Medical Questions > Debate Forums > Abortion Debate Forum

Does having unprotected sex constitute consent to pregnancy? (Page 1)

User Profile
This question has been popping up all throughout the abortion debate, so I think it deserves its own thread. (It may already have one, but I'm not digging through years of archives to find it.) In the past, I've agreed with the notion that sex doesn't constitute consent for pregnancy, but upon some deeper thought, I realize that I was blindly buying into that argument for no other reason than that it came from the pro-choice camp. In short, I've changed my mind. I now believe that having unprotected sex is granting at least implied consent to the idea of becoming pregnant. Otherwise, why take the risk?

We live in an age where we have not one, but dozens of ways to prevent pregnancy, so nobody has to endure abstinence to avoid being a parent. The VAST majority of modern Americans know full well where babies come from and how they're created. When someone doesn't bother to avail themselves of ANY of those methods, that tells me that they're not all that concerned about the notion of getting pregnant. Therefore, they shouldn't be patted on the head and coddled for their irresponsibility by telling them that it's not their fault that a nasty ole' fetus broke into their uterus and tried to mooch resources and ruin a poor innocent woman's life.

I imagine I'll be flamed to a crisp by some of my fellow pro-choicers for daring to agree with the pro-life assertion that careless sex is, in fact, an invitation to get pregnant whether you want to or not. I'm sure people who drive drunk don't INTEND to wreck their cars, but we as a society certainly frown and shake fingers whenever such a drunken accident happens. Why then do some people feel the need to defend irresponsible breeders by saying things like "sex is NOT consent for pregnancy"? This defies the notion of personal accountability and gives gullible people the idea that they're not to be blamed any time their own actions result in an undesirable state of affairs. It's like saying, "you can do whatever you want so long as you don't INTEND to cause any harm."

I understand that a lot of pro-choicers feel they must defend these careless women (and men) because it's not a very long trip from blaming a pregnant woman to passing judgement on her and telling her to "live with her mistake." The fact of the matter is that women who accidentally get pregnant ARE punished for their actions, no matter what they decide to do. Having an abortion is no picnic - it's expensive, painful, and usually carries with it a lot of personal guilt and social stigma. Adoption is even more difficult and parenting is yet harder still.

The irony is that in trying to defend abortion rights at any cost, a lot of pro-choicers are advocating an attitude which actually hinders sex and birth control education. If people are given the idea that it's not their fault they created a baby by having unprotected sex, then it's no great surprise that many of our young and ignorant think they're invincible and above reproach. After all, how dare somebody tell them what they should do with their bodies?!? They're being told that sex - even careless sex - is NOT consent to get pregnant, so they subconsciously believe that when they have unprotected sex, nothing bad can happen because they didn't AGREE to it.

I think that if people from both sides of the abortion debate could agree that it's not OK to have unprotected sex, we could make some progress toward teaching our children that if you do so, you eventually WILL be punished whether we think that's fair or not. Also, we as a nation should stand up to the fundamentalist minority that's STILL keeping comprehensive sex ed out of the classrooms. I remember about ten years ago, you couldn't turn on the TV without seeing a safe sex commercial advocating condom use. Remember the slogans "no glove, no love" and "wear one or get none"? Now, they've been phased out in favor of commercials for Viagra and Zoloft and Ambien. The powers that be decided that there's not enough money to be made in advertising safe sex, so screw it - no pun intended.

Anyway, I'm not out to vilify anyone who's unintentionally gotten pregnant, but I am tired of people telling them that it's not their fault. If they didn't use birth control, they brought the consequences on themselves and should be expected to cowboy up and take care of the child they created - one way or another. If a person is mature enough to be humping, they should be mature enough to be expected to think about the personal and social ramifications of sex instead of blindly groping around for a good time. However, one can hardly blame a person for acting like a spoiled child when society treats them like one.
Did you find this post helpful?
|

replied January 21st, 2010
Extremely eHealthy
An important part of your argument, Damiana, is in the insertion of the modifier "unprotected" in your question. Because the anti-abortion position actually tends to be that having sex = implied consent to pregnancy, whether or not you are using contraception, since you would also be aware that most forms of contraception have varying degrees of effectiveness. So even if you are sterilised, there may be a 0.5% chance of pregnancy -- and tough luck if that's you, you knew there was a chance so even if you were sterilised you DID have sex, so you consented to that small chance of pregnancy.

A second issue arises in pregnancy in underage girls, who are probably the most likely to be having sex without using birth control. Since they are not able to consent to sex, they are not able to consent to pregnancy.

