My Twitter Thread on Abortion

Twitter Thread on Abortion by popular design and mom blogger, Design Mom
Twitter Thread on Abortion by popular design and mom blogger, Design Mom

Note from Design Mom: Two years ago, I tried something new. I wrote a Twitter thread for the first time. That first thread is about abortion, irresponsible ejaculations, why politicians who claim to care about abortion don’t really care, and how I think we need to approach the topic of abortion differently.  I’m republishing it here today to mark the anniversary (and because I know many of you don’t use Twitter).
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I’m a mother of six, and a Mormon. I have a good understanding of arguments surrounding abortion, religious and otherwise. I’ve been listening to men grandstand about women’s reproductive rights, and I’m convinced men actually have zero interest in stopping abortion. Here’s why…

If you want to stop abortion, you need to prevent unwanted pregnancies. And men are 100% responsible for unwanted pregnancies. No for real, they are. Perhaps you are thinking: IT TAKES TWO! And yes, it does take two for _intentional_ pregnancies.

But ALL unwanted pregnancies are caused by the irresponsible ejaculations of men. Period. Don’t believe me? Let me walk you through it. Let’s start with this: women’s eggs are only fertile about 2 days each month. And that’s for a limited number of years.

That makes 24 days a year a women’s egg might get fertilized. But men can cause pregnancy 365 days a year. In fact, if you’re a man who ejaculates multiple times a day, you could cause multiple pregnancies daily. In theory a man could cause 1000+ unwanted pregnancies in just one year.

And though their sperm gets crappier as they age, men can cause unwanted pregnancies from puberty till death. So just starting with basic biology + the calendar it’s easy to see men are the issue here.

But what about birth control? If a woman doesn’t want to risk an unwanted pregnancy, why wouldn’t she just use birth control? If a women can manage to figure out how to get an abortion, surely she can get birth control, right? Great questions.

Modern birth control is possibly the greatest invention of the last century, and I am very grateful for it. It’s also brutal. The side effects for many women are ridiculously harmful. So ridiculous, that when an oral contraception for men was created, it wasn’t approved…

… because of the side effects. And the list of side effects was about 1/3 as long as the known side effects for women’s oral contraception.

There’s a lot to be unpacked just in that story, but I’ll simply point out that as a society, we really don’t mind if women suffer, physically or mentally, as long as it makes things easier for men.

But good news, Men: Even with the horrible side effects, women are still very willing to use birth control. Unfortunately it’s harder to get than it should be. Birth control options for women require a doctor’s appointment and a prescription. It’s not free, and often not cheap.

In fact there are many people trying to make it more expensive by fighting to make sure insurance companies refuse to cover it. Oral contraceptives for women can’t be acquired easily, or at the last minute. And they don’t work instantly.

If we’re talking about the pill, it requires consistent daily use and doesn’t leave much room for mistakes, forgetfulness, or unexpected disruptions to daily schedules. And again, the side effects can be brutal. I’M STILL GRATEFUL FOR IT PLEASE DON’T TAKE IT AWAY.

I’m just saying women’s birth control isn’t simple or easy. In contrast, let’s look at birth control for men, meaning condoms. Condoms are readily available at all hours, inexpensive, convenient, and don’t require a prescription. They’re effective, and work on demand, instantly.

Men can keep them stocked up just in case, so they’re always prepared. Amazing! They are so much easier than birth control options for women. As a bonus, in general, women love when men use condoms. They keep us from getting STDs, they don’t lessen our pleasure during sex or prevent us from climaxing.

And the best part? Clean up is so much easier — no waddling to the toilet as your jizz drips down our legs. So why in the world are there ever unwanted pregnancies? Why don’t men just use condoms every time they have sex? Seems so simple, right?

Oh. I remember. Men don’t love condoms. In fact, men frequently pressure women to have sex without a condom. And it’s not unheard of for men to remove the condom during sex, without the women’s permission or knowledge. (Pro-tip: That’s assault.)

Why would men want to have sex without a condom? Good question. Apparently it’s because for the minutes they are penetrating their partner, having no condom on gives the experience more pleasure.

So… there are men willing to risk getting a woman pregnant — which means literally risking her life, her health, her social status, her relationships, and her career, so that they can experience a few minutes of slightly more pleasure? Is that for real? Yes. Yes it is.

What are we talking about here pleasure-wise? If there’s a pleasure scale, with pain beginning at zero and going down into the negatives, a back-scratch falling at 5, and an orgasm without a condom being a 10, where would sex with a condom fall? Like a 7 or 8?

So it’s not like sex with a condom is not pleasurable, it’s just not as pleasurable. An 8 instead of a 10. Let me emphasize that again: Men regularly choose to put women at massive risk by having non-condom sex, in order to experience a few minutes of slightly more pleasure.

