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(Jomo Sanga Thomas’ “Plain Talk”, Oct. 25, 2019)

Guest column by Gabrielle Blair

Our conversation about abortion places the burden of responsibility on women, but men are the root cause.

Worse, when men discuss women’s reproductive rights, we are left with the thought that they have zero interest in stopping abortion.

If we want to prevent abortion, we need to prevent unwanted pregnancies. However, men seem unable or unwilling to admit that they cause 100% of them. Takes two to tango, you say! While this is true in the case of intentional pregnancies, all unwanted pregnancies are caused by the irresponsible ejaculations of men.

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A woman’s egg is only fertile about 4 days each month. And those fertile eggs are produced for a limited number of years. This means, on average, women are fertile for about 48 days per year.

But men are fertile 365 days a year. In fact, if you’re a man who ejaculates multiple times a day, you could cause multiple pregnancies daily. Sperm doesn’t have a fertility expiration date; men can cause unwanted pregnancies from puberty until death.

“But what about birth control … If a woman can manage to figure out how to get an abortion, surely she can use birth control to avoid unwanted pregnancy?” Modern birth control for women is possibly the most important invention of the last century. It’s also brutal. The side effects for many women include migraines, mood swings, decreased libido, depression, severe cramps, heavy bleeding, aneurysm.

Discouragingly, a promising study on a new male contraceptive was cancelled in large part due to side effects.

The side effects, which were about one-third the known side effects for commonly used women’s contraception, demonstrate that as a society, we really don’t mind if women suffer, physically or mentally, once it makes things easier for men.

But, men have it good. Even with the horrible side effects, women are amazingly very willing to use birth control. Unfortunately, it’s harder to get than it should be, but that doesn’t keep women from trying. Birth control options for women require a doctor’s appointment — sometimes multiple doctor’s appointments — and a prescription. They’re not always free, and often not cheap. The pill requires consistent daily use and doesn’t leave much room for mistakes, forgetfulness, or unexpected disruptions to daily schedules.

Condoms, by contrast, are readily available at all hours, inexpensive, convenient, and don’t require a prescription. They’re effective and work on demand. They don’t cause aneurysms, mood swings, or debilitating cramps. Men can keep them stocked up just in case, so they’re always prepared. Condoms are magic.

As a bonus, most women are totally on board with condoms. They prevent STDs and don’t lessen a woman’s pleasure during sex or prevent them from climaxing. So why would there ever be unwanted pregnancies? Why don’t men just use condoms every time they have sex?

Sadly, men don’t love condoms. It’s very common for men to pressure women to have sex without a condom. It’s also not unheard of for men to risk the crime of assault by removing the condom during sex without the women’s permission or knowledge.

Why would men want to have sex without a condom? Because, for the precious minutes when they’re penetrating their partner, not wearing a condom gives them more pleasure. Therefore, most men are willing to risk getting a woman pregnant — which means literally risking her life, her health, her social status, her relationships, and her career — so they can experience a few minutes of slightly increased pleasure.

For the truly condom-averse, men also have a non-condom, always-ready birth control option built right in: the pull-out. It doesn’t protect against STDs and it’s far from perfect. However, it’s 96% effective if done effectively and 78% effective because it is often not done correctly. Still, many men who resist wearing condoms never learn how to pull out correctly. Apparently, it’s slightly more pleasurable to climax inside a vagina than, say, on their partner’s stomach. Once again, men are willing to risk the life, health, and well-being of women in order to experience a tiny bit more pleasure for roughly five seconds during orgasm.

As a rule, men get women pregnant by having a pleasurable orgasm. But men can get a woman pregnant without her feeling any pleasure at all. It’s even possible for a man to impregnate a woman while causing her excruciating pain, trauma, or horror.

In contrast, a woman can have nonstop orgasms with or without a partner and never once get herself pregnant. A woman’s orgasm has literally nothing to do with pregnancy or fertility — her clitoris exists simply for pleasure, not for creating new humans. No matter how many orgasms she has, they won’t make her pregnant. Pregnancies happen when men have an orgasm. Unwanted pregnancies happen when men orgasm irresponsibly. Though our society tends to villainise female pleasure, women’s enjoyment of sex does not equal unwanted pregnancy and abortion. Men’s enjoyment of sex and irresponsible ejaculations do.

Take the topic of responsibility. Often, men don’t know, don’t ask, and don’t think to ask if they’ve caused a pregnancy. There are often zero consequences for men who cause unwanted pregnancies. If the woman decides to have an abortion, the man may never even know he caused an unwanted pregnancy with his irresponsible ejaculation. If the woman does tell him he caused an unwanted pregnancy and that she’s having the baby, the closest thing to a consequence for him is child support. And our current child support system is a well-known joke.

Abortion is horrible; women should not have abortions! Never once do we consider the man who caused the unwanted pregnancy. We must stop shaming women. If we care about reducing or eliminating the number of abortions in our country, simply hold men accountable for their actions.