Otherwise, I can more or less accept your argument, since it is biological. However, the anti-choice position on that is "you consented to being pregnant, so you have to go through with it." I would argue that while I consented to the possibility that pregnancy might occur, I did so knowing that I would abort if it happened.
|
Did you find this post helpful?
Users who thank oopoop for this post: Moo  motherofhighspiritedones 

User Profile
replied January 21st, 2010
Active User, very eHealthy
No. Going to a man's home alone at 2am in a seductive dress is not consenting to sex, only consenting to sex is consenting to sex. Same with parenthood. It is a very specific process.

I would no more say a woman wasn't raped because of some "implied" consent than I would that a woman couldn't get an abortion or that a man wanted a child by someone's idea of "implied" consent to pregnancy and or parenthood. Pregnancy (for the fertile or wealthy and minimally capable with ART) and parenthood are CHOICES. Choices require someone to actively choose them with direct consent.
|
Did you find this post helpful?

User Profile
replied January 21st, 2010
Active User, very eHealthy
The other thing is, what would be the remedy for those women who DID get pregnant after "careless sex?" Do they lose the right to an abortion and how exactly would someone be able to prove that she hadn't used protection?
|
Did you find this post helpful?

User Profile
replied January 21st, 2010
Experienced User
Phenicks wrote:
The other thing is, what would be the remedy for those women who DID get pregnant after "careless sex?" Do they lose the right to an abortion and how exactly would someone be able to prove that she hadn't used protection?


The remedy for those women who DID get pregnant after "careless sex" would be the same as it's always been - abortion, adoption, or parenting. I never suggested that ANYBODY lose their right to abortion, but this automatic assumption is part of the reason I wanted to address the issue of unprotected sex as it relates to pregnancy. Some people feel that they must protect (and subsequently condone) people's right to choose not to use birth control because telling them they're idiots might somehow endanger abortion rights.

I look at abortion as a damage control option, NOT a form of birth control. Having an abortion doesn't prevent a birth - it just ensures via premature delivery that the child won't survive the birth process. No matter how viciously I'm willing to fight for women's right to have abortion as an option, my heart still tells me that abortion is the snuffing of a human life for the satisfaction and convenience of another person. Counting on abortion to save your butt when you have careless sex shows the same level of intelligence as not bothering with a seat belt because you can always go to the hospital if there's a wreck.

I often use driving as an analogy for sex because, socially speaking, they have a lot in common. Driving is not REQUIRED to survive and function as part of society, but people do it anyway because life is easier and more fun with a car. However, we as a society DEMAND that people earn their right to drive and do so with responsibility and personal accountability or else lose the privilege. At the same time, we excuse careless humpers as "not at fault for what happened because all they wanted was to have a good time." Something should be done to correct the imbalance in that logic. Just because something goes on behind closed doors doesn't mean that it has any less impact on society than driving without a license.

I'm not saying we should impose sanctions on people for having unprotected sex. Since the burden of proof is on the prosecutor in our judicial system, it would ALWAYS amount to "he said, she said." I've never been in favor of unenforceable laws. However, we as a society ought to be deeply ashamed that we've put sex education on the back burner to satisfy fundamentalists and prudish parents. I think that both groups COMBINED constitute a vast minority of the population, but we're willing to put ALL of our children at increased risk just to ensure that this minority has their "rights" protected. It's kind of hypocritical if you think about it and it defies the principles of democracy. In a democracy, the majority should RULE not let themselves be conned into thinking that it's cruel to force their "beliefs" on the minority.

If you want a solution, I'll say that there is only one solution which will satisfy almost everyone. EDUCATION! The system we have in place now is lame and woefully inadequate. All we allow the school to teach our kids is the standard definition of sex and which body parts have what function in the process. Anything more "controversial" than that is strictly frowned upon. My oldest daughter told me about a disturbing incident during one of the school's "sex ed" sessions. One of her classmates asked about birth control and was told by the teacher, "we're not allowed to talk about that." When I heard about it, I naturally called the school to ask why the hell not. The vice principal - who didn't seem any happier about it than I was - said that they didn't want angry parents calling the school demanding to know WHY their kids were being taught that there's a way to have sex without getting "caught" at it. She went on to explain that since buttholes like that are FAR more vocal than angry parents like myself, they had to kowtow to the group capable of causing the school the most trouble and bad publicity.

Does anyone here remember Joycelyn Elders and why she got fired? She was dismissed from her post as surgeon general for the mere SUGGESTION that we teach children about masturbation as a form of safe sex. Did 51% or more of the American public honestly feel like she was out of line? If not, then this nation is guilty of ignoring the desires of the majority for the sake of a belligerent minority. I find that to be cowardly and undemocratic.

