In every society, there are two critical lists: acceptable conditions for having a baby, and acceptable conditions for having sex. From time immemorial, the one thing that almost every society had in common is that their two lists matched up. It was only with the widespread acceptance of contraception in the middle of the 20th century, creating an upheaval in the public psyche in which sex and babies no longer went hand-in-hand, that the two lists began to diverge. And now, in 21st-century America, they look something like this:
Conditions under which it is acceptable to have sex:
* If you're in a stable relationship
* If you feel emotionally ready
* If you're free of sexually transmitted diseases
* If you have access to contraception
Conditions under which it is acceptable to have a baby:
* If you can afford it
* If you've finished your education
* If you feel emotionally ready to parent a child
* If your partner would make a good parent
* If you're ready for all the lifestyle changes that would be involved with parenthood
As long as those two lists do not match, we will live in a culture where abortion is common and where women are at war with their own bodies.
Considering the disparity between the two lists made me begin to see the level of damage that contraception and the mentality it produces have done to women as individuals and as a group. I thought of the several friends whom I'd helped procure abortions, how each was scared and caught off guard, overwhelmed with a feeling of "I never signed up for a pregnancy," angry at a faceless enemy. They had followed all of society's rules, yet still ended up in a gut-wrenching position. We hated the anti-abortion zealots because we thought they tried to take away women's freedom; what we didn't understand is that women's freedom had already been taken, when society bought the lie that sex is primarily about bonding and pleasure, and that its life-giving potential is tangential and optional.
You can't re-engineer nature. The whole abortion culture tries to re-engineer nature, in make procreation subject to our whims. It doesn't work. I never understood why ecologist types never got that: why rocks and water and trees are to be revered, but not the unborn child.