Columns Oct 10, 2012 at 4:00 am

Choice & Kink


Dan, you are perfect!
I agree with Dan; I couldn't date someone who thinks he can make (any) decisions for me.
The advice in the second one is good, but I would add: make sure he thinks of being violent toward women as a kink (when it's done consensually), and not just "the normal way hetero relationships work." Some people seem to think things I would consider in the BDSM area, are just regular vanilla sex when they're being done to a woman by a man.
I can't stand the way Christians managed to hijack the issue of abortion and turn it into a personhood debate. Is a fetus a person? Obviously. Should a fetus have certain rights? Of course. Should we ban abortion? Absolutely not, that's ridiculous.

Dan's advice was on point this week.
LIFE-- Don't lie! There's no good outcome if you do. Better just to break up with him without putting your integrity on the line, risking the chance of the story getting out, and ruining your chances with any other good man who might be interested in you.

Let's say he considers Dan's point, decides he's not ready to be a father and tells you to get an abortion. What have you got? A hollow victory. The chances are good that he goes back to believing abortion is a terrible thing anyway, and besides the woman he trusted who said she thought abortion should be legal is a manipulative bitch of a liar.

Let's say he gets on one knee and offers to marry you. Except you're not pregnant. Same result. You break up, and he knows you're a manipulative bitch of a liar.

The point is this. Believing that a small bunch of cells is equal in rights to a human being is a contradictory position in the first place. So it's not much of a stretch to believe that a safe (but not legal) abortion for one particular girlfriend at one place in time is okay while maintaining that it should be illegal and not recommended for everyone else. You can point out the contradictions 'til the cows come home. You'll make as much headway with one as you will with the other.

There are WOMEN who live with the contradiction. They get legal abortions when they're young, enjoy all the freedom and advantage of being able to have one, then grow up to believe that their lives would have been better if they hadn't. They blame the greater society for their screwed up lives. The convince themselves that the jerk of a boyfriend who abandoned them would have been a decent human being if only abortion weren't legal. Happens all the time. Don't bother telling them they're being irrational. They can't hear it.

Actually, living with and loving a man with whom you have basic disagreements isn't such a terrible thing. Relationships have survived worse. If he's great in every other way, keep talking to him. Debate civilly. You have a better chance of getting him to come around that way.
I'm sorry, but that is awful advice to fake a pregnancy. Dealing with philosophical differences by lying and playing mind games can only hurt the relationship and damage trust. And for such an open-minded guy, Dan is being very, very close-minded about the possibility that the boyfriend genuinely would want to raise the imaginary baby that is (in his view) a son or daughter from one-cell-old. What happens when LIFE tells bf she's pregnant and he jubilantly proposes marriage? Oops, sorry, faking. Haha.
I really disagree that lying and mind games are a good way to handle philosophical differences. It can only damage the relationship and erode trust. Besides, what if he is sincere and his response to the fake pregnancy declaration is to get down on one knee and propose? "Haha, faking! Nice that you are philosophically consistent but I'm a big liar."
Personhood at the moment of conception means that a single cell is identical to a fully formed human. That's right: one cell simultaneously performing as skeleton, digestive tract, lungs, heart (and at the same time the blood being pumped by it), nervous system, and most of all, brain. Yes, something smaller than the period at the end of this sentence is a human being.

Break up with him because he is too stupid to reproduce.
So size denotes personhood? Number of bones? Number of organs?

It's a living being with a human genome that is distinct from the genomes of it's parents. If it's not a human being... what is it?
I think you should never lie about something like being pregnant, especially just to prove a point like that. And feel free to pose it as a thought experiment, but you really won't achieve anything. I've met a number of guys who were perfectly willing to say they'd marry the woman carrying their child, but then there were always issues - they'd marry after X amount of time, or when they'd earned Y amount of money; they'd marry if the woman did A, B, and C thing to show that she "valued" their union and child as much as he did and to make sure that she was sacrificing as much or more than he was; he'd marry her if she was going to be the perfect, obedient wife and dutiful, devoted mother that he thought she was. Etc.

All of which is to show that he will SAY he'd marry you if you became pregnant, but in reality he can make it so conditional and intolerable that the marriage will never happen. That's the suck thing about pregnancy. The MAN can walk away at any point and say that he's not going to cooperate unless his dick is getting sucked good and proper (ie, unless he's been given a disproportionate share of the power in the relationship). His cooperation has to be BOUGHT because the woman can't walk away from it and he knows that. Abortion really levels the playing field and I think that is part of why so many men oppose it.
@9: It's the potential for a human being. Which is a big difference.…
I agree that lying about being pregnant carries a distinct risk that he might actually get down on one knee and "do the right thing," at which case your bluff is called. You could take it a step further and insist that you aren't ready for this for all the reasons Dan lays out, and that you are going to have an abortion whether he likes it or not, and let Mr. Conscientious break up with you over his horror. But that also is risky, if he starts spreading stories about you.

I think you should just tell him that you refuse to fuck him ever again, because under his philosophy, fucking is a fairly direct line to losing your rights over your own body. Let him know that his stance has logical consequences.
@9: It's a single cell. Duh.
I agree that lying about being pregnant is a terrible idea. And being willing to marry the woman whom you've accidentally impregnated, who may not want or be ready to care for and raise a child, is not a solution. Crinoline may have a valid point: perhaps you two can discuss this and can come to an understanding, or agree to disagree (but you'd be wise to make damn sure that your birth control method is foolproof). I think all of us not involved are awfully quick to tell others to DTMFA. Still, anyone with that kind of "personhood", anti-choice mindset is showing some fundamental differences that the lw might find to be ultimately incompatible.
Wrong on both counts. Lying is the best way to destroy trust in the relationship. Under current law a woman has the right to control her body. So it's not an issue of him forcing you to carry a fetus to term. It's a political issue. And couples should have the right to disagree on political issues. Even if one of them is wrong. Of course you can choose not to date a republican or democrat, but its not a good criteria for dating, particularly if both partners are open minded and willing to consider differing viewpoints.

Kinky porn can mess with kid's brains and can cloud their boundary decisionmaking at a time when they are not capable of making great decisions. Suggest moderation. Parents should be the parents. Set rules, even if you know that you cannot enforce the rules effectively.
My, I actually hold that if you need a microscope to find it, it isn't a person by any reasonable definition. My cheek cells aren't people, either, even if we are close to the sort of cloning tech that might turn them into people. (Genetic distinction I don't buy: twins can be genetically identical yet they are two people. People who have had bone marrow transplants are genetically distinct from their prior selves, but I think that's just one person.)

