November 24, 2012

"After years of holding steady... the United States abortion rate has fallen to an all-time low."

"It dropped 5 percent between 2008 and 2009, the most recent years for which data is available, the largest decline in the past decade."

Why? One suggestion is that the bad economy has caused people to be more careful about contraception. Another is that more women are using birth control devices that eliminate the user-error factor.

173 comments:

tim maguire said...

The drop in abortions per live births is insignificant--from 232 per 1,000 to 227 (much less than the 2% drop the article claims).

Mitchell the Bat said...

It's probably just that they're now trying to account for the illegals.

pm317 said...

Obama's next war on women -- free IUDs!

lorentjd said...

Meanwhile, the percentage of babies born to single moms is now over 40% (in 1960, the percentage was about 5%). So why, with widely-available birth control options (pill, abortion, etc.) is there an explosion in the single moms birth rate??

caplight45 said...

Tim may be right about the statistical insignificance.

Perhaps people are having less sex what with the depressing economy,and the women most likely to have abortions finding their emotional fulfillment in Dear Leader.

caplight45 said...

Tim may be right about the statistical insignificance.

Perhaps people are having less sex what with the depressing economy,and the women most likely to have abortions finding their emotional fulfillment in Dear Leader.

Fernandinande said...

"...has fallen to an all-time low."

I doubt it.

Lower than 1950? Lower than 1900?

Xmas said...

Tim,

232 to 227 is a 2% drop. 1-(227/232) = 0.02155...

jacksonjay said...

Decreased conception rate due to increased popularity of homosexuality!

Paco Wové said...

Just FYI, those data exclude Alaska, California, Delaware, Louisiana, Maryland, New Hampshire, and West Virginia.

ironrailsironweights said...

"...has fallen to an all-time low."
I doubt it.
Lower than 1950? Lower than 1900?


More likely, since the legalization of abortion in the early 1970's.

Peter

Bruce Hayden said...

Meanwhile, the percentage of babies born to single moms is now over 40% (in 1960, the percentage was about 5%). So why, with widely-available birth control options (pill, abortion, etc.) is there an explosion in the single moms birth rate??

Easy enough to figure out - it pays, and there is little social cost to the unwed mothers.

Solution is theoretically just as easy - take away the benefits. Instead of paying the mothers to have the kids, pay for the births, put an undischargeable debt against the mother for the cost of the birth, and then take the kids away, putting them up for adoption and the like. Maybe not on the first illegitimate birth, but for the second, etc. Then maybe offer her half-off the costs if she turns in the father, that is confirmed through genetic testing, and he is hit with the cost of his kids, again, nondischargeable.

Of course, many of the fathers ultimately end up in prison where they can't really financially pay for their illegitimate children, primarily because they too were illegitimate, or at least grew up in fatherless families.

It is a vicious cycle made worse by liberal policies that for compassionate reasons institutionalize the problem and continually make it worse. But, as we saw with the last election, this may be more feature than bug for the liberal politicians involved.

I will agree that my solution has zero chance of being implemented, even if conservatives ever return to power. But, it does appear that we are heading rapidly for John Edwards' "Two Americas" - with the makers sticking to more traditional values in this area, and the takers passing off the cost of their children to society.

chickelit said...

Easy enough to figure out - it pays, and there is little social cost to the unwed mothers.

Why not just bring back stigmatization or at east make stigmatism socially acceptable?

wyo sis said...

It might be a Freakonomic effect. Potential aborters were aborted 15 to 20 years ago.

elkh1 said...

How many babies were born at the same time? Same percentage of falloff?



Michael Haz said...

Why? One suggestion is that the bad economy has caused people to be more careful about contraception. Another is that more women are using birth control devices that eliminate the user-error factor.

And another, the one so easily looked past in the statement above, is that more women recognize abortion is wrong and refuse to seek it.

bpm4532 said...

Likely 2 reasons:

1. lower illegal immigration

2. prior abortions have avoided a whole group of people from coming into this world who would likely want/require an abortion.

David said...

What's the abortion "rate/"

Ratio to live births? Ratio to population? Total?

Lot's of ways to slice this data.

Overall not much of a shift unless a long term trend shows up.

David said...

So Chicklit what's your program to discourage unmarried pregnancy and childbirth? Or do you think it really makes no difference whether the mother is married?

Chip S. said...

Blowjob Nation

Bender said...

RATE is not the same thing as overall real numbers.

A reduction in the real number of pregnancies, either from a reduction in having sex (oh the inconceivable horrors!) or from an increase in contraception use or effectiveness, would account for a reduction in the real number of abortions per year, but it would have absolutely ZERO relevance to the abortion RATE, that is, the number of abortions per thousand (or hundred, etc.) pregnancies.

Contraception would have no impact on women who are already pregnant choosing life for their unborn children. Why? BECAUSE THEY ARE ALREADY PREGNANT.

Saint Croix said...

Cali is the largest aborting state. When they stopped counting, our abortion rate dropped from 1.5 million a year to 1.3 million.

chickelit said...

David chides:
So Chicklit what's your program to discourage unmarried pregnancy and childbirth? Or do you think it really makes no difference whether the mother is married?

A year or so ago we had an unwed baby mamma two doors down with a grandma who cared more for the child (now a toddler actually). Between us lived a young couple unable to conceive but desperate to adopt (they recently moved away). You do the math. But if subsidies are involved, that's policy not morals and ethics.

Renee said...

My criticism is the CDC freaking out over 'unplanned pregnancies'. If a woman wants to keep the pregnancy, does it matter if it was planned or not planned?

If marriage is unrelated to child-bearing with the new definition, also why should the government care if women are single or married?

A lot of people are more then happy to be pregnant, even if they weren't planning months in advance.

Babies happen, we adjust.

Chip S. said...

Things Bender could have learned by reading the actual article at the link:

1. The abortion "rate" is defined as the number of abortions per 1,000 women aged 15-44. That declined by 5%.

2.The abortion "ratio" is defined as the number of abortions per 1,000 pregnancies. That declined by 2%.

Renee said...

Another factor is that more people are infertile, including teenagers. There are a lot of environmental factors involved, such as obesity and pollutants in the water (including birth control pills, that do not break down in waste water).

