Thursday, September 23, 2010

40 Days, abortion and men

One of the prevailing lies about abortion is that an abortion is about "women's choices." Leaving aside the fact that unborn women--and unborn men--don't choose to be aborted, there is also the reality that a whole lot of women are pressured into abortion by the children's fathers. Pages of post-abortion testimony by women repeat the haunting phrases over and over again, phrases like "My boyfriend wanted the abortion," and "I thought I had no choice."

Some men go farther than merely insisting on abortion for their children, though:

Ventura, CA ( -- Abortion advocates tell the public legalizing abortion is important to promote women's rights and that women should have control over their own bodies, and those of their unborn children. Two incidents in California and Australia show legal abortions frequently empower men to pressure their partners to have one.

In Ventura, California, a 22-year-old man is facing 25 years to life in prison for paying two men $500 to fake a robbery attempt and punch his pregnant girlfriend to cause a miscarriage and end the life of her baby in an abortion.

Olmos did not want to become a father and his girlfriend rejected his pressured attempt to get her to have an abortion against her will.

KABC indicates a Ventura County Superior Court Judge found Jaime Solis Olmos guilty on Monday on one county of conspiracy to commit murder and a second count of attempted murder. [...]

Meanwhile, in Australia, Tyrone Phillip Strong, 30, reportedly said "I'm going to kill this baby" as he attacked Kylie Long's stomach two days after he learned she was pregnant with her fourth child, who is his.

The Brisbane Times indicates Strong attacked Long after learning of her pregnancy and her decision not to have an abortion at his request.

Strong, from Kallangur north of Brisbane, pleaded not guilty of common assault and attempting to cause an abortion, the newspaper said.

Luckily, both of these women and their babies survived the attacks against them. Others haven't been so lucky. A man who wants his wife or girlfriend to kill their baby may not have to go very far to make the leap to kill both of them, if she refuses to exercise her "choice" the way he wants her to.


MacBeth Derham said...

Young unmarried men continue to be the biggest beneficiaries of abortion. I heard a couple arguing on the train the other night. Seems they were fighting because she accused him of taking "my baby away." A few minutes into the argument it was clear that they were heading home after an abortion. She was seething. He was telling her that it was OK, no big deal. And why not? From his perspective, he was off the hook. He could go back to his life. Hers would clearly never be the same.

This is the world abortion has given to young women.

Magister Christianus said...

Let me apologize for shouting and being crass, but HELL YES ABORTION BENEFITS MEN! I have been saying this for years and pointing it out among teens that I teach. Guys get a free pass to screw around and avoid all responsibility whatsoever. The truly insidious part is that women have taken up the position under the banner of rights. This is not at all about rights. It is about men getting to treat women as mere sex objects and now making them spew the rhetoric. Can you imagine White people convincing Black people that it was in their best interest to receive a lower wage and to be segregated and for a Black person then to proclaim, "It's my right, as a Black person, to sit at the back of the bus." If that is ludicrous, then so is a woman saying, "It's my right to abort this baby." The only response men will have is, "You said it, baby, now shake those rights on over here."

Can you tell that I agree with you on this?

Red Cardigan said...

MacBeth, that's so sad, and I will pray for the young woman.

Magister--I'm guessing you agree? :) Great comment.

David said...

Hmm... I'm having some difficulty grasping the point of this post. Yes, I know: I'm a tad slow. Okay, maybe more than a *tad* slow. There may, in fact, be some turtles who think faster than I do. Alright, alright - there definitely *are* some turtles who think faster than I do! They make light bulb jokes about guys like me. Anyway...

Erin, can you clarify something for me? In your article, you attack the idea that "abortion is about women's choices." Can you spell out more specifically what this statement means? In other words, what, exactly, is the argument you are attempting to debunk?

Also, are you trying to argue that abortion is not *at all* about women's choices? Or are you trying to argue that abortion is not *just* about women's choices? Would a pro-abortion advocate disagree with you in either case?

David said...

MacBeth Derham - It is possible that the young man in your story will one day understand the real significance of the abortion his girlfriend had, namely, that the thing that was removed from her body was their child. The clearer this connection becomes for him the more deeply will grief and guilt wreak havoc upon his soul.

