Anatomy lessons are obviously needed... stat!

Trigger Warning: This blog discusses the very public comment of an Alabama state representative and her anti-choice stance. I will am focused more on her lack of knowledge, but the snark, sarcasm and general profanity levels will be high. I have always tried to call out ignorance when I see it, and this my Dear Readers is totally chosen ignorance. If you'd rather not read such things, or have GOP-stupidity syndrome fatigue [and I can't blame you one iota for that one!] you may want to skip this one.

Actually said, in public, aloud, on the Feb. 14, and quoted in the Montgomery Advertiser:*
“When a physician removes a child from a woman, that is the largest organ in a body,” ... “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.”

I'll bet you had no idea that a foetus was an organ, let alone an embryo. I'm pretty educated in anatomy, and I don't remember learning that bit of information, myself. I'll also admit, that I checked several sources, just to make sure this wasn't an Onion story released into the wild.** The look on my face was a whole lot of "WTF is this fuckery?! Who said this shit, she's joking, right? It's performance art, intended to bring awareness to the anti-women, anti-choicers pushing legislation through the State Houses? Right...?"

I mean, this was V-Day, the day to push back against misogyny. We're pushing for awareness of domestic violence and promotion of safe spaces. We're trying to help people escape that horror, so this had to be a joke. Had to be!

Alas, I was mistaken. For once my cynicism didn't protect me from incredulity. I just couldn't believe someone would say something like that, not to mention letting a fucking newspaper put it on the Internet!

Here are the facts. No snark. And believe me, this was hard to write without it.
A woman called Mary Sue McClurkin, is the state rep from Pelham. She's introduced HB57, changing abortion rules, yet again. I would place these changes firmly in the "TRAP" regulation section, if Alabama wasn't already there-- I'm not sure. Anyway, the proposed changes are your very basic: only doctors can administer the miffy (no nurses, nurse-practitioners or PA's allowed, on pain of felony and 10 years in prison), doctors must have admitting privileges, changing the clinics to "ambulatory care clinics" and forcing changes to their structures... targeted regulations for abortion providers that aren't even considered for say, dental surgeries or any one else.

Supporters of these bills claim that abortions are such complicated surgeries that these rules and regulations are needed to "protect women". In actuality, it's paternalism at work; never would you hear of anyone pressing for stress tests to see if the man demanding viagra was really well enough to use it-- rather he gets his script instantly and out he goes.

Now for my analysis of this mess... hold on to your hats.

First off, who the fuck does Mary Sue think she is-- and yes, Mary Sue, of course her name is Mary Sue... Anyway, is she a woman needing abortion care? Nope. She's merely a busy body elected to tell people how to live their lives in Alabama.

Never mind the fact that Alabama currently sits at 43 in education, 12 in teen pregnancy, 9 for gonorrhoea rate, and 1st for the number of state prisoners deaths.*** Now, I know Arizona's not the best state, either, and we have not only a high abortion rate, teen pregnancy rate, and because of Maricopa County's aversion to actual learning we rank at the bottom in education... I know this, and while we have some crazy bastards in Phoenix, no one ever said that an abortion included removal of the largest organ. So, I guess Phoenix schools suck at everything, except anatomy?

The largest organ for humans is our skin. It's a sensory organ, of course, and keeps our insides, well, in. It's our mostly water-proof covering, and we need it. It's also about 15% of our total weight [the numbers I found ranged from 5-15, but five percent of an adult's weight being skin seemed really really low to me. Most often the numbers given were between 14 and 16%.] Our skin, big as it is, obviously smaller than an embryo by weight, and volume according to Mary Sue.

So, embryos aborted in the first none to twelve weeks of pregnancy, which is most common time frame, weigh 22 and half pounds on average-- going by an average adult weight of 150 pounds.

Damn, that's a big fucking embryo!

The human liver is the second largest organ, and is roughly the size of an American football. It weighs, on average, three pounds. It's a decent organ, as internals go, I'd say, as it's our blood filter. It gets the blood out of your caffeine stream, or alcohol stream, if you prefer. However, as amazing as our livers are, according to the adorably named Mary Sue, the liver is smaller than a 5 week, gestational age, embryo (that would be roughly 6-7 weeks from the first day of her last period, as counting pregnancy time, goes, the "average" abortion time).

Damn, another big embryo, if it's only the size of my liver at 3 pounds! For comparison, my oldest son was born at 29 1/2 weeks gestation, that's 12 weeks early, yes, and he weighed-- get this-- 3 pounds 4 ounces, and was just about 14 inches long. You got it! He was about the size of my liver...Just for a reference for you.

According to Mary Sue,  a woman seeing an abortion is carrying around a foetus for months, and months and months before finally deciding to get this "taken care of"... and some how still ends up terminating a pregnancy that's between 3 and 22 pounds! There's no other explanation for the size she's talking about.

What the ever loving fuck are people smoking, to say something like that?!

The vast majority of abortions happen when the embryo is smaller than this: |-|
Maybe the size of an apple seed, a comma? By the time the test is positive, about 4 weeks, the embryo is just slightly larger than the 2 periods of your generic 12 point font. That's not even this big: ..
That's not bigger than my liver, let alone my skin.

By six weeks, it's just smaller than a quarter of an inch long, and still isn't larger than my liver or skin. It's not even bigger than the teeny ear-bones in my head.

