What if Abortion was Immediately Banned?

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What if Abortion was Immediately Banned?

Postby setzer777 » Thu Sep 08, 2011 12:39 am UTC

What do you think the immediate consequences would be? Would a black market quickly spring up (and how safe/professional would it be)? Do you think people's sexual choices would be significantly impacted in any way? Would your choices be impacted in any way (for example, I have feeling a ban would give me the final push to get sterilized)?

Something else occurred to me: if it became illegal would we be unable to advocate abortion or give advice on obtaining it, seeing as advocating illegal activities is not allowed on the forums? Or would we just have to be careful how we talked about it (mods, my apologies if discussing hypothetical forum policy is a no-go)?
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Re: What if Abortion was Immediately Banned?

Postby mmmcannibalism » Thu Sep 08, 2011 1:48 am UTC

setzer777 wrote:What do you think the immediate consequences would be? Would a black market quickly spring up (and how safe/professional would it be)? Do you think people's sexual choices would be significantly impacted in any way? Would your choices be impacted in any way (for example, I have feeling a ban would give me the final push to get sterilized)?

Something else occurred to me: if it became illegal would we be unable to advocate abortion or give advice on obtaining it, seeing as advocating illegal activities is not allowed on the forums? Or would we just have to be careful how we talked about it (mods, my apologies if discussing hypothetical forum policy is a no-go)?


I feel as if they major major protests that would happen might make any long term results unpredictable.
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Re: What if Abortion was Immediately Banned?

Postby CorruptUser » Thu Sep 08, 2011 2:39 am UTC

My business of a "special Canadian weekend getaway" would boom.

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Re: What if Abortion was Immediately Banned?

Postby EdgarJPublius » Thu Sep 08, 2011 4:04 am UTC

My understanding is that in many areas, the availability of abortions is already conducted similarly to a black market in order to avoid protests and anti-abortion violence.

You might also extrapolate from the state of affairs pre Roe v. Wade where abortion was illegal, or severely restricted in many states.

In any situation where a good or service has been banned, but the demand has not been addressed or otherwise reduced, a black market is inevitable. In general, prices go up and quality down.
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Re: What if Abortion was Immediately Banned?

Postby nitePhyyre » Thu Sep 08, 2011 5:19 am UTC

CorruptUser wrote:My business of a "special Canadian weekend getaway" would boom.
Is this a business you are currently running? Do I even want to know?
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Re: What if Abortion was Immediately Banned?

Postby yurell » Thu Sep 08, 2011 5:35 am UTC

I would imagine there would be a large amount of protests, and a lot of people being voted out of their seats if abortion were immediately banned. No doubt such a ban would be challenged in court, too, but I'm not sure how well such appeals would do. I would imagine such a ban would get repealed the next election, though, and the Greens would probably find themselves with a lot more seats.
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Re: What if Abortion was Immediately Banned?

Postby setzer777 » Thu Sep 08, 2011 6:04 am UTC

Why would the Greens get seats?
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Re: What if Abortion was Immediately Banned?

Postby yurell » Thu Sep 08, 2011 6:08 am UTC

Because the Greens are pro-abortion, and most of their political opponents (especially Labor, since they seem to have similar voter bases) just committed suicide.
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Re: What if Abortion was Immediately Banned?

Postby Metaphysician » Thu Sep 08, 2011 8:07 am UTC

You would have desperate people attempting black market, dangerous back alley abortions and home remedies. You would see an over loaded foster care system and within 15 years an incredibly sharp spike in crime. It would be an unmitigated disaster. I personally believe that the destruction of potential life is a tragedy but I understand the social and practical necessity as well as the fundamental application of the right of the individual to total control over one's body.
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Re: What if Abortion was Immediately Banned?

Postby CorruptUser » Thu Sep 08, 2011 4:00 pm UTC

nitePhyyre wrote:
CorruptUser wrote:My business of a "special Canadian weekend getaway" would boom.
Is this a business you are currently running? Do I even want to know?


I think you hit Poe's law. Anyway, no, this is not my business. But if abortion was banned, someone would start said business.
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Re: What if Abortion was Immediately Banned?

Postby omgryebread » Thu Sep 08, 2011 4:24 pm UTC

In the US, at least, there'd be a lot weaker arguments against things like the Patriot Act, because if abortion were illegal here, that law passing judicial review would indicate there is no constitutional right to privacy.
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Re: What if Abortion was Immediately Banned?

Postby markop2003 » Thu Sep 08, 2011 4:42 pm UTC

There would be a lot of abandoned babies, more unhappy couples and a lot of single mothers.

