Category Archives: Conception

Goodbye, North Dakota and Kansas

North Dakota and Kansas want to call this a human being.


Goodbye road repair. Goodbye police protection.

Goodbye fire fighters and robbery detection.

Goodbye schools, goodbye traffic rules.

Goodbye licensed cabs. Goodbye DNA labs.

And goodbye to preventive vaccine jabs . . ..



Why, you may ask. Why indeed.


North Dakota’s senate and Kansas’s house of representatives have voted to spend billions on unnecessary criminalization of normal, in fact, healthy and inevitable developmental processes. Which will leave them little money for road repair, etcetera. I’m not sure why the lawyers in their legislative bodies didn’t warn them.


What? You hear them squawk.


Well, didn’t you, ND and KS legislators? Didn’t you vote to make it law in your state that a fertilized egg is a person? You did, right? I have the articles about it right here and here.


Oh, that, you murmur. No big deal. Protection, yeah, that’s it, protection.


Whoa, hold on. If a fertilized egg is a person, and if it somehow fails to complete the nine-month journey to birth, that means – of course it does – homicide and potential murder. Right?


Follow me down this slippery slope you’ve created.


In order to determine that there is, in your view, a human in existence, you will need to test – on a daily if not hourly basis – every female child or adult of childbearing age in your state. Even those visiting for seminars and conferences, or celebrating Grandma’s 60th birthday. That means every female between . . . oh, let’s play safe and call it from eight years old to 60. Oops, that means Grandma, too, but of course in order to catch outliers, you need to be generous with your terms.


So somehow, every day, every female from third-grade to five-years-from-Medicare will need to take some sort of test (blood? saliva? pheromones?) to determine whether she’s carrying a human being within her.


If she is, you have to follow her. Medically, of course, unless you really want to pay officers to shadow tweens to determine whether they’re hitting that tennis ball just a tad too hard.


And if that fertilized egg – sorry, human being – fails to thrive? If a spontaneous abortion, AKA miscarriage, occurs, as it does in what reputable medical researchers estimate is at least one-third of pregnancies? Even though miscarriage is nature’s way of making sure fertilized eggs with faulty genetics don’t continue?


Well, hell. You’re going to have to use the rest of your taxes, beyond what you’ve already invested in surveillance and testing, to investigate the potential criminality of the erstwhile pregnant citizen. Was it a planned abortion? Was it “accidental”? I put that word in quotes because you will need to, as well. As every good 19th-century gynecologist knows, miscarriages happen for a variety of reasons: climbing stairs; riding a horse astride; sex with one’s husband, and so on. Add to those the possibility of miscarrying on a flight to ND/KS, or perhaps working long hours while teaching school. Wait, there will be no schools, you won’t be able to afford them. So much the better. That will force everyone to homeschool their children. Or, you know, not.


If the investigation determines that the pregnant citizen may have been at fault for taking a swim in a brisk lake?


Out comes the grand jury. The indictment. Incarceration (her children will just have to get along without their mom, her husband without his wife) and trial. With a guilty verdict, jail or prison. Again, the children will suffer, but what do you care?


You’ve just jailed a woman guilty of nothing but possessing a human body which God has designed to rid itself of some genetic errors.


Naturally, you’ll have to let violent criminals out of prison early in order to make room for citizens who have done nothing wrong.


Also, you’ve bankrupted your state and made it unlikely to be selected as the destination for national and regional conferences and tourism.


So what! You’ve declared your interest. You’ve shown you support children. From conception to birth, anyway, the most important months, and that’s what counts.


Until a member of your family is pregnant, or hit by a driver running a red light. Oh, dear . . ..


Goodbye traffic light maintenance.

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Filed under Birth control, Conception, Contraceptive, Family, Harassment, Health, Law, Miscarriage, Misogyny, Personhood, Pregnancy, Prison, Surveillance, War against women

Misusing Medicine


An Ethiopian woman, a Jewish woman


You probably won’t like this one bit. Indeed, I gasped.


