Anat/Phys 101 with Mary Sue McClurkin: The body’s largest organ is the baby

Birmingham, Alabama, is home to a world-renowned teaching and research institution. Discoveries in cancer research, endocrinology, transplant medicine, surgery, and literally dozens of other specialties have significant impact across the globe. Twenty miles south in Pelham, Alabama state Representative Mary Sue McClurkin is stupid as a bucket of hair and thinks a baby is a bodily organ.

McClurkin, sponsor of HB 57, claims that abortion clinics should be subject to — among other rules, requiring that physicians have admitting privileges at local hospitals and making it a felony for a non-physician to dispense abortion-inducing medications — because they perform major surgery that removes the largest organ in a woman’s body. Which is to say, a baby.

“When a physician removes a child from a woman, that is the largest organ in the body,” McClurkin told the Montgomery Advertiser on Thursday. “That’s a big thing. That’s a big surgery. You don’t have any other organs in your body that are bigger than that.”

As 88 percent of abortions occur within the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, the “largest organ in the body” that’s being removed is usually about yea big:

A hand holding a two-inch-long smelt

Eighty-eight percent of abortions take place within the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, when the fetus is about the size of this two-inch-long smelt.

“Oh, my God, that’s enormous!” said every bodily organ between the gall bladder and the skin. Added the liver, “Hold on, a baby is an organ?”

Similar Posts (automatically generated):

120 comments for “Anat/Phys 101 with Mary Sue McClurkin: The body’s largest organ is the baby

  1. February 18, 2013 at 11:57 pm

    But…if a baby’s just an organ, abortions are totally okay. I mean, nobody judged Valoniel for getting her appendix out…

    Also: so fetuses are the new shark tooth? Take one out and we can get another in a month?

    • SophiaBlue
      February 19, 2013 at 12:58 am

      Right? Unless the next frontier of anti-abortion legislation is banning women from having organs removed, which is more plausible than I’d like…

      • yes
        February 19, 2013 at 5:49 am

        I don’t appreciate your uppity tone about God’s plan ™.

    • Lolagirl
      February 19, 2013 at 1:00 pm

      No, no, Mac, she was supposed to pray that appendicitis away! Talk about doing it rong!

      Ms. McClurkin is so sadly uneducated, but then again, ignorance and stupidity as to the basics of science is apparently de rigeur in the GOP these days. from climate change to dinosaurs, and evolution to fetal development, they all refuse to know anything that didn’t come straight from the bible. Cause that’s where the actual facts live, doncha know!

      • February 19, 2013 at 1:49 pm

        …that’d be one gay appendix, Lola.

      • Lolagirl
        February 19, 2013 at 2:00 pm

        Sounds like a much more fun appendix than the one I had removed 8 years ago!

      • February 19, 2013 at 2:03 pm

        It’s rainbow coloured and sparkly. And when it explodes, GLITTER EVERYWHERE!

      • Librarygoose
        February 19, 2013 at 2:05 pm

        So it was the fashion appendix? I wonder what the truck driver appendix looks like.

      • February 19, 2013 at 2:21 pm

        I remain uncertain, LG. But the more important question is, what happens when they with electricity join?

      • February 19, 2013 at 2:22 pm

        Can somebody please, next Halloween, dress up as the ‘Fashion Guy’ and the ‘Trucker guy’? Can we have a Feministe Troll Memes Past and Present theme?

        Pretty Pretty please?

      • February 19, 2013 at 2:22 pm

        Do they create a gay index?

      • February 19, 2013 at 2:24 pm

        Can we have a Feministe Troll Memes Past and Present theme?

        I claim “when feminism, all men will be killed” troll dude. I could dress up as Kali. Hey, I’m Hindu, I’m allowed.

      • Lolagirl
        February 19, 2013 at 2:41 pm


        That sounds really, really painful.

        what happens when they with electricity join?

        Apparently, little baby appendices are summoned forth from the ether, like magic. First there was one, now there are many!

        ‘Fashion Guy’ and the ‘Trucker guy’?

        And apparently I am woefully clueless about these Troll Memes. Is it worth asking, and should I take it to the overflow thread?

      • February 19, 2013 at 3:09 pm

        Lolagirl, I’ve moved it over to spillover.