Renee said...

"And another, the one so easily looked past in the statement above, is that more women recognize abortion is wrong and refuse to seek it."

But birth rates are at the lowest in decades. We're below replacement level. Usually governments are promoting more babies, not more contraception.

Rustling Leaves said...

Perhaps more people are starting families. In my twenties, only a handful of people I had grown up with had kids. Once thirty hit, it seemed like everyone I knew started having kids. The facebook effect? Cute baby, I want one too. Not to mention that everyone now puts up photos of ultrasounds. It's kind of hard to see those cute little faces on a 3D ultrasound and still think
of them as a clump of cells. Just my non-scientific opinion.

Rustling Leaves said...

Renee- I agree. It is none of the government's business whether it was planned or unplanned. The tyrants always come out in full force with this topic. The first child will surely change your life absolutely, but that does not mean you can't embrace it and figure it out. My childless 20s were the lonliest most worthless years of my life. I would not want to go back if someone paid me. Parenthood is fucking hard, even when you wait until your 30s. But it sure is worth it.

Rustling Leaves said...

The CDC should focus on diseases. Pregnancy is not a disease.

Big Mike said...

I surely wish they gave us the raw numbers for the different years. I think tim might be right -- the slope on the bottom line is pretty close to zero. The putative 2% drop in the rate may be real or may be an artifact of the much larger one-year drop in the total number of abortions (top line).

I really dislike it when scientists try to pile too much information in a single chart by using two (or three, in this case) different ordinates, each with its own units. In this case the drop in total abortions is much steeper than the ten-year trend, which could be an outlier or could be, as Paco suggests, an artifact of incomplete data.

As a mathematician I'd like to see data from 2010, 2011, and 2012 before I determined whether there was a real trend.

Big Mike said...

I surely wish I had the raw numbers for all the years reported. I think tim might be right -- the slope on the bottom line is pretty close to zero. The putative 2% drop may be real or may be an artifact of the much larger drop in total abortions from 2008 to 2009. Since that drop is much steeper than the ten-year trend, we could be looking at an outlier or we could, as Paco Wove suggests, be looking at incomplete data.

I really hate it when scientists try to cram too much information in a single chart by using multiple ordinates with different units. In this case I'd want to see data from 2010, 2011 and 2012 before I could conclude that there really is a trend.

Big Mike said...

Pregnancy is not a disease.

It's a contagious disease -- women get it from their boyfriends or husbands.

;-)

Chip S. said...

Big Mike said...
I surely wish I had the raw numbers for all the years reported.

Enjoy.

Rabel said...

Or maybe:

"Emergency contraception became available without prescription to men and women over 18 in 2006. As of April 2009, Plan B is available from pharmacies staffed by a licensed pharmacist to men and women 17 or older; women 16 and under require a prescription."

My opinion on abortion is as mixed-up as Althouse's but I want to go on record as strongly favoring post-birth abortion for all commenters who pop off with questions and comments without bothering to read the linked articles.

Renee said...

The CDC should focus on maternal and natal health, but why being married considered a factor or if you're a teenager.

Whether I'm 16 or 36, why does the government have an interest tell women when they should or shouldn't be pregnant? The government spends who knows how much to tell teens not to get pregnant, even mocking and shaming teens who do 'gasp' do.

Maybe teen pregnancy wouldn't be that hard, if everyone just got off the mother's back. We're really are in the 50s, where young women had to hide their pregnancies or fear being pregnant. We never moved on.

Renee said...




I know you are trying to be cute with the post-birth abortion comment, but there is nothing funny about killing human beings.

Chip S. said...

FTR, I mis-defined the abortion "rate" @10:08, incorrectly typing "pregnancies" instead of "live births".

Renee said...


"It's a contagious disease -- women get it from their boyfriends or husbands."

Or random awkward hook-ups. :(

edutcher said...

I know, the economy's so bad, it costs too much to have sex.

SteveR said...

There's no real social negative about unmarried motherhood and not much financial difference. Same amount of free stuff with no expectation from baby daddy beyond a shot of sperm.

hombre said...

Interesting that someone would write an article like this and not mention the total number of abortions other than offering a nebulous graph including what purports to be the number.

That's propaganda for ya!

Chip S. said...

@hombre, In the time it took you to type your comment you could've found the exact numbers by clicking the link provided in the article to the CDC report.

You'd have also discovered that the raw totals do not include data from 5 or so states including CA, which is why the rate and ratio figures are more informative.

But, yeah, it's just "propaganda."

Paco Wové said...

the total number of abortions

That would be in Figure 1 of the original article. (Just over 800,000 in 2009, the last year for which they present data.)

Rustling Leaves said...

Renee- Most of the stigma towards young parents has to do with education level. The thing is though, that having a baby is not the ONLY roadblock to getting an education. The cost of college has become out of reach for many (unless you want to take on life crushing debt). The real problem is that most people think the only path to a successful life is to pay your way through a $200k guild just to get an entry level job. Perhaps if there was more emphasis on skilled trades there would be more paths to building a financially independent life.

Renee said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
JAL said...

Someone tell Sandra Fluke this happened without having the rest of us paying for their contraception.

And I haven't noticed any bills put up by those in your panties Republicans to halt the sale of condoms, spermicides, IUDs, and birth control pills of various formulations.

Mmm.

JAL said...

Someone tell Sandra Fluke this happened without having the rest of us paying for their contraception.

And I haven't noticed any bills put up by those in your panties Republicans to halt the sale of condoms, spermicides, IUDs, and birth control pills of various formulations.

Mmm.

Renee said...

First they complain a woman doesn't have an education, then they complain a woman throws away her degree(s), by having children.

Sandra Fluke says contraception is important because babies are career killers, but I still wonder what type of actual job/career Sandra Fluke has? Just the short time in the work force and positions of volunteering with my own skill set, I just might have more on my resume then she does.



-----------

Actually she does have a decent resume, too bad she isn't using it to help the causes domestic violence/human trafficking. (I volunteer on the issue of child neglect/abuse) Instead she is just a cheerleader for the pharmaceutical companies pushing contraception or whatever. She seems more exploited by the DNC, then anything else.

hombre said...

