Is Having Sex Also Consent to Having a Baby?
I wanted to revisit a conversation I once witnessed between @juliewashere, a Twitter user and founder the Golden Coat Hanger, a blog on feminist and abortion issues, and @KatyPundit (who is male and named David; so much for my uncanny ability to guess gender using forum aliases). It was almost two years ago and before I knew about WordPress’s supercool feature to reprint tweets in graphical format, so I have only text copies of the tweets involved.
I wanted to revisit the conversation because this is a line of argument that has always bugged me in regard to pro-choice folks. They don’t think that sex necessarily must equal a baby. While that is true, the fact is that a baby is a potential result of sex, and murder is not an appropriate method to deal with said consequence.
Julie asked when she gave consent to pregnancy, and David told Julie, “You gave consent when you spread em open.” Julie responded:
that’s consent to sex, and ONLY sex.
David replied, “LOL, Sex makes babies. At least that’s how MY kids got here… U came by Stork?” And Julie responds with a disconnect between sex and pregnancy:
no, pregnancy makes babies, and it takes several months.
What does Julie think causes pregnancy? I’m not sure. But I want to take a moment to ponder her position that consent to sex is consent to the physical act, and thus not tacit consent to pregnancy. Since there was no consent to pregnancy, this entitles the pregnant woman to terminate the unwanted pregnancy.
Let’s apply this to another situation.
If I needed a ride home from work, and one of my employees was kind enough to offer a ride, does that means I consent only to the ride home? Well, actually, it means I give tacit approval to whatever happens on the ride home — whether I like it or not. In other words, I can’t roll a d20 against my intelligence and disbelieve something I don’t like away.
For example, if the employee ran a red light and another car crashed into my side of the car, paralyzing me from the waist down. A grim outcome to be sure, and I can seek monetary damages against the employee for medical expenses and rehab. But I can’t wish the paralysis away.
In a way, abortion is the magic disbelieve roll. “I’m not ready,” or “I don’t want to be a parent yet,” or any of the other excuses (and they are excuses) one manufactures. The fact of the matter of is sex is tacit consent to pregnancy, since pregnancy is a possible result of sex. We are taught in grade school that that is the case, so there isn’t an excuse for not knowing.
Sex ==> Pregnancy ==> Baby
Divorcing pregnancy and parenthood from sex is a myth of our modern age, and abortion reinforces that myth. That is a very serious issue, and it comes to the forefront each year on this dark anniversary.