Abortion and hook-up culture are part of the same problem

Jacob Halterman, Crier Staff

Many of you might be aware that at the end of January around 650,000 protestors gathered in D.C. for the annual March for Life to protest the legality of abortion and to support the cause for the protection of life in all of its forms, from conception to natural death.

Bill Clinton, who defended abortion rights during his presidency, said in a speech to the Democratic National Convention in August 1996, that he wished for abortion to be “safe, legal, and rare.” Unfortunately, this is not the reality we live in.

According to data collected by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), 40% of abortions in the United States in 2014 were performed on women who had previously received an abortion.

Florida’s Agency for Health Administration requires that abortion providers record each of their patients’ motives for receiving an abortion. The list of possible reasons is quite extensive, yet in 2015 about 92% of abortions were simply deemed “elective.”

The second most popular reason was social or economic pressures, accounting for about 6%. The quintessential pro-abortion talking point of instances of rape, incest, or significant fetal deformities made up only 1.4% of procedures.

These are shocking numbers, and while I detest abortion, many arguments that address the ethical issues with it already exist. Instead, I’d like to examine abortion as a part of a larger cultural movement.

We, as a society, have rejected the notion that sex should be reserved for marriage, and therefore marriages have suffered. Fewer people are getting married now than at any other point in recorded history. Pornography has enslaved a generation, and along with other media depictions of “romantic relationships,” has changed our attitudes about long-term relationships and the way men should treat women.

As the statistics above show, abortion is being treated as a form of birth control, not as the “rare” practice described by Bill Clinton.

But perhaps you are a supporter of abortion rights, or these numbers don’t trouble you in the same way they trouble me.

In that case, let’s look at another evil that would be solved by addressing the horrors of our sexually saturated society – sexual abuse and harassment.

The recent celebrity sex abuse scandals have shocked the American public, and for good reason – it’s incredibly widespread. Kevin Spacey, Harvey Weinstein, Steven Segal, Roy Moore, Louis CK, and Larry Nassar have all had victims coming forward alleging a variety of sexual acts, ranging from harassment to assault.

The emergence of so many high-profile cases at once is unprecedented, but we, the rest of American society, cannot seriously believe that the toxicity of Hollywood exists in a vacuum. These cultural elites are not the only people struggling with sexual addictions or failed marriages; harassment in the workplace is certainly not isolated to Burbank, California.

Earlier this school year, in November, we devoted an entire week here at St. A’s to say that ‘Enough is Enough’ and sexual violence needs to end. Many students and faculty on campus expressed their concerns at the frequency of sexual crimes committed on college campuses nationwide.

Issues like sexual harassment in Hollywood, the idea of a “campus rape culture”, and the use of abortion as birth control are intrinsically linked and are symptomatic of the same underlying problem that has plagued Western society since the late ‘60s.

The advent of the Sexual Revolution, with its message of liberation and its production of cheap and accessible contraceptives, along with newfound access to abortion (furnished by Roe v. Wade and other similar cases), had a profound impact on the way Americans came to view sex. In the decades preceding the Sexual Revolution, sex was, at least nominally, seen as part of the institution of marriage, but this was completely abandoned by the turn of the century.

If you want the number of abortions to go down, if you want the number of unwanted sexual advances to go down, then society must change the way it views sex. It must be returned to its place as the pro-creative and loving relationship it once was, instead of the selfish, utilitarian transaction we have made it.