Wednesday, November 10, 2004

 

The War on Science

Laura Meckler of the AP reports today that women considering abortions in Texas, Louisiana, and Kansas are given information and have to sign a form indicating that they've been told that having an abortion could increase their risk of breast cancer. Legislation that would put this system in place has been introduced in 14 other states. The only problem? The medical research does not back it up.
More than a year ago, a panel of scientists convened by the National Cancer Institute reviewed available data and concluded there is no link. A scientific review in the Lancet, a British medical journal, came to the same conclusion, questioning the methodology in a few studies that have suggested a link.
This is absolutely unconscionable. Can you imagine some other medical procedure where the state would be allowed to force you to sign a form that gave false medical information for over a year after the information was shown to be false? To add insult to injury, the argument that proponents of this bullshit is that it is needed to "inform" the women of the consequences of their decision.
"We're going to continue to educate the public about this," said Karen Malec, president of the Coalition on Abortion/Breast Cancer, an anti-abortion group.
Umm... not really. It seems that you are going to continue to miseducate the public about this - claiming a link that no medical evidence suggests exists.
The brochures still in circulation tell women the issue "needs further study."
That is absolutely ridiculous. I could claim that eating coconuts causes cancer. And maybe there is no credible evidence that suggests this. And maybe there have been medical studies that suggest that, actually, there is no link. Does it "need further study"? Well, maybe further study is worthwhile, but it would be absolutely irresponsible of me to claim that it was true and that I was only waiting on "further study" to prove me right (considering that further study may never prove me right).
"They can do further research on their own and determine which of those studies they should put most attention on," said Sharon Watson, spokeswoman for the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. "We're just trying to provide all the information it's possible to provide."
Oh, you better believe I am calling bullshit on this. First of all, it should not be up to a patient to do his or her own medical research. That is ridiculous. It is not a bad idea for a patient to do a little bit of looking into what he or she is going to have done to them. But the responsibility to provide the patient with the best medical information is really up to the medical professionals. And the duty of the state is not to provide "all the information it's possible to provide" but THE BEST information that it's possible to provide. This goes to the heart of this same ridiculous line of "balance" (in the media, in academia, in science, etc.). Should we be taught that the sun revolves around the earth simply because there exists a theory that supposes this? Should we all be taught about Nature's Harmonic Simultaneous 4-Day Time Cube simply because this stuff exists? It's not about providing "all the information" it's about providing the best information. PERIOD. When it comes to a person's medical health, that's the issue. Unbelievable.

Comments:
LOL. Well I guess you know now how we feel when you guys say things like "it's under investigation" or "questions have been raised" or even that the country is divided by the simple indication that half of you have decided to object to everything.

Listen, I'm for abortion for each and every reason you claim to need them. I just don't see even a tenth of a percent of them being accompanied by criminal rape charges or even approximating the anomaly of retardation as a possibility. There's an average drive of 9 miles from anywhere in the US to get an abortion. You have to drive 36 to get a boob job.

Who was the first person to ask, "Is there anyway I can kill it?" When did it become so important for women to line up by the thousands for this ability? How can you even ask for this so justifiably. I have seen college girls literally crying their eyes out at the prospect that they could lose this ability to kill their would-be children. As if condoms and diaphrams and birth control don't even exist. As if they really think we would deny them one if they truly got raped by a stranger in the street. It's just not why they're happening. I don't even believe in God and this one is so intuitively obvious, I just don't know why it isn't an affront to every fiber of decent person's being. Just because they can't plea for themselves, and if they could, their own mother wouldn't listen. It's terrible. So you like to party. You like to drink. You like to either lose consciousness and claim date rape or sleep with a stranger. And even then there's a lot of precautions you can take. At least find out if you screwed up and test yourself so you can use RU486 or something, this 8,9,10 weeks and beyond crap has gotta stop. Quit making the kids pay for it, it's not just a procedure... you've created something, cherish it.
 
1) I don't remember ever claiming to need an abortion.

2) Don't tell me that claiming something opposite of what medical studies have indicated is the same as saying that "questions have been raised." It would be one thing if the signature was required on a paper that said "No link has been proven to exist between abortion and breast cancer, but research is continuing." It's completely another to have somebody sign a paper that says there IS a link (when the research has indicated otherwise) and then, in defense, claim that the patient can do the research themselves if they want to find out whether this is true or not.
 
I am with alex completely on this one...it seems that clevercynic's point is made through what he thinks is a clever thrust/riposte scenario, where you claim you support something in principle, but then deride it in reality. that's just middle school stupidity if you ask me. alex's point was that you should never be forced to digest information that is tacitly untrue - and in this case, though it is not entirely untrue, the state should not force a particular idea upon it's wards. That is nazism at its finest - consider the tobacco companies doing the exact same thing in order to very slightly influence their consumers. If you are willing to look past how you feel on a particular issue and simply digest it as a question of rights (not right or wrong, but rights) then a simmering outrage seems to make sense.

-Rich
 
thanks rich! for once i am actually glad to have you in my corner. (just kidding, of course)
 
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