The choice of having children: Why abortions happen

In having a discussion with someone a while back who is anti-abortion she said, “Isn’t it interesting how when they don’t want it, it’s a fetus, but when they do want it, it’s a child”.  The implication being that the argument on when personhood occurs is arbitrary.  Aside from the fact that she’s wrong, because a lot of people, even when they want a child and get pregnant, they still don’t think of the fetus at 14 weeks as a person, she made an important point without realizing it.  There is a big difference in our attitude when want to have children (even if it isn’t exactly planned) and when we don’t.  Meaning that the important question to ask is, if we don’t want the child, why would someone get an abortion?  Given that it has happened since we existed as a species, either there are a significant proportion of psychopathic humans who love murdering babies, or there is a natural and logical explanation for it.

In my last post, I talked a little bit about the fact that we are wired not only to procreate, but also to sustain ourselves and our community.  Community is much different than it was in hunter-gatherer days and in some ways it is much worse.  Western society especially can be very individualistic and so support may come from nowhere else but yourself, and you’re often lucky if you have a partner who is willing to support you if you become unexpectedly pregnant.  To our Paleolithic brains the worry about the scarcity of resources to care for our child is going to make us look for options other than not having the child.  If you feel like you have inadequate resources to care for the child, you will likely not want to carry it to full term.  I read a blog just recently about how great Christian communities can be when someone loses a job in helping them through that, but it’s a very different story when a teenage girl has a pregnancy out of wedlock.  She risks being shunned by family and friends. And I don’t mean to just single out Christians, because there are great many other cultures that stigmatize girls for getting pregnant outside of marriage.  So no matter how supportive a community might be in other aspects, when an unwed girl gets pregnant she is often treated much differently.

When you look at countries that have the lowest rate of abortions you find that these are societies that give adequate health care to pre-natal mothers, give financial support to mothers once their babies arrive such as 1-2 years of maternity leave for the mother, and even a good deal for the fathers.  Women have free access to birth control, and there is a lot of emphasis placed on sex education and proper child care.  Is it any wonder that such countries have low abortion rates?  The country I’m in right now is Poland.  Poland has banned abortion for social reasons and only allows for abortions in the case of 1) Risk to the health of the mother 2) serious birth defects 3) Cases of rapes and incest.  I can say that there is at least some compassion here as many in the U.S. do not even want to give women these options.  That being said, as this article indicates, the policy was put into effect (in 1993 before which abortions were allowed for social reasons) with little forethought in supporting mothers and thus abortions have not stopped and have simply had to go underground and try to terminate pregnancies less safely.  And this is the important point.  Making abortions illegal does not stop abortions.  This article is a bit old, but looks at abortion rates worldwide.  In countries where abortions are illegal they have a hard time getting data on the number of illegal abortions, but use techniques based on estimates of how many women have to be hospitalized after getting an illegal abortion.  There are about 5 times more women getting illegal abortions than those hospitalized after the illegal abortion.  And despite a country like Brazil having several hundred thousand women hospitalized it does not deter women from having abortions.  When abortions are banned they still happen and are unregulated.  They happen more expensively if you want it done right, but for most people, they will simply not be able to afford it or the more qualified person will simply be too far away or too booked up, and women will use a cheaper, less qualified, and less sanitary, less safe method for the abortion.  Perhaps heard of “coat hanger abortion”, this was a reality when abortions were banned in this country when some women would try to terminate their own pregnancy.  A follower on the last blog post said she knew someone that used abortion as a form of birth control and had multiple abortions.  I agree wholeheartedly that this is a terrible situation, and one does have to wonder what would be wrong with someone who thinks that it is a valid form of birth control.  It seems fairly clear that such a person is not mentally sound, but one therefore must also ask the question, if abortions were illegal, would such a person be deterred from having multiple abortions?  Once again we must go back to the question, why would a woman want to terminate her pregnancy if the drive to reproduce is so strong in life, and if we can answer that, what are the necessary conditions to deter women from having abortions?