We men are human, you know. We do respond to human realities.

David said...

Magister Christianus - You exclaim emphatically that abortion benefits men. The "benefits" you list are sinful attitudes and behaviors of which men are commonly guilty. Yet it cannot be said that sin is beneficial to the human person. Ultimately, all that is really beneficial to the human person is that which leads him to God; all that is harmful leads him away from God. Therefore, abortion cannot be said to benefit men.

David said...

PS - Magister, I would like to add that you seem not to notice, or perhaps not to care, that abortion "benefits" women the same way it "benefits" men. You pointed out that abortion lets men "off the hook," and you're right. But there's something you missed: someone else is getting let off the hook, too. Someone else didn't want the "burden" of a child. Someone else is looking for a way out. Please don't tell me you imagine that women who have abortions act without so much as a shred of self-interest!

You said, "This is not at all about rights." Not at all? Really? Which was the sex of the plaintiff in Roe v. Wade? What sex has has fought the most passionately, and *continues* to fight the most passionately, to ensure women retain access to safe and affordable abortion services? What reasons do women give for wanting abortions? - I want to finish my education; I want to get ahead in my profession; I'm not ready for a child. Check out NARAL or NOW, and you'll see whether women believe they have the right to abort. Make no mistake: there are women out there who *want* it and *fight* for it, and few of them are helpless pansies living under the thumbs of dominating, cruel men. Please.

David said...
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David said...
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John Thayer Jensen said...

David - it may well be true that some women who have an abortion do so because they want to be disburdened. I do not think it follows that because those vocal on NOW or NARAL are women who want abortions for themselves. Nevertheless, I don't doubt there are some who want an abortion independently of what any man wants. I have not got a statistically significant universe to present. I can, however, testify about three young women, all very close to me - who were pregnant, were told, in one case, by the man, that it was her problem, and he would help pay to have it fixed; in a second by the man's mother that it would ruin his career for her to insist on having an abortion; and in the third, that the father of the child - in this case, married to the woman - was having an affair with another woman when his wife became pregnant by him. I suppose in her case the abortion was an act of anger and vengeance.

I do not think any of these women could be seen as demanding their right to an abortion. Each of the three would certainly have had the child had it not been for pressure, direct or indirect, from the man. I am not for a moment justifying the abortions. But I think that abortion as a woman's right - in the sense of something the woman wants for her own reasons even if the man doesn't - may be rather rare.

But as I said, three do not constitute much of a sample size. Perhaps they are not representative.

But somehow, in the nature of male-female relations, I suspect they are not unusual.


David said...

John - take any one of those three women and ask yourself how much they wanted to have the child. As I see it, if they really wanted their children, they would have carried their pregnancies to term. It sounds to me like they didn't need much persuasion.

Women are not dogs who stupidly and mutely follow us men around on leashes.

But let's say you're right, John. Maybe those three women really didn't want to have the abortions, but they didn't have the fortitude or the intelligence, say, to carry their pregnancies to term despite the opposition they were facing. Fine. In the meantime, it remains true that the most impassioned and active abortion advocates are women, whatever their reasons may be. Magister was trying to argue - pitifully, in my view - that abortion is not about rights. Well, it is. A major reason abortion is legal is because women insist they have the right to choose. So it's not something any woman has the business to foist on us men.

Welcome to the world, ladies. The dirt is on your hands, too.

Red Cardigan said...

David, I deleted two of your comments addressed to Magister Christianus, whose Latin name reveals his masculine gender, by the way. Please remember to be civil here.

The point of this blog post was to show that when we speak of abortion as if it only involves the woman, we are forgetting that it takes two human beings, one male and one female, to create a human child. A human child cannot be created who does not have a mother and a father--and only one of each.

Some fathers are powerless to stop the killing of their unborn children, and are deeply hurt by abortion. But many, many fathers tell the woman that the pregnancy is "her" problem, insist that she "get rid of" the baby, pressure her to do so, threaten to leave and/or withdraw their financial support, and otherwise coerce the woman into the abortion.

Abortion makes it possible for men to have sex and reject their responsibility for any consequences.

