Tag Archives: standing your ground

Aff’s Opinion Part 2

Shadow’s Note: I occasionally tell Aff he should write something on the blog, because he’s an entertaining and hilarious opinion writer. He keeps saying that he’s likely to piss off everyone, including my friends. I know my friends. They’ll probably be laughing right along with me. If it helps, imagine this in the voice of a very sarcastic Lawrence Fishburne crossed with Dr. House.

 

So, the last time I wrote anything for Shadow to post was about gun control, which probably  irritated some people. Not to worry, for I have learned my lesson and I will now write about far less controversial things.

Item One: Racism & Why I hate the Internet

This might sound odd from somebody who uses a computer on a near 24/7 basis to browse said Internet, but it’s done a world of harm. It would have been far better if it was just that weird place which Hatsune Miku came from, but we’ve got no such luck.
For a very long time, Australia absorbed the better part of foreign cultures and concepts via an elegant process which took time.

Turns out, most of this happened in the late ninety/early 2000s period. A lot of different cultures were moving into various areas of Australia – Adelaide, South Australia being no exception.

As I was growing up, I was thrown into a Preschool class with a bunch of other kids. Some of them were Asian. Some were African. Some were Aboriginal. I realise this now, of course. But at the time I didn’t know. Nor did I care. Nor did anyone else. We were all just kids.

No attempts were made to classify any of them as different, or disadvantaged, or people we should work harder to include or people we should exclude. When I got into a punch up with one of the kids, it was because I hated the little bastard for the day because he stole my Banana or something. If we were kicking a ball around, it was because it was some other kid to kick a ball around with. This happened indiscriminately, without any concern for what race that kid was. Because it didn’t matter.

Adelaide remained like this for the entire duration of my school life. I went through Primary and High School without ever noticing or caring what race any of the kids were. It didn’t matter. Nobody else cared, either. If there was racism present at my school, it must have been buried so deeply that nobody would have said anything – and the groups of kids that turned up for events, LAN parties, or social trips to Salisbury were always mixed completely at random.

Not because we were told to. It just happened naturally. And my friends weren’t the only ones – this was a common occurrence. Nobody cared.

Then came the Internet, and problems from other countries started being communicated to Australians in real time. People felt strongly about these issues, and wanted to do something about them. Issues in other places.

So they began to campaign against issues that didn’t exist here. Loudly. Angrily. And their righteous campaigns to prevent racism only served to make some people feel different when they hadn’t before!

The very attempt to right a wrong (which hadn’t existed in that location – at least not on any major scale) caused the problem!

Fantastic work. Brilliant. Top notch.

Fortunately, it didn’t work that well. As someone who has lived extensively in three states of Australia, I can tell you it’s still pretty kick back. I don’t believe racism has a huge hold here, and I’m hoping it stays that way.

I’m sure the Internet is also guilty of damaging other countries in the same way. My guess is that cities globally vary enough that problems in one area can spread to another via the Internet even if the problem wasn’t even remotely possible in the other location previously.
Want to treat everyone equally? Just do nothing different. Don’t force ‘awareness’ or ‘educational programs’ on people to highlight the differences. That’s how you amplify something into a problem, instead of avoiding it becoming a problem.

 

Item Two: Religion

As most of you have likely figured out, Shadow has a religion. She believes in spirits and what not. I don’t. You might be asking how we co-exist given the fact that most Atheists can’t enter a public place without telling everyone within earshot while wearing a smugly superior look that resembles the kind of leer you would see on the face of a convicted paedophile.

I don’t believe in a God. I also don’t believe in spirits. I do however, believe in History. There’s these things we have called records, which document stuff that happened previously. It’s really quite neat – and some of it you can even find on the previously-mentioned awful Internet.

What we now loosely and somewhat inaccurately refer to as Free Western Culture stems from the family values and concepts that arose from Christian Faiths. In fact, the very fact that Atheists can exist without prosecution is because of Christianity. Don’t believe it? Go look up how well Atheists did in the presence of many other belief systems, you may find it some fiery reading.

