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Thursday, May 5, 2022

The Abortion Dilemma



According to the narrative, a leaked document from a Supreme Court Justice appears to state that the Supreme Court may soon take up a case to change their ruling on the Roe v. Wade decision from 1973 which would remove the federal legalization of abortion and put the power back in the hands of the states to determine its legality. This has, at least in my social networks, led numerous people to take to social media to express their opinions on abortion’s legality.

Over the past few days, I spent more time than normal on social media in an attempt to understand the perspectives of people standing strong on both sides of the argument. What has been fascinating, and also quite perplexing, is that people on both sides of the argument appear to be neglecting an extremely basic reality that should go without saying, but apparently needs to be pointed out, to demonstrate that for the most part, both sides may actually be able to get what they want.

The Pro-Life Argument

For the sake of time, I’m going to greatly simplify both arguments. As I understand it, the pro-life argument states that life starts at conception. Therefore, to have an abortion would be to kill (or murder) a baby. Since murdering a human being is unlawful in our country, it would also be unlawful to abort an unborn baby.

The Pro-Choice Argument

As I understand it, the pro-choice argument states that the baby is part of the woman’s body until she gives birth to it. Legally, a woman should be allowed to make her own decisions about what to and not do with her body. Therefore, since the unborn baby inside of her is part of her body, it would not be considered murder and therefore not unlawful to have an abortion. Some of the common phrases I’ve heard to support this argument are, “a woman should get to choose what she does with her body,” and, “women should have reproductive rights.”

Hopefully I didn’t butcher either of these two arguments, although I’m sure someone will correct me if I did.

What’s Missing?

Maybe I’m missing something, but there is an obvious simple reality missing from these arguments. It is so simple that I am absolutely shocked I have not seen anyone else point it out. Maybe lots of people are thinking it, but no one has actually said it.

Here it is: You all do realize that a specific action, which according to statistics is within the woman’s control 99.5% of the time,[1] is what causes pregnancies. Or do we not know how that process works?

Unpopular reality check! On the whole, it appears to me that women have a choice on whether to put themselves at risk of getting pregnant. As we all likely learned in health class at some point along the way, the way reproduction happens is when people have intercourse. On the whole, women choose whether they have intercourse. They have the ability to say “No.” There is always a chance, whether contraceptives are used or not, that having intercourse could result in pregnancy. Despite all the false security we feel that we can control whether intercourse will result in pregnancy, there is always a risk involved when choosing to engage in that activity. Therefore, for the most part, women have the right to choose whether they have intercourse. So yes, women (again, most of the time) have reproductive rights and a choice, prior to pregnancy.

Is it difficult to not have intercourse? Apparently so. If people (yes, men included) who are not attempting to get pregnant (or in the case of men, get a woman pregnant) would choose, instead of having intercourse, to engage in other sexual activities which do not risk an unwanted pregnancy, then there would be a whole lot less unwanted pregnancies and abortions.[2]

It’s not my objective to tell anyone how to run their sex life, but if you want to be 100% guaranteed not to have an unwanted pregnancy which may lead you to weigh your options on whether to pursue an abortion, you may want to consider engaging in some riskless sexual activities.


Clarifying notes that I saved until the end to not clutter up the article

  1. I am certain that some of you who read this will accuse me of not understanding the sexual pressures women face in our culture because I am a male. You’re right, I cannot possibly completely understand it. But I do understand my wife, Amy, extremely well and have spent great deals of time hearing her perspective and empathizing with her on what it looks and feels like to experience the sexual pressure of being a women in our culture. She has read and put her stamp of approval on these thoughts.
  2. Some of you may observe that I’ve primarily talked about women in the article and not about the man’s role in pregnancies or the choice to keep or abort a baby. The reason my focus has been on women is because the focus of both the pro-life and pro-choice arguments revolve women’s bodies, and for good reason since they are the ones who carry the babies, and not men’s bodies. Obviously men play a significant role in the choice of whether to engage in sexual activities that could result in pregnancies and hopefully the father is also playing a role in making decisions for the unborn baby. I would encourage both men and women who are not interested in an unwanted pregnancy to consider engaging in riskless sexual activities.
  3. Some of you may not like that I have not expressed my opinion on whether I take a pro-life or pro-choice stance on this topic. That’s on purpose. My purpose in writing this article is to offer a unique perspective on the issue, not to express my opinion about right and wrong.
  4. Some of you may be thinking that abstinence from any sexual activity would also solve the dilemma. It certainly would! Yet, I am fully aware that the abstinence solution would not be well received because the overwhelming majority of people do not consider complete sexual abstinence a viable option.

[1] According to an article titled Pregnancy Rates for US Women Continue to Drop which was published by the CDC, using 2013 data (sorry, I couldn’t find any newer data from a credible source), there were 6,369,000 pregnancies. According to an article titled Rape-related Pregnancy published as a scholarly article in the National Library of Medicine, there are an average of 32,101 pregnancies resulting from rape. The math then shows that on average, 0.5% of pregnancies are a result of rape.

[2] According to an article titled Abortion Surveillance which was published by the CDC, the total number of abortions in 2019 was 629,898.