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Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Abortion, Sterilization, and Regret: A Double Standard

A few weeks ago, the Huffington Post ran an article about the obstacles encountered by young women interested in permanent surgical sterilization (e.g. tubal ligation):
The first time Bri Seeley told her doctor she wanted to be sterilized, she was 24 years old. ... Motherhood, she knew deep in her bones, was not for her. But the naturopath whom Seeley saw for her annual exam told her that because of her age, she was not a good candidate for permanent sterilization. The following year, Seeley asked again -- and was rebuffed again. Next year, the same thing.
"Every single year she would say to me, 'You will never find a doctor to do that for you,'" said Seeley, who is now 31 and lives in Los Angeles, and who has blogged for The Huffington Post about her experience. Though her desire for the procedure only grew, she said, the anger she felt after her initial rejection gradually gave way to a kind of numbed resignation.
The issue is that doctors are concerned that women, and particularly younger women who have never given birth, will regret being sterilized:
A major area of focus for ACOG, and the OB-GYNs it seeks to counsel, is the question of regret. A comprehensive 2008 review looking at sterilization in the United States found that patient regret is the most common lasting complication of sterilization, and one that disproportionately affects women: Up to 26 percent of female patients say later that they regret the procedure, according to statistics cited in the study, compared to less than 5 percent of men who have a vasectomy. And age, the researchers concluded, is the top predictor of regret. Women who were under 30 when they were sterilized were twice as likely as their older counterparts to say they had later misgivings.
As one ob/gyn put it, "In some ways, it's very difficult to see a 22-year old make a decision for the 35-year-old she will be someday and not have major concerns that she might regret that decision."

Naturally, as I read this, my mind immediately went to the topic of post-abortion regret. Abortion, obviously, is also permanent. A 2008 meta-analysis in the British Journal of Psychiatry found that abortion is associated with an 81% increased risk of mental health problems. And I realize that this is a matter of intense ideologically-driven debate, but even if you disagree with the meta-analysis and refuse to accept that abortion is associated with mental illness, it is absolutely, at minimum, associated with regret. (Witness the explosion of women-led support programs that have emerged in the vacuum of official silence/reluctance/opposition.) If regret is a "complication" of sterilization, there is no defensible reason not to treat it as a complication of abortion as well.

Where is the concern from physicians that the 22-year-old obtaining an abortion is "making a decision for the 35-year-old she will be someday"—the woman wondering about the child who would have been on the cusp of his or her teen years?

If a childfree young woman wants a tubal ligation, and she has been fully informed of the one-in-four chance that she may later regret it (along with the obvious risks attendant to surgery), she should be able to obtain a tubal ligation. In addition to helping the majority of patients, a policy of open access to sterilization would also have the happy side effect of preventing unintended pregnancies and abortions.

Conversely, ob/gyns and women's health advocates should not be so cavalier about the chances that a woman will one day say that she regrets her abortion. (Often, as with sterilization, the regret won't come until years later, which is why I'm thoroughly unimpressed by research emphasizing that relief is the most common immediate reaction to an abortion.)

I don't wish to diminish the experiences of women who regret their tubal ligations. But they at least have options: some tubal ligations can be surgically reversed, sterilized women can become mothers through adoption, and one of the women quoted in the HuffPo piece was a stepmom. In contrast, there is nothing that can replace the unique daughter or son lost in an abortion.

The medical community has this completely ass-backwards.

75 comments:

secularprolife.org said...

I feel like you're ignoring a huge difference between tubal ligation and abortion, though. If I want a tubal ligation and am refused because I might regret it, I can instead get an IUD, which is almost as effective at preventing pregnancy and also significantly cheaper.

If I want a physician to induce an abortion and am refused, there's no way to get a similar effect: I will have to suffer the physical problems of pregnancy and then either the mental health risks of giving up a baby for adoption (which seem to be much more significant than the alleged mental health risks of induced abortion) or the significant lifestyle problems that come from raising an unplanned and initially unwanted child.

secularprolife.org said...

Also, the mental health risks associated with birth - post partum depression, psychosis, and even PTSD.

secularprolife.org said...

If a childfree young woman wants a tubal ligation, and she has been
fully informed of the one-in-four chance that she may later regret it
(along with the obvious risks attendant to surgery), she should be able
to obtain a tubal ligation. In addition to helping the majority of
patients, a policy of open access to sterilization would also have the
happy side effect of preventing unintended pregnancies and abortions.



Exactly. I was very well informed all of the nine years after I married that it took to finally, by going out of state, find a gyno who didn't think he knew better what was appropriate for me than I did. Nine years is a long penance to pay for the sake of those who were not sure and who did regret it. I'm very sorry, but someone else's regrets should no be any factor at all in the fulfillment of the contraception that's best for me. So insulting to be told time and time again that I'll be hijacked by some 'biological clock,' something I knew simply did not exist for me. That was 18 years ago, and not a scintilla of regret, just as I knew there would never be.



