Monday, April 4, 2016

Conservatives either Don't KNOW the basics of biology, or they are eager to DENY IT - and to make denial LAW

I have long contended that conservatives generally, and Minnesota conservatives specifically, do not have a good grasp of basic biology - the stuff you should be able to pass in K-12. They don't do too well on other science subjects either, like seismology (earthquake science) or evolution, geology, and archeology.  (It is worth noting the latter legislator is nominally a democrat, but in fact another conservative. He likes to focus on....sigh..Bible principles and the United States Constitution; in other words, another know-nothing-and-proud-of-it.)

We are lucky if a conservative doesn't believe God plants babies in cabbage patches, to avoid the fact that babies result from SEX. 

Sadly, conservatives also seek to dumb-down others.

So long as conservatives don't understand basic anatomy, or reproductive biology, sex, gender, sexuality or sexual orientation, they have no legitimate business passing any kind of legislation relating to those topics.

That I am correct in my contention has been widely demonstrated, most recently in the state legislature with the proposed anti-trans bathroom bill, legislation which is not only badly misinformed but likely unconstitutional.  And it is demonstrated again with the recent research cited in the Minnesota Daily (h/t to my colleague at MN PP for alerting me to this story).

Conservatives lie about abortion; they try to force states to promote their lies to women as if they were factual.  They are not.

Here is, via the MN Daily, a list of the many things about which these conservatives have lied, including here in MN.  It's worse in states with a greater proportion of conservatives in power.  I have to disagree with the headline however, while Minnesota is one of the states reviewed, Minnesota was not targeted per se, and all state identifying information was removed for the review.

Study targets Minnesota abortion information

Twenty percent of content in state literature is inaccurate or misleading, the study said.

A fifth of the information in Minnesota state-produced pamphlets given to women seeking abortions has been deemed medically inaccurate by new academic research.
The study examined pamphlets produced by states that have “Woman’s Right to Know”  laws. Under this law, Minnesota requires that before moving forward with an abortion, women must receive a Minnesota Department of Health pamphlet on risks associated with abortion and fetal development, as well as information on resources if she decides to carry to term.
Rutgers University researchers looked at 23 of the 29 states with the law for the study, which will be published in print next month in the Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law. Researchers later added information on three more states to their study online.
Minnesota was among the states with the least amount of inaccuracies, with 51 out of 250 statements deemed incorrect by professional anatomists. 
After stripping the statements of state identifiers, the panel of fetal development experts used two scales to assess the accuracy or misleading nature of each statement.  
Study co-author and Rutgers University Ph.D. Candidate Grace Howard said that in all 26 state handbooks studied, there were inaccuracies — usually descriptions of a fetus as more developed than it would be at that stage or unrealistic size and weight measurements. 
“We saw in fetal development information a tendency to describe the fetus as more advanced developmentally than it was,” she said. “You can often see that in statements about viability, size and potentiality of a fetus.”
The last few pages of the MDH pamphlet describe abortion methods, medical risks and long-term side effects, including the “emotional side of abortion” and “fetal pain” — both contentious national issues.
“We have better research on the effects of abortion, like breast cancer, fertility and mental health problems,” Howard said. “The science has been clear that abortion doesn’t actually affect these things. There is new research that very much confirms that abortion does not cause mental health problems.” 
Of all the pamphlets from the 26 states studied, the study found the most complete inaccuracies in the statements about the first trimester, during which many women get an abortion. 
For example, the panel unanimously ranked “arm and leg buds present” during the second week of pregnancy as entirely medically inaccurate, according to the study.
“A fetus doesn’t actually have fingers, toes, legs [early in the pregnancy],” Howard said. “But a statement in the brochure might say this part is forming or will form.”
Across all states, one-third of all the statements were found to be inaccurate, the study said. 
The research didn’t assess the lasting impact medical inaccuracies and misleading information has on women, but similar studies — examining women’s responses in states that offer ultrasounds or the chance to hear a fetal heartbeat before abortion — show that the vast majority of women still move forward with the procedure. 
For some women, a lack of knowledge of how abortions affect women’s health and well-being leads them to agree with statements that aren’t backed up by science, Roberts said.
We need to fix this, and conservatives will fight accurate information every step of the way. Better yet, we need to leave medical education of patients entirely up to their doctors, and butt out of this kind of informational requirement entirely. But it will take a clear majority of Democrats, and a Democratic governor for that to happen.

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