@Chip S: The data is three years old and incomplete. The headline's the story.

If you choose to think otherwise, bully for you, but it's propaganda.

Big Mike said...

@Chip S, thanks for the link (I should have gone looking for it myself) but please note that we're looking at the period 2008-2009 while the report you linked to ends in 2008.

JAL said...

there is little social cost to the unwed mothers.

Until the babies grow up and become statistics of another kind. And the mothers simply do not know what on earth to do about with their wild child(ren.)

Ask the preschool and elementary school teachers on the list.

hombre said...

Pack Wove wrote: "That would be in Figure 1...."

That would be the "nebulous graph" to which I referred. Right? But thanks.

Chip S. said...

@BigMke, if you combine the data through 2008 with the 2009 data in the article, won't you have all the numbers you want?

@hombre, 2009 is the last year for which data are available, as stated in the article. I suppose it would've been better if it said "Abortion reached a low in 2009," but then anyone who was fooled by the original headline would probably think that abortions were on the rise since 2009.

Inga said...

Rabel, I think you're right, emergency contraception and it's availability, which the right has been squawking about for years. Also more women using birth control correctly.

Wyo Sis may actually be on to something too.

Chip S. said...

What's wrong w/ my theory?

Threads where the ratio of possible explanations to reported facts is near double-digits are fun!

Rustling Leaves said...

Yes Renee that is so true. I spent my 20s struggling financially to get a degree because that is what everyone is supposed to do. In hindsight, I would not have wasted my time. As soon as I had my first child my degree was essentially useless. I didn't throw it away. Having children was something that was a part of my life plan at some point. It would not have mattered if I started motherhood at 18 or at 40, either way the kid becomes your priority and your career goes to the backburner. It may even make more sense to start motherhood young, then you have time to develop a career when the kids get more independent. Sandra Fluke is right that kids are career busters, but that does not mean that they are unwanted. Some people just choose to abort their career instead of their kid.

Baron Zemo said...

As I walk around NYC I see many many women over forty who are pregnant. With all the health issues and dangers for the child that go hand in hand with that. Many of them are in their late forties or believe it or not their fifties.

Or they try to be fashionable and buy a Chinese or African baby.

Which means they will be in their seventies when these kids are teenagers. That is not going to be pretty.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Whether I'm 16 or 36, why does the government have an interest tell women when they should or shouldn't be pregnant? The government spends who knows how much to tell teens not to get pregnant, even mocking and shaming teens who do 'gasp' do.

Probably, it is the government's business since the majority of single unwed mothers tend to end up on the government gravy train. The dole. As such..WE taxpayers are supporting those mothers and their multiple children. Therefore it is in the best interest of not JUST the tax payers to have people have children within the institution of marriage......it is also in the best interest of the mothers and especially the children.

If we can break the cycle of unwed mothers, raising fatherless children subsisting on welfare and growing up in an unending chain of poverty and broken families, the world would be a better place.

It IS our business.

Renee said...

All children end up on 'the public dole', it's call public school.

Renee said...

Just children who do not have much social-capital at home, have a real tough time. Stability is everything to a child.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

All children end up on 'the public dole', it's call public school

Yes, and that is also a crime. The public schools don't exist to educate. They exist to indoctrinate. Plus, SOME of us actually pay for the schools through our property taxes, while others ride on our backs.

If I still had young children [all grown up now] there is no way in Hell that I would allow my children to be warped by the public school system.

However. You asked why the government should be concerned about when you get pregnant or whether you are married or not. I told you why. Deny it.

Renee said...

DBQ,


With gay marriage on the way, it is discriminatory towards women to classify them married or not when they are having a baby.

That's all.

I'm still a defender of marriage, but if you're not in a state yet with the new definition be prepared to and the public policy changes that come with it.

Dante said...

Rabel,

I can't find that quotation you put up in the WAPO article, nor in the CDC discussion.

I guessed that could be a reason, such as "RU-486"/Morning after pill, but didn't see it.

I also find the term "Emergency Birth Control" somewhat offensive, which I have now found other places, so it's not note on your comment, but really. It's almost always birth control for those who weren't responsible.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

bpm4532,

1. lower illegal immigration

Surely you jest. The greatest asset a woman illegally in the US can have is a child who is an American citizen. Because while she can always be deported, the child obviously cannot.

Inga said...

I believe St. Croix, an ardent anti abortion advocate uses the term Emergency Contraception and is in favor of it IIRC. If the fertilized egg doesn't attach is it still abortion? Many fertilized eggs don't make it to the attachment stage.

Rustling Leaves said...

Actually Renee, some kids get homeschooled while their parents are still forced to pay property taxes. In that case "the dole" is living off of them. In most cases it takes an intact family to make homeschooling work and everyone bitches and makes up all kind of stuff to make the homeschoolers look bad and you know it's just not fair to single moms. So, while I agree with you that what age you start a family is not the governments business, there is no denying that there are advantages to two parent homes.

Rustling Leaves said...

The government can try as they might to give to single moms what they lack from not having a husband, but nothing can really replace a dad throwing a ball with the kids when mom is burnt out from a long day or reading stories before bedtime or being a shoulder to lean on when you feel like you have been tested to the limit. The government can do some things, but many advantages in life are not monetary and come from a one on one interpersonal relationship.

Rustling Leaves said...

Renee- Have you ever heard of homeschooling? Not everyone lives off the public school dole. Even without homeschooling, over a lifetime of paying property taxes, most families pay more than what they could have paid for a superior private education. If anything, the public school system and it's coercive nature are living off the dole. Most of our property tax dollars go to pay for retired teachers anyways while the quality of education continues to slide. Do you really want to have this discussion. I would love to get the vultures off my back and not have to live off the public school dole and not have to pay for it either.

Freeman Hunt said...

If there is a real reduction in the number of abortions, great news!

Freeman Hunt said...

I recently heard that stat from an anti-abortion rights organization that it costs a pregnancy care center about $1200 per abortion prevented. I have no idea how they arrived at that number or how accurate it is. (I'm guessing that they just take the amount of money spent in a year and divide it by the number of clients who do not get abortions, but I could be wrong.)