      • Manon
        February 22, 2013 at 7:30 am

        You’re getting it all backward, Lolagirl. She wasn’t supposed to pray the appendicitis away, she was supposed to thank God for this wonderful and unasked for gift, that ungrateful bitch!

    • Kathleen
      February 24, 2013 at 10:00 am

      I am not going to defend what McCurkin said as it was incredible stupid but I am pretty sure a human fetus does not look like a smelt. Try showing exactly what a 12-week old fetus in a mother’s womb looks like so women understand WHAT they are aborting. BTW I found this site through a link so don’t expect me here again.

      • February 24, 2013 at 10:57 am

        so women understand WHAT they are aborting

        Erm, I don’t know about you, but fetuses have always creeped me out. At 12 weeks they kind of look like homunculi of the Fullmetal Alchemist kind. Like that. But not green.

        I’m honestly more convinced by the smelt than I am by pictures of fetuses.

      • The_L
        March 5, 2013 at 11:39 am

        The article never said that the fetus looked like a smelt, only that it is the same size as one.

        Women understand what embryos and fetuses look like. We’re bombarded by those horrible photos of aborted fetuses so much that we can’t not know what they look like, either whole or in pieces. Those photos generally do not have anything in them to indicate scale (the only exception I can think of was incredibly gory and had the severed fetal hand placed on a dime).

        The point of the size comparison was to illustrate that fetuses during early stages of development are, in fact, smaller than the skin (the largest bodily organ), the liver (the largest internal organ), and quite a few other organs (hearts, lungs, thigh-bones, bladders, and of course the uterus itself). In other words, even the size aspect of McClurkin’s argument is dead wrong for much of the pregnancy.

        I am sorry that you are more offended by the notion of a fetus being smelt-sized than by the bizarre notion that fetuses are organs of the body instead of a separate life form that requires nutrition from its mother-to-be. You may want to think about why that might be the case, because I’m not even pro-life and I’m deeply offended by the idea that I was somehow an organ instead of a fetus before I was born. I am not a pancreas.

  2. February 19, 2013 at 12:31 am

    I think it’s wonderful that everyone has a chance of becoming a politician or a president, even incredibly stupid people.

  3. Echo Zen
    February 19, 2013 at 12:41 am

    In America, anyone can become President. That’s one of the risks they take…

    • TomSims
      February 19, 2013 at 6:54 pm

      In America, anyone can become President. That’s one of the risks they take…”

      You got that right

  4. February 19, 2013 at 12:46 am

    “Alabama state Representative Mary Sue McClurkin is stupid as a bucket of hair and thinks a baby is a bodily organ.”

    I like this.

    • Giraffe
      February 19, 2013 at 6:30 am

      In this case, it’s insulting to the hair organ.

    • (BFing)Sarah
      February 19, 2013 at 6:44 pm

      I plan on using it asap.

    • February 24, 2013 at 12:20 am

      I’ll have you know my hair’s smarter than that!

  5. anya vanya
    February 19, 2013 at 12:56 am

    Earlier today upon receiving an event invitation, I caught myself thinking, “A baby shower with booze? Only in Wisconsin.”

    Now all I can think is, “A baby is considered the largest organ in the body? Only in Alabama.”

    • The_L
      March 5, 2013 at 11:41 am

      It’s almost like she doesn’t realize that skin is an organ. Even when a pregnant woman is about to deliver, that fetus is nowhere near as big as her ENTIRE SKIN.

  6. Monkeypedia
    February 19, 2013 at 3:28 am

    Is a baby shower with booze uncommon? I was just at one, and was quite pleased to have a drink. Not all the guests are pregnant (and even the pregnant guest of honor might enjoy a glass of wine anyway, as has come up in previous threads).

    • khw
      February 19, 2013 at 10:39 am

      I have to say (as a person who generally finds the idea Os baby or wedding showers rather questionable, both in terms of the expectation of gifts and the dubious nature of the “games” that one is expected to endure at these events), PLEASE give me booze! Drinking has helped me to find the humor of the situation when I’ve not been able to come up with a tactful excuse not to go…

    • Lolagirl
      February 19, 2013 at 12:51 pm

      No, in my experience it’s quite common, and I don’t get the surprise at booze being served at baby showers.

