I Solve the Abortion Problem Kleinheider Style

Though the whole exchange was traumatic, I did learn something important:  If something happens to only between 4 and 10% of a population a year, that frequency of that thing happening can be typified as "slim to none."

Armed with this knowledge, I took the number of women of childbearing age in the United States (ages 15-49) in the year 2000–71,779,895–and the number of abortions performed in the United States in the year 2000 according to the government–857,475–and discovered that only 1% of the population of women of childbearing age had an abortion in the year 2000.

Therefore, it seems only fair that we feel free to announce that there are practically no abortions in the United States.  Problem solved.

9 thoughts on “I Solve the Abortion Problem Kleinheider Style

  1. As my husband noted, if K. got kicked hard in the balls once for each ten times he walked out the door (or heck, use the lower figure and go with once out of every twenty times!), he’d be thinking in terms of likelihood rather than saying that the chances of being kicked were "slim to none." One’s perspective changes depending on whether the harm might happen to oneself.Incidentally, the myth to which he initially referred — that a woman is highly unlikely to get pregnant from rape — is an very old part of English customary law. You see, way back in the early modern period, female orgasm was considered a vital part of the conception process. No female climax, no conception according to the scientific wisdom of the day. So, a pregnancy was ipso facto a refutation of rape charges — the woman in question HAD to have found pleasure in the act or there would not have been a pregnancy. As scientific "knowledge" about human conception changed to disregard the significance of female orgasm, the law on this point slowly changed (like, in the 18th century). Popular mythology — as we’ve seen today — has been considerably slower to change.

  2. "If something happens to only between 4 and 10% of a population a year, that frequency of that thing happening can be typified as "slim to none."I know he thinks I’m siding with him. I’m not. To me, as I said over there, ONE individual is too high a number, let alone ONE percent. I will say that after about an hour of sifting through the various statistics that most of them seem to have too many qualifiers to be truly legitimate. And they all fold in on themselves like origami. One site (RAINN) says that the standard percentage of unprotected sex resulting in pregnancy is 5%, so if they estimate that there are X rapes then (x)5%=Y, so there are Y pregnancies from rape. Then another site (the CDC) says if there are Y pregnancies from rape, and there are N rapes reported, then there must actually be N(3) rapes, because the statistical likelihood of pregnancy is only 5%, and the numbers they have lay outside the statistically accepted range. So, basically everyone is working from one or two studies and just guessin’. Either way, ONE rape is too many rapes and ONE pregnancy from a rape is too many pregnancies from rape, given that the rape shouldn’t have occured. But that’s just my opinion. What you do with your rape-pregnancy is up to you.

  3. ". As scientific "knowledge" about human conception changed to disregard the significance of female orgasm, the law on this point slowly changed (like, in the 18th century). Popular mythology — as we’ve seen today — has been considerably slower to change."Incidentally, that’s why I was quick to disavow prplcat’s claim that "more rapes happen during a woman’s fertile window".That’s another old rapists’ tale that was used for a long time to justify the actions of rapists as being compelled by a natural force to reproduce.

  4. Actually, this research has been blowing my mind, both for the lack of solid data (as Kat states) and even agreement on definitions. But also because I guess I hadn’t really thought about the fact that there are over 71 million women of childbearing age in a given year and only 850,000 abortions. Rep. Christopher Smith (a Republican) got up and bitched in front of Congress about how Planned Parenthood did 255,015 abortions in 2004. I guess we can assume that most, if not all, of those abortions are abortions for "non-medical" reasons (yes, I know that’s a loaded term). But I wonder, of the remaining 650,000 abortions, how many are done because the fetus is already dead or cannot survive outside the womb because of severe defects or in order to increase the chances of another fetus making it to term?Because, I have to tell you, this has really driven home for me that the move to criminalize abortion really is a smoke screen for intruding into women’s lives. Every year 99% of us don’t have abortions (that percentage is even higher if we include all women, not just women obviously of childbearing age) AND we know that the most sure-fire way to prevent abortions is for women to not get pregnant in the first place. We also already know that the surest way to prevent the spread of sexually transmitted diseases is the ABC approach.So, if we’re really serious about reducing abortions, why don’t we encourage the ABC approach as a cultural meme here?I mean, I think abstaining from sex until you’re married, unless you’re getting married fairly young, is nearly impossible. But it is also the truth that, if you don’t want to get pregnant, and you are heterosexual, it’s the surest way to prevent it. It’s not wrong to remind folks of that fact.And, if we aren’t going to abstain, we need to use a condom or some other form of birth control.What I’m getting at is that so few of us actually have abortions as it is now, that enacting laws that unduly interfere with my ability to get the medical treatment my doctor and I think I need, instead of working to prevent unwanted pregnancies to begin with, really does start to feel not like "saving babies" but controlling women, putting us all under surveillance in order to assure everyone that we aren’t doing the wrong thing, because each one of us is a potential murderer.It’s really amazing.http://www.house.gov/list/press/nj04_smith/crpparenthood.html

  5. While Smith’s little rant is disturbing, I doubt that Smith presented this speech in front of the House. Mostly, things "read into the record" are merely presented to the House clerks in typed format and published without the benefit of utterance. House members can insert pretty much anything they want without asking the permission of their colleagues, so lots of stuff winds up in the Record that would never go unchallenged otherwise. It’s a handy way to throw a bone to one’s supporters without going too high profile, for few people except wonks like us bother to read what their Congresspeople find worthy of saying in its full-text form.Here’s a short-course article on the Congressional Record: http://www.slate.com/id/2130799

  6. THE VICTIMSThe 2000 "Victim, Incident, and Offender Characteristics," published by the National Center for Juvenile Justice (NCJJ), analyzed sexual assault data collected by law enforcement agencies over a five-year span. The following characteristics were found to be significant among victims of sexual assault:Age: Over two-thirds of reported victims of sexual assault were juveniles under the age of 18. Twelve to 18 year olds represented the largest group of victims at 33%; 20% were between the ages of six and 11; children less than five years old and adults between 18 and 24 years of age each constituted 14% of victims; 12% were between the ages of 25 and 34; and 7% were over the age of 34. Persons over the age of 54 represented 1% of all victims. One out of every seven victims surveyed in the study were under the age of six.More math, folks.

  7. prplecat – do you think the ratios would be a little skewed, given that, with children, there is a higher likelihood of another person (i.e., a parent) intervening to report the crime? Perhaps children are more vulnerable, but I’m also thinking that older women may be less likely to report for various reasons.

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