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Friday, March 23, 2012

Mocking Victims

Can you imagine a writer mocking the survivors of rape, claiming such alleged victims simply didn't exist?

Can you imagine an editor approving a story that claimed the lynchings of black men were all entirely fabricated: "The odds that this has happened in the real world approach those of being struck by lightning and eaten by a shark at the same time. With a winning lottery ticket tucked in your swimsuit"?

How about an article that claimed the Holocaust never happened, that the people in the camps all died of disease, that their bodies were burned only to keep the disease from spreading?

Well, Salon very publicly denied a similar reality in Andrew O'Hehir's review of "October Baby."
You could ask for no better twist, in an antiabortion drama, than having an aborted fetus return to life as an adult character (especially a really cute one). But unless you’re going to set the movie in heaven or experiment with complicated alternate-universe theories (which might in themselves raise some theological hackles), that’s tough to pull off. Hence, Hannah and her weird story, which gets weirder the longer you stick with it. Bracketing her absurd back story...
Yes, that's a knee-slapper alright, that whole "abortion survivor" meme, isn't it?

Gianna Jessen is just yucking it up over the cerebral palsy she suffered as a result of her abortion survival. 

Ana Rosa Rodriguez thinks one of the funniest things that ever happened to her was having an abortionist rip her arm right off her body and leave her still alive in her mother's womb, to be born a few hours later.

Sarah Smith undoubtedly often refers to the frequent surgeries she's undergone as a result of her abortion survival as "just weird".

And the permanent brain damage Ximena Renaerts suffered as a consequence of her abortion survival is a well-known laugh riot, frequently portrayed in sitcoms. 

There are a lot more survivors, of course, and a lot more stories, but none of them really make a difference to the point of Salon's article:
I was too amused and distracted by the terrible play in which Hannah is acting when she collapses onstage, leading to the doctor’s office scene, to bother with doing any scientific or medical research. ...  But I can state with some conviction that this is not a highly plausible scenario: Abortions that late in the second trimester are exceedingly rare to begin with, probably less than 1 percent of all abortion procedures. And while we’re given a gruesome description later in the film of what this “failed abortion” involved, no one ever explains how or why it happened. The odds that this has happened in the real world approach those of being struck by lightning and eaten by a shark at the same time. With a winning lottery ticket tucked in your swimsuit.
As O'Hehir himself admits, he didn't do a bit of research. And why should he? He's a liberal, and liberals know all.

But it gets better! Again, as himself admits, even if he had known of these survivors, it would have made no difference. He wasn't upset about the abortion or the survival, rather, he was "creeped out" by the portrayal of the main character's father, who was entirely too "Old Testament" for his taste:
That whole aspect of “October Baby” creeped me out a lot more than the wacky failed-abortion story did, honestly.
Ah, that wacky abortion story! Yes, that's just too funny. You could die laughing. Any decent person can see why O'Hehir would be more concerned about the fact that the main character's father showed continuing concern for his daughter's welfare then our same beloved O'Hehir could ever be about the fact that an abortionist tried and failed to kill a young lady.

I would write more, but I'm wiping the tears from my eyes.

I thought I would calculate the odds on Paddy O'Hehir's figures.

Hey, let's check Paddy's math!

Let's see... according to the Daily Mail, over 60 children a year are born alive after an attempted abortion.
"Medical advances make it increasingly possible for even those born after just 22 weeks in the womb to survive.... Latest Department of Health figures show that abortion is rising, with 193,700 terminations in 2006, and 2,948 carried out over 20 weeks."
Now, the chances of being struck by lighting are 1 in 280,000, according to the Lightning Safety Bureau. About 550 people are struck by lightning each year.

Only 10-20 people are year are struck while in contact with water, much less while actually in the water swimming. "Ron Holle, a former meteorologist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration who tracks lightning injuries, estimates that 10 to 20 people in the United States are shocked annually while bathing, using faucets or handling appliances during storms."

That means out of 550 people, only 10-20 were in contact with water.
So the 280,000 odds has to be increased by a factor of at least 20.
That makes the odds of being struck while swimming 1 in 5,600,000.

Your chances of being attacked by a shark is 1 in 11.5 million. 

Your chances of having a winning lotto ticket are between 1 in 18 million and 1 in 180 million depending on the exact game.

So, to calculate the odds of Paddy's scenario, his suggestions (swimming, lightning strike, shark attack and winning ticket) have to be multiplied together. We'll take the lowest odds of each to increase the likelihood.

Paddy's scenario: 1 in 52,900,000,000,000, or 1 in 52 trillion.
The national debt is only around 17 trillion.

What are the actual odds of surviving an abortion?

Well, 16 of the 66 babies in 2008 in the UK were born alive after an abortion attempted at or later than 22 weeks. As Paddy O'Hehir points out, those kinds of abortions are infrequent - only 2948 of them in the UK that year.

But those are the kind that will lead to an adult with disabilities.

Of course, of those born under the 22 week cut-off, half still survived more than an hour, but who cares about living, breathing children, right, Paddy?

So, the ACTUAL likelihood of surviving an abortion after 22 weeks and living to adulthood is something more like .005 or 1 in 200.

Heck, let's be generous and say 1 in 1000.

According to, something less than 2% of abortions in the United States are after 22 weeks.

There's 42 million abortions in the US each year, about 115,000 per day.

So, roughly 115 children a day survive their abortion, and could make it to adulthood if they were only given care.

Yep, Paddy.
115 people per day.
That's how many people you insulted.

But what's the chance a liberal or an Irishman, maybe even an Irishmen who's ex-girlfriend had an abortion, what are the chance that such a drunken sod will mock the woman who killed his own child by mocking the men and women who survive an abortion?

Well, the odds of that are 1:1.

NYT reports  "a 1985 study published in Obstetrics & Gynecology examined  33,000 suction curettage abortions and found a failure rate of 2.3 per 1,000 at the 12-weeks or earlier".  Let's see, that would be 76 survivals in that 33,000 abortion sample. 

1 comment:

Steve "scotju" Dalton said...

Andrew O'Hehir, I suspect, has a troubled conscience. That's probably the reason why he has to ridicule this movie. He can't honestly reason away the truth.