Pro abortionists: Multiple abortions ok?

I have been wanting to have this conversation for a while, but didn’t feel like checking to make sure it has never been discussed before, recently, or something.

So, I am just going to go for it, because I am really curious.

If one believes that a woman has a right to abortion because a fetus is not a person, then it should make no difference how many abortions she has, right?

Because, I keep hearing women say, “I believe in abortion, but I don’t think it should be used for birth control.” Ok. Why not?

I have decided that if a woman wants to have an abortion, she should have that right as many times as she wants. I know anti-abortionists will disapprove, but why should pro-abortionists who believe the fetus is not a person disapprove?

a) It would show a pretty stunning lack of long-term vision. Though of course one could take precautions and still end up having multiple abortions, i’d tend to suspect that isn’t happening.

b) Just because a fetus may not be an issue morally, doesn’t make abortion a neutral procedure. A person who doesn’t feel a fetus cannot be terminated isn’t going to be sitting there smiling while the doctor does the work; it’s far from an enjoyable experience.

c) There are a limited amount of abortion providers. A person who elects to use abortion as a method of birth control ties up the system in a way that a person buying a contraceptives doesn’t.

d) On a more argumentative front, it makes us pro-choice types look bad. I may disagree that we actually are, but that doesn’t mean I don’t recognise that women having many abortions are not exactly looked upon nicely by the entire pro-life side. A person who chooses to use abortion as birth control can be picked up by the other side and used to stop the entire system.

That said, I of course agree that a person should be allowed to have as many abortions as they want. They should be capable of it. I just don’t think that electing to do so is at all a good decision; “legal but rare” as the old saying goes.

I think a woman should be able to have as many abortions as she wants.

That said, it is completely irresponsible to have numerous abortions when inexpensive and effective contraceptives are readily available. Abortion is still a major medical procedure and should not be taken lightly (from what I understand, RU-486 is quite safe and for the purposes of this discussion I am talking about surgical abortion). The risks are real and well known.

Hell, my doctor was reluctant to excise a cyst on my ass because it might get infected. I suspect that it is just that the HMO doesn’t want to pay for it.

Yeah, but infection is possible with every surgery, and many of those surgeries aren’t condemned. From cosmetic surgery to body piercing, people aren’t making moral judgements based on, “there may be complications”.

And if the woman doesn’t like the experience of laying there enduring an abortion, (although there are procedures that put the woman under) then that is her choice. She may decide ‘never again’ or she may decide, ‘I could do this once a year and not mind’. I am trying to figure out why some pro-choice women say, “I know a fetus is not a person, but she has had 5 abortions, and that is ridiculous!”

a) Yeah, but how? A woman may decide to take her chances with her boyfriend because she hates condoms and gets sick from pills and just can’t be bothered to fuss with sponges. How is that a ‘lack of long term vision’? She is actively deciding to just get an abortion if she needs one.

b) The multi-abortion woman would know that from her first abortion, it is not a fun day at the beach. That is her decision if she wants to endure it multiple times.

c) In NYS, it is not a hard to get procedure, at all. So, maybe for the purposes of this discussion, we can ask, "Why do pro-choicers that don’t believe a fetus is a person and that live in NYS condemn women for too many abortions

d) Who cares what pro-lifers think. We disagree with them on the important parts of this argument, so why should be try to keep up appearances for them?

Because no one is actually PRO-abortion. There’s a difference between being pro-abortion and being pro-choice. I don’t like abortion. I don’t know that a fetus isn’t a person. But the moral algebra comes out to “It’s her body, it’s her choice,” because even if it IS a person, the woman is a more fully realized human being and her moral sovereignty over her own body trumps the proto-person. I don’t have to like that it happens, I just have to acknowledge that it’s not my business and not my choice.

The ideal (for probably 99.9% of pro-choice persons) is to make abortion safe, available and rare. That’s why you’ll find so many pro-choice advocates touting Planned Parenthood and effective sex education. The object is to make contraceptive use ubiquitous and therefore lower the unplanned pregnancy rate so that abortion is not as necessary.

As a strongly pro-choice woman, I will admit to getting a little uncomfortable with the idea of someone having multiple abortions. I think my discomfort is for a couple of reasons - as previously cited, it seems monumentally irresponsible and illustrates a stunning lack of regard for one’s personal well being. Also, I agree that it doesn’t “look good”. But, the beauty of choice is that my personal discomfort for the use of abortion as birth control doesn’t matter a whit. It’s still her choice, ultimately.

That being said, I speculate the occurence of women having multiple abortions (high multiples) is more of a rarity in the truest sense. I knew a friend of a friend once who had had four abortions, which I thought was a rather high number, but that was two to an unfortunate set of circumstances - two stupid mistakes in early youth, and the discovery of super-fertility later in life - no condom, nor pill, shall stop these eggs! I believe she eventually had a tubal ligation.

I remember a while back, Hillary Clinton was raked over the coals for saying that abortion “in many ways represents a sad, even tragic, choice to many, many women” I had trouble finding some of the outrage I remember cropping up, but this article partially references some of it:

I diagreed with my fellow feminists who regretted her choice of words - I thought it was a valid point. Many women I know have struggled over the choice to have an abortion. Equally important, though, is that some women may not.