This means that at some point between cell (not a person) and about to be born child (a person), you start calling it a person. I'm okay with this being fuzzy. I put the mark at viability with minimal intrusion outside the womb, and that's about the end of the second trimester. Should anyone invent an artificial womb, transfer to which would be less invasive than abortion, they can call me and I'll look at my definition again.
I agree with #5. Lying will just make you look like a crazy person. Dan does not know what it feels like to be a woman who everyone thinks is a crazy bitch for lying about being pregnant. That shit gets around. I'm not talking from experience or anything, just sayin'.
So we're judging humanity by the number of cells? Or the size. A fetus that is visible to the naked eye is a person, but an embryo isn't? What about a magnifying glass? How good does the person's eyesight have to be? What kind of lighting are we talking about? How close?

The point is, any line we pretend to draw is arbitrary. The arbitrary lines need to exist (so that we don't outlaw abortion which would be awful) but it doesn't reflect any kind of objective reality and it's absurd to pretend that it does.

I think your reasoning is fair. But if you admit the line is fuzzy, why is my decision any less valid than two, three, or four cell divisions down the line?

Also, DNA methylation means twins have different genomes, in a sense.
Someone can believe that a fetus is a person and understand how terrible an unwanted pregnancy can be, and respect women's bodily sovereignty.

Here's the thing -- I believe people should be allowed to do whatever they want privately, or with other consenting adults. The problem is that abortion involves a third party. That makes it completely different from the question of whether Dan should be allowed to do whatever consensual things he wants with his husband.

It's totally possible that LIFE's boyfriend is a really nice guy who understands that banning abortion would have awful consequences, but thinks that a fetus is a person.

There's really just one real question they need to agree on -- what happens if LIFE gets pregnant? If she decides to get an abortion, will he be supportive?


"Someone can believe that a fetus is a person and understand how terrible an unwanted pregnancy can be, and respect women's bodily sovereignty."
I judge humanity by whether something looks and acts like a person: the duck definition, if you will. And my cheek cells don't pass that test. Nor newly fertilized eggs, nor eggs that have divided into 8 cells, or into the little tube state as the nervous system starts to get laid down. A seven month fetus, nervous system hooked up, able to react to external stimuli, does.
LIFE: Dump his pig-headed ass--NOW! Men never have and never will bear children, due to biology. They will NEVER know what pregnancy is like, personally, or what it entails! your BF is on a serious power trip to keep you voiceless, barefoot, pregnant , and in the kitchen.

If your boyfriend is so biased that he willfully puts a priority on an unborn fetus-- which cannot talk, cannot vote, and doesn't even have a bank account!-- ahead of you, your own body (whether you get pregnant by him or not, if at all), OR your beliefs, then he is a chauvinist pig who should simply die lonely and with his family jewels shriveled up into a tiny pink pickle with warts.
What happens if he says he is willing to provide financial support for a child and/or make regular, monthly child support payments, says he is ready for the responsibilities (and the grind) of full- or even part-time parenting, and says he doesn't necessarily know her well enough but is willing to try for the kid's sake?

In that case, she'd just end up being the girl who faked a pregnancy, and he'd be the guy who said he'd do anything for the child. She would look terrible in that situation.

My boyfriend is a guy who is pro-choice, but if I came to him with a fake (or real) pregnancy, I am damn sure he would say he would be willing to raise the child, and do everything that comes with it.

Really, she should sit him down and tell him that she can't fathom the idea of being with a guy who wouldn't have her best interests at heart if she happened to become pregnant. Personally, I think this is a DTMFA situation, unless he can come around to the idea that even though he isn't pro-choice, he will have to be completely okay with dating (and having sex with) a girl who is.
I'm not arguing for your cheek cells, I'm also not challenging your choice to feel that human-ness starts when you feel it does. I'm asking you to appreciate that there is no discrete line between personhood and non personhood, and as such, it makes little sense to say "oh my point is reasonable, but yours isn't".

I also don't add all the baggage to "personhood" that other people do. Is a dead body a person? When a person dies, when do they stop being a person? Not all of their cells die at once. We have only a rough estimate of which cells are alive and dead at any one point. What about comas?

Like I said, we draw hard lines so laws can function, but I think it's reasonable to keep in mind that the lines we draw are artificial and based more on feeling than anything else. I don't see personhood as binary, and if I'm forced to I'd rather grant it at the point of the cleanest cut I can think of: the creation of the new genome. But that's just the answer I find most intellectually satisfying - I'm not asking you to adopt it.
Oooo, an abortion debate.

I have to object to Dan's recommendation to lie about a pregnancy. There is never any excuse for telling a boyfriend you are pregnant when you are not, and if you do he should dump you ASAP. It's a DTMFA move and I'm extremely surprised and disappointed that Dan suggested it. If your boyfriend gives you the right answer, are you then going to say, "Ok, just testing" ? You'll have created a huge trust issue in the relationship.

But there is a perfectly reasonable conversation to have here: "If we're going to have sex, and I accidentally get pregnant, are you going to support this baby for the rest of your life?" If the answer to that is "No", then you have to ask if he would support an abortion, and if the answer to that is still no, you have to dump him for being an inconsistent asshole. If the original answer is "Yes", then you have to tell him that you would have an abortion anyway, and aborting an unplanned pregnancy is part of the terms and conditions of having sex with you. So if a pregnancy does happen, he'll have consented in advance to abortion.

I also disagree with Dan's assertion that being pro-life is inherently wrong. Everyone is entitled to their own values, including that life begins at conception, and that they do not support abortions at all.

But, if someone is going to have that opinion, they need to follow-through on it. That means they should not have sex unless they are willing to support any potentially resulting child, and they should not have sex with anyone who does not share their opinion that any resulting fetus should not be aborted under any circumstances.

Anyway, short answer:

Tell your boyfriend that if you get pregnant in your present circumstances you are almost certainly going to have an abortion and leave it to him whether he still wants to have sex with you or not. If he does, well then, guess he wasn't so opposed to abortion at all. If not, you won't have to dump him - he'll dump himself, because you'll have made it clear that having sex with you IS supporting abortion.
@19: Two, three, four cell divisions down the line is still absurd. There is no heart, no lungs, no brain, no gut, no organs, no muscle. It is still a clump of cells just barely undergoing its first differentiation. People like to point to the first grouping of a few cells in the blastocyst pulsing and crow, 'Look, see, a heart!" This is romanticism. If that is a heart, where is the blood? That is at best a very rudimentary proto-heart. By extension, a fetus is for a large part of its development time a very rudimentary proto-human.