Now keep in mind, for the truly condom-averse, men also have a non-condom, always-ready birth control built right in, called the pull out. It’s not perfect, and it’s a favorite joke, but according to experts, when done correctly, it is also 96% effective.

So surely, we can expect men who aren’t wearing a condom to at least learn to pull out correctly and pull out every time they have sex, right?

Nope.

And why not?

Well, again, apparently it’s slightly more pleasurable to climax inside a vagina than, say, on their partner’s stomach. So men are willing to risk the life, health and well-being of women, in order to experience a tiny bit more pleasure for like 5 seconds during orgasm.

It’s mind-boggling and disturbing when you realize that’s the choice men are making. And honestly, I’m not as mad as I should be about this, because we’ve trained men from birth that their pleasure is of utmost importance in the world. (We’ve also trained them to dis-associate sex and pregnancy.)

While we’re here, let’s talk a bit more about pleasure and biology. Did you know that (with few exceptions) a man can’t get a woman pregnant without having an orgasm? Which means that we can conclude getting a woman pregnant is a pleasurable act for men.

But did you further know that men can get a woman pregnant without her feeling any pleasure at all? In fact, it’s totally possible for a man to impregnate a woman even while causing her excruciating pain, trauma or horror.

In contrast, a woman can have non-stop orgasms with or without a partner and never once get herself pregnant. A woman’s orgasm has literally nothing to do with pregnancy or fertility — her clitoris exists not for creating new babies, but simply for pleasure.

No matter how many orgasms she has, they won’t make her pregnant. Rule of thumb: Pregnancies can only happen when men have an orgasm. Unwanted pregnancies can only happen when men orgasm irresponsibly.

What this means is a women can be the sluttliest slut in the entire world who loves having orgasms all day long and all night long and she will never find herself with an unwanted pregnancy unless a man shows up and ejaculates irresponsibly.

Women enjoying sex does not equal unwanted pregnancy and abortion. Men enjoying sex and having irresponsible ejaculations is what causes unwanted pregnancies and abortion.

Let’s talk more about responsibility. Men often don’t know, and don’t ask, and don’t think to ask, if they’ve caused a pregnancy. They may never think of it, or associate sex with making babies at all. Why? Because there are 0 consequences for men who cause unwanted pregnancies.

If the woman decides to have an abortion, the man may never know he caused an unwanted pregnancy with his irresponsible ejaculation.

If the woman decides to have the baby, or put the baby up for adoption, the man may never know he caused an unwanted pregnancy with his irresponsible ejaculation, or that there’s now a child walking around with 50% of his DNA.

If the woman does tell him that he caused an unwanted pregnancy and that she’s having the baby, the closest thing to a consequence for him, is that he may need to pay child support. But our current child support system is well-known to be a joke.

Only 61% of men (or women) who are legally required to pay it, do. With little or no repercussions. In lots of states, their credit isn’t even affected. So, many men keep going as is, causing unwanted pregnancies with irresponsible ejaculations and never giving it thought.

When the topic of abortion comes up, men might think: Abortion is horrible; women should not have abortions. And never once consider the man who caused the unwanted pregnancy.

If you’re not holding men responsible for unwanted pregnancies, then you are wasting your time.

Stop protesting at clinics. Stop shaming women. Stop trying to overturn abortion laws. If you actually care about reducing or eliminating the number of abortions in our country, simply HOLD MEN RESPONSIBLE FOR THEIR ACTIONS.

What would that look like? What if there was a real and immediate consequence for men who cause an unwanted pregnancy? What kind of consequence would make sense? Should it be as harsh, painful, nauseating, scarring, expensive, risky, and life-altering…

… as forcing a woman to go through a 9-month unwanted pregnancy?

In my experience, men really like their testicles. If irresponsible ejaculations were putting their balls at risk, they would stop being irresponsible. Does castration seem like a cruel and unusual punishment? Definitely.

But is it worse than forcing 500,000 women a year to puke daily for months, gain 40 pounds, and then rip their bodies apart in childbirth? Is a handful of castrations worse than women dying during forced pregnancy and childbirth?

Put a castration law on the books, implement the law, let the media tell the story, and in 3 months or less, tada! abortions will have virtually disappeared. Can you picture it? No more abortions in less than 3 months, without ever trying to outlaw them. Amazing.

For those of you who consider abortion to be murder, wouldn’t you be on board with having a handful of men castrated, if it prevented 500,000 murders each year?

And if not, is that because you actually care more about policing women’s bodies, morality, and sexuality, than you do about reducing or eliminating abortions? (That’s a rhetorical question.)

Hey, you can even have the men who will be castrated bank their sperm before it happens — just in case they want to responsibly have kids some day.

