Abortions are down, but what about the unapproved sex?

Mark Small at Civil Discourse Now has a post that discusses Colorado and its falling rates of teen pregnancy and abortion.

The numbers and rates of unplanned teen pregnancies and teen abortions have dropped over the past several years. Colorado’s numbers and rates have fallen at a quicker pace than other States. In 2008, Colorado was ranked as having the 29th lowest teen birth rate. By 2012, Colorado was 19th.

Part of Colorado’s success has been provision of free birth control, without necessity of parental consent, to teenagers. The Colorado Family Planning Initiative “has provided more than 30,000 intrauterine devices (IUDs) or implants at low or no cost to low-income women at 68 family planning clinics across Colorado since 2009. The decline in births among young women served by these agencies accounted for three-quarters of the overall decline in the Colorado teen birth rate.” That is a summary from the official website portal of Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper. At the same time, the “teen abortion rate dropped 35 percent from 2009 to 2012 in those counties served by the initiative.” Id.

The problem, so far as some apparently nontrivial number of abortion opponents are concerned (and Mark alludes to this), is that opposition to abortion is in some measure also a proxy for opposition to unapproved sex. “Consequence free sex” seems to be the phrase du jour. Children are a blessing, but they are also righteous punishment for failing to resist one’s sinful, base animal urges. Which is why abortion opponents will not find common ground with sex education advocates no matter how many studies show that better sex education and better access to birth control reduce abortions.

I haven’t quite decided – and I’m sure it varies from person to person – whether the resistance to birth control & sex education among abortion opponents is more of a “cut off your nose to spite your face” situation or more of a situation where penalizing sex is the underlying point of the pro-life exercise.


  1. Jay says

    We have a long history in this country, literally back to the founding of the Plymouth Colony in 1620, of puritanical/evangelist and later catholic religions which argued (and continue to argue) that sex is something that is reserved only for heterosexual marriage. I could go on at length about the history of semitic religions insisting on exercising rigid control of private behavior, but you get the point and I don’t want to write a book.

    That’s almost 400 years of a powerful and consistent “sex is wrong until you are married” ethos. That track record makes a strong case that penalizing sex out of wedlock is a fundamental point of the pro-life groups, most of which are supported by, linked to or directly part of the aforementioned religions or their theological descendents.

    • Steely Dan Fan says

      Can we please stop calling them “pro-life”? Abortion opponents are as anti-life as it gets: they have zero respect whatsoever for the sanctity of human life, as evidenced by the fact that they seek to degrade and demean it by putting it on a level equal with, if not beneath, that of a parasite.

      The pro-choice side is the only one that’s “pro-life” in any meaningful sense.

  2. Mary says

    I recall a neighbor who was the most christian woman she knew, and let everyone else know it as well, who remarked to me when I was donating hand-me-down baby clothes to a shelter for unwed teens who had been rejected by their families, “Why are you doing that, they made their beds, now let them lie in them.” By the way, karma of a sort did ensue.

    • Steely Dan Fan says

      Either she’s a Christian, or she said what you say she said. Pick one or the other, because the two are mutually exclusive.

  3. Freedom says

    “Children are a…righteous punishment for failing to resist one’s sinful, base animal urges.”

    Huh? Is this you or a quote?

    • says

      That’s what all the lamenting over “consequence free” sex is about. See a discussion here.

      If you have no objection to “consequence free” sex, then this characterization does not apply to you.

      • Freedom says

        Still don’t get who in your post was referring to children as a “righteous punishment.”

        Jessica deletes a lot of comments.

        That was one wackadoodle story you linked to. Sociology tells us that the more sexual partners a woman has, the less desirable she is to men as a life partner and the less deeply a man can fall in love with her. No guy wants to marry the slut who got passed around. No guy likes the thought of how another guy enjoyed banging his wife. No guy wants to worry about what his wife is doing after work or out of town.

        That writer is trying to invent a way for the slutty chick to fit in with the good girls. Sorry, honey. You’re not going to change human nature.

        Once a man clears his mid-20’s, the smart, funny, well read and self-respecting female who wasn’t the popularity queen in high school and college becomes the most attractive woman in the room.

        Republicans didn’t write this song:

        [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9NF5XU-k2Vk&w=420&h=315

        Nobody is telling a woman she can’t be a slut, and Hobby Lobby has nothing to do with controlling promiscuity. If a woman is promiscuous, she should understand her nature and take measures before it’s too late. Too late = conception. No employer should have to pay for murder. That’s really all Hobby Lobby says, and there’s really no honest disagreement with the ruling.

          • Freedom says


            Genesis 3:16 (KJV) Reads: “Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.”

            Pain during childbirth was the punishment.

