A gynaecologist on how abortion restrictions lead to dangerous abortions

It’s not about health, it’s about putting women in their place, turning them back into obedient, babymaking housewives.

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That’s a nice thought if it’s applied across the board to both men and women who want children, as well as those who don’t. Hell, I think people who want kids should be grilled more than people who don’t at this rate, because most people don’t think about why they’re deciding to have kids. Most people just do it. But noooooo, it’s just the folk who want to remain childless that get “good intentioned resistance” for their decisions. It should be either everyone or no one getting grief over their own reproductive proclivities. In my utopia, it would be “no one”.


I didn’t want kids at 20, and I don’t want kids at 32, but people STILL repeat this same fucking bullshit to me that you’re parroting here. Yawn.


I didn’t want children either, until I had 'em. Not required by any means. But it is far and away the most intimate relationship I have ever had with another human being. I just don’t know how I would replicate that terrifying depth of feeling any other way, even with my wife. It is entirely possible that I just suck at emotions and relationships, I don’t know.

Both paths are valid, of course…

Also, maybe it’s not so much that you “didn’t want” children, but rather you never really thought about whether you actually wanted them, and instead just did what people are (generally) expected to do, and had them anyway. That’s not the same thing as “didn’t want”.

This is something I’ve given a lot of thought to, and long before I was 20, at that. I am quite content and happy with the relationships I have, and I have no idea why you felt the need to explain all this to me, but great? Yay for you? You fucked and had kids and it turns out that the decision was the right one for you. Congratulations, good job.


Well, it was all science in our case. No sex required, didn’t work anyway. I guess I describe it for the same reason people describe any other deeply transformative experience. And yes, I think if fathers were truly honest about how often they wish they didn’t have children… well, I guess you can look at the rate of single mothers out there over time to see how real that is.

Of course kids aren’t for everyone, but the rabbit hole is deeper than I had ever imagined, and in completely unpredictable ways.

@codinghorror The other thing you need to remember about any deeply transformative experience is that when you try to explain it to someone else who hasn’t experienced it, you sound completely mental.

The difference is we’re part of a majority, so for those who decide not to follow the same path it’s like they’re surrounded by a beckoning zombie horde.

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I guess what I am trying to say, poorly, is that I am not a religious person at all, and yet the process of having children is without a doubt the closest I have come to a totally unexpected religious experience. Which is why it makes me, a guy who is about as anti-Old-Man-In-The-Sky as they come, prone to uncontrollable bouts of evangelism.

What could be better secular humanism than proposing you at least consider raising a child to make yourself, and the world, a better place? Kids transform you into a better human being just as much as you transform them into thoughtful, decent, civilized citizens of the world. They mercilessly kick your ass in all the right ways. And we want smart people like BB readers to at least replace themselves, right?

It’s perfectly OK to decline. I’ll shut up now. I’m sorry.

I don’t think they sound mental, but I do think they sound rather pushy. “Well, it’s transofrmative. Don’t you realize that?” It’s not intentional, no, but I really just don’t care how awesome you find parenting.

Us childfree/less get this shit all the time. “Well, I support your decision, and once thought I was like you, but NOW I realize how wonderful having children is!” with a silent but often implied “so maybe you don’t really know yourself as well as you think you did!” Especially when coupled their previous comments of, “At 20, you can’t REALLY know, you know?”

Yes, I can, and I did, and still do, and your feelings about your own choices have nothing to do with me.


So what you’re saying is that you’re thinking about it. :wink:

Exactly. When you say that

[quote=“fireshadow, post:14, topic:3884”]
a lot of the commenters there were making statements that basically said that women should be required to “face the consequences” of having sex[/quote]
that highlights a major part of this issue. It seems to be mostly men, but there are some women as well, who think sex is solely about procreation, but only when women do it.

It’s still amazing to me that we’re having this debate in 2013, because it feels like 1913.


Oh, I am well aware of the “conservative” agenda. They won’t rest until we’re no longer allowed to vote or own property. It’s never been about protecting the widdle babies. It’s always been about controlling women and punishing women for enjoying sex as men are allowed and encouraged to.

As for the judiciary, I’m still waiting for someone with a boatload of cash to challenge these ultra-restrictive laws on 1st Amendment grounds. Any restrictions prior to viability are grounded in Abrahamic faith, not science. And yes, every one of these new laws is an undue burden. There’s no rational or medical reason to require a facility that prescribes RU-486 to meet the standards of a surgical center. If that’s to be the new benchmark, then it should be applied to any clinic that utilizes any sort of cutting instrument. Bu-bye dentistry, dematology, urgent care and colonoscopy clinics. (Hey look, I just found another angle in the 10th - unequal protection!)

