The missing demographic:
In all the recent talk about the anti-abortion law of South Dakota, the focus has been lost. We've been reading about teenagers who might be raped, easy women who should carry to term 'cause that's what they deserve for their libertine ways. But these cases, deserving as they may be for debate, omit the biggest and most powerful demographic:
Staid married couples who use fallible birth control.
They are, in the eyes of everybody from liberal to conservative, doing the right thing. They are monogamous. They are living in safe neighborhoods. They are not engaging in "let's take a chance tonight" sex. They are being responsible.
Sure, the right to an abortion should be for all, and not based on perceived moral character. But let's talk practical politics. The message should go out to the huge number of happily married couples:
If your contraception fails, you will be forced to have a baby.
I heard a fascinating statistic this morning - that women in their 40s have abortions more often than women in their teens and 20s. The reason? Believing they can no longer get pregnant.
When I hear things about South Dakota, I'm glad my husband had a vasectomy many years ago!
I never heard that statistic before. It's a complete reversal of my understanding. I thought women in their 20s were the most likely group having abortions.
It's odd. Older people having sex just doesn't register on the outrage-meter. Sure, child porn is bad, but who gives a damn about 50-year olds in sex films? No one. It's like, there's no immorality, even if it's one night stands with total strangers. So, if it's women in their 40's having most abortions, the claim that "you deserve it because you're immoral" just doesn't persuade. It's more like, oh, you're doing something healthy at that age (yes, I'm overstating the case for effect).