Yes, the line is fuzzy, but not until you get around 24 weeks. In the first trimester, not even close. To hear you talk it's so fuzzy that it's one 40-week long smooth gradient -- but oddly enough it's the same color at both ends, ranging from a fully human baby at delivery, back to a fully human amoeba at conception.
@25: You think the fetal developmental issues that undergird the present 24 week limit are just so much bullshit, and that 24 weeks is just a number someone pulled out of their ass?
Horrible advice about faking a pregnancy. Great way to get killed at worst and at best get punched in the stomach or kicked down a flight of stairs. Men who don't believe women have a right to control their bodies generally have no problem controlling it for them.
What I've never understood is WHY it matters if a fetus is a person, and whether or not it should be given rights equal to what a person has. NO PERSON has the right to use another person's body for their survival without their permission. Even if they will die without the use of that person's body. Even if the use of that person's body would be a minor inconvenience at worst to that person. It isn't about giving a fetus rights equal to a person's, it's about reducing a woman's rights until she is viewed as being less than a person.
Holy F**ing Sh**t Dan. Seriously, such bad advice.
Weather or not you are going to DTMFA over this, don't add crazy-woman fuel to the fire by dropping such a huge-ass LIE. Lordy.
Only peripherally related, but curious to know if there are other pro-life women who regularly read Dan. (For what it's worth, I don't really consider myself an idiot, but I guess I wouldn't, right?)
I'll jump on the "you shouldn't lie to your boyfriend" bandwagon.

I'll also call you, Dan, a bigot for assuming the boyfriend isn't willing to step up and be a father. I'm pro-choice, but I know a LOT of pro-life people (both men AND women), and several of them HAVE stepped up to the plate despite timing being inconvenient or even life-altering.

I also know first-hand that being pro-life and being pro-choice are not incompatible positions. Believing that abortion is wrong, even immoral, and believing that it should be outlawed are not required to go together and more than believing that Nazis are evil requires you to want to ban speech.

I'd say you've spent too much time in cloisters, Dan, but I know that's not true. You do seem to have lost sight of larger principles on this particular issue, though, and I think you should seriously rethink your response.
@ mydriasis I agree that saying that a human person starts at conception, the creation of a new genome, is intellectually the easiest way to go. But don't you think that has ethical implications for the legality of abortion?

I would be interested if you expanded on this statement: "Is a fetus a person? Obviously. Should a fetus have certain rights? Of course. Should we ban abortion? Absolutely not, that's ridiculous." What rights does a fetus have? And what distinguishes a living person in the womb from a living person outside the womb that justifies abortion as a legal option?

And @lizliz, I wholeheartedly agree that you can "believe that a fetus is a person and understand how terrible an unwanted pregnancy can be, and respect women's bodily sovereignty." And yet like you said, abortion involves a third party. How does one reconcile respecting a woman's sovereignty over her own body with the fetus's "choice" (biologically speaking) to live?

For those who have unintended pregnancies, is abortion simply "back-up birth control" with the moral complexity of already having a "third party" who we consider a person?

Thanks pre-emptively for your thoughts.
I am with LizLiz @20 and with mydriasis.

Everyone banging up on the poor guy: she says her bf doesn't want to have abortion banned. So what they have to discuss (and what could be a deal-breaker for her) is whether he could deal with her having an abortion. If yes, fine, if not, apparently they are not compatible.
The whole question when a human being starts to be a person is then more of a philosophical disagreement.

FWIW: My father has always been anti-abortion. But he was ok with legalising it to a certain degree, since making it illegal doesn't save a single fetus but kills/ maims a lot of women. My mother is completely pro-choice.
My parents had 4 children together and are still married.
So, as Crinoline said a disagreement on this topic doesn't mean that a couple can't be together. They just need to respect each other's point of view.
There's no point in arguing with mydriasis. She is completely incapable of understanding that her experience isn't everyone else's. The only thing she wouldn't argue with is "You're right, mydriasis, like always."
@30: This seems like a good time to post Judith Jarvis Thomson's "A Defense of Abortion":…

It's possible to believe that a fetus is a person and still be pro-choice; it's also possible to be pro-choice and to believe that the right to abortion is not absolute, and can be superseded when what Thomson calls "Minimally Decent Samaritanism" is all that's required to carry the child to term.

That said, the idea that personhood begins at conception is ludicrous (I can't accept the idea that a two-week old clump of cells is a person), but the idea that it begins at delivery is also ludicrous. The dividing lines we have now seem fairly reasonable, actually, however arbitrary they may be.
Eh, that's annoying. Here's the second half of the URL for "A Defense of Abortion":

Now for the reason I came here in the first place:

Dan, your advice to the last caller was absolutely beautiful.
@30 - Thank you!
And now I have to add a "thanks" to @36 as well... :)
@32 and 34:
I am a regular Savage Love reader and I am what some would probably call pro-life. A human being starts being a human being at conception.

I can't imagine ever having an abortion. BUT, I have never really been in a desparate situation. Women who felt that their situation didn't allow them to have a child at this moment (if it was because they were raped, because they already had children, because they couldn't provide for a child, etc.) have always had abortions.

It is better if just one human being dies (the fetus) instead of two (fetus and mother) which is often the case in illegal abortions. In this line of reasoning, I guess I am my father's daughter.
In my opinion, it is more successful to give free access to contraception, make adoption a viable option (that is make pre-marital sex acceptable so that pregnant girls don't feel like sluts) and permit abortions than to teach abstinence, make birth control inaccessible and then wonder why so many girls/ women have abortions.

The child doesn't have a choice in this. That's regrettable, but children also don't have the choice if the have nice parents or abusive parents, religious ones or atheist ones, etc.
Rather than thinking about whether or not the boyfriend is pro-life, she needs to find out whether he thinks he has any say in her decision if she gets unexpectedly pregnant. I was surprised to find out that my boyfriend didn't really like the idea of abortion, but that he understood that I would probably want to abort if he got me pregnant while I was in college and he said that he'd support me, whatever I decided. He understood that it wasn't his decision, and that he had no right to pressure me in any direction.

