6 shocking facts about abortion both pro-lifers and pro-choicers never mention.

  1. About 67% of all reported abortions happen before 8 weeks gestation.
  2. Nearly 40% of all reported abortions happen before 6 weeks gestation.
  3. 92% of all reported abortions happen before 13 weeks gestation.  This means the overwhelming majority of reported abortions happen long before a woman is likely to feel movement and often before the sac is detectable by ultrasound.
  4. Surgical abortion, even at 6 weeks gestation, remains the norm, with nearly 75% of reported abortions before 13 weeks gestation terminated via invasive surgical procedures.  Keep in mind many of these surgeries are being done when the embryonic development is difficult to even detect reliably via ultrasound, which means an unknown percentage of women are undergoing risky, invasive surgery for what might not even be a viable pregnancy or even a pregnancy at all.  Luteal cysts and chemical pregnancies can sometimes trigger a positive pregnancy test before 6 weeks gestation, as can unviable pregnancies that would have naturally miscarried early at 7-9 weeks gestation.  This is why even pro-choice people should support transvaginal ultrasound confirmation of pregnancy before performing such early abortions.
  5. New York City alone represents about 25% of the black reported abortion rate.
  6. The “abortion access gap” is that black women’s abortion rates before 6 weeks are about 10 percentage points lower than white, Hispanic or other-ethnic women.  But there is no significant gap after 13 weeks.  Thus, all races of women have a reported abortion rate for the first trimester around the 92% figure cited above.  Needless to say, this is not how pro-choice people report the data.

All of these facts are based on the CDC’s abortion surveillance data.  That is why I use the term “reported abortions”, as California and some other areas have not chosen to report their data for a very long time, so we can only rely on what is reported.  The abortion rate is also decreasing across all racial groups, independent of abortion providers closing down.  There is some correlation, but not to the extent usually portrayed by abortion activists and mainstream media.  But the references for that come from multiple sources, some of which are pro-life, and I am not so good at chartifying data these days.

The takeaways here should be that women are getting abortions very, very, very early on, about as soon as the stick shows positive. For pro-lifers, this means that persuading women to stay pregnant just seven weeks instead of six would slash abortion rates by nearly 40%.  Get women to stay pregnant for nine weeks and now the majority of all abortions have been eradicated.  About 500k children would be born who’d have been aborted otherwise.

There is, however, no easy way to get this to happen.  The way to persuade women to stay pregnant once they’ve made a regrettable decision to fornicate (85% of reported abortions are obtained by unmarried women) pretty much involves actually being part of her life as a member of her social group.  There’s also the difficult work of persuading women that a little comfort with a guy who you don’t think will help raise the baby is maybe not worth the bother.  Celibacy also reduces abortion.  There is some inferential evidence that culture-wide, women are in fact just having less sex rather than continuing to have sterile sex that turns out to not be so sterile after all.

Another takeaway is that the pro-choice claims that women can’t get abortions or that “80 percent of counties in America have no abortion provider”  are very, very, very misleading.  The focus on second trimester and later abortions is purposeful misdirection from the fact that even poor black women and poor rural women can find their way to an abortion provider long before the second trimester arrives. One should also question how much they care about women’s health given their insistence that confirming there’s a pregnancy at all is woman-hating or a form of rape or, well, you can google their feels about transvaginal ultrasounds and see for yourself.

I’m not pro-choice or pro-life.  I’m pro-woman.  In the benighted hellholes known as Germany, France, Italy and Sweden (to name just a few countries), abortion is greatly restricted compared to American laws, the rooms have to be spotless and the procedure usually must be done in a real hospital.  They also have lower per capita abortion rates, deaths from abortion are a memory rather than an annual occurrence and the women’s health statistics are better overall.  Funny how that works.

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Feudal women vs. modern women.

This is a quickie revisiting this post I made about how there is an entire contingent of women who find loyalty and stability sexy.  There seems to be a distinct inability in some men to accept this as a concept.  However, it’s not at all true that women as a class find marriage-worthy men less sexy.  Modern women do.  I don’t mean modern in the sense of “uses technology” but rather “completely operates under an essentially individualistic, self-focused, Enlightenment-derived mindset”.

This type of woman is obviously relatively common and due to fitting into narratives of modern mores being successfully propagated, appears to be presented as Ur-woman.  However, I think that the existence of feudally inclined women (i.e., women with a pre-modern view of life and love) is wildly underestimated on all sides.  In my own referenced post, I used the terms “peasant woman” and “aristocrat woman”, but one can just combine those into “feudal woman” and come out the same.

