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?

757 thoughts on “My Twitter Thread on Abortion”

  1. Thank you.

    Pro life is not about protecting unborn babies. It’s about control of reproductive rights. To be blunt, anyone that thinks politicians are in in for morality reasons are naive and being manipulated.

    1. Preach! I am reminded of this any time we find out a conservative politician who has been trying to reduce women’s access to abortion for years has funded an abortion himself……..

  2. I just have to jump in here to add to the chorus of how much we love and admire to try to preempt and counterbalance the shit storm of trolls that are bound to come your way. My thanks for your courage!

  3. I’ve read your blog for years but after seeing this last night, I, like many others here, felt a deep appreciation for your words, your courage, and your advocacy for change.

    Thank you for helping this ex-Mormon believe that there are good people working to continue to push the church (as well as our culture) forward in myriad ways.

    Keep it up.

  4. I could not agree more that men should be held more accountable for unwanted pregnancies. Condoms are so cheap, readily available, easy to use…it flabbergasts me that a man who isn’t trying to create children with a willing partner would hesitate to use them. And I think you’ve explained why they don’t—because very few if any of the consequences of an unintended pregnancy fall to men.

    We need a system that holds men financially responsible, and we need to make childcare and medical care readily available and inexpensive so that more single women feel they can cope with an unintended pregnancy. Many women don’t even get UNPAID leave after childbirth. That means a woman could literally be forced to choose between having a child and keeping the job she needs to pay for having that child. I think abortion is murder and want to do what we can as a society to do away with it. The two best ways I can think of to make that happen is to force men to pay their share of the costs, and providing support for single mothers that makes keeping and raising their children more feasible.

  5. AMEN!! Thank you for writing and posting this Gabby!

    Bookmarking this to bring up in future discussion with my two sons and two daughters. So important!

    And I’m very grateful to my husband for volunteering to have a vasectomy and STILL happy to wear a condom when I occasionally ask to not have to deal with the post-ejaculation mess!

    Hope this thread goes viral! Bravo!

  6. I have been saying these things for years, in addition to promoting mandatory castration for convicted rapists and child molesters, mandatory prison sentences in productive labor camps for parents who do not pay child support where all that they earn is turned over for the child’s care, maintenance and education until the child graduates from college or a trade school, and mandatory prison sentences along with castration for domestic abusers who rape their partners. That men’s pleasure, convenience, and total lack of mandatory consequences of material significance and effective deterrence for criminal behavior that impacts the lives of women and children for their lifetimes, and contributes to poverty, neglect and abuse of women and children that drains society of massive amounts of productive energy and participation… has turned my stomach for almost 50 years. Brava for laying it all out there, with just a trace of hyperbole, in such a brilliant fashion. And thanks for including the supporting article links in your twitter thread. I truly believe that if all American women pulled a Lysistrata, all this could be cleared up in less than a year. I don’t think men really want abstinence to be the only fail safe way to avoid pregnancy, but it could certainly be tried for a year to give them a taste of what that means. No one, male of female, needs to have sex with a partner to have an orgasm and take care of their sexual needs. Thanks for this piece, and for sharing on your platform.

  7. This is so well stated. So well put. Thank you for writing this. I have always agreed with this but you have put additional logic to what I have always known to be true.

  8. I would add to the discussion a few more lines regarding self-control.

    How many relationships would be better, how many work places would be significantly improved environments, if the burden was not solely placed on contraception, but also on Self-Control? The idea of putting men temporarily out of commission until they are ready to be fathers doesn’t address the point that all men (and women) should learn self-control and respect. You can still sexually abuse someone with a vasectomy. So let’s make certain the ‘be in control of your desires’ aspect of the conversation gets discussed with all men and boys (and women and girls, as well).

    Having saved sex for marriage, I knew that both my husband and I had similar perspectives of what the experience was for: to bring life into the world and to give closeness and pleasure to us as a couple. The result of that restraint is that if I needed or wanted a few days (or vice versa), my husband would have no problem giving it to me. I already knew he was willing to wait, he knew I was. We both agreed that adults can learn to control their sexual desires, and should. It would not only eliminate the need for abortions as you pointed out, but reduce or eliminate sexual abuse of both adults and children, infidelity, etc, etc.

    Thanks for opening up the discussion.

    1. I don’t think that pretending that every woman has the same situation as you do is really helpful. I live in the south where ALL they teach is self-control – guess how many teenagers get pregnant each year? A LOT.

      This is about men taking responsibility for pregnancy. About realizing that women are not in a position to prevent pregnancy the way that men are.