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Re: What if Abortion was Immediately Banned?

Postby podbaydoor » Thu Sep 08, 2011 4:46 pm UTC

Not to mention more dead women.
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Re: What if Abortion was Immediately Banned?

Postby Angua » Thu Sep 08, 2011 4:59 pm UTC

Metaphysician wrote:You would have desperate people attempting black market, dangerous back alley abortions and home remedies. You would see an over loaded foster care system and within 15 years an incredibly sharp spike in crime. It would be an unmitigated disaster. I personally believe that the destruction of potential life is a tragedy but I understand the social and practical necessity as well as the fundamental application of the right of the individual to total control over one's body.

According to wikipedia - 1/8 pregnancy related deaths are due to backalley abortions. 20 million backalley abortions occur annually. That's a lot of desperate people willing to risk their lives for an abortion - it would be a lot more common if abortion were to be made illegal than is given credit for.

source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unsafe_abortion
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Re: What if Abortion was Immediately Banned?

Postby gavin » Thu Sep 08, 2011 5:40 pm UTC

Depends on how you view life. If you believe that a growing organic organism is living and that human DNA makes it human, then a lot of human life could be saved. If you believe that a fetus is neither alive, nor human, then I guess a lot of life is allowed to start that otherwise wouldn't?

There would also be the negatives of riots and whatnot. I'm not sure exactly how often backalley abortions would continue to take place (they used to be done out of shame cast on individuals who got pregnant out of wedlock, something that no longer really happens in mass anymore). They would probably happen though. I guess the ability to do them would have improved since then. Now that medications that have the side effect of inducing labor is readily available.

Like most people said though, the majority of individuals would just take a "trip" to a country that did offer the services. I wonder if protection use would increase though? It may have a positive effect on STD reduction or it may just encourage the use of non-reproductive sexual activities which generally increase STDs. So who knows?

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Re: What if Abortion was Immediately Banned?

Postby Enokh » Thu Sep 08, 2011 5:49 pm UTC

As I'm pretty sure that abortions are quite a bit more common among the poor than other economic classes(citation needed, yes), I don't really think "taking a trip to another country" is going to be the go-to solution.

A good number of protests, a good number of injured women, a fair amount of DEAD women, and a lot of people getting taken advantage of -- Unless there's an abundance of trained medical personnel who would moonlight as black market abortionists out of the goodness of their hearts. I somehow doubt that would be the case.

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Re: What if Abortion was Immediately Banned?

Postby Cres » Thu Sep 08, 2011 6:09 pm UTC

A big rise in crime 15-20 years down the line.

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Re: What if Abortion was Immediately Banned?

Postby Thesh » Thu Sep 08, 2011 6:52 pm UTC

Cres wrote:A big rise in crime 15-20 years down the line.


While it might have some effect on crime, I highly doubt it would be a major one. The end of God's wrath would make up for the increase in crime anyway.
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Re: What if Abortion was Immediately Banned?

Postby sophyturtle » Thu Sep 08, 2011 7:47 pm UTC

podbaydoor wrote:Not to mention more dead women.
This. Women will die.
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Re: What if Abortion was Immediately Banned?

Postby CorruptUser » Thu Sep 08, 2011 8:07 pm UTC

Thesh wrote:
Cres wrote:A big rise in crime 15-20 years down the line.


While it might have some effect on crime, I highly doubt it would be a major one. The end of God's wrath would make up for the increase in crime anyway.



Errm, read.

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Re: What if Abortion was Immediately Banned?

Postby Thesh » Thu Sep 08, 2011 9:48 pm UTC

CorruptUser wrote:
Thesh wrote:
Cres wrote:A big rise in crime 15-20 years down the line.


While it might have some effect on crime, I highly doubt it would be a major one. The end of God's wrath would make up for the increase in crime anyway.



Errm, read.


I'm not going to buy a book for any arguments on a forum. If you want to post an actual rebuttal, that's fine by me. The argument I have heard is "legalized abortions means fewer children in poverty, means less crime." Now, that may be a factual statement, but a significant change in crime rates due to abortion is unsupported. The problem is that the number of children in poverty has increased since Roe v. Wade, (14.4% in 1973 to 20.7% in 2009) and our crime rate is actually lower. Crime rates don't seem to be as heavily tied to poverty as people think.

Would poverty rates and crime rates be higher now if abortion were never legalized? I would guess yes. Would it be a big difference? Probably not.

