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Birth control is generally ineffective

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  • Birth control is generally ineffective

    Some of you will remember my one and only abortion thread before the crash, "Two out of three ain't good," referring to "safe, legal, and rare," with an emphasis on the failure of the last of these. This thread is a resurrection and continuation of that thread. This thread is open to all who can agree to the following premise:
    Cutting the abortion rate in half is worthwhile even if abortion cannot be eliminated.

    This is a "half-way" point that can bring both pro-choice and pro-life people together, and that is the intent. Many of us have strong opinions on this issue. I'm interested in a discussion based on more than opinion here. I'm looking at the goal of cutting the abortion rate in half, by the numbers. What is feasible: socially, politically, and with respect to religious sensitivities. What is the low-hanging fruit, and how much impact could it have.

    The most determinative factor in the abortion rate is the use of birth control. As I recall from Guttmacher statistics — and I'd be interested to know if a more reliable source has become active — most unwanted pregnancies occur among those who are not using birth control, about half the population which is sexually active. Reducing the size of this population would clearly reduce the abortion rate.

    But there are still substantial unwanted pregnancies from the other half of the sexually active population, those who are using birth control. This has been linked to imperfect use, preventing birth control methods from achieving their theoretical effectiveness. This can now be examined in depth, and with an added feature, looking at the effectiveness over time as the yearly failure rates compound.

    The following interactive feature accompanies the opinion piece, Beyond Marriage:

    Other than copper and levonorgestrel IUDs, none of these birth control methods is especially effective in practice. For example, over five years the pill is 98 percent effective theoretically, but in practice, that number is 62 percent. Over 10 years those figures are 97 and 39, respectively. Using the pill correctly could halve the abortion rate in this population — assuming that the abortion rate is proportional to the number of unwanted pregnancies and the number of unwanted pregnancies is proportional to the pregnancy rate. Again, however, the clear advantage goes to increasing the size of the population using the more effective methods.

    Both of the above interventions would create a measurable reduction in the abortion rate, and could be addressed by more comprehensive sex education and improved access to family planning services.

    What else?



    Back in the early days of bulletin boards, it was common to mark posting milestones with a memorable post. This is my 1000th post on the resurrected TWeb, and it seemed fitting to celebrate that resurrection with a resurrection of my own.

    As ever, Jesse

  • #2
    Congrats on the 1000th post!


    At the risk of sounding contentious - and I'm not intending to be - outlaw the thing. It's within legal and political feasibility now. From a pro-life standpoint, I think the time to even consider a sidetrack onto reduction as an emphasis is past. It's getting to the tipping point (if it isn't already past) where anti-abortionists will possibly favor it (reductions) but that is a tactic to forestall the legal shift and to derail pro-life activism.

    Tie penalties to funding and once outlawed you have instant rarity.

    "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose." - Jim Elliot


    "Forgiveness is the way of love." Gary Chapman

    My Personal Blog

    My Novella blog (Current Novella Begins on 7/25/14)

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by lao tzu View Post
      Back in the early days of bulletin boards, it was common to mark posting milestones with a memorable post. This is my 1000th post on the resurrected TWeb, and it seemed fitting to celebrate that resurrection with a resurrection of my own.

      As ever, Jesse
      Congratulations, Jesse, on your 1000th post! Perhaps I'll even take time to read what you said!
      "Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?”

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Teallaura View Post
        Congrats on the 1000th post!


        At the risk of sounding contentious - and I'm not intending to be - outlaw the thing. It's within legal and political feasibility now. From a pro-life standpoint, I think the time to even consider a sidetrack onto reduction as an emphasis is past. It's getting to the tipping point (if it isn't already past) where anti-abortionists will possibly favor it (reductions) but that is a tactic to forestall the legal shift and to derail pro-life activism.

        Tie penalties to funding and once outlawed you have instant rarity.
        From the "abortion is murder" (a subset of the pro-life) standpoint, is this not arguing that we should decline to reduce the number of legal murders now, even though such reduction is feasible, in order to make it possibly more feasible down the line to eliminate these murders altogether?

        If abortion is not going to be outlawed in the next five to ten years (and no one seriously believes it will be), why not at least reduce the number of abortions by providing the best possible contraceptives for at most a nominal fee for all women?

        —Sam
        "I wonder about the trees. / Why do we wish to bear / Forever the noise of these / More than another noise / So close to our dwelling place?" — Robert Frost, "The Sound of Trees"

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Sam View Post
          From the "abortion is murder" (a subset of the pro-life) standpoint, is this not arguing that we should decline to reduce the number of legal murders now, even though such reduction is feasible, in order to make it possibly more feasible down the line to eliminate these murders altogether?

          If abortion is not going to be outlawed in the next five to ten years (and no one seriously believes it will be), why not at least reduce the number of abortions by providing the best possible contraceptives for at most a nominal fee for all women?

