What's your solution to a million unwanted pregnacies occurring as a result of protected sex?

Not really. He assumes that those people will choose to give birth and keep the baby rather than abort or adopt out.

When I was working in public schools, I saw teenaged girls actively discussing plans to become pregnant. It was like a status symbol. I saw girls in 6th grade saying they wanted to become pregnant.

There’s also an ironic religious streak in these underclasses which doesn’t stop anybody from having unprotected sex, but prevents them from getting abortions. “It’s against my morals,” they say, but their morality does not always extend to actually taking care of these kids, or like, getting off the crack or anything.

I am jaded. I worked with a lot of kids who had kids for parents, or grandmothers for parents or nobody for parents.

Um. Read again. Even the way you phrased it implies that they did not TRY to become pregnant. If you don’t try, then it’s unplanned.

Man y’all argue over the craziest things here.

I was talking about pregnancies that are actually planned. There are also plenty of people who are simply indifferent to birth control and pregnancy, which isn’t any better.

Married women are more likely to get sterilized, not that it eliminates pregnancy, but being that unmarried women will generally not be sterilized so they are more likely to become pregnant. Married women are also more often in a better situation to be able to care for a child than a single mother. Not in all cases, but more married women are more prepared than single women. The two populations WILL react to becoming pregnant differently. A wife will most likely involve her husband. An unmarried girl may or may not involve the father. An unmarried girl might involve her parents, especially if she is younger. A married woman is more likely to leave her parents out of it unless she decides to keep the child.

Really, the two groups are different, especially when you consider the law of large numbers. And that is what we are doing.

Besides, does it really matter? Sex comes with a lot more responsibility than our western culture allows for.

Even if we use that cite as the basis for discussion, it is perfectly apparent that teaching kids how to use contraception properly also has a major effect. For example, the study says that “typical use” of condoms results in a 15% pregnancy rate during the first year of use, but if condoms are used “consistently and correctly” during that year, there’s only a 2% pregnancy rate.

Knowing how to use that particular form of contraception would mean the difference between 1.2 million unplanned pregnancies and 160,000. (Not that I’m endorsing the way the OP calculated the numbers, I’m just using the same formula for comparison’s sake). And if the pill were used consistently and correctly, we’d be down to 24,000 unplanned pregnancies.

So it would seem that better sex education is a key element of reducing unplanned pregnancies.

But isn’t 160,000 still way too many unplanned pregnancies?

My biggest issue with this post is that you only mention women.

You seem to be saying this is a huge crises, and it’s having this huge impact on society, and yet you don’t use the word ‘man’ anywhere in the post. As if women could be having sex with each other and miraculously start popping out unplanned/unwanted babies.

Obviously, the solution is for you to keep it in your pants. Or use your tongue.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have some babies to pop out.

There’s another solution. Rampant lesbianism.

What is your acceptable number of unplanned pregnancies?

While you’re at it, what is the acceptable number of murders per year? If a particular crime control initiative reduces murders from 400 a year here in DC to 100, shall we also criticize it for not lowering the crime rate to zero?

Well that is exactly what I advocate about unplanned pregnancies. Maybe we can’t reach zero, but we should do whatever we can to get that number as low as possible, especially for women who are not prepared or able to raise a child, as Diogenes said.

Couldn’t we take care of some of this problem if we just found a way to discourage people from having sex, protected or unprotected?

Whatever we can? If you are willing to have men enter the equation, if only for a moment, then you’ve got to acknowledge that one guy can cause a lot more damage than one woman. Even the most uncaring harlot will likely only be responsible for a single child a year – while a slutty guy could be responsible for thousands if he played his cards right. I say vasectomies at puberty.

What you’ve also got to consider is that US birth rates are hardly staggering, and that the population needs to be replaced, so it’s not really a matter of unplanned pregnancies so much as unwanted children being raised in inhospitable environments, whether by women or girls who don’t want them (and likely have to sacrifice their own lives for them) or within a broken system. So, realistically, all initiatives should be towards making sure women can control when and how they have children, if they choose to do so, and making the decision as comfortable as possible (e.g. abortion access, subsidized daycare, paid parental leave). So, basically, what many people are already trying to do.

Also, failure rate includes not using the product in the correct way, or forgetting to take/use it regularly. I think the pill failure rate includes women that forget to take the pill for a few days and the condom failure rate is due to failure to put one on. The actual failure rate, assuming correct usage, is much much lower

If you support getting that number as low as possible, then surely you support easier access to contraception, more sex education for young people, easier access to the morning after pill, and continued access to safe and legal abortions. Right?

Because if large numbers of people are going to have sex, and there’s no proof that abstinence-only education works, then we better support what we know is effective in reducing unplanned pregnancies.

I said we should try our best to get the number if unintended pregnancies down, not the number of unintended births down. That means that I support the whole gamut: sex education, access to contraceptives, encouraging abstenance, and above all else, the education of the ENTIRE public that contraceptives aren’t as fool-proof as we would like to believe.

The problem is about attitude. I’m going to have to try to find some statistics about pregnancy rates before the sexual revolution.

I think you should focus on the “unwanted” more than the “unplanned”. Like Skammer and I said, one is not equal to the other. “Unplanned” pregnancies are not necessarily “unwanted” at the end of it (nor the kid born “unwanted”). And like Dio mentioned, there are “planned” pregnancies were the result may end up being “unwanted”. Again, not all those “unplanned” are “unwanted” or are a huge crisis.

I don’t think the problem is not whether the pregnancy is planned or not, but if the resulting kid will be cared for, will have access to good education, health care, and love. Alternatively, if the pregnancy is really unwanted, then the women should have easy access to abortion (or good counseling and prenatal care for adoption).

In the Dope, wouldn’t that be a bit like preaching to the choir? Unless you start discussing really detailed ways of getting those ideas accomplished.

Second… I have the feeling most people who use birth control know it is not foolproof. Has there been any survey stating the contrary?

Harvest some sperm first for elective fertilization at a later date, and sterilize all men when they reach sexual maturity. Personal freedoms are only increased - no unplanned or unwanted pregnancy, no rape/incest babies, sex gets closer and closer to becoming consequence-free. The potential violation of rights is so minor in comparison with the benefits that the only problem is the administrative overhead of sperm-harvesting and vasectomizing all those men.

Is this a joke? An involuntary invasive surgery is an increase in freedon, or such a minor violation that it can be waved off? The surgery is not generally reversible (according to Mayo, only about 50% of reversals work), and all it takes is some moron at a sperm bank to let the temperatiure go up a few degrees, to elimate your chances of reproduction permanently. Not to mention adding the cost of artificial fertilization to every single pregnancy.