birth defects

Pro-Life? Pro-Choice?

So, I’m going to state my opinion on abortion.

I’m actually rather neutral.

I think that abortion should allowed, but in certain cases.

If the child will come out with a serious birth deformity, such as sirenomelia, fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva, a severe case of osteogenisis imperfecta, or severe defects similar to any of those, should be aborted because all they will have is a life of suffering.

Minor birth defects can be fixed with little complication, so I don’t think children with such should be aborted.

I also think if someone was raped and they suffered such severe trauma from it, they can be aborted. But that depends on the person.

However, if a woman goes around having unprotected sex, the woman in question should not be allowed to have an abortion. She can put the child up for adoption or raise it herself. It’s her own fault she got pregnant and she be held responsible for her actions.

We have things like condoms, the pill, birth control implants, the morning after pill, etc. You have no excuse unless you were wearing a condom while the woman was on birth control. And even then, they should only have one, maybe two abortions before they have to deal with their consequences.


This adorable Australian Shepherd is Toby and while at first glance he may appear to look like any other Australian Shepherd but Toby is special - he has two noses! He was discovered wandering the streets of Fresno, California, and was picked up by a rescue group. However, the so-called rescue group considered him unadoptable and were ready to put him to sleep. That was until Todd Ray, a man who owns a number of animals with birth defects, adopted him and made him a member of his family. 


A 5 month old girl with alobar holoprosenceohaly. This condition was diagnosed prenatally in utero and understandably resulted in severe enlargement of the child’s head. The child was oriented to sound, able to move all extremities and responded to external stimuli, however the long term prognosis for this condition is poor as it is typically fatal in the neonatal period.

anonymous asked:

I hate that article, allegedly by a bio teacher, that says "XX =/= female and XY=/=male, humans are more complex, look at--" and then lists a bunch of rare and terrifying genetic disorders and syndromes, with "syndrome" in their name. Most people only hear about shit like that right before they terminate a pregnancy. It doesn't normalize transgenderism to pair it with syndromes and birth defects, or else we'd all be ok with kids with spina bifida.

It does, though. I mean, I’m sorry to be the bearer of uncomfortable news, but trans men are still biologically female and trans women are still biologically male. The world has to understand that medical issues sometimes present differently depending on biology. A trans woman isn’t going to end up with ovarian issues and trans men aren’t going to have to worry about prostate issues. That doesn’t stop trans people being men and women, it’s just an uncomfortable fact that biology is still important when it comes to health, and being trans doesn’t protect from that biology.

The majority of people are either XX and XY, including trans people. There are a large number of intersex people that are only found to be intersex during an autopsy, and so would have never known that they weren’t XX or XY. Other intersex people decide to live as men or women, depending on their personal circumstances. There will also be intersex people that have always been physically closer to one sex and brought up as one sex, but end up being trans because they experience gender dysphoria and need to be the other sex.

I think your final wording is clumsy there, though, to be honest. But you’re right in what you’re trying to say: normalising trans people is a completely separate issue from destigmatising birth defects. Birth defects range from things like spina bifida and intersex conditions, all the way to cleft palates and congenital astigmatism. If someone wants to argue that being trans is a birth defect along those lines – and birth defects are nothing but neutral medical conditions – then I’ll be happy to listen to their reasoning, but that doesn’t mean that it’s “bad.”

It’s just a supreme irony to me that these people, the ones that claim to be “anti-ableism” are so quick to be as ableist as possible when defending people appropriating being trans. It’s absurd.

Beak Trims Are Not Normal

Parrot beaks are composed of bone covered in a layer of keratin, the same substance our hair and fingernails are made of. The keratin layer of the beak continues to grow throughout the life of the bird to replace parts that become worn down. Unlike fingernails, parrots should not ever need their beaks trimmed, this is not a normal grooming requirement.

A parrot with an overgrown or misshapen beak has a health problem or a lack of proper environmental enrichment. There are numerous causes of beak overgrowth including:

Liver Disease
Improper Diet
Lack of Proper Toys
Birth Defect
Low Vitamin A

Diets composed mainly of seeds are high in fat which can affect the liver and low in vitamins which directly impacts how the beak grows. Parrots on seed diets should be slowly switched over to pelleted diets supplemented with fresh vegetables.