Here’s a great thing from Christianity you can enjoy as an Atheist today; the concept of education for the common-folk was one born out of the necessity of being able to teach people what was inside the Bible. Granted, you may not see this as being particularly cool as it is promoting a belief system – however, giving people literacy led towards other great gifts and a more general education. Do you know how to read this post? Do you know how to write something slandering Christians? Congratulations, you can probably thank them for it.

While it is true that Atheists may suffer some discrimination in the modern era, it is completely out of proportion compared to the discrimination that Atheists appear to exclusively focus on Christianity. You can generally live in a Christian country without worrying about being persecuted because you don’t turn up to Church – in fact, most Christians seem pretty lazy on that score too, so who would know anyway? There are also laws – derived from the concept under the Bible that all Humans are created equal in the image of God (or some such) in most Christian countries that protect your rights to pretty much believe what you want.

So what’s up with Atheists attacking Christian/Catholic beliefs at every opportunity?
Now, some of you may be thinking – hey, okay so it was useful. But now it’s not. We should stop with this fairytale nonsense, right? Where’s the harm?

This is the part where the Atheist part of me – the one who isn’t worried about curse words – would like to call you a fucking idiot.

Let’s say you succeed, and Christianity is gone. Great success, celebrate with some alcohol.

Oh wait, you probably can’t. The removal of Christianity isn’t going to instantly turn everything over to a religion-free society. It’s more likely to remove the protections that Christianity and its influence on culture provides that allow you to reject religion – next thing you know you’re in an Islamic country… and uh, you don’t want to live there as an Atheist.

You think it’s obnoxious that someone wants to give blessing before they eat? In Islamic scripture, you cannot change religion or become atheist – denying Islam and becoming an apostate is punishable by death for males and imprisonment for women (and what happens to the women mean they are probably getting the worst part of the deal). If you’re an Atheist and think you can be as brutal with Islam as you are with Christianity, try taking a visit to Afghanistan, Malaysia, or Saudi Arabia. There, you can be executed for publicly advocating Atheism – something that will never happen to you in a Christian country.

But hey, it might be a nice trip for you. And at the very least, it will spare me from seeing another one of those blasted banner adverts advocating how we should kill of Christianity and shoot ourselves in the proverbial foot.

Don’t wanna believe in God? Fine, you don’t have to. I don’t either. And that’s my right – one protected by the laws of Australia and most (not all) other Christian-founded countries.

Don’t like others believing in God? Okay, explain why? Why does it matter to you in the slightest. Does it affect you? No. Will it affect your children? No. You can opt out of every religious study class available in Australian public schools. Christianity might be loud during Easter and Christmas, but if you’re offended by a few chocolate eggs and the idea that people will give each other gifts, perhaps you’re actually just a horrible bastard.

And hey, that’s cool too – but before you embark on your heroic campaign to spend thousands on billboards and drive Christianity out of the country, maybe you should think about what will replace it when that happens because it most likely won’t be the peaceful universal Atheism you seem to believe.

Because hey, it’s cool we’re not afraid of God. In fact, there’s nobody to judge our actions in this world but ourselves. And that’s also a solid point – we are responsible for our actions. Which means we are also responsible if we act like total dicks to one another, and ruin everyone else’s day. We’d also have nobody to blame but ourselves if the great plan backfired and we all ended up on some Islamic chopping block in the UAE. So cut this self-destructive shit out, you’ll destroy all of us right along with your intended target.

Don’t bite the hand that protects you.

Item Three: Abortion

I was going to stop above, but I figured I had one more group of people to quickly piss off.
I’m not really pro-life. I’m also not really pro-choice. I’m pro-personal responsibility.

Abortion is a medical procedure with some risk. You can avoid needing this if you either:
a) stop fucking everyone;
or b) use birth control;

As for the “it’s my body” stuff from some women; can you become pregnant via photosynthesis or mitosis? No? There was another person involved?

Sounds like it’s joint decision time!

But hey, abort away. I don’t intend to change anyone’s opinions because I don’t really care too much about this subject – but if you are going to do so, do it at a proper medical centre and not some half-baked clinic.

Otherwise it might not just be the foetus that dies, you might too.


Right, well that’s probably filled my quota for another six months… actually, no – wait. I have one more group I have a gripe with.