That what she needs to find out from her boyfriend. If he's okay with the fact that she'll probably abort the baby and it's not his decision to make, then she should keep him. Otherwise, DTMFA.

Also, for people who are pro-life? Read the Roe vs. Wade decision. Not very many people do, and it really lays out why exactly they placed the limits that they did.
As far as the when-is-the-clump-of-cells-a-person argument, I think that a woman's body actually offers some perspective to the debate. I got pregnant about 4 years ago. I really, really didn't want it, the guy in question was a total fucking asshole (which became abundantly clear when I told him about it), and I planned to have an abortion. Lucky me, I miscarried before it came to that. I had only made it to about 6 weeks of pregnancy, so the miscarriage itself wasn't too painful. I was spared the horrible choice that so many women face, and intellectually I knew that I was the luckiest girl in the world. But every part of my body was screaming with loss. No matter how much I may have hated the idea of pregnancy, my body had different feelings about the little time bomb I carried for such a short time.

I think that 'personhood' is an inflammatory term because it conjures the image of cute little curly-haired babies, when in truth an embryo or fetus under 12 weeks old really is just a clump of cells--a clump of cells with potential. Is it possible to recognize grades of personhood in utero? A zygote or embryo or fetus absolutely has value as human, but that value is, by necessity, limited. Anything wrong with acknowledging that?
Dan, apologize to LIFE!!! That is the most leotarded advise I have ever heard you give. This does not have anything to do to with abortion rights, this has to do with telling a woman to lie about something that in reality can be extremely stressful!! Why would you tell her to lie about something as a male you will never know what it will feel like to be pregnant and have to make this kind of decision. This would only end in a break up, it would be better to DTMFA, but maybe you are not giving people a chance to make mature decisions and given a better chance to communicate, this person might not be as pro-life as he came off, how would he know he is not a woman either! But, telling her to lie about it, that can only cause her harm, what were you thinking????
LIFE: Dan's totally off his rocker on this one. Since when is it OK to play manipulative mind games with your partner?

I totally agree with the other commenters here: What's important is whether he'd respect her choice to have an abortion, if it came to that. LIFE should have a calm discussion about the issue, and how important it is to her.

It's totally OK to agree to disagree, as long as you can both live with that.
Dan: OMG such mixed feelings about your first piece of advice, to LIFE - On hand: NO, do NOT lie to your B.F. Ugh, as everybody has already said, women get accused of faking pregnancy all the time, & sometimes they do. It's not something you lie to someone about, ever. Massively uncool. LIFE, if you're reading this far down, I seldom say "don't do what Dan says", but don't. That's deciding whether you are gonna break up or not, right there. Pull that move, you are.

Definitely try to have more of the discussion, though, before things get too much more serious.

I am a one-issue girl on the topic of abortion myself. I couldn't be w/ someone who didn't accept my right to control my own (& women's rights in general to control their own) body (bodies). It's cool that some of you know people who can co-exist w/ that difference. I couldn't.

Ugh terrible advice on the first letter - fake a pregnancy by lying to him to test something you haven't made clear is a deal-breaker for you. Even if he now passes this impossible litmus test, now you will have to confess to being a liar or live with knowing that you will always be the worst person.
Oh, and DAN, you said: "Any gay man who can't see the connection between a woman's right to have children when she chooses and his right to love and marry the person he chooses is an idiot."

Does this mean I can stop being sad over the gay boyfriend who recently "dumped" me for being pro-choice? 'cause it still makes me blue, I still miss him. Makin' new pals when you move is hard & you're not in college, anymore. :/

I could understand a GBF breaking things off if yer anti-gay-marriage, 'cause, hellooooo, rights. I've been a marriage equality activist for some years now. Just happy to see someone else connect those two issues.
@25 If it doesn't have a brain, then it isn't a living person. It might be a dead person and it might be a potential person, but it certainly isn't a living person. Something without brain function is declared legally dead. If it doesn't have brain function, then it cannot have started true human life yet. A fertilized egg is in no way comparable to an actual living person.
No, no, no, no, no, do NOT lie to the boyfriend!

Present it as a thought experiment, or sit him down like grownups and say, so what happens if? honestly. Then, if you stay together, march yourself off to Planned Parenthood and get an IUD/IUS, an implant, or a Depo shot--something long-lasting that you can't forget to take and he can't mess with--and never, never, ever fuck him without a condom again.

Because @10 really nails it:

His cooperation has to be BOUGHT because the woman can't walk away from it and he knows that. Abortion really levels the playing field and I think that is part of why so many men oppose it.

In his world, the second sammy sperm meets ellie egg, YOU are suddenly a slave. Everything you do, every decision you make, is secondary to a zygote, while he is free to pronounce you a slut, bitch moan and whine about it, disappear and never put forth any financial or emotional effort into you ever again, or maybe step up to the plate and be a good partner. But you don't know that, you'll never, ever know until it happens (because you have only his word to trust, after all) and what is true for YOU regardless is you're stuck with the financial, medical, physical, and emotional consequences. The single best thing you can do for yourself, in that case, is make damn sure you never get pregnant. And make sure he knows WHY you are doing this--it's one thing to have a view in the abstract, and quite another to see that those views have consequences, and one of those consequences of having his opinion and dating you is that his opinion puts you in a dangerous, unequal, and intolerable situation, and you are trying to put yourself back on the level playing field.

If he's not willing to play by those rules, rules that protect you both and allow you to live together despite your differing views, DTMFA and RUN.

A personal note: I'm dating a very sweet man who is very much against abortion, and I'm as pro-choice as you get. I can't take hormonal forms of BC and IUDs aren't an option for me, so we're limited to fertility awareness and condoms. We use condoms all the time and when the CM gets thin, no sex at all, period, until it goes back to normal....which sucks, but it's highly effective and since his libido is lower than mine, I can pass it off as neither of us are in the mood. FAM, if practised consistently and your cycles are regular enough that you can tell with reasonable certainty what's going on, is really effective, especially when you use it and condoms together.

On the downside, you lose a lot of spontaneity and you can't ever risk getting drunk and have drunk (fill in the special occasion) sex. And since I can't take hormonal BC, which he knows, I told him before we even got naked the first time that refusing to wear a condom, whining about wearing a condom, or pulling one off mid-screw was an automatic and irrevocable breakup-level offence, because it put me and my health and safety in an intolerable situation for the sake of him getting his rocks off. But we are getting along happily, with plenty of fun in the sack, despite our differences of opinion.
A newly-formed fetus does not think, feel, or react to its environment in any way. I will never understand why some people think the rights of a mindless clump of cells should take priority over the physical and emotional wellbeing of an adult woman.