Proper diets also help parrots because they must manipulate the food with their beaks which helps keep them worn down. This is also why having lots of toys and other environmental enrichment activities is important. Birds that simply reach into a dish to eat and don’t have to work for their food become bored and the beaks overgrow from lack of use.

Some parrots are on wonderful diets and have lots of toys and other activities and still have beak problems. Often these are due to bird defects like an over or underbite or trauma. X-rays are often needed to diagnose this and these birds do need frequent beak trims but this is not common.

Trimming a beak is not a simple task like trimming a nail. The entire beak has to be assessed and it must be correctly shaped. Simply trimming it short in one spot will change how pressure is applied to other portions of the beak which will cause even more malformation. An understanding of the physics of the beak and how even a small change will impact the entire organ is very important. Sometimes we have to make very small changes over several trims to slowly force the beak to grow correctly.
Because there are so many reasons the beak may be in need of a corrective trim it is very important to do a complete medical work up and find the cause. The concern is that if there is a medical problem not only should we address it and fix it, but the stress of a beak trim on top of an illness can actually be fatal in some birds.

Flat-Earth Fuckery

Pairing: none

Word Count: 770

Warnings: cursing, flat-earthers (sorry if you’re one of them), a bit of hilarity

Summary: when Sam decides to explore Facebook, he gets into it a little more than he bargained for.

Send an ask or leave a comment! Feedback is appreciated

“Oh. My. God.”

You glanced up from your book, eyes fixed on Sam. He was scrolling through a page on his laptop, his face contorted in exasperation. He’s been typing furiously for the past five minutes, breathing angrily through his nose, and this was the first time you’d heard him stop.

“What?” You leaned back in your chair and raised your arms above your head, stretching your back out.

“Some people are so stupid,” Sam muttered. “What the hell is this?”

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Happy Women Physicians Day!

I owe an incalculable debt to all the amazing women who came before me and paved my path. 

A selection of my personal heroes, in order of their birth year: 

Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell, the first woman to receive a medical degree in America. 

Dr. Dorthy Reed Mendenhall, the woman who discovered Hodgkin’s Disease is not in fact a type of TB by discovering the eponymous Reed-Sternberg cell. 

Dr. Helen B. Taussig, pioneer in the field of pediatric cardiology despite her considerable hearing loss. 

Dr. Gisella Perl, a Jewish gynecologist who was interned at Auschwitz and saved the lives of hundreds of women through great determination and sacrifice.

Dr. Virginia Apgar, an anesthesiologist who developed the Apgar Score we all know and love, improving mother and infant mortality rate in America by pushing obstetricians to do better. 

Dr. Frances Oldham Kelsey, the Canadian pharmacologist and physician who blocked the approval of thalidomide by the FDA and thus prevented a potentially massive wave of birth defects in the US. 

 Dr. Joycelyn Elders, first African American female Surgeon General of the United States, who never shied away from controversial topics like drug legalization or human sexuality if she believed it would improve the overall health of the nation. 

My Backwoods Abortion/The Scariest Day of my Life

When I was in high school I knew a girl who had an abortion at age 17. I remember thinking to myself ‘I will never do that’. What’s that saying? We make plans and God laughs? God must have been howling.

In the early fall of 2009 I was 18. I was a freshman at Reinhardt College in North Georgia, which is affiliated with the Methodist church. I was an Psychology major with plans to become a therapist (again, God laughs). I lived on campus and was still working on making friends. I had been in a committed relationship with my boyfriend for a little over a year and I was head over heels in love. We were sexually active and I was on birth control. Things were, overall, pretty good. I was struggling a little with my mental illness, but it was generally under control. And then it happened. On a clear day in September I realized I was 3 weeks late.

I called my best friend at the time in an all out panic. There’s no way, right?! I’m on birth control! So, I bought a 2 pack of pregnancy tests all while trying to convince myself that I was overreacting. I peed on the first stick and awaited the results for 5 minutes (longest 5 minutes of my life) and then I looked. 2 pink horizontal lines. I was in the doorway to my bathroom and I collapsed. I sat there in shock for a few minutes before I began sobbing. I called my best friend and took the second test while on the phone with her. Again, same result. In that moment on the dirty, cold, tile, bathroom floor I thought to myself “I can’t do this”. It was a defining moment in my life. On that beautiful fall day I went from being “pro life” to “pro choice”.

