First thing first: Anna and I are pregnant 👶🏼🍼
(Well, not me personally – men can’t get pregnant 😉 – but you get it.)
It’s a boy, due in July. We did a good job of keeping this quiet. If you’d like to get us a gift, here’s our registry: https://www.babylist.com/anna_registry
Now that we have that out of the way, it’s time for me to piss off half of you with what’s next. Keep reading (but, buy us a baby gift first).
Fifteen years ago, I participated in an abortion.
It was my fault that it happened. The woman I was dating had had an abortion prior to being with me. She told me that she “knew” that due to complications from her first abortion, she was incapable of getting pregnant again.
I stupidly believed her (side note to all men: NEVER have unprotected sex with a woman you don’t want to have a child with, regardress of what she says about her ability to conceive or what pills she claims to be taking).
She got pregnant. She wanted to keep it. I didn’t. I used guilt to my advantage, reminding her of her infertility claim. We had a good relationship, so she followed my wishes.
The child was aborted.
I don’t regret it. I’m MUCH happier having a child with the woman I’m with now. Still, my perspective on such matters has changed over the last decade-and-a-half.
My mother is an educator.
If you want to know why I’m such a prolific writer and reader, Mom is the reason.
Mom was in college at LaSalle University in Philadelphia when she got pregnant with my sister Latoya in 1980. By my math, Mom was 19 years of age when Latoya was conceived. I’m having my first at 40.
During Latoya’s first year of life, Mom got married to Dad (my parents are still together, at least as of the last time I checked) and I was conceived. By February of 1982, my mother was 20 years old, in college, married with 2 kids both less than a year old.
My father had many jobs; I remember him being a security guard for some time (or maybe more accurately, I saw the pictures and remembered the stories). He was also a musician; Dad often worked nights. Mom worked as a waitress at Denny’s, at some preschool-type places, and took Latoya and me with her as she cleaned some white people’s houses during the day.
All the while, she kept attending school at LaSalle.
I starkly remember Latoya and me sitting on the benches outside of classrooms on the LaSalle campus while Mom attended class. I think Mom decided before long that this strategy just wouldn’t work with kids so young.
She dropped out of school and poured herself into her children.
She had some jobs for some time, but one incident in my elementary years changed things (to the best of my recollection).
By the time Latoya and I would leave the house for school in the morning, both Mom and Dad were off to work. We were tasked with locking the door when we left and taking the house key with us.
One day we forgot to lock the door, leaving the key right there in the lock (I don’t think we even locked it). It stayed there all day until we came home. No one robbed the house or anything, but somehow Mom found out about our gaffe. So she decided to become more hands-on with her kids to prevent such situations.
Mom started her own home business.
Right in the house, she ran a daycare for 15ish years. Mom’s professional niche is in reading; many of the kids she taught from very young went on to excel in school. Word got out, and parents sent their struggling school-aged kids to be tutored by Mom. Latoya and I were her “proof of concept.”
Latoya became an academic superstar. She skipped the second grade, became an all-As student at the best middle and high schools in Philadelphia, and got a full scholarship to an Ivy League college. She later earned a PhD and Master’s from Stanford. She’s now a college professor.
(Re-read the previous paragraph. If someone were to sell themselves as a great tutor of young minds, Latoya is Mom’s Frankenstein / Michael Jordan. This is indisputable.)
Me… I did good enough 🙂. Got good-enough grades on a good-enough effort, went to a good-enough college and got a good-enough four-year degree. From there, I diverted from the path. I think Mom let me off the hook a bit, with me being a boy who was into sports and given that Latoya’s success ahead of me had already proved Mom’s point, so to speak. In my defense, at least I picked up on the reading and writing parts.
Mom later told me the reason she started her business was so she could keep a close eye on Latoya and me. She wanted to be home when we left in the morning, and home when we came back in the afternoon.
All through my high school years, she did exactly that.
Through raising her kids and setting them both up for successful adulthoods, Mom never let go of her goal to finish college. She got her own degree when I was 21, and subsequently got her Master’s in education.
There’s a raging debate about abortion now. Well, there’s always been a debate, but it’s flaming up again after the Supreme Court struck down Roe V. Wade – a ruling that, in simple terms, allows each state to choose their own abortion laws instead of there being one federal law governing all states.
People are understandably upset about it.
If you live in a state that chooses to outlaw abortion, jetting off to the nearest clinic is no longer an option. You’ll have to travel out of state (if you have the resources), or actually give birth to your baby.
This is the culmination (so far) of a massive relaxation of the standards we had around the concept of sex just 20-30 years ago.
