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-By Caleb Jones
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.
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Kurt 2014-02-13 07:43:30
Ha nice one! Thou shalt stir the pot. Reeaaalllly curious to know the ratio of submitted/approved comments for this one.
Blackdragon 2014-02-13 09:35:42
I don't filter any dissenting comments here. Ever. If some get caught by WordPress's spam filter, I push all of them through no matter how much they disagree with me or how insane they are. (Not mentioning any names, but go back and look through the comments of some more recent posts and you'll see what I mean.) The only time I would actually filter a comment is if the comment contained nothing but personal attacks (the 5 Simple Rules), but that's very rare on this blog. (So far.)
Acksiom 2014-02-13 09:41:21
Aaaaaaaand once again there is no mention whatsoever of Vasalgel, in an article where it is centrally relevant. I am reluctantly coming to the conclusion that I'm the only person in the androsphere who can think more than a few weeks into the future.
Blackdragon 2014-02-13 09:52:54
While I didn't mention Vasalgel by name, I've already discussed future male birth control options right here, and even linked to that article early in the above post (in reason number 2).
AKA 2014-02-13 11:03:38
Right. If you are going to have a baby, then you better have your own money to pay for it. Don't be asking me to pay for your welfare checks because you wanted a kid. You want a kid, then pay for it. If you can't afford to have a kid then don't do it. If you can't figure out how to make enough money to afford the kid then you aren't smart enough to have one.
Blackdragon 2014-02-13 11:06:42
Amen! I made up a detailed budget before I ever had any children. I refused to have any kids until I knew damn well I could afford it. When I knew I could afford it, then I had kids. Until then, I waited. It's not that difficult to do.
Ken 2014-02-13 12:34:46
"Probably not a stance you’ve ever heard before..." I've heard it before. Once upon a time it was the stance of the Catholic Church ... they referred to "The Quickening". http://www.religioustolerance.org/abo_hist_c.htm
Jack 2014-02-13 13:10:30
I'm sorry BD, but this position of yours in unviable. Picture this: The woman is a smoker, a drug addict, or an alcoholic. She gets pregnant. And because she has followed your philosophy, she thinks the baby is not a human being for the first two months. So she continues to smoke, drink, do drugs, or whatever for those two months. Then when the baby becomes human after those two months, she stops, sobers up, and starts living a healthy lifestyle. She never hurt the baby after it became human. But the baby is born brain damaged because of how she treated it before it became human. In your opinion, is she responsible and should she be arrested for child abuse? Or will you give her a pass because she abused the baby before it became human in your opinion?
Blackdragon 2014-02-13 17:54:11
Once upon a time it was the stance of the Catholic ChurchWow. I had no idea. Some rationality from the (old) Catholic Church...amazing.
The woman is a smoker, a drug addict, or an alcoholic. She gets pregnant. And because she has followed your philosophy, she thinks the baby is not a human being for the first two months. So she continues to smoke, drink, do drugs, or whatever for those two months. Then when the baby becomes human after those two months, she stops, sobers up, and starts living a healthy lifestyle.My recommendation to women is to quickly terminate the nonhuman embryo. It is not to torture or mutate the nonhuman embryo. That's just pointless and disgusting. I occasionally eat meat, which means I support the painless killing of cows (which are not humans) for food. But I would NOT support someone torturing a cow, nor drawing out the cow's death to something painful and horrible. That's just sick. It's the same deal. On wider note, you're using the common tactic of "coming up with an extremely wild and insane example that will probably never happen in real life in order to refute a point". If my position was so clearly wrong, you would not have to make up such an extreme, crazy example to prove me wrong.
Ken 2014-02-13 18:04:01
"Some rationality from the (old) Catholic Church…amazing." Not to worry ... they compensated for that in other ways.
Mih 2014-02-14 04:07:12
"I believe in Natural Law, which means all human beings own their own bodies." So the woman, having the right to do whatever she wants with her body, could get the little human parasite out of her and it could do whatever it wants with its body. How could i own my body if i could be forced by law to let it be used for the needs of another?! "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." - Those are not facts, those are your opinions upon some facts ( if it has organs and brain therefore ...human). How about it dosn't require to exist in another person .. therefore.. human? - That would be another opinion.
Blackdragon 2014-02-14 15:04:53
So the woman, having the right to do whatever she wants with her body, could get the little human parasite out of her and it could do whatever it wants with its body. How could i own my body if i could be forced by law to let it be used for the needs of another?!Because the ejection of this other human within you would cause the willful death of that human. That's called murder. For example, there are laws that state you must feed your children so they don't starve. I agree with these laws. If you have a small child, refused to ever feed it while you're eating all the food you want, and that child died of starvation, you would rightly be guilty of murder. It's the same deal. You have the right to sustain your own body, but you don't have the right to kill another's body. If you don't want others to be dependent on you, don't get pregnant and don't have any kids. Which is not that difficult considering women have 11 forms of birth control.
“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.” – Those are not facts, those are your opinions upon some facts ( if it has organs and brain therefore …human).That's exactly what I said that in the post. Yes, that is my opinion, based on facts. Thanks for repeating me.