Even if you take abortion completely off the table, there's still a huge problem of women being ignored in the birth they wish to have (assuming everything goes well), being ignored in what method of contraception they wish to use that works best for their body and lifestyle, being ignored AND ridiculed when they are certain motherhood isn't for them and denied tubal ligation or long-term, safe contraception.


Yes, up until this point in time, it's been assumed that 22 y.o. women can't possibly know what they'll want at 35. and it's assumed that all those chlldfree leaning women will at some point succumb to baby rabies. However, that's true of just about ANY decision she makes. Young women are now more unafraid to forcefully articulate their desire for childfreedom, and few of them are uncertain about that reality. If there are regrets later on, there's IVF and adoption - perfectly acceptable ways to have children in your life if you so desire.


Most childfree women certainly would like to see an end to all the hand-wringing concerning their unconventional choice. Everyone's not meant to be a parent; they never were. Now we nave the means to make sterilization safe and permanent, and how many abortions does that sort of thing render a non-issue? Think about it.

secularprolife.org said...

I hadn't considered this before. Good point.

secularprolife.org said...

The majority of women who have abortions, have them because they have already had all the children they intend to have.

The majority of women who have tubal ligations, have them because they have already had all the children they intend to have.

Whether or not they later regret either one, is really their personal business: adults make decisions, and it's up to them.

But if instead they were forced to have unwanted children they knew they could not care for, that would rapidly become everyone's business. There are over a hundred thousand children in the US foster system who've been needing new parents for years. Yet prolifers still call upon women to have unwanted babies to put them up for adoption, so that a couple who can afford it can have a baby born for them to adopt, rather than their having to find a child who needs parents to see if they can be acceptable parents for that child. In any system where safe legal abortion is unavailable, what to do with the unwanted children who were forced to be born rapidly becomes a major societal problem.

secularprolife.org said...

Good points in this post. From several pregnancy websites I'm on, I'm aware of women pregnant with their third or fourth child who are getting a "doer": C-section followed by tubal ligation.

After what I read, doctors encourage women to do so because during a C-section because the uterus is high enough that they can get the tubal done easily. Have you heard of that? Pretty common apparently. http://forums.thebump.com/discussion/9043971/tell-me-if-you-had-a-tubal-was-your-c-section-recovery-worse

secularprolife.org said...

This is addressed in SPL's publication "Waiting Children, Waiting Parents"
http://www.secularprolife.org/#!publications/c1gdw What it comes down to is that many people are not qualified to adopt from foster care but ARE qualified to adopt infants through private adoption. As a result, you have two parallel systems: a foster system in which CHILDREN wait years, and a private infant system in which PARENTS wait years. Only the latter is used as an alternative to abortion. It's messed up, absolutely-- but the idea that a child saved from abortion = a foster child deprived of a forever family is just not true.
I myself intend to be a foster parent. Foster kids need us. But that's just me trying to be a decent person; it has little to do with my pro-life advocacy.

secularprolife.org said...

Yes, it's much easier for women who've already given birth to obtain a tubal ligation.

secularprolife.org said...

Because lifestyle problems or possible adoption regret totally outweigh the child's right to life...
To take you seriously, though, I think there's a lot both the pro-life and pro-choice communities can do to improve the adoption process for birthmothers. Our top priority should be to encourage open adoption, which allows the biological parents to remain a part of their child's life and reduces the mental trauma.

secularprolife.org said...

Open adoption doesn't resolves all issues. Sometimes it creates new problems.

http://www.adoptionbirthmothers.com/10-things-open-adoption-opened-me-to/

here's life as seen from someone who was the adoptee in the open adoption experiment that still goes on today.

http://adoptionvoicesmagazine.com/my-second-mama/the-open-adoption-experiment-by-an-anonymous-16-year-old-adoptee/#

Open adoption only works if the bond between the birth parents and the adoptive parents are strong.

secularprolife.org said...

I did it. Worked great. But it was an emergency c-section; we just happened to have talked about it before our baby was born.

secularprolife.org said...

How is adoption an alternative to pregnancy? I see it as an alternative to being a parent, but it still doesn't save the woman from the misery of the unwanted pregnancy.

secularprolife.org said...

The vast majority of women have abortions because they don't want the resulting infant, not for reasons intrinsic to pregnancy itself.

secularprolife.org said...

I'm not saying adoption is perfect: only that it's improving, and we can do more.

secularprolife.org said...

A lot of women still have abortions because they don't want to be pregnant and because they don't want a kid.


