I didn’t happen, another child like would have come along…and four followed me into the sunlight.

And…that’s not the only process which can continues life for another turn of the globe, though it is for the continuance of mammalian Homo Sapiens Sapiens life…. for the time being.

Who has that much time on their hands?!

June 14, 2012
Wouldn’t this be something…

A legislator is calling for a sex strike, due to the worst anti-abortion bill in the nation up for consideration in Michigan right now. 
5 reasons why Michigan’s bill is THE WORST. 

Wouldn’t this be something…


A legislator is calling for a sex strike, due to the worst anti-abortion bill in the nation up for consideration in Michigan right now. 

5 reasons why Michigan’s bill is THE WORST

(via twesg)

May 24, 2012
Legislating Holy Scripture in Ohio >> The Revealer

My latest article for The Revealer:

Ohio just keeps embarrassing the buckeye out of me (and that’s only on Jezebel). I can’t get a break. This week, however, it’s more of a middling sigh-and-shake-my-head feeling than an outright pounding in my temples.

The culprit? Anti-abortion demonstrators protesting at the state Capitol. What are they protesting? The fact that the Republican-controlled state Senate won’t consider a measure effectively banning all abortion once a fetal heartbeat can be detected.

No, you read that correctly. Republican-controlled. Won’t pass. Fetal heartbeat abortion ban.

Read the full article here.

March 16, 2012
"We have no choice."

I read this story last night and then cried myself to sleep. Fuck the War On Women, fuck the culture wars. This has to stop, because it’s not about politics, and it sure as hell isn’t about religious freedom. It’s about traumatizing women who are already in a traumatic situation, and it is horrifying and profoundly, terribly sad.

The Right Not To Know | One Woman’s Ordeal with Texas’ New Sonogram Law

The Texas Observer | 15 March 2012

 Halfway through my pregnancy, I learned that my baby was ill. Profoundly so. My doctor gave us the news kindly, but still, my husband and I weren’t prepared. Just a few minutes earlier, we’d been smiling giddily at fellow expectant parents as we waited for the doctor to see us. In a sonography room smelling faintly of lemongrass, I’d just had gel rubbed on my stomach, just seen blots on the screen become tiny hands. For a brief, exultant moment, we’d seen our son—a brother for our 2-year-old girl.

She started with an apology, saying that despite being responsible for both my baby’s care and my own, she couldn’t take us to the final stop. The hospital with which she’s affiliated is Catholic and doesn’t allow abortion. It felt like a physical blow to hear that word, abortion, in the context of our much-wanted child. Abortion is a topic that never seemed relevant to me; it was something we read about in the news or talked about politically; it always remained at a safe distance. Yet now its ugly fist was hammering on my chest.

Read the full story here. Trust me, it’s worth it.

March 14, 2012
New Oklahoma Law Will Put Details Of All Abortions Online

File under WHERE THE HELL AM I cuz it sure don’t feel like home.

Via Jezebel: new Oklahoma law will require the details of every abortion to be posted on a public website. Proponents say this will prevent abortion — apparently by shaming and burdening women and doctors.

The law (which you can look at here — it’s HR 1595) mandates that a 34-item questionnaire be filled out by abortion providers for each procedure.

Broadsheet’s Lynn Harris writes,

According to proponents of the law, this extensive abortion data — which will include the reason the procedure was sought — will help health officials prevent future abortions. Yeah, I can see that. Because the requirement itself would scare the shit out of me.

Yea. Read the rest of the article.

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