If you were paying attention to the last post and this one you will realize that one factor is of primary importance to the brain in determining whether to keep one’s baby.  The first is to feel supported.  This means feeling supported by your family and community and feeling that you have the material resources available to care for your child.  Now it’s probably true to say that there or many women who may have the resources or have the support, but simply perceive that they don’t but perception is also relevant.  Just because you may see someone as having more options than they have, we build our own realities. Furthermore, no matter how much we may love and be willing to sacrifice for our child a perceived strain on being able to proffer our own survival or drain the resources of our supporting community will impact our decision.  For instance a woman might think that they could have the baby, but they would need financial help, and while she might know her parents would help, she also knows they would have to blow through their retirement nest egg to do so.  And it’s important to remember that there are other factors that come into play.  Perhaps the father of the child is abusive.  Perhaps the parents will simply kick the mother out of the house for shaming the family.  A woman using abortion as a form of birth control might be doing so to continue her heavy drinking, drug use, and wild unprotected sex lifestyle.  Is this the type of person we want to raise a child?  Becoming pregnant can be a transformative experience for some, but for others simply makes matters worse and now there is a child in the world with a parent or parents ill-equipped to care for it.

Personally I feel there is a lot of vitriol aimed at the pro-choice crowd, but I don’t think any of us are opening up a bottle of champagne every time there is an abortion.  We have common ground, and we’d all like to see a respect for life that is equal to the respect for women who have unplanned pregnancies.  Shaming, blaming, and scorn only exacerbates the feelings of isolation and a lack of support and simply doesn’t help.  So if you love babies and you want every child to have a chance at life here are some things you can do to help:

  1. Fight for all women to get a minimum of 1 month maternity leave.  In that first year, she shouldn’t have to worry about money while doing the very difficult job of trying to adjust to having a new person in her life.  And if you can give the father 6 months paternity leave, that would be awesome too.
  2. Fight for universal health care. Don’t like the APA then improve it.  This helps all women have easy access to birth control.
  3. Make sure the education system treats sex openly and responsibly. Enough with this abstinence only stuff.  It doesn’t work.  Make sure your kids can get actual information about sex.  Instead of pretending it’s not going to happen to your kid because you taught them it is a sin to not have sex until marriage, accept that they might have sex and make sure that if they do they don’t get pregnant.  Fight to make sure your kids are informed.
  4. My cousin had 3 children by the time she was 19, and my aunt, like a champ stepped up and supported her daughter. I am sure she sacrificed a lot for her child, but knew that if she wanted those girls to have a chance, and her daughter to have a chance to improve her station in life she was going to need help.  Let’s stop shaming our daughters, our sisters, and friends for getting pregnant accidentally and make sure they know you are there for them no matter what.
  5. As a community of people against abortion, use your combined resources to not lobby the government but start funds to help young mothers, adopt babies yourself, and spread the word about adoption as a viable options and convince people that their child will not end up in the foster care system because it spends the first part of its life without being adopted. There are a lot of myths about adoption out there, and for some people it is very costly compared to having your own and having it covered by health care.  Help parents who might want to adopt with the cost, so that pregnant women know that the option is there for them.  I think there is a lot of positive and negative information about adoption out there, and we can do better to make the system more efficient and make women who have unplanned pregnancies more confident about giving their child up for adoption.   I do think things are getting better.
  6. Fight to improve the foster care system, so that children who end up being born to unfit parents have a chance at something better.

When we treat women as only having value for the ability to procreate we also commit a heinous crime to the living.  When we create laws that takes away a women’s right to decide what happens to her body this, to me, is also immoral and is harmful to women.  Especially given that it does not deter abortions from happening.  Can we really force someone to raise a child?  Especially when we make no provisions for how they do so? And speaking of the how, what about the fact that we hold no parents responsible for what crimes their child commits?  Parents are free to teach their children to hate, lust for power, oppress, be greedy, etc.  What of the parents of Dylann Roof, Timothy McVeigh, or an Adam Lanza?  You might argue that these are unique cases, but I bring them up to show the possibilities of what can happen when parents are ill-equipped to raise a child.  What harm to the world have such parents caused, and none are accountable for how they have raised their child.  Are these not crimes as well?  What are the results of having parents who raise a child who genuinely feel like they should not?  The foster system is full of children removed from parents who neglect and harm their children, and the system tries hard, but ultimately many who go through that system end up committing crimes and not having productive lives.  It is this multitude of people who increases the financial burden on others as well, increasing the need for taxation.  Something the conservative crowd that is often anti-abortion is also against.  If we are also against paying for all these unwanted children brought into the world, what is the option?  Letting them starve?  Letting them live in the streets? Is this demonstrative of this love of children that would have scorn those who have an abortion?