Poverty data from here:
http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/poverty/ ... stpov3.xls
Crime data from here:
http://www.disastercenter.com/crime/uscrime.htm
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Re: What if Abortion was Immediately Banned?

Postby LaserGuy » Thu Sep 08, 2011 10:23 pm UTC

I think the immediate reaction would be some kind of crazy jubilation among fundamentalists who have no concern for women's rights. Then they would decide that contraception is the next great evil and focus their attention on that.

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Re: What if Abortion was Immediately Banned?

Postby CorruptUser » Thu Sep 08, 2011 10:30 pm UTC

Thesh wrote:
CorruptUser wrote:
Thesh wrote:
Cres wrote:A big rise in crime 15-20 years down the line.


While it might have some effect on crime, I highly doubt it would be a major one. The end of God's wrath would make up for the increase in crime anyway.



Errm, read.


I'm not going to buy a book for any arguments on a forum. If you want to post an actual rebuttal, that's fine by me. The argument I have heard is "legalized abortions means fewer children in poverty, means less crime." Now, that may be a factual statement, but a significant change in crime rates due to abortion is unsupported. The problem is that the number of children in poverty has increased since Roe v. Wade, (14.4% in 1973 to 20.7% in 2009) and our crime rate is actually lower. Crime rates don't seem to be as heavily tied to poverty as people think.

Would poverty rates and crime rates be higher now if abortion were never legalized? I would guess yes. Would it be a big difference? Probably not.

Poverty data from here:
http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/poverty/ ... stpov3.xls
Crime data from here:
http://www.disastercenter.com/crime/uscrime.htm


2009's data won't start affecting the crime rates until around 2015-2020. As for the abortion-reducing-crime argument, it's more "legalized abortions means fewer children born to families that won't/can't take care of them, means less crime." Plus (minus?) fewer children born to rape/incest.

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Re: What if Abortion was Immediately Banned?

Postby Save Point » Fri Sep 09, 2011 12:18 am UTC

omgryebread wrote:In the US, at least, there'd be a lot weaker arguments against things like the Patriot Act, because if abortion were illegal here, that law passing judicial review would indicate there is no constitutional right to privacy.

No, it wouldn't. There are tons of decisions outside the realm of abortion that are predicated on right to privacy, and they all have weird nuances with regard to where the right is derived and the areas in which it can and should be applied.

Anyway, I think it would be Christmas for public interest firms and you'd see a lot of lawsuits. I'd like to say that, given our 14th amendment jurisprudence, that the ban would likely be found unconstitutional. But that could really depend heavily on the makeup of the SC court justices, assuming they'd have the cajones to grant cert and address the cases on their merits.

Oh, and to add an extra twist: a lot of legislation defining life in such a way that it would fall under 14th amendment protection goes out of its way to restrict appellate jurisdiction so courts would theoretically be unable to review the constitutionality of it and other related legislation*. I think if it tried this, you'd see courts chomping at the bit to address that one.

* I believe the recent Georgia abortion legislation as well as the Ronpaul''s 2007 House bill did this.

EDIT: Also, this is assuming the ban occurred in any way outside of a Constitutional amendment, obviously. Above comments are also general and could change based on whether we're discussing federal legislation or every single state banning it individually.

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Re: What if Abortion was Immediately Banned?

Postby setzer777 » Fri Sep 09, 2011 5:15 am UTC

Enokh wrote:A good number of protests, a good number of injured women, a fair amount of DEAD women, and a lot of people getting taken advantage of -- Unless there's an abundance of trained medical personnel who would moonlight as black market abortionists out of the goodness of their hearts. I somehow doubt that would be the case.


It almost seems like a lot of doctors must be doing it out of the goodness of their hearts (or at least some higher principles) today, given how much harassment (including death threats) they have to deal with.
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Re: What if Abortion was Immediately Banned?

Postby Angua » Fri Sep 09, 2011 11:03 am UTC

setzer777 wrote:
Enokh wrote:A good number of protests, a good number of injured women, a fair amount of DEAD women, and a lot of people getting taken advantage of -- Unless there's an abundance of trained medical personnel who would moonlight as black market abortionists out of the goodness of their hearts. I somehow doubt that would be the case.


It almost seems like a lot of doctors must be doing it out of the goodness of their hearts (or at least some higher principles) today, given how much harassment (including death threats) they have to deal with.
There's a bit of a difference between taking the harassment while you know you have the law on your side, so you can hope to be protected, and putting yourself out there illegal with no protection whatsoever. You'd probably still get some doctors brave enough to do it, but the numbers would be a lot less.
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Re: What if Abortion was Immediately Banned?

