Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Lies, damned lies, and complete and total bollocks

"Well, I had a couple of hours to kill before the ASN meeting, and there's an amazing wool shop I've been meaning to visit just round the corner, so I picked up some bamboo 7mms and nice chunky yarn for a Christmas scarf..."

"Sorry, just to clarify, you bought knitting needles and then took them to an abortionist meeting?"

This is my current favourite way to gauge just how pro-choice someone is.

So, hey, abortion! According to "2009 figures" which nobody seems to want to give me a source for, poor women are having more abortions than the rich! I mean, shocker, right? The article says that "3723 abortions were performed on women from the most deprived areas", and only 1753 on more well-heeled ladies. Now, I don't have the actual stats (BECAUSE NO ONE WILL GIVE ME A SOURCE, MY GOD), but I would guess that there are more poor women in the world than there are rich women, so "poor women have more abortions" is a pretty fucking meaningless statement unless you feel like giving me some percentages, population info, or basically anything that puts those numbers into context. I could say "more poor women in England can read than rich women!" and we could all have a good hang-wring over the ILLITERACY CRISIS CLAIMING OUR UPPER CLASSES, unless someone was sensible to point out that this statement demonstrates precisely zero understanding of statistics and also is based on complete bollocks.

(An aside: "the most deprived areas" of where? Scotland? Aberdeen? Is it actually the most deprived areas of rural Andalusia, and Lib Dem Health Spokesperson Jamie Stone is just weighing in because she's bored?)

But! Let us be generous and assume that the study itself had some sense in it, and this is simply a problem of poor reporting. Just for a giggle, assume that there is a different incidence of abortion per head for wealthy and deprived communities: that ladies of limited means are more likely to terminate a pregnancy than their better-off counterparts., and?

Is anyone surprised? Is it really so shocking that "being broke" and "deciding you're not able to raise a child" are correlated?

Surely it can't be that simple. We haven't castigated the working class nearly enough today; it must be their fault somehow. Luckily, aforementioned Jamie Stone is here to help, pointing out that logical analysis misses the most important fact of all:
"Young women from deprived backgrounds ... see abortion as a simple alternative to contraception."
Of course they do.


  1. That's the Lib Dem Health Spokesperson? I'm sure Evan Harris would have something to say, were he still in govt. Actually he's probably still got something to say anyway. OH LOVELY EVAN.

    Also: I live in a deprived area but am *relatively* well-heeled. What if all those living in poor areas getting abortions are actually well-off, ey ey ey? "Well-off women prefer abortions to contraception AND they're such cheapskates that they live in deprived areas to take advantage of low rent. The little shits!"

    Also someone should give Jamie Stone a (preferably late) abortion to see if he really thinks people would chose it over a condom or pill. Dipshit.

  2. I'm not sure why I had it in my head that the Lovely Jamie was a lady. Huh. But yeah, Health Speakingperson for Scottish Lib Dems, and not a patch on LOVELY EWAN.

    Good point, hadn't thought of that (the possible non-correlation between having good heels and living in a fancy locale). I would really love to read the actual study, because it's the kind of thing I do for fun, and because if it was done well it'd be fascinating. Shame the reporting was so fucking atrocious that it tells us less than nothing.

    Come now child, you know abortions are the funnest.

  3. I have heard abortions are funtimes and all the ladies want one. I am so sad that I am unlikely to accidentally need one in the near future :(

    [This is still me, if won't let me log in with just a name/tumblr now].

  4. Yeah well, that's straight privilege for you! I guess you could go for IVF and then indulge in an abortion spree - I'm told that's funner still.