Friday, November 19, 2010

Internet Fridays

Hello, faithful readers!

This lovely Friday afternoon, I want to share with you a couple valuable internet offerings (is there any other kind?). This week Slate published two articles reflecting on a conference held at Princeton University, attended by pro-choicers and pro-lifers alike. The idea of the conference was for the two parties to learn things from one another and find (here we go) "common ground". The first article summarized what pro-lifers should take from pro-choicers, and the second vice-versa.

These are, if nothing else, very interesting! I will make one observation and leave you all to it. Sarah Brown, CEO of the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, made this comment about the need to reduce repeat abortion:

"About half of all abortions are to women who have had at least one previous abortion. Half. That suggests not only the family planning systems, but also the people who provide terminations, are not doing enough to prevent additional unintended pregnancies, including such things as immediate post-abortion IUD insertion."

To which the author replied: "That's a scandal. One unintended pregnancy should be enough to warn you—and the doctor who vacuums out your uterus—not to risk another."

I could punch both people in the face. At what point did we start to blame abortion doctors for high unintended pregnancy rates?! Doctors can't just shove IUDs in every woman for whom they complete an abortion any more than they can monitor every sex act for every patient and ensure that it was protected. On top of that, having more than one abortion is not a scandal, it's a CHOICE. If a woman is comfortable enough to use a non-hormonal method and plan to have an abortion in case of emergency, THAT'S COOL TOO.

Anyway, I'd love to hear thoughts on this. Happy Friday!



  1. I think it's unfortunate that Sarah's comment was the one used in Saletan's article, because it obscures the larger important point of that session, which is that, for whatever reason, we (society/the health system/government/whatever) are not doing all that we could to make birth control MORE EFFECTIVE, EASIER TO GET and EASIER TO USE. James Trussell of Princeton and Kim Mutcherson of Rutgers seemed to be able to make this point in a way that doesn't make women seemed like addle-brained loons unable to make the most basic personal decisions.

  2. Man, Will Saletan thinks he's some kind of "pro-choice" abortion-morality genius, because he does pieces like this all the time, but he will go for the stupid, offensive, patronizing interpretation EVERY DAMN TIME. He chaps my hide pretty bad. Definitely worse than Nicholas Kristof, who also has a tendency to chap my hide and I bet you'd understand why, AA. (Surprisingly, one topic Kristof's actually done well lately is abortion. But he pulled a Saletan with contraception quite recently.) Anyway, f Will Saletan, I think he just does it because he's intellectually and morally lazy and knows that he'll get a pass for writing about abortion if he keeps bringing it back to 'irresponsibility' on the part of women, providers, etc.

  3. AA, check out this response to Saletan:

    I agree with this so much, I wish I'd written it myself! We already knew Tracy Weitz was the shit, but this confirms it SO HARD.


This is not a debate forum -- there are hundreds of other sites for that. This is a safe space for abortion care providers and one that respects the full spectrum of reproductive choices; comments that are not in that spirit will either wind up in the spam filter or languish in the moderation queue.