Perhaps these crimes are no worse than aborting a fetus, but coming together on this divisive issue requires that we find a solution that tries to minimize all these crimes.  It requires us to minimize the overall harm.  It is completely simplistic to simply tell someone they shouldn’t have sex, or they should have used protection.  It’s quite possible that the reason you have been able to make good decisions in your life, and others have not is because of completely different set of variables in their environment.  There could be a multitude of reasons why that person feels like they have inadequate resources and insufficient energy to raise a child.  But all of us who are pro-choice and pro-life must come together to deal with this issue.  The things I outlined above are a good start and reflect the values that are held in countries that have low rates of abortions.  Of course most of the people I know are pro-choice and you need only to talk to them for a short time to know that there desire to preserve life is as great as anyone.  In some ways moreso as they are anti-war and anti-death penalty and often fight for the preservation of life in many important issues we face today.  As a result I refuse to refer to those who are anti-abortion as those who are pro-life.   We all value life in our own way, so let’s work on solutions that meet that common goal.   As someone who has a child now, that I love an immeasurable amount it is hard for me to imagine life without him now.  Abortion seems all the more tragic, but I also know there are many couples who regret having children when they did, or at all, and it makes me wonder if they would have been better served waiting until a later time, or not having children at all.  Hindsight is always 20/20 and of course I know if I didn’t have my son, I would never know what I was missing.  Most women, not surprisingly don’t regret having an abortion.  Somewhere in the Bible I believe God says to “Be fruitful and multiply”.  We have certainly multiplied, but we have yet to ensure that all people on this planet can be fruitful.  It is the being fruitful that gives people the freedom to multiply.  To feel fruitful, mothers-to-be need to feel supported by their spouses, but their family, by their community, and by their government.  It may never be possible to stop abortion completely, something that has always been part of our nature, but we have the ability to reduce it greatly if we work together and create the environment that mothers need to keep and support their child.

Blogging about abortion is the one way ticket to getting people to hate your gets, but it is important to talk about, even very divisive issues, and hopefully I have made a case for how we can all work together on this issue.  I will finish off this series by talking about the choice to not have children at all, which seems to be increasingly common these days and why having a family with children is not the ultimate life goal in today’s age.

14 thoughts on “The choice of having children: Why abortions happen

  1. I’m glad you brought up this topic, I feel it’s a very very important issue. This may not a few replies because I’m on my phone and can’t really go back to maje sure I cover everything, but I’ll do my best.
    I don’t mind being called anti-abortion, but the other side should be called pro-abortion. I don’t like calling the other side pro+choice because I’m pro-choice , but that’s before a woman decides to have sex. We can choose to have sex or not, to use birth control or not, even choose which kind of birth control.. In fact, she can choose to double up on birth control (condoms and pills)
    I agree that raising children can be a strain and a burden… Its life changing, and that’s why sex needs to be taken more seriously. Women need to think before we act. I want women to be more responsible. If women starting at the age of 14 don’t know how a woman gets pregnant and how to avoid pregnancy, do we really want her to have sex? Schools teach sex education, most parents do talk to their kids about sex, and most people have access to the Internet and can educate themselves about sex and pregnancy.
    I feel you’re blaming others and “society” for women getting pregnant…. We don’t give them enough maternity leave, we shun teenage pregnant girls, our foster system is weak, they have to pay for their Bork control …. None of those should matter. Women should be responsible enough to avoid pregnancy until they are ready.
    Also, conservative groups do help women. They are pregnancy crisis centers. They offer free tests, counseling (even post abortion counseling) , helps women with adoption, they give women formula, diapers, baby clothes.. And all of this done without tax dollars, these workers volunteer, they don’t get millions of dollars from the government, from abortions, or from selling dead baby parts.
    Being a woman against abortion, I’m often attacked for not supporting women, for wanting to push us backwards, that I’m not a real woman!! And that’s insulting!! I hate that because I’m a woman, I’m expected to be ok with abortion, or that I want to government to tell women what to do with their bodies. I don’t want anyone to tell women what to do with their bodies, I’m very pro woman and i feel by making excuses as to why women get abortions makes us look irresponsible and weak .
    I do wish insurance paid for my Birth control pills, but since they don’t, I buy them. If i can handle getting my nails done, my hair done, eating out once a month, or partying with my girls once a month, then I can afford to buy birth control.
    Lastly, I’m against abortion because its one of the most barbaric things I’ve ever seen. There is not a single point anyone can say that justifies cutting or sucking out an unborn child from its mother, chemically burning the unborn child, partly delivering the child then sucking its brain out. I’m sorry.. These are HORRIBLE!!! We execute murderers in a more kind way. We euthanize animals in a peaceful way. But our own children, growing in our bodies, nah, let’s protest to keep it legal to savagely terminate their lives inutero .
    We keep a lot of things illegal despite the fact that people still do them. Murder, rape, drugs, speeding, gambling…. So just because people will do it anyway is not reason enough to keep a barbaric procedure legal.

