Let’s end the abortion argument

I was actually a little incredulous that Mountain Xpress published Diana Ronald-Szabo's letter, which beat the old "abortion is murder" drum [“Call Abortion What It Is: Murder,” March 9]. I was further surprised to see Erika Harrison's response in print [“Appreciate Those Who Protect the Right to Choose,” March 23 Xpress].

Neither the most Catholic pro-lifer nor atheist pro-choice advocate wants an abortion! The issue here is: What are we women doing wrong that results in 1.25 million cases of unwanted pregnancy termination per year in the U.S. alone? We do know what causes pregnancy, don't we? While I concede that both a male and female are required and responsible for every pregnancy, it is ultimately the woman's decision whether to conceive, at least as long as rape is illegal. We know if we're fertile, we know if we're protected and we overwhelmingly have more self-control than men when it comes to the decision to copulate. There is an embarrassing amount of female stupidity and irresponsibility demonstrated by the high number of abortions in this country. It's obvious that we're using it as retroactive birth control. My sisters, that's dumb.

You can be sure that if it were men's bodies that were to be burdened, even ravaged by pregnancy and delivery or abortion, there would be mandatory birth-control stations in every high school and place of employment. I think we can tackle this personal women's issue without government or clerical intervention. Regardless of legal or religious rules, the “choice” to become pregnant is ours. This gives every woman the power to incrementally guide the genetic future of mankind. This power carries the enormous responsibility to create or not create another human life. It's not a casual undertaking. Somewhere on the spectrum between taking a chastity vow and freebasing clomiphene, every woman can surely find her conception comfort zone, and eliminate the argument for or against abortion altogether.

See? Problem solved! Now we can use abortion clinics to treat cancer, and pro-life picket signs for kindling fires to warm the homeless.

— Mary Quinn


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11 thoughts on “Let’s end the abortion argument

  1. Beaver Boy

    Refreshing! I never can understand why it is a “woman’s body/woman’s choice” when it comes to abortion, but half the man’s “fault” when she gets pregnant. Not her body or choice before the conception? (sans rape). Her body/choice only afterwards it would seem. If a man is held accountable for conception, and a pregnancy is half his responsibility, how can his rights be terminated by half of those responsible? If it’s half his, shouldn’t the “responsible” man be allowed to stop the abortion of his child? If it’s not half his, shouldn’t he be allowed to opt out? It seems to me that under our current laws, it only half his before pregnancy and after birth. Ours, then mine, then ours yet again.

    “It is ultimately the woman’s decision whether to conceive, at least as long as rape is illegal”

  2. Notwithstanding anything else you said, “This gives every woman the power to incrementally guide the genetic future of mankind” is not true.

    Not even close.

  3. who

    ..in a perfect world; and if everybody just played nice, drove the speed limit, and never got a divorce – all problems solved. Geez, if everybody would just do what I think they should do we’d live in utopia.

  4. Grits

    Sadly, one of the most concrete points of your argument is the one that the population is failing to comprehend. “the “choice” to become pregnant is ours.” This just isn’t accurate… the clarity of it gets shat on somewhere in between the mythical idea of practicing “safe sex,” a fool-proof plan of abstinence, and the dirty rap songs that fuel the debacle. We will can’t have a clear “if you have sex, you will become pregnant,” because a) that is untrue, and b) there are many options that prevent this, but none of them are fool proof. Birth control methods (like all general medicines) are not perfect. They’re expensive, and for many, parents get in the way of obtaining them. Also, yeah, its true, some girls are just being plain dumb. In your argument, you say, “every woman can surely find her conception comfort zone,” but really, that’s just like saying, “surely every person can drink responsibly.” There’s a difference between the verbs /can/ and /will/. Education is the best solution to bridging the gap between what we can potentially do, and what we actually will do. But, when it comes to pregnancy prevention, the demand for education is WAY too low.

    Demand *could* be fueled by making abortions illegal, but that’s out of the question. Demand could be fueled by fear of becoming a teen-mom, but unfortunately, we make these people TV stars now, so that’s out of the question… Oh, and demand could be fueled by a strong family unit, a female’s foresight into her own future, personal integrity and wisdom… but these are also out of the question, because really, its just sex, right?

    When it comes down to it, unsafe sex is a “sin” of our society. To fix the problem, we need to build a better, more responsible society.

    Someone should phone up the next generation and let them know.

  5. sidneynemms

    …if we really, really gave a damn about future generations, we wouldn’t conceive them!

  6. maryquinn

    mat catastrophy–If, in a given species, the female generally chooses the mate, she is coincidentally choosing the genetic material to pass on to her offspring…That is the incremental guidance I wrote of. What do you disagree with? You might google the definition of ‘incremental’ before you argue….’cause I think I nailed it. Let me give you a more practical example:

    If you’re sitting at a bar making eyes at some femme…and she finds you unattractive (hard to imagine, I know, but stay with me here)…and chooses NOT to, ya know, do those things with you that might end up in a situation in which she bears your child….she has made all the choice she’s able to NOT to pass your genes onto the next generation…that’s ONE INCREMENT in the billions of increments in the progression of human evolution.

  7. maryquinn

    Grits–you’re apparently very young, and more than a little naiive. Birth control is cheap cheap cheap…especially when compared to the cost of raising a child. There’s no way that this is a financial argument.

    And they (modern birth control methods) are nearly perfect…I’ve been on the pill for years, and more than a little careless in my selection process and prudence, if do say so myself…so far, so good…no welfare recipients have dropped out of me yet!

  8. bobdurivage

    I heard that after two weeks, a fetus has a brainwave. It knows it is alive and can feel pain. This is probably where I would draw the line.

  9. Megan

    I find the argument that anyone would use abortion as retroactive birth control rather untasteful not to mention unrealistic.

    Myself and many other women cannot take hormonal based birth controls because of their effects on mood, which only leaves a few, much less effective forms of birth control as options. I know several women (including my mother and grandmother)who have had abortions, some multiple times, and the decision was never made happily or easily.

    Abortions are not cheap, not to mention the social stigma attached to having an abortion leaves a permanent impression on anyone who opts to take that route.

    Guilt-laden statements about female stupidity/irresponsibility and the sexist (and refuted) argument that women have more sexual self-control than men only helps to vilify those women considering an abortion and also ensures that they will be less likely to seek out help they feel they need, leading to more problems for them and their families later on.

  10. maryquinn

    Your argument is well articulated, (and I really hoped for more responses like this) but I think you fail to address my main point. The situation of the already-pregnant woman considering an abortion is irrelevant to my idea here. Politically, I’m waaaaay pro-choice, but the puritanical ‘morality’ that the pro-life movement clings to serves as a distraction from the real topic, which is that we gotta get a logical handle on our breeding one way or another, and abortion probably isn’t the best way…do you really disagree with that? No way!

    Seriously, though, there’s no way you’re going to convince me that any unwanted pregnancy was simply unavoidable (anecdotal evidence of family members having multiple abortions actually goes toward my argument…what’s going on there?). The availablility of last-resort morning after pill (no picnic, but way better that a vacuum to the uterus) trumps any argument for an abortion-based solution to sexual irresponsibility.
    I don’t seek to vilify women considering abortions, but I’m not going to hold them up as champions of feminism either. Not by a long shot. At over a million per annum, I still think they make us look stupid.

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