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Does anyone else see the hypocrisy in wanting tons of regulations when it comes to women’s reproductive choices, but get government out of everything else, including protecting those kids once they stop being fetuses, and even the slightest effort at gun control? As this song suggests, maybe that would all change “If My Uterus Were A Gun” -

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@maggiek I didn’t read all of the comments so I’m not sure if someone mentioned this already, but there IS a smaller IUD (long acting reversible contraceptive) available in the US now. It’s called Skyla, and it can be used by women who have not had children. I know, SO EXCITING!!

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I’d just like to emphasize how shocking and bizarre this is to me. Possibly I’m overreacting, but it sounds like the doctor asked your husband to sign a permission slip, as though you were a minor or in some way not capable of making such a decision for yourself. I’m glad your husband was okay with it–every spouse should be–but what if he weren’t? What if you weren’t married?

I assume your husband felt the same way, but if I were in that position I’d sign while adding that my signature was a formality, and not really necessary.


To my understanding any IUD can be used with women that don’t have kids. There are no broad restrictions placed on docs regarding IUD, or permanent surgical options, just personal preference of the doc. IIRC Dr. Jen Gunter does a good round up on her blog about IUD’s, that wasn’t too long ago, in addition to this excellent piece here.

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Great, your rabbit hole was super duper deep. Why do you keep going on and on about YOUR personal experiences when we’re talking about abortion and about how difficult it is for women to get the basic health care they need? It’s like you don’t trust women to make their own choices! I mean, you actually said that. And now you’re going on and on about how glad you are that you made that choice. Seems to me you don’t trust women, particularly younger women, to make their own decision.

Fantastic, you have kids, that’s great, but it is totally off-topic and irrelevant. Your decision and feelings have NOTHING AT ALL to do with ANY OTHER WOMAN.

According to you anyway, because I’m just a silly little girl that has no idea what she wants, and look, you didn’t want kids, and now you have them, and look at you! Humble bragging all over the place, as if your experiences have fuck all to do with me.

I reeeeeeally do not recall typing anything like that, nor do I think that.

Well, actually, I was just responding to another post in the topic. I was explaining why if I was a doctor, and a 20 year old woman came in asking for a permanent body modification to make it impossible for her to ever have children, I would probably hem and haw a bit first. Not because I don’t believe women don’t have the right to do whatever they want with their bodies, but because:

  1. As a 20 year old, I was a dumbass. I dunno, maybe you were successfully running a nuclear power plant at age 20, but if I had to make a list of all the horrible, idiotic, dumb decisions I made at twenty, I’d need a lot of paper. Or bytes. Or something.
  2. Having children instill a sort of religious fervor in people, which makes them prone to bouts of evangelization. Think of it as the ultimate secular humanism. I have a hard time hating people because they might occasionally get a little preachy due to their love of tiny human beings. It’s kind of fundamental to humanity. Honestly, I wish I liked adults as much as I like children. I struggle with this.

So, you’d want to be double-plus sure. Like really, really, mega giga, sure. Just walk a mile in each person’s shoes on each side of the table sort of deal, y’know?

You were a child once, right? You were born from the womb of a woman, yes? You were raised by other fellow human beings? Child rearing is about as universal on the continuum of human experiences as it gets. Cuts across all cultures, all languages, all societies. We’re all part of one giant chain letter of genetic material going back all the way to the beginning of time.

And we can’t break a chain letter… bad things could happen, or so I’ve heard!

I really wasn’t trying to tell you, or anyone else, what to do. Just posting my opinion, and I tried my best to include appropriate caveats and warnings.

The problem with how you are posting your opinion is you keep throwing out OUR opinions that yes even at 20 years old we KNOW FOR A DEFINITIVE FACT that we do not want to have children. For whatever reasons we have, plenty of us know and never will change our minds. To keep insisting that we are too young and stupid is demeaning. We aren’t too young to join the military, we aren’t too young and stupid to have children, or anything else that is just as permanent and life altering. So to claim we are when a woman wants to not have children even by a temporary means such as an IUD is disingenuous. Also not all of us find children wonderful or amazing and plenty of mother do NOT have transformative experiences from giving birth and having children. There wouldn’t be abusive parents if that was true. So insisting your opinion over and over without even acknowledging someone else might have just as valid a view is very insulting and why you are angering people here in the comments.

Oh and the human chain letter thing? Once again, got to point out, not everyone thinks like you. Some of us couldn’t give half a rat’s rear end about passing on our genetics and some of us really don’t want to pass on our mess of genetics.