    This is waaaay too long and I’m sorry. I want to point out, I am for birth control and I am for the morning after pill. I’m just not for the procedures used to terminate pregnancies.

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    1. Thank you Sally for taking time to respond to my blog. It is clear that this is a very emotional issue, and I believe emotion always has its place, especially when it comes to motivating us to solve problems, but I often feel that analysis of a problem is best done through a more objective lens that requires that at best we try to remove our own personal bias. You say that the procedure for abortion is horrible and yet this is a subjective statement that while shared by many, you will find an equal number of people that would not describe at as such. Part of your emotions in this comes from your own definition of when you believe life begins and I cannot definitively claim it as incorrect, but there is a lot of evidence against that claim as well. Consider for instance the definition of death for which there is no argument over. This we say occurs when there is no readable pattern on an EEG. For a fetus this does not occur until week 25. Thus many argue that you cannot kill something that is clinically dead. But perhaps we need to change the medical definition of death also. Several religions talk about birth as really being when a child takes its first breath of air. This means that life does not begin until birth. You define personhood differently, and you are free to do so, but you have to at least respect the fact that there are just as many people who do not share that point of view. As I tried to point out, the decision to keep a baby has historically has often been an act of necessity for their own survival and the survival of the community. Community, of which civilization has now provided a wide context of community, has always influenced our decisions and will continue to do so as we are a social species. It’s interesting that you don’t recognize the important influence of community as I believe you are someone who has a secret blog site as you try to explore your own doubts about religion, because you don’t want to face the impact of your own community if they found out you have doubts about religion. Anyway, the decision to kill our offspring is an evolutionary trait, and many other species do the same thing. Such is the harshness of the world. The fact we have a high degree of intelligence allows us to do a much better job of protecting our young than many others. This is why we rarely have more than one offspring at a time, and much fewer of our offspring are lost to the harsh realities of the world. This is one of the reasons why we are able to thrive through the production of one offspring at a time, over many other species.
      Your argument about the choice to have sex or not, would be a valid one if the only purpose of sex was for reproduction. I’m not denying that it’s a very important part of it, but we use sex to build intimacy and attachment as well, and so it has value to the general bonding process. In addition sex releases a shit ton of endorphins and it a lot of fun. Of course evolution made it be so for the purposes of ensuring that we do reproduce, but also to help us bond to our partners and there are number of other health benefits to having sex regularly. Sex is a separate biological drive and is simply not directly connected to our reasoning center that is making decisions about whether or not we should be having sex or not. As I mentioned infanticide in early hunter-gatherers was around 15-20% even though they knew the dangers of over populating the tribe, why did couples not act more reasonably? It’s likely because is as much a natural drive in us and completely unrelated to our decision to procreate. And there are many other examples in the animal world of species engaging in sexual activity not solely for the purpose of reproduction. I can recommend a good book if you would like.
      I believe you when you say you support women, but I hope you can understand why many women might not feel that you do. On one hand you consider them murderers committing horrible acts and blame them for their poor decisions. Implying perhaps they didn’t take sex seriously, or didn’t use birth control which may or may not be the case. This seems to be incongruous with giving women the freedom to choose what happens to their bodies. Also in your argument I have not seen you mention the responsibility men should take as you put the responsibility squarely on women. Should they not make sure the woman is on birth control? Can they not make sure they wrap it up? It takes two to make a baby. It’s not like women are just getting drunk, getting an IVF and then changing their mind once they sober up in the morning. Men are equal in responsibility to the consequences that the woman must face by having sexual relations.