Mom and other women of her age used to be appalled at the sight of women with too-little clothing on or the sexual promiscuity promoted in 1990’s rap music. Today, you can find that on Instagram multiplied by 10. HIV / AIDS scared everyone for a while, especially when Magic Johnson got it (before that, we thought it was limited to gay people). But the widespread availability of cheap contraception made premarital sex a normal thing, and the preponderance of abortion clinics made all forms of sex a virtually riskless activity.
From there, we all went crazy.
I’m not finger-wagging; I’m just as guilty as anyone in taking advantage of the new normal we’ve all grown accustomed to. This new normal has led to the current trend: an injection of mass confusion amongst many youth (and adults) who now don’t know if they’re a boy or a girl and will vehemently argue that they’re both, neither, or can switch between them as they choose, and the equally-confused adults who ridiculously affirm these ideas.
It was all so much simpler just 2+ years ago, when we were all “following the science.” 😛
So accustomed we have become, in fact, to standardless sexual behavior that people think it’s in the founding documents of the United States Of America.
“Abortion is a Constitutional right!”
No, it isn’t.
Have you actually READ the Constitution of the United States? Don’t feel bad; most people have not. If you get around to it, show me the part that grants the right to abortion. It’s not there.
Abortion is not in the Constitution.
The 2nd Amendment (the right to bear arms) is.
The 13th Amendment (abolishing slavery) is.
The 15th Amendment (the right to vote) is.
Abortion is not.
For those who have been repeating this falsehood, two suggestions:
1) Get your own information (easy first step: read full texts)
2) Don’t repeat things just because they sound / feel good
The U.S. Constitution is built on biblical principles (one of which: sex outside of marriage is a sin). That’s why, even through years of slavery, there was language within that document that held space for its abolishment. So when “Conservative Christians” – a phrase that’s been treated as a curse word recently – quote the bible and cite The Constitution, they’re standing on solid ground.
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I sanctified you. I made you a prophet to the nations.” [Jeremiah 1:5]
“Your eyes even saw me as an embryo.” [Psalm 139:16]
I’m not choosing a side; just sharing information (so far, at least).
I am generally open on the abortion debate. I haven’t been strongly on either side, as I can understand arguments from both pro-lifers and pro-choicers. Many of my male friends have participated in abortions. Some of them were, like me, with women they had been in relationships with. Others were with randoms that they had no business “going raw” in.
Here’s what I am not open to: People defending abortion by refusing to state what it actually is.
Abort: bring to a premature end because of a problem or fault.
By definition, an abortion is the premature ending of a life. This is a fact.
You can attempt to walk around the facts by calling it “reproductive justice” or “women’s right to choose” or any other softening pet phrases. I will fully respect your pro-choice position as long as you can state the obvious: You’re ending a life that you voluntarily conceived (another fact: rape and incest are less than 0.5% of abortions).
If we can start the conversation there, we can talk. If you refuse to acknowledge this fact or other facts on the subject, then we’re not even having the same conversation.
👆 This is generally my challenge with other pet topics of “progressives,” such as Anitracism, Critical Race Theory, BLM, the short-lived anti-police movement, and the transgenderism. Word games, changing definitions of terms to fit a narrative, and flat-out avoiding questions that would force them to lay their arguments bare are their tools of engagement. It’s an attack on logic and objectivity by people who are smart enough to know exactly what they’re doing (usually in exchange for a paycheck or a vote – which is the REAL hustle).
Or, it’s the attempt at conflating abortion rights with civil rights (to persuade blacks) or gay/trans rights (a dog whistle to the LGBT community)… the big play is indoctrinating people to believing that anything this side says is right, and anything the other side says is wrong. The suspension of critical thinking is what they’re after. The less people think for themselves and the more they can be emotionally triggered, the easier they can be controlled. “Don’t think for yourself, just follow what we tell you.”
If you’re pro-choice, can you articulate why without repeating a soundbite or talking point you’ve been told on social media or by your favorite politician / influencer. Can you explain your position in your own words?
If not, question if you’re thinking for yourself, or if you’re being told what to think.
I’ve heard that having a child is hard work, and I believe it.
Some say the first 3-5 years are the best, then it goes downhill from there. Others say the first 3-5 years suck, then it gets fun. Nobody has said that it’s perfect all the way through. Let’s just settle on that it’s not easy, but like everything that matters in life, it’s worth it in the end.
Does a pregnancy affect a woman in many life-changing ways? Hell yes! I live with a woman and have been hearing this exact thing for 8 months, with one month (then ~21 years) ahead of me to look forward to.