Item Four: WordPress

Alright, so I don’t post to Shadows Blog – at all, ever. She has the option of posting things from me on her Blog if she chooses to do so. Under no circumstances do I dictate things that must or must not appear on her web site.

I am the administrator that manages the behind-the-scenes stuff which keeps this site running. I installed the WordPress, and I apply updates or patches as needed to keep it running smoothly. In that effect, I am part of the platform that enables her speech.
WordPress are part of a platform that enable peoples speech as well. That’s what they claim to be, anyway. By forcing the rainbow banner on users via the reader bar, they are going beyond participating in the discussion but forcing their speech on top of the sites that they claim to support free speech on and thus telling them that any other view is wrong.

This is not the place of a speech provider to do. We’re looking at replacing WordPress soon, but until then this post can stand as some glorious irony when I officially state that WordPress gets added to my official list of companies that can get fucked.
If you are a platform or a host to debate, you cannot pick a side in the debate. Then you are no longer providing neutral discussion ground.


Alright, now that’s my quota filled for real. If you aren’t offended yet, let Shadow know and I’ll get right on fixing that.

Aff/Seda, signing off.

This is how you do it

So, recent posts have been complaining about the “Made To Care” method of ‘supporting a cause’ – but I’m pleasantly surprised today by a more considerate method of this from a surprising source.

That link goes to the Australian Government’s informational site on the whole voting thing.

And you know what? I’m okay with that. Why?

Because I have the option of clicking on it. It’s not an obnoxious auto-redirect to pro-gay marriage sites, and the site it links to is the official government site about the matter, which is all that’s important on it. The rest of it is up to the people. Yes, I’m using screenshots because Google’s main homepage is regional and affected by where you are. So, I’m not sure how you’ll see this outside of Australia.

So, kudos to Google for being …oddly upstanding on that. Given Google’s history I’m actually surprised by the low key and neutral presentation, but it’s a pleasant surprise, and appreciated.

Still, I share the same concerns about increasing technological presence and monopoly mentioned here.

===

In related news, this vote is important, not just for whether or not same sex marriage goes through. I think the Australian people have the awareness that this is not just as simple as so many pro SSM advocates make it out to be. In fact, from England is a great example of why it isn’t.

For one thing, since SSM was approved in England, there have been changes and proofs that the No voters have every reason to be validly concerned about a Yes to SSM being the start of a number of erosions to Australian rights, protections and society. After all, it has happened in the US and England – indeed, it’s been declared that ‘Same sex marriage won’t be ‘proper’ until Churches can no longer opt out.’ This is in direct conflict with the usual assurances that there would have been protections that would allow religious groups and people to opt out of ‘participating in SSM’ – but as WordPress.com’s stance and other pro-SSM groups and speakers have shown, “Acceptance Without Exception” is the full end goal – a truly Orwellian aim that seeks to remove any dissent.

It became clear, during this year’s general election, just how militant the LGBT lobby have become, following marriage redefinition. The primary target was Tim Farron, leader of England’s third largest political party, the Liberal Democrats. High-profile journalists had heard that Farron was a practising Christian. In every single interview thereafter, they demanded to know. Did he personally believe homosexual sex to be a sin? He practically begged the commentariat, to allow him to keep his personal faith and legislative convictions separate. For decades, he pointed out, he had out vocally and legislatively supported the LGBT Lobby. Likewise, he had long backed same-sex marriage, voting for it enthusiastically. This simply was no longer enough.

Support isn’t enough. You must march and agree. Example: Michigan Farmer prohibited from selling apples because of his stance against SSM.

Last December, Tennes, who owns the Country Mill Orchard and Cider Mill in Charlotte, wrote a Facebook post explaining his family’s Catholic views on marriage, and how their deeply held beliefs are why his farm won’t host same-sex weddings.

The city’s response — banning him from its farmers market — reminded the former Marine of the time he spent near the border of North Korea. Tennes could see into the country, and it impacted him how people there live their entire lives in fear of the government.

That’s how he felt when he got the letter from East Lansing.

“I felt it in my gut. This isn’t real,” Tennes recalls.“We have freedom of speech in this country.”

Tennes felt especially betrayed that he was being denied rights he fought to defend while serving his country. His wife Bridget is a former Army nurse.

