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Can I predict issues or what? 2006 July 28

Posted by Lily in News and politics.
7 comments

So Michigan is trying to pass a set of bills that would make abortion clinics determine whether a woman was “coerced” into having an abortion.

I have to scamper out the door, but dig up my last post on the subject, and you’ll smell what I’m stepping in.

EDIT: http://www.legislature.mi.gov/documents/2005-2006/billengrossed/House/htm/2006-HEBH-5882.htm

“Coercion” includes saying and doing things that men have a right to say and to do, most notably the right to move out and file for divorce if she continues the pregnancy.

If it’s really about “domestic abuse,” why include those provisions?

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Alcoholics Anonymous 2006 July 28

Posted by Lily in Articles, News and politics, Rants.
1 comment so far

See? I don’t make up the statistics I prattle on about: it just takes the media a while to catch up to me.

Also, compare the New York Times article with the onse from News Medical Net and Health Day.

The shoddy reporting, bias, and complete misunderstanding of what the study is actually about is so infuriating I don’t even know where to start. Oh, wait, I do.

1. THE STUDY WAS COMPARING AA’S EFFICACY TO OTHER PROGRAMS, YOU FUCKING MORONS — NOT TO NO TREATMENT. The only time it’s consistently the best option is if you compare it to nothing.

2. I really like how these articles — and NYT’s article in specific — goes out of its way to apologize for AA. And by “like” I mean “am disturbed by.” If AA worked for you, or your mom, or your spouse, that’s great. The problem is, the teetotaling doesn’t work for everyone. By effectively framing the discussion in terms of “AA still best and only option,” you’re effectively robbing people of the opportunity to try programs that could work for them — while giving them a totally unnecessary guilt trip in the process.

3. If you’re going to be a medical reporter, for the love of God, learn how to use PubMed. There may be no randomized, controlled clinical trials, but this is not the only paper on the topic. (Although to be fair, none of the ones that compare AA to other treatments make AA look spectacular. For that, you need to compare AA to nothing.)

4. Ultimately, alcoholism isn’t a disease. Hell, even AA’s treatment structure tacitly admits that: willpower, guilt, and self-loathing don’t cure any disease. In medicine, guilt may be attached to getting the illness, but it isn’t used as an actual course of treatment.

Phew. I feel better now.

How does the cliche go? 2006 July 26

Posted by Lily in News and politics.
2 comments

NPR on Abortion Laws

How does the cliche go? “Be careful what you wish for, because it might actually come true”?

Pro-lifers might want to think about that for a minute. Maybe it’s just my area, but everyone I knew who got pregnant in high school and who told their parents about it were forced by their parents to have an abortion[1]. Surprisingly, the parents who absolutely refused to compromise and let their daughters keep the child were the “pro-life” ones.

[1]: The “prom mom” I knew in high school isn’t included in this because she isn’t in the subset that told her parents. I know some of you who don’t know me well are going to ask, so here’s my synopsis:

1) In the interests of full disclosure, I should admit that I didn’t know her very well. We had a few mutual friends, but she was a senior when I was a freshman/sophomore.

2) That said, I don’t think she really knew that she was pregnant. None of us could tell she was pregnant, either — even though she wore a bathing suit to a couple spring parties. She gained maybe ten pounds over the course of the school year. That’s it.

3) I think more work needs to be done about atypical pregnancy experiences. When the whole thing happened, my mother admitted that she didn’t know she was pregnant with my brother for five months. Even though she had the normal morning sickness/lack of periods/food cravings with me, when she got pregnant the second time all she had was a four-month long sinus headache. At the time, she also thought she was having her periods (it turned out to be spotting). In the nine years since the incident, I’ve met four other women who also had atypical pregnancy symptoms which prevented them from realizing that they were pregnant until well into the second trimester.

4) The M.E. couldn’t conclusively establish the infant’s cause of death, but I suspect that M.’s lack of weight gain caused her child to be stillborn.