Historically I’ve avoided talking about abortion because it’s one of those issues that neither the left nor right think rationally about. Abortion is one of those very few topics I will refuse to debate lefties or righties on, simply because it’s too emotional an issue for most people to stay rational. As soon as you start making sense, both lefties and righties get furious, lose their shit, and start saying irrational things. Then, per my usual rule, the conversation is over. Nothing has been accomplished.
However this is such a critical issue to your sex life, and so much information is coming out about this, I would be remiss if I didn’t discuss it at least a little. So god help us, here we go.
News came out this week that the U.S. abortion rate has declined by 13% between 2008 and 2011. This is good news, but it’s not as simple as it sounds.
Conservatives are hailing this as a result of their oppressive, big government, religion-based, anti-abortion laws. Left liberals are hailing this as a success of big government’s efforts to provide women with free contraception, to counteract the “War On Women” (which as I’ve discussed before is complete bullshit).
As usual, both sides are wrong. As detailed here, the real reasons for this decline are:
Reason 1: A Bad Economy
Notice the dates (2008-2011). Those were bad economic years. Less people get pregnant during bad economies, and those who do get preggo are less able to afford an abortion. If you read the linked study above, you’ll see that unintended pregnancies increased between 2001 to 2008, when the economy was good. Women (and men) are less careful about getting pregnant on accident when they feel money is plentiful.
Reason 2: Increased Birth Control Technology and Increased Acceptance of It
More women are using more forms of birth control that work well (like the IUD). Moreover, doctors are getting less queasy about prescribing these effective birth control methods. For example the “IUDs are only for women who’ve already had children” thing is vanishing from clinics and doctor’s offices. Thank goodness.
I have personally been surprised that more women have things like Nexplanon and IUDs as compared to 2007 when I first re-entered the dating world. It’s great. (Considering birth control pills don’t work.)
Reason 3: Increased Use of Mifepristone
This is what the medical industry calls “early medication abortions”, which means women taking the abortion pill mifepristone (formerly known as RU-486). This is not the “morning after pill” or “Plan B” bill. That’s a pill a woman takes the next day after having sex. It does not require a prescription and it prevents fertilization from happening in the first place. (Every man reading these words should have a Plan B pill or two in his bathroom in case of emergencies. I do.) The abortion pill is very different. It actually kills a growing fetus, and can be taken weeks after the fertilization, and can only be done with medical supervision.
Since taking Plan B is not an abortion, it’s not counted towards these stats, but the abortion pill is, and many more women are using both. Again, thank goodness.
My Opinion On Abortion
That’s the background. Now we get to the controversial stuff.
First off, it’s no secret that I am absolutely, 100% against women having babies outside of a financially stable relationship (unless those women are already extremely wealthy on their own). I see way, way too many young, low-income women do this and damn near 100% of the time it results in pain and chaos for everyone involved, often for decades. It’s horrible for her, horrible for the child, horrible for the biological father, and horrible for the mother’s immediate family. It is evil and must stop.
Whoa, whoa, wait a minute Blackdragon! I thought you were against marriage?
Of course I’m against it (at least the traditional Disney type). That’s why I don’t care about so-called “out of wedlock” births the conservatives are always freaking out about. Having an out of wedlock birth doesn’t really matter in a society with 63% divorce rates. Long term monogamy doesn’t work, and marriage is usually a temporary condition only. So the odds are extremely high the woman will become a single mother eventually, regardless if the birth occurs inside or outside of a likely temporary marriage.
That’s why I say “financially stable relationship” instead of “wedlock”. If a responsible, 30 year-old woman who makes $50,000 a year with an OLTR she’s been seeing for 2 years who himself also makes around $50,000 year (or more) wants to get pregnant and have some babies, go for it. Well done.
Even if they break up later, which they probably will, the odds are decent the breakup will be amicable, the responsible father will regularly be present in the child’s life, and the child’s financial needs will be taken care of by both biological parents without government welfare or income redistribution involvement.
The problem is when the unemployed 23 year-old woman has a baby “on accident” with a 24 year-old guy she’s been dating for three months who works part time at a pizza restaurant and spends the rest of his time smoking weed. The odds are overwhelming the parents will end up hating each other, the father will vanish from the child’s life eventually, the child and mother will spend the rest of their lives in financial poverty, the child will likely grow up to be a criminal and/or have babies too soon just like mommy did, and both mother and child will be living off your hard-earned tax dollars.
I see way too much of the latter and not enough of the former. In the latter case, that 23 year-old woman needs to get an abortion. She should not have the child. Period. It would be better for everyone involved.
