I read a tweet this morning that really hits the nail on the head when it comes to pregnancy and abortion. The tweet was by Brad Betts @870south:
If a woman has sex with 100 random men in a year, she can still only produce one full term pregnancy. If a guy has sex with 100 random women in a year, he can produce 100 full term pregnancies. So why exactly are we only talking about regulating women?
Like most women, I grew up being taught that I was responsible for any kids and pregnancies that might arise in my life. Due to medical conditions, I’ve been on birth control since I was 12. Along with all it’s horrible side effects. The Real Malachi is 5 years older than I am. When I was in my late teens, he got his diagnosis of ASPD with psychopathic tendencies. He’s considered high functioning. And shortly after that diagnosis, he realized kids were not in his future. By the time he was 25, he’d convinced a doctor to do a vasectomy on him.
Here’s one of the huge differences in our society. Malachi walked into a doctor’s office, told them he didn’t want kids, and got a vasectomy at 25. At 22, I walked into my gynecologist’s office and told him, I didn’t want kids, we should tie my tubes. And was told no. Even though I’d been seeing this doctor for 10 years at that point, he wouldn’t tie my tubes, because I might change my mind and want kids later. Fast forward a few years and it’s decided that pregnancy puts me at high risk for death. So I again talked to my gynecologist. I was 25, pregnancy could kill me, why risk it? He still refused to tie my tubes. I got a second opinion from a female gynecologist that one of my friend’s raved about and she also told me she wouldn’t do it. I was too young to make that kind of decision, I might want kids in the future, I pointed out I’d been told not to have them and she responded with “medicine is always evolving, what we can’t treat today we might be able to treat by the time you want kids.”
Despite having the same doctor since I was a teen, a doctor who had been repeatedly told I didn’t want children. I couldn’t get a tubal ligation. Even after it was discovered that I had a blood disorder and pregnancy would probably cause a clot to form and kill me, I couldn’t get a tubal ligation. And I consulted four different gynecologists, got a note from my primary about the blood disorder, and got a note from my psychiatrist all stating that kids were NOT in my future. I as a 20-something female could not get a tubal ligation, nor could I get my uterus burned, another “permanent” form of birth control.
And I had side effects to the birth control pill and depo provera. The first time I took depo provera I was 19. I was 125 pounds when I got my first injection. When I went back for the second injection (3 months later) I was 190 pounds. I was told I couldn’t get the second injection, because extreme weight gain like I had experienced was an indicator of a problem with the medication. With the pill, my PMS was extreme. I’d lay around in bed for days unable to get up because the hormone migraine was so bad. And it would trigger other types of migraines. After being hospitalized for a migraine for the 4th time, my primary finally had a talk with my gynecologist because it had been triggered by a hormone migraine and they couldn’t get rid of it. I’d had that migraine over a month before I was hospitalized for it. It was decided that I didn’t require menstruation very often and I was moved to one of the newer 3 month at a time pills (it was the early 2000s and they were new at the time). After I was hospitalized a 5th time, again triggered by a hormone migraine, the way I took those pills was altered. I’d take 6 months of them before being off for a week.
This is why I get so angry about abortion bans. I have done everything in my power to prevent pregnancy since I was 12. I have taken the horrible drugs, I’ve suffered migraines from hell, I got fat because of them and haven’t been able to lose it again – especially the last 6 years since I’m once again on Depo Provera because birth control pills stopped working for me entirely. I have begged doctors to sterilize me and none would because as a woman “I might change my mind and want kids later.” I’ve been responsible about this. It seems like if the worst should happen and I become immune to the effects of Depo Provera or I have to go off it for whatever reason, I should have options. And CRPS prevents me from being sterilized now. J is afraid of needles and won’t get a vasectomy. So, even though neither of us want kids, it is still solely my responsibility to not get pregnant.
Furthermore, vasectomies and condoms are the only forms of male birth control available, because the side effects of hormone related birth control have been deemed too intense for men. But female birth control that causes migraines that require hospitalization and make you gain 65 pounds in under 3 months aren’t extreme side effects? Also for the record, Depo Provera is my last option. I can’t use an IUD because they have metal on them. Norplant the one they put in the arm also has metal on it. And I’ve become immune to birth control pills… So if Depo Provera ever stops working, I am out of birth control options. Furthermore, I know 2 women who are allergic to the artificial progesterone in hormone based birth control.
Considering men are just as necessary for pregnancy as women and male birth control doesn’t have any more extreme side effects than that of women’s hormone based birth control, it’s time to start holding men to the same standards as women when it comes to preventing pregnancy. Because as that Tweet illustrates, a man can have a lot more than one full term pregnancy in a year.
As a PS: I knew a guy in high school who didn’t like wearing condoms. He complained it didn’t feel right. When his girlfriend informed him they had to use condoms because she was allergic to hormone based birth control, he told her it was fine, if they got pregnant she could just have an abortion. They broke up over his stupidity and he told anyone that would listen what a bitch she was because she demanded he use a condom.