If it's accurate, one could think of a $1200 donation to such a center as saving a person. Pretty cheap.

Renee said...

"If the fertilized egg doesn't attach is it still abortion? Many fertilized eggs don't make it to the attachment stage."

Yes, many pro-lifers know that, and to purposely create an environment hostile to life with the intent to deprive it is wrong. We also know the difference between a miscarriage (which are very common) and an abortion.

Considering the short window frame a woman is actually fertile, Plan B in unneeded in most uses.

Renee said...

Not everyone can do homeschooling. Seriously. I'm just can't. If I wanted to teach, I would of become a teacher. I never could, because my penmanship stinks.

Inga said...

Renee, there must be divergent opinions within the pro life movement, St. Croix is quite an outspoken anti abortion advocate. I've read some of his comments in which he has said that some anti abortion/pro life purist's inflexability has hurt the anti abortion movement.

St Croix, if you read this and if I have misstated your meaning, feel free to correct me. I don't want to put words in your mouth, but this is what I took away from some of your comments.

Inga said...

Renee, is it wrong for everyone who doesn't share your outlook or religion? What about women who use IUD's? Is it wrong for women to use an IUD as birth control? Are you in favor of banning IUDs and Emergency contraception altogether?

Do you think that women who don't agree with this will be more likely to vote Democratic because of it?

Paco Wové said...

"That would be the "nebulous graph" to which I referred. Right?

Well, right. Sorry if that came off as unnecessary snark. But I don't see why you think it's nebulous. Incomplete and out of date, on the other hand...

Renee said...

Why are you bringing up religion?

Can one be an atheist and still value life and being a woman without modification?

How is shoving up an IUD up my vagina and into my uterus, the answer? Sounds more like a reproductive shackle.


No one needs to ban anything, but let's take a moment and think about what we're doing to our bodies.

Why are we constantly physical/chemically altering our sexual bodies?

No one wants to talk about the trade offs.



Rustling Leaves said...

Renee- I was not suggesting that you do homeschooling, just arguing against your everyone with children is on the public school dole meme. I may do public school with my kids, we are paying for it through property taxes afterall and I am not sure if I can deal with all of the venom that would be spit my way if I chose the homeschooling path. I am just not sure I am strong eough for homeschooling either. However, some people do it, so you are wrong about EVERYONE with children.

Rustling Leaves said...

"Let's take a moment to think about what we're doing to our bodies."

Often, the same people who worry about BPA (synthetic estrogen) in everything are shoving birth control (synthetic estrogen) down their throats.

Rustling Leaves said...

IUDs however, particularly the copper ones, have little or no hormonal effect. It still does not get around the discarding life if you believe it begins at conception and the reproductive shackle angle of it.

wyo sis said...

Does the government have a vested interest in everything we do without bodies, or anything for that matter? I don't think so, but progressives seem to think it does. If government got out of the business of paying for things that have to do with what we do with our bodies then they could get out of the business of telling us what we can do with them. That would be a good thing I think.

Inga said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Inga said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Inga said...

Wyo Sis, why do conservatives like big government when it comes to a woman's body?

Inga said...

Yes certainly atheists can be anti abortion. Also most religions are anti abortion. At any rate, no one has the right to force another woman to bear a child against her will.

IUDs prevent pregnancy, therefore they prevent abortion after the fertized egg has implanted, same thing goes for emergency contraception. I would think this would be preferable.

If public schooling is a form of being on the public dole, make sure you don't use the emergency services, like fire department, police department, state patrol. Do not use public libraries. Hmmm, how about those state employees that plow snow, collect trash, etc. are they feeding at the trough?

Paul said...

And more people now see abortion is infatcide. Just look at sonograms and you will see the proof.

Saint Croix said...

Emergency contraception is not abortion.

Saint Croix said...

Day after pill.is not ru-486. Utterly different.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

make sure you don't use the emergency services, like fire department, police department, state patrol. Do not use public libraries. Hmmm, how about those state employees that plow snow, collect trash, etc. are they feeding at the trough?

There is a huge difference between funding necessary public services and shoveling money out to lazy lard asses who keep popping out kids so that they can get more money, food stamps, free rent, free utilities, Obama phones and live a life drinking, doing drugs and bitching at us because we don't give them more more MORE.

One of these things are necessary and used by everyone. The other is just examples of leeches on society taking from those who work and squandering it on those who WON'T.

Plus....we have a fire dept staffed by all volunteers, no public library [we started our own local non profit corp for a library], we plow our own roads and driveways [the state does keep the main highway clear], we don't have a police department, we don't have a public garbage service, we haul our own trash to a privately owned landfill, no local county or state services within 80 miles in all directions. So none of those things you mention, with the exception of the one or two highway patrol officers who cruise through so they can stop trucks, and the ONE sheriff who patrols a 100 square mile area at night are public servants. We take care of ourselves.

And the answer to are they feeding at the trough. YES. Higher pay than most people in the area. Lavish benefit and retirement packages. AND they bitch more than anyone when they actually have to work or contribute to their own benefits. Ungrateful union fucks.

BrianE said...

You would think that everyone, pro-abortion or pro-life, would think a declining abortion rate to be positive- regardless of the reason.

Reading some comments at the story AA linked, suggested that if declining abortion rates were caused by declining sexual activity that wasn't a good thing.

Slightly off topic, but abstinence only programs in public schools have been found to have the benefit of girls delaying their first intercourse. That is regarded by the liberal as proof that abstinence only programs don't work and should be (have been) abandoned.

While some might wish that abstinence only programs delayed sex until marriage, I think even delaying initial sex two years is worth whatever the programs might cost. Consider the benefit of a 14 year old delaying sex until 16-- that is two more years for the girl to mature and be better able to deal with the emotional and psychological impact of the sex act.

I realize that popular culture encourages 'hooking up'- casual sex that divorces the act from any emotional attachment, but that is contrary to our nature and the long term effects of that sort of detachment will probably manifest itself in other issues later in life.

If declining abortion rates mean more single mothers-- that is another serious problem, but not a problem to be solved with abortions.

Saint Croix said...

