I consider myself more pre-choice than not.
Mary Sanchez
11

“Another truth is, that for some women, there have been terrible abuses of these services. In my field of work, and also privately, I’ve seen overwhelming evidence this is true. There have been periods in abortion rights history where abortion has been used, too much, as a birth control method. To make this clear, I’m talking up to 11 deliberate therapeutic abortions on a single woman. No medical crisis involved. Although having so many might be rare, it’s not unheard of. Multiple therapeutic abortions due to lack of effort or regard is not at all uncommon.”

I don’t think you did this deliberately, but you should know this reads as if you’ve “seen overwhelming evidence” that it is “not at all uncommon” to “terribly abuse these services”, BY HAVING 11 ABORTIONS, at least during “periods in history”.

It’s not unheard of because it’s an often-repeated story.

Following “MIGHT be rare” with “IS not at all uncommon” can easily leave readers with the impression that you’re asserting only the latter, and the former is only a concession to avoid a rebuttal that gives a single counter example. (i.e. “Not all people who have multiple therapeutic abortions…”)

Saying “not at all uncommon” is a wordy way of giving the impression of “common” given as a conservative estimate. If you want to meet on the common ground for this topic, I’d suggest moving away from the shock value of 11 abortions and talking instead about a statistic like median number of abortions. (And noting where you got the data.) With all the inflammatory rhetoric out there, I try to watch for spots where I might be using arguments that are regularly stated with a selective, agenda-influenced focus.

I’m genuinely curious about what periods of history you’re referring to, since the obvious examples would be times when birth control was more difficult to obtain, followed by times of economic strain on families.

Unfortunately neither of those pressures is ancient history. In the last couple decades only in the last few years (with the ACA mandate) have we seen anything close to widespread availability of effective, long-term (reversible) birth control. No one should be forced into that decision, but given the failure rates and user error problems with other methods, this is an important and underused method of reducing the need for abortions. (Some current IUDs fail less than tubal ligation, which is a relatively invasive procedure).

Here’s a study on what reasons people gave for their abortions: https://www.guttmacher.org/journals/psrh/2005/reasons-us-women-have-abortions-quantitative-and-qualitative-perspectives

While I think it’s reasonable to assume that more socially acceptable answers would be over-reported… wouldn’t the same be true for evidence you had access to? While few women mention abuse on a survey (for any number of reasons), that is something that I get concerned about whenever someone mentions cases with shockingly high numbers of abortions. Birth control sabotage is a tactic abusers use to keep their victims from leaving. What made you so sure she was making the decision casually?

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