The East Lansing government isn’t backing down. In fact, it broadened the definition of its civil rights ordinance specifically to ensure the couple wouldn’t have access to the farmers market this season. It applied the ordinance to all of a business’ practices: In this case, what the Tennes do on their personal property 22 miles from East Lansing.

“We require everybody to conform their business practices to the East Lansing ordinance in order to use East Lansing property to sell their goods so that is applied to everybody,” says East Lansing Mayor Mark Meadows.

That slippery slope people were worried about isn’t just about ‘who else would then demand the ‘right’ to be married’ – it included things like these. It is becoming increasingly clear that the fight for SSM or against SSM isn’t just about marriage – it’s about who has the right to conduct business, live peacefully, and who is to be granted the protection of law, the ability to have opinions and thoughts, hold that personal life is separate from professional conduct, and how children are to be raised. “Marriage Equality”‘s intrusion into nearly all aspects of our lives is massively under-stated by pro-SSM advocates. The reality is, we weren’t the ones who turned this into a battleground – their advocacy isn’t for equality, it’s for their being placed as having more rights and privileges as the rest of us – because the reality is, homosexuals are still a minority, and a minority should not have power over the majority. Screaming epithets that people who are against it are haters and bigoted adds nothing to the discussion, and indeed, only highlights that people who push hard for SSM are only concerned with their own indulgence and desires, and in fact consider other valid concerns such as the various ones listed above as ‘trivial and unworthy of consideration.’

A survey in Australia held earlier this year gave this result:

a full 59 percent of LGBTI people said they would oppose a legal exemption allowing religious celebrants (priests, pastors, or other ministers) to refuse to marry two men or two women.

Nearly 60 percent of LGBTI Australians said it should be illegal for a pastor to refuse to marry a same-sex couple. But it got worse.

A full 94.3 percent said a church or a religious organization should not be allowed to deny the use of its property for a same-sex wedding. Australia has yet to legalize same-sex marriage. When LGBTI people were asked if they would allow churches to refuse to host same-sex weddings in exchange for making same-sex marriage legal in Australia, a full 90.6 percent still opposed it.

Ultimately it is that attitude of ‘me, me first! Me only!’ that has been a source of great disgust and served to turn people away from support of SSM.

 

A Cloudy Day

The sky over here where I live in Australia is overcast. In the US right now, it’s September 11, but because I’m ‘in the future’ it’s Sept 12. (For the humor-impaired, that’s a mild joke, the bit about being in the future.) Nevertheless it seems more fitting than the blue skies and warmer weather had for my yesterday.

 

Sept 11 has, over time, become a combination of meaning for me. I do remember the horrible day the biggest terrorist attack in the world happened in New York, and the day holds significance for me in that regard. Why wouldn’t it? That was the day our world changed forever. (And yes it did. We have farcical situations like this one that Sarah Hoyt describes, for example, and the more generalised one in her blog post, which goes more into the societal change.) Incredible stories of that day still hit hard, the heroism of United Airlines Flight 93, the willingness of this female pilot, and, for me the lingering horror and tragedy of the Falling Man and the 200 odd who jumped… for me that is the strongest memory of the Twin Tower Terror attack. Flight 93 makes me weep tears of gratitude and pride, a fierce feeling of wanting to honor the people who fought back. The people forced to jump make me weep in sorrow and sympathy…and understanding.

Continue reading

Moral and informed choices

Warning: I talk about abortion, morals, and loss here, so if you think  you can’t handle that, for whatever reason (whether it is triggering to your own loss; you feel it might be judgemental of choice – and it will be, because this is an opinion column – or simply because you don’t want to read about abortion) that’s fine; don’t click the read more as I have put this behind a blog cut. If you do, however, you don’t get to be offended about my opinions.

This is, however, from the perspective of a woman who has lost two babies of her own, through stillbirth and SIDs. This is not a religious opinion either, but a purely factually scientific one which is admittedly against abortion.

Continue reading

YES! ORDERED!!!

So I planned to order the book on the day it got out – except it ended up being completely out of stock on Book Depository, and even looking on Amazon and being willing to pay the exorbitant amount in shipping ‘wrong side of the world, fuckers!’ costs just to get the book …found it was completely out of stock. For a moment, I thought yet again that Milo’s book had been stopped – but a quick look online reassured me and made me cheer at the same time. Milo’s book was simply SOLD OUT~!!!!!!