          —Sam
          Actually, I think abortion probably has less than ten years to survive as a legality. And I think the opposition's best move is to sidetrack the pro-life movement with reductions as bait. You forget that pro-life proponents have been doing 'reduction' activity for years - supporting mothers through birth to keep or give up their child, promoting abstinence and even condom/BC usage (depends on the group). Why spend time working toward what you're already doing when it will more likely sidetrack your actual goal? No, that's not good strategy at all.

          "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose." - Jim Elliot


          "Forgiveness is the way of love." Gary Chapman

          My Personal Blog

          My Novella blog (Current Novella Begins on 7/25/14)

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Teallaura View Post
            Actually, I think abortion probably has less than ten years to survive as a legality. And I think the opposition's best move is to sidetrack the pro-life movement with reductions as bait. You forget that pro-life proponents have been doing 'reduction' activity for years - supporting mothers through birth to keep or give up their child, promoting abstinence and even condom/BC usage (depends on the group). Why spend time working toward what you're already doing when it will more likely sidetrack your actual goal? No, that's not good strategy at all.
            Unless your strategy results in many unnecessary terminations or, as the abortion-is-murder position states, murders, right?

            I personally can't see anything in America right now indicating a ten-year limit on legal abortion. It strikes me as very far-fetched from both a legal and political perspective. Assuming that premise, would it not be the wise and moral choice to advocate effective contraception?
            "I wonder about the trees. / Why do we wish to bear / Forever the noise of these / More than another noise / So close to our dwelling place?" — Robert Frost, "The Sound of Trees"

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Sam View Post
              Unless your strategy results in many unnecessary terminations or, as the abortion-is-murder position states, murders, right?

              I personally can't see anything in America right now indicating a ten-year limit on legal abortion. It strikes me as very far-fetched from both a legal and political perspective. Assuming that premise, would it not be the wise and moral choice to advocate effective contraception?
              An abortefacent is an abortefacent - so it very much depends on what you are referring to as contraception. As an effective political strategy, it's crap. As a reduction strategy is counter productive - BC is a causative factor in abortion prevalence in the first place - doing more of the same and expecting a different result is just stupid.

              Do the things that reduce abortion - that's already in action - but DON'T refocus effort off of the real goal, elimination.

              "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose." - Jim Elliot


              "Forgiveness is the way of love." Gary Chapman

              My Personal Blog

              My Novella blog (Current Novella Begins on 7/25/14)

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Teallaura View Post
                Congrats on the 1000th post!


                At the risk of sounding contentious - and I'm not intending to be - outlaw the thing. It's within legal and political feasibility now. From a pro-life standpoint, I think the time to even consider a sidetrack onto reduction as an emphasis is past. It's getting to the tipping point (if it isn't already past) where anti-abortionists will possibly favor it (reductions) but that is a tactic to forestall the legal shift and to derail pro-life activism.

                Tie penalties to funding and once outlawed you have instant rarity.
                Please don't be concerned with appearing contentious. I value your opinion.

                But I agree with Sam that outlawing abortion is not politically feasible. I believe that would require a change in public opinion that is not in evidence, and doesn't seem likely to occur any time soon. That's just for the legislative branch. There is still the judicial branch to consider.

                Admittedly, there are also issues with "more comprehensive sex education and improved access to family planning services." Those issues include religious sensitivities.

                Originally posted by Sam View Post
                From the "abortion is murder" (a subset of the pro-life) standpoint, is this not arguing that we should decline to reduce the number of legal murders now, even though such reduction is feasible, in order to make it possibly more feasible down the line to eliminate these murders altogether?
                "Abortion is murder" is a very powerful argument for those who accept it. Its weakness lies in the lack of general acceptance of the principle, and, of course, the lack of legal recognition of abortion as equivalent to homicide.

                If abortion is not going to be outlawed in the next five to ten years (and no one seriously believes it will be), why not at least reduce the number of abortions by providing the best possible contraceptives for at most a nominal fee for all women?

                —Sam
                There is presently a sizable population opposed to the inclusion of contraception in their health care plans. Unfortunately, this has included inverted cost arguments suggesting the price of including the coverage would be more, rather than less, as is clear under the assumption that circum-pregnancy services currently provided continue to enjoy broad-based support. Birth control has always been cheaper than birth itself.

                Aside from this argument, there remain concerns validated by the Supreme Court for those who are religiously opposed to some contraceptive use. The official position of the Catholic church, though notably different than that of individual Catholics, has been quite consistent, and far more complete in its rejection.

                But this shouldn't just be about birth control. There are other means to reduce the abortion rate suggested by participants last time. Let's see where this goes.

                As ever, Jesse

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Teallaura View Post
                  An abortefacent is an abortefacent - so it very much depends on what you are referring to as contraception. As an effective political strategy, it's crap. As a reduction strategy is counter productive - BC is a causative factor in abortion prevalence in the first place - doing more of the same and expecting a different result is just stupid.

