When Abortions Are Outlawed, Only Outlaws Will Perform Abortions


I have more to say about the Magical Battle for Britain as a template for our times, but, although I am likely preaching to the choir, I am going to say this.


And, again.

And I’ll keep saying it until either I die or this bullshit stops. (Moi, je prefere le second.)

When abortions are outlawed, only outlaws will perform abortion. (It’s what the Second Amendment advocates say about guns. It’s true about other things, as well. Odd, how the logic is so seldom extended.) And outlaws perform their abortions in back alleys and cheap hotel rooms. They don’t use anesthesia and they don’t wash their hands. They use coat hangers instead of surgical implements and, when things go south, they don’t call an ambulance, they scram so that they aren’t caught. If the woman (and fetus!) bleeds out and dies, well, too bad.

It’s not as if this is speculation or conjecture. We have actual, experiential data. Abortion WAS outlawed in many places in America until Roe v. Wade in the 1970s. And women STILL got abortions. They just got them from outlaws. Claiming that criminalizing abortion will stop abortion is, at this point, exactly like claiming that Prohibition will stop people from drinking. We KNOW that it won’t. We KNOW that it will have negative, undesirable consequences.

So if you’re still advocating for Prohibition today, you’re really not interested in preventing alcoholism. You’re interested in killing drinkers who imbibe unlicensed bath tub gin. You’re interested in the growth of the mafia and all the violence that they bring with them. You’re interested in teaching people not to respect the law. You’re interested in the rich still being able to drink safely while the middle class and the poor die, get jailed, get ripped off.

Ditto if you’re still advocating for criminalizing abortion today. You’re clearly not interested in preventing abortion. You’re interested in maiming and killing women who get abortions. You’re interested in the growth of the mafia and all the violence that they bring with them. You’re interested in teaching people not to respect the law. You’re interested in the rich still being able to get safe abortions (in Canada or via a “D&C” that their doctor, well compensated, certifies was necessary) while the middle class and the poor die.

We also have real, actual information about what things actually decrease abortion, in case anyone were actually interested in that. Education for girls. Real (not “abstinence”) sex education. Fact-based parenting education. Free, safe, effective birth control. Maternal and child medical care. Good day care. Good jobs for women. Societies that empower women so that they feel able to refuse to have sex with men who won’t wear condoms. Scandinavian countries, which do these things and generally have rather lax abortion laws, have low rates of abortion. Catholic countries in Central and South America, which don’t do these things and have very stringent abortion laws, have higher rates of abortion.

So, those of you advocating for criminalization of abortion, don’t tell me how much you love the “babies” and want to prevent abortions. You’re a lying sack of shit.

And, let’s be honest. If anyone really wanted to decrease abortion, they’d put real teeth (laws, cops, social workers, judges, etc.) behind the statutes that purport to make men pay child support. At least some of the one-in-three American women who have abortions today wouldn’t have an abortion if they knew that they’d get real, financial support for that child. But, today, in America, those laws are jokes.

We can use genetic testing to assure that we’ve found the actual father and then we can make him pay complete, adequate child support, through college, including supporting the mother if she wants to quit working outside the home and stay home to be a full-time mother. After all, it will ensure the greater-good of reducing abortions. If he doesn’t have a job that pays enough, we can give him the enforced “opportunity” to earn extra money evenings and weekends building bridges, repairing water mains, painting school rooms. If he has too many children, we can “assist” him by providing “enforced” sterilization, which will decrease unplanned pregnancies and, as a result, abortion. Funny how enforced pregnancy and childbirth is OK, but it would be a huge violation of civil rights to forcibly sterilize a man who simply won’t wear a condom.

If some of the men standing up in Congress today bitching about abortion had to make those payments, I guaran-damn-tee you we’d hear them singing a different song. Because, of course, as Florence Kennedy said, if men got pregnant, abortion would be a sacrament.

Patriarchy, we’re soaking in it.

Picture found here.


12 responses to “When Abortions Are Outlawed, Only Outlaws Will Perform Abortions

  1. Where is Byron’s PATRIARCHY! stamp when we need it?

    I might also add that those who purport to “love the babies” so much don’t want anything to do with raising them, once they are born. Oh, no–that’s not their problem, or society’s. Leave that to the one who “opened her legs and got knocked up.”

    Don’t even get me started.

