Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Book Review

During Superbowl Sunday I was discussing abortion with a relatively pro-choice individual, and the question of the sexual health utopia arose.

Her version: all women would have unfettered access to contraception and would all use it scrupulously.

My version: all women would have unfettered access to abortion and would use it as needed with no fear of stigma or retaliation.

Now, I totally understand her side. A few years ago I was on that side too. But nowadays I understand that a) if abortion access is unfettered than contraceptive access has probably been unfettered for centuries, and b) some women, all types of women, simply don't want to use contraception. And as hard as that is for lots of folks to understand, it's true. And I'm not even talking unfortunate, hopelessly unaware women. I'm talking about fully aware, competent women who make the choice not to use a method. Maybe they don't like the way condoms feel, or they don't like the effects of hormonals on the body, or don't like OB/GYNs telling them what's best. Whatever the case, I'm finding more and more women out there who don't think twice about a) carrying as many pregnancies as they will because they don't practice contraception, or b) having as many abortions as they will because of the same.

And yet, and understandably so, my counterpart was horrified. Why would anyone do that? After the third abortion a woman must just be lazy or plain stupid. She even challenged my assertion that there was no limit to the number of abortions one could have before crossing an ethical line with all the disbelief of Fabio in an "I Can't Believe it's not Butter" commercial. And as strange as these things sounded to my reformed ears, I know that they are common sentiments. Any woman who has that many abortions on purpose must be crazy!

Now, it's not the road that I've chosen. I've never had an abortion or needed one, and I quite enjoy the daily hormones that have saved me over $100 in tampons over the last couple years. But when is it ever my place to tell Sue how many abortions she can have before I stop being her friend? I couldn't, wouldn't do it! The logical flaw is that I don't have an ethical dilemma with abortion, therefore the number of times a non-unethical act is committed makes no difference to me.

Man, that was a tough conversation to get through. Anyway, I relayed this incident with a friend of mine, who recommended to me the following book: [/rant] [actual blog topic]

I'm not really familiar with the author (Cristina Page, anyone?), but she's great because she says everything I already know to be true but in a way that makes you actually want to listen and not cringe at my boisterousness. And her basic premise is something we all know to be true, but don't articulate quite enough: Antis are not simply anti-abortion, or even anti-contraceptive. They are anti-sex!

This is true enough, and I enjoy that Page makes a series of logical steps to prove this beyond the shadow of a doubt. Most importantly, by pointing out how antis refuse to accept any scientific evidence you provide, make up their own to counter it, and reject the most sensible compromises that will ensure that abortion rates plummet.

Wanna hear some funny things about antis? (As if you haven't heard enough by now.) On the prolife.com website, masturbation is identified as a "homosexual" behavior, that is, "sex with a person of the same sex, namely, yourself." Ah, if only I'd had a nickel for every time an anti whacked off. But you can find this and other philosophical gems in the book. Very excited to finish it and report back to you all the musings of dumb-dumbs and do-dos.



  1. I read this book during Christmas holiday and loved it. I'm surprised that I even found it in my small town library. But it's so true about antis being anti-sex. It's unbelievable. Sex is natural. It's not disgusting or immoral. I don't get the hangups about sex that still exist today.

  2. Check out my latest blog post. It's on a similar topic. Also, have you read the book "Cunt?" You should check it out if you haven't. Why should women be forced to regulate our bodies with hormones? Where's the male contraceptive?


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