SLLOTD: The Anti-Choice Boyfriend


What the hell kind of advice was that? Was June 30, 2005 before Dan figured out the DTMFA doctrine? You did read that she was 18, didn't you? Why not tell her to go to college, if she wasn't already heading there, and shop around there for smart, kind, responsible, pro-choice guys?

"My boyfriend and I are 18, and we're in love."

I'm going to stop you right there...
Yeah, that kind of an attitude in a boyfriend is completely unlikely to turn into something worse down the road, especially in an emotional situation like an unwanted pregnancy. Good call, Dan.
Go buy a vibrator and loudly around said boyfriend.
Guys like that have been known to lock women up for 9 months. Or years. It's a thing that happens.

(I think Dan's advice was code for "if you love this man would you do that do him? No? Then dump him now.")
She shouldn't have worried. If she did get pregnant, his strong moral belief would have probably gone right out the window. It's easy to be theoretically anti-abortion, but when you actually become pregnant, not so much.

Dump him. A guy trying to get you to commit to motherhood at 18 as a condition of his "Love" has deep control issues. This manipulative creepiness will only escalate if you stay.
Would he have no problem raising the child as a single father should she get pregnant ?
8 has it..."fine, but I'm not raising the, sign this agreement that you'll take 100% responsibility for it." :Guy runs for the hills:
This sounds like a situation that calls for Saddlebacking.
Okay, Rainbow: You can become the sort of adult with firm moral principles who stands up for them, for herself and for those in need, or you can become the sort of human who throws over all beliefs, however deeply held, for a hot fill-in-the-blank. Nothing against hot fill-in-the-blanks, but, when you find yourself married to a gun-carrying, evangelizing racist sexist homophobe who never reads any book but the Bible, don't ask atheist lesbians of colour to feel sorry for you and chip in for your divorce.
Good call 8 & 9,

Although seriously, as a firm supporter of pro-choice legislation, I also support the idea that the choice should be a mutual one made before sex.

So, if he wants to keep a kid and she is not sure, they shouldn't have sex. She shouldn't agree to his terms, fuck him, then go back on the agreement when it becomes inconvenient. That is pretty shitty.

Also, sounds like the BF shouldn't be having sex at all with his attitude, but then I'm pro-choice so may be a bit biased.
I feel that pro-choicers are morally obligated to NOT fuck pro-lifers. I see no reason to reward bad behavior. And no self-respecting woman should fuck a man who doesn't respect her.
Shitty advice. She should either dump him or commit to his terms. No lying about something like this.
I've got to give him some credit for following up "I would not be okay with abortion" with "so I will not have sex with anyone who isn't on that same page."
18? Break up and move on. That relationship didn't have a chance anyway.

But @8,9,
She probably would not want to pay child support either. There's no such thing as "you have 100% responsibility and I have 0%." That doesn't work for men who don't want kids but get a girl pregnant... it should not work for women either.
Someone so "in love" with her boyfriend that she's seriously considering a "no abortions" agreement right now CERTAINLY won't be pressured into keeping it 9 months down the line by the aforementioned dream-boat. Because the fact that "it's her body" will be the only consideration at that point. Yup, there sure won't be any EXTREME SOCIAL PRESSURES nor A GUILTY CONSCIENCE that might lead her to make a life-crushingly bad decision.