I would recommend that you spend a little time reading women's stories on post-abortive web sites. Over and over you will read stories of relatively young women pressured or forced into abortion by either the child's father, or by her parents, or by his, or all of them. This issue is not one I'm making up, and I'm rather surprised that you are angry about it.

One more thing: women do become deeply emotional when they are pregnant--the hormone surge at the beginning of pregnancy is responsible for some of this. In this state it is even easier for them to be manipulated or controlled. You seem to be rejecting the idea, and assuming that all women who choose abortion are clear-headed and self-interested, when the reality of a pregnant woman's physiological response to the pregnancy itself may paint a different picture.

David said...

Erin - I don't really take issue with anything you said in your comment, though it does sound like you're one step shy of absolving women from blame altogether. I understand that pregnant women can become very emotional, and I understand it is hard for them when their loved ones want them to abort. But frankly, Erin, so what? Life is tough. Jerks abound. Life's not made for wimps, and by this point, you'd think that women would know better. You don't sacrifice yourself on the altar of someone else's cruelty. Above all, there is a reason the Cross lies at the center of our religion.

I simply do not buy the idea that women are helpless, fragile daffodils who wilt when the sun shines hot. 'Cause you know what? I know better. Starting with my grandmother, my mother, and my aunt. My grandmother, for one, is a hell of a lot tougher than I am, and she's been through difficulties that would make me put a gun to my head. Then there are the women I've met in the world of work. After that, there are the women on television and radio. Women can handle difficulty. I'm tired of the ones who whine that life is hard and try to blame men for their troubles. Well, no kidding, life is hard. Where have you been? You gonna muscle up or what? everyone else.

My grandmother would laugh with utter disgust at some of the attitudes presented here. By the way, I adore my grandmother. She's all Irish, you know - the biggest heart, and a determined, no-nonsense mindset. Some women could stand to learn from her. My grandmother would never let a man, or anyone, for that matter, bully her.

David said...

Finally, Erin, I will respect your wishes and refrain from speaking again on your blog the way I did earlier. That said, I think Magister Christianus deserved it. I've had enough teachers tell me testosterone is responsible for all the world's evils, and I've got few kind words to say to men like him.

Red Cardigan said...

David, you'll get no argument from me that women can be remarkably tough. Eighteen percent of all abortions are performed on women younger than 18, and another 33% involve women in their early twenties. When a woman is facing a crisis pregnancy and everyone around her urges her to abort in order to "get rid of the problem," though, it takes more than being tough to deal with it.

Again, spend some time on post-abortive websites, or, better, yet, go and talk to people who volunteer at crisis pregnancy clinics. There are a LOT of women who abort because they think it's the *only* choice, not because they've examined the situation coolly and rationally and decided the it's best for her and for everyone else if she kills the child and forgets the whole thing ever happened.

One final thing: while it may be unfair for women generally to blame men generally for their troubles, it's not at all unfair for a woman to point out that a man was involved in the creation of the child. Pregnancy is one kind of "trouble" that a woman doesn't get into all by herself, and it's pretty damned cold to insinuate that she's being a fading flower not to "man up" and take care of things--including, possibly, raising a child to adulthood without any help or support from the man who was happy to avail himself of her sexual services so long as there was no cost to him.

David said...

"When a woman is facing a crisis pregnancy and everyone around her urges her to abort in order to "get rid of the problem," though, it takes more than being tough to deal with it."

Like what, Erin? What else is there? We're not talking about the women who have the support they *should* have. We're talking about the women who don't. What's left for them? Sweet dreams of better men? Those men aren't around - remember? These girls didn't manage to find them.

It's bad enough that these women face betrayal and abandonment at the hands of those who should love and support them. But now, on top of all that, you want them to capitulate to evil. Do you realize that once these women compromise their integrity, they will have nothing left? They found out their relationships were shams, their loved ones were frauds - and now you want them to ratify their defeat by consenting to evil, so that on top of all this, they violate their own integrity.

You call me cold, Erin, but it is life that is cold. Sometimes it presents us with two stark paths: on the one hand lies the difficult path toward integrity, and on the other, East Street. I'm not saying the women we've been describing are facing ideal or even just circumstances. Not at all. I don't think any woman should have to go through this sort of thing. But when it is the reality, what do you do? "Man up" is right!