      My baby shower included wine service for whoever wanted it, and I’ve attended dozens of showers in the last 15 years or so where wine and other alcohol service (from beer to fancy cocktails) was standard. This was all in the Chicago area, so maybe #it’s regional?

    • tinfoil hattie
      February 21, 2013 at 11:51 am

      Isn’t that funny? I’ve never been offered alcohol at any baby shower. My cousin’s wedding reception was held in a bar, though, and as I recall, she was allowed to drink alcohol because her husband was over 21. This was in WI.

      PS If a “baby” is an organ, we should just transplant all unwanted pregnancies into McClurkin’s uterus.

  7. February 19, 2013 at 5:59 am

    Head meets desk…repeatedly….

    How to put this without coming across as anti American, which is tired and lazy, but given the various Biology fails recently can someone explain what is taught in school about reproduction?

    • speedbudget
      February 19, 2013 at 7:50 am

      In many schools, nothing except abstinence. And in many school districts, you won’t even get that much information until you’re at least a sophomore or junior in high school.

      • jemima 101
        February 19, 2013 at 8:59 am

        Seriously? That is scary. In the UK we have the madness of parents being able to remove their children from the sex parts of PSDS (and you know those are the kids who probably need it the most) but at least it is a compulsory part of the curriculum.

      • (BFing)Sarah
        February 19, 2013 at 6:48 pm

        Oh, don’t worry! We can also remove our children from school if we feel that learning about reproduction should only occur at home with a “Jesus, God, and Your Opposite Sex Marriage” primer. Or if you’d rather just teach your child that babies come from Santa…that’s fine, too.

      • February 24, 2013 at 12:22 am

        Always had my doubts about that Santa bloke.

      • Mike K
        February 24, 2013 at 8:20 pm

        well technically Santa generally is involved, though I can think of some exceptions

    • Lillian Gillies
      February 19, 2013 at 8:32 am

      It’s “Revenge of the Home-Schooled.”

      • February 19, 2013 at 12:50 pm

        Oh home v state school is not an argument I am going to get into, sex work threads are polite chit chat in comparison! I still bear mumsnet scars.

    • Chataya
      February 19, 2013 at 8:50 am

      If you have sex, you will get pregnant and die. Unless you’re married, because that makes Baby Jesus happy.

      • February 19, 2013 at 12:50 pm

        :D Ahhh it all makes sense now!

      • jacy
        February 19, 2013 at 7:37 pm

        hey i’m 18 and from the uk, we didn’t have any sex ed in school (not even abstinance based, none at all) either because I went to a religious comprehensive, i’m not sure how many state schools are religous, but alot of the better-performing schools are where posh kids go. This is not just an american problem, this is a fundamentalist religon problem is both the uk and american school system.

      • February 19, 2013 at 7:57 pm

        Oh agreed, by state i should have said non religious. It is so wrong that we have state funded religious schools.

      • jacy
        February 20, 2013 at 4:22 am

        I just learnt that one third of state schools in the uk are religous although apparently the normal curriculim is meant to be enforced, although in my case clearly not. I agree its an outrage that we have state funded schools that are religous, but what would the alternative be? Religous schools would then have to only be private schools and with religous schools outperforming the other state schools, it might mean even more private kids go off to uni if there private religous schools outperform.

    • seisy
      February 19, 2013 at 4:04 pm

      It depends a lot- and by which I mean pretty much entirely- on where you live. Not just the state, but also the school district.

      In northern california, I had three years of health class/sex ed*. First in 5th grade (age 10/11) then in 7th grade (age 12/13) and then in 9th grade (age 14/15). The first two were kind of like “Welcome to puberty!” but the last was the one that went a bit more into the nitty gritty details of the reproductive cycle and contraception and some general other health stuff about diet and exercise and the health risks of smoking. (The class also left every girl in my class swearing off ever having kids, thanks to an amazingly gory birth video.)

      *at my high school, biology did not cover life cycles per se. It mostly was about plants and alleles and evolution. Though I did know some kids who got their life science credit through ROP farming-related classes where they worked with sheep and goats and horses, so I assume they may have gotten some of that there.

      • tomek
        February 19, 2013 at 4:41 pm

        this sound very reasonable.

        in my school it was too much the other way. we watched sperms come out of penis on video. way much more than anyone wants to see

      • February 19, 2013 at 8:02 pm

        This sounds a lot like what my eldest gets, but they have done some cool really stuff too, like Annie agreeing to go to the dance with Jim , then at the last minute accepting an invitation off Will. They had to discuss and role play the various responses and why they felt as they did.