I am a feudal woman and I have even found many feudal women among bohemian folks in my years on this earth.  It is similar to the way that many right-wing people can have a liberally oriented mindset and some left-wing people can have a conservative mindset.  Feudal affinity in women is simply ordering one’s life according to a more feudal notion of life, love, community and romantic attachments despite the ways in which modernity works against such views.

Even in a world of dazzling wealth and extreme pressure to be self-focused, there are women who order their lives around devotion to community, ethny, kin and nation and expect the men they are attracted to to do the same.  And find themselves not attracted to men who don’t show some signs of this collective orientation and lack of individualism. Basically, just as a pretty goodly fraction of men do not find women of highly negotiable virtue appealing, there seem, if one is viewing the world as it is, to be quite a goodly number of women who aren’t into the cad thing and do not find them appealing.

Patriocentricity is not Patriarchy

Some things just have to be endlessly repeated over and over, clearly.  Patriocentricity is father-worship, with an emphasis on individual family units being subservient to unrestrained false “patriarchs” who themselves have no higher authority to be subject to (not even other father-leaders).

Unfortunately, patriocentricity is what a lot of conservatives think of as patriarchy.  It is worst in abusive fundamentalist Christian subcultures like Quiverfull or the now-former Vision Forum and Gothard/ATI subcultures, but it certainly appears over and over among other kinds of conservative or traditionalist Christians.

One reason these subcultures are relatively small is because there is no coherent authority or hierarchy.  At best they are cults of personality, which cannot be lasting sources of invested authority.  At worst it’s a bunch of isolated families being ill used by a man who answers to no-one and does as he pleases, which was not really the case in any historical patriarchy, not even the pagan ones where a patriarch had life or death authority over his familias/clan.

Patriarchy means men have responsibilities and have to answer to other people outside their immediate family.  They also, in addition, have headship in their own individual households, but it doesn’t supersede their hierarchical status within their local community.  I find it quite telling that a lot of self-proclaimed patriarchs on and off the internet fight the hardest against actual patriarchy being implemented.  An unfortunate and recent example is Doug Philips of Vision Forum.  He failed to accede to the authority or intervention of his (supposed) co-elders, which again is rebellion and not patriarchy.  More prosaic examples are the guys who can never attend a church because the leadership just isn’t Godly enough for them and “pastor” their families at home.

For the purposes of those interested in Western traditions and restoring them to the extent possible given time and technology, polygamy is practical patriocentricity rather than patriarchy.  So anyone supporting or encouraging polygamy is not advocating a pro-Christian patriarchy or pro-Western patriarchy position.  Patriocentric systems work against patriarchy, and polygamy tends to degenerate into patriocentricity fairly readily.  While not a common conservative theme, there are nevertheless a noticeable minority who promote polygamy either implicitly or explicitly and this promotion should be discouraged among those who are pro-Christian patriarchy.

H/T to Hester at Scarlet Letters, who is slogging through old Vision Forum stuff and brought the term patriocentricity into play.  It’s a very useful term.

ETA: From the comments, it appears the term was coined several years ago by Karen Campbell over at the blog That Mom.

What living near each other could look like

I sometimes read a little group blog called The Orthosphere.  It’s run by a bunch of conservative men who seem really sincere about promoting traditionalism.  The problem is that they profoundly misunderestimate what kind of polemic would serve to promote traditionalism as an abstraction.  A recent post there is a case in point, but what this post is about is not the abstract, overlong attempt at conversion rhetoric, but a comment following the post about living more normally/traditionally.

http://orthosphere.org/2014/04/21/you-need-to-be-a-traditionalist-conservative/#comment-43968

Here’s the relevant half of the comment:

“…living correctly is not currently allowed. It’s politically incorrect. But individuals can score small victories in their everyday lives. They can refuse to agree with what they know is wrong. They can act rightly in their own lives or, when forced by overwhelming power to act wrongly, they can do so minimally, under protest. Perhaps we should open a new thread where people are invited to share the ways they resist the current order, act rightly, and maintain their sanity. We must not lose heart because our ideals have been declared thoughtcrime. Current conditions will not last.”

This assertion is correct in that living correctly in a piecemeal, cafeteria fashion is policed and getting increasingly difficult to do if one is conservative.  But this commenter misses the observed reality that doing so in a complete fashion, with a real parallel system is still on the table.  That is the gist of my post here.

