Wednesday, May 8, 2013

There are only three reasons women have abortions

Image via
There has been a wealth of research on the question of why women have abortions. We know from sources such as the Guttmacher Institute (which supports abortion) that indeed, "a lot of it has to do with economics." In the overwhelming majority of cases, women cite socioeconomic factors like financial strain, career and educational priorities, and relationship difficulties. Very few of the 1.2 million abortions that take place in the United States each year involve the circumstances that pro-choice groups like to focus on (e.g. rape and health risks).

I have frequently cited this research in my own talks. For instance, I often point out that no one has an abortion because they feel like an alien parasite has invaded their body, despite the political rhetoric to the contrary. But I now believe that this is the wrong approach to the question.

I propose that there are, in reality, only three reasons why women have abortions.

#1 Ignorance
Socioeconomic reasons for having an abortion sound rational on the surface, but they are really only rational if you accept an unstated premise. That premise is that the unborn child is something less than a living human being who currently exists.

Toddlers often cause the same socioeconomic difficulties that women cite as reasons for having abortions. But, sociopaths aside, mothers do not kill their toddlers. Why not? Because the life of the toddler is impossible to deny. When people understand that their children are living human beings, they usually act appropriately by getting help instead of resorting to violence.

In other words, a woman does not simply have an abortion because she is having economic difficulties. She has an abortion because she is having economic difficulties and she believes that her unborn child is "a clump of cells," or mere "potential life," or a "future child." Abortion businesses are all too happy to reinforce these popular misunderstandings.

This is why pro-life education on the reality of human life in the womb is so important. This is why pro-life advocates champion ultrasounds as a life-saving technology. Ignorance underlies many of the surface reasons for seeking an abortion.

#2 Coercion
Tragically, many women and girls who understand that their children are living human beings still wind up obtaining abortions due to forces beyond their control. Abusive boyfriends, husbands, and sometimes the mother's own parents make the decision. These situations are incredibly common. (In addition, some internal factors, such as untreated mental illness, can be described as coercive.)

#3 Health concerns
Very few abortions in the United States are performed because of a risk to the mother's life or physical health. However, when this does happen, it can happen without ignorance or coercion. A mother may legitimately believe that it's her life or her child's life and act in self-defense.

Note that I do not include abortions that are done because the child has a health problem. Killing an unborn child with disabilities falls under the ignorance rubric, because hardly anyone would believe that a disability is an acceptable reason to murder a "real, live child."

Am I suggesting that we should refuse to give medical and financial help to mothers who are struggling? Absolutely not. Those are things we should be doing regardless of whether or not abortion is tolerated in our society, and I applaud the work of pro-life pregnancy resource centers that address these issues. I only hope that someday, our societal attitudes toward the unborn will be radically transformed. We'll know that the transformation has happened when such acts of kindness toward pregnant mothers are just that, acts of kindness-- and not the life-saving interventions they are today.


Gordon Duffy said...

There's only one reason: a woman is pregnant and does not want to be. That should be enough of a reason.

argent said...

That's like saying the only reason women kill their small children is because they're mothers and don't want to be. There are reasons why one is prevalent and the other isn't, and the main one is ignorance.

Clinton Wilcox said...

"I don't want to be pregnant" is a reason to avoid getting pregnant (e.g. through contraceptive measures). Since an innocent human life is at stake, "I don't want to be pregnant" is not a reason to have her child killed.

Someone said...

That's like saying "the only reason I ran over that guy is because he was in my way."

LN said...

Except, of course, the second one listed: coercion. Did you even read the blog post?

A.C. said...

Well said. See also Forced Abortion in America Report. (link below) Homicide is the #1 killer of pregnant women; women have been tortured or killed for resisting. Others literally forced at gunpoint or other violent means. Finally, negligent, conflicted "counseling" by wolves in sheep's clothing is also significant. Some women go in for "free" pregnancy tests or other healthcare and get pressured by deceptive, profit-driven or agenda-driven sales pros dressed up as "counselors," "experts," etc. Studies show most women felt rushed, uncertain and pressured by others, yet instead of being helped, they encountered assembly-line "med" or worse.

Still others -- e.g. some pro-life women whose testimonies are online -- had abortions done against their will while under medication or anesthetic. The term "choice" is one of Big Abortion's cruelest lies. No wonder 65% of women suffer PTSD and maternal death rates are nearly 4 times higher. In addition to the risk and toll to unborn babies, the uncounted toll of maimed, traumatized or dead women is high, too.

Gandalf's Beard said...

It doesn't make a difference whether he read it or not.

Apparently You Lot are just fine with coercing women and girls to carry a foetus to term, so the 'coercion argument' cannot work for you. It is hypocrisy.

Only the Pro-Choice position is non-coercive.

Gandalf's Beard said...

Kelsey Hazzard ~ "...For instance, I often point out that no one has an abortion because they feel like an alien parasite has invaded their body, despite the political rhetoric to the contrary."