        Eldest with the beauty of an aspie raised by a feminst apparently said why are we discussing this, its her choice. Yup I was proud :)

      • Kerandria
        February 20, 2013 at 4:55 am

        nitty gritty

        In case you don’t know: the above phrase is racist in history and in general use. Note:

        In that context it has been alleged that ‘nitty-gritty’ is a derogatory reference to the English slave trade of the 18th century. The phrase is usually used with the prefix ‘getting down to’ and there is a sense that, whatever the nitty-gritty is, it is at the bottom of something. The suggestion is that it originated as a term for the unimportant debris left at the bottom of ships after the slaves had been removed and that the meaning was extended to include the slaves themselves.

        Cited from: Here

      • SophiaBlue
        February 20, 2013 at 5:41 am

        Um, two paragraphs down from the quoted text:

        There is no evidence to support the suggestion that ‘nitty-gritty’ has any connection with slave ships. It may have originated in the USA as an African-American expression, but that’s as near as it gets to slavery. It isn’t even recorded in print until the 1930s, long after slave ships had disappeared, and none of the early references make any link to slavery.

      • Kerandria
        February 20, 2013 at 7:21 am

        Pardon the poor source. I will have to look into it better. I was specifically told years ago by a PoC that the term was racist and why.

        That being said, I’d argue that if racists have claimed the term, it’s gone. Why even bother using a term that could hurt others when there are plenty of other words out there to be used?

      • February 20, 2013 at 9:04 am

        That being said, I’d argue that if racists have claimed the term, it’s gone.

        Eh. If there isn’t actually any connection to anything racist in origin, this is a little disproportionate, yes? It feels to me like arguing that I shouldn’t say “Nigerian” anymore because Santorum used it as a cover-up for when he accidentally called Obama the N-word on TV. Etc, etc. Obviously I’d stop using a word if anyone can actually point me to a consistent racist use but “a racist said it to this POC I know once” doesn’t cut it for me, sorry. By that count, I shouldn’t be describing myself as brown, because the word was used as a slur.

      • Kerandria
        February 20, 2013 at 11:21 am

        An excellent point. I’ll think on what you’ve said, Mac. Thank you.

      • February 20, 2013 at 11:28 am

        Kerandria: thank you. And please, if you find something concrete, do let me know; I’d rather not use it if it’s a Thing. (I actually wind up fucked over by slang more often than not, because my English was all acquired from books/movies/my very fluent but way outdated parents etc; I found out only very recently from my wife that “call a spade a spade” is racist, and was horrified, because “spade” didn’t seem to have the slightest black-person connotation to me…)

      • EG
        February 20, 2013 at 11:43 am

        Whoa, “call a spade a spade” is racist? Damn.

      • Ms. Kristen J.
        February 20, 2013 at 12:26 pm


        Etymologically, no. Practically, yes.

      • Donna L
        February 20, 2013 at 12:45 pm

        I am not sure that’s true, either:

        I’ve certainly heard “spade” as a racist term for black people, but apparently the phrase long predates that and has nothing to do with it in origin.

        And I’ve honestly never seen or heard the phrase used in a way that seems to indicate racist intent.

        On the other hand, if the word “spade” itself is hurtful to people, even if the phrase’s use of that word is entirely coincidental, it’s understandable that the phrase could also be hurtful. And if it is, it’s not like it’s really necessary to use it; I’m sure there must be other phrases meaning the same thing, although I can’t think of any right now.

      • Donna L
        February 20, 2013 at 12:48 pm

        Kind of like the word “—-ardly,” which has nothing to do with the “n” word but looks and sounds so much like it that I always wince when I see or hear it, and would feel completely weird about using it. So I never do. Plus, I’m pretty sure that some people like to use in on purpose, knowing exactly what it sounds like, allowing them, in effect, to say the “n” word while retaining plausible deniability.

      • (BFing)Sarah
        February 20, 2013 at 9:01 pm

        Yup. “Call a spade a spade” is definitely considered racist by many of the people I know. I think its come to be thought of and used in racist ways, even if its original meaning was not racist. I think the intent matters here and since it is sometimes used as code for AA, I’d avoid it.

