T Nation

More Abortion Talk


It strikes me as odd that the pro-life movement is hellbent on banning abortion outright. Change like this overnight will simply drive abortion underground, throwing women into the hands of shady back alley "Doctors".

Let us assume these principles for the purpose of this thread.

Now, here is some data, feel free to skip it, but don't complain it was not provided.

Pregnancy rates for Contraception:
- Abstinence (0%)
- The implant (0.05%)
- Vasectomy (0.15%)
- IUD with Progestogen (0.2%)
- Tubal Litigation (0.5%)
- Depo Provera (0.3%)
- The Pill (0.3% - 8%, largely dependent on education on use)
- Condoms (2% - 15%, again dependent on education on proper use)
- Symptoms based fertility awareness (25%)
- The rhythm method (25%)
- Pulling out (27%)
- Spermicidal Gel (29%)
- None (85%)

Now, we move into the realm of speculation, but again we abide by the principles stated above.

Is there any doubt that providing education on the use of contraception, and providing easy access to said contraceptives would lower abortion rates? This idea, which I can't even claim as my own, has the benefit of:

a.) Leaving females with choice.
b.) Lowering abortion rates substantially*

*I think.

Promiscuity is not going to increase noticeably, we already live in a highly sexualized society. Contraception use on the other hand, would be encouraged and rise in use very noticably. Development of contraception for males would also play a large part in this, I have mentioned RISUG before and I will mention it again. Non-hormonal birth control for men, offering a double up and even further reducing pregnancy rates on contraception.

Now, after this wall of text, discuss.

Also, pic unrelated.


I believe that historical studies I read showed that not only did abortion rates rise dramatically with the legalizaion, but that "back alley" abortion rates also went up equally dramatically with legalized abortion.

Abortions rose because they became condoned by society and because they were not illegal.

Not that it would work backwards in reverse.

I definitely read that a dramatic and unexpected homocide rate drop in the years after 1995 is now believed to be due to abortions being much more prevalent among poor and blacks who are statistically much more likely to commit homocides. That's out of Freakanomics.

I also saw a film at some point where one of the early abortion "expert" doctors was bragging about how many black boys and girls he had removed from society.


Mertdawg, I also read Freakonomics. That statistic is telling. And that is the unfortunate reality. Abortions are not procured by well-educated, upper middle-class couples who got drunk one night and OOPSIE. It's the girl who screwed for cash to get more meth (or sometimes it's for the meth itself) who was too high to remember protection. By all means, go ahead and lecture the meth addict about abstinence and waiting for marriage. Just leave your jewelry and your wallet at home.


That is not at all the suggestion here. There are methods of contraception that require little effort on the part of the user (implant, RISUG etc).

Stopping the low life drug dealers from accidentally breeding is a good thing.


I guess the world has a new Jewish dog! Awesome.


Except unlike the Nazis you compare me to, they have the option of restoring fertility when they choose. This is more of that read the post before you respond thing.


Makavali, you better be careful some one will ignore you because of your DRIVEL , I personally agree, I think this subject is the biggest ball game in America , no pun intended:) IMO it is the marriage of the Republican Party to the Moral Majority. All reason goes out the window .

Planned Parenthood is the largest opponent of abortions but the biggest enemy of the people that can not reason


Mak, if you're trying to engage a reasonable discussion about this topic with people like the guy in the video [and i do think men like that are on PWI] then this is an exercise in futility.

Illegalising abortion is not about saving "unborn babies". It's about controling a large portion of the population.


Holy shit, that guy is the antithesis of open mindedness. Sad thing I know many people like him. The majority of people I know like him are serious Bible thumpers . I personally think religion is the biggest enemy of God


Not saying Levitt's theory does not have merit, but a bit of context is in order. From the other abortion thread:

Make sure and do your due diligence:

My own response is chiefly that I find the argument incomplete.. For instance, the biggest drop in fertility in the U.S. came with the advent of the Pill in the mid-1960�¢??s. The Pill allowed lots of women who would otherwise have become pregnant not to become pregnant because they were poor, or didn�¢??t want a child, or lived in an environment where it was hard to raise children. But the fertility drop caused by the Pill didn�¢??t lead to a decrease in crime eighteen years later. In fact, that generation saw a massive increase in crime. The advent of abortion in the early 1970�¢??s, meanwhile, caused a far, far smaller drop in U.S. fertility but�¢??Levitt argues�¢??that drop is consistent with a fall in crime. In other words, the unwanted children whose births were prevented by the Pill would not have gone to become criminals. But unwanted children whose births were prevented by abortion would have gone on become criminals. Why is this? I can think of some hypotheses. But they are just that: hypotheses. I would have been a lot happier with Freakonomics if the crime chapter had been twice as long�¢??and spent more time explaining just what is so peculiar, in terms of crime rates, about births prevented by abortion.


