my reaction to design mom: there's got to be a better way (oh wait, there is)

I waded through the murky waters of a Twitter-thread-turned-blog-post by Design Mom founder Gabrielle Blair. It's a doozy: The confirmation process for one soon-to-be Supreme Court justice has caused Blair to ruminate on the problem of abortion. She posits that all "unwanted pregnancies" are due to "irresponsible ejaculations of men."

To solve the problem of "unwanted pregnancies," she suggests either castration (as a punishment for, I guess, what someone deems "irresponsible ejaculations") or, mandatory sterilizations.

For all male children. At the onset of puberty.

And we thought the possibility of mandatory Guardasil for all kids was bad! Ha!

All I want to do is write and tell Mrs. Blair that there is a better way--better than surgically sterilizing my sons for the mere crime of being male.

This better way is, I think, the way of God. The better way involves living the truth of our bodies, as God made them. Since Mrs. Blair identifies herself as a Mormon, I hope she might be inclined to look at sex, pregnancy and the human person through a lens of faith.

I'll keep it concise--maybe not twitter-concise, but close.

First off, "unwanted pregnancies" is a pretty crude way to describe... people. Do we call any other class of people unwanted?  Unwanted furniture, unwanted kitchen tile, unwanted old toys. It's how we describe things, not people, each one made uniquely by God.

We, especially we people of faith, can do better when we're talking about the problem of abortion.

Things can be discarded. People shouldn't be.

Next: I write from my home. I'm a 30-something mother married to a 30-something father and together, we're raising a bunch of young children. Our marriage has, and always will be, free from contraceptives.

If we don't want to conceive, we abstain. (As Mrs. Blair points out, a woman can only conceive a few days per month. I'd argue with her given number of 2 days, but, still.)

Think of it: no condoms. No pills. No side effects of extra hair. No weird skin spotting.

No irreversible changing of the chemical makeup of my brain to make it less female. No accidentally transgendering of my kids' genitals.

No stocking up on condoms to keep bedside to be discovered inadvertently by my kids (ick).

And, perhaps most notably, no mutilation of my body, or of my husband's body.

All it asks is persistence, and sacrifice. No one can tell me that using all that junk above doesn't take persistence and sacrifice, too. Only with my way, my skin still looks just fine.

I am part of the the aberration, the counter-cultural movement. My peers and I (and our larger than average families) are mocked by our skeptical doctors and belittled by shocked onlookers at the grocery store.

But we don't have to worry about "irresponsible ejaculations." I made a choice to live my sexuality authentically, wholly, freely, with one man who fervently believes the same. Isn't that the ideal we should strive for--and not resort to calls for penal castration and pubescent sterilization?

While reading Mrs. Blair's post, my first instinct was to eye roll at the whole thing--but that's only because I've lived so long in the world of what she might call responsible sex, sex in which the man and woman both share responsibility. I don't get what an "irresponsible ejaculation" is. It seems to be that a man promises to use a contraceptive, but then, deceptively, does not.

Ok. So wouldn't you want, first, to not be sleeping with a deceptive man?

Wouldn't you want to structure your life so that sex is done with a person who wouldn't lie? Wouldn't you want to give your most precious gift to an honest man who valued you so much, such a deception would be unthinkable?   

It's long been said that abortion is not a cause but a symptom of the sad state of our generation's outlook on sex and morals. I find it amazing, always, when folks say (as Mrs. Blair says in her post) to "stop praying in front of abortion clinics," but have nary a peep to say about any other form of protest. How about the Women's March? How about gay pride parades? Is voting with your feet wrong in all circumstances, or only those that you find objectionable?

I'm just me. I haven't earned the success and enormous online platform from which Mrs. Blair can broadcast her thoughts.

But I can share the truth here, my tiny space. And the truth is this: Contraceptive sex kills love. And abortion kills a human life. Unless those two immutable truths are acknowledged, we're going to have pain and sin, and we're never going to figure out how to end abortion. That's all I'm saying.

(Oh, actually, one last thing: Anyone threatening to surgically sterilize my boys will find themselves face to face with a very aggravated, very aggressive mama bear. Take note.)


  1. Thank you! I was physically disgusted reading her post. There is so much truth in your words, thank you for posting them.

    1. Thank you so much! I felt sick reading it too. Trying to remember to include her in my prayers through the day.