Educate abortion away…

On the list of the things I want for my daughters, is the experience and joy of motherhood.  As the mother of four children – two male and two female,  I know that despite all the challenges that have come with parenting being a mother has been the most gratifying part of my life.  It has meant more to me than any other thing I have done singularly or all the other things collectively.

This is not to say that I seek to be primarily defined by my role as a mother, or that I want my daughters to be defined in such a monochromatic way.  I am more than the children I have birthed and raised, as are all parents.  I merely want my daughters to be able to experience motherhood.  And yes, it is true that I have a bit of self-interest in that I further feather my glamma nest with every new grandbaby.

If you are wondering if I likewise would like my sons to experience being fathers – yes, I would.  This isn’t a gender-based wish for my children – it is an experiential one.  However, I am thinking about my daughters and motherhood today as I become increasingly concerned about the state of affairs in North Dakota for women and men as decisions concerning parenthood are being made via a legislature that wants to all but outlaw early-stage abortions. I worry about the effect of such legislation for women and men when pregnancies occur that are not planned and not wanted. I particularly worry about the protection of my daughters’ reproductive rights.  They are the ones who would bear the brunt of such a law.

I cannot tell you that I am a fan of abortion, I don’t wish for that outcome for anyone.  But I realize that unwanted pregnancies happen.  They particularly happen in states where sex education in the schools consists of an unrealistic abstinence until marriage message that isn’t balanced with enough facts on what to do to prevent pregnancy and the spread of disease should young people not be able to hold out until their honeymoon for their first sexual experience (don’t even get me started on this – click here for that rant).  I continue to be amazed that the approach to curbing unwanted pregnancies focuses on restricting abortion as opposed to better educating folks and making contraceptives more readily available and less cost-prohibitive.

I am not sure who to credit for this image – but I applaud the effort.

Yet, even as I am not a fan of abortion – I believe it is a woman’s right to choose whether or not she will proceed with a pregnancy.  And I can tell you unequivocally, I am against government mandating pregnancy.  Indeed, I believe to do so is essentially the government mandating compliance with specific religious beliefs – which is clearly unconstitutional.  I find it doubly irritating that those who push forward their religious ideology as a foundation for law do it selectively.  If the same religious views were faithfully carried across other areas of lawmaking there would be an awful lot of folks who would be in a world of hurt – and make no mistake, some of our most obnoxious legislators in this country would be right there with them.

I support a government that adopts no formal religion and that allows for religious freedom.  As such, I understand pro-life advocates’ angst about abortion and I support their right to their firmly-held beliefs.  I often do not agree with the approach these advocates take even as it applies to the messaging they use, but I respect their right to protected speech.  What I do not support, condone, or have patience for is their continual push against abortion through state and federal law. If pro-lifers would work within their communities to better educate folks before sex about birth control and disease prevention  the issue of abortion might become a non-issue.  But you can’t hold on to the abstinence message as your primary message and expect no unplanned pregnancies.

If I was the head of the pro-life movement, I would partner with Planned Parenthood and other such agencies to educate abortion away.  This would be a much more successful and soundly devised movement than the “Pray away the Gay” movement (which never worked with any Gay person ever…and if you doubt me, then try praying away heterosexuality).  Educating abortion away is the way to change the demand for abortion. Teach people how to make smart and responsible choices about their sexual activity and how to avoid pregnancy and disease.  Say more than – wait until marriage (which, by the way, does not necessarily eliminate the need or desire for abortion).

Which brings us back to the beginning of our North Dakota legislative session – where religious ideology tried in vain to shut down the NDSU grant focused on sex education.  That was exactly the wrong move pro-lifers.  Let me reiterate again the direction you need to move toward to succeed – educate abortion away.  Trust me.  Try it for ten years and see what the effect is on abortion rates.

You can compliment by vision and brilliance in 2023…but until then, drop this religious-based assault on the laws of this country and on the rights of women.  I have other things to write about on my blog – silly, irreverent things – that I just can’t get to when you continually make me want to shake some sense into you.  Work smart, not hard, pro-lifers and you will see I am right.  I want you to prevail in your mission to reduce abortions.  This is the path…I got that message from God herself.