Red Cardigan said...

David, I think you misunderstand what I'm saying. I'm not saying that the woman should ever be excused for killing her child. Nobody who reads what I write about abortion would think I condone it in any way.

But this story I posted about is about women who did, in fact, "man up." They told the creep who impregnated them that no, they weren't going to have an abortion. So the creeps attacked their pregnant girlfriends (or, to be accurate, one of the creeps paid other creeps to do so) hoping to kill the children--and maybe the woman, too.

Should we shrug, and say, "Hey, b***es, life is tough, and it's your fault for letting creeps get you pregnant, so--deal with it?" That doesn't seem like the compassionate Christian response to me.

Anonymous said...

God help me, Erin, no, the very last thing we should say to a pregnant woman is what you mentioned. No, there is only one correct response to a pregnant woman, whoever she may be, and that is love, respect, and support. And the women in the articles you cited are indeed courageous and commendable. If I were a part of their lives I would be sure to offer whatever support I could.

I don't think we really disagree with each other, Erin. I took issue with what some of the other commenters were saying, who appeared to absolve women of responsibility and present men as soulless evildoers.

Magister Christianus said...

Wow, David, it appears as if you have an axe to grind about something and have chosen Erin's comment box as the place to do the sharpening. Having read back over what Erin posted and I commented, I cannot see why you think either of us said women are "helpless, fragile daffodils." Perhaps I cannot see because neither of us said it. Furthermore, no one said that women who get abortions are absolved of blame. Of course they are not! All who are involved with the decision to take a life are responsible. As for your use of the "snark" quotations around the word "benefits" as you responded to my comment, I am sorry that you could not see that the benefits I was discussing were purely seen from a secular male point of view. Of course they are not true benefits because of their sinful nature, as you rightly observe.

Yet to claim that men do not benefit and have not been primary drivers of the abortion movement is to be naive in the extreme. While women have advanced greatly in terms of influence, for the vast majority of time men have been the shapers of public opinion. This is not to denigrate men or even to say that this is a bad thing. It is merely to state the simple fact that men have had the power and resources to shape public opinion. If, then, public opinion has come to embrace abortion as some sort of right, then men must have had something to do with that, as indeed they have.

I am apologize to Erin that my earlier comment lit your fuse in such a way that you felt the need to attack someone you do not know.

David said...

Magister Christianus, please accept my sincere and humble apology for having used "snark" quotes. I also wish to thank you for your tutelage in sarcasm, especially where your ending apology is concerned. I hope my own apology meets your standards.

So no, you never used the specific phrase, "helpless, fragile daffodils." I certainly should not have attributed words to you which you did not use yourself. Allow me now to refer to words and phrases you did use:

"The truly insidious part is that women have taken up the position under the banner of rights. This is not at all about rights. It is about men getting to treat women as mere sex objects and now making them spew the rhetoric." (emphasis mine)


"The only response men will have is, "You said it, baby, now shake those rights on over here.""

We'll start with the first quote.

1. As I said earlier, it is indeed much about rights, at least where the political sphere is concerned. Pro-abortion advocates employ strong entitlement rhetoric to advance their political position. For them, the abortion fight is all about rights; in fact, it is about the ongoing liberation of women. For them, legalized abortion is about freeing women from domestic slavery. Yes or no? I do not believe that even a small fraction of this group favors legalized abortion because it facilitates casual sexual relations. No, for them, it's one more front in the epic war for the liberation of
women. They really believe this.

Sleazy cads may be among the delighted and unintended beneficiaries of legalized abortion, but these are nothing more than opportunistic bench warmers checking out the cheerleaders. They are not the players on the field.

Now, you pointed out that men continue to dominate the upper echelon of society. True story. The question I put to you is this: Would there be a pro-choice agenda without the passionate women who support it? No, absolutely not. If you ask me, alpha males back the abortion cause simply because it's good business to do so. Both politicans and corporate
executives must please their customers to succeed. When it comes to the pro-choice Ferrari, men are the wheels, and women the engines. (I'll put Satan at the wheel; that's where he seems to be in this picture.) You'll note that when someone praises the power of a Ferrari, he's not talking about the wheels. He's talking about the engine. (Cue Tim Taylor.)