    I loved this post. Thank you, brilliant Hecate, as always.

  2. Word for word, agreed. (quibble: FlorYnce Kennedy). But I wish you–and we all–would start driving through that fake tunnel entrance that these anti-PP paint on the mountainside by their claims that they are out to “save the babies” and the infamous lie that they are “pro-life.” They are anti-sex, anti-female autonomy, pro patriarchy first last and everything. Sex is SIN, sex is DIRTY, sex must be PUNISHED if it can’t be prevented, by shaming and guilt and disease and pregnancy as a complete burden and ruination of life.
    Anything that promotes sex in any way, like the good sex education and easy access to good birth control and even the carved in stone absolute mandatory child support thing…bah, and humbug, and la la la I can’t HEAR you. Of course they have no interest in that because it would just be enabling MORE SEX. And sex because the WOMAN wanted it, even if it was to have a child, because it would be her decision and not the man’s, and we can’t have THAT now can we missy?
    The history of medicine is interesting. The 19th century saw the showdown between medicine based on botany (as we know, taught and recorded and researched and administered primarily by women) and that based on chemistry. Oh yeah, ALL male on that side pretty much. And we know how that war turned out. Of course we need to fight until we win again on the legal and Official Medical side of things. But we need to go back and look at the botanical options that our foremothers knew and used for centuries. The research to get scientific studies done will probably have to be in Europe given the mania here. But we need to take control of this and no longer live under somebody else gatekeeping the access to the medicine we need.

  3. Dear Green Man, I hope Byron’s PATRIARCHY stamp is all over this. Everything that you say is true.

  4. Michael U. J. Wombat, MD, JD, AM&FM

    Found my way here: hello, well met; may fond memories
    1. Absolutely 100% correct.
    2. With this reservation: the rich will be taking those well timed trips to Europe and Mexico, or getting their ‘therapeutic D&C’s’ for ‘dysmenorrhoea’. True before Roe v Wade. It’ll be true again.
    3. I think before a man (sic) can purchase a gun, he should be required to wait 24 hrs. Be shown pictures of victims of gun violence. Receive counseling. Get a transrectal prostatic ultrasound. Walk into a gun shop through a 20 ft police-enforced corridor, with ‘spiritual advisers’ on either side holding up pictures of dead kids from Sandy Hook, offering ‘another way’. The gun shop owner’s name and home address posted on a gun hater’s web site. His shop required to have the same security measures, vaults, etc. as a bank. Like that. After all, public safety and all. And, like a woman in her first trimester, he’d still be able to exercise his constitutional rights.
    4. Your candidate still doesn’t suck. Been here, done dis. Gotcher back.
    If hopes were dupes, fears may be liars:
    It may be, in yon smoke conceal’d
    Your comrades e’en now chase the fliers,
    And, but for you, possess the field.
    –Arthur Hugh Clough, from ‘Say Not The Struggle Naught Availeth’

  5. Michael U. J. Wombat, MD, JD, AM&FM

    Oh, yeah, and just one more thing: anyone who hasn’t taken care of a young woman dying of a septic abortion, in septic shock, disseminated intravascular coagulation, in an ICU, really hasn’t the slightest fucking idea. Not. The. Slightest. Fucking. Idea. Pro choice. Anti coat hanger. Never again. God damn it.

  6. I really love the premise and the arguments in this article and I really wanted to share it. However, because of the very aggressive and accusatory tone of the article, I feel like it would spark so much defensiveness in anyone who is “pro-life” that they will immediately go into an emotional defensive place and completely miss the very logical and very very sound logic of this article. I completely understand your anger at the situation, it’s a very valid response. It’s very difficult though, to actually change people’s minds when they have reason to feel we are attacking them.

  7. Rose, Because speaking nicely has worked so well for us, hasn’t it? Please don’t bother policing my tone; I’m done with respectability politics.

  8. “It’s very difficult though, to actually change people’s minds when they have reason to feel we are attacking them.”
    I agree with Hecate and the other commenters. Enough is enough.
    If men had babies, there would be clinics available on every street corner in America.

  9. OMG…thanks for “posting” this. I am so weary of all the BS flooding the airways concerning our rights as women. I will sleep so much better tonight after reading this. I’ve felt so alone. Again, thanks!

  10. Reblogged this on Mysa and commented:
    Hell yeah!

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