Saturday, April 15, 2006

The Look
One of the many, many obstacles right-wingers are trying to put in the way of abortion is federal legislation mandating that women be told that the fetus will suffer pain when it's aborted. Like a lot of right-wing "science," this supposition is made up of about one-third misinterpretation of the facts, one-third wishful thinking, and one-third arrant bullshit. Actually trying to find out whether what they believe is true would take too much time. Plus they might also find out that they're wrong, and what good would that do them?

They're wrong.

Over at Pharyngula, P.Z. Myers reports on a medical journal article that examines the concept of fetal pain. The article is not necessarily as definitive as it could be. Some of the commenters point out that the author is unclear about the distinction between feeling pain and being able to remember it. However, it seems clear nevertheless that the image the anti-abortion crowd wants to implant in women, dating back to the Reagan-era movie The Silent Scream, of a fetus reacting to being aborted, is politically convenient melodrama and not scientific fact.

Quote of the Day: Actually a couple of paragraphs from Molly Ivins, who starts her latest column talking about the administration's retrofitting of the lie about the mobile weapons labs, but then gets into the immigration demonstrations of the past few weeks.
There are just some things I know from living in Texas all my life. One is, don't bother to build a fence. Two is, if you want to stop illegal immigrants, stop the people who hire them -- quit punishing people who come because there are jobs. Three, this border has always been porous, and it has always worked to the advantage of the United States.

If you want to do the smart thing and look for a long-term solution, try fixing NAFTA and helping with economic development in Mexico. Meanwhile, I could do without the drivel about how these people are so different. Of course they're not. Try getting out a little more.
Immigrants must be different from us because they look do different and sound so different. Fetuses must be the same as us because they look so much the same. The older I get, the more convinced I become that the single greatest truth in life is that you can't trust the way things look.

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