Monday, May 23, 2011

Moment of misCONCEPTION

We laugh at failed apocalyptic predictions, like those made by Harold Camping and "Family Radio" over the weekend. However, many people fail to connect the dots about his other looney beliefs. Why was it called "Family Radio". One reason is because they do not believe in contraception or abortion, even if the latter would save the life of the mother. That is apparently a family value. There was a failed effort in the US by the religious extremist party known as Republicans, to "Defund Planned Parenthood". People like Senator Kyl claimed that "well over 90 percent of what Planned Parenthood does" is provide abortions, when the actual figure that every reputable source quoted was 3%. It is this kind of misinformation which fuels these religious extremists and emboldens them to attempt to terrorize the populace with other phony claims, such as the ridiculous notion that the world was going to end on May 21st, 2011. I wonder if John Kyl received any donations from Family Radio or Harold Camping.

These days, only the lunatic fringe believes that contraception is murder, but it didn't used to be that way. This same lunatic fringe now maintains this fiction that there is a "moment of conception", which is scientifically false. To begin with, it is *fertilization*, not conception, and it does not happen in a "moment". It takes place over a considerable period of hours and days. However, these same people with their John Kyl and Harold Camping style misinformation want to insist that a fertilized, single-celled organism, which has no brain or capacity for feeling pain is the equivalent of a fully-born human baby. Here's a 90% figure that is true. 90% percent of abortions happen before the first trimester. Most abortions are more like contraception than the ridiculous fantasies of Kyl and Camping. They stop the development of a pregnancy at such an early stage that nothing significantly human has even developed. The christian doctrine of pre-formism used to maintain that the sperm contained a fully formed, miniature human being, just ready to be planted in a woman's soil, where it could grow into a larger baby. The reality is that nothing like this actually happens. It takes time to build a human, like it takes time to build a house and if you stop building the house after the first few 2x4s have been nailed together, it was never really a house to begin with. It might have been a house if one continued building, but we can't say it was a house already once the first nail touched the first piece of wood, even if the builder had a blueprint for a house in mind when he started hammering.

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