How about it dosn’t require to exist in another person .. therefore.. human?A 1 or 2 year-old child requires you, its parent, to exist. Inside of you or outside of you is irrelevant; it 100% depends on you for its survival, but it's still a human. (I have a feeling you would not grab a knife and kill your infant child because you thought it was convenient, and then say "Well, it wasn't a human anyway, since it was completely dependent on me to live.") What major difference is there between when that baby was inside a woman one day then the next day it's born and outside of her? None. Either way it's dependent on that mother for survival.
Ken 2014-02-14 15:19:45
"Either way it’s dependent on that mother for survival." No it isn't ... once born, anybody can take care of it, not just the natural mother. Key difference. I personally go with "human", but I'm still ok with giving the mother the authority to determine life or death right up to the moment of birth. I also believe, following Jeremy Bentham, that "natural law" is "nonsense upon stilts", and regard any argument that takes this as a starting point to be just another sort of religious argument ... so no particular reason I should accept it.
Blackdragon 2014-02-14 15:33:12
No it isn’t … once born, anybody can take care of it, not just the natural mother. Key difference.True. If the presence of a 9 month-old baby in a woman is threatening the woman's health in some way, then fine, I'm okay with doing away with it as sad as that might be. But otherwise, the purposeful death of that 9 month-old baby just because the mom suddenly changes her mind and decides she doesn't want it is murder.
I also believe, following Jeremy Bentham, that “natural law” is “nonsense upon stilts”Despite his views on Natural Law, Jeremy Bentham still believed in the individual's rights as I do, so that's probably not the best example to use. Regardless, I don't believe in Natural Law because Natural Law is perfect or 100% logically rock-solid, because it's most certainty not. I believe in Natural Law because history has repeatedly shown us that the only other option, that the collective owns you at least in part, always leads to horrible things.
Ken 2014-02-14 16:18:48
"Rights", in my book, are and always have been social constructs. I have a portfolio of rights as a citizen of the USA ... and I did not acquire them all at the same time. For example, I didn't acquire the right to enter into valid contract until I was eighteen, or the right to vote. I didn't acquire the right to consume alcohol until I was twenty-one. So it is with my "right to life" ... I did not acquire it until the moment of my birth, even if I were a fully formed human person before then. Until that time I lived at the mercy of my mother. Well, maybe that was not true in 1962, but that's the stance we have collectively adopted now (with controversy, of course), and for various historical and utilitarian (utilitarian in the highest sense, in terms of its implications for women's lives) reasons I will go to the mat to keep it that way.
Ken 2014-02-14 16:31:27
BTW, I personally find the concept of "self ownership" to be muddled/vacuous ... but that doesn't mean I'm "owned by the collective" either. For me, at least, notions of property rights don't enter into this. But of course, I'm not a libertarian. Point is, I can accept the same science and facts and reality you do, and make rational arguments .... and still end up in a different place, if I start from a different premise. So we can't end the debate if we all just agree to use science and act rationally .... we're going to be forced to make some sort of collective decision in the end that will displease many people (and not just the irrational ones).
Blackdragon 2014-02-14 22:53:08
You're right; all philosophical concepts are human inventions, even Natural Law, even the concept of "rights". That's why I don't believe in "God given rights" like a conservative. Anything "God given" is a human invention. Any philosophical concept you subscribe to is by definition an opinion, liberal, conservative, libertarian, whatever. In terms of who owns you, you really only have three choices. Either A) you own you 100%, B) the collective owns you 100%, or C) the collective owns you between 1% and 99%. A libertarian, objectivist, or Natural Law adherent believes in option A. That certainly includes me. A true communist believes in option B. Most normal people, i.e. a left-wing liberals and right-wing conservatives, believe in option C. It just depends on who runs society or the prevailing cultural zeitgeist in any given point in time. But we're getting way off topic here.
Tom 2014-02-15 01:45:59
BD, like your blog and have followed your posts even from FS days, always enlightening discussion. In my mind, one major component of the abortion rate drop is simply women in modern America are having significantly less sex than decades past. That's somewhat captured in your Reason #1 Bad Economy. And also relates back to your Feb. 2nd blog post on the slight increased difficulty for alphas. But there is so much more going on here with the phenomenon of less overall sex in America and really the entire English speaking world (correlated here is the recent British study showing less sexual activity). And it's common talk in the manosphere of the low sex activity going on in Japan. The reasons for why this is are many likely, but there are all these hints of data that keep coming through on less sex. I wish there were more discussion along these lines. I've been around university culture for more than twenty years, continuously, first as a student, then/now as employee. The youth culture on the modern campus is far different than twenty years ago, even still significantly different than ten years ago. One being the number of women in college is soaring, and that changes the social dynamics, not necessarily for the better for either sex. In contrast to our younger days (I'm about a year younger than you), one noticeable thing on college campuses is the general drop in more public displays of flirtatious activity/talk that had/should always be obvious among groups of young people. You just don't really see this anymore. The students will say they go to parties and bars and such, still in high numbers for sure, but their public displays of social interactions are slightly "off" to me. There's a lot of posturing in the youth today, even among women who are hot. I suspect that larger numbers of even highly attractive women are graduating college even as virgins these days. And if not that, there is also this aspect of the youth might have more sex partners than in the past, but lower total sex activity. Short serial monogamy relationships that really didn't have much sex activity throughout. So there has gotten to be this sexually-immature/relationship-immature generational phenomenon going on... Your comments welcome, take care.