Good reason to not be able to immediately get it.

I figured I’ll try getting in a while later; and was reminded to check when I saw that Milo-sempai had a new video up. So while I was laughing myself into coughing fits, I checked on BD…

MINE NOW. Well, en route to me. Had to grab it before it went out of stock again, even if I might not have time immediately to read it.

Now I just gotta hope that Monster Hunter: Siege comes out a little later next month so I can save up for it again.

 

edited to add: Got another book I just cannot resist: The Lawdog Files!

Certain Humanity

A common screech I encounter from pro-abortion supporters is that my support for anti-abortion is religious in nature.

This is a vast assumption on their part.

First, I am not against medically necessary abortion; specifically the kind where every other option has been exhausted, and a decision must be made to save the life of the mother. In most of the cases where medically necessary abortion happens, the problems are detected later; and I haven’t heard of ectopic pregnancies that develop outside the womb to survivability. Further, I see medically necessary abortion as a painful tragedy and sympathise with the parents for their loss.

I am specifically against abortion done for convenience, or non medically necessary abortions – the ‘Oh no, I got pregnant, this will get in the way of my plans for life’ type; gender selective abortion of any type, racial abortion, abortion where the woman is pressured or coerced by society/government to go for abortion. I will not deal with the psychological, health and societal reaction or fallout about this in this particular article as it falls outside the specific issue I wish to address.

The victims of rape and incest I reserve, personally, a grey area for. The option I believe, should be available to them without the condemnation of society, as it is a tragedy compounding another trauma. It is a decision that the victim must make herself, and that she be treated gently, with kindness and consideration, and that she be cared for before and after. Whatever decision she makes, I feel support should be given to her as she needs, to help her heal. That said, contrary to the common belief, not all rape victims choose to abort if they end up pregnant. I’m sure a cursory Internet search will result in plenty of stories of both decisions. This is also outside the scope of my article, so I must leave it there for now.

Secondly, my pro-life stance is purely scientific and medical in rationale, not religious in origin. This is the main focus of my post. It is illogical and irrational to declare that someone who is anti-abortion is doing so purely out of emotion, or religious morals. In fact, I may have greater trust in humanity’s technological progress and capability than those who would decry my pro-life stance as ‘unscientific and un-medical.’

To understand my specific reasons for this, I begin with the disclosure that I was born premature; at 7 months (because of severe pre-eclampsia), in the 1980s, at a hospital that did not enjoy a neonatal unit. An incubator had to be brought in from a different hospital, and a chance meeting my mother had with one of the nurses who cared for me about 15 years later on revealed that my birth and subsequent care in the hospital resulted in the establishment of a neonatal ward there after I had gone home to my family. My youngest brother was born prematurely in East Berlin (Yes, before the wall fell) and it was by purest chance that he was saved by his doctor – his umbilical cord had been in the process of strangling him and it was an offhand remark about feeling/tasting something bilious by my mother to the doctor, who was keen to practice his conversational English with a native English speaker that precipitated such a quick rush to the operating room that my mother felt the slice of the knife.

Lastly my youngest son was born premature as well, because of emergency caesarean. So it is safe to say I have personal knowledge and experience in pre-term births.

Now, for as long as I remember, I’ve been reading voraciously, and like many other children of that era I liked reading about nature, ancient history (the basics), the earth, the solar system and so on.  My parents were happy to encourage this and one of my childhood books was a detailed pop up book about, well, human gestation. So I got from there a basic primer in not just human biology and reproduction, but human evolution (from the stages of development of the embryo) and genetics (which explained why children get Mom’s brown hair or Dad’s freckles, for example)- I think I got that particular book around the time my Mom was pregnant with the youngest brother. Before that though, I loved reading encyclopaedias, so I knew the basics of where babies come from.