Serious conservatives could be buying properties like this with a few other families and setting up a practical agrarian/distributist lifestyle and even potential spouses for their children and a real possibility of grandchildren and future inheritance.  That property has multiple single family homes and enough acreage for each family to “own” one of several crops (livestock is a potential crop, not just plants) and use that specialization opportunity to maximize returns.  Also, with several families living near each other but having their own homes, household tasks could be split up and rotated in traditional agrarian fashion so that nobody was overwhelmed.

Since the property is located in the super-boonies, living near several like-minded families would make the stresses of driving 2-4 hours to the “big cities” to sell the farm products a great deal more tolerable.  And the small core of families could still build relationships and friendships with the locals, but wouldn’t be demoralized if those social ties never formed to a deep extent (which is sometimes the way of things in isolated rural areas).  Living far away from one’s biological relatives would have a lot of the sting taken out, as the redundancy of multiple families means it would be possible to maintain regular visits and contact without the problems that come from leaving crops to do family visiting.  And financially, the property doesn’t require each individual family to have a huge income to pay their portion of a mortgage or massive savings to buy outright.

This is one path to “having all things in common” without ignoring the importance of access to private property and individual opportunities to build wealth and inheritance long-term.  I would also note that there are dozens if not hundreds of these sorts of properties for sale right this very minute, all over the United States.  The work would be hard and challenging, and certainly people have to save up something first, but this is on the table as an option instead of laments about being priced out of the suburbs, where one would have to struggle in a very different and more risky way with a piecemeal approach to living normally.

One doesn’t have to go full Amish, but one does have to set up a lifestyle that lays groundwork for restoration of healthy social structures and institutions by starting with a small group of like minds and branching out from there.  The barnacle approach of continuing to cling to the pieces of liberalism that appeal to you while rejecting the pieces that don’t is not going to continue to be a path for conservatives going forward.  Just as the True Way of faith in Christ is narrow, so too is the list of viable options for preserving normal life for future generations.

Them’s the breaks.  Industrialization and modernity mean we just can’t rely on the old dividends of traditional living.  They’re spent up and we have to just grit the old teeth and give up some precious temporal things now or see our children lose them all.

Where the Christian manosphere and neoreaction could find wives.

It is a common lament in the internet spheres listed above that there is a distinct shortage of 19 year old virgins with large breasts, slim waists and a surplus of homemaking skills who desire nothing more in life than to have two babies a year while homeschooling, cooking and cleaning for the ever-growing family in a moldy trailer on 29k a year from her “patriarch” or “alpha” or “alpha patriarch”.  Numerous reasons are given for this horrible shortage that never existed before 1963.

But the interesting thing is that there is a giant pool of women who are content with such a disordered, broken understanding of family and patriarchy.  These women tend to be associated with things like the former Vision Forum, the recently disgraced Bill Gothard, and the movement known as “Quiverfull”.  The question is, why aren’t all these men who spend weeks at a time in comment threads on various blogs complaining about how there’s too many “Churchian” women joining one of those legalistic, explicitly male-dominant Christian subcultures and wifing up one of the 10-15 daughters a lot of those people have?

I am definitely not saying the subcultures listed above are healthy, Biblically sound, or very good places for women, children or even the men wielding power improperly over their individual families.  But they do have a ton of young virgin girls who have never known anything else and who have been raised to expect to marry and do all the SAHM Superwife things for decades on end, often without any support or adult company outside of church meetings.  Can’t guarantee the large breasts, though.

While the subcultures in question are numerically small, there are more of them than there are unmarried men in the internet spheres above seeking that elusive double-D virgin Superwife.  So all those guys could be married to such a creature if they truly desired such a thing, there are still ample supplies, despite the recent scandals in some of the subcultures.

And yet, they aren’t.  Funny, that.

Pregnant Pause

I’ve dropped any schedule for this blog until further notice.  I like this blog, I think it’s profitable to post the things that I post, but I have limited energy and it’s better served for now doing more offline stuff as best I can.  So I may post now and again, or I may leave this thing idle for months or weeks at a time.  I may turn up to comment here and there, but mostly I’m just taking pressure off myself to fret, since I could fret for the gold medal if it were an Olympic event.

I continue to hope and pray that more conservatives become serious about normal living and undertake the painful and necessary steps to help make it more likely for their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren (yep, it might just take that long).  I also more importantly hope and pray that the Christian conservatives specially might put on the holy armor of Our Lord and be the best Christians grace grants them the strength and perseverance to be.  It is hard out there, we are being persecuted in America and the wider West.  But we must pray for those who are actually being martyred right now for Christ and not forget that we can still worship in public spaces and carry Bibles around freely.  We still have it and we can still use it.