I called my boyfriend and gave him the news. He was shocked. “So, what do we do?” he asked. “I’m going to have an abortion” I responded. But first I was going to talk to the school nurse. I went to my SUPER LIBERAL RA and delivered the news. She went downstairs with me to talk to the nurse. With tears in my eyes and a shaky voice I told the nurse my dilemma. She listened to me and my decision, handed me some tissues, and then placed a little box in my hands. Inside the box was a tiny 1 inch baby on a bed of cotton balls. “This is what your baby looks like” she said. To which my RA responded “No. Her FETUS looks more like a semicolon” and then we walked out. I sobbed for a bit in my RAs room before heading back to mine.

Again, I called my best friend. She helped me find a clinic. There were only 2 options that we could find anywhere near my area and I called up the closest one, 45 minutes away. 2 hours after finding out I was pregnant I had an abortion scheduled for 3 days later. Some might view my decision as “hasty”, but I knew what was best for me. I was not emotionally, mentally, or financially stable enough to have a child. I was on life saving medications that would most likely cause serious birth defects or miscarriage. I didn’t want to drop out of college. When you know, you know. I have no regrets.

Three days later, on a murky and cool Friday, my boyfriend drove up to take me to the clinic. I signed in at the front desk. We paid up front and in cash so it wouldn’t show up on my insurance because I didn’t want my parents to know. We waited for roughly an hour before my name was called. I cannot stress this enough- it was the most terrifying experience of my life.

In the back, I was given a handful of pills to take before the procedure. I was given little explanation as to what the pills were, but MY GOD did they take effect quickly. I was then given forms to sign and, in my state, I could hardly hold the pen let alone read what was written. But, I signed them nonetheless. The nurse (or whoever the hell she was) told me to strip down and gave me one of those blue medical sheets to wrap myself in. She led me into the next room and sat me down on a red COUCH along with 3 other women. For the life of me I can’t remember what the other ladies were talking about, but I listened to them converse for 20 minutes before a different nurse ushered me into the procedure room. I was instructed to removed the sheet and lie on my back on the table. The nurse conducted an ultrasound and I can still hear her say “Do you want to see the baby”? I promptly slurred “NO!”. Moments later the doctor entered the room and the nurse put an IV in my arm. I don’t remember anything after that.

I don’t know how much time passed, but I woke up to my boyfriend rubbing my right shoulder. It was over. I was HEAVILY sedated so he had to help me put on my sweats and shoes. Upon leaving I was given a bottle of pain pills with a scrap of paper with dosage instructions. No number to call. No follow up appointment. My boyfriend more or less carried me to the car. He told me later there were protestors present. For some unknown reason I told him I wanted chicken nuggets so we drove to McDonalds. We were waiting in the drive thru line when I was overcome with pain and nausea. I opened the car door and leaned out as quickly as I could before throwing up bile for the next 10 minutes. I felt like my insides were falling out. It was completely terrifying. It is the most pain I’ve ever been in in my life and I had brain cancer as a kid so I’m no stranger to pain.

My saint of an RA let my boyfriend stay in my dorm room for the weekend (I had a private room), which was 100% unacceptable at Reinhardt. He heaved me up onto my lofted twin sized bed and I quickly fell asleep for a few hours. When I woke up I thought I was dying. I took some pain medication and then made my way to the bathroom to throw it all up. Slumped down beside the toilet, I beat my knuckles bloody against the white cinderblock wall. I was in complete agony and petrified. As I was given little information at the clinic, I did not know what to expect. But, I was sure that something had gone terribly wrong.

My boyfriend and RA took care of me while I recovered and by Monday afternoon I was myself again. I remember eating a lot of Easy Mac and chewy chocolate chip granola bars during that time. Life went back to normal and my boyfriend and I never really brought it up again. But, you remember how I said I thought something must have gone wrong? For 2 years after the abortion I refused to have a vaginal exam. I was convinced I was “broken”. Thankfully, I can tell you that I eventually did have an examination and everything is in working order.

About 2 months after my abortion that clinic was shut down due to unsafe conditions and expired licenses of both nurses and doctors. There were multiple arrests.

