Why not turn off the hose?

Abortion bills are creating Mount Vesuvius eruptions across the USA. Recently, states like Virginia introduced extremely liberal legislation allowing late third term abortions. At the same time conservative states like Alabama just approved the most regressive bill in the country creating almost no access to abortion at all. Loud, passionate protesters advocate for both extremes and the impasse between them sometimes seems insurmountable.

One thing both sides can likely agree on, is that no one should create babies they are not ready, willing and able to raise. This is especially true for teenagers. I wonder what would happen if everyone joined forces across North America, and put all their efforts into prevention of the need for abortions.

Compare the abortion issue to problems with excessive water running onto housing lots. What if pro-choicers stopped running for more buckets, stopped demanding more towels, mops and sandbags, stopped yelling and screaming that the water is gushing out of hoses, drowning plants, ruining foundations and that taxpayers need to fund increased soaking up resources? What if we called the Pro-Lifers on the unfairness to women to ban the use of water for their property completely when it is sadly but clearly needed in some circumstances. Why if both groups supported teaching everyone how to turn off the hoses causing the water damage from the get go?

All kinds of research is out there confirming the increased sexualization of North American culture. Movies, soap operas, music, television and books reflect it in case you were unaware. On an average day, one can turn on the family tube, as I did last winter, and see a discussion of sado masochism on a morning talk show, naked adulterers in bed in an afternoon soap, lesbian teenagers going down in their dance studio on a teen show about high school social problems, and at night a provocative pop singer in a dress cut to the waist, cut up to a thong, singing about lust and sexual activity in the most controversial language one can imagine, just for example. Check out a recent hyperbolic comedy movie from Britain called ‘Sex Education’ if you need more proof.

Teens are doing it guys! The Toronto Teen Survey Report by Planned Parenthood found that 65% of 18 year olds were non virgins. The average age for teens to become non virgins is 17. Accurate teen pregnancy rates are difficult to determine due to data collection problems. Stats Canada reports teen pregnancy rates in 1997 at roughly 50 per 1000. Since 1974 live births have declined but abortions have increased. Since 2013 teen pregnancy has been rising.

Why not use the research available, the science we know and teach every fertile person how to prevent an unplanned pregnancy in the first place? Why not save a woman the heart wrenching decisions she must face when she discovers that unplanned pregnancy. The options of parenting, adoption or abortion are all difficult. Not one of them is easy. Each one can have long term life altering repercussions for females.

The international research is definitive. Most unplanned pregnancies occur because of failed birth control, incorrect usage of that birth control, or failure to use birth control at all. The reduction of pregnancy rates is directly related to easy, free, confidential, timely, non judgemental access to artificial birth control, particularly long acting forms of reversible ones. In a USA study, this approach decreased rates of teen pregnancy by 80% and the rate of abortion by 75%.’ Abstinence only’ education does not cut it, and is an ideal for those who approach sainthood, not flawed mortal loving couples with ordinary self control around a normal pleasurable activity hard wired into the human species by Mother Nature herself.

It would unite all responsible adults and eliminate many social problems in our culture if we could reduce the need for abortions. Why do we not implement a potent telescoped strategy to provide our young and all sexually active persons with free, confidential, non judgemental, timely, easy access to birth control? Why do we not ensure that every fertile citizen knows he or she must be totally responsible to get it, and use it? Otherwise an individual should refrain from intercouse, if he or she is not ready, willing and able to have a baby and take on that wonderful, privileged lifetime role of a mom or dad.

No one should be denied access to this salient information. It should be available in every Ontario school, every health clinic, every public washroom, every doctor’s office, every pharmacy, every community centre, every place of worship, every transportation station and everywhere fertile people go. Free condoms beside the toilet paper rolls everywhere, perhaps. Whatever it takes to make it happen!

Abortion is not a pretty experience for women. Why not reduce the need for it? Why not teach everyone how to turn off the hose?