Postby Diadem » Fri Sep 09, 2011 12:47 pm UTC

Since no country was named in the OP, I'm going to assume this thread is about The Netherlands. I mean, what other country could people be talking about if they don't specify a name?

Politically, it would be suicide for the parties that pushed it through. No doubt it would be supported by the Christian right, and they'd get away with it since their voters already oppose abortion. But even the christian democrats would get hammered hard for such a move. For any other party, it would be complete suicide.

There'd be massive protests. But more than that, I think people would simply find creative ways to ignore the rule. Hospitals would certainly do anything in their power to sabotage such legislation, as would most city council and other political groups. I expect hospitals to set up cooperative ventures with hospitals in neighbouring countries to facilitate abortions. For society as a whole, not that much would change, since we currently already have a very low abortion rate. Though the political fallout would be massive and might cause a lot of changes.

I guess it would also open up the debate about euthenasia. Because it doesn't really make sense to not be allowed to abort a fetus with severe defects, while being allowed to kill it after it was born.
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Re: What if Abortion was Immediately Banned?

Postby Griffin » Fri Sep 09, 2011 3:48 pm UTC

Crime rates don't seem to be as heavily tied to poverty as people think.

Would poverty rates and crime rates be higher now if abortion were never legalized? I would guess yes. Would it be a big difference? Probably not.


I've not actually seen a study argue that its due to poverty, so that's a bit of a non-starter, so much as due to unwanted children of all social classes (though the poor may be more affected by this) being far more likely to turn to crime.

The correlation is actually remarkably strong here - if you look at when each state legalized abortion (some did it several years earlier), fast forward 16-20 years, and look at the crime rate, it's had a major drop. Which isn't really enough evidence on its own, obviously, but here's the kicker - the same crime rate drop is NOT reported in states that legalized abortion later, until the same amount of time has passed.

More specifically, crime in those states only really fell among the age groups that would have been directly affected by the abortion legalization.

Here's a pdf of the most well known study on the issue


Obviously, correlation does not equal causation... but there's certainly strong evidence for it. Assuming the author of the studies results are reliable, anyways. There have been criticisms.
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Re: What if Abortion was Immediately Banned?

Postby setzer777 » Fri Sep 09, 2011 5:03 pm UTC

Actually, I am interested in hearing about the hypothetical in whatever country you live in. And just for clarification, assume that the ban will not be overturned in the foreseeable future (obviously in some countries this is less plausible).
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Re: What if Abortion was Immediately Banned?

Postby Save Point » Fri Sep 09, 2011 6:21 pm UTC

setzer777 wrote:Actually, I am interested in hearing about the hypothetical in whatever country you live in. And just for clarification, assume that the ban will not be overturned in the foreseeable future (obviously in some countries this is less plausible).

So we're just supposed to predict how people would act in some kind of vacuum? Seeing as a huge chunk of the reaction would be attempts to overturn or preserve the law in question (and speculate as to how we would do that and whether attempts would be successful), rendering it moot cuts out an awful lot of the discussion.

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Re: What if Abortion was Immediately Banned?

Postby Snat » Fri Sep 09, 2011 8:06 pm UTC

Sadly I can't even play with hypothetical 'what if abortion was immediately banned in your country' scenarios. Because it's still illegal in Northern Ireland. Well, it's allowed in cases where the life of the mother is at risk. And only about 70 abortions take place here a year, so they would appear to be fairly strict with their criteria.

So generally your option is to go to the mainland or Europe. Which of course means you have to pay for travel, accommodation and for the actual procedure at a private clinic (compared with the free termination women elsewhere in the UK can get). Which isn't really feasible for the socio-economic group that can't really afford to actually have a child.

What really pisses me off is that you still see anti-abortion protests around the place.

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Re: What if Abortion was Immediately Banned?

Postby Levi » Fri Sep 09, 2011 11:33 pm UTC

setzer777 wrote:Something else occurred to me: if it became illegal would we be unable to advocate abortion or give advice on obtaining it, seeing as advocating illegal activities is not allowed on the forums? Or would we just have to be careful how we talked about it (mods, my apologies if discussing hypothetical forum policy is a no-go)?


I'm fairly certain advocating illegal activities is allowed here. It's not illegal (first amendment of course) and illegal things are advocated all the time in N&A.

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Re: What if Abortion was Immediately Banned?

