Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Politically Incorrect Medicine

I am in the middle of reading Free Speech for Me-- But Not for Thee: How the American Left and Right Relentlessly Censor Each Other, by the wonderful journalist and First Amendment champion Nat Hentoff (who happens to be a pro-life atheist as well). The book was first published two decades ago. Sadly, it remains as timely as ever.

Last week, three physicians were scheduled to give presentations at a Medical Women's International Association (MWIA) meeting in Seoul. When they arrived, they learned that their presentations had been cancelled. Why? Because the three female doctors--ob/gyns Dr. Donna Harrison and Dr. Mary Davenport, and psychiatrist Dr. Martha Shuping-- had prepared presentations on risks of abortion.

MWIA's press release emphasizes that the presentations were censored because their conclusions were politically incorrect. The title of the press release is "MWIA is proud to stand for women's rights." It "regrets" that MWIA invited presenters "who would deny women their basic right to choice." For good measure, it throws in some slander, stating that the speakers' presentations-- which were to summarize recent studies from such esteemed journals as the Journal of Reproductive Medicine, BJOG, PLoS ONE, and numerous others-- have "no scientific merit."

The real motivation is clear: these speakers were censored for daring to share data that might show that abortion has downsides for women.

What's worse, MWIA leaders actively prevented people who wanted to learn more about the topic on their own time from doing so!
With the cancellation of our talks, our host Anna Choi, head of group of 680 Korean obgyn physicians who stopped doing abortions, had decided to set up a radio and newspaper interview for us during the time that we were supposed to present.
When we got to the “radio” interview that Anna had set up, it was actually a television interview, and the newspaper reporter was there also.
They put the three of us up front like a “panel” discussion, and the reporters started asking us questions about our presentation, allowing us an opportunity to talk about what we came to present. About 20 minutes into the interview, the Secretary General of MWIA, a Canadian woman, burst into the room (I kid you not. …and all of this is on camera), and came up to the table and said “What presentation is this? Donna Harrison said “it’s not a presentation”. So she snarled “Why are you being interviewed? At that point, the answers were left to Anna, our host. Anna said that this was a requested interview by the press.
The SecGen then said “Who gave you permission to interview these people?” And the reporters said “We are the press, we don’t need anyone’s permission. We have freedom of the press” And the Sec Gen snarled at Anna and said “Did you arrange this? Did you talk to the organizing committee?” And Anna said “I am on the organizing committee. I don’t need to talk to anyone.” And the Sec Gen stood in front of the camera, and refused to move, and said “The interview is over.” Then the reporters said “You can’t do this. We have the freedom of the press. You are interfering with the freedom of the press.” But the Sec Gen would not move and said “The interview is over.”
We exited to the hall, and a Belgian and German woman were waiting. They started to make fun of the Korean translator, and to snap pictures in her face. And she said “You can’t do this. This is my country. I will call the police.” And they actually grabbed at her, and then one of the Korean reporters put a huge camera in the Belgian woman’s face and started taking photos of her. A fist fight almost ensured between the women, but another of the Koreans stepped in and kept any contact from happening. And all of this was on camera. And then our Korean hosts ushered us down the hall, and down the elevator, along with the reporters and camera crew, and we resumed the interview in the commons area downstairs by the trash cans and the bathroom. We were able to complete the entire interview, and instead of our audience being a few women doctors from the conference, we now have an audience of probably a few thousand.
In a textbook example of projection, MWIA president Afua Hesse accused the three censored doctors of "politicalization." In reality, it is MWIA that is politicizing science, by placing an ideological commitment to "choice" above all else. MWIA should be ashamed of itself for abandoning basic values of open scientific inquiry.

Censorship is bad enough under normal circumstances, but MWIA's censorship of medical studies that could save lives takes it to an even more deplorable level.

Doctors Harrison, Davenport, and Shuping are true heroines. They will not be bullied into keeping quiet about threats to women's health, and they deserve our thanks. Ladies, Secular Pro-Life salutes you!


Sockjoan said...

Brilliant! Well done to these indomitable doctors, standing up for truth in the face of bullying propaganda!

joybuzzard said...

This is why 'doctors agree' that Ritalin is safe, why social workers 'agree' that foster care isn't harmful, why 'lawyer's agree' that the system works. This happens in EVERY ASPECT of our system, every profession commits fraud by limiting the discussions to what is most profitable to that profession, regardless of the harm to society. It's not 'left and right', that's camoflage, it's people who make their living from society's problems working to expand their own function at society's expense. Professionals of any sort should never be trusted.

Neil Shenvi said...

I would strongly, strongly urge you to obtain the video of this incident if at all possible and post it in YouTube. Contact the Korean television station and the doctors involved if necessary. If this report is accurate, it is horrifying. So documentation is vital.

Ce Gzz said...

Truth is their biggest fear! Proper and scientific information must be given to all these women who think that is just a "choice".

Kelsey said...

I'm sure AAPLOG is tracking down the footage.

KB said...

The fact that this happened at all makes me sick...

Mary W. said...

I am so glad I found this site! I am a Christian and am so happy to see a "secular" version of Pro Life. The media always portrays Pro Lifers as crazy Christians. I have always believed we can't be the only ones who believe in life. THANK YOU!

Astral Globe said...

Where's the evidence?

Alden Smith said...

We are not crazy we just have high moral standards and ripping the body parts off is just wrong

davidrev17 said...

To all of those religiously motivated, "Secular Pro-Life" enthusiasts; or better yet, you cowardly spiritual-chameleons straddling the ideological "scientific" fence called metaphysical naturalism, so pervasive in the West:

"Science simply cannot adjudicate the issue of God's possible superintendence of nature."

-- The late "official" spokesperson of NeoDarwinian evolutionary biology, and atheist, Dr. Stephen J. Gould, 'Impeaching a Self-Appointed Judge,' Scientific American, July, (1992).

Since "life" itself is comprised of the wholly irreducible and/or transcendent property of complex-specified "digital information" (a valid "Inference to the Best Explanation" in the historical sciences, not to mention the experimental sciences), information that's literally embedded, or "inscribed upon the back of every DNA molecule, in every cell, of every living organism that's ever existed upon this biosphere"; what then, of your "PC" religious hypocrisy so curiously revealed, by super-imposing in such cowardly fashion, the term "secular" upon the concept of "religious" - when this entire "contingent universe," or reality itself, is "ontologically haunted" with theologically
unsettling implications deduced explicitly from 21st-century scientific investigation?

Just whose side are you theistic fence-straddler's on anyway?

The Nun said...

I find it interesting that atheists and agnostics have to fit into a certain parameter of views otherwise they are denied "membership".

I thought that was only for us religious types.

davidrev17 said...

Personally, as one uh themm-tharrr Bible-thumpin', intellectually stunted, brain-dead simpleton evangelical Creationist "Christian's" - I still believe the earth is flat! (:

But then again, I've been culturally tarred-n-feathered by those quintessentially "tolerant" PCer's as bein' antiscience too; kuz I firmly believe that 21st-century science (aka "Methodological Naturalism," or "Methodological Atheism") has demonstrated conclusively, the very sound inference that "Mind" (or "Intelligence") represents ultimate reality...or "the way things really are!" (That's "ID" in a nutshell!)

I can live with that "religious label" too, kuz them ideological materialist's are still light-years from answerin' the 64-million dollar question in current scientific materialist circles: "Just why is mathematics the language of nature?" May God bless you immensely Ms. "Nun!"

SweetAndy said...

I have sent an email to MWIA deploring their actions. I sent it via their website, so don't know their email address.