Adoption would do nothing for these women. I know many women who would rather die than suffer through the misery of an unwanted pregnancy.

secularprolife.org said...

What it comes down to is that many people are not qualified to adopt from foster care but ARE qualified to adopt infants through private adoption.


Frankly, anyone who the state thinks is unfit to be a foster parent / adoptive parent, should probably take that judgement and figure that there are other ways to help kids in foster care, not throw up their hands and go "what the hell, I've got the money, I'll just go private".


But that's because I see adoption/fostering as being primarily for the children's benefit, whereas prolifers see it as being for the benefit of the parents who want a baby.

secularprolife.org said...

So, your notion is to force the girl or the woman through risky pregnancy, then take the baby away from her?

secularprolife.org said...

Sigh... I do NOT see adoption as primarily for the adoptive parents' benefit. The bar is set higher for foster care because foster kids tend to have greater medical, emotional, and educational needs as a result of prior abuse or neglect. A person who can't effectively meet those extreme needs may be entirely capable of raising an infant without that history.

secularprolife.org said...

But you're advocating the forced birth of unwanted babies in order to give them to parents who want a baby - without any concern for the girl or the woman who loses her baby forever.

"...its outrages on the feelings and affections,—the separating of families, for example."

"That is a bad thing, certainly," said the other lady, holding up a baby's dress she had just completed, and looking intently on its trimmings; "but then, I fancy, it don't occur often."

"O, it does," said the first lady, eagerly; "I've lived many years in Kentucky and Virginia both, and I've seen enough to make any one's heart sick. Suppose, ma'am, your two children, there, should be taken from you, and sold?"

"We can't reason from our feelings to those of this class of persons," said the other lady, sorting out some worsteds on her lap.

"Indeed, ma'am, you can know nothing of them, if you say so," answered the first lady, warmly. "I was born and brought up among them. I know they do feel, just as keenly,—even more so, perhaps,—as we do."

The lady said "Indeed!" yawned, and looked out the cabin window...

secularprolife.org said...

Because lifestyle problems or possible adoption regret totally outweigh the child's right to life...


There's no child involved at the point at which you advocate for forced-pregnancy: except for instances where a child is pregnant and needs an abortion.

secularprolife.org said...

Private for-profit adoption can't really be "improved": it can only be abolished.

secularprolife.org said...

But why would a prolifer - or the adoption industry - care about the welfare of the girl or woman being used to produce the baby? It's the product they care about - the healthy baby. The health and wellbeing of the object used is of no concern once she's completed her use?

secularprolife.org said...

I have been told by various pro lifers that the feelings of the pregnant person don't matter - don't want to have to give your baby up for adoption, then don't "spread your legs". And " life trumps her feelings."

secularprolife.org said...

The prolife movement in the US is politically and historically an offshoot of the pro-segregation movement, which in turn is an offshoot of the pro-slavery movement. Pushing for forced-birth for a baby for the adoption industry is horribly close to the denial of feeling and agency to slave women who were forced to breed and lose their babies.

When the boat, creaking, and groaning, and puffing, had loosed from the wharf, and was beginning slowly to strain herself along, the woman returned to her old seat. The trader was sitting there,—the child was gone!

"Why, why,—where?" she began, in bewildered surprise.

"Lucy," said the trader, "your child's gone; you may as well know it first as last. You see, I know'd you couldn't take him down south; and I got a chance to sell him to a first-rate family, that'll raise him better than you can."

secularprolife.org said...

"But you're advocating the forced birth of unwanted babies in order to give them to parents who want a baby - without any concern for the girl or the woman who loses her baby forever."
No, I am saying that someone who does not want to raise the child CAN place them for adoption instead of killing them. I certainly don't begrudge people who want to raise their children!
I'm tired of blog trolls who twist my words. I'm done with you for the day.

secularprolife.org said...

If it is simply a matter of not wanting a child, and most women are nonchalant about actual pregnancy and birth, then why dont more women simply choose to give their babies up for adoption? Why isn't that the norm?

secularprolife.org said...

I'm sorry, Kelsey, I misunderstood: I assumed that as a prolifer, you were in favour of banning access to safe legal abortion.


If you actually support all girls and women having free access to safe legal abortion, so that they needn't resort to the adoption industry to care for the child they'd decided not to have, you're actually prochoice.


No one disagrees that if a woman decides to have a baby and give the baby up for adoption, she should be able to do that. It's just that prolifers disagree that this should be the woman's decision.


(Certainly no girl should be asked to make that decision: a child doesn't have the emotional maturity to know what it will mean to have a baby and never see the baby again.)

secularprolife.org said...

