14 July 2022

The Semi X-Rated Blog

Because I am sick unto death of lawmakers explaining women's bodies and how they work with apparently endless ignorance and BS, 

(From https://www.fowllanguagecomics.com/ by Brian Gordon)

I thought we should talk about the female reproductive system.

First, a quick tour:

(Thanks Wikipedia)

Note that the uterus is a self-contained organ that cannot be reached from above. In other words, you cannot swallow a camera and see if a woman is pregnant.  (Sorry, Sen. Vito Barbieri)

The ovaries are next to the fallopian tubes. After ovulation, the egg cell is captured by the Fallopian tube, after traveling down the Fallopian tube to the uterus, occasionally being fertilized on its way by an incoming sperm.  The trip from the ovary through the Fallopian tube to the uterus can take hours or days. Meanwhile, once in a while a fast-swimming sperm can reach the egg in an hour, but not all sperm is healthy and mobile, it's a long way and there are many barriers, and it can actually take days for the winner to finish the marathon to the uterus.

But sometimes a supersperm makes it all the way up to the egg before the egg gets out of the Fallopian tube and fertilizes it there. So the zygote implants there, leading to an ectopic pregnancy a/k/a tubal pregnancy.  

(1) Sadly, it is not as rare as people try to tell you:  about 1 in every 100 pregnancies is a tubal pregnancy.  That's a lot.

(2) Despite the Ohio Bill mandating it, it is scientifically and medically impossible to transplant the fertilized egg from the Fallopian tube into the uterus.  

(3) Ectopic pregnancies will always kill both the mother and the fetus unless the pregnancy is aborted, either with medication or surgery.   (NHS)  

Meanwhile, "miscarriages are much more common than most people realize. Among people who know they're pregnant, it's estimated about 1 in 8 pregnancies will end in miscarriage. Many more miscarriages happen before a person is even aware they're pregnant."  (NHS)  Now most miscarriages happen because there are chromosomal abnormalities in the fetus.  As I've said before, I used to work as a low-level tech at Medical Genetics at Emory University, and the number of possible chromosomal abnormalities is mindboggling. This is important, because currently a number of states whose trigger laws against abortion have been instituted are talking about - and some actually are investigating miscarriages to see if they were actually abortions.  

If this keeps up, with the odds at 1 in 8 of having a miscarriage - approximately the same as dying of cancer - you will soon know someone (or be someone) arrested for a natural tragedy.  

"It's pretty apparent that conservatives believe that all gunowners are future heroes, but all uterus owners are potential criminals. And they legislate accordingly." - Yours Truly

A woman does not have a period until after she has ovulated.  This is why little girls who haven't yet had periods can get pregnant. Meanwhile, an amazing number of men have no idea and don't want to have any idea as to how periods work, and don't want to hear any of the literally bloody details, because it's just so icky.  (Upworthy)  Oh, and no, a woman doesn't automatically have her period every 28 days exactly.  Sometimes it surprises us.

Also, no one quite knows why, but the onset of puberty is getting earlier for both sexes. On average, puberty today begins around age 10 or 11 in girls (11–12 in boys) and ends between 15 and 17.   Some of it's probably nutrition:  My mother, for example, who was born in 1917 in the Appalachian mountains, didn't have her first period until she was 17, in 1934.  

Anyway, considering how our society sexualizes little girls (anyone remember Jon Benet Ramsey and how she was in endless Little Miss beauty contests?), ever younger puberty has dangerous repercussions on our children.  (Wikipedia)  (Psychology Today)  

Which leads us to the 10 year old Ohio girl who was raped and impregnated, refused an abortion in her home state, and had to go to another state to get one. In the process, a number of conservative politicians, including our own Governor Noem, stuck with the concept that abortion was 100% wrong. 

They may also have said, as have so many conservative men (and the occasional woman - HERE) have, that women can't get pregnant from rape.  (So many of them...)  

(1) Every slave woman in the Old South would entirely disagree. And most of the slaveowners' wives as well:


"But what do you say to this — to a magnate who runs a hideous black harem with its consequences, under the same roof with his lovely white wife and his beautiful and accomplished daughters? He holds his head high and poses as the model of all human virtues to these poor women whom God and the laws have given him. You see, Mrs. Stowe did not hit the sorest spot. She makes Legree a bachelor." - Mary Chesnut - A  Diary from Dixie 

(2) Every biologist and gynecologist entirely disagrees.  

So why is it that all these states with trigger laws have no exception for rape or incest? Well, one person says it's "Because men are the purveyors of rape and incest. They want to shift the focus away from the offender toward the woman." (HERE)  Maybe. It would explain why there are literally hundreds of thousands of untested rape kits stacked up in police storage around the country.  (The Atlantic)  

It's also a classic Catch-22 argument:  If women can't get pregnant from rape, then if a 10 year old - or any female - is pregnant, she obviously wasn't raped.  


Meet Matthew Hale, a 1678 master of the Catch-22:  he said witch trials were totally legit because "the existence of laws against witches is proof that witches exist".  A lot of women died to support that circular logic.  

Lord Hale was a primary source for SCOTUS Justice Alito in his Dobbs opinion abolishing Roe v. Wade.  He was also the originator of the Lord Hale Instructions, which were a required part of rape jury trials in the United States until at least 1976:

"It is true rape is a most detestable crime, and therefore ought severely and impartially to be punished with death; but it must be remembered, that it is an accusation easily to be made and hard to be proved, and harder to be defended by the party accused, tho' never so innocent... [W]e may be the more cautious upon trials of this nature, wherein the court and the jury may with so much ease be imposed upon without great care and vigilance; the heinousness of the offense many times transporting the judge and jury with so much indignation, that they are over hastily carried to the conviction of the accused thereof, by the confident testimony sometimes of malicious and false witnesses."  - Matthew Hale, 1678, Pleas of the Crown, p. 635.  