Anti-choice zealots make a lot of noise about "personhood", but they seem more than happy to treat pregnant women more like incubators than people. Are these people completely blind to the ugly reality of pregnancy? Pregnancy is a painful, life-changing, potentially life-threatening ordeal. It can fuck you over in a myriad of ways. You'll be buried in medical bills if anything goes wrong, and good luck paying them when you lose your job because you're too busy puking your guts out all day to work. Why is it fine to put a thinking, feeling adult woman through nine months of hell for the sake of a baby she doesn't want, but morally reprehensible to flush out a little amoeba that is physically incapable of experiencing pain or emotional distress?
I'm sorry Dan, I love your columns and rarely find myself disagreeing. But your advise to LIFE is utterly wrong.
I am pro-choice myself but I have no trouble understanding that somebody could be strongly against it. The BF is described as sweet and caring, is it such a leap of imagination to consider he might show those qualities towards an unborn baby? Which doesn't mean that he is right, it just means that he's position is an honest and conscientious one and needs to be addressed as such. She still might agree to leave him but only because her own valid convictions compel her to.
Your advice was cynical, counterproductive and downright mean.
Is it not possible that two people could date and have a difference of opinion about something?
@54 Sure, couples don't need to agree about everything, and it would be creepy if they did. However, two people with fundamentally differing opinions about what actions are acceptable in the case of pregnancy probably shouldn't be fucking each other.
Lying about it = terrible idea.

What if he's happy? Excited to be a dad? Loves the idea of supporting you? And it turns out to all be a stupid head game because you don't trust he really means what he says - you might as well just dump him now because if it plays out like this you won't see him for dust.

I don't think I could be with someone who disagreed with abortion to that extent. If you ever did get pregnant accidentally that would really mess you both up even if it didn't end up in court. This is an issue where you need to have similar values. I've ended a relationship because the man I was with said if I got pregnant and didn't have an abortion he'd finish with me, for pretty similar reasons. It's hard to relax in bed with someone when all you have in mind is the grim consequences if it all goes wrong.
Since you and your "boyfriend" cannot procreate I don't think you are qualified to give advice to normal couples.
Reiterating that Dan's advice to lie about a pregnancy is phenomenally stupid.

What I don't get is the rabid pro-lifers who appear incredibly concerned about the death of an 8-celled "person", but don't seem to object so much to the killing of tens of thousands of actual people, including actual children, when we needlessly invade places.
So if a man or a woman are infertile, they can't give advice on birth control/ family planning/ abortion?

If my ob/gyn is infertile she can't advice me on reproductive medicine?

Do you also think that psychiatrists and psychologists need to have mental instabilities to be permitted to be therapists?
lies make the unborn fetus of baby jesus cry
Don't lie! That's manipulative crap my sister would pull. Just don't stoop to that level. Break up with him or give him a hypothetical situation.
Dan doesn't seem to give a s$$t about you, your half baked doubts about your loving boyfriends "progressive" pedigree or your relationship. Only the cause.
@ avast

No, I think they're based on science, and I think they make good sense. I agree that there are real, true, differences between something that's just turning on it's hedgehog genes versus something that's sitting there sipping amniotic fluid and perceiving the taste. But I don't hinge personhood on those things myself.

The idea of what personhood is means different things to different people - it certainly isn't a scientific entity. I agree that it's absurd to claim that a fertilized egg is identical to a fully formed human being. But I also think it's absurd to claim that a fertilized egg is the same thing as a somatic cell, and people who make that comparison bewilder me.

Look, if I were to take a bunch of thalidomide now, you can bet my cheek cell wouldn't develop into a fully grown human being with deformities that adversely impact his or her quality of life.
LIFE- Don't lie to your boyfriend! It's a DTMFA move. You dropped the ball on that one, Dan. Everyone tells little lies, but the Preg isn't a little lie.

If you can't change his mind with a rational argument, don't bother trying to rock his world with an appeal to his emotions.

My take on the rational argument to the personhood from the moment of conception belief is that human rights = human responsibilities. If an early-term zygote has human rights, then it has human responsibilities and therefore, every person who absorbs his or her twin in utero (and that may be a majority of us) is a murderer. Murderers must be punished.

If personhood arrives at the moment of conception, perhaps as many of two-thirds of people who come into being are murdered by the biological process before their mommies ever know they exist. If the personhood argument has any weight whatsoever, these women are evil and must be punished.

Would you willingly live in a world like that?

We deal in truth, not lies, because truth is so much more powerful.
If I was dating a girl who lied about a pregnancy just to play a mind game, I would dump her on the spot.
Dan suggesting she lies to her boyfriend ;( Hopefully he will retract that stupid advice in his next column / podcast.

Several people have already said what I wanted to say, sit down and have a chat with your boyfriend about what would happen if you got pregnant.

Personally I had that chat with my current girlfriend and for the time being she said she would want to get an abortion if something happened. Which is good because that is what I want as well, my ex-gf was the same as well. If her view was that she would want to keep it I would probably have dumped her because it is not a risk I am willing to take.

All in all, really bad call on that one Dan. Next time please advice people to act like grown up and not scorn children.
Dan I found todays column completely boring and leaving a little to be desired. What happened to the old Dan who was brutally harsh, yet funny
The point about advising LIFE to lie is that the effective advice is to break up with him, but the lie is to give him what Mr Savage considers him to deserve on the way out. It could end up involving additional lies if LIFE wants to avoid some of the pointed-out consequences. If he were to respond with a proposal, she then would be stuck between exposure, faked miscarriage (which brings up fond memories of Ryan's Hope, of all things) or doubling down into "going through with the abortion".

What I think Mr Savage got particularly right is that the BF's attitude could well be less than fully-informed/deeply-considered. And what someone says in the abstract does not necessarily reflect on how supportive (s)he will be of somebody's decision contrary to personal ideology. I have nothing against anybody thinking his position is an automatic dealbreaker, or anyone thinking that he might evolve or be educable and okay getting a chance. (Personally I'm so pro-choice that I abdicate a personal view of abortion, seeing it as something entirely to be settled by women without male input beyond acting to see to it that women have the power of choice and are not imposed upon by men.)

