Why aren’t adults trusted to make their own decisions about their bodies?

“What sort of woman was likely to take advantage of Roe vs Wade? Very often she was unmarried or in her teens or poor, and sometimes all three. What sort of future might her child have had? One study has shown the typical child who went unborn in the earliest years of legalized abortion would have been 50 percent more likely to grow up with just one parent. These two factors – childhood poverty and a single-parent household – are among the strongest predictors that a child will have a criminal future.” –Freakonomics

I just wanted to share that because I find it incredibly interesting, not least of which because most people are not aware of this. What it’s saying in this chapter is that the legalization of abortion was behind the crime drop of the 1990s, and it’s a great argument for those who are pro-choice. But really it doesn’t matter to my argument here, I just thought it was interesting. The truth about abortion, which I wish most people knew, is that just because a person is pro-choice does not mean they are pro-abortion. It doesn’t mean they’re the least bit comfortable with it. It’s a horrible and devastating decision to have to make. But people are pro-choice not because they believe it is a good choice, but the better choice between two terrible outcomes in a terrible situation. And the above quote is just one example of why it might be seen that way.

So we can ALL agree that abortion sucks, whether or not we can all agree it’s necessary. What’s the best way to avoid abortion? Birth control! Yet for many adults, especially women, the option of permanent birth control is out of reach. They’re old enough to drive, drink, vote, buy a gun, and everything else, but are consistently denied permanent birth control because they are “too young” and not trusted to make their own choices in this matter. Funny how teenagers are not told they are too young to go ahead and have their babies if they choose to do so. How exactly does this make sense? Sure people might frown upon them for having babies, but nobody is taking the option away from them, even if it means the child will grow up in poverty, in a single-parent household, or even abused. For childfree people however, the option of permanent birth control is often outright denied. This is absurd and seriously needs to change. It’s insulting, and potentially harmful.

The biggest thing that I wish people knew is that a person does not just jump into the decision not to have kids. It’s something that’s thought through very seriously for many years. It is therefor the height of insult for a person to say “you’ll change your mind,” as if you chose it like you chose the paint color for your walls. No, most people have known they didn’t want kids since they were kids themselves, and have continued to explore this decision into adulthood. It’s this thought process that makes us so confused when it comes to parents and the decisions they make, because they’re the ones who often suddenly find themselves pregnant, or have kids just because it’s expected of them and it’s in the life script. It’s incredibly backwards then when people who want to be responsible and put a TON of thought into their decision are denied permanent birth control, while it’s acceptable enough for almost anyone to have a baby even if it will surely prove harmful to both parent and child.

Look, we’re grownups. We’re not likely to go through ANY surgery or life-altering procedure without putting a lot of thought into it, unless we’re total idiots, in which case we shouldn’t be parents anyway. Besides it’s our right to do anything legal that we choose to do to our bodies, and sterilization, though frowned upon by some, is legal. It also happens to be a very intelligent decision for many of us. This is our call. I think we deserve a little respect.

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