      The impact on the culture and environment we are raised is evident in a lot of situations. If a child was raised to hate black people and taught by the parents that black people were inferior and were murderers and rapists, the child will probably become racist. Your argument is akin to saying, well that child should simply decide not to be racist. Or they should just go on the internet and see that African-American people are equal to everybody else. As children we are also programmed to believe what are parents say as the truth because in general it would have helped us to survive since as intelligent beings, small children no very little, and adults no a lot. They must have to survive to the age to have children. Victoria over at Victoria Neuronotes has a lot of good articles about how our environment conditions us to a certain way of thinking. As I tried to say in my blog it could be that in a number of cases this perceived fear that we have inadequate resources to raise our child may simply be an illusion, but that doesn’t change how our brain works. Instinctual systems to preserve self and community can simply be triggered causing us to think in a different way.
      Your analogy to laws regarding murder, theft, etc is also not a fair analogy. It’s probably true that we would still have a fairly orderly society if we didn’t have laws against murder, as killing other people is simply not beneficial to our survival did it all the time. It is the harm that it causes to society that created the law, it was not just created arbitrarily. To see the effectiveness of the law itself we can look at Brazil, the U.S., and the UK have laws against murder and yet you will find all different rates of murder. You will find that murder rates decrease when you start changing cultural and societal values over the law itself. It’s true that without the law at all we might have more murders, and it’s true that perhaps banning abortions might reduce the number of abortions, but not significantly compared to other factors that we see demonstrated as being important in other countries that have low rates of abortions. And as I pointed out the increased harm caused to women when abortions are banned is also an important factor. If law prohibiting murder, made murders more violent, or in greater numbers, I would also not be for a law that banned murder. Or I would at least say we need a law that was more effective. Furthermore murder, rape, theft, these are crimes against people that exist and are harmful. It is not clear to me what harm you could point to as being caused by abortion to society unless of course we were really in danger of going extinct. I can think of many more heinous crimes we commit in this world that hurt self-aware, fully functioning humans than abortion. If you want to argue we could be killing the next Einstein, I would argue that we could also be killing the next Hitler. The oppression of women in many countries in Africa and the middle East do just as much damage to suppress the collective potential of the world. The fact that 50% of Pakistani children go uneducated does much more damage to this world than abortion. Because likely many of those uneducated kids will either beg for a living, join the Taliban, drain the collective wealth of another country if they become a refugee, etc.
      If you wish to call yourself pro-choice that is fine, but you are changing the definition. Pro-choice particularly refers to a woman’s choice to what happens to her body regardless of whether she is pregnant or not. And I haven’t said anywhere that I am pro-abortion and I know many who are pro-choice but would not choose to have an abortion themselves. Many people simply feel it is a personal decision and that they are not capable of judging the particular of another woman so the choice should be there for women to do it safely and legally, but they would not do it themselves. Should a woman ever decide to ask for my advice I probably would not recommend abortion unless they were experiencing extreme trauma from a rape or their life was in jeopardy from the pregnancy, but in the end I would also respect that it is her choice. Just because someone makes a choice that is one that I could not make doesn’t mean to me that it is the wrong one in my opinion.
      I am sorry this response is so long and understand if you unfollow my blog, but I am simply trying to present you with different points of view that are less based on emotion and based on analysis of information that we know reduces abortion. This was the point of the blog, and I for one would like to see less abortions happen, but I would also like to see women treated better in society, and I would like a lot of world problems to get better.


      1. “understand if you unfollow my blog, but I am simply trying to present you with different points of view that are less based on emotion and based on analysis of information that we know reduces abortion” Wouldn’t it be silly to unfollow your blog based on one subject that I disagree with? And I noticed you said my opinions were based on emotions, I will be honest, that is insulting. I may be passionate, but I was in no way emotional in my thought process on the abortion issue.