The interesting thing may be how close viewpoints have to be on this issue in order to be able to coexist. I've seen far more frivolous dealbreakers, certainly.
Lying about a pregnancy is a horrible idea. The LW wrote in looking for the chicken exit--probably because the b/f is really cute--but she know what needs to be done: DTMFA.
What what WHAT?! NO! A woman should NOT tell a guy that she's pregnant when she's not! If that woman goes through with this, then HE should DTMFA.
The problem with your reasoning is that it would deny mentally handicapped people their personhood.
Someone who is mentally disbled still has human rights, even if the disability is so strong that s/he doesn't have any human responsibilities.
You know why Dan's advice to fake the pregnancy won't backfire?

She's going to have a "miscarriage" two weeks later! But, she'll have to take the secret to her grave if the relationship continues.
Don't lie about the pregnancy! Dump him or date him or do the thought experiment. Lying about a pregnancy will do nothing but blow up in your face.
Is it possible to insert an edit after the column's been posted? There should be an insert that says "UPDATE: DON'T DO THIS" after the advice to lie about the pregnancy. On the off chance that LIFE actually takes Dan's horrible, horrible advice, he should make every effort to make sure she knows how wrong he was about this.

Her BF is probably one of those "I'm anti-abortion, but I'm pro-choice" guys (I used to be one). There are plenty of them. For guys, pregnancy is always a thought experiment. She's not going to change his mind with one argument, but she can encourage him to be more adult about it and try to imagine someone else's experience. Or not. In either case, under no circumstances should she lie to him.
Ai yi yi. No. Count me on the bandwagon of people who think that inventing a pregnancy as a rhetorical device is a terrible idea.

The dude is on the wrong side of the theory. If that's enough for you to dump him, then dump him.

Otherwise, have a serious discussion about what he would want to do if the two of you accidentally conceived a child. (Yes, we can't know what we'd do until we're actually in a given situation, but we can make a decent guess.)

His answer may or may not surprise you. My husband is adamantly pro-choice, but I know that he assumes that we would raise any child we conceive, even if it's not in The Plan. He wouldn't divorce me over an abortion, but I don't think he'd be too happy, either.

Stop having sex with him, or not, after you find out whatever you find out.
Like several others, I have to conclude that Dan didn't think this through when he suggested to lie to the BF. If your boyfriend being pro choice bothers you deeply enough to question the validity of your relationship, then in the very least it requires a frank discussion. Lying in a no-win scenario here, honesty is required.

How about sitting him down and just saying something like, "After I learned you were anti-abortion, I started to have serious questions about this relationship. This issue is very important to me, and it's difficult for me to just agree to disagree because it has a very real possibility of impacting my life and our relationship at some point." Then go on to explain how regardless of personhood, being anti-abortion takes away your own right to living your life and control of your body. Don't get into a heated debate if you can, focus on the emotional content of what you're saying, so that rather than being stuck on politics he understands how this directly affects YOU on a real, personal level. Then make it very clear to him that you will accept no less than full control of your own body and life in this relationship, and that even if his views stay the same, that by remaining in a relationship with you he is agreeing to allow you control over your body.

This isn't fool proof, he might just say what you want to hear to get you to stay, or believe that if it came down to it he could convince you otherwise. But, it's the best chance you have, and if you're good at reading people at all, even if he lies you have a good chance of sensing something is off with him.
The "one cell" argument is specious, at best, on BOTH sides of the abortion debate. A single cell is not a person, but nobody gets an abortion when the fetus is just one cell, or even just 1 million cells.

There are a lot of people who fall within what I call the "abortion spectrum" (think Kinsey scale).

For example, I totally and completely 100% support abortion during the first trimester. During the third, however, I think it's wrong unless the mother's life is in danger or it's obvious the child won't survive. If a child can survive prematurely outside the womb, at that point abortion *is* indeed killing a person.

So the argument for me comes down to the second trimester, and since I don't know enough about that, then I defer to the judgment of each individual woman.

As for the line that men shouldn't be telling women what to do with their bodies, that's also specious. Female legislators vote all the time on things that affect men's bodies.
Lying about a pregnancy? That's pretty crazy. I'm pretty sure that if a guy wrote in to say his gf lied about pregnancy, then Dan's answer would be: DTMFA and "bitch be crazy". The furthest I've ever gone was to mention to a guy I was sleeping with that I was late- He was being difficult about using condoms and I was tired of having to beg him.

Plus, it doesn't autmotatically make him a misogynist to believe that a fetus is a person. I'm pro-choice b/c I don't think that I know what's best for other women, but I personally believe that a developed fetus is a sentient being(buddhist terms). What I believe is closer to beleiving in "personhood" than it is to people who are flat-out prochoice b/c they believe that a fetus is only a bit of cells/tissue as worthless as menstrual blood.

I personally wouldn't be able to get an abortion past the first trimester. By the end of the first trimester a fetus is developed enough that it has a brain/CNS, can move independently and make a fist. It might still be in utero, but I believe it's a living being moving around in there all on its own. Plus, I'm pretty sure that anything with a CNS can feel pain. That's way too human for me to be ok with abortion at that point.

Abortion is a complicated issue and many people have conflicted feelings about it, whether they are prochoice or not. It's hard to say when life begins and at least this guy has thought about it. I would rather have someone like him over some guy who hasn't even thought about the issue enough to have a position. At least it shows he has a few paternal instincts- that's much better than the type of guy who would want to pressure you to rush off to a clinic the moment you said you were pregnant.
I think it would be absolutely wrong for LIFE to flat-out lie to her boyfriend. Because what if her boyfriend responds completely perfectly, in every way that she could imagine or hope for? She turns around and reveals that she has lied to him? That she was manipulating and testing him? Suddenly that makes her the bad guy, not him, and it turns into a discussion about trust instead of a discussion about the actual issue.

Make this a thought experiment. If he can't respond well even in the abstract, there's no reason to think he would respond well in real life.
Being deceptive/manipulative in a relationship serves no good. Take the high road and end the relationship. Something to consider, in the event you become pregnant and you want to abort, he just might make your life a living hell in court trying to stop you....
Instead of lying (never a good idea in a relationship) just tell him you can't have sex with him. That if she turns up pregnant, she will have an abortion, so since that would violate his morality they can't have sex any longer.
If LW1 and her guy want to keep fucking (risk of pregnancy), then they need to establish how things are going to go down in the event of pregnancy.

