Gen Y Over-Cautiousness Might Explain Abortion Attitudes

What Women Really Think
Dec. 1 2009 2:05 PM

Gen Y Over-Cautiousness Might Explain Abortion Attitudes

Jess, if Gen Y is indeed less pro-choice than prior generations , it shows that there's a dark underbelly to the generation that's been applauded as more tolerant and diversity-oriented than any other. They're also rumored to be the generation of bicycle helmets and overscheduling-kids who grew up in an environment that implied that one could wipe out all risk-and that kind of attitude explains why they would have developed contempt for anyone who does draw the short stick. What older generations might see as a reasonable amount of risk, Gen Y might see as nothing but carelessness.

I've definitely encountered know-it-all Gen Y-ers whose argument against abortion seems to be that forced childbirth is just desserts for carelessness. And frankly, I prefer their attitude over the disingenuous hand-wringing over fetal life that you get from more traditional anti-choicers. Americans' opinions on abortion resemble their opinions on welfare- they primarily see it as an out for lazy people , but always reserve the right to make exceptions. Jennifer Senior's article touches on this reality when she writes, "According to a Gallup poll from July, 60 percent of Americans think abortion should be either illegal or 'legal only in a few circumstances.' " Clinic workers have a dark joke about people with this opinion: They want exceptions for rape, incest, and "me".

Advertisement

Many of the people who snarl about irresponsibility leading to abortion are telling themselves a little fairy tale, namely that they're responsible, so accidental pregnancy could never happen to them, and even if it does, surely the universe will see that they deserve abortion. Unlike those other women, those sluts. Unfortunately, there's no way to write a law that looks into someone's heart to find if they got knocked up despite precautions. Prior generations know from experience, or at least recent historical memory, that the law didn't distinguish between a broken condom and simply not using one at all. Let's hope this generation doesn't have to learn that the hard way.

Amanda Marcotte is a Brooklyn-based writer and DoubleX contributor. She also writes regularly for the Daily Beast, AlterNet, and USA Today. Follow her on Twitter.

TODAY IN SLATE

History

Slate Plus Early Read: The Self-Made Man

The story of America’s most pliable, pernicious, irrepressible myth.

Rehtaeh Parsons Was the Most Famous Victim in Canada. Now, Journalists Can’t Even Say Her Name.

Mitt Romney May Be Weighing a 2016 Run. That Would Be a Big Mistake.

Amazing Photos From Hong Kong’s Umbrella Revolution

Transparent Is the Fall’s Only Great New Show

The XX Factor

Rehtaeh Parsons Was the Most Famous Victim in Canada

Now, journalists can't even say her name.

Doublex

Lena Dunham, the Book

More shtick than honesty in Not That Kind of Girl.

What a Juicy New Book About Diane Sawyer and Katie Couric Fails to Tell Us About the TV News Business

Does Your Child Have Sluggish Cognitive Tempo? Or Is That Just a Disorder Made Up to Scare You?

  News & Politics
Damned Spot
Sept. 30 2014 9:00 AM Now Stare. Don’t Stop. The perfect political wife’s loving gaze in campaign ads.
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 29 2014 7:01 PM We May Never Know If Larry Ellison Flew a Fighter Jet Under the Golden Gate Bridge
  Life
Quora
Sept. 30 2014 9:32 AM Why Are Mint Condition Comic Books So Expensive?
  Double X
Doublex
Sept. 29 2014 11:43 PM Lena Dunham, the Book More shtick than honesty in Not That Kind of Girl.
  Slate Plus
Slate Fare
Sept. 29 2014 8:45 AM Slate Isn’t Too Liberal. But… What readers said about the magazine’s bias and balance.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 29 2014 9:06 PM Paul Thomas Anderson’s Inherent Vice Looks Like a Comic Masterpiece
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 30 2014 7:36 AM Almost Humane What sci-fi can teach us about our treatment of prisoners of war.
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 30 2014 7:30 AM What Lurks Beneath The Methane Lakes of Titan?
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 28 2014 8:30 PM NFL Players Die Young. Or Maybe They Live Long Lives. Why it’s so hard to pin down the effects of football on players’ lives.