"From the days of Lord Hale to the present time, no case has ever gone to the jury, upon the sole testimony of the prosecutrix, unsustained by facts and circumstances corroborating it, without the Court warning them of the danger of a conviction on such testimony."  People v. Benson, 1856, California, ruling that a 13 year old's testimony was insufficient for a guilty plea because there were no other witnesses.  (LAWNET, my emphasis)   

BTW, what is it about 13 year olds and the male psyche?  Lolita is 12 in the novel and 14 in the movie, so let's split the difference and call her 13.  Jerry Lee Lewis married his 13 year old cousin.  And KY (R) Senator James Lankford said that 13 years old can consent to sex in his 2010 deposition (HERE). Oh, and Lord Hale was a generous man and upgraded the age of consent in his day from 10 (yes, you read that correctly) to 12.  Deep, deep, deep sigh...  

Meanwhile, back to the 10 year old Ohio girl.  A number of people on conservative media are saying that the story is suspicious, if not fake news, because it only has one source.  Now where have we heard that before?  Ohio AG Yost says there's no criminal investigation pending, which is surprising. To which I reply:

  1. Dr. Bernard declined to identify to the WaPo her colleague or the city where the child was located, & she was right to do so. HIPAA laws apply here, as does our last shreds of privacy rights, especially of minors. 
  2. Ohio AG Yost supposedly also said that this abortion 'clearly fit within the exceptions - “to prevent a serious risk of the substantial and irreversible impairment of a major bodily function of the pregnant woman,” - and could be legally performed in Ohio.'  (NYPOST)  
    • Except that, of course, Ohio has no exceptions for rape or incest. And incest is almost always perpetrated on children. 
    • Except that so far, no state with no exceptions has made an exception for anyone. 
    • Except that so far, no conservative Governor in such a state has said - in response to this case - that there should be an exception for the girl on the grounds of her health. 
    • Aunt Crabby calls bulls***.  
BREAKING NEWS:  There has been an arrest in the 10 year old Ohio girl's case.  (HERE)  So far, no apologies from any of the conservatives, including AG Yost, Governor Noem, and Tucker Carlson, who all said it was fake news, and "too good [for Democrats] to be true".  

Meanwhile, in Brazil:  Judge bans 11 year old rape victim from having an abortion because 'she would not have been "protecting the daughter," and would instead have been "subjecting her to a homicide."' (NEWSWEEK

ISABELLA: I'll tell the world
Aloud what man thou art.

ANGELO: Who will believe thee, Isabel?
My unsoil'd name, th' austereness of my life,
My vouch against you, and my place i' the state,
Will so your accusation overweigh
That you shall stifle in your own report,
And smell of calumny.

Shakespeare,Measure for Measure, Act II, Scene 4



  1. Also no apology from Ohio AG Yost, who apparently never checked with Ohio police or DCI to find out if there was an on-going investigation.

  2. I don't think I've been this angry (and this politically engaged) since we were killing, and being killed by, people in Viet Nam. And it looks like Indiana will be following in Ohio's footsteps, unless our governor vetoes the proposed legislation. And the Rs have a large enough majority to override his veto.

  3. Not coincidently, Indiana's AG--one Todd Rokita--has publicly announced that he is going to investigate the Indiana physician involved.

  4. Don, I know - investigating the doctor who provided a legal medical abortion to a 10 year old rape victim is so on-brand for Republicans...

  5. Y'all's embarrassing the male of the species… who unfortunately deserve it. (Sigh)

    This just in time for your article… Pelvic Exam

    I'm not up to date, but a leading hypothesis of why girls are entering puberty at ever younger ages suggest environmental contaminants… i.e, pollutants. The thinking is that they may bioactively interact with hormones. The same hypothesis has been proposed why males around the planet are experiencing fertility problems.

    I don't get the 13yo thing, but I'll add that a number of cultures worldwide consider 13±1 year adulthood, i.e, bat-mitzvahs and bar-mitzvahs. (Women teachers median appears to be 15yo.)

    Eve, I think you should seed the internet with the Yours Truly comment on Twitter, Telegraph, Truth (ha!), Instagram, etc:
    "Conservatives believe that all gunowners are future heroes, but all uterus owners are potential criminals. And they legislate accordingly." — Eve Fisher

  6. Thank you so much for this post, Eve. One historian to another, I don't think I need to emphasize to you how much this instance of the right-wing dog finally catching the abortion car will reverberate down through history, both immediately, and for a long time to come. And it's entirely possible that a whole bunch of these posturing pols angling for their party's primaries by being as antediluvian as possible in their expressed views on this subject will run into the type of electoral buzz saw we haven't seen the likes of since Gingrich's much crowed about "Republican Revolution" landslide in 1994. At the very least there is no doubt that the tectonic plates are moving, and the Supreme Court's hijacking the dialogue is a major factor in the coming series of electoral earthquakes. Inevitable? Not sure. I'm an historian, not a fortune teller. But these sorts of consequences are what usually happen when you pass laws that SEVENTY PERCENT of the public disagree with.

  7. Thank you, Eve. And thank you again. I can add nothing to this. Aunt Crabby gets my vote. How can the cruelty be so reductive and so naked? This isn't principle; this is wickedness.

  8. Thank you everybody. Just to add to the horror, the latest take is the Texas AG suing Biden & US Gov't. for mandating that women be given abortions in medical emergencies, i.e., if they're dying. So basically, the GOP game plan is no abortion for ANY reason, and if the mother dies, well, she dies. Beam me up, Scotty.


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