        “Part of your emotions in this comes from your own definition of when you believe life begins and I cannot definitively claim it as incorrect, but there is a lot of evidence against that claim as well. Consider for instance the definition of death for which there is no argument over. This we say occurs when there is no readable pattern on an EEG. For a fetus this does not occur until week 25. Thus many argue that you cannot kill something that is clinically dead.” Again with the emotions… I understand why it is important for the pro-choice/abortion side to not admit the embryo/fetus is alive because it would require saying abortion kills the embryo/fetus. The heartbeat begins at 6 weeks. If at anytime the heart stops beating, the fetus dies, it will stop growing, and the fetus will need to be removed or the woman’s body will need to miscarry. The fetus is not viable until around the 24 week mark, but it is definitely not a dead lump of tissue. It is a living human being growing and developing inside of the woman. That is not an opinion. Example, my first pregnancy, I bled through my first trimester. I went in every few days to see if the fetus had a heartbeat…if at any point the heart stopped beating, that would mean I would not carry that child to term and have that baby. We can try to sugar coat it, but abortion ends that potential child’s life, it stops its heartbeat, it stops it from growing….on top of that, its limbs, head, and torso are cut and sucked apart. That is not emotion those are the procedures used, D&A, D&C, D&E.

        I agree, sex is not just for reproduction. And I am sure that being anti-abortion many feel that I am super conservative and only have sex to get pregnant, if anyone assumed that they are wrong. Oddly, I have a thing about animal sex…check out bonobos or dolphins…kinky little buggers. And if we are reincarnated, I choose to come back as a bonobo. 🙂 Sex is fun…everything about sex is fun. Saying that, there is a responsibility that comes with sex….and for women, its a big one…making sure we do not get pregnant. I, on occasion, love to go out and have a few drinks. Getting tipsy or drunk can be really fun. It lets you release stress and relax. BUT, I have to be smart. I can not get so drunk that I leave myself open to getting hurt. I can not get behind the wheel of my car and drive home. I have to be responsible with my drinking! Just with sex, I need to be responsible and know there can be consequences…and to plan ahead. As far as men go, you are right, I did not mention it. I have a lot of sons, I have told every single one (minus the youngest) to never accept the girl is using birth control, to make sure they are protected because some girls do lie. Now, ultimately, it is the woman’s responsibility because we are the one that will get pregnant, the man can disappear and never think twice. So, as unfair as that sounds, it is a fact that women have to deal with, we are the ones that get pregnant so we need to be even more responsible.

        ” Several religions talk about birth as really being when a child takes its first breath of air. This means that life does not begin until birth. ” I do not see why religion has anything to do with this topic.

        “As I mentioned infanticide in early hunter-gatherers was around 15-20% even though they knew the dangers of over populating the tribe, why did couples not act more reasonably? It’s likely because is as much a natural drive in us and completely unrelated to our decision to procreate.” I agree that they had sex because it was fun and felt good. Also, they were not as educated as we are now. We know when a woman ovulates, we know how to prevent pregnancy…my guess, they had no clue when a woman ovulated and so they probably couldn’t even use the rhythm method. Back then, maybe leaving your baby to die was not frowned upon since it helped the tribe. But, what do we think of women that throw their babies into trash cans and dumpsters? Do we say, whew, that really helped with the over population rate…more food and air for us…or do we look at her with disgust for doing that to her own baby?! We have evolved into a more caring and more educated people.

        ” I can think of many more heinous crimes we commit in this world that hurt self-aware, fully functioning humans than abortion.” It is not that abortion hurts the worlds population, it is about, does abortion make us better as a society? If abortion isn’t good, then its bad. I hear this a lot, “I wouldn’t have an abortion, but I want women to have that right” Why wouldn’t you have one or suggest for a woman to have one..if it really is no big deal…why not get rid of all birth control and let women abort when pregnant? I think, because deep down, we know abortion is barbaric.

        “The oppression of women in many countries in Africa and the middle East do just as much damage to suppress the collective potential of the world.” I agree 110% and I do not see how abortions in the US have anything to do with how other cultures, religions, and countries oppress women. Two separate topics.

        “I for one would like to see less abortions happen, but I would also like to see women treated better in society, and I would like a lot of world problems to get better.” Again, I agree with you.