IUD is birth control, not abortion. Keeps egg from showing up. I might have called IUD an abortion before, but that is wrong.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

DBQ, Inga is never going to be on your page, because a rural life like yours, where your immediate neighbors are the only "first responders" you're likely to see in an actual emergency, just isn't within her ken. It's not really within mine, either; I have never lived in that sort of setting. My parents do, though; they're in Maryland (Eastern Shore), in a place where there are maybe a couple dozen neighbors within three miles or so, and it's quite common to be cut off without either power or passable roads for days at a time during or after a big storm. Both of them are past retirement age. They plow their own driveway (which is something like a quarter of a mile long), hook up their own generator when they have to, cut up their own downed trees, patch their own leaks, mop up anything that floods, and incidentally manage to keep a perfect menagerie from going insane with stress. (Mom fosters cats, and besides the two resident cats and the fosters, there are three Dobermans, three parrots, a few dozen Gouldian finches, and a handful of fish.)

I've never lived like that. I've visited them for extended periods, but I've never been cast out on my own resources and those of my immediate neighbors as they several times have been. But that's the point: They had their immediate neighbors. They didn't have government at the worst points, but they did have one another. When, at the worst, my Dad was in the ICU with pneumonia and my Mom was stuck alone with the menagerie, a foot-plus-worth of snow, and a driveway's worth of work before she could get to the (also unplowed) road, her neighbors came and did the bulk of the work unbidden. That is how communities that are communities work.

Inga said...

Michelle, as we are a nation of urban areas, suburbs, and rural communities we all do have different needs and yes one size doesn't fit all. Cities are here to stay for a while, the collapse of society may one day yet happen, have faith.

Saint Croix said...

IUD and birth control pills and breast-feeding all weaken the walls of the uterus while keeping eggs from showing up. Theoretically if birth control fails, a miscarriage is more likely because of thin walls of uterus.

Inga said...

So, I guess it's a bad idea to breast feed, Renee? Inhibits implantation of fertilized egg. Messing with a woman's body. Sounds like a reproductive shackle.

leslyn said...

Perhaps there are fewer abortions because more women have been persuaded of the absolute right to life of sperm.

frank said...

DBQ @ 1:32--you should be ashamed of yourself for expressing such common sense.

Renee said...

"So, I guess it's a bad idea to breast feed, Renee? Inhibits implantation of fertilized egg. Messing with a woman's body. Sounds like a reproductive shackle."

Nope, Breasts and milk are natural, IUDs aren't. The lack of ovulation is a normal response to breastfeeding, it is was what our bodies were meant to do.

I'm a feminist, not a misogynist. No way that crap is going into me.

Renee said...

BTW,

I have no problem with 'the public dole' I was just making a point we're all on it in some form or another, so it isn't right to pick on poor people.

Inga said...

Each to their own Renee, as long as no one forces anyone else to a pregnancy. If one sees a woman's body primarily a reproductive entity, then anything that would prevent a pregnancy would be seen as unnatural I suppose.

Renee said...

BrianE, Interesting point on abstinence education. I've never been a fan of abstinence programs, even though "comprehensive" isn't comprehensive.

Inga said...

Renee, we can agree on that, your 7:02 PM comment.

Renee said...

Igna, Well that is what makes us different from men, isn't it?

You argument is that the only way I can be equal to a man is with birth control, which means I must suppress my sexuality while a man doesn't.

A woman's and a man's reproductive system is geared to 'baby making'. It may not be a primary role of being a person, but it is the primary of that my reproductive system, as with my husband's.

I'm a person, even if I wasn't sexually active. You know people who are celibate are people too, and no less being people.




And yes we have sex during a non-fertile times of the cycle as well, sadly I have some grave reasons to not have anymore babies. :(

Renee said...

Sorry it shouldn't say 'your argument', it should be current feminist model's argument.

Saint Croix said...

Birth control pills and abortion increases risk of breast cancer. Having a baby decreases risk. This is particularly true if you are underage. If you have breast cancer in your family, have sex, have a baby. It's healthy and good for you.

Inga said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Inga said...

Renee, I'm glad you corrected yourself to say its not my argument. I most certainly don't want to be a man, despite what my cute little sailor avatar says. I think women have roles in different eras of their lives, once the baby making days are over and one finds themselves still fertile, a woman can see herself as something other than primarily a reproducer.

Which means she will need either BC, or have a tubal ligation. Some women may want to keep their options open, for a later pregnancy, so doing something as "unnatural" as preventing pregnancy is something women must do. Many women have taken BC pills for many years and are just fine.

See guys, it's not as easy being a woman, as some of you think.


leslyn said...

Renew said,

"A woman's and a man's reproductive system is geared to 'baby making'." Yes? So? Isn't that the definition of "reproductive system?"

Therefore, what is the point of making a political argument out of simple biology?

Unless you are talking about something more, or other than, mere reproduction? Aren't you using pure biology to disguise talk about sexuality and choice?

wyo sis said...

Inga I'm advocating small government and government getting out of the business of telling us what to do with our bodies.
Small government out of every area of our lives except those areas provided for in the constitution.

leslyn said...

Renew said, much earlier,

"Maybe teen pregnancy wouldn't be that hard, if everyone just got off the mother's back."

This is brilliant--and obvious. I intend no irony or sarcasm. It is just that the obvious is ignored in favor of demonizing single mothers.

The obvious is that there would be no single mothers, abortion, or need for birth control if men would keep it in their pants. Where is the outrage about that? Where is the voice of society telling men to be celibate? Where is the admission that the whole abortion hysteria is about the absolute right to life of sperm?--and damn the mother.

The voice is silent because this is still a male-dominant society (just look at who leads most anti-abortion calls) who expect to have their sex, and breed it too.

Rep. Scott Desjarlais of Tennessee is a perfect example.

The societal outrage is diverted from expecting men to be responsible.

leslyn said...

P.S.: "societal outrage is diverted from expecting men to be responsible." --That's called a "vested interest."

Inga said...

Wyo Sis, then government should not be expanded to prevent women from having a choice, right.

Can you imagine what an expansion it would take to prevent abortions, to punish the women who have one and the doctor who performs it? It would take another bureau and bureaucrats , law enforcement personel and more judges, maybe even more jail cells. What would the punishment be I wonder?

leslyn said...

wyo sis said,

"Small government out of every area of our lives except those areas provided for in the constitution."