Stay tuned. There's more to come.

David said...

2. You mentioned I have an axe to grind. Yep. Sorry if the sparks got you nervous. In case you were wondering, here's my axe: I am sick and tired of listening to people blame the world's evils on men, while we consistently give women the pass, as if we've forgotten that they, too, fell from grace. (Horrors!) Yes, I
know, you do not excuse women who consent to abortions. But this is not the picture you presented in your earlier comment, and no self-respecting man would have let it go. (There aren't many of us left.)

Let's take a look at your first quote. You said, "Women have taken up the position under the banner of rights. This is not at all about rights. It is about men getting to treat women as mere sex objects." What misandrist tripe! As I stated
earlier, there is an element of society that conceives of abortion as a bulwark against patriarchal oppression. For these women and their male allies, the defense of legalized abortion is not about aiding opportunistic cads (though
they undeniably do); it is about giving women a real go after all these millennia of second-class citizenship. You are putting the cart before the horse - the cart being abortion as a requisite instrument in casual sexual relationships, and the horse being the legalization of abortion. Abortion is legal because women want it that way. Not men. Women.

What bothers me, however, is not the fact that you've completely misread the game and put the cads on top of the power pyramid when they actually inhabit the bottom layer. What bothers me is the way you characterize the entire reality of abortion as something evil men perpetrate on helpless women victims, like abortion exists simply because evil, horny men dupe loving, stupid women into believing they ought to abort to defend their rights. Don't buck it, man, that's exactly what you said. Read it.

David said...

Once we affirm that both men and women are human, your ship sinks fast. Check it out:

a. You view men as universal cads. Some men have sex with women partly or even primarily to express love for them. In these cases men do not desire sex merely as an outlet for sensual gratification, but because they recognize that sex is the climax, no pun intended, of human love. You will note that pregnancies result from these relationships as well.

b. Culturally, we no longer know what love is.

c. Some casual liasions occur not because the man preyed upon the woman, but because both allowed themselves to be overcome by sexual passion.

d. We live in a contraceptive culture. There is a lack of education about the meaning and value of sex. Young people, especially, are not accustomed to thinking carefully about anything, much less those things which are immediately pleasurable to them. Moreover, we think little of self-mastery today. Most men, for example, believe it is impossible to avoid masturbating or viewing pornography.

e. Some people do not grasp that abortion is wrong or comprehend the harm it does to the parents. Ergo, abortion is not a big deal to them.

f. There are rational motives for abortion. I can't afford the child. I want to finish my degree. This is going to impair my career prospects. Well, yes, I think I love her, but my God, I wasn't thinking about spending the next twenty years with her! I wanted more time to figure out our relationship. (Please note I used the word "rational", not "justifiable.")

g. Women "benefit" from casual sex also. Most participate in sexual relationships willingly, and not always because they've been deceived.

h. Sometimes, a woman will value a particular man for little more than his capacity to satiate her sexually. That is, women also use men as sex objects. I agree men more commonly use women as sex objects, but I think we exaggerate the difference between the sexes on this point. The fact that a woman sees sex as a vehicle to attaining the affection she desires, for example, does not mean she is not objectifying her partner. Besides which, many men want sex for the affection and intimacy it brings, or appears to bring, anyway. Again, men aren't just cads.

i. Sometimes, a woman will choose to have an abortion irrespective of her partner's wishes.

j. Sometimes, a man does not believe he has any right to influence his partner about her pregnancy. A minority of men buy the pro-choice rights rhetoric hook, line, and sinker.

k. Etc., etc.

Red Cardigan said...

David, I think you've made your point now, okay?

David said...

Okay... sorry. :-( Although the last part of my comment didn't remain posted. I'll leave it off.

L. said...

David, for what it's worth, I have enjoyed reading your comments. For a pro-life person, you seem to understand the various facets of the pro-abortion side very well.

(I will go quietly back to the cafeteria now, and lurk there.)

David said...

Erin, I hope I'm not provoking you by doing this, but the Blog Monster ate my conclusion, and my conclusion neatly summed everything up and brought my boring, misguided, uninformed rant to a close. It's like my baby doesn't have socks and, well, when your baby doesn't have socks, doesn't that bother you?

