Dear Katha Pollitt,
By Troy Hollinger
Starting with your first question:
1. Do you believe illegal abortion can be prevented, and if so, how?
Yes, I believe illegal abortion can be prevented. More though, I believe abortion in whole (or at least 60 to 75%) can be prevented. How? It’s quite simple, keep unintended pregnancy from occurring. Abortion really doesn’t exist without it. (Voluntary ones anyways). To achieve this: obviously contraceptives, even conceived egg interferers, and better education. But two others:
Male Reproduction Responsibility
Create a voice in society holding males responsible for what they do with their sperm. Take the social weight of responsibility off of females, put it on males. If men assumed responsibility we could drop abortion numbers dramatically. After all they do not occur from females getting artificially inseminated. I am so rooting for the male birth control pill!
Enable young people (and others if need be) to be proud (and most importantly un-pressured) of their virginity. Not for any moral or religious agenda (although that’s ok) just for the purpose of enablement / good decision-making. It’s quite ironic that we are working in society to enable young homosexuals to be proud of their sexual orientation and in the same breath we chuckle that you’re 15 and still a virgin. Far-less unintended pregnancies would occur if we made this change.
2. Do you see any chance of a stable compromise? What would it look like?
Yeah I do. One side should accept the practice of Stage 1 abortions; the other side should give up the social acceptance of Stage 2 and Stage 3 abortions. This would enable the masses and illuminate our path forward.
STAGE 1: Conceived Eggs
intercourse + 3/5dys to about 2wks
STAGE 2: Human Pulse
2wks gestation to about 3/6wks
STAGE 3: Human Looking Small Thing
Great infographic by Eleanor Lutz: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/404127766537250548/
3. Is contraception a lesser evil than abortion or just more of the same evil?
I do not think contraception is evil. I would personally like to answer the question ‘how do I keep my sperm from her egg’ in a more efficient manner than what is currently / conveniently available to me. I do not however project that personal ambition onto other people, nor do I think a worldwide abortion effort should.
I think every incremental step together is for the better, or is, in your words (which I think you’re quoting pro-lifers) a lesser evil. So, yeah, let’s use all contraceptives to lower Stage 2 and Stage 3 abortions.
4. What do you offer to women who want to end a pregnancy because they can’t support another child?
5. What are the responsibilities of men to avoid getting women pregnant, to support them while they are pregnant, to provide for mother and child? And what measures would you promote to enforce those responsibilities?
I like your idea of legally requiring males who impregnate females to support them financially all the way through pregnancy and delivery. Brilliant idea. I know it’s not perfect, just like any other law it will be misused, which gives me the opportunity to mention my outlook on legislation / policy. I don’t believe they are capable of really fixing the abortion issue. I think we need to be inspired / enabled to want better.
I really like your idea — I think it could spawn a responsible reproductive male species and lessen the load on females. We will need creative policy to uphold these standards, but I’m not sure what. My concern is not just about America, but all the countries in the world, so we will need versatile enablement that treads culture, borders, government style, etc.
6. How do you see women continuing to progress if they cannot control when they bear children? Do you think equality of the sexes is desirable? If so, how would you make it compatible with ill-timed pregnancy and motherhood? If not, what do you think is the appropriate place of women?
Women should have the right to control when they bear children. The load of unintended pregnancy needs to be shifted more on males.
Yes, equality of the sexes is desirable to me, very desirable. I’m dad to 3 young girls, (and 1 boy). The appropriate place of females is to strive to be their best, freely. Earth is as much theirs as it is males.
I think technology, wearable technology in particular, should aid us — as a contraceptive measure — in our pursuits of not getting pregnant + dealing proficiently with all abortion in Stage 1.
7. What about failure to implant, miscarriage and, of course, in vitro fertilization and stem cell research? Should IVF be banned if it destroys pre-embryos? Should every miscarriage be investigated, as is the death of a born child? Why focus exclusively on women’s behavior, when so much pre-birth death has other causes?
Breaking up abortion into stages helps us navigate our way through these questions, it basically resolves them all. Failure to implant happens. Miscarriages happen. In Vitro is cool. I don’t know much about stem cell research, but I’m sure we can improve.
Your question about miscarriages being investigated as the death of a born child is a beautiful point. It clearly points out the dysfunctionality of proposed pro-life legislation in America. This resonates with me, to partly answer question 9; as does your bit here on the excessive attention put on females and the lack thereof on males. This issue needs solving, consider it on my to-do list…
8. If abortion becomes a crime, what do you think the punishment should be?
I don’t think Stage 1 abortion should be a crime. Stage 3 should definitely not be common practice, but I am not confident that laws are able to fix these issues.
To me, this is about more than politics, side vs side, and/or me projecting my personal practices on other people. This is about a better tomorrow. This is about humanity being its best. This is about us being enabled to progress.
9. Are there any pro-choice arguments that resonate with you? Which ones?
I don’t think many pro-choice or pro-life arguments resonate with me. Honestly, they both turn me off, although I would like humanity to openly pursue better than abortion. In doing so, I don’t think you can lean towards either of the two sides and still go forward.
(See last paragraph of my response to Question 7.)
The above Medium post is my response to a column by Katha Pollitt of The Nation Magazine: http://m.thenation.com/article/188465-congrats-pro-lifers-you-won-now-i-have-just-few-questions-you
Read my “I’ve Set Out to Better Present the Abortion Cause” post (4min read)