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   I hate the rank smell of religious zealotry, so self-righteous, so sure, so confident that the grand ooga-booga has ordained that the status of women in Brazil needs to be taken down a score of notches.

As reported by the CBC:

“A congressional committee led by evangelical Christians has voted to ban abortion in Brazil in all situations, including cases of rape and where the mother’s life is in danger.
The decision was approved 18-1 late Wednesday by a special committee considering a constitutional amendment to extend maternity leave for mothers of premature babies.”

Let’s just call this instance #234987022808 of the institution of religion reinforcing the patriarchal status quo in a ‘modern’ society. The women in Brazil are just going to have to get used to the notion that their existence is defined by their patriarchally sanctioned social role as birthers of children (full stop). Also, the role as women who die in childbirth because apparently it is their ultimate calling. Fuck free will, bodily autonomy, and kooky notions of universal humanity for the female sex class.

Crimes against the female half of humanity aside(!), things were not all that amazing on the reproductive rights front for women in Brazil before hand. The church of choir-boy abuse..err..catholic church had the usual oppressive sanctions against women in place before hand.

“Abortion is illegal in predominantly Catholic Brazil except when the pregnancy is the result of a rape or puts the mother’s life at risk.”

Let’s let the high misogynists in charge speak for themselves:

“To defend abortion, like it or not, is a Satanic, diabolical and destructive act,” evangelical congressman Pastor Eurico told the committee, brandishing a replica of a 12-week-old fetus.”

Satanic… Indeed.

Specious bullshit like the above statement should be all the justification necessary for justification of separation of church and state. Further more, it is all the evidence required to illustrate how skull-explodingly bad religion is for women and society in general.

All isn’t *quite* lost yet though. The male politician might actually find it within themselves a shred of moral and ethical decency and kill this constitutional amendment before it becomes law.

“The move to criminalize all cases of abortion would require supermajorities, or two-thirds of the votes in both chambers of Congress, as it is part of a constitutional amendment.”

But then again, the men who seem to think it is their right to dictate how women lead their lives and make their reproductive choice might make a ‘compromise’ and merrily throw women under the bus for movement on the obviously much more important topic of pension reform.

“The measure could clear those hurdles as part of a trade-off for other legislation the governing coalition seeks to pass, such as pension reform needed to plug a gaping budget deficit.”

How magnanimous of the ruling dudes in charge. Because shitting on women will always result in the betterment of society. It’s 2017 and it would seem that most of the world isn’t exactly on board with the whole treating women like full members of human race yet.

What a time to be alive!

[Source:cbc.ca]

Let’s work together on this one folks.  We should be done this by now.

Dr. Jen Gunter : Ben Carson says a 22 week fetus can feel pain. Science says Carson is wrong.

Wow, another dude Republican candidate who gets the vapours when it comes to female reproductive issues.

Dr.Carson is a neurosurgeon perhaps he can discover what is making his thoughts come from ass instead of his head.

Quelle Surprise.

Aliens

Vaccination is one of those medical topics in which people tend to lose their shit.  As it happens, you can also risk losing your children if you decide to embrace the foolishness that is the anti-vax movement.  Here is a story of a mother’s close encounter with easily preventable childhood diseases.

Learning the Hard Way: My Journey from #AntiVaxx to Science

“I’m writing this from quarantine, the irony of which isn’t lost on me. Emotionally I’m a bit raw. Mentally a bit taxed. Physically I’m fine.  All seven of my unvaccinated children have whooping cough, and the kicker is that they may have given it to my five month old niece, too young to be fully vaccinated.

We’d had a games night at our house in March, my brother-in-law had a full-blown cold, so when the kids started with a dry cough a few days later I didn’t think much of it.  But a week after the symptoms started the kids weren’t improving, in fact they were getting worse.  And the cough. No one had a runny nose or sneezing but they all had the same unproductive cough.  Between coughing fits they were fine.

Then a few days later at midnight I snapped. My youngest three children were coughing so hard they would gag or vomit. I’d never seen anything like this before.  Watching our youngest struggle with this choking cough, bringing up clear, stringy mucus – I had heard of this before somewhere.  My mom said I had it when I was a kid. I snapped into ‘something is WRONG’ mode.

I jumped on Google to type in “child cough.” My kids had all but one symptom of pertussis, none of them had the characteristic “whoop.” But they had everything else.

We had vaccinated our first three children on an alternative schedule and our youngest four weren’t vaccinated at all.  We stopped because we were scared and didn’t know who to trust.  Was the medical community just paid off puppets of a Big Pharma-Government-Media conspiracy?  Were these vaccines even necessary in this day and age? Were we unwittingly doing greater harm than help to our beloved children? So much smoke must mean a fire so we defaulted to the ‘do nothing and hope nothing bad happens’ position.

Symptoms and timeline of pertussis (whooping cough)

For years relatives tried to persuade us to reconsider through emails and links, but this only irritated us and made us defensive.  Secretly, I hoped I would find the proof I needed to hold the course, but deep down I was resigned to only find endless conflicting arguments that never resolved anything.  No matter if we vaccinated or not, I thought, it would be nothing more than a coin toss with horrible risks either way.

When the Disneyland measles outbreak happened my husband and I agreed to take a new look and weigh the evidence on both sides. A friend suggested I write out my questions so we could tackle them one by one.  Just getting it out on paper helped so much. I only ended up with a handful of questions. But more potent than my questions were my biases.

