Monday, January 10, 2011

Whose fault is it if you get pregnant (and an abortion)?

In response to Archbishop Dolan's denunciation of the fact that about 40% of pregnancies are aborted in NYC, Banana Grabber responds:

I’m sorry, but whose 'fault' is it that these women need abortions? How did they get pregnant? Families from poor areas are more likely to receive NO sex education (4), so they are less likely to be informed about birth control. They are less likely to be able to pay for birth control. They are less likely to have resources to go to a doctor to get their BC prescription refilled. I could go on.

How indeed did they get pregnant?

It's interesting that it is never assumed that pregnancy is the result of having sex. Or that abortion is the consequence of this action.

And that the woman who is pregnant is somehow not responsible for this action.

What's responsible? BG says: lack of sex education.

I'm sorry, but this is a ridiculous canard. Who doesn't know about condoms? Who doesn't know about the Pill? Okay, there might be some 14- or 15- year-olds who don't know, but our culture mentions contraception so much that it's difficult to believe that people don't know that it's supposed to prevent pregnancy. Condoms are easily obtainable for free. I bet dollars to doughnuts that every public school in NYC has a school nurse with a bowl full of condoms in her office (just like my nominally Catholic school had). In a culture of poverty, people know where to get free stuff. And even if you're too embarrassed to face the school nurse, there are condom dispensers in public bathrooms in all kinds of places that will dispense a condom for a low price. Okay, so they're not terribly trustworthy, but then condoms are not that trustworthy, period.

I'm not condoning the use of condoms. All I am saying is that people know about contraception in spite of the lack of sex ed.

What else is responsible? BG says: poverty.

Poverty doesn't make you have sex. Poverty doesn't force you to abort. You can have the baby and give it up for adoption. Oh, I know, women don't want to be pregnant. True enough, but nothing is making women parent children they can't have.

I will allow this: that the culture of contraception sells a false illusion: that if you just use contraception, you CAN'T get pregnant. That's why so many women are shocked when, having used a pill or a condom, they discover they are pregnant. They thought they had gotten out of the baby lottery by using birth control. No matter how much contraception you use, you can always get pregnant.

The other thing I will allow is that women have abortions because men run from their responsibilities. If 1/3 of black men are incarcerated or have been incarcerated, and that the majority of black babies are born out of wedlock, and that large numbers of black families are headed by single moms, there's a huge problem with the black male. Women probably contribute to it, but the main problem is that we've lost all sense of what being a man means. I have no doubt that the culture of slavery got the ball rolling on this, having destroyed so many families and the meaning of marriage for so many; but it's been 150 years or so since the slaves have been freed. Men have lost their sense of being a provider. Woman has the baby, man is the provider.

I know the next response: why am I picking on black men when white men are part of the problem,too True enough. But in NYC, the face of poverty is typically Black, and the problem is far more endemic in that community.

Marriage tends to pull people out of poverty. BG talks about food stamps, Medicaid, etc, when if you just encourage couples to get married (and especially to wait until marriage to have sex) you'll cut the abortion rate in half right there. A man who is responsible for a wife and a baby is far more likely to smarten up than a man who's not.

That's not to say that the woman is not responsible for her decision. They are responsible for the men they pick. But there do exist extenuating factors; ones that are often ignored as politically incorrect.

First, I think that these religious groups are approaching this in the wrong way. Speaking of this situation in a negative way further stigmatizes abortion.

I don't want to de-stigmatize the killing of unborn children.

BG also writes:

If people truly want to reduce the abortion rate, they need to turn to birth control.

We've been doing that for the last 50 years now. It's not lowering the abortion rate. If anything, the introduction of contraception has accompanied a rise in the abortion rate. Contraception always leads to abortion on a collective scale.