Can’t wrap your head around a physical punishment for men? Even though you seem to be more than fine with physical punishments for women? Okay. Then how about this prevention idea: At the onset of puberty, all males in the U.S. could be required by law to get a vasectomy.

Vasectomies are very safe, highly reversible, and about as invasive as a doctor’s exam for a woman getting a birth control prescription. There is some soreness afterwards for about 24 hours, but that’s pretty much it for side effects.

(So much better than The Pill, which is taken by millions of women in our country, the side effects of which are well known and can be brutal.)

If/when the male becomes a responsible adult, and perhaps finds a mate, if they want to have a baby, the vasectomy can be reversed, and then redone once the childbearing stage is over. And each male can bank their sperm before the vasectomy, just in case.

It’s not that wild of an idea. 80% of males in the U.S. are circumcised, most as babies. And that’s not reversible.

Don’t like my ideas? That’s fine. I’m sure there are better ones. Go ahead and suggest your own ideas. My point is that it’s nonsense to focus on women if you’re trying to get rid of abortions. Abortion is the “cure” for an unwanted pregnancy.

If you want to stop abortions, you need to prevent the “disease” – meaning, unwanted pregnancies. And the only way to do that, is by focusing on men, because: MEN CAUSE 100% OF UNWANTED PREGNANCIES. Or. IRRESPONSIBLE EJACULATIONS BY MEN CAUSE 100% OF UNWANTED PREGNANCIES.

If you’re a man, what would the consequence need to be for you to never again ejaculate irresponsibly? Would it be money related? Maybe a loss of rights or freedoms? Physical pain?

Ask yourselves: What would it take for you to value the life of your sexual partner more than your own temporary pleasure or convenience?

Are you someone who learns better with analogies? Let’s try this one: Think of another great pleasure in life, let’s say food. Think of your favorite meal, dessert, or drink.

What if you found out that every time you indulge in that favorite food you risked causing great physical and mental pain for someone you know intimately. You might not cause any pain, but it’s a real risk.

Well, you’d probably be sad, but never indulge in that food again, right? Not worth the risk!

And then, what if you further found out, there was a simple thing you could do before you ate that favorite food, and it would eliminate the risk of causing pain to someone else. Which is great news!

But the simple thing you need to do makes the experience of eating the food slightly less pleasurable. To be clear, it would still be very pleasurable, but slightly less so. Like maybe you have to eat the food with a fork or spoon that you don’t particularly like.

Would you be willing to do that simple thing, and eliminate the risk of causing pain to someone you know intimately, every single time you ate your favorite food?

OF COURSE YOU WOULD.

Condoms (or even pulling out) is that simple thing. Don’t put women at risk. Don’t choose to maximize your own pleasure if it risks causing women pain.

Men mostly run our government. Men mostly make the laws. And men could eliminate abortions in three months or less without ever touching an abortion law or evening mentioning women.

In summary: STOP TRYING TO CONTROL WOMEN’S BODIES AND SEXUALITY. UNWANTED PREGNANCIES ARE CAUSED BY MEN.

The end.

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Well. There it is. My first Twitter thread. I actually had this written for several months before I published it, and was hesitant to share it. Not sure why. But hearing so many men talking about women’s reproductive rights (related to the Kavanaugh hearings), brought me to hit publish. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic. What could we do as a society to have men shoulder the burden of preventing unwanted pregnancies?

754 thoughts on “My Twitter Thread on Abortion”

  1. I shared with my sisters this morning and received the response “this is the best thing I’ve ever read on abortion. Ever. I’m sharing on Facebook.” As always, I’m just in awe of you and your courage to share about important topics like this.

    1. I got pregnant using a condom. Nothing is 100% effective.
      I am pro-life. Just pointing out that unwanted pregnancies are not necessarily because men don’t use condoms.

      It can happen. It happened to me and to a couple of my friends.
      I’m ABSOLUTELY in love of my baby girl and know God is in control. But at first it was a surprise for me.

  2. Bravo Gabby! I’m looking forward to sharing this with my teenage sons. Women’s reproductive rights have been a recent topic in our home and this is an excellent addition to be discussed. Thank you.

  3. I have shared this with my daughter and daughter-in-law. What a refreshing perspective! I read it on your twitter and was mesmerized the whole way through! this better go viral!

  4. It’s brilliant! Call the agent you worked with on your book now! Now is the time for this message to be heard. Your impeccable credentials as a religious woman and mother of 6 make this all the more powerful. Please share this message as well widely as you can! We need you! (If you don’t want to write a whole book maybe get a speaking agent or whatever it takes for a high profile Ted talk?)

      1. YES!

        TED talk TED talk TED talk!

