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And then, unbelievably, both married twins had their kidneys stolen

LONDON — A brother and sister who were parted at birth and adopted by different families married without knowing of their biological relationship, and then won an annulment, a leading anti-abortion campaigner, David Alton, said in the House of Lords on Friday. Lord Alton, a peer who is also one of Britain's leading advocates for children's rights, cited the case in a debate over new legislation on human fertilization and embryology, which opponents say will weaken the ability of children to identify their biological parents. Lord Alton, who said he had been told of the case by the high court judge who granted the annulment, did not name the judge or the couple or offer any other details, beyond saying the case was recent.

Incredibly, the story made the BBC, USA Today, the New York Times, and countless other estimable news organs without anyone subjecting it to the most cursory smell-test, even though Lord Alton is clearly a fount of uncontrolled pro-life sentiment who is not above improvising stories to make a point. It is not in fact such a terrible point to make, since the standing policy in most Western countries rests upon the absurd idea that custodial parents have the right to the cooperation of the law in deliberately obfuscating their children's biological heritage. But such a worthy cause does not require support by means of cultivated urban legendry. I assume that someone in the UK media is already taking the steps that will lead to Alton's ultimate apology and/or climbdown.


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Comments (5)

Rod Blaine:

Yeah, whereas pro-choicers never ever ever make up stories to support *their* cause. Just ask Norma Jean McCorvey about "Jane Roe" being raped, or Bernard Nathanson about the death rate from "back alley" abortions pre-Roe v Wade.

In fact, I don't think this story is inherently implausible, and I can't see that Alton could properly give any more identifying details than he already has. It's a verifiable fact that organisations who reunify adult adoptees with their relatives will quietly warn them against the risk of getting a "crush" and committing incest - and that's even though they know full well they're related. Or they know it intellectually, but haven't grown up with the same gut-level taboo against whomsoever lusteth after his sister. (IIRC, psychologists found this taboo can also apply to unrelated children you grew up with, but it doesn't apply to related children you didn't grow up with).

Ironically, this anecdote would have worked even better if used by the other LibDem peer Lord David (Steel, that is) to support his preference for abortion over adoption: "... and then they grew up and MARRIED EACH OTHER!" At the Charleston bar or on the Clapham omnibus, the ee-ew factor for incest is much higher than for abortion. Which isn't particularly logical, by any Millian or Benthamite or Rawlsian standard, but there you have it.

Half Canadian:

I fail to see how this relates to the pro-life movement. It's relationship to adopted children is clear, and I would see how it relates to sperm donors (half-brother and half-sister getting it on), but as far as stopping abortion? There certainly is no direct link.

Rod Blaine:
Rod Blaine:

Update: An here's an example with specific faces ("names changed", though, for some reason).


Rod Blaine:

PS: And note that the readers' comments confirm my estimation of the "ee-ew" factor. A "reader's confession" titled "I had an abortion" would never elicit this much condemnation.


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