Are Pregnancies Really Ever ‘Unplanned’?

May 23, 2011  |  

With all of the debate surrounding Planned Parenthood and the obvious right-wing attack on abortion, American women are being forced to reevaluate reproductive responsibility. Although a mere three percent of Planned Parenthood services can be attributed to abortions, the idea of terminating “unplanned” pregnancies is one to be reexamined.

Is getting pregnant after a one-night stand poor planning or a consequence of irresponsibility? After regular unprotected sex with your boyfriend, is it really a surprise to see a pregnancy test register positive? It would appear reproductive rights have become the remedy for poor decision-making.

Excluding the miniscule fraction of abortions performed as a result of rape and incest, the seeds are planted during consensual sex. Many still willingly engage in unprotected sex; and, at best, contraception only protects against pregnancy ninety-nine percent of the time.  So, there is always a small chance for fertilization. Therefore, sexually active women are aware that pregnancy is always a possibility; and, since the vast majority of women seeking abortions (over 95 percent) willingly put themselves at risk of becoming pregnant, wouldn’t a more fitting term be unintended or, perhaps, inconvenient?

Nearly half of all pregnancies in the United States are unintentional and four out of 10 of those are terminated by abortion. According to statistics, half of women ages 15-44 who have had one abortion will also have another. Women in their twenties account for 57 percent of induced abortions. Because married women rarely terminate pregnancies, planned or unintended, 45 percent of abortions occur with non-cohabitating women who have never been married. Among the common reasons women give for having abortions are interference with work or school, not wanting to be a single parent and problems with the biological fathers. Things that should be considered before having sex.

When you lay down for intercourse, you are essentially accepting the possibility of getting pregnant and hoping it doesn’t happen. If you don’t want to be a single mother, rational thinking says it would be wise not to sleep with men to whom you are not married. If a child is going to interfere with your career ambitions, maybe you should postpone sex to prevent derailing.  As funding dissipates and the reversal of Roe v. Wade looms, women will be tasked with curbing their sexual behavior as it won’t be so safe or easy to get rid of unwanted babies.

The only fool-proof protection against pregnancy is abstinence. So, maybe the real question is, is premarital sex worth it? We are ultimately the controllers of our destinies and responsible for utilizing our gift to reproduce accordingly.

LaShaun Williams is a lifestyle and relationship advice columnist and blogger. Her work has been featured on popular urban sites, such as The Grio, and she has made appearances on the Tom Joyner Morning Show and Santita Jackson Show. She is also the founder of Politically Unapologetic, where she unabashedly discusses culture, life and love. Follow @itsmelashaun on Twitter or visit her on Facebook.

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