Day one thousand three hundred and fifty-five of the new forty – obla di obla da

Ms. C

Avatar of Ms. C

About Ms. C

I teach at NDSU...but I remain a student of life with all the enthusiasm that entails. My favorite saying is, "Sometimes you have to take the leap and build your wings on the way down." In the new forty that is what I am doing...building my wings.
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14 Responses to Educate abortion away…

  1. KJ says:

    I agree with your views. How can they be so blind as to think the vast majority will ‘wait for marriage’. Have they not seen how ‘optional’ marriage is these days? In our rural communities where its easy to know most everyone, marriage is a often decision made usually after 1 or 2 children. A kind of ‘wait and see if things work out before we marry’ mindset. No one is waiting for marriage to be sexually active, and many aren’t marrying regardless. Definitely agree that ND is allowing church to interfere with state. (To think our forefathers thought their biggest challenge was to keep the state out of the church when 200+ years later, the opposite seems to be the problem.)

  2. B-dubya says:

    @ Ms C and KJ–right on the mark with every point!

  3. Love Life says:

    Teenagers want to hear the truth. Telling them that it is “OK” to have sex outside marriage is not the truth. They will eventually realize that they were lied to.

    If you tell teenagers it is OK to have sex and they contract a STD, then they will definitely realize that they were lied to.

    HIV, herpes, hepatitis, etc. are NOT curable. One of the 100% ways to avoid contracting these horrible STD’s, is to practice abstinence.

    Are we animals? Absolutely not. We are given minds to make decisions. Wrong decisions result in bad things happening. Right decisions result in good things happening.

    If you are going to play with fire, then you are going to get burned. If you are going to have sex outside of a marriage, then you are going to get hurt (pregnancy, emotional trauma, sexually transmitted diseases, etc.).

    Telling the truth (practice abstinence) is the best way to prevent the transmission of STD’s and unmarried (and extramarital) pregnancy.

  4. Avatar of Mac Mac says:

    Love Life, you are 100% correct in that instructing youth to practice abstinenance is the only way to prevent unwanted consequences.

    Unfortunately, humans like sex and they’re going to give it a try regardless of what learned minds tell them.

    That being said, maybe we might be wise to give them tools to minimize disease and unplanned pregnancy?

    Just a thought . . . . .

  5. Fallon says:

    The problem is the solution itself here. Or maybe the solution is the problem. Education. Most of the pro-lifers are the ones who don’t have the education you’re asking to provide to the kids in the first place. Their faith is mainly the source of why they’re pro-life (I haven’t met a pro-lifer yet who wasn’t religious) and that teaches to have blind faith and that is a virtue to them. They’re taught that asking questions and seeking an education/knowledge is a bad thing.

    Also, for those who think that you should wait till marriage, I have this. Consider how many people are opting to not get married at all. Look at the laws around marriage and look at the laws around divorce. It isn’t a religious thing anymore and not everyone is doing it because of the impact it’ll have on them beyond just a committed relationship. Also, exactly what is the significance of waiting to loose your virginity till you get married if getting divorced is so easy (of course I mean easy as in anyone can do it but it’s still a pain in the behind)? I know some women have gotten re-married something like 6 times. What’s the point of this “wait till marriage” idea then? If you’re on your third marriage, you’re obviously not a virgin. Multiple partners is a problem then too and STDs can still be transmitted as well as unintended pregnancies outside the marriage. A person can also be unfaithful and catch an STD and spread it to their spouse. If people have zero education and assumed “wait till marriage” was sufficient, we still have a huge amount of ignorance on our hands.

  6. Love Life says:

    I am tired of mothers telling me, that their daughters were pregnant, because the birth control pills did not work. Their unmarried daughters thought the birth control pills would protect them, when they slept with bums.

    Want to avoid pregnancy? Abstinence.

    If you want to exert your freedom to sleep around, then accept the consequences.

    • Fallon says:

      Honestly if they’re telling you that their daughter is pregnant because the pills didn’t work, it’s because either the daughter is lying and skipped a day of their prescription (which nullifies the effect of the pills for a long period of time, reference the directions indicating one should avoid sex for the first month while they kick into effect) or they don’t want to admit that they never put their daughters on the pill in the first place. If you look at the effective rate of the pill, there is no reason for that many people to complain to you about such a problem. It’s like people blaming the condom companies for a defective product but never mention that they didn’t put one on correctly. There’s almost always another problem below the one they claim in those cases.