I tell you my story because there is a president in the White House who is trying to make abortion illegal. He wants to take away a woman’s right to abortion which is considered by the UN to be a basic human right. Outlawing abortion will not stop it, but it will make it unsafe. My backwoods and unsanitary abortion will, in many ways, become a fairytale story. Do you know how abortions were preformed before Roe V Wade was passed? Women shoved coat hangers and sewing needles up their vaginas. They used bleach or turpentine douches. While it may not go back to those extremes, the procedures will not be regulated. Any random Joe who puts “Dr.” in front of his name could perform an abortion.

Our president wants to defund Planned Parenthood because PP assists women with abortion. Fun fact: Under Title X, PLANNED PARENTHOOD RECEIVES NO FEDERAL FUNDING FOR ABORTION SERVICES. What will happen is women and men will lose access to a myriad of healthcare services including affordable prescribed birth control and other contraceptives, cancer screenings, assistance with rape and sexual assault, HIV/AIDS and other STD testing, high blood pressure screenings, thyroid screenings, anemia screenings, pap tests, and more. Only 3% of women who go to PP are seeking abortion services.

Having access to affordable birth control and honest sexual education (enough of that abstinence nonsense) reduces the rate of abortions. As access to these services has increased, the abortion rate has decreased. The rate of abortions has decreased drastically since the 1980s.

If you have religious concerns regarding abortion, I completely respect that. That is you right as an American. But, America is not a religious entity. That whole separation of church and State thing is a thing (although it’s gotten completely out of hand). While I am not a Christian, I am a daughter of a Lutheran minister. I was raised to believe in the love and compassion of a savior with the authority to absolve all sins. I was taught that I was saved my God’s grace and His grace alone. I was taught to hate the sin and not the sinner. If you believe abortion is a sin, OK. But, spreading hatred based on your religious convictions just adds fuel to the Devil’s fire. Jesus broke bread and drank wine with the untouchables of the world and instructed His followers to love our neighbor as we love ourself. If you are a Christian, you believe that Jesus was crucified, died, was buried, rose again, and is seated at the right hand of the Father. Through his struggle we are forgiven of all sins. We are loved unconditionally. What’s that slogan? What would Jesus do? Remember that the next time you judge others that “sin” differently than you. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

So, that’s it. That’s the story of the scariest day of my life. I invite you to share your own stories because it’s time to speak up if you can. In the meantime, I will continue to be open about my experiences and struggles because I know there are people out there who share my pain in silence. I will not go out without a fight and I’ve got enough passion to last me till the bitter end.

Thanks for reading!

Molecule of the Day - DDT

Dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (C14H9Cl5), more commonly known as DDT, is a colourless, tasteless solid under room conditions. It was used as an insecticide during the 1940s-1970s, and gained notoriety after Rachel Carson’s 1962 book, Silent Spring, which highlighted the health and environmental effects of DDT.

DDT acts by binding to voltage-gated sodium ion channels of neurons (as seen on the left of the diagram below), causing these channels to be permanently open instead of opening only upon the arrival of an action potential. Consequently, there is a continuous influx of Na+ ions into the neuron, which triggers a series of rapid action potentials and hence neuronal impulses. This leads to rapid muscle contractions, spasms, and death.

While this effect does not occur in humans and other non-insects, it is still moderately toxic, and as been shown to be an endocrine disruptor. Therefore, chronic exposure to it can lead to tumour formation, developmental problems, and birth defects. DDT is also considered to be a possible carcinogen.

Due to the hydrophobicity of DDT, it tends to accumulate in the lipids of living organisms rather than in the environment. This results in biomagnification, in which its concentration increases upon going up the food chain, as each organism of a rung of the chain consumes multiple prey. Consequently, the usage of DDT affected the populations of many birds of prey, such as the bald eagle.

In 1962, Rachel Carson published the book Silent Spring, which highlighted the negative effects of the usage of DDT and other pesticides on the environment and biodiversity. This book was revolutionary; it sparked a heated debate on pesticides and contributed to the 1972 US ban on DDT. The world followed suit; most countries around the world now prohibit the use of DDT, except for limited disease vector control purposes, such as for malaria.

DDT is synthesised by the condensation of a molecule of chloral and 2 molecules of chlorobenzene via an electrophilic substitution reaction, producing water as a by-product.

Requested by anonymous