Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Paging Captain Obvious

Study: Women Having Abortions More Likely to Be Abused by Their Partner

Women who had abortions in their teens or early 20s were more likely to have been abused by a partner than those who carried the pregnancy to term, they found.

.... "'Women experiencing violence and abuse can be subject to coercive sex and unprotected intercourse, leading to a higher rate of unplanned and unwanted pregnancies."

Angela Taft and Lyndsey Watson led the study and Taft said that young women appear to have less control over sex or contraception decisions when they're with an abusive partner.

"'You could say that young women don't feel they have the right to say no," she said.

I'd say that anecdotally, this is well known among American abortion practitioners. I listened to a tape of a National Abortion Federation meeting in which abortion nurses vented that many of their patients are unable to abstain from sex after their abortions because their "partners" refuse to let them say no. These women's partners also refuse to wear condoms, have sex with numerous other women, and are physically abusive. What struck me about the whole thing is that never once did the idea of referring these women to battered women's shelters get mentioned. Never once was the idea that these women deserved better than to be treated that way get mentioned.

"What can society do about this problem?" Dr. Taft asks. "The take home message is that if we want to reduce the rate of abortion and unwanted pregnancy in Australia, especially among teenagers, we need to reduce violence against women."

One thing that we can do is address whatever it is that's destroying women's (and girls') self-image to the point where they feel like they're better off abused than alone.

But to not have somebody you're having sex with is viewed as so abnormal in our society. You're treated like a freak. So if your self image is weak to begin with, where are you going to get the inner strength to buck the "I need a man in my life or I'm nobody" mentality?

"Also healthcare providers and pregnancy counseling services should ask women seeking [abortions] about their experiences of partner abuse and if necessary, refer them to supportive agencies," she added.

Like if she tells you she can't abstain from sex after her abortion becaues her "boyfriend" won't let her. There's a word for not letting a woman say "No" to unwanted sex. It's rape.


JacqueFromTexas said...

Indeed. I'm not surprised. These men aren't men at all. If they were, they'd first marry the women whose body they desire. Secondly, they'd take care of that woman, and third, they'd protect any children they create with her.

A man that uses a woman and ships her off to a clinic to be injured and kill his child is no man at all, hence why I'm not surprised that they are abusive rapists.

My mom said something bloggable (actually, she's said 50 years worth of bloggable sentiments). She said that we aren't raising men anymore. We're raising sensitive metrosexuals with no sense of moral responsibility towards women. Used to be, getting married was "taking a wife" and assuming responsibility for her care and the care of any children that you might have together. Now, getting married is getting a full-time playmate, a second income, help around the house, etc. You can put your wife on the pill so you can have consequence-free play and so she can work and you don't have to provide for her. Thus, you accept no more responsibility than when you were single. I think the reason why so many women let daycare raise their children is because men refuse to step up to the plate and provide, that women are now expected to play that role.

Now that I may have insulted a wide array of demographics (men, working moms, etc.), I shall depart.

L. said...


I am truly grateful for the help that daycare and babysitters gave me in raising my children, since we`ve always lived far away from extended family.

My traditional husband didn`t want me to work -- he wanted to be the sole provider, and he wanted me to stay home with the kids. But I worked, anyway, and I`m grateful I had the opportunity to do so. In another time, another place, I would have had no choice, and I believe our family would have been far worse off, overall, and I don`t mean just financially.

My grandmother, who worked for many years as a waitress (not by choice -- by financial necessity) always told me, "Don`t ever rely on a man! Even the best one can drop dead! Always be ready to provide for yourself and your children!" Her own beloved husband died suddenly of a brain aneurysm when he was 50 and she was just 45.

And yes, I am raising my sons to be metrosexuals. :)

Christina Dunigan said...

L., it's one thing to be prepared in case something tragic happens, but that doesn't make the traditional division of labor wrong.

Anonymous said...

So, these abusive partners would have suddenly become loving husbands and fathers if the women had continued with their pregnncies? More likely that abused children would have been added to the whole revolting equation.

One thing I agree with, no woman should put up with any form of abuse (that applies even if, shock horror, they're married, cause, you know, married women still get abused). More help does need to be given to women (regardless of whether children are involved or not) to help them out of abusive relationships without them having to lose everything. Kudos on calling non-consentual sex inrelationships and marriages rape, some people (hello Phylis Schafly) seem to think married women sign away their right to say no when they sign the marriage certificate. Nice way to pass judgement on all women Jacque, I'm presuming you have years of experience to back up these damning indictments of other people's life choices and the way they conduct their relationships and bring up their children, you seem pretty sure yours is the only right way to go about things.


L. said...

"...that doesn't make the traditional division of labor wrong."

It might be right for others, but my point was merely that it was indeed VERY wrong for me, and for my family.

Anonymous said...

Regardless of whether or not she continues the pregnancy, she would probably continue to be a victim of abuse. If it weren't the pregnancy, it might of been something else, dinner not ready, dirty house, refusal of sex, etc. The decision to get out of an abusive relationship needs to be made independently of the decision of whether or not to continue the pregnancy. And I agree that no woman (regardless of relationship status) should have to put of with abuse. The key is to knowing the signs of abuse, not being afraid to ask her questions(sudden behavior changes, suspicious bruising or injuries, etc), and providing support and referrals to counselors and agencies which can help her get out of the abusive situation.

Tlaloc said...

" Used to be, getting married was "taking a wife" and assuming responsibility for her care and the care of any children that you might have together."

Kind of like getting a puppy.

Oh you forgot that "taking a wife" ALSO meant getting a piece of property?

Yes by all means let's romanticize the time when men were men and women were objects. And let;s not forget the very different views of rape they had back then. There was no such thing as rape between spouses. The man wanted sex and then the woman would put out. The law didn't care about her consent in the least.

In fact the law didn't really care about any form of abuse delivered to a wife by her husband.

So don't give me that "it was the best of times" bullshit.

Christina Dunigan said...

Tlaloc, you don't have to have an overly rosy, "It was the best of times" attitude to recognize the loss of something positive. Like the idea that a man had more responsibility toward a woman he took to bed than simply to cough up half the abortion fee and not skip town until after her post-surgical check-up.

Anonymous said...

Why can't women have both? Why does everyone assume that women gaining equal status as marital partners REQUIRES working?
One Golden Girls episode comes to mind, Blanche's date expected her to pay half for dinner because he hadn't dated since before being widowed, and he thought modern women wanted to be treated as equals. Blanche informed him she didn't want to be treated as equals, she wanted to be treated better than him :)
I would never marry someone who expected me to work (while raising children), but I could never marry someone who "required" that I not work. I'm a SAHM because I have a desire to be with and raise my child, and I'd feel marginalized if my husband expected me to work (because full time childcare IS work (and a contribution) that's why nannies and daycare aren't free, yet I'm free to get a job tomorrow if I want to.

Anonymous said...

Someone should stay home to raise the kids. Whether that's a mother's job or a father's job is up to each individual family. Indeed, in some families, it could even be an extended family member, such as a grandparent. But it should be someone.

Raising our kids is the most important job in our society. If it isn't done properly, there is no future. Far too many of our families are "outsourcing" that job to daycare centers and the public schools. :(

Anonymous said...

When I mentioned women should be able to have "both" I meant women who are SAHMs (such as myself) can still have equal footing in a marriage. I think many people assume being a SAHM means embracing an outdated 50s mentality and relegating yourself to an inferior status.