When Abortion Is Good
Does this mean I’m a left wing liberal and think that a woman can do whatever she wants with a baby just because it happens to be in her body, including kill it? No. My core opinion on abortion is this:
Abortion is good when the fetus is not a human being. This should be done more often. Abortion is murder and wrong when the fetus is a human being. This should never be done and should be illegal.
There’s that age-old question…when is a fetus a human being? Conservatives believe “life begins at conception”. Sure, life does begin at conception, but it’s not a human being. An ant has life, but it’s not a human being.
Do I know exactly when a fetus becomes a human being? Nope. I have no idea. But I do know when it’s not a human being. Science is pretty clear on that one. When you get your FB pregnant on accident, because you were stupid and didn’t take my advice about using condoms, that thing created inside the lining of her uterus the next day is not a human being. It’s a microscopic clump of cells. A human being is not a microscopic clump of cells. I’m sorry conservatives, but that’s not what a human is.
(It’s also not a “potential human being” any more than some teenage boy’s sock jizz. As much as 70% of human embryos don’t make it past 5 days. So this “potential human” stuff is irrational conservative garbage.)
A week later, it’s still a microscopic clump of cells. An entire month later, it’s still a clump of cells. No longer microscopic, it’s still only the size of a poppy seed. Still not a human. Not even close.
This is why I 100% support women getting abortions within the first few weeks of pregnancy. It’s better for everyone, and there is no human death involved. Even at six and seven weeks it’s just a tiny clump of flesh. So an abortion at any time up to then is not only okay with me, but I think more women should do it.
When Abortion Is Bad
I’m going to repeat that I have no idea when human life begins in an embryo. I’m not a doctor and I’m not god, so I really don’t know. Regardless of what your position on abortion is, I don’t think you know either. But at around 8 weeks of pregnancy, science does start giving us some clues. It’s about this time when the brain starts to form. By 10 weeks, it has hands, kidneys, lungs, intestines, and most importantly, a brain.
It has now gone from an embryo, a clump of cells and flesh, to a baby, a human. Granted, it’s the size of a orange at this point, but babies are small. That doesn’t make them less human.
That means that at somewhere after 8-10 weeks, I am completely against abortion. I think an abortion at that point is murder and should be illegal. I believe in Natural Law, which means all human beings own their own bodies. That baby is a human. It has a right to life. The woman carrying it at that point has no right to kill it, any more than anyone else has a right to kill the woman. I’m sorry progressives, but babies have the right to life every bit as much as their mothers.
Therefore while I am rabidly PRO-abortion prior to about 8-10 weeks, I am ANTI-abortion after about 10 weeks. Probably not a stance you’ve ever heard before, but as always, I form my opinions based on facts and reality, not my emotions, upbringing, religion, or Societal Programming.
We could now get into all kinds of esoteric examples (“What about in cases of rape?” “What if the life of the mother is threatened by the pregnancy?”) but I’d rather not go there; it will end up in a huge argument where nothing will be accomplished. I’ve stated my case, do with it what you will.
What All This Abortion Stuff Has To Do With You
As always, I will tie all this back to real-world advice you can use to better your life. I’ve given the following advice before…here it is again:
1. Always use condoms when you have sex (with the possible exception of that one trusted woman in your life who has demonstrated through her actions, not words, that she’s sexually responsible).
2. Never trust birth control pills. Ever. However things like IUDs, Nexplanon, Essure, and tubal ligations you can trust. Depo shots are somewhere in the middle.
3. Always, always have pregnancy tests, small plastic cups, and Plan B pills in your bathroom ready to go in case you ever need them. Remember, Plan B is not an abortion. If you were drunk or stupid the night before, you’ll be ready with them.
That way, any time a woman says “I might be pregnant!”, you’ll be ready to rock and know exactly what to do. Just stay “Step into my office”, walk her into your bathroom, and have her pee in a cup. Then use the pregnancy test on her pee. (Do it yourself. Do not let her do it.) Then you’ll know what’s what.
4. If you’re monumentally stupid and really do get someone pregnant on accident, and the pregnancy is less than about two months old, she needs to get an abortion ASAP. Pay for it yourself if you have to. It will be the best money you’ll ever spend.
5. If her pregnancy is more than about two months, you’re fucked. An abortion at this point is murder (at least in my strong opinion), and you have no right to do that. Live and learn, and enjoy paying child support for the next 18 years.
I’m glad I finally got all this off my chest. This is a dangerous topic, and my stance on it pisses off both sides of the political spectrum. As always when considering these kinds of issues, pause, take a deep breath, relax, and examine things rationally.
You’ll be much happier that way.