Thursday, January 05, 2006

Miscarriage of knowledge

Andrew Sullivan has been looking at facts and figures to inform his opinions on reproductive rights (call me unfair, but I am not very swayed by the opinion of a gay rich Catholic male regarding my reproductive organs), and has aroused the apparently overactive abortiondar of Ramesh Ponnuru:
But to provide the kind of factual background Sullivan wants I think you'd need the answers to these questions: 1) What proportion of miscarriages are the result of failed fertilizations? 2) Leaving these events out, what's the natural rate of early death? 3) What proportion of induced (deliberate, non-natural) abortions actually kill embryos? 4) Leaving incomplete or defective fertilizations out, what's the ratio of natural to deliberate embryo-killings in the U.S.?

Did he just completely space out on his high school biology classes? According to him, I just miscarried a couple of days ago, as I have been doing monthly since I was about 13. A miscarriage is the interruption of a pregnancy, and a woman is not pregnant until one of her eggs is fertilized and implanted in her womb. Say it with me: menstruation is not miscarriage.

What's most frightening is that people arm themselves with this kind of "information" before they head to the polls. The more I read the news, the more I think I ought to do a public service and teach high school biology before our textbooks are telling our kids about Adam and Eve riding to church on dinosaurs. (Yes, I stole that image from someone, but I can't remember who.)

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