In the end, I would rather have a few women making carefree use of the right to an abortion, even to an absurdity, than I would see it revoked or restricted.

I’m pro-choice in a roundabout way- I do think that a fetus is alive in a separate fashion from the mother, but I believe that the mother’s right to control her own body probably trumps the fetus’s right to life because I don’t see a 1st trimester fetus as equivalent to a human being. So I feel like having an abortion once after a failure in contraceptives is excusable (barely), but having them repeatedly is a mark of poor judgment and cruelty to a being of intrinsically lesser value than a human.


Because believing someone should have the legal right to do something does not equal believing she should do it. Believing someone should not do something does not equal believing she should not have the legal right to do so.

Right. I agree with this, and understand the distinction, but, I want to know why? Why don’t they think she should? I mean to the extent that they make a point to condemn it?

This stance I completely understand.

Thank you for this; it really crystallizes my own feelings on the topic, which I’ve been struggling with for a while.

Many pro-choicers accept abortion with the understanding that it’s a very difficult decision that is taken very seriously and as a last resort. The dimension of respect for human life is important to them, too. If a woman has many abortions, that indicates maybe she doesn’t take it that seriously. it doesn’t make it wrong on its own, but I think that makes people a lot less comfortable with it.

Yeah, sure thing. Actually, I don’t see that many people who agree with that stance, but I’m glad someone else does.

I forgot that people prefer not to use ‘pro-abortion’.

Maybe I should explain my own thinking on the matter a little better. I used to be ‘pro-life’, or whatever, when I was really young. It wasn’t until I was convinced that the fetus is not a person that I was able to be pro-choice.

Once I was convinced of that, I no longer looked down on the girls that I know that had multiple abortions. For those that are indicating that it is a highly emotional, stressful process, I am afraid a know a different set of women.

I know plenty of women that don’t find it emotional or stressful. And I know a lot of women that do it often.

I am talking, plenty of poor minorities, and plenty of liberal white women, and a couple of really radical feminists. Seriously. I know *a lot *of women that have had many abortions and who either claim outright that it isn’t a big deal to them (my feminist friends, some of my close friends) or seem to show no indication that it is a big deal, (lots of ‘ghetto associates’ I know.)

ETA: appleciders, it is not that I agree with your stance, it’s that I completely understand it and respect it as the stance of an intelligent person that has really thought it through. It makes sense to me.

Because, to a certain extent, it may be an example of playing the odds without knowing them. There’s a certain extent of cognitive dissonance inherent in people, that naturally seems to make us more prone to believing things that affect us soon are more important than those which will result from it later. Certainly it may just be me talking in that while I too think precautions of this kind are a trouble to sort out, it’s better than the alternative, like vaccinations. A woman may very well disagree, and consider an abortion not as much bother as sorting out precautions in the first place, but I would tend to disagree that it is. Of course, we’re talking about the woman in questions’ view here, and certainly it’s possible that many would disagree with my view.

And how many women give birth and decide never again, but later decide otherwise? We’re built to forget unpleasantness. We can’t fully recall viscerally things like that. Simply knowing what it was like doesn’t mean that it won’t be worse than you think.

But time is a limited resource. If you’re having an abortion, there’s at least one person that’ll have to wait for theirs.

Because they’re ethically and morally against what we believe, in many cases would prefer it to be outlawed entirely, and it’s probably not a wise plan to do something that riles them. I very much care what pro-lifers think, since they just as me have themselves a vote, a say in the law. I’d prefer not to give them ammunition.

Relevant Threshhold, I take all of your points, but again, they seem to be up to the woman. Point a) seems a weak reason for anyone to condemn her. She has decided to forgo unpleasantness now so that she may have to endure more unpleasantness later…hardly seems a good reason to condemn her.

Like wise for your point b; Ok, she may forget the discomfort of an abortion. So others should condemn her for choosing to have more? That doesn’t make sense to me.

Your point c) seems a bit weak to me, also. Abortions are readily available in NYS. The idea that a woman may be juged because she is ‘making a woman that has only had one abortion wait a couple days for an appt.’ doesn’t ring right to me. I know for a fact that one can just make an appt. and get an abortion.

As for your point d), I can’t disagree with this enough. I am just dead set against trying to not ‘rile up’ those that would take away rights that I believe in. That is not how I deal with those situations. Pro-lifers don’t scare me.

I know I am coming off as hard headed in this discussion, but I really am trying to learn about something that I have only recently started getting very interested in, and I appreciate the responses of everyone trying to explain the position to me.

It is not my position to tell a woman if she should have an abortion. It is also not my business to tell her how many. What would give me that right or that power? Abortions are traumatic experiences and I feel sorry for anyone who has to go through it.

Ok. I have always tried to be careful not to get too personal on this board, but my eager desire to discuss this topic the way I need to forces me to say this.

I had an abortion and it was not a traumatic experience.

I am a good person, I think. I love my daughter. I try to treat my fellow man as I want to be treated. I visit the sick, the old, feed the poor. Literally. I don’t consider myself morally bankrupt. But abortion was not a traumatic experience for me by any stretch of the imagination.

I have not had many abortions because birth control is absolutely no problem for me at all…not even slightly inconvenient.

If a woman has a right to choose once, and it’s none of my business . . . then she has that same right again, and it’s still none of my business.