Because, fairly obviously, pregnancy is hard labour - and most adult women have the nous to be aware that prolifers are lying about how easy it is for a woman to give birth and lose her baby.

secularprolife.org said...

If I were you, and wanted to put forth that allegation, I'd find a better citation. I don't see it that way. If she just didn't want to parent, there are multiple alternatives to that scenario, starting with just not taking the newborn home from the hospital in the first place.

secularprolife.org said...

I never regretted my tubal ligation either, and if I had, that would have been 'my problem' not the problem of some stranger that wants a tubal ligation. I was only 26, but I had 3 children already and knew that I definitely did NOT want another, and I understood the meaning of the word "permanent." In fact I wanted it that way. I never experienced that ticking biological clock, probably since I was too busy handling the three kids I already had. Maybe I wouldn't have experienced it as a childfree woman, either. I'll never know. But I know I'm very resentful of anyone who insists they know what's better for any given woman than the woman herself. How arrogant!

secularprolife.org said...

That's real nice of you to hand-wave away the suffering of women who have given up babies for adoption. Real nice. And you wonder why people see things differently than you do. My friend gave a baby up for adoption, and she never got over it. Luckily she was re-united with her son and they have a relationship now. That doesn't erase all the years of mental anguish she suffered in the meantime. You are treating the born human female beings like machines to be used for the benefit of people who want to buy a baby in the private market. I don't know what to say about that, but it probably wouldn't pass moderation. "Open adoption" is a joke with no punchline. Those people are never held to their promises. NEVER.

secularprolife.org said...

And you don't think if she had an abortion she'd never be over it? She had enough concern for the unborn to give it up for adoption and not abort it.

secularprolife.org said...

Not a single moment's regret for my tubal ligation, either.

secularprolife.org said...

What it comes down to is that many people are not qualified to adopt
from foster care but ARE qualified to adopt infants through private
adoption
buy an infant from an adoption mill.

FIFY.

secularprolife.org said...

But that's because I see adoption/fostering as being primarily for the
children's benefit, whereas prolifers see it as being for the benefit of
the parents who want a baby.


Exactly.

secularprolife.org said...

And what would those same people do if they had a child with greater medical, emotional and educational needs "the old-fashioned way"?

It becomes clear to me, at least, that at some point people who demand a perfectly healthy, preferably male, Caucasian neonate are far more interested in an infant as an accessory than in being parents.

Look, I live in the SF Bay Area. At one point, it was downright trendy here for single women "of a certain age" to adopt (well, buy, really) female infants from China. It's really pretty disgusting.

secularprolife.org said...

No one disagrees that if a woman decides to have a baby and give
the baby up for adoption, she should be able to do that. It's just that
prolifers disagree that this should be the woman's decision.


Again, that's exactly how I see it.

secularprolife.org said...

There are so man nuances to international adoption. On the one hand, there are many abandoned or orphaned children in some countries. On the other, there is government manipulation to increase revenue to those same countries. Friends of mine adopted a child from China who had serious health concerns. That child is now on the road to physical recovery. So for certain some aspects of international adoption are "disgusting" but some are not.

secularprolife.org said...

You have a few regular trolls; EE is just one of them. I thought this was a pro-life site. Mostly what I see are the tired talking points of pro-abortion individuals.

secularprolife.org said...

Because I am not a prolifer, I'm not going to comment on personal circumstances I know nothing about.

We do know, as a matter of established fact:
- women who wanted an abortion and got one tend not to suffer any negative mental or physical repercussions;

whereas women who wanted an abortion and were denied; and women who lost a baby to adoption; do tend to suffer both mentally and physically from that denial and that loss.

secularprolife.org said...

That Kelsey accuses me of being a troll demonstrates merely the standard prolife unwillingness to engage in reasoned debate with people who don't accept their ideology.

I don't accept the prolife ideology of force or any of its premises, and I've demolished the faux-justification of concern for babies and the b.s. pretence that prolifers support life-saving abortions.

Of course Kelsey doesn't want to engage with me.

secularprolife.org said...

Let's run through this again, Kelsey.

A woman gets pregnant. She knows she can't afford to have the baby: she makes a reasoned decision to have an abortion.

Close to the clinic that provides abortions there's a "crisis pregnancy center" set up to look as if it could be the real clinic, to someone familiar with neither. Our woman makes the mistake prooifers want her to make, goes into the CPC, and they lie to her. They tell her abortion has huge permanent health consequences, that she'll regret having an abortion for the rest of her life, and why doesn't she have the baby and give it up for adoption to a couple who can pay her medical expenses.

They don't tell her that close to a hundred percent of women who lose their babies to adoption suffer mentally and sometimes physically, and mosf regret the loss for the rest of their lives.

Prolife lies about adoption and abortion just have to hold for a few weeks - the longer our woman is convinced the more expensive and difficult it becomes to have an abortion.