Postby setzer777 » Sat Sep 10, 2011 2:53 am UTC

Themis wrote:
setzer777 wrote:Actually, I am interested in hearing about the hypothetical in whatever country you live in. And just for clarification, assume that the ban will not be overturned in the foreseeable future (obviously in some countries this is less plausible).

So we're just supposed to predict how people would act in some kind of vacuum? Seeing as a huge chunk of the reaction would be attempts to overturn or preserve the law in question (and speculate as to how we would do that and whether attempts would be successful), rendering it moot cuts out an awful lot of the discussion.


That's a fair point. I guess I just meant avoiding "it would be overturned immediately, end of story".
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Re: What if Abortion was Immediately Banned?

Postby Sockmonkey » Sun Sep 11, 2011 1:48 am UTC

Here we go. Took a while for me to remember where this was.
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Re: What if Abortion was Immediately Banned?

Postby Jackpot777 » Thu Sep 15, 2011 8:54 pm UTC

setzer777 wrote:...(for example, I have feeling a ban would give me the final push to get sterilized)...


If you don't want kids now, and your only reason for not having 'the snip' is that abortion remains a legal form of contraception, I say: get the snip. I did in just after my 35th birthday after knowing for years that I don't want kids because my family is large enough (I'm now in my early forties). There has been no loss in my sex drive whatsoever.

So personally speaking: if abortion was immediately banned, it would have no impact on me, personally.

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Re: What if Abortion was Immediately Banned?

Postby JessikaB » Sun Sep 18, 2011 11:54 am UTC

I have yet to meet a woman who uses abortion as a form of contraception. That's not so say that it doesn't exist.
I have also yet to meet women who take the decision lightly. Most fret over the decision to abort. Yet, life is overall complicated and things happen that you don't mean to happen.

If abortion was immediately banned, then women would, out of desperation, turn to back-alley "options". And there would be deaths.

Some people point to adoption as an option but then I am very pro-choice so I can't really argue why you should do it.

Before abortion was available, some hospitals had "boxes" where women could leave new-born but unwanted babies and then ring a bell for maternity staff. It was, I guess, a way to try to make the best of a bad situation.

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Re: What if Abortion was Immediately Banned?

Postby podbaydoor » Sun Sep 18, 2011 3:23 pm UTC

Pretty much, we'd just have to look into history to see how a ban would go over (assuming it lasts for some length of time despite protests).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_abortion

In the United States and England, the latter half of the 19th century saw abortion become increasingly punished. One writer justified this by claiming that the number of abortions among married women had increased markedly since 1840.[47] In the United States, these laws had a limited effect on middle and upper class women who could, though often with great expense and difficulty, still obtain access to abortion, while poor and young women had access only to the most dangerous and illegal methods.[48]

Access to abortion continued, despite bans enacted on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean, as the disguised, but nonetheless open, advertisement of abortion services, abortion-inducing devices, and abortifacient medicines in the Victorian era would seem to suggest.[53] Apparent print ads of this nature were found in both the United States,[54] the United Kingdom,[3] and Canada.[55] A British Medical Journal writer who replied to newspaper ads peddling relief to women who were "temporarily indisposed" in 1868 found that over half of them were in fact promoting abortion.[3]
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Re: What if Abortion was Immediately Banned?

Postby jareds » Sun Sep 18, 2011 4:38 pm UTC

JessikaB wrote:Before abortion was available, some hospitals had "boxes" where women could leave new-born but unwanted babies and then ring a bell for maternity staff. It was, I guess, a way to try to make the best of a bad situation.

This is still allowed. It is called a safe-haven law and according to Wikipedia all 50 states have them. If someone wants to have their baby adopted but is afraid without the anonymity, this seems ok to me.

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mmmcannibalism
Posts: 2150
Joined: Tue Jun 30, 2009 6:16 am UTC

Re: What if Abortion was Immediately Banned?

Postby mmmcannibalism » Mon Sep 19, 2011 12:04 am UTC

Some people point to adoption as an option but then I am very pro-choice so I can't really argue why you should do it.


Just for clarification, you mean as opposed to an earl term abortion correct?
Izawwlgood wrote:I for one would happily live on an island as a fuzzy seal-human.

Oregonaut wrote:Damn fetuses and their terroist plots.

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TheShadowFog1
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Joined: Mon Sep 26, 2011 4:17 pm UTC

Re: What if Abortion was Immediately Banned?

Postby TheShadowFog1 » Mon Sep 26, 2011 5:26 pm UTC

markop2003 wrote:There would be a lot of abandoned babies, more unhappy couples and a lot of single mothers.

Wait... Don't we still have a lot of single mothers? :|


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