'provided for in the [C]onstitution." Meaning, every decision of the Supreme Court (a Constitutional body) with which you agree.

leslyn said...

Ings said,

"What would the punishment be I wonder?"

NONE for the sperm donors. Silly you.

Inga said...

Naturally Leslyn.

wyo sis said...

You're all assuming a lot that I didn't say.
I said if the government pays for the consequences of our choices then it gets to tell us what our choices will be. If it doesn't then it doesn't.

wyo sis said...

I think it's better for the government not to pay for those consequences and not tell us what we can do.

leslyn said...

Anti-abortion is about punishing women for being fertile, while holding men guiltless.

After all, as Desjarlais admits, he's just not perfect.

Inga said...

I don't like my tax dollars paying for wars in which Americans have been killed needlessly.

leslyn said...

wyo sis said...

"I think it's better for the government not to pay for those consequences and not tell us what we can do."

So abortions are OK then.

Inga said...

Has the Hyde Amendment been overturned?

chickelit said...

Inga said...
Wyo Sis, why do conservatives like big government when it comes to a woman's body?

When it comes to abortion, conservatives don't want big government. They prefer smaller government--i.e., State government. Roe v. Wade was a "big government" (Federal level) intrusion which is why liberals like it. Liberals will argue that Federal government prevented State government intrusion when it comes to abortion.

Erika said...

So Leslyn: a pregnant woman can A. abort a man's child with or without his knowledge and consent; B. have the child and disappear and never tell him or the child, C. have the child with our without his consent and have a right to financial support for the child for nearly two decades,

and you're whining about how men are just sitting in the catbird seat in this horrible patriarchy of ours; poor poor women with no options compared to men who get to have all the fun with no consequences and no judgement.

Give me a freakin' break.

chickelit said...

leslyn notes:
Anti-abortion is about punishing women for being fertile, while holding men guiltless.

At least you admit that there is something to feel guilty over.

Those who push for the dehumanization of fetuses up to moment before birth (including our President) aim to assuage consciences of the guilty.

Inga said...

I am speaking for myself only, but I would be in favor of abortion restricted to 16-18 weeks. A fetus according to a British study cannot feel pain before the 24th week, the nervous system hasn't developed that far before that stage.

Lydia said...

Anti-abortion is about punishing women for being fertile, while holding men guiltless.

Good to know; explains where Obama got the idea that having a baby is a punishment.

Rustling Leaves said...

Inga- Perhaps the best punishment is just social stigmatization. Of course abortions should remain legal because of the enforcement issue and the coat hanger potential. However, just because something is legal does not make it right. Abortion IS legal, abortion activists want to go further than that, they want a pat on the back and a cookie. To shame the "bullies" who would dare hurt the fragile feelings of a women who killed her child.

Inga said...

Rustling Leaves, should we put a scarlet letter on the chest of a woman who has an abortion? There already is a social stigma attached to abortion and rightly so. I don't think even pro choice activists think that having an abortion is something to be proud of. I'm not sure what form of social stigmatization you want.

Inga said...

BTW, I'm loving it that we women are having this discussion, it's usually mostly male commenters.

leslyn said...

No, Erika, I'm not whining, just stating facts. You're exaggerating actual results.

And yeah, why shouldn't the woman have the child "without his consent and have a right to financial support for the child for nearly two decades"? I would make an exception for women fertilized by the secret turkey baster method.

BTW, you do realize that your argument C logically contradicts argument B?

Lydia said...

Inga said: I am speaking for myself only, but I would be in favor of abortion restricted to 16-18 weeks. A fetus according to a British study cannot feel pain before the 24th week, the nervous system hasn't developed that far before that stage.

But apparently up to 91% of late-term abortions are done by first injecting digoxin into the baby's heart, so there wouldn't be any pain would there?

...standard methods of pregnancy termination via labor induction do not ensure fetal demise during the procedure. A live birth in this setting can be psychologically and emotionally difficult for the family and staff; feticide removes this possibility. In a randomized placebo controlled trial of digoxin to facilitate late second-trimester abortion, 91 percent of patients indicated that they preferred their fetuses be dead prior to the procedure. This has also been our experience; we have observed that patients who undergo abortion in the late second trimester are very amenable to induced fetal demise.

Now there's a term I could have gone without ever learning: induced fetal demise.

How any medical person can commit these acts is beyond me.

leslyn said...

chickelit said... "leslyn notes: Anti-abortion is about punishing women for being fertile, while holding men guiltless." At least you admit that there is something to feel guilty over.

No, I am observing the belief that women should be punished for abortion or wanting to have an abortion, which inherently carries with it a belief of guilt. A belief of guilt which is not attributed to the partner.

Saint Croix said...

Where is the admission that the whole abortion hysteria is about the absolute right to life of sperm?z

You got to be some kind of moron to confuse the Carhart abortions with sperm. This is a typical bullshit move by the socialist left. You know abortion is bad, and unpopular, so you pretend Republicans want to outlaw birth control. If you didn't have your Orwellian rhetoric and your big lies, you would have nothing to say, Leslyn.

Inga said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Inga said...

The criteria should be more than the presence of pain. The question is when is a fetus a sentient being? What makes the fetus human? Yes it's biologically a human, but when are all the connections completed that form the nervous system and brain?

If the abortion is limited to 16 -18 weeks, there will be no born alive scenarios.

Lydia, I'm a nurse, I never had an abortion, I could never have worked in that field. Ask Michael K how he feels about it.

leslyn said...

Lydia said...

"Inga said: I am speaking for myself only, but I would be in favor of abortion restricted to 16-18 weeks. A fetus according to a British study cannot feel pain before the 24th week, the nervous system hasn't developed that far before that stage."

But apparently up to 91% of late-term abortions are done by first injecting digoxin into the baby's heart, so there wouldn't be any pain would there?

You do realize, Lydia, that "mid-to-late second trimester terminations" in which the method may be used that you cite, is NOT the same time period that Inga was referring to? And so they cannot logically be compared?

Lydia said...