First, a bit of Israeli history. Not long after modern Israel was first formed in 1948, the Law of Return was established. That doctrine held that, no matter where in the world Jews are born or located, they have the right to “return” to Israel, the birthplace of their ancestors, and take their place among Israeli citizens. In 1970 the law was broadened to include the spouses of Jews, as well as people with Jewish ancestry. That means that Jews from many nations now live near the Mediterranean, in one of the most politically volatile regions on earth, as part of what is often described as “the only democracy in the Middle East”.


Almost all Israelis are Caucasian, white, simply because few emigrated into Asia or Africa and bred with local peoples there.


There are, however, a number of Jews from East Africa, just across the Red Sea from Yemen. Known as “Beta Israel” (house of Israel), the communities lived in small villages and kept up – with varying degrees of fidelity due to ignorance or pressure from surrounding Muslims and Christians – the practice of Judaism. These days, not quite 2% of the Israeli population was either born in Ethiopia or is the child of an Ethiopian-born Jew.


Controversial 2002 examination of DNA – the technology for which was unavailable at the time of the Ethiopians’ acceptance to Israel – indicated that their population was unrelated to Levantine ancestors, and similar to other, non-Jewish Ethiopians. Those results made some Israelis nervous. More recent DNA research found in 2012 that the study population did possess some ancient Jewish ancestry – which would account for their having no concept of Hannukah (which remembers events that occurred only after their ancestors had settled in Ethiopia 2000 years ago).


To some Israelis, however, it seems that the Ethiopian Jews are a little less Jewish than they ought to be.


Last year, several people noted that the Ethiopian Jewish birthrate had plummeted to fifty percent of its former range. While some of the drop might be explained by the social pressures of life in Israel – where, with the exception of the ultra-Orthodox, families tend to be small – 50% seemed too dramatic to be explained away by mere peer pressure. Several reporters and videographers got started, interviewing women in Ethiopia, at their initial Judaic camp; then in the central camp at Addis Ababa, whence they would journey to Israel; and finally, in Israel itself.


What they found is that, without notification – or indeed permission – women of childbearing age, initially threatened with “difficulties” in being processed for Israel if they had many children, were injected four times each year with Depo-Provera, a powerful contraceptive.


Two days ago, for the first time, the pressured Israeli government admitted that those assaults were made by medical workers who knew perfectly well what they were doing, yet misled the women they injected.


The Israeli Health Ministry has order gynecologists to stop the practice, but it has not yet declared sanctions against the physicians committing malpractice with such racist implications – implications that bring to mind WWII-era practices.


According to the Independent, “Last year, the Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, who also holds the health portfolio [emphasis mine], warned that illegal immigrants from Africa ‘threaten our existence as a Jewish and democratic state’.


Well, only if they’re illegal, surely.


These were not illegal immigrants. They had been vetted and approved for Return well before making the journey to Tel Aviv. To knowingly assault them, disregarding their protests, in an attempt to restrict their fertility – when other groups are not similarly restricted – is an act of immense hubris and scathing offensiveness.


That is a heavy pain footprint.

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Filed under Birth control, Conception, Contraceptive, Depo-Provera, Ethiopia, Ethiopian Jews, Eugenics, Infertility, Israel, Misogyny, Netanyahu, Pain, Pain footprint, Pregnancy, War against women, World War II

Out of Touch, Out to Lunch

So why do they think they get to say?


It doesn’t much matter which side of the Atlantic you’re on. If you’re a woman in the UK or the US this week, you’ve been thrown under the bus.


In the US, a 60-something Missouri man running for the US Senate, Todd Akin, has put forth the most horrendous, ignorant tripe. He believes, it appears, that some rapes are “legitimate”, some rapes are not. And that women have a mysterious system enabling them to “shut down” their reproduction if they don’t want a particular man’s sperm to fertilize their eggs.


Number one. Rape is rape. It’s the entrance of someone else’s body into one’s own, without consent. Just as home invasion is the entrance into one’s abode by someone who does not have permission.