      1. For sure, Elizabeth. I completely agree that women are in different situations. That’s why I said “if the burden was not solely placed on contraception”.

        And women come from very different circumstances as, as you said. I felt it was okay to share my experience because it worked, and worked well, and at some point if we can’t share our individual experiences because it won’t apply to everyone, we will never be able to have conversations. As contraception had been discussed in the post, I wanted to add that it must be coupled with self-control and respect. As the #metoo movement has shown us, it’s not enough for men to understand and use contraception, they also must know it’s not okay to grab a woman whenever they feel like it. So that’s what I was trying to get at.

        It would be interesting to have the studies that show the stats of all religious teaching to see what’s working and what isn’t, wouldn’t it? Thanks for your response. If we didn’t live on the other side of the country, it would be fabulous for all of us to sit down and talk about this post in person.

  9. Danielle Lindberg

    Wow, what an amazing blog post. This is why I love DesignMom, the conversations and viewpoints are interesting and thought provoking, whether you agree with the opinion or not. Thank you for giving me another way to look at the abortion topic.

  10. I. Am. On. Board! This is pretty brilliant, Gabrielle. I wish we could make it happen within the *next* three months, or shift [shine a light on?] the responsibility even a little bit.

    My favorite line:
    “Ask yourselves: What would it take for you to value the life* of your sexual partner more than your own temporary pleasure or convenience?” I mean.

    I’m super *pro-life, but you know what else I am? Pro-accountability!

  11. I *rarely* comment on public forums. But, this! Your clarity has created a tremendous shift for me, and I’m a feminist who believes being pro-choice IS pro-life! It never occurred to me to look at this issue from this perspective. I’ve always looked at is as keeping options open for women. Cure the “disease”, not the symptom. Excellent post!

  12. I have one correction to make. A woman can definitely get pregnant more than two days a month. I took my temperature and charted extensively with each of my kids and got pregnant from sex 5 days before ovulation with one and one day after ovulation for another. So that put me at 6 days a month when I was fertile. Wish it had only been 2! Otherwise, everything you wrote makes tons of sense!

    1. Sperm can hang around for at least five days, so I guess she’s saying *fertilization* only happens on two days, but your 6 days (at least) of danger zone makes sense! It’s still due to the man irresponsibly ejaculating where it wasn’t wanted, either way.

    2. Jgabrami@gmail.com

      It’s all about doing the research to know your own body. We’re all different. My relationship with my fertility totally changed once I learned to recognize the 2 days a month (for me it is two days) I can get pregnant. Before having kids I thought I had some sort of “fertility problem.” Nope, just needed to know my days. I have gotten pregnant EVERY TIME (4. With 2 ending is miscarriage. We can’t control it all) I had sex during those days and NEVER (15 years) when I did not. In fairness I expand those “2 days” to 4 -5 days during the times in my life when avoiding pregnancy is super important to me. Of course, this only works with a partner that is totally on board with the plan. I highly recommend the book called TAKING CHARGE OF YOUR FERTILITY for both pregnancy seekers and pregnancy avoiders.

  13. You might really like New Wave Feminists, Gabby. They rightly view abortion as a tool of the patriarchy. It’s a different and refreshing take that I’ve appreciated. They’re not so much interested in restricting abortion, but they are committed to making it unnecessary by advocating for women and getting women the support they need. They also get into the intersectionality of abortion and how it disproportionately affects women of color.

  14. “While we’re here, let’s talk a bit more about pleasure and biology. Did you know that 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.”

    Actually precum has sperm in it so am man can get a woman pregnant without orgasm!

  15. No, I just can’t agree. Not all men are like those fighting against birth control. Men are not evil beings forcing us to have sex…well, some are, but if we’re saying YES to sex, this is part of the consequence. There is zero way I’m ever going to be comfortable with saying they are 100% at fault if I consent.

    I don’t like condoms. There, I said it. That “j” word is vile and I won’t utter it, but I’d rather that than the chemicals on condoms, too, and they are not 100% effective, especially if you are sensitive to certain types of latex and materials.

    It’s not all about me, either. Why can’t he enjoy it as much as I can? The point of sex is being missed here: for both to enjoy it fully.

    Poor young men today are growing up in the shadow of mistakes many older men have made. I’m not raising my boys to take on the weight of the world. They know that no means no, but if you don’t want to risk a pregnancy, you need to say no.

    I’m as anti-abortion as it gets. I think all birth control should be affordable, but it’s not mens’ fault that pills require a prescription. They *should*, because some cause bigger health issues. They aren’t necessarily cheap either.