I know you're a nurse, Inga, and I actually assumed from reading your posts for a while that you wouldn't take part in such barbarity.

Saint Croix said...

What makes the fetus human?

Fetus is a Latin term that means newly delivered. Which reminds us that the Romans killed newborns all the time. Using the Latin word for baby is the sort of Orwellian horseshit I am talking about. We say baby when we're happy about being pregnant, and fetus when we're unhappy. So this is all bullshit rationalization for killing a baby we don't want to have.

A pregnant woman is called a "gravida" in medical textbooks. Another Latin term. The Supreme Court always says fetus and never says gravida. That's because they want to dehumanize the baby and have no interest in dehumanizing the pregnant woman.

Say "baby" before you come up with your abortion rules. It will keep you honest and cautious.

Inga said...

St. Croix, I've used the term baby many times before when discussing abortion. I'm not trying to fool myself or anyone else that it isn't a baby after a certain stage in development.

wyo sis said...

I think abortions are killing of innocent human beings or murder to be specific. As such they are covered under laws about murder.
The point I'm making is that if government pays for health care and other things having to do with what we do with our bodies then they can tell us what we can do with them. This isn't a thing we should want government to do.
There is much more than abortion at stake, but abortion is the wedge issue and has become a mountain upon which politicians die.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

The criteria should be more than the presence of pain. The question is when is a fetus a sentient being?

Do you plan to give the fetus an IQ test?

The more relevant questions for those who oppose abortion are those regarding the soul. Is there a soul or unique supernatural essence of the person. When does the soul enter the body?

"Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations."

Does the soul exist before the plasma forms to become the fetus? Does God know the soul before being formed in the belly. Do we have a pre-ordained path that the soul is destined to walk. What about free will? Who knows? This is unknowable at this time, just as it is unknowable as to what happens to the soul or essence of the person after death.

But...if the soul should exist prior to being en-wombed, then abortion at any stage is to kill a living soul or thwart the soul's course to being a living breathing person.

Those that oppose abortion and those who think that murdering unborn children is somehow a right of the mother, have very different views on the subject of the soul and the essence of what is life and what is humanity.

I have no idea what is the correct answer but I would rather err on the side of caution and go on the premise that the soul exists in even the most beginning stages of pregnancy.

Other than forcible rape, there is no excuse for 'accidentally' getting pregnant and then deciding it is too inconvenient so you just kill your child. None. No excuse.

Inga said...

The science is there, we know when the development of the nervous system is completed

No need for IQ test .

leslyn said...

St Crouching said,

You know abortion is bad, and unpopular, so you pretend Republicans want to outlaw birth control.

I have no such belief, so can only conclude it has sprung full-blown from your fevered imagination. Do YOU believe that Republicans want to outlaw birth control?

In any case, there's no connection between your claim and my statement about the relationship between anti-abortion and an absolute right to life for sperm. You are not stupid, so I think you misread me, whether wittingly or not. Perhaps you do not wish to look at the issue framed in that way. They are, after all, your sperm.

Erika said...

Leslyn, two things:

1. you might consider reacquainting yourself with the difference between "facts" and a "opinions," specifically as you seem to think items such as The voice is silent because this is still a male-dominant society (just look at who leads most anti-abortion calls) who expect to have their sex, and breed it too. Rep. Scott Desjarlais of Tennessee is a perfect example. The societal outrage is diverted from expecting men to be responsible. are the former when they are quite obviously the latter.

2. I was illustrating through examples that a woman has more power than a man with whom she has procreated to decide the fate of a child that belongs to both of them. I did not mean that a woman could concurrently exercise all those options. Sorry if that wasn't clear.

leslyn said...

St. Croix said,

"A pregnant woman is called a "gravida" in medical textbooks. Another Latin term. The Supreme Court always says fetus and never says gravida."

Excuse me? Are you saying a pregnant woman IS the baby? If so, I can see how you cling to some of your ideas. It's sad, though.

And my apologies, I really didn't intend to refer to you as "St Crouching" in my earlier post. It was the autospeller. Really.

Inga said...

I believe St. Croix is saying they dehumanize the baby by referring to it as a fetus, but don't dehumanize a woman in the same way because they don't call her a gravida.

Inga said...

It asks the question, who is more fully human, the mother or the unborn baby? Whose rights trump who?

leslyn said...

Erika,

Your mordant wit, through quoting me out of context, is noted.

Lydia said...

I wonder if any of the anti-pro-life people here have ever read Nat Hentoff talking about how he, a super-liberal and an atheist, decided to throw in his lot with the pro-lifers. It's worth a read.

A quote he includes is this by the bio-ethicist Peter Singer:

The pro-life groups were right about one thing, the location of the baby inside or outside the womb cannot make much of a moral difference. We cannot coherently hold it is alright to kill a fetus a week before birth, but as soon as the baby is born everything must be done to keep it alive. The solution, however," said Singer, "is not to accept the pro-life view that the fetus is a human being with the same moral status as yours or mine. The solution is the very opposite, to abandon the idea that all human life is of equal worth.

To which Hentoff adds: “Which, of course, the majority of the Court had already done in Roe v. Wade.”

Saint Croix said...

In any case, there's no connection between your claim and my statement about the relationship between anti-abortion and an absolute right to life for sperm.

An "absolute right to life for sperm" implies that Republicans want to outlaw birth control, in order to protect our sperm. This is idiotic. Nobody on our side is talking about outlawing birth control. Nobody wants to charge people for murder for using a condom. I use condoms. I'm a pro-lifer. I have no problem distinguishing those two things.

Perhaps you do not wish to look at the issue framed in that way. They are, after all, your sperm.

Now you're implying that I'm a man, and my pro-life views come out of my sperm production. This ignores all the pro-life women and pro-choice men.

And I may be misreading you as badly as you misread me. So maybe you can tell me why my views are motivated by sperm.

leslyn said...

Chip S said, much earlier,

Blow job nation.

Hand-job nation. Why make women responsible for your penis?

leslyn said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
leslyn said...

Saint Croix said,

"An "absolute right to life for sperm" implies that Republicans want to outlaw birth control, in order to protect our sperm. This is idiotic."