Now our wman is stuck. She's pregnant. She's been lied to about the private adoption process. She may even begin to suspect thse are lies - but she still can't afford to have the baby.

Kelsey, claiming chirpily that I certainly don't begrudge people who want to raise their children! means absolutely eff-all to a woman who knew all along she could not afford to have or raise the baby - but let herself get talked into having the baby with prolife lies about how easy it would be to lose her baby forever.

And that's the prolife movement where a woman does have the option of safe, legal abortion. If a woman doesn't have that option,, and can more easily be forced, the adoption industry can be even more blatant in its disregard for the woman who gives birth.

secularprolife.org said...

Tubal ligation should not be at the mercy of whatever strange ideas the doctor has. It should be available to any adult woman who wants it. No doctor, or any other person, has a right to presume what's best for a woman than the woman herself.

secularprolife.org said...

Nobody is twisting your words. You are hand-waving away the suffering of birth parents and their children in order to be what you consider a do-gooder. The problem is, you don't solve problems. You only make more problems. People who want to be parents should concentrate on children who need parents, not forcing the birth of more so they can pick and choose. Not even people like myself who have children the old fashioned way can pick and choose. You're pretty much stuck with what you get. I hate the idea of infants as accessories and girls and women as public baby ovens for barren vultures who are too self centered to adopt a child who already needs a home. Furthermore, adopting such children is subsidized in many places and saves on costs and red tape. Gay couples are adopting them. How about straight couples also stepping up to the plate?

secularprolife.org said...

Maybe there aren't as many of you as you thought there were. I AM pro-life, so naturally I am pro-choice.

secularprolife.org said...

Because obviously, that is not true. That women who get an abortion do not want to parent at the time is obvious. They also clearly do not want to be pregnant, either. Everyone knows there are multiple alternatives to parenting, so if they were nonchalant about pregnancy and birth, they would avail themselves of these alternatives.

secularprolife.org said...

I know because she has TOLD me so, that had an abortion been available, it would have been her choice. This has nothing to DO with "concern for the unborn." We are talking about a time when girls were sent away when they became pregnant at age 16. There were no alternatives like there are today. They were sent away in shame and stigma, to give birth in secret, with no parties and baby showers, no congratulatory wishes, and their children were taken from them and sold to the highest bidder. Your kind hand-waves away their suffering in favor of something that cannot suffer. Clearly you see women as objects of utilitarian value who suffer no more than your refrigerator that has no say over what you put inside it. Refrigerators exist to chill your food, and should have no say over what you put inside them. They are machines, created for a purpose. Girls and women are sentient human beings who deserve far better from you than the hand-waving away of their physical and mental anguish. You are monsters.

secularprolife.org said...

Exactly. If it was simply 'I don't want a child' you'd think that women would give birth at every opportunity and just give every kid up for adoption right? I mean, let's take this to logical extremes, especially if pregnancy is' just like breathing' what's wrong with being pregnant from puberty until menopause, and just giving every kid up, since it apparently doesn't take a toll on the body and women don't even notice birth and labour and all that stuff?

secularprolife.org said...

All those people who told me, 'But, you'd be a wonderful mother!' were so, so misguided. Yes, I'm responsible. I can keep one alive. That's and being a 'good' mother are two very different things altogether. And no, I don't think I would have been a particularly stellar mother.

That's okay for any woman to say, and then move the hell on with her life. Just because the childfree are coming out of the closet doesn't mean women are going to stop having babies. Most women will, so there's really no reason to panic.

secularprolife.org said...

Our culture is schizophrenic.

secularprolife.org said...

Of the ten or so women I know personally who have endured abortion, every single one aborted her first pregnancy. So I think your statistics in your first sentence here are completely skewed. And for the record the women I watch going into the abortion clinics in my town don't look like they are over 22, most of them, so I think you might just be in error on more than one score with that point.


Secondly, the point of this article is that there is a significant statistical element of regret regarding abortion and it compares with the permanence factor aligned with sterilization. Therefore there should be as much warning and credence given to the concern about that aspect in the abortion industry as there is in the sterilization industry.


I don't think there are a lot of women out there who seriously regret having their baby as opposed to aborting their baby, but there maybe women who regret parting with their children through adoption because they regret the loss of the child when they wish they had kept and raised their baby.


However, again, I have met about five women who gave their children up for adoption and three of the five have no regrets and their adoptions are closed. Two are attached to their birth children and it means a great deal to them to be in communication or some kind of relationship with those kids- they do not regret having them, but I think it pains them not to have a closer stronger bond with them. So I would not classify abortion regret, sterilization regret, and those aspects of adoption that cause suffering, in the same class.