Good advice, Dan. 10/10, would read again.
Should she break up with someone over a sincere moral belief? I can think of few better reasons.
Great advice. Lying is always a great basis for a sound relationship.
Your body is not something you can negotiate. His willingness to have sex with you only if you agree to his terms of your body enduring pregnancy for a mistake that would be half his says he is not good long term relationship material. If he was ready for a long term relationship HE would break up with you over this issue not give you an ultimatum that would cost you so much more than him. He is being juvenile and controlling. End this relationship.
Jesus Christ. Are you all so disconnected from teenagerdom that you think the best advice is dtmfa? Clearly if I could make her decisions for her I would say dtmfa, but THAT IS NOT HOW BEING A TEENAGER WORKS. Dan's advice is designed to make her think. She can have what she wants- this boy she loves (and those feelings are legitimate!!!) and also the option to terminate pregnancy if (god forbid) it ever comes to that. She doesn't have to make the painful choice (which honestly she is probably not capable of) because she can cross that bridge when she comes to it. Girl, fuck this boy, love this boy, and take care of yourself in the end. Mwah!
What's his temperature on anal?
Terrible advice. Imagine the boyfriend was the letter writer - "I don't believe in abortion, but my girlfriend says if she did get pregnant she would insist on aborting our baby. What can I do to make her change her mind?" I can bet Dan's advice would pretty clearly be "Don't fuck her." The woman has lots of options once she's sexually active (insist on condoms, use hormonal birth control, the morning-after pill, abortion, adoption, or raising the kid herself) - the man just has two, "use a condom dumbass" and "possibly pay child support." If he doesn't trust his partner to make the "right" decision about a child (whatever he feels that "right" decision is), it's his responsibility to use birth control every time and/or to avoid doing things which might get her pregnant.
Wait, so your rule is "fertile pro-choice girls shouldn't have premarital sex with controlling anti-choice boys, you know, unless they really want to?"
You're fundamentally incompatible with this person and shouldn't fuck or date him.
I disagree that he is necessarily a controlling asshole. He has a moral conviction that abortion is wrong. That leaves him with the consequence that he should only have sex with women who agree that they wouldn't have an abortion, or he can't have sex. He has been honest about his moral standpoint, his girlfriend should be honest about hers. In fact, he has given her the choice, she is pro-choice, she should appreciate it.

If a woman wouldn't have an abortion, should tell guys that before having sex. Then they have the choice if they want to risk it (and it makes them extra-careful about contraception).
I hope this girl managed to make it through her (almost certainly long overy) relationship without a pregnancy. The advice was pretty shitty, given that an in-love 18 year old could be pressured into continuing a pregnancy she doesn't want and thus become a teen mother with a controlling boyfriend. I do wonder however how it would be possible to get the need to dump this kid, who was probably just going through a self-righteous phase anyway. It can be easy to forget the intensity of feelings when you are that age, and just saying "he's not worth your time, find someone better" would not be likely to convince an 18 year old in love. I think it migh have been better to play out a possible scenario with her. She continues fucking him, there is an accident and she gets pregnant. She knows she's not ready for a baby, but does she know she could resist his pressure to not abort, since she loves him so much? I think it's more likely that saying that she would see that staying with this boy could lead her somewhere that could ruin her future.
No aspect of any relationship should be agreed to under duress. Doesn't mean he's a monster, doesn't make her a victim, but it for damn sure means that star-crossed affair was never long for this world.
I wonder how this worked out for them...
That might be the crappiest advice I've ever read.
@23 I'd argue that reversing the sex roles here legitimately changes the calculus. The anti-choice dude can't force his girlfriend to have a baby, and neither can the pro-choice dude force his to have an abortion. The ball is in the woman's court in both situations, and it should be because she disproportionately bears the consequences of pregnancy.

That said, I'd call this a dtmfa because I think a significant moral disagreement is a very good reason to end a LTR.

This is another letter I'd love to see a follow up on.
Hey Dan,

Why not do a column or two that are follow ups on letters like this one. It sure would be fascinating to see how these relationships worked out. And it would be even more educational to see the real world answer to the question of how did this advice play out.

Just a thought

P.S. for the record I agree with your advice to the letter writer.
#2 wins the thread.

This seems like a clear DTMFA letter, but the MFer in question wins points for being the rare anti-choicer who understands the rule (which all pro-choice people should understand) that one should not fuck people who disagree with you on abortion.

So as far as that goes... props for that, Anti-Choice Douche. Most anti-choice douches aren't that consistent or willing to make their own sacrifices for their beliefs.

I don't like Dan's advice, though. Don't lie to get sex, particularly when you're 18--you don't need to, and it's a good habit not to be in. Respect his wishes not to have sex with someone who would get an abortion--he has a right to informed consent, same as anyone else--and respect your own wishes to be able to make your own choice under no extraneous duress. And then go date someone worth dating.
Agree with @33. He made his position clear, I respect that. I think she should have agreed to no penetrative sex if she wanted to stay with him.

Lying to get laid is WRONG! No matter what side of the fence you're on.

Of course, I think she should dump him for being a pro-life dumbass, but like previous posters have said, when you're in lurve it's not that simple.
Ahh, to be 18 and to think 'love' could include sincere moral disagreements.
Dan often mentions the anti-choice who in the abstract do not support abortion (for themselves, for a partner, for people close to them) who flip on a dime as soon as that hypothetical becomes concrete. There are also plenty of pro-choice people who, in the abstract, agreed that an abortion would totally be the logical thing if they or partner got pregnant, it happened, and abruptly they don't want an abortion, abstract logic of hypotheticals be damned.