You're correct. The implication is idiotic.

Saint Croix said...

who is more fully human, the mother or the unborn baby? Whose rights trump who?

You have a right to remove a trespasser. But if a baby wanders into your house, do you have a right to rip her into pieces?

You might ask why the Court doesn't talk about a right to remove the baby and put her in a neonatal care unit. Why did the cases develop as a right to infanticide?

Inga said...

If abortion were limited to 16-18 weeks the baby wouldn't survive the abortion. No neonatal care would keep it alive .

Inga said...

St. Croix, does the state have the right to force a woman to carry a baby and give birth to it?

Inga said...

I think that since the baby wouldn't survive outside the mothers womb at such an early gestational age, the mother's rights trump the baby's, unless women are forced to carry and give birth to that baby.

I would be in agreement with forcing a woman to bear the child after it is sentient.

Saint Croix said...

If abortion were limited to 16-18 weeks the baby wouldn't survive the abortion. No neonatal care would keep it alive.

That's true. But of course you're not describing Roe v. Wade.

1% of abortions take place after 22 weeks, roughly 600,000 since 1973.

12-15% percent take place after 13 weeks, over 7,000,000.

It's a very basic problem with Roe. You have to be 100% right. Not mostly right or even 99% right.

Inga said...

What about personhood bills that instead of giving the baby full rights under the Consitution at conception, bestow those rights at 20 weeks?

Saint Croix said...

St. Croix, does the state have the right to force a woman to carry a baby and give birth to it?

It's not "force" unless the woman was actually raped. You create a baby, you're responsible for the baby. You're her mom. You can't fly off to Europe and let your baby starve to death. We impose moral and legal obligations on parents all the time. No baby is autonomous. Yet it's still murder to kill one.

Of course, most abortion regulations are actually in regard to the abortionist. Can we outlaw an elective surgery that is dangerous to women and fatal to her unborn child? Yes.

Saint Croix said...

What about personhood bills that instead of giving the baby full rights under the Consitution at conception, bestow those rights at 20 weeks?

Pro-lifers want to protect more babies than you do, and pro-choicers want to protect less. You're a party of one!

Inga said...

No it's still force, to disallow an abortion no matter what the circumstance of conception. If a woman cares so little for her baby that she would abort it, chances are she would resent he baby, abuse or neglect it, or best case scenario adopt it out. But it's still forcing her to do something with her own body against her will.

Inga said...

I don't think that I'm much different than many pro choicers. Not all of us are extreme.

Saint Croix said...

But it's still forcing her to do something with her own body against her will.

No, she decided to have sex, thus she decided to risk making a baby. Just like if a man has sex with a woman, he is morally and legally responsible for any baby he creates. You csnnot be forced by the state to have sex. But you can be forced to take responsibility for any baby you create.

And outlawing surgery is not forcing you to do something. It's outlawing behavior you want to do. For instance we outlaw injecting heroin and prostitution. That's not forcing you to do something. It's outlawing behavior.

Only rape victims are forced to be pregnant. Everybody else is morally and legally responsible for baby-creation.

sdharms said...

another reason for lower abortion rates: when a culture loses economic capital they are reluctant to destroy children who can represent capital -- either they go to work when able or they can draw welfare for them.

Jake Diamond said...

Yet the number of profoundly stupid things that Republicans say about abortion seems to be at an all-time high.

jr565 said...

Inga wrote:

Renee, is it wrong for everyone who doesn't share your outlook or religion? What about women who use IUD's? Is it wrong for women to use an IUD as birth control? Are you in favor of banning IUDs and Emergency contraception altogether?

Do you think that women who don't agree with this will be more likely to vote Democratic because of it?

were republicans suggesting that contraception be banned ALTOGETHER? Women may not agree with this, but since its not the position of republicans, then women voting against that would be voting against a straw man argument and not a real policy suggestion.

In th case of Sandra fluke the question was not BANNING contraception, the issue was whether a catholic hospital must be forced to provide FREE contraception if it was against their principles. Even if catholic institutions aren't forced to provide contraception, its not as if people don't have access to contraception or that its being banned. Most people pay for their contraception now, and are ok with this decision, and contraception is profusely available at any drug store or online, and is cheap enough for most people (certainly for people attending expensive colleges) to afford.
So again, saying something shouldn't be provided by govt for free, doesn't mean that one thinks it shouldn't be available in society.

jr565 said...

Leslyn wrote:

Blow job nation.

Hand-job nation. Why make women responsible for your penis?

I pity any man in a relationship with you if that's your attitude towards sex.

Kelly from Georgia said...

I have been reading the comments here for many years and rarely commenting. Recently, there are two who make me skip the comments altogether. They were on this thread and I started to back out when out came DBQ to save the day. I love your comments DBQ. I just wish everyone had your sense.

Kelly

Kelly from Georgia said...

I have been reading the comments here for many years and rarely commenting. Recently, there are two who make me skip the comments altogether. They were on this thread and I started to back out when out came DBQ to save the day. I love your comments DBQ. I just wish everyone had your sense.

Kelly

jr565 said...

leslyn wrote:
No, I am observing the belief that women should be punished for abortion or wanting to have an abortion, which inherently carries with it a belief of guilt. A belief of guilt which is not attributed to the partner.

How do you know? If a dad told the mother, "please dont abort our baby", what would your prochoice stance demand - "Who cares? It's not your decision. Butt out - it's my uterus". So, the mans feelings on this are immaterial to your right to abort your child.
Don't then turn around and suggest that guys somehow are wrong becuase they don't have to feel the guilt of an abortion like a woman does.

leslyn said...

jr565 quoted... Leslyn wrote: "Blow job nation." Hand-job nation. Why make women responsible for your penis?

Jr565I said, I pity any man in a relationship with you if that's your attitude towards sex.

The discussion was about abortion.

I pity any woman in a relationship with YOU if that's your ONLY attitude about sex.

Can we agree that we would pity each other if our only attitude about sex were to demand oral sex? ;)

leslyn said...

Jr565 quoted,

A belief of guilt which is not attributed to the partner.

The context was societal. The scarlet "A" attributed to a woman, but not to the partner who agrees, favors abortion, or just doesn't care.