Adoption is an altogether different thing than abortion. It might be comparable to the hardship of bearing the weight of raising a child alone, but there is no comparison between facilitating the murder of a child and giving a child a potentially 'less than optimal living situation from the birth mother's perspective'- the two are apples and elephants, not apples and oranges.

secularprolife.org said...

Not at all true. As a profile, I am primarily concerned with the mother and the child, not one over the other. However, the life of the child hangs in the balance, and that is paramount. Adoption is a nice alternative, but the ideal is for the child to be raised by his or her mother and father. That is what every profile ideally wants to aid to bring about- but in a realistic world where people are engaging irresponsibly in sexual gratification with little to no thought for anyone except themselves in the moment, it is exceptionally challenging to find a hopeful, safe solution for the most innocent and victimized in the scenario from the get go- the unfortunate unborn conceived. However, because the baby is not the problem, and not even the mom and dad are the problem- we on the sidewalk have a lot of hope that it is possible to find a happy and hopeful and healthy resolution in every single situation of crisis pregnancy. Every.single.one. So, whether or not that looks like adoption, or single parenting, or building a family through unexpected hardship- congratulations, you are officially alive- this is life, and it is beautiful.

secularprolife.org said...

As a profile, I am primarily concerned with the mother and the child,
not one over the other. However, the life of the child hangs in the
balance, and that is paramount.


The minute you say that the embryo is paramount (and that is what you have done here), you betray your misogyny.

we on the sidewalk have a lot of hope that it is possible to find a
happy and hopeful and healthy resolution in every single situation of
crisis pregnancy.


You on the sidewalk are a bunch of busybodies who are more concerned with slut-shaming than anything else. You don't care about *why* the woman is there at the clinic; she could be going to refill her prescription or have a mammogram, but you'll still yell at her that she's a murderer. She could be going to have a doomed pregnancy terminated, and still you yell at her that she's a murdered. Don't bother denying it; there's video: http://samuel-warde.com/2013/07/a-father-confronts-anti-choice-protesters-video/

This man is right; you're nothing but terrorists.

secularprolife.org said...

Of the ten or so women I know personally who have endured abortion, every single one aborted her first pregnancy. So I think your statistics in your first sentence here are completely skewed.

Oddly enough, that's not how data works.

Your anecdotal evidence of the women you know who chose to abort when they had an unwanted pregnancy before they had children: that's evidence of your experience/the experience of your immediate social circle.

For data, we go for more scientific means of gathering, not dependent on asking friends-and-acquaintances.

Secondly, the point of this article is that there is a significant statistical element of regret regarding abortion and it compares with the permanence factor aligned with sterilization.

Unfortunately, the author neglected to provide any evidence for this "statistical element", citing only a 2008 study that demonstrated that if a woman has mental health problems prior to having an abortion, unless those mental health problems were directly related to being pregnant, she's likely still to have mental health problems after having had an abortion. The author also referenced the curious process of Munchausen's by Proxy - the invention of a faux-disease and the assertion that women who have had an abortion are liable to suffer it. None of this constitutes scientific evidence of a statistical element who regret having had an abortion.

(As has been noted in comments; adults get to make permanent medical decisions for themselves, and it's up to them to deal with any regret they feel: it's not up to vigilante groups to prevent their having the right to make their own decisions in order to prevent any chance of regret.)

And for the record the women I watch going into the abortion clinics in my town don't look like they are over 22, most of them,

Oh dear, so the clinics in your town that provide abortions are plagued with the nasty little mobs of anti-abortion vigilantes? That's a shame. That's probably why older women who can afford to evade those nasty little mobs - better health insurance, better access to doctors, more able to say definitively to a doctor that she's had all the children she's going to have and she wants a medical abortion now - are not visible to the creeps who hang out outside the clinics to harass the patients going in.

don't think there are a lot of women out there who seriously regret having their baby as opposed to aborting their baby



And you have a right to believe whatever ignorant things you make up for yourself to believe, because nothing requires you to pay attention to what women who wanted and got an abortion said about how they felt, and what women who lost babies to adoption said about how they felt. You're not obliged to care about how women feel about getting to abort an unwanted pregnancy or how women feel about losing a baby to adoption. No one is obliged to be a decent human being who cares about how others feel.


And evidently, you don't.

secularprolife.org said...

"If I want a physician to induce an abortion and am refused, there's no way to get a similar effect"

Couldn't you try inducing a miscarriage, though (such as by lifting weights and/or et cetera)? It's obviously not guaranteed to risk, but I have heard that doing some things increase the odds that a pregnant female will miscarry, so ...

secularprolife.org said...

"If I want a tubal ligation and am refused because I might regret it, I can instead get an IUD, which is almost as effective at preventing pregnancy and also significantly cheaper."