          • Stuart says

            The problem with sex is that it isn’t just sex. It gets complicated real fast. The February 2013 Monitor (American Psych. Assn.) featured a review of the research on hook-ups/one night stands. It turns out they aren’t usually like the movies. Many of those folks are drunk, feel coerced, with regrets, etc. Follow that with the data on STDs, which in Indiana is an area where we tend to shine: Chlamydia is 453/100K; gonorrhea is 112.6/100K and is in the process of becoming resistant to antibiotics; syphillis is 3.4/100K, which is high but only 1/2 of the Illinois rate; and then you have the “other” nasties like genital warts, herpes and the rest: The gift that keeps on giving. Most experts agree that we are in the middle of an STD epidemic. And then women have the chance of giving birth to a kid when they have an STD which leads to a whole other can of worms. Add to that what it means to be a single parent, Those data are also unpleasant.

            But people don’t like data because it makes them uncomfortable, and points to decisions with which they disagree: abortions in the U.S. are 22 or 23/100K; in South America where safe abortion is prohibited, 30 to 50/100K; former communist block countries and SE Asia, 50 to 100/100K. But in Tunesia(!!), Belgium and Netherlands, where abortion on demand is available but they offer intensive family planning and contraceptives, 7/100K. So if people don’t like abortion, the data suggests that family planning and contraceptive investment can bring it down from 22 to 7/100K. If they don’t like people having sex, well good luck with that.

              • Stuart says

                Nongonococcal urethritis, trichomoniasis, and gonococcal urethritis were the most commonly reported STIs in SA. Even though the incidence of STIs in SA is limited, appropriate preventive strategies that conform to the Islamic rules and values are essential and should be of highest priority for policymakers because of the potential of such infections to spread particularly among the youth.

                For details, see http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-2334/6/3

        • Rob Bush says

          Of COURSE there’s honest disagreement with the ruling – the fact that the birth control methods which Hobby Lobby claimed are abortifacients (IUDs / Plan B / Ella) are, in fact, nothing of the sort. They act by preventing ovulation and fertilization, not by preventing implantation of fertilized eggs.

          So no employer would have been forced to pay for murder, thus rendering the justification for the ruling absolutely moot.

  4. TimmyR says

    So abortions and births are down, does that mean sex is down or is sex the same or higher because of the IUDs? If IUDs are working well, is it possible that this could cause more sex, and will that sex be necessarily safe, or just pregnancy free? I wonder what STD rates are, not just among teens but also in the group less likely to be married, say up to age 25, maybe 30. There will never, ever be anything close to consequence free sex, unless we find away to abort human emotions, HIV, and numerous other nasty biological consequences that revolve around sex, both protected and not. I know big pharma would love to find a cure all for all sex related illnesses, but I think the human biology is very complex and I’m not sure I would trust anything coming from a company whose ultimate goal is increased shareholder value and/or large bonuses for the executive team.

  5. says

    I see that the comments sections is going all out to support the second option of the final paragraph. Point made. That was what I always felt was the basis of the “pro-life” movement; it’s really the “anti-sex” and “anti-women’s rights” movement, and the mask has slipped all the way off.

  6. Carlito Brigante says

    I am just glad that owning 1600 tillabacres and about 391 on conservation reserve gives us the right to argue that only crop insurance should be availabe/ At market prices. should prolife conflict with Rounup prices.

    • Carlito Brigante says

      Perhaps. but Roundup Glysophate is likely a basic input that cannot be baked. out. However, it is a basic that is the bean field magic bullet, Stuart. Glysophate is the generally most doninant herbicide. But who knows, just a few people can change things up.

  7. Carlito Brigante says

    Sruart, i an shed a little light. Round up Ready beans are almost completey from glysophate, the central molocule. The case last summer was done and brought by a clever guy. He planted a second bean crop, and bought feed quality beans which would br 75% (by genetics.) and it cost cents per the bushel. The man figured out the game, worked it, and got rolled over by Monsanto.

  8. Stuart says

    That’s the one where the Indiana farmer got murdered by Monsanto because he re-planted their beans, right? That’s my problem with Monsanto and their GMO crops. Studies say that GMO has no different affects from non-GMO, but after Monsanto screws the farmer, he sure looks different.

    People don’t understand the impact that corn and beans have on everyone. They are everywhere in everything. As far as I’m concerned, they should label everything that’s GMO corn AND beans so people will begin to understand that you are surrounded by corn and beans, and without GMO there would be no corn and beans. I just don’t think it’s fair for Monsanto to benefit from every bushel of corn and beans.

  9. Carlito Brigante says

    Stuart, I do not belive the man was killed. I recall the case as a rudimentary case where the defendant was hoplessly not supported by the law.

  10. Stuart says

    Sorry. I didn’t mean that literally. I meant financially. And Monsanto was totally supported by the courts, but it’s still wrong.

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