Because of this, from a very young age I knew that a fertilized human egg cell that is not tampered with nor somehow mutated or magically chimera-ized would not become anything but a human baby. It does not become a dolphin, or a dog, and absent unfortunate circumstances such as ectopic pregnancy, miscarriage or stillbirth or uterine accidents such as umbilical cord strangulation, a fertilised egg cell will develop into a foetus with recognisable human features. I remember being fascinated with the unimaginable scientific wonder of an egg that is no bigger than the period at the end of a sentence growing into a person.  (I went a bit further than that and looked up how Caesareans were done ‘just in case I needed the information.’ I didn’t, thankfully, but I had a rather active imagination even back then.) (Edited to add: Quotations from medical and scientific texts in fact declare that the life cycle of mammals; including humans, begins at fertilisation.)


Thus, the usual arguments of ‘it’s not a baby, it’s just a bunch of cells’ have never held water with me because of my awareness of the human gestational cycle. By the time most women even discover they’re pregnant, the embryo as already implanted, the heart and blood vessels are developing and have begun to pump, the brain is in the process of developing as well. The ‘just a bunch of cells’ stage is before implantation – implantation is the thresh-hold between ‘cells’ and ’embryo.’ By the eighth week, the embryo already is making small movements. Two weeks later, the embryo is no longer an embryo but a foetus, and is called that from that point onward til birth. It has recognisable hands and feet, ears and nose and the jaw is formed, and the foetus is beginning to develop towards being either male or female. At 12 weeks of pregnancy, the face is visibly baby-like.

You are 12 weeks pregnant. (fetal age 10 weeks)

  • The fetus is now about 2.5 inches (6cm) length and weighs about 0.7 ounce (20 g).
  • The feet are almost half an inch (1cm) long.
  • The fetus starts moving spontaneously.
  • The face is beginning to look like a baby’s face.
  • The pancreas is functioning and producing insulin.
  • Fingernails and toenails appear.
  • The baby can suck his thumb, and get hiccups.

12 weeks

From this week you may well be able to hear the baby’s heart beat through a doppler monitor on your tummy. You will notice that the rate is up to 160 a minute, double that of a normal adult.

Your baby now has a chin and a nose and a facial profile. Vocal chords are complete, and the baby can and does sometimes cry silently. The brain is fully formed, and the baby can also feel pain. The fetus may even suck his thumb.

 

 

That puts lie to ‘a bunch of cells that can’t feel pain.’

So it should not surprise anyone that I am quite sickened at the thought that abortion is done up to less than the 24th week of pregnancy. I looked up the procedure, and tearing off the limbs, slicing up the torso and crushing the skull was made worse by the knowledge that this is done with the foetus very much alive; and drugs or chemicals to try kill him or her often haven’t quite worked yet. It is quite an inhuman procedure, and it has been made ‘palatable’ by dehumanising the foetus with the frankly unscientific lies that the foetus ‘doesn’t feel’, is ‘just a bunch of cells’ and ‘is not able to survive at this point of gestation.’

Medical progress is a truly wondrous thing. Before, babies born too early would almost certainly die; but it might surprise most that the first attempts to try keep them alive happened in the 1870s in Paris, after obstetrician Dr. Stéphane Tarnier decided to try using an incubator on human babies to keep them warm and save them from hypothermia after seeing an incubator warming baby chickens. I strongly urge you to read the article I linked. His insistence, and Dr. Couney’s advocacy and medical exhibit – a proof of life demonstration and charitable care – is some truly breath-taking medical history.

Couney never charged parents for the care he provided, which also included rotating shifts of doctors and nurses looking after the babies. According to historian Jeffrey Baker, Couney’s exhibits “offered a standard of technological care not matched in any hospital of the time.”

In a wonderful interview recorded by Storycorps and aired on NPR, a former incubator baby from one of Couney’s exhibits described how fragile she was at birth: “My father said I was so tiny, he could hold me in his hand,” said 95 year-old Lucille Horn, who was born prematurely in 1920 at the shockingly low birth weight of under two pounds. Baby Lucille was given no chance to live by her doctor.

“I couldn’t live on my own, I was too weak to survive … You just died because you didn’t belong in the world.” Horn said. But Horn’s father, who had seen one of Couney’s exhibits on his honeymoon, bundled tiny Lucille up and took her out of the hospital. “I’m taking her to the incubator in Coney Island. The doctor said there’s not a chance in hell that she’ll live, but he said, ‘But she’s alive now,’ and he hailed a cab and took me to Dr. Couney’s exhibit, and that’s where I stayed for about six months.”