        More than anything–and there is a lot to admire about what you have created, it’s the way you clearly and passionately articulate your opinions on society and culture. I envy that skill but it’s not one of mine so my gratitude is immense for people who can and do share. I have read your full thread a few times through so these ideas can become part of my own tapestry of thought. Thank you for spending the time, feeling the urgency, and actively sharing. It’s a stellar example and I feel all zizzed and inspired. ..and its the first one of your posts that my husband also read somewhere and we were both able to share in the awesomeness.

      2. Don’t think too long, leading to over-thinking, second-guessing, and loss of confidence. Read Matthew Dicks’s “Storyworthy” and follow his brief, very, very, wise encouragement. Then do it. Give us enough advanced notice and I’ll be there. Why? Because what you have to say should be heard by a broad audience, including my six children (5 men ranging from 22 to 35, and a beautiful, strong 26-year-old daughter who may be able to share some usable insights with you. As a 62-year-old father and lover, no longer loaded for fruition, I would like to see an expanded horizon featuring a long…long…long view on the partners’ places in this dance. “Does she want me to come and then just simply go?” “Does she want me to stay and hold her close and see if our souls might grow closer despite our biology being dumped down the commode?” Can you hear a 21-year-old male ask those questions? Out loud? Can you hear a 21-year-old female answer them? Truthfully? Now, can you hear the conversation 1 or 2 days hence about what the conversation was and how they each felt about it? And you know, from the long fog of years and too many of these types of conversations, even if they weren’t these exact exchanges, that this second encounter is where the relationship begins. Not in the flowers, drinks, dancing, dinner, more drinks and “DO WE DO IT?”, whispered low, muttered, maybe even eyes locked trying to read the real answer in the story of his or her eyes. No, that’s the step up into the house, the dorm, the car’s back seat, or into the elevator at some decent hotel. Tomorrow’s conversation is imbued with meaning, partly because it can’t be avoided among two sensical, concerned, and socially aware people. Intelligent ones don’t want to avoid it and lose tabs on the challenge of starting and steering a relationship into potentially fertile ground (no pun intended, but there it is anyway.). A brush-off to them is sign and symbol of failure in the conquest of love. Their love. Not heroic, save the damsel or dude love, just the plain vanilla kind which asks: Are we even able to converse in and operate an automobile again? What music do we play? Shall we go somewhere, and, NO, not there. Can we squelch the conflicts and the hubbub of where we’ve been, what we’ve done, and find some ground (not even neutral necessarily) where we can pound in a stake and say that a tent could be pitched here? If needed. If wanted. Even just anchor points to keep the ground cover from blowing away and cartwheeling down the sidewalk. Those are real-life decisions with real-life consequences, right up there with “shall I dare to eat a peach?” {You’ll know much more about that later. Trust me.} For me personally, the regret has never been about an all-too-brief backseat encounter with me grunting in her ear and her desire to know if it was good. [The only possible answer to that damn-near rhetorical question, is “apparently not.”] And there you’ve slain the dating beast, there won’t be another triste, another lugubrious lunch in an unfamiliar diner, another chance to say, “I’m sorry” or “I’m so delighted” or “This is awkward for me”…followed by any number of brilliant or inane sentences. You won’t get to know them, they won’t get to know you, and two more souls go shambling off into the forest of DATES, searching for they know not what, dabbling with various forms of sincerity, or debauchery, or hesitantly offering and even more hesitantly receiving, all while keeping up a patter of small talk, some of it pointed towards this subject but not decisively or incisively so, and hoping against hope that one grain of the real thing, the genuine soul will emerge that you can both latch on to and then rejoice in each other’s find! Bruce Cockburn said it so well in “You Pay Your Money and You Take Your Chance”:
        Confused and solo in the spawning ground
        I watch the confusion of friends all numb with love
        Moving like stray dogs to the anthem of night-long conversations,
        Of pulsing rhythms and random voltage voices
        In spite of themselves, graceful as these raindrops creeping sperm-like across the car window
        Stay or leave, give or withhold
        Hesitate or leap
        Each step splashing sparks of red pain in every direction
        And through it all, somehow, this willingness that asks no questions
        ~ Bruce Cockburn “You Pay Your Money and You Take Your Chance” from the 1981 LP ‘Inner City Front’

        1. Love this, there is no right or wrong only that life goes on with or without you. I raise my children to choose life,love and kindness because life is goes by very fast.

  5. I LOVE this post as a conservative woman. Thank you for flipping the script of reproductive rights. You are absolutely on point, men have the ability to control pregnancy and it’s time men take responsibility. We should demand men wear condoms unless we (the couple) are prepared for pregnancy.