                  Do the things that reduce abortion - that's already in action - but DON'T refocus effort off of the real goal, elimination.
                  Isn't that Jesse's point, though? "Do the things that reduce abortion even if you don't want to refocus effort from the goal of eliminating abortion." LARC methods of birth control — which we all agree is already used to reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies and therefore the number of abortions — are far more effective in reduction than other contraceptive methods. As such, why should pro-life advocates not support increased use of LARCs if it will result in fewer abortions per year?

                  —Sam
                  "I wonder about the trees. / Why do we wish to bear / Forever the noise of these / More than another noise / So close to our dwelling place?" — Robert Frost, "The Sound of Trees"

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I do want to see the number of abortions reduced. And I think it should begin with changing the legality of where and how abortion services may be provided. I believe that it should be treated as a surgery and offered either outpatient or in patient only in women's clinics that are near hospitals. The only physicians that should be performing abortions are ob/gyn's who are competent. This would reduce the complications and certainly reduce the clinics that exist solely for the purpose of abortion. It would also make abortion a legitimate medical procedure and require the board of health to inspect every facility and people like Tiller and Gosnell's house of horrors would cease to exist. Limiting the length of time that abortive procedures are performed (such as through 16 weeks through 12 weeks 14 weeks etc...) would also reduce the amount along with limiting where and how.
                    More community access to birth control such as better locations for health departments, buslines, Rural area access, Mobile health department checks etc. This may also put a dent. Genuine Sex Education should be mandated in High School with parents able to opt in or opt out.
                    As for pro-life and the Right WING. Do make Alternatives available on an individual basis. Make them Widely Available. Point Unwed and Wed crisis pregnancies in the direction of human services, and give generously. Mom is being abused by the spouse? Help get her to a crisis center. Let her know that she can raise this child without the spouse's help. Give her the tools, point her to Catholic Charities, Offer to give her a ride to the human services so she can apply for Tanf, wic Joblink and Food Stamps. And don't berate DHHS for doing what you can't. Pray with her and help her feed and clothe the baby. Also this is one area where we can and really do need to pull together as a community. And we need to throw off the lobby and forget Condemnation here. We really need to buckle down and talk to women in crisis and help them get out of crisis individually or as prolifers.
                    A happy family is but an earlier heaven.
                    George Bernard Shaw

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      We need to outlaw abortion (except in those very rare intances where the choice is between the life of the child or the life of the mother) and strictly enforce that law. The death penalty, I think, should the minimum punishment for any offenders.

                      The next step is reducing "unwanted" pregnancies. Which is to say that people want the sex but they don't want the consequences of their actions. What's the best way to change that mindset?
                      Last edited by Mountain Man; 02-16-2015, 08:57 AM.
                      Some may call me foolish, and some may call me odd
                      But I'd rather be a fool in the eyes of man
                      Than a fool in the eyes of God


                      From "Fools Gold" by Petra

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Teallaura View Post
                        Actually, I think abortion probably has less than ten years to survive as a legality. And I think the opposition's best move is to sidetrack the pro-life movement with reductions as bait. You forget that pro-life proponents have been doing 'reduction' activity for years - supporting mothers through birth to keep or give up their child, promoting abstinence and even condom/BC usage (depends on the group). Why spend time working toward what you're already doing when it will more likely sidetrack your actual goal? No, that's not good strategy at all.
                        Over 50-million children have been brutally but legally slaughtered since Roe vs. Wade. May God have mercy on us. It is long past the time for half-measures.
                        Some may call me foolish, and some may call me odd
                        But I'd rather be a fool in the eyes of man
                        Than a fool in the eyes of God


                        From "Fools Gold" by Petra

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Teallaura View Post
                          Actually, I think abortion probably has less than ten years to survive as a legality.
                          What in the world do you base this on? Any particular legal and/or political decision or events?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Mountain Man View Post
                            Over 50-million children have been brutally but legally slaughtered since Roe vs. Wade. May God have mercy on us. It is long past the time for half-measures.
                            Thank you for your contribution, MM.

                            Please respect the focus of this thread as specified in the OP:

                            Originally posted by lao tzu View Post
                            This thread is open to all who can agree to the following premise:
                            Cutting the abortion rate in half is worthwhile even if abortion cannot be eliminated.
                            Conversely, those who cannot accept this premise are respectfully invited to share their views in another thread.
                            Last edited by Juvenal; 02-16-2015, 10:35 AM.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Kristian Joensen View Post
                              What in the world do you base this on? Any particular legal and/or political decision or events?
                              Thank you for your input.

                              I would like to remind all participants that this topic is inherently emotionally charged. In this thread, I welcome all attempts to look beyond our disagreements in support of what I believe can be a mutual goal for both sides of the abortion debate.

                              Comment

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