Jon 2014-02-15 07:50:22
I find it interesting that Christians are so opposed to abortion when you consider how many babies and pregnant women were slaughtered at God's command in the Old Testament. A few places even suggest that a child under one month old has no value and Numbers 5:21-27 provides a biblical instructions for performing an abortion when the husband suspects his wife of adultery. It's actually surprisingly difficult to make a Biblical case for the "sanctity of life..."
Blackdragon 2014-02-15 10:07:53
But there is so much more going on here with the phenomenon of less overall sex in America and really the entire English speaking world (correlated here is the recent British study showing less sexual activity). And it’s common talk in the manosphere of the low sex activity going on in Japan.
the general drop in more public displays of flirtatious activity/talk that had/should always be obvious among groups of young people. You just don’t really see this anymore. The students will say they go to parties and bars and such, still in high numbers for sure, but their public displays of social interactions are slightly “off” to me.
And if not that, there is also this aspect of the youth might have more sex partners than in the past, but lower total sex activity. Short serial monogamy relationships that really didn’t have much sex activity throughout.These are all good points and I agree with all of them. As I've been saying for a long time, Western culture is full of sexual imagery, but Western people aren't having that much actual sex, at least as compared to decades ago. A few years ago I made this blog post about how much more sex married people had in the 1940s as compared to now. Your examples are regarding younger people; I will give you examples from older people. The vast, vast majority of unmarried women I've met over the age of 30 have gone through phases in their lives where they didn't have sex at all for one, two, or three years. Sometimes even longer. While I can't say this for sure, I'm 95% confident this is a new cultural phenomenon. I don't think women were doing this in the 70s or 80s. I don't think back then women went through this very common "I hate men" phase or "Men are too much trouble" phase and then completely removed themselves from the sexual market for years at a time. On the average, people of all age groups, both married and unmarried, are indeed having sex across the board. Great point.
I find it interesting that Christians are so opposed to abortion when you consider how many babies and pregnant women were slaughtered at God’s command in the Old Testament.That's because the Old Testament is a Disney fairytale. While there are some interesting stories and quasi-history there (I've read much of it, being raised Catholic), no rationality can be gleaned from it.
Jack 2014-02-18 02:08:51
BD, are you serious? You actually think my example is unrealistic? Do you know how many women continue to smoke and lead unhealthy lifestyles after they learn they're pregnant? They do this because they figure it won't hurt the baby, due to the pregnancy being "not far enough along yet." Then when they get what they call "PREGNANT-pregnant," they'll sober up. My question was: If you think the embryo is not human yet, would you charge the woman with murder if the baby dies after birth due to brain damage, or child abuse if it is born brain damaged? Or would you give her a pass because the baby wasn't human when she did those things to it? Would you therefore charge her with animal cruelty as a result of the human baby's damaged brain after it's born, if it can be proven that she damaged it before it was human?
Blackdragon 2014-02-18 18:39:14
Your example was a woman who treated her body like crap, then suddenly did a super healthy 180 at exactly the 2-month pregnancy mark. Yeah, that's unrealistic. If you now want to change your example to something more realistic, then great.
If you think the embryo is not human yet, would you charge the woman with murder if the baby dies after birth due to brain damage, or child abuse if it is born brain damaged?That's a tough one. If the doctor could conclusively prove that the brain damage was done A) after the 2 month mark and B) because of specific, clear, purposefully destructive behaviors on the part of the mother, then yes, there should be legal consequences. But that's a lot of ifs. I'm talking here about a woman who is 8 months pregnant who drinks a gallon of vodka and is snorting cocaine on a daily basis, for example. Hell yes that woman should face legal consequences for damaging that human inside her (one she chose to carry to eight months, when she should have gotten an abortion before two months).
Or would you give her a pass because the baby wasn’t human when she did those things to it? Would you therefore charge her with animal cruelty as a result of the human baby’s damaged brain after it’s born, if it can be proven that she damaged it before it was human?Ah, this is where my libertarianism kicks in. I'm very much against animal cruelty on a moral level, but I'm a little squeamish on creating creating governmental animal cruelty LAWS. Just like I think, on a moral level, it's very wrong to cheat on your spouse if you promise them monogamy, but I would never create a LAW that says a woman who cheats on her husband must go to prison, for example. Just because something is bad does not mean it should be illegal or that the government should get involved. The government has better things to do.
davidvs 2014-03-06 14:10:16
Blackdragon, This might interest you... http://davidvs.blogspot.com/2006/02/ensoulment-and-personhood.html
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