I'm just gonna kinda sliiiide this puppy onto the Blog Table and see what happens...


Look, I know it's tiresome and uninformative to belabor these points. We all get it. But if you take the above points together, Magister, you'll see they absolutely fly in the face of your first comment on this thread. It's not all "about men getting to treat women as mere sex objects and making them spew the rhetoric." The reality is much more complex and human than that. More typically what we have are not oversexed cads and duped, spineless daffodils but confused human beings trying to find love and discovering they didn't get it right. You know - fill our empty hearts?


Okay. Operation: Sock the Baby complete. Erin, isn't it nice? Can it stay? It is the end of my rant. Scout's honor.

David said...

L - Thank you for your kind words! I wish I could present myself as someone truly knowledgeable about the pro-choice movement, but I don't think that's true. I'm just one more guy at the bottom trying to make sense of what the powerful are doing with our country.

Siarlys Jenkins said...

It seems to me that a man who is prepared to physically attack a woman he impregnated (I hesitate to call such a male a "boyfriend"), when she chooses to carry the pregnancy to term, would be equal willing to do the same if abortion were illegal, and physical assault (barring an illegal abortion) his only option.

There are also instances where young men who have not bothered to marry the lady before impregnating her moan and groan "that's my baby too" and try to PREVENT her from having an abortion. I have no sympathy for that either -- if he wanted to be consulted, he should have made sure he was lying down with a woman who shared his convictions, and preferably, he should have entered into a covenant of marriage with her.

Male intimidation of pregnant women is a problem, no matter what the law might be, and women should be provided all feasible protection. Again, it would be wise for a woman not to get that close to a man until she knows him a bit better. I don't see this as changing the calculus about what the limits of intervention by the police powers of the state in a woman's choice should be.

eulogos said...

I am sorry to return to mere anecdote after all that has gone before. And I think ALL the scenarios envisioned by various posters above are human possibilities.

But along the lines of Erin's post; in a town near me, a pharmacist was having sex with another pharmacist, who believed that he was her boyfriend. She didn't know he had another women, who he wanted to marry. When the lady pharmacist became pregnant, this other woman said she would not go through with the marriage if he were going to be having to support another child. Sp the male pharmacist wanted the lady pharmacist to have an abortion. She almost did, but then refused. He obtained a medication-cytotec I think- by falsifying a prescription or some other unethical and unprofessional means, and while they were engaged in sex, inserted it into her vagina, where it caused her to miscarry. Some remnants of the pill came out along with the "products of conception" and the lady pharmacist recognized it, and reported it to the police. He will lose his pharmacist's license. I heard that the local prosecutor wanted to charge him with manslaughter, but I think unfortunately that is not going to fly under current law. Hopefully some kind of assault charge will.

Susan Peterson

Siarlys Jenkins said...

Leaving aside the possibility that the state has a law against intentionally killing or harming a fetus, against the will of the mother carrying it -- which has been upheld by the courts, the delicensed pharmacist should be facing at least a mayhem or aggravated assault charge -- he damaged internal organs by any legal standard.

But then, knowing already that he had another woman, and that he wanted her to abort, and that he was highly upset when she refused... WHAT WAS SHE DOING BACK IN BED WITH HIM AGAIN!!! There is only so much stupidity that the law can protect people against, when it is their OWN stupidity. Once a fool...

eulogos said...

We don't actually know what she knew. She knew he wanted her to get an abortion. We don't know if she knew about the other woman. At least I don't. Perhaps he played a "maybe this is for the best after all, maybe it will all work out between us, perhaps I could come to love this baby" game with her to get her into bed. The hopefulness of a woman in love and pregnant would have made that easy.
I think you are blaming the victim. Well, one of the victims.
Susan Peterson

Siarlys Jenkins said...

Maybe that's exactly what he did. Your original account seemed to imply that the pregnant woman, by that time, knew about the other woman he planned to marry. I'm not blaming the victim - I would cheerfully send the man to prison for twenty years. I do think we need to recognize the limits of protecting people by law, in advance, from their own folly.