      It’s like the mentally ill claiming their meds don’t work but don’t bother to tell their shrink that they missed 3 days worth of their prescription. The drug is out of their system and it no longer has an effect. Yet somehow it’s the fault of the drug for not having an infinite effect/duration when they have a psychotic breakdown or some such thing. It’s a huge “well duh” moment for them and as such it’s a source of shame, so they keep the vital info to themselves.

      Yes abstinence is viewed by some to be the infallible solution to avoiding STDs and pregnancy but it isn’t realistic. This is a basic biological drive and function of our bodies. It’s like trying to deny oneself food. It is unhealthy and impractical (look at the obesity rate in the US, obviously we need better nutrition education as well). There are numerous studies that show this using full-grown adults and not just observing the tendencies of hormone driven teens. This goes way beyond figuring “control yourself!” is the logical solution.

      Especially in teens, you can’t expect them to be logical in almost anything. Their brains aren’t capable of it which is why things like statutory rape laws exist. Even though some of them at age 15 will “consent” they aren’t considered by law to be capable because they don’t know what they’re getting into and they don’t have the mental faculties to make such a decision for themselves. Why else would parents still have medical rights over the child at that age? Because teens are impulsive and don’t really understand what is going on. Education would at least take care of the understanding bit. If they can prepare better for their spur of the moment bad decision, we could still reduce the rate of pregnancies and STD infection. It won’t go away for all but it would make a huge dent which is the goal in the first place. Nothing is 100% perfect, we can only aim for improvement.

      • Love Life says:

        If a 15 year old (or any teenager for that matter) cannot make adult decisions at that age group. Why do we issue them a drivers license? There is alot of responsibility driving a vehicle.

        • Proud Parent says:

          Why do we issue teenagers a drivers license? We now only issue them after they have taken drivers education. They are taught the facts about driving before they are allowed to do so. If they don’t take drivers ed, they have to wait to get their license until they are of an age where they are considered to be responsible. They are not taught in drivers ed to “just say no”. They are given the truth. They are told how to handle a vehicle and the rules of the road. Thank you for bringing up that point for us. The teenagers are educated before they are allowed to drive. Lets give them the same education about other parts of their lives and let them make decisions that are right for them. Some will choose to wait, some will not. I waited to drive until I was in my 30′s. I had 4 children by that time. And yes, I was married. That was my choice.

        • Fallon says:

          In my opinion they shouldn’t be driving under 18 anyway even with the education. They’re behind the wheel of a heavy machine that can kill someone else. They’re no longer just affecting themselves if they make a bad decision. They could end up killing someone in another vehicle or on the side of the road. So I disagree with my mother on this one. At the very least have a parent in the car whenever the teen is driving for guidance.

  7. Fallon says:

    I was making dinner and thinking about this and I finally got to the root idea behind what I’ve been trying to say in my novel length posts. I’m surprised it took me so long to get it put into a concise sentence or two. I apologize for that.

    Main points I’m trying to get at:

    Ignorance is NOT bliss.
    What you don’t know CAN hurt you.

    Regardless of if you think marriage should be the end all be all, people should know about their bodies and the risks to them that are out there today. If you choose to not take part in birth control or if you choose to do so, it is still a choice and should be done so with information. No one has the right to make that choice for you.

    This is a topic that will affect people for the rest of their lives so yes it should be taught in schools. Having zero education on the subject IS harmful. Very few people (myself included, I’m a 25 year old female) know enough about their sexual health as it is. For example, nobody ever told me that it is possible to get a UTI from having sex. This isn’t specific to sex with a random partner or with your spouse. This is a possible side effect of having sex with another PERSON. It doesn’t matter WHO. This is something that should be known so people know what they’re getting into regardless of age or relationship status. Sometimes the reality of information can be a bigger deterrent than just “don’t do it.” This is a sexual health topic, not a sexual morality topic. Education is a right. There is no excuse for denying it to people.

  8. Proud Parent says:

    Very wise Fallon. I’m proud you can speak for yourself. I wish the school system that said they were teaching sex ed actually gave you the facts. Instead you had a teacher that enjoyed tormenting her students and seemed to thrive on teaching outright lies. I’m also glad that when I found out what they were teaching you, I did my best to give you the real facts. I know I didn’t get to cover all the false teaching they gave you, but I did my best. Oh, and this wonderful daughter hasn’t had a STD or unplanned pregnancy. She was given the facts. She has made choices, and chose to be safe.

  9. B-dubya says:

    Excellent points, Fallon!

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