      • February 20, 2013 at 9:42 pm

        You know… whenever people get all “aaaaargh political correctness means I can’t use ANY words ANYMORE” I always want to reply “no, RACISM means you can’t use SOME words UNCHASTISED anymore”.

        Sarah, sorry to bug you, but I was wondering if nitty-gritty DOES have some awful connotations now? I’m concerned.

      • February 20, 2013 at 11:02 pm

        Looking around a few different etymology sites, the consensus seems to be that the term originated in African-American slang (first documented usages by jazz performers) and referred to two very small things that happened to rhyme (nits and grits) to create a vivid term for “getting down to the fine details”.

        That said, knowing that some POC would find the term marginalising I would avoid using it myself.

      • (BFing)Sarah
        February 21, 2013 at 12:53 pm

        I have honestly never heard that “nitty gritty” could be considered a racist phrase…but last night I forgot to ask my husband, because he is like an encyclopedia about stuff like that.

      • Kerandria
        February 21, 2013 at 6:22 am

        I’m in agreement with Tigtog – I didn’t find anything else about the subject. I did, however, learn a valuable lesson about looking more deeply into x before commenting on it.

    • RichardVW
      February 19, 2013 at 4:43 pm

      I don’t know what the educational standards across America are like, nor how well they are enforced. I do know that I once read a completely sincere article written by a (at the time) current biology major. He chose biology literally for no reason other than to work as a “shadow agent” of sorts for God. He didn’t believe in the theory of evolution; said it disgusted him. He read the books and answered as expected on the tests, but he considered the material pseudoscience.

      I hope that guy saw the error of his ways, but I can’t say I’d be surprised to see his own personal version of biology to kids in a deeply conservative area.

      I tried to find the link, but my Google-Fu is weak. If I remember correctly, this article was hosted by a Focus on the Family website. I for sure remember that the article was published with the blessing of a professor from a well-regarded public university who has a side gig writing apologetic garbage for Christian websites (including FOTF). This was no obscure homeschooling blog. This was a mainstream conservative Christianity publication.

      The Christian-right of America hate that science gives credibility to their political opponents, and so they do everything they can to undermine science and its credibility.

      • RichardVW
        February 19, 2013 at 4:49 pm

        Aye cant teh enternet wright:

        …I can’t say I’d be surprised to see him teaching his own personal version of biology to kids in a deeply conservative area.

  8. FYouMudFlaps
    February 19, 2013 at 6:29 am

    I just gotta ask, is there a single intelligent person on earth who goes by three names?

    • SamBarge
      February 19, 2013 at 8:11 am

      Living person? Because my immediate response was “John Stuart Mill” but he’s not ‘on Earth’ right now. Let me see…

      Joseph Gordon-Levitt seems pretty bright.

    • Lillian Gillies
      February 19, 2013 at 8:31 am

      Neil Patrick Harris?

    • Past my expiration date
      February 19, 2013 at 10:52 am

      Martin Luther King. (Although, like John Stuart Mill, not actually on earth right now.)

    • Li
      February 19, 2013 at 11:57 am

      Justin Vivian Bond.

    • Opiuchus
      February 19, 2013 at 12:16 pm

      Neil deGrasse Tyson.

    • Donna L
      February 19, 2013 at 12:24 pm

      Well, I don’t know exactly how intelligent any of the following people are, but I think it’s rather fatuous to assume anything negative about them because they use three names

      James Earl Jones
      Billy Dee Williams
      Francis Ford Coppola
      Jamie Lee Curtis
      Catherine Zeta Jones
      Tommy Lee Jones
      Jon Bon Jovi
      Sarah Jessica Parker
      Rachel Evan Wood
      Daniel Day-Lewis
      Julia Louis-Dreyfus
      Andrew Lloyd Webber
      Jennifer Love Hewitt

      One could go on ad infinitum.

      And what about people like John Paul Stevens and Sandra Day O’Connor?

      If you meant to refer only to people who use a double first name rather than one first name and two last names, you should have said so. Besides, how would you draw the line between those categories?

      In other words, it’s a ridiculous point, and faintly misogynistic, given that I think women are more likely to use three names than men.