  6. Thank you so much for sharing this! I’ve always taken issue with making abortions illegal, but couldn’t tell you exactly why. I saw an art piece once in Denver of wire hangers and blood representing the risks of abortions and that has stuck with me always since.
    I feel closed minded in that I never considered everything you had to say, but grateful you said it! Thanks!

    1. The wire hanger thing put me against abortion when I was in my 20s but I remember arguing at 18 that if I became pregnant I’d abort. That said, it was my decision to make and I think everyone deserves the chance to choose. Now I call myself pro-life and pro-choice.

  7. Amazing! And really hit home! Soon after our last child, I got an IUD and it was not a great experience (amazing now) but really too some adjusting. I took all the experience without a peep. Why? Because my dear husband doesn’t want more kids and nor does he want a vasectomy. WHAT?!?!?! We will be having a thorough discussion tonight! Thank you for helping me see a whole new side of things and my role in what works for me and what doesn’t!!
    xoxo

    1. Me too! I love my IUD but husband didn’t want a vasectomy. He also complains that he can feel the wires in certain positions. *eye roll SO HARD* I’ve got my 2 kids with 0 desire for any more, and I come from a highly fertile line of women, and hormonal BC is just not good for me personally, physically and emotionally. So. Paragard….
      I’m teaching my son that his role as a Protector includes protecting from pregnancy and STIs. Condom. Every. Time. He’s young still, but this is very important imho to get into his head before all the testosterone gets into high gear.
      Awkward conversations, to be sure! But to save him from getting or spreading disease, or ruining a woman life (potentially causing a need for his partner’s abortion or her to die…maternal mortality God forbid!), this is more important!
      An unwrapped d*ick is a loaded gun to woman. Russian roulette, it won’t kill you every time…..but every time, there is that possibility!

  8. Oh my goodness, Gabby, this has got to be one of the most amazing,clear, and honest things I’ve ever read. I started crying just thinking about how I had never thought of birth control in this way before. You are wonderful and the world is lucky to have you as a writer.

  9. Wow, I never thought I’d be too prudish for a Design Mom post! I’m surprised by the graphic language, but I think you’ve laid out a very strong argument.

    The new documentary The Bleeding Edge is another great look at how women’s reproductive health care is brutal in the U.S. Can you imagine if men routinely got the equivalent of vaginal mesh or radical hysterectomies or fallopian tube coils implanted? Yet we pretty much silently accept these procedures and their consequences to fix the damage from childbirth and avoid having 15 children. I don’t know why I can name a half dozen women I know who’ve had hysterectomies, and zero men who’ve had their testicles removed. It really feels unfair.

    1. I mean, testical removal isn’t actually a thing, at least not for birth control–a vasectomy just closes the tubes to prevent sperm from mixing with the seminal fluid. It’s technically reversible, although the reversing operation is much more expensive and is less likely to be successful the longer you wait. It’s not really a good option for long-term but temporary birth control, just like a woman getting her tubes tied isn’t meant to be long-term but temporary. It is considered a permanent solution.

      However, as others have noted, I don’t think Gabby’s suggestion of vasectomies for boys at puberty is truly meant to be a literal one, just a way to highlight the overemphasis of the burden on women. And once a couple has decided to have no more children, a man’s vasectomy is a simpler operation, with fewer risks, less recovery time, and less expense, than a woman’s tubal ligation.

      Unless the tubal ligation is done simultaneously with another needed operation (like a planned C-section), it generally makes more sense for the man to be sterilized than the woman, but many men refuse to even consider it, placing a greater burden on their partners than they are will to consider for themselves.

      1. If a man has had a testicle removed, it’s for medical reasons (cancer; injury to the area–pro tip: DO NOT play basketball against someone with a pen in their back pocket. Ask my one-testicled friend how he knows.)

        Animals have testicles removed for birth control purposes. At this time, humans do not.

        1. I wasn’t suggesting that men should be neutered like dogs, just that it’s very common for women to end up with really extreme surgery on their reproductive systems, for a variety of reasons. I think many very common medical solutions designed for women are crude and harsh, and men wouldn’t stand for it.

        2. Men do not get pregnant but they are at the forefront of abortion stopping women from getting easy legal abortion. Men stay out of this issue. You do not much about pregnancy beyond making it come about.

  10. I’m so glad you wrote this and chose to share it! I appreciate the rawness and intense clarity you give! This is something I’ll certainly share! No matter a person’s view it can never hurt to see new perspectives and in turn, create awareness.