And, yes, that means each and every time. Over in the UK, some men are calling what Julian Assange (the Swedish Wikileaks guy – and you can admire Wikileaks without admiring Assange’s sexual behavior) is alleged to have done “bad sexual etiquette” but hardly rape. This, because he entered a woman’s body while she was asleep.


Look, why is this so hard for men to understand? You want to enter someone’s body, you ask. The other person needs to be alert enough, sober enough, old enough, to make an informed decision. After that, if s/he says yes, that “yes” holds for that particular time, but it doesn’t give you carte blanche to re-insert ad infinitum. Especially not when s/he’s not awake.


I believe men know this. They understand it – because when the situation is reversed, when they are the ones whose bodies are being entered, they want the right to say when and how. Oh, they understand, all right. They just don’t like it.


They don’t think they should have to ask each and every time. They believe they should be entitled to free entry if one entry has been permitted. In lots of places (Sweden and Israel, so unlike each other in many ways, are countries where this happens), men think they’re entitled to sex without condoms – leading at least one woman in Israel to give up sex entirely for the duration of her stay. She grew exhausted trying to argue with men who felt entitled to bareback and thereby infect her with more than sperm.


Let’s get this out of the way, too: No woman is able to shut down her reproductive system in order to prevent conception. Would that we were! But no. Akin and his ilk claim they were told this lie by “doctors”. They’re not naming names. But they need to. Because those doctors should be stripped of their licenses to practice medicine, for these falsehoods.


Why did Akin say this? Aside from believing it? Because he’s a Republican, and the GOP is trying to eliminate abortion. So if you can say that raped girls and women cannot conceive – because of an alleged “shutdown” during rape – then you eliminate the need for abortion. Because if a woman is pregnant, she has not been raped. No shutdown, no rape.


This is so false and outrageous it beggars belief. Particularly in 2012, stated by Akin, a member of the House Committee on Science.


You could not make this stuff up.


Some right-wingers are saying, “why are we talking about this, when we have so many problems with the economy?”. Because you right-wingers want people to think this is not happening. Because you want to disguise the GOP stance on abortion. And because this, too, is a problem. It’s a problem of attitudes and beliefs (and in Akin’s case, raw ignorance) about women, 50% of the adult population.


I’m not a Rudy Giuliani fan at all, but if you know what NYC was like before he as mayor began to attack “small” problems (graffiti; broken windows; guys who splashed suds on your car windshield and then demanded payment to clean it off; etc.), you know that attention to small problems means you prevent larger ones.


Even if attitudes toward rape were “small” — they aren’t, they go to the heart of what constitutes bodily integrity, just as attitudes toward burglary and home invasion go to the heart of what constitutes integrity of one’s abode — we would do well to pay attention to them simply in order to prevent wholesale destruction of the rights of women.


A story in today’s Telegraph reports that in the UK, 11% of rape complaints are simply “written off” and ignored. That’s 1 out of 9. Not investigated at all, 11%.


Compare that to allegations of other UK crimes, not investigated:

2% of reported burglaries

3% of drugs complaints

5% of robberies

6% of non-sexual assaults.


If you experience a sexual assault in the UK, therefore, your protest to the police is twice as likely to be ignored as if you were simply knocked on the head – especially since head-bashing can occur to men as well as women, but women are subjected to rape in far higher numbers than grown men. I wonder what the US statistics on ignoring rape are?


That’s why we need to pay attention to attitudes and beliefs. They direct one’s behavior. So, if Akin continues in his quest for a seat in the Senate – he’s declared himself ready to “rush to the gunfire” – we need to heap scorn on him. (It’s simple. This is the man who declared John Paul Jones, who died in 1792, an “old friend” of his.) Because it’s not just his beliefs in falsehoods. It’s not just that he stubbornly refuses to accept that females have the same right to bodily integrity as males.


It’s that he wants to turn his worldview into the accepted American worldview.


Which would be a slap in the face of civilization.

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Filed under Abortion, Conception, Contraceptive, Domestic terrorism, England, English, GOP, Harassment, Julian Assange, Law, Misogyny, Rape, Rape is torture, Rapist as parasite, Science, Sexual assault, Todd Akin, War against women, Wikileaks