It’s hard to remember sometimes that the bolder in Christ we are, the worse it will go for us with the secular world.  If we do excommunicate adulterers and don’t bake wedding cakes for multiple divorcees and refuse chemical and physical birth control except for the direst medical need, it will not be easier.  If we teach our children the Narrow Way, the True Word, public schools will not rejoice and cheer us on in the PTA.  If we hold fast to what is lovely, true and real, things will not be light and cheerful.  The secular world will not go “How amazing to see you live your values, it’s so wonderful you are living near each other, building communities of blood, Christ and love, working with and supporting each other in economic, spiritual and collective ways!”

They would instead start looking longingly at the countries that kill Christians.  But we could yet count it all joy, for it would be, then.

Real Talk for SAHMs: Children’s Cartoon recommendations

I’d like to start posting some more cheerful practical things and this serves as well as anything.  While it would be lovely to live in a magical fairyland where kids weren’t watching tv or DVDs or smartphones or tablets or laptops, most people, particularly the SAHMs so close to my heart, aren’t likely to be able to have tv-free households for many of their child-raising years.

These are the majority of the cartoons we are ok with our children seeing.  None of them is explicitly Christian, but mostly they do a good job of modelling healthy social orders, gender roles and legitimate authority.

Rolie Polie Olie: a basic family where the father isn’t useless or lacking in respect from wife and children, and where extended family is important.  The episodes we’ve seen show the father playfully engaging with his children without lapsing into treating them like little adults.  It’s a nice light little show for any age.

My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic— This show is really great.  It’s about healthy friendships and family connections, and about how much better it is to respect lawful authority rather than attempt to subvert it.  Unlike a lot of kid’s cartoons that show the younger heroes undermining or simply not respecting the adults, the teenaged (approximately) mares of MLP:FIM always are respectful to their elders, even the ones who have less magical ability than they do.  Twilight Sparkle, the leader of the group, is perhaps the most powerful individual in the imaginary world of Equestria.  But she treats the comparatively weak (in magic terms) Mayor of her little adopted hometown of Ponyville with the deference accorded to that position.  The show is full of such little details of proper behavior and well-ordered social norms.  It is truly, truly subversive conservative entertainment, particularly the first two seasons.  I know it’s subversive by the number of adults, liberal and conservative, who dismiss it as no different than the latest Disney dreck.  It’s quite different.  The songs are charming as well.  It’s pretty all ages as well.

There was a full-length animated film made that is connected to this series, Equestria Girls.  In that film the ponies are schoolgirls.  It is in plot and tone much in the spirit of the tv series, but unfortunately the outfits for the four main female characters are regrettable (the characters themselves seem almost embarrassed to be in them, frankly).  I only mention this because it is extremely likely to come up when looking for episodes of the show and there were many entirely justified complaints about the wardrobe when the film was originally released.

Avatar: The Last Airbender (cartoon series, not the live-action movie):  This is also a very good children’s cartoon portraying hierarchy and lawful authority.  There are one or two extremely subtle mature moments, but my husband viewed the whole series and could only find them by checking on the TV Tropes website.  They are moments, about 1-2 seconds across the entire series.  Mostly it is a program for younger kids that are about to become pre-teens.  It has good portrayals of friendship and navigating mixed-gender social situations.  Bonus: the good girl doesn’t pursue the bad boy, but through a natural, organic relational progression comes to end up with the good guy.  This show is very good at showing how 10-15 year olds would actually conduct themselves if they also had powers to manipulate the elements of earth magically.  The show really manages to dig into the complexity of possessing great and deadly power without going way over the heads of young children.  It’s not really for kids under 5-6 consistently, it really is more for the 7-10 age range, up to teenagers.  There is a sequel series for teenagers, but it isn’t as good and I don’t really recommend it.

Thomas and Friends:  This is colloquially known as Thomas the Train or Thomas the Tank Engine.  It has had several different incarnations through the years, but it is also wholesomely oriented and is based on a series of children’s books written by a devout Anglican clergyman and his son.  So, not explicitly Christian, but the source material was written by devout Christians and hasn’t in broadcast form shown itself to really be full of anti-authority and anti-hierarchy themes.  It is very much for small (mostly male) children, but charmingly animated.

There’s nothing wrong with explicitly Christian cartoons, but we haven’t pursued that and it was a nice surprise to find anything in the normal run of children’s cartoons that we were comfortable with.  These are ok.  They are moral and represent consistent, coherent social and moral systems.