Because of those men, babies who would’ve otherwise died didn’t, and their parents were given hope that their tiny baby would live. Medical progress, resulting in life that would otherwise been lost, now taken for granted today. As technology advanced, the earlier and earlier preterm babies could survive, until a baby born at 23-24 weeks could survive now. That ’24 week line was determined by available technology.

According to the latest figures released by the Office for National Statistics in 2011, 80 per cent of babies born extremely prematurely survived. ‘We found that babies born at 27, 28, 29 weeks, which had really high mortality rates when I was doing the first study, are now doing well and living normal lives,’ Prof Neil Marlow, a consultant neonatologist at University College London Hospital and one of the authors of the EPICure studies, says.

Not only are more premature babies surviving, but more are being born. Along with a steady rise in birth rates, there are increasing numbers of older mothers and those using fertility treatments – two groups of women who are more likely to have premature babies. Now, according to data from 2011, those born alive at 27 weeks have an 87 per cent chance of surviving, at 28 weeks it is 92 per cent and at 29 weeks, 95 per cent. It means that doctors are working on tinier babies, typically with more complications, than ever before.

‘The smallest baby I ever treated was called Jessica and she weighed 460g [1lb] at birth,’ Dr Smith says. ‘This baby was born and, actually, she had good lung function, probably because of the stress of the birth – stress produces steroids that have a lung-maturing effect on a baby. But the day after the birth her bowel had perforated; that’s quite a common problem with premature babies. She went into surgery and the surgeons took out a big lump of colon that had infarcted [the tissue had died]. But she came through and did well – I’ve got a photograph of a very happy-looking toddler.’

Those are the facts. And the fact is, the viability line can and will be pushed further and further back. Studies have found that 1 in 4 babies born at 22 weeks can now survive if given active treatment.

And therein lies the key issue about the ‘viability’ argument that pro-abortionists try to use. They cling to the ‘viability’ date as if, right before that calendar day change, the foetus was not human, just inanimate ‘cells’, the ‘nonhuman thing’ cannot survive, and should not be seen as human so that the murder of an otherwise healthy, vulnerable and innocent human being is socially palatable and not to be condemned. Yes, there are still discussions and debates, but the simple reality is this:

‘Viability’ is determined by the technology available to us, thus to arbitrarily declare that X gestation date = ‘nonhuman, not worth saving, acceptably abort-able’ is an unscientific and irrational position to hold, as well as ethically inconsistent. Premature babies that would have died just over a hundred years ago now regularly survive. Babies thought for the last twenty years to be ‘low survivability rate’ at 22 weeks are now possible of being saved.

What new medical technologies and advancements could happen in yet another twenty might push back the viability date solidly at 22 weeks – or even lower. We might even see the development of artificial ‘raising cradles’ where an infant born pre-term could be placed in a pod that mimics the womb environment, so we might see the aided viability of even younger and younger foetuses that would prevent their having developmental impairments, until perhaps some day, if medical science, human biochemical understanding and bio-tech, and mechanical technology progress to that point where fully artificial wombs could be what carries future generations to term. Granted, this speculative future I am describing is pure conjecture at this point, but consider this other simple truth and reality:

To the doctors Tarnier and Couney, the ability we currently have to keep 23 week old babies alive makes our current technology positively miraculous to them if they could see it now.

To take the position of ‘that’s crap and will never happen, you’re a delusional dreamer’ reveals a position that is more profoundly unscientific, and anti-medical, as well as illogical, than ‘religious’ reasons for being anti-abortion.

When Rights Don’t Trump Individual Safety.

This post was originally meant to be a comment over at Nicki’s The Liberty Zone. It’s a response to how a state over in the US has ruled that bathrooms must be male or female only. The discussion is about rights and government over-reach, and for the most part I agree with Nicki’s post, that a business should be allowed to decide whether or not they will accommodate transgender people being allowed to go into the restroom as the gender they identify as. But as Nicki said, this is not a simple question at all, and from my own limited observations, it is slowly escalating outside of the seemingly innocuous question of bathroom access.
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