I find this amusing, because I am the only person I know who uses the Alien Parasite argument. I've pissed off any number of pro-choicers as well as anti-choicers with that argument. Yet I will still employ it because it is the most effective argument in terms of making the point that a Human Being's right to bodily sovereignty is Supreme to that of the organism it is hosting.

Kelsey draws 3 conclusions only to casually dismiss each in turn.

1) Economics... And I think some have good call for ad hominem on this score, because Kelsey Hazzard deigns to call socioeconomic arguments Ignorant. What sort of financial position is she in to call other's arguments ignorant?

And why does she believe that the argument is ignorant? Because she makes her own ignorant assumptions that "they are really only rational if you accept an unstated premise. That premise is that the unborn child is something less than a living human being who currently exists."

Says who??? Millions of women have abortions due to economic circumstances who believe they are killing a child, but feel that they have no options under the circumstances. If Hazzard starts off with an ignorant and insulting argument right out of the chute, how good can the rest of her arguments be?

2) Coercion... Kelsey generously and disingenuously allows that some women and girls are coerced by relatives or boyfriends/husbands into having an abortion. Kelsey conveniently ignores the fact she, herself, is not only calling for women to be FORCED (aka COERCED ) into carrying a foetus to term, she is calling for the STATE to coerce women under Penalty of Law. Just like all the Right Wing Christian Nutjobs do. Sheer Hypocrisy.

Pro-choice is the only position that is non-coercive.

3) Health Concerns... Just like in the first argument Kelsey is dismissive and insulting. "A mother may legitimately believe that it's her life or her child's life and act in self-defense."

I feel another ad hominem coming on. "Legitimately believe"? "Self-defense"?? Seriously? How f****** condescending can you get??? Kelsey's argument is just downright nasty and her moral superiourity complex is on full display.

Not to mention that it is a completely false statement. Women don't choose an abortion because they "legitimately believe" anything. Whether or not a Woman or Girl's health is at risk is not a "belief," it is a MEDICALLY DETERMINED FACT.

But considering that this allegedly secular Anti-choicer is using all Right Wing Christian arguments, it doesn't surprise me at all that Kelsey can't tell the difference between a Belief and a Fact.

There is no real "secular" anti-choice argument. They are only borrowed from Fundamentalist Christians. That should give every secular anti-choicer pause."

Gandalf's Beard said...

Banning people from your FB page is a sign of intellectual cowardice. I took the time to present a reasoned argument, and that's the thanks I get???

I should have just gone for the insults like Raynor did, seeing as you don't have any response to a reasonable argument. Certainly after Kelsey's insulting and degrading arguments, one might expect an insult or two in return.

Well that tells me all I really need to know about the intellectual and moral rigour of your arguments... :P

Gandalf's Beard said...

It is if its in her womb...

LN said...

"Kelsey can go fuck herself" -- you call that part of a well-reasoned argument? Someone has low standards.

Gandalf's Beard said...

I was responding to Kelsey's derogatory and insulting arguments. And I made that very clear in my post.

It was a lengthy post, much more than the 5 words you choose to focus on. If I insult someone, it is for a good reason.

Don't pretend your arguments are not insulting. Be proud of it, and take your lumps.

M said...

In the thread you're referring to, Bryan Maack made several vehement arguments against this blog post. Notice he didn't get banned? Weird, isn't it?

There was a comment not long before you jumped in explaining that disagreement is fine, but crudeness is not. Pity you missed that, or you would've gotten answers to the decent parts of your posts, instead of getting kicked out over childish tantrums.

av said...

Roughly 3% of abortions are for medical reasons. Stop using the minority to justify the majority of those who get abortions for convenience (96%)

Clinton Wilcox said...

What is it about being in the woman's womb that makes it okay to kill the unborn human being?

Guest said...

For someone who hates ad hominems so much, you sure seem to use a lot of them.

Linda Flowers said...

How about instead of just accusing the post of being "degrading", you explain where it is incorrect. said...

Does life begin at conception.

The argument you have made is lost or won on that alone. Any other argumentation is pure rhetoric. For example, your ad hominem attack below.

We know without any doubt how each of or live began, when we had individuality and a future which inevitably progresses unto death. It begins when male sperm meets a female egg.

We can ask ourselves if a sperm and egg are alive, I believe they are, but we cannot arbitrarily choose a point when a human is alive. Not when it leaves the womb or develops a beating heart. The "magic" moment is the DNA of the father and mother mixing.

There can only be one moment and that is the obvious choice. said...

Charging someone with hypocrisy is not a real argument. The fact is that these women felt coerced into having an abortion. The reverse argument that women feel coerced into keeping their baby is done bullshit you made up with no real world basis.

You are arguing that coercion is the only reason not to murder. If that is a fact, then everything we do is all due to coercion. It is an argument that leads to complete moral negation. There are no moral principles and the world's laws should not pretend to have any reasoning, that is the world where abortion gets support.