Now, we know why she's saying shit like this, because we know TRAP laws aren't about protecting or informing anyone. They're about stopping women from getting medical care that some people don't like. That's what it comes down to: they don't like it, so you can't have it.

Which makes as much sense as "When a physician removes a child from a woman, that is the largest organ in a body", especially given that we don't have the 50 or 60 week long pregnancies which would be needed produce 22 pound foetuses (although I'm merely having a guess, they might need to be much longer).

Let's look at the second idea in the phrase... that some how an entire "child" is removed from the uterus during an abortion, and it is an organ.

Again, what the ever loving fuck?! Since when did a body-- any one's body-- as whole, become an organ? If your left eye is doing the "what the fuck is this shit, you've GOT to be kidding me" twitch, I'm sorry. Mine, is too. Let's twitch together in amazement that this Mary Sue was elected, shall we? With lots of side-eye and quirked eyebrows. Quizzical head tilts are always welcome.

OK, back to this issue, enough with the confusion writ large on our faces.

Again, most abortions happen when the embryo is less than half an inch long; it sill has an "egg sack" which isn't even half an inch across. We're talking teeny. That's neither "the largest" nor an organ. It's an embryo-- a teeny, tiny, undeveloped thing that has the potential to become a person when it's breathing on its own-- which wouldn't happen for another 8 1/2 months.

I'm still trying to wrap my head around the idea that someone thinks a pregnant woman gestates a fucking organ! Just one, and it becomes a baby if she carries it to term. I mean, shit, what the fuck is that?! Does that mean an adult human is only one organ, too? Does this mean the infant is born with one organ, but the rest grow in later? What one organ, anyway? Brain, eyes, stomach?

I think she doesn't know what "organ" means. Perhaps she meant "organism"? And if so, she'd be right, because the vast majority of organisms we carry about on our person are bacteria, and so are much, much smaller than a comma.

Some how, I don't think that's what she meant. I think she said what she meant, and she's meaning: outlaw abortion in Alabama, and fuck women who need medical care, they're all sluts and whores, anyway, and deserve to be punished because they had sex.

Mary Sue doesn't like abortion, and believes that a speck the size of an apple seed is more important than the woman it's in; she decided that her beliefs are all that matter, and so no one can have medical care.

Well, fuck her! And Fuck everyone like her.

You know what I don't like? Vaginoplasty. I fucking hate it so much, that whole "cutting off the labia minora" thing. It's revolting, sickening, and I fucking hate it.

But I'm not campaigning to make it illegal. Nor am I writing legislation to make up arbitrary rules about it. I just want it to be safe for the women who decide to go through this horrific thing.****

I also hate the idea that if I don't fit a size 0 I'm a fat pig; I hate the so-called beauty culture. I hate that men are allowed to tell women what to do with our bodies, and every one's supposed to be OK with it. I hate a lot of things.

But I'm not trying to tell you how to live! If you want to cut off your arms, well, find a good surgeon, and I'll shrug most quizzically.

People actively working against women's health care and reproductive freedom also like to fly the "this is offensive to my religion" flag.

Well, I'm offended by ID, creationism in schools, people claiming they can make other's pray, crèches all over the place, assholes claiming to speak for god, the pledge of allegiance and anyone who claims the US is a "christian nation". I am offended by anyone who uses anti-LGBT slurs; by racism and sexism. I'm absolutely revolted with deep-down offense at such things.

I'm not working to throw people in jail for teaching ID, however. I'm not trying to make it a felony to call someone names, or swear up and down the US is a christian nation. I'm working to mock these people, to force them to sit down and let the grown-ups do the governing, sure.. but not imprison them. It's a case of "educate yourself or piss off, but stop trying to throat-fuck us with your ignorance"... it's not a case of "do this and I'll put you in prison for ten-fucking-years!"

That's the difference between people like me, and Mary Sue... well, that and I only have one first name. I'm OK with people being different, so long as they aren't hurting anyone else... but these laws hurt women. They kill women. And now, they're threatening medical professionals...

So, fuck off Mary Sue. Fuck you, and your ignorance. Fuck you and your god, your religion and your obsession with the uterus of others. Fuck you and your legislation, your false concern, your ridiculous lies. We know what you're on about, and we're not pleased.

We're also not buying it.
I am thinking about taking up a collection, and getting a copy of Gray's Anatomy, annotating the ever-loving shit out of it, and sending it to the Alabama State House, care of Mary Sue... then they can't claim a embryo the size of a comma is the largest organ in a woman's body.

*Warning on the article: there's a photo at the top, of an anti-choice protest from 2010 as a header before the article. It's pretty disturbing, although there are no signs of photo-chopped bloody corpses. The "jesus loves you, you're a murderer" kind of signs are prevalent. What disturbed me, was that two are held by what appear to be young kids, of perhaps 9. If you read the article, just quickly scroll down and you'll miss the photo. I'm sorry!

**I checked RH Reality Check, Slate, HuffPo and followed the links on the Alternet story back to the local media.

***All statistics from

**** I am not referring to women having re-constructive surgeries, or labial surgeries due to physical problems, but women getting a so-called "designer vagina" through surgery to remove all or part of her labia minora. There's a huge difference, and I'm sure you'll all smart enough to figure it out.


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