I believe that men also have to be allowed some choice -- the choice of whether or not to involve themselves in a particular response to pregnancy. A man who doesn't want children or who couldn't bear to think of the fruit of his loins being aborted should be provided with the information necessary to make a decision about fucking any given woman. It's responsible for a man who is adamantly anti-abortion to refuse to fuck a woman who will have an abortion if she gets pregnant; it's responsible for a man who could not and would not have children to refuse to fuck a woman who would definitely have the baby.

So LW1 should allow her partner to make an informed choice about fucking her, and then in the event of pregnancy, she can exercise her own choice about her own body.
Dan I'm disappointed you would say for someone to lie about a pregnancy. Imagine how outraged you would be if some guy wrote in that his girlfriend faked a pregnancy to get his natural reaction to the idea of abortion. Is it just because you don't agree with his viewpoint? I don't agree with him either, but I wouldn't want him to be lied to about it just to get his real opinion on the subject.

He's stated his belief, even if I, you, and the girlfriend disagree with it. You should have told her, that's it, make the choice. If it's a dealbreaker, then she can go find a better guy, and he can go date a Christian girl.
I'd like to add my voice to those pointing out that believing a fetus is a person and being pro-choice are not incompatible viewpoints. I am a woman, and I believe with all my heart that a fetus is a child from the moment of conception. I don't think I could ever have an abortion, no matter the circumstances, though I have been lucky enough never have to make that choice. But I also recognize that belief in the fetus as a person is theological, philosophical; there is no concrete science that delineates when a fetus stops being a cluster of cells and starts being a person, nothing everyone can agree on as fact, thus leaving it to our own gut feelings and beliefs.
Basically, I recognize that everyone has the right to decide for themselves when they believe that a fetus becomes a person, and I have NO right to force my own views upon them. (I am NOT Christian btw, I came to these pro-life/pro-choice views in an extremely liberal nonreligious family). I also recognize that the decision to have an abortion, or not, is deeply personal, and should be arrived at by the mother with input from whomever SHE believes is pertinent to the discussion (her doctor, her partner, her priest, her family, if she so chooses), NOT the government.
I will also mention, though, which may get me crucified, that while I do think the final choice is up to the mother, those of you saying that the father should have no say are wrong. It's his potential child, too. They made the mistake together. It's her body, she certainly gets the final word, and he should be prepared to support whatever that ultimate decision is, but I think the father should be involved in any discussion like this (barring the father being a total asshole or rapist, etc).
Also, usually I like Dan's advice, but lying about a pregnancy is total juvenile game-playing. Sit down and have a grown up discussion about it. It will be good practice for all of the other grown up discussions you'll need to have, about religion, raising children, money, etc. If he's generally liberal-leaning, I doubt he's for making abortion illegal, and I bet this will turn out to be a philosophical disagreement you can live with.
But be extra damn careful with birth control until/unless you're ready to reproduce with this guy, because I'm also betting that, even if he isn't for banning abortion, if you had one, even if he supported you completely, it would be the beginning of the end of your relationship.
It seems like we're all forgetting that he said he didn't think abortion should be banned.

There is room within pro-choice to think that abortion is terrible or immoral, but that the alternative of women dying in childbirth, dying due to botched abortions, forced to give birth to unviable (stillborn) babies and being treated as incubators with no agency of their own, is worse. Or even that the decision, which he may disagree with, is up to the person that has to carry the fetus and give birth.

Those are acceptable pro-choice positions, even if they're aren't pure "abortion, with these minor caveats, is A-OK". All of those respect a woman's agency and ability to make reproductive choices.
Mydriasis is right. It's not that abortion is either right or wrong; it's that any decision about it is going to be arbitrary one way or the other. This is what I was trying to get at in 5. Deciding that a few cells have the same rights as an adult human being is ridiculous, but so is deciding that it's fine to abort a full-term healthy pregnancy when the baby could be delivered Caesarian and survive. After all, even when the infant has taken its first breath, it still can't survive on its own without help. The whole thing, conception, pregnancy, birth, raising a healthy kid, life, death, it's all a process. Making sound laws surrounding when an abortion is legal is always going to be about choosing an arbitrary place in that process.

Here's another grey area to consider. If it makes sense to break up with a man 7 months into a good relationship because you differ too much on the subject of abortion, shouldn't you break up with him 1 day into the relationship? Or maybe you should interview him on that very subject before you sleep with him. Or before you kiss him. Or before you agree to go out with him. Maybe you should check his political views before introducing yourself. After all, if this is going to be a deal-breaker, shouldn't you know up front?

Then consider the other deal-breakers like where you'll live, how you'll raise the children, what you'll do for money, if he can put up with your crazy parents, and whether he leaves he collects old computer parts in the basement. Get him to sign a document before that first date!

Seriously, let me turn the sarcasm off for minute. LIFE asked if this should be a deal breaker or if it's merely a disagreement. I'd say it was a disagreement, but naturally it's her call.
LIFE doesn't say if she & her bf are using contraceptives. If they are, and she tells him she's pregnant, he's gonna think she's been fucking another dude.

Just as well, since Dan is now stupidly advising people to lie in their relationships. What a douche.
In re. to the topic of porn, Dan stated that kinksters go find porn to match their inherent interests, rather than vise-versa. I do not agree with this though I usually find Dan to be right on the money. At best, what he is saying is a half truth. While people may seek out what they are interested in of course, they will also be exposed to things they do not seek. The nature of porn and compulsive masturbation, is to be strongly affected by the images, and need ever more transgressive material to find gratification.
I have some additional advice for LIFE. Don't lie, precisely, but DO mess with your boyfriend's head a little. With some finesse you can do an effective thought experiment. And frankly, any idiot who holds such opinions deserves to have their head messed with for ten minutes. It's not gonna kill him.

LIFE, call your boyfriend and tell him you have something important you need to discuss with him - face to face. When you see him, act very serious and nervous (let's face it, you'll probably BE nervous) and say this: "What would you do if I told you right now I'm pregnant?" Without hearing you state categorically you're pregnant, he will probably assume that really is the news you're about to deliver. Don't wait for an answer. Draw a picture for him while he digests the idea: "I know we've only known each other 7 months, but are you be prepared to be tied to me for life? Would you help me support the child for the rest of your life - even if we broke up at some point?" And he'll have one of two reactions, depending on whether his emotions line up with his so-called "rational" opinions. He'll either be happy/honorable about it and say yes, he'll have a kid with you - or he'll be dismayed and upset, as Dan predicts.