        ” It’s interesting that you don’t recognize the important influence of community as I believe you are someone who has a secret blog site as you try to explore your own doubts about religion, because you don’t want to face the impact of your own community if they found out you have doubts about religion.” I am assuming that is meant to be a jab at me, since I am unwilling to tell others my doubts about religion, surely I can understand the fear of being a single mom. The difference, if I became pregnant as a single girl, I couldn’t hide that…I would eventually have to tell people, have a medical procedure, or move and give the child away. A person’s religion is a thing that affects no one, so what if I believe in God or not? Me keeping my lack of faith a secret doesn’t require any action, that is inside of my mind and in no way affects my body or another person’s body (the fetus).

        Lastly, making abortion illegal, I really do not see that ever happening, nor is that the only subject that I vote on. In the future, I would love to see a ban on all abortions in the second and third trimester. And I would love to see that women only use abortion in the case of the life of the mother. Rape, I would still keep the child, but I can see why a woman would abort in that case. I would love to see a day that women frown upon abortion and chose other options (adoption) for an unwanted pregnancy

        On this topic, we disagree. This has is no way made me dislike you or your blog. I figured moving to the agnostic/atheist side of religion that I would butt heads on social issues. I think this is a good example of how you can still respect a person even though you disagree on a few things.

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  2. I’m enjoying the concept that most mothers talk to their daughters about sex. Do you have a statistic for this? My Mother actually apologized to me for not being able to talk about sex in any way, because she was raised to be ashamed of any sort of sexuality. I got the period talk. That was it. Oh, and don’t have sex. But she was never able to detail what sex meant. Or even how to say no beyond the classic, “Just say NO.” like it’s a drug or something.

    You were lucky, growing up with parents who were comfortable with their sexuality.
    This article is from 2009 – – it suggests 78% of mothers feel okay with having the talk. (Though their kids have suggested the mothers are lying or putting them off for extended periods.)
    That may be ‘most’ but it’s a miserable grade in my book.

    I made it to college before having sex, but largely because I was not desired in my social circles. Had the opportunity come up, I would have taken it. I was so curious about it that it bordered on obsession. When a cousin died at 21, I especially became afraid of the idea that I might die before getting to find out what it was. We had one book that showed anatomy but did not explain the process. My younger sister started having sex before I did, though. But it was ingrained in us that it was a taboo subject, so we barely even talked to each other about it.

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    1. My story is similar in regards to the sex talk by my parents. It was more, “you shouldn’t have sex before marriage, but if you do make sure you really love the person.” Being good at math, chess and plenty of acne took sex out of the equation for me, but had the opportunity come up I would have taken it, and despite having pretty good sex education in Canada (which parents could opt their kids out of) had I been in the moment about to have sex, I’m not certain my school lessons would have been foremost on my mind.


  3. Pingback: The choice of having children: Not having children | Cloak Unfurled

  4. I really liked your post, Swarn, but haven’t had time to comment until now. (I know it’s been two months, but I’ve been busy!) Although I would consider myself pro-life (or anti-choice, if you like) it is apparent, as you point out, that criminalizing abortion has very negative consequences and even if the right to life of a fetus outweighs the right to choice of a woman, it is unrealistic to force a woman to carry a pregnancy to term.

    I agree that focusing on reducing the demand for abortion in the first place would be more effective.

    Something that bothers me a lot about abortion is how it becomes a wedge issue in politics and politicians, especially right wing, will use it to garner support and suppress other very important issues. With the recent federal election, politics has been a popular topic (it’s always popular for me), and I was speaking with someone who supported the Conservative party for the reason that he didn’t want government money going towards making abortion more accessible. He was of the opinion that abortion clinics should be privately funded. I don’t think his view is unreasonable, but to the extent that nothing else matters, that seems unreasonable to me, especially when, for example, there are Syrians dying in refugee camps that could be let in to our country. A political party can choose to be pro-life in one issue and pro-death in another, but I’m not willing to go along with one just because I agree with the other.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I couldn’t agree more Chris. It is way too big of an issue considering that many other issues I mentioned here would benefit all citizens while also reducing abortions. And when you really do the math, on how much money per tax payer goes to abortions it’s pennies a year, compared to the increased cost of having to support children in a country that doesn’t have the social programs to care for mothers and children adequately.


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