I propose we solve our problems of unwed motherhood and large numbers of abortions this way: provide free birth control to anyone who wants it, at any age, no questions asked.
There is absolutely no reason for anyone to be pregnant if they don’t want to be. This is the 21st Century, not the 19th, and it’s time we acted like we lived in the modern world. That means accepting a number of things:
- People are going to keep on having sex whenever they want instead of waiting until marriage.
- Women are not going to return to a life restricted to two options: sex with marriage (and children), and no marriage with no sex.
- Men are not going to stop persuading women to have sex with them. Note I did not say “return to a life where they didn’t try to persuade women to have sex with them” because that time period has never existed in human history.
- Pregnancy is not punishment.
That last one is most important, I think. So far, the human race has used pregnancy and children to punish women for having sex. That’s basically it, really — the idea that we think of pregnancy as the “price” women are supposed to pay for having a good time explains so much about what is dysfunctional in humanity. And before you start, no, I don’t think men have ever suffered overmuch ever. For one thing, men don’t get pregnant. At most they suffer sympathetically for the woman, and then the kid keeps them awake at night, and raising a child is not always fun, and is often expensive. Still the important part of the burden falls on the woman because of human physiology.
Birth control frees women (and men, but I don’t really care about men’s problems in this area) from that worry. Yes, there is still a percentage of people for whom the Pill doesn’t work and condoms do break. Still, this is all we have right now. It’s certainly better than women had one hundred years ago. For those few unfortunates who end up pregnant despite taking precautions, there is still the choice to have the child, have it and give it up for adoption, or have an abortion. Personally I’m for the second choice, because adoption is how I got here, but it’s not my choice to make. And that’s why I’m not going for “okay we can have this as long as abortions are outlawed.” Sorry, no. I’m not playing the trade-off game, for one thing. There is no reason for it when simply preventing pregnancy in the first place will put a large dent in the number of abortions performed. The other reason is as I have stated: what another woman chooses to do with her body and its contents is not my choice to make, nor is it anyone else’s but the woman’s.
One more thing you’ll like even less than all of the above: by “free” I mean, of course, paid for by taxpayer money. Think of it this way: right now taxes are paying for medical care for single mothers and their children, for jails to put whichever of these kids went bad because no daddy around, for schools for these kids, for welfare checks for these mothers who can’t work because they’re always pregnant, for hospital care for women who went to abortion clinics and got sick, for women who had miscarriages, and so on. One thing I kept reading on conservative blogs after the Sandra Fluke mess was that birth control was really cheap, like a few dollars a month! I don’t know about that (even twelve years ago when I was on the Pill it cost me $35.00 a month), but I do know that hospitals and schools and jails and enough welfare to live on costs a whole lot more than $9.00 a month. So. How about it?
Yeah I know. It will never happen. We’re simply too invested in controlling how much sex women have, and making sure that they think of their pregnant bellies and babies as punishment for having a good time. I just don’t understand why.