  11. Gabby, you’ve had so much positive feedback that I hope it won’t hurt to have some that is just a little less positive. I agree with your points entirely, but I hate what twitter does to your writing. I think you write so gracefully and with such consideration on your blog. Your thread here is in stark contrast to the posts I’ve seen at DesignMom. It’s divisive, it’s black and white thinking, it’s extremist, it’s harsh. I know you wrote it from a place of strong emotion, but you’ve written from that place before and it didn’t sound like this. I think your thread here is a really good example of the toxic influence of the platform on public discourse. Twitter is all about causing confrontation. I hope you will keep the blog as the center of your writing and tweet links to here instead of posting links here to your Twitter threads there.

      1. I’m a scaredy-cat. That’s why I am so grateful to Gabby for making it possible for even the chicken hearted to participate in her discussions.

    1. Why is it assumed to be a woman’s work to frame things nicely and not divisively? The tone I read as cheeky and challenging, turning on it’s head the default of considering a male perspective and experience while not considering a female’s. It’s a fine example of what we take to be okay from men but expecting more or better from women.

      1. Cheeky and challenging versus nuanced and thoughtful. I think that’s a good way to characterize the difference between this twitter thread and Gabby’s usual blog posts. I prefer the latter. I wanted to let Gabby know as inoffensively as possible because I think it’s important. I think this twitter thread is being read by a hundred, maybe a thousand times as many people as Gabby’s blog posts usually are. It’s got to be immensely tempting, the idea of reaching an audience that size, of having your voice heard like that. But if Gabby becomes a twitter speaker instead of a blog speaker, I’ll be very sad. Because thanks to Twitter we have a boatload of cheeky challenging people and not so many thoughtful and nuanced ones.

    2. I have to say, I agree. In fact someone posted a link to the twitter thread on Facebook and since I love Design Mom, I clicked to read. After reading, however, I felt like the writing style was not typical of Gabrielle’s graceful and considerate writing and came here to the blog to see if it was really her post and to make sure there wasn’t an imposter out there.

      I do, however, appreciate the article and what she has to say….now that I know it was really her….

    3. Gabby’s tone might be different here. Maybe more controversial, challenging, brash. Gabby is a writer (among other things) and writers must continually challenge their own limits. I applaud any writer’s effort to try new things, find a new inner voice, experiment with a new platform. I don’t read many things (blogs, books, articles) because they’re predictable or comfortable. She may not find that this voice or forum suits her, but it’s great to try new things, new styles, new ideas. It’s fun to be a reader and participate in that process.

      1. The tone probably seems different b/c she had to edit it so that each thought could exist within the word count needed. As a poet, this is an admirable skill on its own–to produce coherent thoughts within word and space constrictions. But what she achieves is so much more. She is literally flipping the entire script. The part about vasectomies at puberty is a play at putting girls on the pill the minute they start menstruating. And on and on and on. This all together is brilliant not only b/c the ideas she presents are so new and thoughtful but b/c she does it within the word boundary confines. This isn’t just important political writing, it’s literary writing, too–it’s form poetry, in many ways. I am so utterly blown away by the ideas presented here, the tone, the thought, the construction, etc. So well done. Thank you and congratulations!

  12. You. Are. Amazing.

    And brave and smart and SO damn articulate.

    THANK YOU for being you. And for talking to us. And for leading the way in so many difficult discussions.

  13. I love this so much. And it made me think how sad it is that I haven’t really thought of it this way before. We are so used to making the woman the problem, and forcing her to find the solution. You are honestly brilliant.

  14. Us vs them arguments are the worst. They do absolutely no good. They solve nothing. They only spread hatred.
    FYI– Men aren’t the sole creators of pregnancy. As the article says, women can have as many orgasms as they want a day by themselves and not get pregnant oh, well so can Men. It’s the putting the two together that makes the baby.
    Also– your facts are wrong. Men don’t have to orgasm to get women pregnant.
    This really wasn’t even an article about abortion. It was an article about men and what they do to us. I’ll pass on being the helpless victim mentality, thanks.
    Instead of spreading blame let’s have a discussion about being equally responsible and valuing the roles both genders have.

    P.S. I’ve had an unwanted pregnancy so don’t bother telling me I don’t understand.

    1. Umm unless he preejaculates, a man absolutely has to orgasm to cum and that’s how a woman gets pregnant. You said you’ve had an unwanted pregnancy before so I’m sure I don’t have to take you back to 5th grade and explain the birds and the bees to you. Was the article focused on abortion now? But she was arguing around abortion saying men are causing unwanted pregnancies and then asking the same women they impregnate to get abortions. Either you’re not a feminist or you’re actually a man to express your opinion so ignorantly

        1. Only if he fails to pee between ejaculations, or has a perforated vas deferens. Healthy men do not have sperm in pre-ejaculate. No, they do not. People who perpetuate this myth believe it makes him sound extra careful and responsible. The truth is that it’s just incorrect. I’ve proven it over a decade with my own body and study biology in post-secondary. Anatomical fact.