I just didn’t trust civic government, the medical community, the pharmaceutical industry, and people in general.  By default, I had excluded all research available from any major, reputable organization.  Could all the in-house, independent, peer-reviewed clinical trials, research papers and studies across the globe ALL be flawed, corrupt and untrustworthy?

The final shift came when I connected the dots between a small, but real measles outbreak in my personal circles this time last year.  But for the grace of God, our family was one step from contracting measles in our mostly under-or-unvaccinated 7 kids.  Maybe we could have weathered that storm unscathed in personal quarantine.  But in the 4 highly contagious days before any symptoms show we easily could have passed on our infection to my sister’s toddlers or her 34-week-old son in the NICU.

When I connected the dates for everyone involved it chilled me to the bone.  I looked again at the science and evidence for community immunity and found myself gripped with a very real sense of personal and social responsibility before God and man.  The time had come to make a more fully informed decision than we did 6 years ago.  I sat down with our family doctor and we put together a catch-up vaccination schedule for our children.

That schedule that was supposed to start the week after I found myself in the waiting room of the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) with my 10-month-old son, waiting to confirm if he had whooping cough.

I said before that the irony isn’t lost on me that I’m writing this from quarantine.  For six years we were frozen in fear from vaccines, and now we are frozen because of the disease.  My oldest two are getting better, the youngest four are getting worse and fast.  Ottawa Public Health has been so helpful and communicative, trying to get us the help we need while keeping the community safe.  We are under quarantine and starting antibiotics.  Tonight, the baby started ‘whooping’.  I did the right thing going to the hospital when I did.  I can only hope this painfully honest sharing will help others.

I am not looking forward to any gloating or shame as this ‘defection’ from the antivaxx camp goes public, but, this isn’t a popularity contest.  Right now my family is living the consequences of misinformation and fear.  I understand that families in our community may be mad at us for putting their kids at risk.  I want them to know that we tried our best to protect our kids when we were afraid of vaccination and we are doing our best now, for everyone’s sake, by getting them up to date.  We can’t take it back … but we can learn from this and help others the same way we have been helped.

Vaccination is a serious decision about our personal and public health that can’t be made out of fear, capitulation or following any crowd.  No one was more surprised than us to find solid answers that actually laid our fears to rest.  I am confident that anyone with questions can find answers.  I would only advise them to check your biases, sources and calendar: Time waits for no parent.

– Edited by Leslie Waghorn

Rolling the dice with your children is irresponsible – making that choice for other children is reprehensible.

 

safebabyWe have a newspaper of record of sorts here in Alberta.  I’ll be quoting from the Edmonton Journal to cover the amazing amount of stupid it takes to somehow think that vaccines are linked to autism.

1.  They are not. [Pubmed, Google Scholar.]

2.  See #1.

“One in five Albertans believes some vaccines can cause autism, according to a new poll that suggests a big segment of the population is wary about a perceived medical side-effect that has been widely debunked by scientists.

The telephone poll of 2,838 respondents found that 21 per cent completely or somewhat agreed that some vaccines can cause autism, compared with 61 per cent who rejected this view.”

Do these people read?  Admittedly, not many people I know browse pubmed looking for the latest and greatest in papers dealing with vaccination, but when it is important as keeping the population safe from easily communicable diseases some use of the critical faculties is in order.

“The results mirror what Mainstreet found in Ontario, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. In each province, more than 20 per cent of respondents said they believe there is a correlation between vaccines and autism, a neurological disorder, said Quito Maggi, president of the polling firm.

A study published in the late 1990s suggested the measles vaccine was linked to autism, but the author, Dr. Andrew Wakefield, was found to have falsified data to advance his claims.

Wakefield lost his medical licence and the British journal that published the study, the Lancet, retracted it.”

So, there is no basis for this link.  Yet shitty people are taking advantage of the credulous and the credulous being well…credulous continue not to vaccinate their children.

“The skepticism borne out of the study has been kept alive by countless websites making claims and by celebrities like Jenny McCarthy, who claims vaccines can cause autism in children.

“The issue is, that fear has been instilled in parents,” said Shannon MacDonald, a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Calgary’s faculty of medicine who studies vaccine uptake and parental acceptance. “If you understand the background of it, that a study of 12 children with fraudulent data has been counteracted by multiple studies with 14 million children, that sounds obvious.

“But that’s not the message that people hear.”

When did people dispense with critical thought.  For sure you can be “open-minded” but without a filter critical analysis your skull fills up with teh stoopid faster than you can say “Jenny McCarthy”.

” Fifty-three per cent of respondents said schools should refuse unvaccinated children, compared to 36 per cent who held an opposing view.

When the question turned to child-care facilities, the results were similar. Fiftyeight per cent said unvaccinated children shouldn’t be allowed, with 31 per cent disagreeing.

A majority of those polled – 56 per cent – said parents should be able to decide against vaccinating their children, but 34 per cent said this shouldn’t be the case.

Despite some skepticism identified in the Mainstreet poll, most respondents – 61 per cent – agreed that a drop in vaccinations of children would have serious health impacts. Sixteen per cent disagreed, while the rest were undecided.”

Well the majority of people polled are not skull-shatteringly stupid.  But there is enough stupid out there to hurt people.  Child vaccination should be mandatory if you child is to attend public institutions.   End of story.

OR… you form a fake religion so you can opt out with the religious exemption!!!!  *facepalm forever*

Sadly, this is a real thing.  Thanks again religion for going to bat for people who believe in made up shit.  :(

 

 

A few bits of information on the assortment of pain medication available to us.

Painkilers

See the PDF here in all its bigness.

 

Orac brings the pain to the masters(?) of woo.

 

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