    The only way to prevent pregnancy is to say no. That’s up to a female, too.

    1. Wait. What? So you’re planning to teach your boys that it’s fine for them to have unprotected sex if they don’t like condoms as long as their partner agrees/doesn’t say no? (Obviously assuming they aren’t trying to conceive.)

    2. After working in an HIV clinic for years and watching the countless number of women come in because their partner said they were in a monogamous relationship so they trusted them and were okay not using a condom only to discover they were now infected with a FATAL disease — I’m going to have to disagree with you.

    3. Lily Bee you are completely missing the point. Men are making the laws. Gabby used crude language to make her point more strongly. Men make laws about abortion and try to shut down planned parenthood; which provides sexual health services to women- not just abortions. Sure, your husband is a nice guy- so is mine, but it is still men rejecting their responsibility for reproduction overall.

      1. I think her point is that women are sometimes enablers. If I wanted my husband to wear a condom and he said no, and then I still had sex with him, would a resulting pregnancy my fault or his fault? Preventing pregnancy may be a more involved process for me as a woman, than it is for my husband as a man. Sure. But that doesn’t mean that I can demand that he be the one to deal with it to save me the negative aspects of it. If I don’t want to get pregnant, it’s still on me. I AM the one a pregnancy would impact more, so I’m the one who is more cognizant of preventing it. Is that unfair? I don’t know. I do know that in order to get men more involved in pregnancy prevention, I wouldn’t start with extremes. To do so would only be revenge for the (maybe) perceived slight of the same social treatment of women. Instead, women need to stand up, at the personal, individual level, and stop having sex if the guy doesn’t use a condom. It’s her right. If she doesnt exercise her rights, then how is enfringing on his going to provide the solution? How can a woman feel good about that? Unless she is just man hating… And I think the next point will be the question of rape, right? Press charges. It’s your right to do so. Child support laws not good enough? Change them. Not enough women in positions of power? Get educated and work your way up in those career fields. The answer isnt to put the burden on men’s bodies by force. It’s to make the laws surrounding the issues better so that men have an actual reason to think about it in the first place because it has a tangible impact on him- whether that is not getting to have sex or having responsibilities pertaining to a pregnancy or his child. But I think my gender has a serious problem with actually being willing to do the work to make that happen. Even down to accepting that you can’t control a man’s decision to use a condom, but you can control your response. Even if it’s an uncomfortable feeling to do so. It’s not “nice.” Well, women wanted to have equality? Men have to assert themselves to each other all the time. If women want to be promiscuous, they can also be assertive. That is how you get men to wear a condom. Don’t have sex that puts you at risk. If you do it to yourself, how can you expect him to even know it’s not ok? I truly feel that many women want the rights without the responsibility.

        1. Ok so let’s say i refuse to have sex unless he uses a condom and he agrees. While in the throws of passion he decides to stealthily remove it. Now what? These are the kinds of things men are doing. Sure not all men. But there are enough men doing it and enough apologists for men who 2 of you sound like that it just makes me think as a gender were never going to be tested equal..

  16. Love it!!! Just one note, because it’s mentioned in the post and a few comments. Vasectomy is permanent birth control. It should not be considered reversible. Yes, you can try to reverse one, but it’s a more invasive procedure, you almost assuredly have to pay thousands of dollars out of pocket and it’s only about 50% effective. I know because my son was conceived after a vasectomy reversal.

    1. Hence the stored sperm. It seems a relatively small … inconvenience? I’m not even sure it’s inconvenient given what women endure. Vasectomies for all the boys!

      1. Do you hear yourself, Elizabeth? Vasectomies for all boys? Please think a little more before you post. As a mother of a young man that is insulting

  17. Absolutely perfect. If I may be so bold to add, a man’s recovery discomfort (some swelling and soreness) as a result of a vasectomy is on par with a woman’s recovery discomfort as a result of having an IUD put in place (some cramping and soreness). I know this because I had an IUD put in place after ten years of taking the pill (and having insanely painful side effects, like two-day-long migraine headaches every month when my estrogen levels dropped when taking the “dummy” pills, ten pounds of water retention, and semi-permanent changes in my vision [which changed back once I stopped taking the pill]). My husband then had a vasectomy after my body rejected my IUD after twelve months, literally expelling the IUD from my body (which was exactly as awful as it sounds).

    After having a vasectomy, my husband actually apologized to me for not having it done years before. He was shamefully aware of the 24 hours of discomfort he felt, versus the decade-plus of discomfort I felt.