You should be on the same page going in--I sincerely respect boyfriend for concluding that if they're not they should not have sex. But it's worth more reminders to those engaging in straight sex that once there is a pregnancy, people have been known to shift from their comfy abstract position in all sorts of directions.

Also, "if you pretend to agree to your partner's conditions for sex" is not a line I think Dan should have typed, even allowing for the perspective that telling in love teenagers to drop each other is not likely to work. Swap the genders and if it were the girl saying that before having sex she wanted to establish that she would not abort a healthy child conceived in love, expected monogamy, wasn't okay with piss play, etc, it would not be cool for her horny straight boy to agree while planning to ignore all of those because, hey, he wanted to get laid.

You try and instill enough caution and perspective in your teenagers so they will be aware of the "I'll agree to anything to get laid, and ignore all that immediately post-orgasm" risks, and choose their partners with some care. People will lie to you to get laid. But lying to people to trick them into sleeping with you is, ideally, a line people don't want to cross themselves and view as a deal breaker in lovers.
Hold up a second.

While it's certainly reasonable to read "he is against abortion" as meaning he is actively trying to suppress the rights of all women, I think it is more likely that he is simply trying to assert his reproductive rights by trying to ensure the viability of his potential offspring. He can only do that with OBGYN's ongoing consent and he is trying to obtain and maintain that.

The guy may be naive and all, but he need not be anything worse than trying to protect his (theoretical) children.
@36 It's pro-CHOICE, not pro-abortion. Those are people who make the CHOICE to not have an abortion when the situation presents itself; very different from the anti-choice/pro-life crowd who want to make that decision for other peoples' bodies.

I agree that people need to be on the same page for hot button issues such as this one.
So if the guy said he would only screw someone on the pill and she didn't want to take them she should say is and then screw him anyway? And then when she turns up pregnant she should just shrug and say it must not have worked that time?

They should just break up.
What @21 said.

18 yo's are physically incapable of making good decisions or even saying wise things. Dan was just being practical. The really important thing is to have a solid pro-choice legal framework in place and the healthcare to provide it so that she can do whatever she wants/needs to do when reality happens. People often change their minds when faced with reality.
Um, yeah, actual consent can't exist without all the pertinent information; uninformed consent isn't really consent. Lying about stated conditions for sex (how about, say, promising to wear a condom and then not/taking it off?) is not okay - it may or may not meet legal definitions of rape, but it's unethical, consent-blind sexual behavior regardless of legal definitions. This response is rape apologetics - bad Dan, even for 2005.
Oh, I should note that I think the BF's views are silly, but he has every right to them and every right to refuse to have sex with a woman who doesn't wish to remain pregnant and have a baby if she conceives. This is a DTMFA situation, but it's the LW who's the MFA.
Men opposing abortion is immoral and wrong. A pregnancy needs the woman's body to survive and a woman who is pregnant has guaranteed increased health risks and increased mortality risks. Since women bear ALL of the health risks of a pregnancy and men bear NONE, men have no right to an opinion on abortion. A guy has the all the choice in the world to not ejaculate inside a woman, but once the sperm leaves his body his right to an opinion on abortion is forfeit. This isn't a " a sincere moral disagreement" between two 18 yr olds in "love" this is a guy telling her very clearly that he gets to decide when they have sex and what she does with her body. And she is telling her that she has no choice on what health risks she takes on. All the Jesus, Prozac, alcohol and Valium in the world won't save her sanity if she stays with him.
I hope your advice in 2013 would be DTMFA, because this couple is incompatible.
Don't have sex with him. He is being honest. You could just have sex in ways that won't possibly produce a pregnancy (e.g. oral, manual, etc.) until some day you are on the same page.
I liked this advice in 2005 and I still like it now. Dumb kids gotta boink and this advice is pro-boinking. It's not the same advice Dan would give to an adult.

Besides, the little pro-life punk tried to use Dan's column to justify his bugnuts morality. He doesn't deserve honesty. Nyah.