You are saying "almost" here; thus, if you believe in greater equality in practice (as you previously said you do), then if one shares your views on this, it *doesn't* make sense to allow a young male to get a vasectomy (which, as far as I know, is *not* always reversible) while refusing to allow a young female to get a tubal litigation.

secularprolife.org said...

If what Chalkdust stated here is true (that an IUD is *not* as efficient at preventing pregnancy as a tubal litigation is), then I am tempted to agree with this SPL article. After all, young males are able to get vasectomies done despite the fact that, as far as I know, vasectomies are *not* always reversible.

Also, Chalkdust's point here raises an interesting question--after very efficient non-permanent contraceptives for males become available, will doctors become more hesitant to perform vasectomies on young males considering that vasectomies are *not* always reversible? Thoughts on this?

secularprolife.org said...

If there was a safe, effective way for a pregnant person to induce an abortion on her own, the debate over its legality would be very different. Self-induced abortion techniques are either highly ineffective or dangerous to the pregnant women, and if they don't work, often result in birth defects.

And a self-induced abortion and a physician-induced abortion are functionally the same in terms of how much regret is later felt. An IUD instead of a tubal is actually different in that it allows changing one's mind.

There's this idea I've noticed in pro-life circles that induced abortions and spontaneous miscarriages are fundamentally different things. They aren't. It's like looking at a murder victim, and saying, "If only they'd died of leukemia instead." Miscarriage=death of the conceptus. Abortion=death of the conceptus. They are the same thing, from the conceptus's point of view.

secularprolife.org said...

*Are* young male-bodied people able to get vasectomies on demand, or are they given the same "but you might regret it" spiel that people seeking tubals get?

secularprolife.org said...

As far as I know, Yes, they *are* able to get vasectomies done on demand (at least generally).

Of course, even if they were currently unable to get elective vasectomies, if I accept your view that we need to achieve maximum equality in practice (in spite of biological differences), then I think that these males *should* be able to get elective vasectomies as well as elective castrations (after all, as far as I know, castration is currently the only contraceptive method (well, if one can call it that) which cannot fail). After all, if one accepts this view of yours, then it doesn't make sense to give female-bodied people the options of IUDs, getting an abortion, getting another abortion if their first abortion fails, and so forth without giving male-bodied people an array of options which allows them to have consensual sex with any fertile woman with the same amount of risk that an unwanted offspring will be born several months later as a result of this sex. (And Yes, frankly, I would love it if there was another, less drastic contraceptive method for males which cannot fail, but unfortunately, we do not appear to be at that point in time yet.)

secularprolife.org said...

"If there was a safe, effective way for a pregnant person to induce an abortion on her own, the debate over its legality would be very different."

Agreed.

"Self-induced abortion techniques are either highly ineffective or dangerous to the pregnant women, and if they don't work, often result in birth defects."

Yes, you might be correct in regards to this.

"And a self-induced abortion and a physician-induced abortion are functionally the same in terms of how much regret is later felt."

Yes, you might be correct in regards to this as well.

"An IUD instead of a tubal is actually different in that it allows changing one's mind."

Please pardon my extreme ignorance in regards to this (after all, I am here to learn as well), but aren't tubal litigations sometimes reversible? Also, can't IUDs (perhaps in rare cases; I don't know) result in sufficient damage to the uterus to make a pregnancy unlikely or impossible afterwards? I think that I previously heard something like this about IUDs, but I am unsure as to whether or not it is true.

"There's this idea I've noticed in pro-life circles that induced abortions and spontaneous miscarriages are fundamentally different things. They aren't. It's like looking at a murder victim, and saying, "If only they'd died of leukemia instead." Miscarriage=death of the conceptus. Abortion=death of the conceptus. They are the same thing, from the conceptus's point of view."

They might be the same thing from the fetus's point of view, but in regards to moral justifiability, pro-lifers view these things differently due to the fact that the woman caused the death of the fetus in the event of an abortion as opposed to the fact that the fetus died a natural death in the event of a spontaneous miscarriage.

secularprolife.org said...

Please respond to this post of mine whenever you are able to. Thank you.

Also, while I am unsure if your view of achieving as much equality in practice as possible should apply to things such as abortion and body part donation, I am otherwise tempted to agree with your view here. After all, I think that it would be a good thing if things were more equal in spite of our biological differences.

secularprolife.org said...

What "you have heard" are commonly referred to as "old wives tales." They are NOT TRUE. You can lift all the weights you want, go horseback riding, surf, play volley ball, ride your bike, or even run a marathon if you want to. Doctors don't know what causes miscarriage. They suspect that early miscarriages are caused by defective embryos that simply cease to develop. None of them are caused by physical activity. Any doctor will tell you that.

secularprolife.org said...