    2. You’re right that Gabby has made some generalizations and written some inaccuracies (someone pointed out that the pull out method is not 96% effective), but I disagree that it’s about us vs. them or promoting a victim mentality.

      I think the thread is about adding men to an equation they are usually not a part of.

      Rather than promoting a victim mentality, I personally feel empowered to demand more respect and responsibility from my husband in terms of reproductive planning.

  15. Amen. and Thank You. and You Rock.

    (as an aside, since reading your blog there have been a few instances when I am in conversation with someone who paints a picture of all Mormons with a very broad brush. Each and every time, I have offered the perspective that not all Mormons are the same and that just like my own religion (Judaism) not all Mormons follow every aspect of their church teachings. Thank you for helping to educate me. I was ignorant in the worst way.)

    1. I shared this post on my FB page with the following statement:

      I have been reading a blog by a Mormon woman for a couple of years. Today, she posted about women’s reproductive rights. I share it on FB because she shares a perspective that I didn’t expect from a Mormon woman…..as if, all Mormon’s think the same! While I don’t embrace every nuance presented I shouted a loud AMEN upon finishing reading the post. I’m still feeling overwhelmed by how hard we have to fight for our basic freedoms in this country today, and found this post a welcome reminder that there are many, many people of all walks of life fighting the good fight.

      1. Thanks for sharing on Facebook, Lisa. And I really liked how you phrased this:

        “I’m still feeling overwhelmed by how hard we have to fight for our basic freedoms in this country today, and found this post a welcome reminder that there are many, many people of all walks of life fighting the good fight.”

      2. Woow! What a well researched piece of sex education put out there for we the men to be thout full before priotizing our climax. Thanks for the awareness;Looking forward to change my attitude.

  16. Unequivocally, you are a gift to society. I laughed, I shook my head in agreement, I fist pumped, I adore you. Thank you for sharing this, sending you good vibes to counteract the inevitable trolls.

  17. I love this post. Piggy-backing on the previous comment, I want you to know how meaningful your posts are in light of your religion. Your posts are so humanizing, and it brings me great hope for all religions that we can connect on difficult topics, even if we come from very different places and don’t agree on everything. You do so much incredible missionary/teaching work here that I don’t think you even realize you’re doing (or maybe you do :)).

  18. Amazing (as always)! Love this! You really should write a book. Really. Do it.

    And I laughed out loud at the “jizz running down our legs” bit. Hilarious and spot on.

  19. This deconstruction is amazing. Often women are blamed and held responsible for these things, in which people seem to behave delusionally and forget men are to be held accountable also. I like how you discussed how pregnancies cannot be caused unless the man climaxes and how men don’t mind not using protection in the act, but like to run away irresponsibly when there’s an ‘oops’! Moment! Amazing!

  20. This is absolutely incredible and brings a whole new level of insight and discussion to pregnancy, abortion and women’s health. These issues are so complicated and complex, and this is a healthy and eye-opening approach. So well-done and I cannot wait to share this with people. It’s a great jumping-off point for reasonable and nuanced discussion – generally something missing from abortion talks these days.

    Love this and love you for writing and sharing it!

  21. I find it interesting that there is push back against ‘putting ALL the blame on men’ from people who live in a society that ALWAYS puts ALL of the consequences of unwanted pregnancy on women.

    The fact that men have multiple simple options for preventing unwanted pregnancy but just can’t be bothered is completely acceptable to most people. As someone who has swallowed the ‘You’re the one who can get pregnant so it’s up to you to make sure you don’t’ line my whole life, this was amazing to read.

    1. yes! amen! It has been surprising to see some comments say it isn’t FAIR to burden men will ALL of the responsibility, without an acknowledgment of the fact that it’s currently culturally acceptable that men simply “don’t feel like” taking relatively small steps to bear some of the responsibility for preventing unintended pregnancy. Thank you, Gabrielle, for this post and accompanying thought exercise.

  22. LOVED this. It gave me new ways of thinking about the issue for sure, and there is so much truth here! Plus it doesn’t shut down conversation, but opens it up for a better, deeper discussion.

    Thanks for using your voice to share what’s in your brain! Makes me want to be braver and bolder about sharing my own thoughts.

  23. I’ll say here what I told you on Twitter: I admire you often, but perhaps never more than I do right now.

    It’s brave, important, and smart. It deserves every bit of attention it gets.

  24. 1. Seeing pregnant you just is so moving, not sure why.
    2. You know how I feel about this Tweet thread.
    3. I truly have never considered this topic from this perspective. The clarity of your argument just forced me to stop and really think. That, to me, is the biggest deal about this thread.

    Thank you for your constant integrity, devastating intelligence, and willingness to go wherever conversations must go.