If he reacts positively and says he would help you raise the child, you say: "That's lovely of you, but I don't think *I* would be ready to have a child with you. I would have to consider abortion." He'll almost certainly respond badly to this and try to seize control of your [hypothetical] options, at which point you clarify that it's not an immediate issue since you aren't pregnant, but you cannot be with someone who feels the way he does about this crucial issue. (Dan's excellent rguments for why it's a legit dealbreaker can come into play at this point.) You won't have to live out some crazy fake-pregnancy-and-miscarriage lie, you'll just have misled your boyfriend for a few minutes for a very good reason. Pregnancy is hypothetical now, but it could easily become reality, and you are within your rights to DTMFA.

If he has a negative reaction, you have won the argument, and MAYBE you can save this relationship. People sometimes change sides on an issue - especially if they're young. My first girlfriend was horribly anti-choice when we got together and said she'd break up with me if I ever had an abortion, even if it was the result of rape. I stayed with her because (since we were both girls) it was such an unlikely scenario, and I was hopeful she'd think differently in time. I was right: within a couple of years her position had completely changed. Ten years and several relationships later, I hear she's now as fiercely pro-choice as I am.

P.S. I know adoption is a third option besides parenting and abortion, but I doubt it'll come into play here. If the boyfriend hasn't already said "I think if you got pregnant, adoption would be a great way to proceed," then he probably won't bring it up. If he does, you can claim that's also not something you're ready for.
I will join those in the camp who believe that LIFE should NOT take Dan's advice and lie about being pregnant. If you take it, and do it; then the guy has the legit reason to do the DTMFA number to you - and as a bonus you look like a batshit crazy douche. Asking, "If I accidentally get pregnant will you 1) support the kid and 2) be willing to be a part of the kid's (and my) life in some way shape or form for at least the next 18 years?" because based on his position, the only answer is, "Yes." If it's no, you need to DTMFA.
@wayne, if LIFE's boyfriend assumes pregnancy despite using contraceptives MUST mean she's cheating, he has another two major problems: 1) misogyny, and 2) sheer stupidity. If he thinks ANY contraceptive is 100% effective, even when used perfectly, and so it would be just IMPOSSIBLE to knock her up, he needs some re-education.
I have to join the chorus of people saying that LIFE should NOT lie to her boyfriend and tell him she's pregnant. I'm pretty sure this is the worst advice Dan has ever given.

It's really up to her whether his anti-choice views are a deal-breaker or not. I don't think she's obligated to break up with him or risk losing her pro-choice card.

If she does decide to stay with him, she needs to make it clear that if she does get pregnant, SHE will be deciding how to proceed and that, given his views, she might not even consult with him on the matter.
I disagree with one thing Dan - a girl should never tell a guy she's pregnant when she knows she's not.

That's a DTMFA move, if ever I heard one.

Though completely different, how would you feel if someone told you that your boyfriend had been killed in a road accident?

Shocking fake news is not funny. It's cruel, no matter what your justification is.

And a girl telling you you're going to be a father, (not she *thinks* she's pregnant) is shocking news.
Dan can't resist being a provocateur ("Lie to him."), and it doesn't take long for a comment thread to grow when the topic is abortion.

Here's a question: A NARAL member and volunteer once told me that one can still think abortion is morally wrong and be pro-choice. Do abortion advocates still believe this? My understanding was that this line of reasoning was behind the term pro-choice, as in 'my moral beliefs shouldn't necessarily be public policy.' Is this still a thing?

I see that this doesn't apply to the boyfriend in this letter since the he picked up the mantle of the Personhood, which is a political idea.
I love Dan, however he might have dropped the ball on the last letter, MFKS. I'm not a trained councilor, but I was once a teenage boy who liked porn and lived under my mother's roof. Dan you didn't really get enough info. about this kinky? kid. What if his mother is controlling? bummer! What if she's whithholding? This kid might be reactionarily into power exchange because of a dysfunctional mother. I think this kid should only talk with a professional. Being confronted by his mother might aggrivate the situation.
@4 and others...

There are some traditional definitions of personhood we should remember, before going all moment-of-conception all over it. One long-standing one is that personhood occurs when a newborn takes its first breath. You know, that whole slap on the bottom thing? A traditional religious thought is that God breathes a soul into the child with that first breath.

Because of the number of spontaneous miscarriages, and all the things that can go wrong in early pregnancy, I believe there was a time when women didn't count themselves as truly expecting, or announce it, until the second trimester.

In older cultures, and many aboriginal ones, a high incidence of early child mortality developed into a tradition of not counting the newborn as a person unless it could survive a certain period after birth first, in some cases a month, in others a year, and they wouldn't name the child until then.

And in some aboriginal cultures, early infanticide was practiced in times of famine, so as to preserve the mother to raise children in better times.

All in all, the first-breath thing seems a pretty decent compromise to me. I do support legal protection of a fetus from criminal violence, but only when it's wanted by the mother, who is, after all, investing her flesh and blood and hopes in it.

See David Foster Wallace, whose incredibly sane position on this issue was the same as the boyfriend's (assuming the boyfriend is actually pro-choice, despite believing abortion is wrong. Which he appears to say that he is.)…

“When in irresolvable doubt about whether something is a human being or not, it is better not to kill it”

“When in irresolvable doubt about something, I have neither the legal nor the moral right to tell another person what to do about it, especially if that person feels that s/he is not in doubt”
Also, the answer is an incredibly hurtful and manipulative fake pregnancy? Sheesh.
If you lie about being pregnant, you are really breaking up with him. How and why would he trust you after that.

In reality Dan and her understand that she has already broken up with this guy. He said a thing and her judgement kicked in and ruined him as relationship material. Not defending his views, but this lady seems to be the worst.

If you can't tolerate someone because of a belief you don't share, you are kinda a dick. You don't have to love or defend the person, but you do need to realize that you are unable to interact with others without judging them very harshly.

If this guy is so great why not try to appeal to a great side and see if you can change his mind. If he is truly a great guy then when it hits the fan he will be only interested in what you need. You instead decide to have ZERO trust in him, that this belief is stronger than any relationship you could form? Sheesh.
I concur that Dan gave some horrible advise on lying to her boyfriend about being pregnant. Stupid stupid stupid idea and any reasonable guy would dump a girl crazy enough to do that

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