You are probably thinking of the Dalkon Shield IUD from back in the 70s which caused damage to many women and was ultimately pulled from the market. Modern IUDs are quite safe, and recommended as first-line contraception for all women from young teens on up by OB/GYNs.

secularprolife.org said...

I can relate - when I asked my doctor to perform my vasectomy at age 27, he refused citing the same paternalistic carp as this woman experienced. He said that if I was 35 and had 4 children, he'd be happy to do it. So I went doctor shopping and found a urologist that was satisfied that 18 months of thoughtful consideration by my wife and me was sufficient, That was almost 40 years ago, and I have not experienced the slightest regret.

secularprolife.org said...

That's exactly what I got as a perfectly healthy 27-year-old male - which is why I immediately started searching for a new doctor.

secularprolife.org said...

Careful there, Lady_b, you might cause a "real" pro-lifer's head to implode if they hear you saying that. Personally, I say, "Go for it". I'll help mop up after if needed. ;)

secularprolife.org said...

Thanks for this info; for the record, though, I have previously heard this information from *pro-choicers* who were discussing the possible consequences of abortion bans (such as having authorities prosecute women for doing some or all of these things). Thanks for letting me know that this appears to have been a scare tactic on the part of these pro-choicers.

secularprolife.org said...

Well, now... not so fast. Just because those things do NOT cause miscarriage doesn't mean authorities won't try to make a case of it. It's a case they can't prove, but since when did *that* ever stop them from making charges.

secularprolife.org said...

That's probably why older women who can afford to evade those nasty
little mobs - better health insurance, better access to doctors, more
able to say definitively to a doctor that she's had all the children
she's going to have and she wants a medical abortion now - are not
visible to the creeps who hang out outside the clinics to harass the
patients going in.



Exactly the same women who wouldn't be the least bit affected by anti-abortion laws. Pro-life isn't going to touch that demographic no matter what they do.

secularprolife.org said...

That's an oxymoron. I know deep down inside that you know that. The pro-life movement is not peopled by those who are knowledgeable, as our friend Purple Slurpy has pointed out many times. And that STILL has nothing to do with law enforcement. Abortion can also never be "banned."

secularprolife.org said...

"That's an oxymoron. I know deep down inside that you know that. The pro-life movement is not peopled by those who are knowledgeable, as our friend Purple Slurpy has pointed out many times."

Yes, I certainly know that the anti-abortion movement is currently mostly or completely led by idiots. However, I was simply pointing out a possibility as to what can occur in the future. Is this possibility likely? No, at least not for the next, say, several decades. Is this possibility impossible, especially in the long(er) run? No, I don't think so.

"And that STILL has nothing to do with law enforcement."

On the contrary, if doing certain things *doesn't* increase the risk of miscarrying, then pregnant people who do these things shouldn't worry about being arrested or whatever in such a scenario.

"Abortion can also never be "banned.""

I meant in a legal sense, just like, say, bans on child porn. While banning child porn does not completely eliminate it, it still results in the prosecution and punishing of people who make and/or watch it. (Note: I am *not* making a direct comparison between abortion and child porn here.)

secularprolife.org said...

I find it to be highly ironic when they talk about all of the "woo" on our side, such as the PC denial that zygotes = human beings. Well duh! Because they use human being as a synonym for person. If they simply meant "human that exists" they'd refer to kittehs as kitteh beings and so on.

secularprolife.org said...

Why would you wish to make a criminal of a woman who chooses to preserve her own life by aborting? Or doesn't wish to be pregnant for any reason? And yes, your scenario is not only highly unlikely, but damn near impossible. Intelligent people aren't buying what the pro-life people are selling. That puts your scenario of the movement being run by the intelligent out of reach.

secularprolife.org said...

"Why would you wish to make a criminal of a woman who chooses to preserve her own life by aborting?"

I wouldn't, and neither would any other rational person.

"Or doesn't wish to be pregnant for any reason?"

*If* one doesn't consider (non-viable) prenates to be persons/worthy of having rights, then there would be no reason to hold such a view. Else, I could see as to why exactly an intelligent, rational people would have/hold such a position (note: I am *not* saying that this position is superior).

"And yes, your scenario is not only highly unlikely, but damn near impossible. Intelligent people aren't buying what the pro-life people are selling. That puts your scenario of the movement being run by the intelligent out of reach."

Yes, for now; however, the views of people and populations sometimes significantly change over time, especially over (very) long periods of time. For instance, I would think that very few people would have supported gay marriage back in, say, 1500, but the way that things are progressing right now, I honestly wouldn't be surprised if gay marriage becomes legal in most or even all countries worldwide by the end of the 21st century.