Does pregnancy alter the life plans of the parents? Yes!
Does it help for a pregnant woman to bring a child into a well-prepared home situation rather than a chaotic one? Yes!
Would I rather kill the baby to avoid that child having a possibly rough and challenging life situation? NO!
Fact: Pregnant women need Healthcare.
Fact: New mothers need support.
Fact: The early years of life are critical for the physical and mental health of any human being.
Fact: Some pregnant mothers are simply not prepared for ANY of this — mentally, emotionally, financially, or in any other way. Some women just shouldn’t be raising humans; they can barely handle themselves.
Even with all of that, if the choice is an unfit mother raising a mal-equipped child versus killing the baby, I’ll live with the result of a kid coming out of a challenging childhood. And there’s always adoption (Fact: there are 36 families waiting for every 1 child put up for adoption).
Since the pro-choice crowd likes to make emotional arguments, I will now try my hand at their game and mix emotion with science.
See what happens when a second trimester baby is aborted (4:22 watch time): https://youtu.be/jgw4X7Dw_3k
If you haven’t watched the video, I’ll explain. The scientific term for the procedure is “Dilation & Evacuation.”
1) The cervix is widened 24-48 hours in advance.
2) Amniotic fluid (protective fluid for the growing baby) that surrounds the baby is suctioned out. But the baby – which is the size of an adult’s hand by this point – is too big and its bones too strong to be removed via suction alone.
3) A sopher clamp (think vice-grip-strong tweezers) is the tool of necessity. The abortionist uses the clamp to grab a limb – each leg, then the arms – and pulls hard to rip each one from the baby’s body. Then they rip out the intestines, the spine, the heart and lungs, one by one.
4) The head is the hardest part to pull out, as it’s the size of a large plum by this point. To get it out, the abortionist grasps and forcefully crushes the baby’s head inside the mom’s body. They know the head is crushed when a white substance starts leaking out – that was your baby’s brains.
5) The pieces of the crushed skull are removed.
6) The abortionist takes all the removed pieces and puts them back together on a tray, like a puzzle, to make sure the job has been done fully and the entire mother’s body “evacuated.”
7) Reproductive justice is served!
My mom delayed her career goals for TWO DECADES to raise her kids – kids she had the choice to abort if she or my father wanted to focus on themselves. My sister Latoya became everything my mother would have become, had Latoya and I not existed— or had Mom exercised her “reproductive rights” and canceled us.
But according to Michelle Obama, “a teenage girl — full of zest and promise, won’t be able to finish school or live the life she wants because her state controls her reproductive decisions.”
If you’re reading this, someone had the opportunity to abort you, but they didn’t. It’s interesting to me how cavalier people are about promoting abortion when someone had to choose to let all of us, 100% of us, live. Don’t dumb down the conversation with the outlier situations – the 0.5% – that I’ve already addressed.
My parents were not rolling in cash; they didn’t choose to have kids because they were out of ideas of what to do with their excess resources. Dad worked security. Mom served food at damn Denny’s and cleaned toilets.
A few weeks ago, Anna and I went to Aventura Mall to “look” at suits that I might like. I left with a new designer suit and 2 ties.
Mom would take Latoya and me clothes shopping biweekly in the 1980s — clothes for my sister this week, for me the next week. Mom had to budget how she would provide for her kids. And we were not getting outfits from Bloomingdale’s.
The point is, the situation wasn’t perfect. But they gave us a chance. Two kids born to barely-adult parents with entry-level jobs had food / clothing / shelter, Christmas presents, Thanksgiving feasts, and birthdays.
That chance given is why you have Work On Your Game. It’s why my parents have three grandchildren and a fourth on the way. It’s the reason why, when our parents can’t do for themselves anymore, Latoya and I will do for them — because they did for us, sacrificing the “zest and promise” of their early twenties, according to Mrs. Obama, to raise two kids.
They gave us a chance at life, despite circumstances, and look what their kids did with it.
A pregnancy is a gift from God that pays you more on the backend than it costs you on the front end. I’ve yet to hear a parent say they regret keeping their kids. I usually hear something like —
“I’m glad I did it.”
“It was hard, but worth it.”
“My children were a blessing to me.”
“My kids are my greatest accomplishment.”
You made the child; allow it the life that it deserves.
That’s where I stand, and where I’ll be standing until further notice.
Feel free to respond to any of this, following the normal rules: Come with facts and logic, and be respectful even in disagreement. I welcome all comments, but give preference to well-constructed arguments.