Anyway, the point I'm trying to make is that we have a DUTY to educate people about the foolishness of safe sex instead of acting like it's up to people to figure out the risks and solutions for themselves. We should also stop acting like people have a God-given right to screw around and remain blameless for anything that they didn't MEAN to happen. If we're going to do that, then what's the purpose of helmet and seat belt laws? Why do we punish people for not protecting themselves in one instance while not even strongly encouraging them to do so in another?
|
Did you find this post helpful?

User Profile
replied January 21st, 2010
Experienced User
You know I am in total agreement with you despite what I said on an earlier thread. It always aggravates me when I hear of people having unprotected sex then agonizing over the possibility of pregnancy. ESPECIALLY teenagers. My boyfriend and I have asked each other the same question over and over again "Why are people so damn stupid?" I'm just grateful I'm with a guy who actually KNOWS what a condom is and how its used.

I do agree that in one way or another it is implied consent but not on "legal" grounds. And I don't necessarily like to view pregnancy as a punishment either, no matter which way its ended. But you do make a good point.
|
Did you find this post helpful?

User Profile
replied January 21st, 2010
Experienced User
MsKitty325 wrote:
And I don't necessarily like to view pregnancy as a punishment either, no matter which way its ended.


In most cases, pregnancy is not a punishment. A lot of people consider it a miracle. However, it is a consequence of sex and a "punishment" is generally defined as a negative consequence of a particular action. Therefore, if the idea of being pregnant horrifies you, then you would definitely feel like you were being punished if you got pregnant.

Also, it bears pointing out that pregnancy is not the only way a person can be "punished" for having unprotected sex. There exists a wide variety of painful, humiliating, and even fatal diseases which are spread by people who could very well be telling themselves that having sex is NOT consent to catch a disease.
|
Did you find this post helpful?

User Profile
replied January 21st, 2010
Community Volunteer
Personally, I have always been touchy on this subject. I know, through my own experiences, that birth control fails, condoms break, and tubal ligations aren't 100%. When I had sex and all of the above happened, I wasn't thinking about the FAILURE rate, I was thinking about the SUCCESS rate, which is high. I certainly don't think by having sex that I was consenting to pregnancy. Maybe deep down inside my subconscious, I knew it might happen, albeit the risk was very low.
As for unprotected sex, education is KEY, and people need to know the risks. Protection and education should be free for all.
I don't see my pregnancies, the ones I CHOSE to carry to term and mother, and the ones that unfortunately had to be aborted for medically necessary reasons as punishment for anything. And I don't think ANY pregnancy, intended or unplanned, wanted or unwanted, should be viewed as punishment, nor should it be used as leverage for any insult on the lines of "shoulda kept your legs closed"
or "garden tool".
|
Did you find this post helpful?

User Profile
replied January 21st, 2010
Experienced User
DamianaRaven wrote:
MsKitty325 wrote:
And I don't necessarily like to view pregnancy as a punishment either, no matter which way its ended.


In most cases, pregnancy is not a punishment. A lot of people consider it a miracle. However, it is a consequence of sex and a "punishment" is generally defined as a negative consequence of a particular action. Therefore, if the idea of being pregnant horrifies you, then you would definitely feel like you were being punished if you got pregnant.

Also, it bears pointing out that pregnancy is not the only way a person can be "punished" for having unprotected sex. There exists a wide variety of painful, humiliating, and even fatal diseases which are spread by people who could very well be telling themselves that having sex is NOT consent to catch a disease.


Yes pregnancy is a result, an outcome, maybe even a consequence of sex but definitely not a punishment. A punishment is defined as a penalty for an act of offense or fault. Sex is a natural occurance in nature. There's absolutely nothing wrong with it in order to be punished for doing so.
|
Did you find this post helpful?

User Profile
replied January 22nd, 2010
Experienced User
MsKitty325 wrote:
Yes pregnancy is a result, an outcome, maybe even a consequence of sex but definitely not a punishment. A punishment is defined as a penalty for an act of offense or fault. Sex is a natural occurance in nature. There's absolutely nothing wrong with it in order to be punished for doing so.


I'll concede that I don't think a pregnancy is "punishment" under any circumstance. I merely pointed out that a lot of people would feel as if they were being punished because they were enduring an unhappy consequence. However, no matter how natural sex is, nature disagrees with your contention that people shouldn't be punished for it. Otherwise, there would be no STD's. I'm willing to disqualify pregnancy as a penalty because it often results in the birth of a baby and who doesn't like babies? How do you disqualify a disease, though? There's no happy ending to AIDS.
|
Did you find this post helpful?

