Discussing Abortion Distracts From Root Issue: Sex Ed

By  | 

Hello! Welcome to my blog. I thought I’d start things off with a rather tame subject, so let’s talk about abortion!

Well not really, but sort of. Let me explain.

I was scrolling through my Facebook news feed the other day when I came upon a friend’s status, which read: “Pro-Choice is not Pro-Abortion.” I wanted to “Like” this bit of wisdom a thousand times over, but on my way to click the little thumbs-up sign I noticed the status had 57 comments.


After expanding the comment section (which was rapidly growing to 60…61…62…)  and reading through them, it became immediately apparent that I had stumbled onto a heated political debate comprised completely of supposed “friends” text-yelling (ALL CAPS) at each other through their comments. It is a social custom I have tried hard to avoid, as it is known to feed on the ignorance and close-mindedness of its debaters, and really who has ever had their opinion changed by a Facebook argument?

This one looked to be no different, but I began reading through the paragraphs of hardly-thought-out arguments anyway, simultaneously amused and saddened by the lack of true information being shared. The friend who had originally posted the status had stopped commenting around number 20 when one of the more opinionated Conservatives in the thread had said: “Of COURSE the man hating feminist is against having babies.”


First of all: this person clearly did not know the difference between feminism and misandry (but that’s a topic for another post). Second: they demonstrate the problem with posting political arguments on your profile.

Now, I am all for sharing your political opinions on social media. Unfortunately, you rarely see people posting statuses that are level-headed and based on fact. Rather, you’ll find opinions rooted in anger and ignorance that employ such devices as name-calling (as seen above) or references to religion that have no relevance to the argument. Also, more often than not, these hot-button topics like abortion, or gay rights, or feminism, spur debates that don’t go anywhere or change anything. Those topics are just small facets of larger issues that need to be addressed: sexual education, women’s health, women’s rights, the definition of marriage, etc.

Let’s look at the short and sweet status that started all this: “Pro-Choice is not Pro-Abortion.” The reason I liked it so much is because it’s really not about abortion at all. What this status is saying in as few words as possible is that Pro-Choice is about a woman’s right to make decisions about her own body. Pro-Choice says that we, as free American citizens, do not have the right to make decisions for thousands of women we have never met. It does not mean that, if given the choice, we would choose abortion. It doesn’t matter. Every woman is different and every single one should be able to decide what happens to her body. And yes, until that baby comes out of her vagina, it is part of her body.

But the topic of Pro-Choice/Pro-Life is at the tail end of a problem that begins with sex ed. Yes, those awkward hours of listening to your school’s P.E. teacher telling you how to put on condoms and explaining STIs. Did you know that not every school kid had to have that class? And of those who did, only a fraction got medically accurate information?

We all laugh at that scene from Mean Girls when Coach Carr is talking about how pregnancy will kill you. You know the one.

The not-so-funny part is that some kids actually receive that type of education from their teachers. According to this map put together by the Huffington Post, in the year 2014 several states don’t even require their schools to share information on contraception.

If there’s one thing that’s true about teenagers it’s that if they want to have sex, they will. Especially if you tell them not to. How can we expect them to have safe sex, and prevent STIs and unwanted pregnancies, if they don’t have all the information they need to know? It is only logical that if the number of people using contraception goes up, the number of unwanted pregnancies — and therefore abortions — will go down.

Sex ed restrictions aren’t merely for schools, though. Organizations like Planned Parenthood exist to give women and men information about contraceptives, STIs, abortions, adoptions, and healthcare. Yet, people continue to fight these organizations because they perform abortions. The focus, for some reason, is on just one of the many helpful services offered. But, like drugs and firearms, if you make something illegal people will still get their hands on it — and illegal abortions are definitely not safe.

So, for the safety and sanity of all the sexually active people out there: stop arguing about abortion and instead provide some alternatives to the dismal state of sex ed in America. And remember, when arguing about political issues on social media, keep it calm, accurate, and open-minded.

Morgan McMurray
Morgan McMurray is an editor and gender equality blogger based in Seattle, Washington. A 2013 graduate of Iowa State University, she has a Bachelor of Arts in English, Journalism, and International Studies. She spends her free time writing, reading, teaching dance classes, and binge-watching Netflix. Contact Morgan at



Send this to friend