    1. “I truly have never considered this topic from this perspective. The clarity of your argument just forced me to stop and really think. That, to me, is the biggest deal about this thread.”

      This makes me unreasonably happy. Thanks for commenting, Asha.

  25. This is so amazing!!! Speaking the truth! The crux of sexism.

    One request, please modify the effectiveness of withdrawal… as your link says, in REAL life withdrawal is 78% effective. So many young people are misinformed about this and it’s an easy way for men to mislead women, then last minute either not do it or do it very ineffectively… All because, as you said, their pleasure is more important than the health of the woman and the life of another.

    1. I think in a non-committed relationship withdrawal is very very risky especially when women don’t understand their own cycles of fertility. I think she was trying to make a point that even doing that does have an effect but men are not willing to do it.

  26. Wonderful article. Funny and insightful.

    Beyond the simple fact that men should take responsibility for their actions (and accept the concequences of such) my position is that one should truly try to offer an alternative to abortion, there are many reasons to avoid such a thing, but in the end it’s a choice; a woman’s choice. How many women have heard the phrase “of course I still love you… but…” and then found themselves so terribly alone?

    In the final analysis the only thing men can or should do in the face of an “unwanted” pregnancy is offer support and compationate advice. Yet all to often philosophies clash and what we see is so nasty it’s appauling.

    Consider the Irish situation, for example… The application of the Law as was little more than state mandated application of violence against women. To divorce the fetus from the mother/baby unit in such a well documented manner is a despicable act (and is the state going to pay for the push-chairs and nappies for the child it “saved”, or punish those who assert the social stigma of lone-mother?) Of course, beyond dissaproving of abortion, the Church advocates abstinence (not a bad policy, tbh), but in the final analysis, if you’re not going to listen wear a fecking condom lads… it’s the gentlemanly thing to do.

  27. I have praised this on Twitter, but I also wanted to drop in here and give you a kudos again. This whole thread has so much brilliance and I’m so glad you have put this out in the world. It needs to be read by as many as possible.

  28. Some really well-reasoned points, and some very poorly-reasoned, too. But without commenting on the overall validity of the thread or positing that this even makes a difference in the grand scheme, there’s one thing I just have to say:

    For many men, it is laughable to say that, on the ‘pleasure scale’, sex with a condom goes from 10 to 8. For many men, replace ‘8’ with 2, 3, or 4. For many men, sex with a condom is impossible – erections just won’t happen.

    Not that that changes anything in the thread. Just that one laughable idea needed to be corrected.

    1. Erections won’t happen with a condom? You mean they go away once the condom is on? 2,3 or 4 must really be a bummer but not as much as an unwanted pregnancy. Ugh.

      1. this is…odd. I have yet to have had sex with any man who was like…yeah, that was ok but the condom made it like a 2 out of 10. They were just happy be there! This maybe true for you, though. Sorry?

      1. Seriously.

        I had a boyfriend once who couldn’t maintain an erection with a condom on to save his life – it was extremely frustrating for both of us and sharply curtailed our sex life. A friend recommended we try different brands and kinds of condoms – and we were BLOWN AWAY by the sheer variety there is!

        Eventually we figured out his issue – literally the first time we tried with a non-latex condom, which is when he said something about “wow, this one *doesn’t make me itch or burn*”. Yeah. I guess it does make sense that it was hard for him to maintain arousal when he was wearing a latex condom and suffering from an undiagnosed latex allergy!

        TL;DR – seconding this – different condoms make a world of difference.

  29. Thank you Gabby! My favorite posts of yours are the rants! Get em girl! Forwarding to all my nieces. This is by far your best post ever. Keep it up.

  30. Yes.
    I tried birth control pills for 9 months when I was first married and the side effects were so horrific that I quit and we immediately switched to condoms. Thankfully, I have a husband who is 1000% on board with this (and now that we have completed our family, we are looking into vasectomy). He cares less about his pleasure and more about my ultimate health and comfort. If only all men were as considerate.
    We often discuss how quickly rape would decline if the punishment was castration instead of a slap on the wrist.

      1. Just to be clear: vasectomy and castration are two different things, right? But in the same thought, I’d be okay with either in a court of law. Any time a man is violent or there is a custody case, altering a man’s sex drive is the ideal thing.

  31. Thank you, thank you for this post! Puts my thoughts and emotions into words that I didn’t have. I applaud your logic and courage for sharing with such a wide audience.

  32. This is being shared far and wide, and I’m so glad, because it’s so well-said. I’m happy to know you’re a neighbor-ish (I live in Richmond) and really hope our paths will cross. I also love that you’re a person of faith, it’s time for the left to not be afraid to say it loud n’ proud.

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