What would that look like? A real and immediate consequence for men who cause an unwanted pregnancy. What kind of consequence would make sense? Should it be as harsh, painful, nauseating, scarring, expensive, risky, and life-altering as forcing a woman to go through a nine-month unwanted pregnancy or a visit to the “chop shop”?

Many of us consider abortion to be murder, but it’s really the “cure” for an unwanted pregnancy. To stop abortions, we need to prevent the “disease” meaning, the unwanted pregnancy itself. And the only way to do that is by focusing on men, because irresponsible ejaculations by men cause 100% of unwanted pregnancy. To do otherwise is to demonstrate that we care more about policing women’s bodies, morality, and sexuality than we do about reducing or eliminating abortions.

*Jomo Sanga Thomas is a lawyer, journalist, social commentator and Speaker of the House of Assembly in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. 

The opinions presented in this content belong to the author and may not necessarily reflect the perspectives or editorial stance of iWitness News. Opinion pieces can be submitted to [email protected].

8 replies on “Pregnancy and irresponsible men”

  1. Well much of Jomo’a piece is factual and truthful. However, he did not address the role that poverty plays in unwanted pregnancy. Quite often poverty and ignorance go hand in hand. Our own VincentIan society is a good example. Politicians are good example of individuals who commit thes types of acts without impunity. Sometimes these acts are committed by the mere promise of a job for which its a civic responsibility.

    My question to you is how many men go to jail for committing statutory rape? Whether these crimes are committed by politicians or by ordinary citizens. In St Vincent as in other countries incest results in a high degree of abortions and premature death. It depicts the powerful against the most vulnerable in society.

  2. Urlan Alexander says:

    As a man I am totally in awe by this article. In many ways I have been jolted by the reality brought out by this article. The responsibility for all pregnancies are totally on men. We should play a more integral part in the lives of women. We have contributed immensely to the many negatives brought on women through pregnancy. I encourage every man to read this article and be sensitive to the reality of their dew seconds of vaginal fame.

  3. Jomo your comment is just stopped.What happen to condoms and pills.Two
    person having sex willingly don’t you think the woman is the one that makes the decision if she wants to get pregnant. In this day and age women have everything at there disposal to prevent them from being pregnant.Some women drink milke and cement before they have sex so they won’t get pregnant. And jomo for a Man who is representing the gay community why this matter seem to be a problem to you? Every time you write your stopped opinion.l witness print it.but when we answer to it They don’t print them.l am looking forward to seeing this print.

  4. Irresponsible men and women predominates in this small country of ours for as we read from a recent article; “A 55-year-old father of 17 children, the youngest of whom is 9 years old” it is quite obviously so. The mother or mothers of the seventeen children must take some responsibility too.

    What kind of future prosperity or family life can this poor individual offer to those of his 17 offspring’s? The obvious answer must be surely a truly rotten one from the looks of things.

    Indeed, a thoroughly good education and an equally good quality in one’s home life, goes without saying, for any likely prosperity in one’s later life. Yet for all that is, there is a profound systemic flaw in Vincentian life, as it is, in so much of other Caribbean islands life!

    This profound systemic flaw in the Caribbean lifestyle, encourages gross irresponsibility, where there is much lack of forward family planning and a behaviour that could if abandoned, lead to a good and prosperous lifestyle. However, poor education and poverty of minds, predominates. The article here therefore appears to have partly missed the mark for not identifying the poverty in mind-sets.

    We in SVG need to stop encouraging irresponsible behaviour by the many or continue to make excuses for such by promoting pseudo socialism or seeking or spend other nation’s tax dollars and get a grip of our profound systemic flaw

  5. Jomo Thon as you have depicted the woman as totally vulnerable. However, VincentIan women have control over their bodies. I recalled one Vincy woman boasted that she has two men. Her choice was voluntary. The sad part of the equation is that she is no longer with us, she succumbed to the Aids virus a well known HIV carrier in the Arnos Vale area. In general Jomo, women make conscious choices sometimes to their very detriment.

  6. As stated previously, poverty of mind will always without a shadow of a doubt, produce poverty of wealth! Therefore, it is only reasonably foreseeably, that poverty of mind produces very poor decision making and equally poor outcomes when it comes to wealth building on the part of our small nation.

    Our little nation thus suffers from the sad consequence of continual poor decision making on the path of both men and women as fathers and mothers, with little outlook on secure wellbeing throughout life.

    Moreover, it is just grossly cynical for some politicians here, to promote their brand of pseudo socialism, for the sake of vote banks, knowing full well what hinders our progress, rather than encourage our nation building through better decision making and wealth creation.

    The result is this gross sadness that we see, with many of what are now known as single parent families, with women carrying the burden for finding food for the table and with no jobs to boot for food purchases for the resultant hungry mouths. This surely is thus very nauseating.

    But where should we put the blame for our foreseeable plight? The blame and responsibility therefore for our poverty, for all of the resultant begging, from the single impoverished household to our government that begs the world over, must surely therefore fall on us all for our poverty of mind.

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