      • Donna L
        February 19, 2013 at 12:25 pm

        I meant Evan Rachel Wood, of course!

      • RichardVW
        February 19, 2013 at 1:28 pm

        I consistantly confuse the names “Evan Rachel Wood” and “Rachel Hurd-Wood”.

        Rachel Hurd-Wood attended University College London. That’s two last names rather than two first names, but whatever.

      • RichardVW
        February 19, 2013 at 1:29 pm

        I consistently spell incorrectly as well.

    • Kristen from MA
      February 19, 2013 at 4:49 pm

      Daniel Day-Lewis
      Melissa Harris-Perry
      Hillary Rodham Clinton


    • shfree
      February 19, 2013 at 9:29 pm

      My brother’s whole family all have hyphenated names, with sis in law’s last name-brother’s last name. My brother, his wife, AND their three sons, and all of them are very smart, thankyouverymuch.

  9. Odin
    February 19, 2013 at 8:07 am

    Her name’s Mary Sue? And she’s Heroically using bad biological reasoning to try and prevent abortion clinics from operating, even though her reasoning totally leads to the conclusion that there’s nothing morally wrong with abortion at any stage of fetal development?

    Is it just me, or does the Far Right in this country sometimes seem like they’re taking their talking points from bad fanfic?

    • February 19, 2013 at 10:10 pm

      The melancholy of Hillary Clinton?

    • Alyson
      February 21, 2013 at 6:37 pm

      You totally beat me to the punch. Now we just need to wait forher tragic past to emerge.

  10. A4
    February 19, 2013 at 8:43 am

    The largest organ is probably the skin. At no point is it a baby. Maybe she is measuring “soul weight”, but even then it’s obviously the thyroid, seat of the adult soul.

    • MaMu1977
      February 20, 2013 at 2:40 pm

      This is categorically incorrect.

      The human soul is housed in the liver.
      The heart is used to heat and pump the blood.
      The brain is used to cool the blood and store semen.
      I read this in Paracelsus’ notes, and the knowledge of the ancient Greeks have never been proven wrong. /nods

      • February 21, 2013 at 3:50 am

        Did you just pass up an opportunity to use the name Theophrastus Bombastus von Hohenheim (Paracelsus’s real name)? :`(

      • Dawyd
        February 22, 2013 at 5:29 am

        Did you just pass up an opportunity to use the name Theophrastus Bombastus von Hohenheim (Paracelsus’s real name)?

        Even better: Theophrastus Philippus Aureolus Bombastus von Hohenheim. Truly a magnificent name. The “Bombastus” always, always cracked me up.

        I read this in Paracelsus’ notes, and the knowledge of the ancient Greeks have never been proven wrong.

        Although he certainly retained some elements of the received Greek ouevre, Paracelsus was actually Renaissance (1493-1541).


        (Former historian of science here, who pretty much never gets the chance to discourse on the history of chemistry and must therefore take every opportunity that crops up)

    • Bagelsan
      February 20, 2013 at 2:48 pm

      Thyroid could be seat of the baby soul? ‘Cause it shrinks in adulthood.

      • GallingGalla
        February 20, 2013 at 7:07 pm

        I thought it was the thymus gland that shrinks with adulthood.

      • Bagelsan
        February 21, 2013 at 3:30 pm

        Doh, mistyped. Yes, it is the thymus.

  11. igglanova
    February 19, 2013 at 8:53 am

    I’m almost fearful of the true depth of McClurkin’s ignorance if she doesn’t even know what a fucking organ is. Good gawd, this is the kind of thing you go over in elementary school.

  12. February 19, 2013 at 11:06 am

    I’m a Birmingham native and can attest to the contradictions in this post. The University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) is my alma mater. It is also home to world-class medical and scientific research. The medical school is top ten in the country.

    But it also depends heavily upon federal grant money. The state of Alabama is too poor and state government has very different priorities. This is the problem.

    Shelby County, which is where Pelham is located, is one of the most solidly Republican counties in the entire state. I’m not surprised someone would hold views like that.

    I’m glad Birmingham has the medical school and a history of research. It used to be a dirty, industrial, steel producing town a lot like Pittsburgh. But the whole industry went overseas in the 70’s and something had to come in to bridge the gap.

