What Happens When the Birds and the Bees Don’t Want an Interspecies Hybrid?

MJ Porzenheim Staff Writer My maternal grandmother got pregnant with my mother before her marriage. She was college educated, highly intelligent, and could have had a different future had she not kept the baby. The legality of abortion must, then, interest me. The cultural view of abortion must interest me doubly so. After all, if it was acceptable and legal then, and my grandmother had been a different sort of person, neither my brother nor I would exist. My paternal grandmother used the “rhythm method” with her husband. She still had four kids, my father the last. If she had believed in the morality of more effective birth control, if her cultural inclinations had differed… You get the picture. And, hell, if you look for that picture, you’ll see that there’s another with you in it. It’s not that clear-cut, though. The majority of the people in city of Chicago are Democrats, as evidenced by the fact that Illinois almost always goes blue on Election Day. Typically, Democrats are pro-choice, and are so for a reason. And it’s not just about abortion. Some schools dispense condoms in their bathrooms. As our bathrooms are accessible to middle-schoolers, this is likely a prudent decision. Ellie Williams, senior, agrees with me, but she thinks “they should encourage [condom usage].”Actually, another choice made by Latin interests me more. As of yet, I have not heard the health classes actually speak about abortion, though they have told all of us at length about proper contraceptive usage. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, so I suppose this is also prudent, but knowledge about processes of abortion may help some girls to make more informed decisions. I know there are sexually active students at Latin. Let’s think for a moment, and realize that no one I have asked has been able to tell me of a teen pregnancy at Latin. Let’s also consider the likelihood that some of the sex Latin schoolers have had has probably been unprepared. Finally, I’ll point out to you that sperm are generally quite good at reaching eggs, and you’ll see, perhaps, what I’m trying to say: there may well have been girls at Latin who had abortions. Interestingly, there are health benefits to contraceptive use (other than, y’know, not getting STDs).  Malcolm Gladwell points out that use of female contraceptives to reduce the frequency with which women get their periods may reduce breast cancer risk by reducing the number of times a woman’s body gets flooded with hormones. You can read that article here. Should every girl be on birth control then, just to reduce her likelihood of a relatively common and devastating disease? Ounce of prevention, right? But then again, to what extent would we be ignoring the detriments of birth control? If I can take the ending of every Yaz commercial seriously, there are quite a few. Actually, sitting on the translucent paper covering the odd piece of furniture that one sits on at the pediatrician’s office, I read a pamphlet describing an argument against the implementation of a similar cancer-preventative measure: the HPV vaccine.  Opposition of both of these preventative measures argues that protecting a girl from STDs or pregnancy makes her more likely to have sex. Here, I suppose, we’re back in the realm of the moral. What does Latin think of these moralities? We’re a school in a liberal city in a liberal state with many liberal students. The school’s liberal, as junior Sam Cohen can attest to. As she pointed out, “in general Latin… lean(s) towards the liberal side, so I definitely think it’s pro-choice, maybe not as friendly to pro-life.” That said, my friend once wrote an essay arguing pro-life for language arts at Latin, so the school won’t attack pro-lifers. What does the US government think of these moralities? In Illinois, an abortion just for an abortion’s sake is illegal. You have to have a medical reason. But in the rest of the world, things have been getting increasingly messier. Mitt Romney recently called Roe v. Wade one of the darkest moments in Supreme Court history, Planned Parenthood has faced more attacks than the Assad regime (recently by foundations and officials like the Susan G. Komen and Mitt Romney respectively), and, of course, there’s that attempt by the state of Virginia to authorize transvaginal ultrasounds. Obviously morality has a much looser definition than I thought. And what about the other side of the issue? And by that I’m not referring to the media’s portrayal of pro-life heroines (such as the walking sigh Bella Swan on Twilight and every teenager on Sixteen and Pregnant), but rather the issue of male reproductive rights. A vastly underrepresented topic, the argument stems from the knowledge that it is inherently a woman’s decision whether or not a man can become a father. When abortions are made illegal, it is not only the woman’s life that is affected, but also the man’s as well.  Here, morality seems to have a bit of a double-edged sword. What do our parents think of these moralities? As you can read here, here, and here, they talk about sex with their kids a lot less than parents in some European countries do (oh, those risqué French). As a result, we have higher rates of STDs and abortion, and lower rates of contraceptive usage. Maybe our parents should start talking about this stuff to us. Do contraceptives encourage sex? Is that a bad thing? Is abortion murder? Is it simply a woman’s choice to have a medical procedure? What do we think of these moralities? You tell me.]]>