  18. This made me lol so hard: “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.”
    In theory maybe…

    But honestly, great post!

  19. Fuck yes. Aaaaaaalllll of this. I want to send this to all the men I know and right wing conservatives who want to ban abortions.

  20. Jennifer Pickerill

    You my friend are amazing. Please keep writing and sharing. You brought to the forefront what is in the recesses of every woman’s mind. Why hasn’t this ever been said before?? It’s so plainly true.

  21. I’ve been thinking along these lines for last little bit, if men even experienced half the consequences, including the ones you’ve mentioned and shame and poverty that a lot of unintended pregnancies cause for women, abortion wouldn’t be an issue! Because men wouldn’t get women pregnant!

  22. If Jonathan Swift tweeted a Modest Proposal I bet there would be a lot of people saying “Amazing! and I totally agree!” in the comments.

    1. I’m glad I’m not the only one to jump to A Modest Proposal on this! Gabby, you are the Jonathon Swift of abortion. I’m just thinking of what an amazing high school class discussion would be pairing up the two pieces.

        1. I really like the piece. I think that parts of it are satirical or at the very least meant to be shocking more than logical solutions. For example, I don’t really believe she wants to sterilize all men, but is instead drawing a correlation between exercising control over men’s bodies like we do over women’s.

          However, I think some of the people in the comments are too exuberantly cheering for the sterilization and the castration like they are real solutions. Like people reading Swift’s essay and saying “Yeah! We really should eat babies!”

          Unless I am wrong and she is seriously launching a campaign to legalize male sterilization and castration, in which case… no?

          1. Kirk, one thing to remember is that the comments you’re reading here are written mostly by woman who are also mothers. They are mothers of both daughters and sons. Some young. Some grown. And they love all their children. And they’re going to do anything they can to prevent harmful things from happening to any of their children (boys or girls, young or old).

          2. Kirk – my sweet baby who I raised to use protection and be a strong woman came crying to me last month because “something’s wrong” and she blamed herself for it.

            She’s 20. Her boyfriend was already hundreds of miles away at school, so I got to take my child to Planned Parenthood and comfort her later when she’d taken her pills and was no longer pregnant.

            It turns out that he’d talked her into ditching the condoms at the beginning of summer because he liked sex better without them. However, he was furious that she wanted to have an abortion and broke up with her after she insisted that it was the best option for her – he also called her some really foul things, the least offensive of which is that she was a hell bound murderer.

            No, I don’t think that men should all be castrated or given mandatory vasectomies at puberty, but I do think that we’ve put the load of preventing and dealing with pregnancy on the shoulders of women for far too long and it frequently maims us in either body or spirit. This essay/twitter thread is an invaluable opportunity for us to open that conversation up, yes, but it’s also an invaluable time for women to vent some steam over an injustice that is deeply and emotionally personal for a lot of us.

  23. I know this is not the point of the article, but as a nurse on a college campus, I have to educate girls all the time that using the withdraw method is not a good form of birth control at all. (Even the Planned Parenthood article that is linked says that ~1 in 5 will get pregnant in a year.) 😬 It is sad because a lot of girls we treat for STDs say that they didn’t use a condom because their partner doesn’t like them.

  24. This is AMAZING. Thank you, Gabby. Wow. You have articulated thirty years of my own rage and helped me see the internalized sexism that prevented me from recognizing these TRUE FACTS.

  25. Thank you!! I am in tears and have chills at the same time. I have been crafting a letter this week in response to a letter written to my local newspaper about abortion. I keep stumbling about for words to convey with clarity my thoughts while not minimizing my disgust at the mistrust of women that this fight to keep abortion legal requires.

    Thank you again!

  26. Good essay. The repercussions of lessening the pain to an intimate partner assumes too much in many hookup situations. I think there is a lot of self pleasure seeking and complete disregard to anything but the self. I honestly think the hookup man would not care one bit. The hookup woman wants to find love, attention, excitement, etc. Abortion is a sad sad outcome, but the onus is still on women and their choices. I’m glad I’ve never come close to having to make such a tough decision. =abortion

    1. By hook up woman do you mean who are in committed, married relationships who are divorced and the father of THEIR children never pays child support and the court can’t be bothered to hold them accountable? Do you mean the women who are in committed relationships whose partners remove their condoms without telling them? Do you mean the women raped?
      The onus doesn’t have to be on women. Laws change all the time – that vasectomy can be done at about the same age as when girls first start dealing with periods – hey, i’m Even willing to lobby to have it covered by insurance!

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