    • PH Student
      February 20, 2013 at 1:28 pm

      I’m getting my MPH in MCH from UAB right now. My adviser and another professor are actually in the process of designing a study to gauge access to abortion and birth control in Alabama. If the Senate passes this TRAP bill and it’s upheld by the courts, their study just got a lot more grim (than it already was). Incidentally, I’m writing a paper for one of my classes on access to legal abortion as a public health issue. I also happen to know my local representative (who voted in favor of the bill). Thinking about handing it to her in a really obvious way when it’s finished.

      One thing I’d be interested in seeing is how these TRAP laws affect women who have miscarried. I worked for a PP and Kaiser was one of the biggest providers in our area. They sent all their patients who’d miscarried and needed D&Cs to us. I imagine this isn’t an isolated policy for insurance companies that would rather shell out for clinic care over hospital care. Citing how these stupid bills hurt women who have miscarried has been an effective tactic in the past (Delegate Cosgrove in VA withdrew his bill that required mandatory police reporting within 12 hours for any “fetal death” after it was pointed out that that would potentially turn women who have miscarried into criminals—his mommy apparently had had 5).

  13. pillow in hell
    February 19, 2013 at 11:12 am

    The sad thing is… I’m certain that she knows very well how human biology works. What’s she’s counting on is that others don’t, so her perversion of reality will go unnoticed save for the signing of the bill.

    I mean, its not like a persons right are totally being trampled on, right? People with uterii aren’t really human (which is the only way you could have such a HUGE organ removed and live right?just like that old “joke” about never trusting a creature that can bleed for seven days and live) We’re just mildly amusing, self replicating, household cleaners and incubators. Given that this is the case, when do you think the far right will start naming their daughters Lysol or Frebreezia?

    • (BFing)Sarah
      February 19, 2013 at 6:52 pm

      I disagree. I really think there are people out there that are that willfully ignorant about the way reproduction works. I blame religion and the way it influences education in certain districts.

  14. Angie unduplicated
    February 19, 2013 at 11:41 am

    I listened to a presentation last week which explained the entire Republican attitude succinctly. The speaker defended his opposition to abortion with the statement “That’s 52,000 customers you won’t be able to sell to. ” I am not making this up.
    He neglected to state how the never-born 52G could payfor these purchases in a Republican economy, where MBAs automate, offshore, and reduce work hours to eliminate jobs and reduce wages.

    Mary Sue’s fictional rationale is eerily kin to current Catholic courtroom theology.

  15. DAS
    February 19, 2013 at 12:46 pm

    So you can’t remove an organ unless you have hospital admitting privileges? Arguably, teeth are organs. Are dentists not allowed to remove teeth then (do dentists have admitting privileges?)? Certainly, if there were a drug to help wiggly teeth ease themselves out, a dentist couldn’t prescribe them under this law, could they?

    Still, as was pointed out above, if we consider fetuses to be organs, then removing them, if a doctor says ok, is just another medical procedure, ain’t it? I also would wonder if the whole point is to get us against regulation so we can be painted as being on the side of unsafe big-medicine clinics and also so that when we do support regulations of medical clinics, our support can be discounted (“why didn’t you support the regulations in AL?”).

    If I were in charge of strategy for the pro-choice movement, I’d tread a bit carefully, but I would certainly figure out a way to message this as a win: “even in conservative AL, they view fetuses as organs … and the choice to remove an organ, such as a tooth, is a choice between a woman and her health care provider”.

    • February 24, 2013 at 12:28 am

      Certainly, if there were a drug to help wiggly teeth ease themselves out, a dentist couldn’t prescribe them under this law, could they?

      That would be both awesome (no needles! No extraction!) and the creepiest feeling …

  16. pheenobarbidoll
    February 19, 2013 at 7:41 pm

    Im still getting the weird background and no comments in the comments section of the site.

    • February 19, 2013 at 8:23 pm

      Have you tried flushing your browser cache? If it persists after that I’ll get you to send me a screencap.

      • pheenobarbidoll
        February 20, 2013 at 11:52 am

        Seems to be fine now. One day it’s fine, the next it’s wonky.

      • Tyris
        February 20, 2013 at 6:18 pm

        Yeah, it comes and goes.

