Thursday, July 01, 2010

Abortions vs. Live Births

In a column in today's New York Post, John Wilson notes that today is the 40th anniversary of abortion becoming broadly legal in New York State.

I was startled by this graph:

According to the city Health Department, 2008 saw 89,469 abortions performed in New York City -- seven for every 10 live births. Among black women, abortions out number live births by three to two.

These rates are shameful. We as a society must do more to help women with unexpected pregnancies. We must find a better way.

I am especially stunned at the number abortions among African-American women. More than half of a generation is gone.

Where is the outrage?

Update: These statistics are from page 41 of this report.


Fran said...

This makes me weep. There is so much work to be done here... so much.p

claire said...

Is contraception available? Is sex education available?

Are they used as sex objects?

Do we know about rate of domestic violence, sexual abuse, incest (a la 'Precious')?

Are men and boys taught sexual responsibility?

Kim Luisi said...

The problem isn't contraception or it's availability or what men are taught, etc.
The problem is the failure of humanity to treat others and ourselves as fully human deserving of protections.

While contraception might prevent pregnancy, and therefore de facto reduce abortion, the use of it does not teach anyone that each person is worthy of protection. In fact, the use of contraception leads to the objection of people as mere objects of sexual pleasure.

claire said...

Do you really think, Kim, that women are not often seen as sex objects, contraception or not?

Look how so many times men will refuse to use condoms, even though there is a sure possibility of their passing their HIV to their sexual partners? This happens so often.

Not teaching sexual education, not offering contraception to youngsters because one thinks that this way they will not have sexual intercourse, is a dangerous course of action. Or so it seems to me.

But I absolutely do agree with you that men and women need to be treated to respect and consideration.

However, if you look at many movies and TV shows, you will see horrifying sexual violence...

I dream of an honest discussion of what is involved in the sexual act, the consequences.

One sees a lot of teen pregnancies because parents thought that if they did not talk to their children of what sex and sexuality are (maybe they don't know themselves), their daughters will stay safely at home.

My gosh, sex is everywhere around us! Sexuality explodes at puberty and most youngsters don't know how to deal with it...

This is why I think we need to come up with a multi-pronged approach to unwanted pregnancies...

Kim Luisi said...


Of course men often see women as sex objects. And often enough in this country, women make themselves sex objects. Not only is that voluntary, but they have the backing of the modern feminist movement who see such pornography as a means for women to be "independent."

If men who are HIV infected are having sex with women unprotected, we also have to remember that the women who KNOW these men are having HIV are having sex voluntarily with them (excepting of course in case of rape).

Children need to be taught about sex, but they do not need to be taught about it in schools. That is the responsibility of parents, with the help of the community, if needed.

Also, we can't say that we need more sex education in the schools because we need to face facts: children have more knowledge about sex and it's ramifications than we did twenty years ago. And yet they are still becoming parents at an early age.

Contraception is off the table for me. It objectifies both people involved because sex then becomes more about self-seeking pleasure. It reduces the true meaning of the unitive aspect of sex and nearly completely removes the procreative aspect of it. So, the act of sex itself is reduced from it's full meaning.

claire said...

Ah, Kim, I respect your opinion and differ diametrically from it. I am a feminist, and I can assure you that I do not endorse any sort of pornography, that the fact that young girls and women are used as sex objects enrage me. That you would think that a feminist support this sort of things saddens me no end.

I support contraception because I see it as a way of helping people become responsible when it comes to having sex. Sex is unitive yes, and it is the most beautiful experience of sex. But how often is it unitive? Even in the life of spouses?

Anyway, thank you for sharing here your thoughts on this.


Kim Luisi said...


Unfortunately, that feminism supports pornography isn't merely my opinion. This wikipedia link shows some supporters of it:

Women who participate in pornography of their own free will are doing not because they are victims of sexism. They are doing it because they believe it is a form of liberation.

Pornogrpahy doesn't simply reduce women to mere sex objects. It also reduces men to such. And both men and women are willing participants; both are willing to reduce themselves as nothing more than vehicles for pleasure.

So, women are not "used" in the sense that we normally understand it: they are doing this of their own free-will; they are not victims of sexism.

As to contraception--it doesn't make people responsible. In fact, it does the opposite. It removes the natural outcome of sex--procreation, and reduces it to mere pleasure. Thanks in large part to contraception we now have epidemics of "hooking up" in college and high school. Why? because along with a sexually permissive culture, we have widespread acceptance of contraception which removes the responsibility of having children.

claire said...

Thank you for your explanation, Kim. Our points of view seem irreconcilable. I am not interested in pornography and would like to see a decrease in abortion and unwanted pregnancies.

I believe that sex education and contraception would help. You don't.

We have nowhere else to go. Or so it looks to me.