...Itâ??s here, though, where I think Levittâ??s argument is a bit unfair. Levitt concludes that there are three factors that matter the most in the crime dropâ??abortion, high rates of imprisonment of young men, and increased number of police officers. The last of these three factors he glosses over pretty quickly. But I think thatâ??s a mistake, because what is increased police presence? Well, having more police on the streets than before means that law enforcement can be more aggressive and pro-active. It means officers can do a lot better job getting guns off the streets. It means that they can be much more vigilant than before. It means that they have the time and resources to start cracking down on the kinds of seemingly minor "lifestyle" crimes than might have gone ignored before. The kinds of things that I argue were so important in responding a civil environment in New York Stateâ??the crackdowns on graffiti and public urination and panhandling and turnstile jumping in the subway systemâ??are all the kinds of things that police departments can do when they have more officers on the streets.


I think the core point of the other thread was not really whether or not we can or should criminalize abortion, but was an attempt to logically justify our positions first, one way or the other.

I actually think you have a point, though I disagree with much of it. Your argument is certainly much better than a lot of what we've been dealing with on the other thread, and you appear to realize it. The problem is that your solution here still doesn't address the core issue:

If abortion is the intentional snuffing out of an individual human life, then any instance of abortion is, indeed, murder. And if this is true, then talk of "scaling back" the murder (my terminology) starts to look absurd. That's why we keep finding ourselves back at square one so often.

Here are my honest thoughts: We live in a society that worships both sexuality and self-indulgence. My time in Japan has made it that much more poignantly clear how differently the West views individualism to the detriment of all else. It makes an idol of the individual, and the idea that doing and having whatever it is that YOU want to do and have is the one inviolable dogma of this new postmodern religion.

How many times have we heard,on this very forum, from both sides of the aisle and up the middle, "People should be free to do whatever they want as long as it doesn't affect anybody else." Well that's all well and good, and I actually agree with it in theory, except that almost every one of our actions inescapably affects those around us. And the effect of those actions, like ripples in a pond, will spread to affect others, until you can really start to envision the butterfly effect without much trouble.

And so now you have a culture that worships the immediate and absolute indulgence of our every whim, and you apply that to the real world issue of dealing with the consequences of those actions, and suddenly you reach an impasse, and a decision must be made. I want to have sex whenever I want, with who I want, how I want. Well that's fine, but it IS a choice you have engaged in (we are dealing with the rape/non-consensual side of this issue in the other thread, so I will omit this here for the sake of brevity). And, despite all attempts to reframe the argument and change the definitions of words and relabel and twist the issue into all manner of shapes, not one person has been able to convincingly argue that the product of that willful decision is anything other than an individual human life.

And so now we come full circle. After all of the sound and fury, what we are left with is the creation of a new human life, who should by all means be afforded all of the rights and privileges as his fellow men. The right to LIFE, first of all.

When I look at it that way, I'm sorry, but I just don't have a lot of patience for finding a middle ground for murdering for the sake of our convenience.We should not just get to do whatever we want. To snuff out an innocent life. Because someone is not ready. Or too young. Or too poor. Or just can't be bothered. Shit, these are the last people on earth in whom I would want to place the power of life and death.


Why do would you care if abortion rates are low if you agree with abortion? Wouldn't it be better if they are high?


Believing a woman should have the option of abortion does not mean believing the woman should take it. Pro choice is not the same as pro abortion.


I believe the point is: If it's bad, then what about it is bad? And the answer to that question is pretty thorny.


Well, now that you mention it, I think it is time for abortion parties.

If we include sex (unprotected, obviously), drugs and alcohol would even create more cannon fodder for our next party.

I can only congratulate you on understanding the other side of the argument so well that you are able to make invaluable contributions.


I agree. But you know what's worse? When this same group of people is given the right to, at least indirectly, control the lives of those of us who are intelligent, educated, and exercise personal responsibility. I'll explain. Laws must be applied equally to all. If a law is needed because a certain percentage of the population will exercise poor judgment, the law will also impact those who do make good judgments.

I view this as what I call "redistribution of intellectual wealth." Many people have a problem with the idea of redistributing economic wealth because it creates a disincentive to work hard - why should I bother to work hard if the nanny government will just take what I earn and give it to others?

Similarly, I think laws regulating personal conduct create a disincentive to developing personal responsibility - why should I think critically about moral choices if the nanny government will just regulate my conduct anyway? This is what I see as the essence of this debate. I am personally against using abortion as a means of "back up birth control." But what I am more against is establishing a government-run Department of Reproduction.


Thank gosh those pro-abortionists (the pro-choice thing is a misnomer) are saving us all by grinding up black lives. You monsters. You hypocritical monsters. You destroyed how many poor and black communities with your liberal(tarian) social views? Now you want to cover it up by killing the offspring of your depravity? Sick people.


Abortion should be a non-issue in politics seriously. The Right and the Left have a perpetuate Need to interfere with peoples life, tis awesome.


If you believe abortion is right, why should it be as high an option as any other? Why shouldn't that just be another choice, not one to be avoided? Seriously, if it's right, it's right, why should it ever be avoided?


This was not my point and I'm sorry if it go lost in the wall of text I put up.

I don't see the criminalization of abortion as conduct regulation, not the purpose of its creation or the practical application of any such law.

It is, plain and simple, the equal application of an extant statute: the one prohibiting murder.

And btw, if I accepted your premise that abortion was indeed merely a law regulating a distasteful act, then I would fully agree with you. But I don't. Abortion takes a human life. That is not acceptable. And that is where the argument needs to start.