  17. Meera
    February 19, 2013 at 10:42 pm

    I hate to give the pro-life movement ideas, but, really, I think they’d have a lot more success by comparing aborted fetuses to cute little 2-inch animals (like that pretty little fishy in the photo above) than to full-term babies. Picturing a bloody, slimy, screaming, red-faced newborn human baby doesn’t exactly evoke my squee. Adorable tiny nonhuman folks, on the other hand . . . well, I don’t think I could bring myself to abort a cute fish.

    • EG
      February 19, 2013 at 11:11 pm

      Well, mileage does vary. I was there when my godson emerged, and fell in love with his beautiful little face straightaway. But fish? Hell, I eat fish, and I step on bugs.

    • tinfoil hattie
      February 21, 2013 at 11:59 am

      Seconded. I become a gaping, incoherent blub at the sight of a newborn. Something happens to my brain, and I am instantly in love. Sigh.

      • (BFing)Sarah
        February 21, 2013 at 12:54 pm

        I’m pretty instantly in love with wrinkly, barely opened eyes, squirmy little baby animals of all types.

      • February 21, 2013 at 1:05 pm

        I’m with you on everything but human babies. Human babies at any stage of babyhood terrify me. Ter. Rif. Fy. I think it’s equal parts the fact that every single baby I meet starts to cry upon making eye contact with me, and the fact that if you drop a baby it breaks and then you’ve broken someone’s baby. Baby rhinos are much sturdier.

      • February 21, 2013 at 1:09 pm

        every single baby I meet starts to cry upon making eye contact with me

        Babies hate me. Seriously, I’m not even kidding, it’s like the zoo scene from Omen, except with screaming humans instead of screaming animals. (Except for Valoniel’s cousin, who has produced not one but two babies that like me. I am baffled and a little terrified.)

      • Lolagirl
        February 21, 2013 at 1:36 pm

        It’s interesting to see how much this varies from person to person. I loooove the baby stage, especially the 0-18 months age range. They’re so squishy, and cuddly, and so easy to transport and integrate into every day life. I’m having a much harder time wrapping my mind around having 7yo kids than I ever did with a baby. It’s definitely challenging in ways I never even anticipated.

        *that said, I am done, done, done with having babies of my own!

      • February 24, 2013 at 12:32 am

        I’ll squee over most baby animals, but not human ones. Don’t like ’em at all. I’ve long said I’d much rather give birth to a litter of kittens than a human baby.

  18. Bacopa
    February 19, 2013 at 11:20 pm

    Wait, what? Embryos and fetuses are not organs. They do not perform any function in sustaining any human body and at times can be a threat to the functioning of a human body.

    And notice I didn’t say a “woman’s body”, mostly to point out that women are humans through my ambiguity.

    Sure, a full-term . So?newborn is heavier than its mother’s liver or brain. So?

    • Bagelsan
      February 20, 2013 at 2:54 pm

      And not just women have pregnancies, too, natch. But yes, babies are more like parasites than organs; do you need admitting privileges to remove a tick?

      • Li
        February 20, 2013 at 3:17 pm

        Well, look, to be fair, the placenta is an organ, so there is some organ removal going on during an abortion. Of course, it’s an organ that’s designed to make it’s own way out when it’s no longer needed, so unless livers have vacationing habits I haven’t heard about, it’s still not really comparable to anything else in the body.

      • shimmoril
        February 20, 2013 at 4:27 pm

        Not to mention that, by the very fact the fetus is inside the placenta, it can no longer be the largest organ in the body, even following the wibbly-wobbly logic at play here.

      • Past my expiration date
        February 20, 2013 at 4:51 pm

        Not to mention that, by the very fact the fetus is inside the placenta,

        The fetus is inside the placenta?

      • tomek
        February 20, 2013 at 4:57 pm

        haha even i know this isn’t so

      • February 20, 2013 at 5:23 pm



        haha even i know this isn’t so

        Oh burn.

      • Amelia the Lurker
        February 21, 2013 at 12:43 pm

        I think you’re thinking of the amniotic sac, shimmoril.

  19. Bagelsan
    February 20, 2013 at 2:52 pm

    What happened to the whole babies-as-separate thing? I thought they were supposed to be totally autonomous people floating in disembodied uterii, with voting rights and guns and tiny American flags and shit?

  20. February 21, 2013 at 8:28 pm

    If a baby is not an organ how do you play one in church?

Comments are closed.