User Profile
replied January 22nd, 2010
Experienced User
DamianaRaven wrote:

I'm willing to disqualify pregnancy as a penalty because it often results in the birth of a baby and who doesn't like babies? How do you disqualify a disease, though? There's no happy ending to AIDS.


*sigh* sad but true. Where did std's come from? I've never thought of it before, but now its brought to my attention. Do you think cavemen had std's?
|
Did you find this post helpful?

User Profile
replied January 22nd, 2010
Active User, very eHealthy
But see Damiana, people have natural urges and instincts to have sex. Even if a person never heard of sex or were shielded from it their entire lives, they would still want to have sex its within human nature that a totally healthy human being would have natural sexual urges (natural meaning they wouldn't need provocation to want sex, the desire for sexual pleasure or stimulation occurs naturally).

You do NOT have a natural urge or instinct to drive a car. You have a desire to drive a car based on its conception as being something convenient that many paople alive today have known as a readily available mode of transportation since before they were born.

Thats why abstinence is such a hotly contested conceept, especially around puberty when we are asking teens to fight off natural urges to engage in sex.
|
Did you find this post helpful?

User Profile
replied January 22nd, 2010
Experienced User
MsKitty325 wrote:
*sigh* sad but true. Where did std's come from? I've never thought of it before, but now its brought to my attention. Do you think cavemen had std's?


That's a very interesting question.
|
Did you find this post helpful?

User Profile
replied January 22nd, 2010
Experienced User
MsKitty325 wrote:
*sigh* sad but true. Where did std's come from? I've never thought of it before, but now its brought to my attention. Do you think cavemen had std's?


Maybe God put them here to punish people for trying to have a good time when they were clearly told NOT to. Seriously, that's a good question. I'm sure there are anthropologists and virologists working hard to figure out that very mystery.
|
Did you find this post helpful?

User Profile
replied January 22nd, 2010
Active User, very eHealthy
But I do agree that having unprotected sex is not a good thing, that it is in fact irresponsible. As you've noted, pregnancy is by far not the worst consequence of condomless sex (because although using hormonal birth control is considered protected sex it offers nothing as protection against STIs/STDs) and we should all be courteous enough to ensure that we protect each other and ourselves from communicable diseases.

However your post was about consenting to pregnancy and or parenthood, which is why we disagree. On the note of unprotected sex in most cases (of course if you're married or in a monogamous relationship and looking to become a parent, etc. this doesn't apply) it is a really really bad idea.
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied January 25th, 2010
Active User, very eHealthy
If unprotected sex is consent to pregnancy, then so is protected sex, since all forms of contraception have a failure rate.

In all the years I've been debating abortion, I've not once heard a prochoicer say that it's okay to have unprotected sex. Not once.
|
Did you find this post helpful?
Users who thank msrosie for this post: motherofhighspiritedones  Moo  Jincks013 

User Profile
replied January 31st, 2010
Extremely eHealthy
Q: Does having uprotected sex equal consent to pregnancy?

A: No.

Any further questions?
|
Did you find this post helpful?

User Profile
replied January 31st, 2010
Experienced User
Unprotected sex is irresponsible if you don't want to become pregnant. If a couple do not want to get pregnant, they should use at least one form of contraception. Even better a combination of two or three for increased protection and so that they have a back-up if one fails. If they get pregnant, it is no-one's fault but their own, and they should learn to be more careful.
Yes, it IS their fault for not using any form of protection, however I will never see it as "consent" to pregnancy. If you are having sex you should be grown up enough to know there is a pregnancy risk, know how to use contraception, actually USE IT and accept responsibility should something go wrong.

If you don't want to be pregnant, use a condom / birthcontrol. There is even emergency contraception in case you don't. There are so many forms of contraception available that it is not ethical in my opinion for people to think that they can get away with not using contraception because they "can always have an abortion". Take responsibility and prevent it in the first place.
|
Did you find this post helpful?

User Profile
replied January 31st, 2010
Extremely eHealthy
Is getting on a airplane consent to be killed? Is driving your car consent to be hurt in a crash? Is going to the dentist consent to getting aids?
Lets use some common sense here.
Just because I walk my daughter to the bus stop in the morning I am not consenting to be killed in a drive by shooting so I am no more consenting to pregnancy by having unprotected sex then I am consenting to being severely injured by driving my car.

This isn't about consent to pregnancy it is yet another pathetic attempt to analogize sexually repressing one gender. It is, as usual, about controlling women. Nothing else.

Nice Try. No banana.
|
Did you find this post helpful?

User Profile
replied January 31st, 2010
Experienced User
Jincks013 wrote:
Is driving your car consent to be hurt in a crash?


Do you wear a seat belt? If so, why?
|
Did you find this post helpful?