Would love an update...
Anytime a male and a female fuck, there is the possibility of a pregnancy. Either have a strong contingency plan or don't fuck. Anything else begs disaster. But, what 18 yr old is in any way sane? Not a single one.
"Having sex" takes a lot of forms that have zero chance of resulting in pregnancy. Why is everyone acting like "sex" only means "PIV intercourse"? If he's terrified of an aborted pregnancy, then assign him to cunnilingus duty. You can love him all you want and have all kinds of sex and never let his penis in your vagina.

Where's the imagination?
The value of life, over the past.... 10,000 years or so, has only gone up and all signs point to that trend continuing. In 200 years, my suspicion is that we'll look back on this era and consider abortion barbaric and uncivilized, the same we look back on slavery, gladitorial combat, which burnings and the like as barbaric and uncivilized. Plenty of educated, reasonable people in those days thought it was reasonable, but the fashion has changed. I suspect the same thing will happen with abortion.

In the meantime. Get the pill, or the shot, or whatever. Use condoms. Let him cum in your mouth or in your butt or wherever you/he like. It's a really minor compromise (plenty of couples who are both firmly pro-choice use the condoms+birth control+pulling out combo pak) for each of you.
#50 The destruction of an 8 week old embryo is the moral equivalent of burning someone at the stake? In 200 years perhaps we will be civil enough that such comparisons would be laughed right out of the legislature of Indiana.
@51 Not exactly, but one doesn't need to equivocate; just recognize that society by and large at the time regarded such things as reasonable.
Why not tell him that you'll give him blow jobs and hand jobs, but no fucking? I'm sure he'll be crestfallen at the thought.
M? Puty catches the spirit of Mr Savage's response quite well. Mr Savage has clearly expressed his belief that anti-choicers have forfeited their right to informed consent, and thoroughly approves of deriding their viewpoint in almost any way possible. His answer to the LW may turn out to have been "terrible advice" from HER point of view, but from his own point of view he was spot on. If OBGYN followed his advice, she showed flagrant disrespect to someone who in his view deserved flagrant disrespect, which is a win for Mr Savage however it played out for her.

My only comment on the many DTMFAs swirling around is that Mr Horstman, who is being original, may have misapplied his; on his line of reasoning this is a DTMFC as the LW does not appear to ask for permission to deceive the BF or indicate that she is considering such a course of action, the suggestion for which comes entirely from the columnist.

Of course, I could take the line that both OBGYN and BF appear to take the view that Sex Equates to (and Always Requires) the entry of a distinguished member(M) into an historic chamber(F), which makes them both MFs in my book, so that they should be forced to marry immediately in a Covenant state which will only allow them to divorce if he becomes a Republican member of Congress.
@44: this is a guy telling her very clearly that he gets to decide when they have sex and what she does with her body.

No, all he's done is set the limits regarding under what circumstances and with whom HE is willing to have sex. Exactly the way we tell 18 year old girls to. She's horny and wants to get laid, boyfriend is reluctant due to risk of pregnancy--a discussion they have had and have not reached a satisfactory mutual ground, because one would want an abortion and one would not be okay with that. Not having sex--boyfriend's position--is actually the logical thing in this situation.

And while I wouldn't go as far as Fortunate, I don't have any problem with people who are opposed to abortion in their own lives regarding their own possible offspring. He is not trying to make every man and woman in the world or country or state abide by his preferences, he's just applying them to his own situation.

@46: You could just have sex in ways that won't possibly produce a pregnancy (e.g. oral, manual, etc.) until some day you are on the same page.
I actually think this is bad advice for teenage virgins. The whole "we'll go almost there, but then stop, and never slip up because it feels so good and we both want to and oh screw it." Biology works by making you really really really want to go farther than the hand job. (Obviously does not apply to same sex couples--who are not at risk of what to do with an unintended pregnancy and so that's fine.)
I wouldn't say DTMFA because the dude doesn't sound like a MF. He's done the right thing here; he's told her about his moral standpoint and refused to have sex with her if she doesn't hold the same view. I'd say dump the dude because it's a pretty big disagreement to have with a partner, but do it calmly and respectfully.

(okay, you could argue anyone anti-choice is a MF, but I personally feel like all my morals come from a place I can't control, and therefore believe everyone else's do too. Aside from trying to educate him on relevant issues, you can't change the dude's feelings and to a certain extent, can't blame him for them. Live and let live, right?)
Society says that once a man has sex, he is committing to potential parenthood. So whether he wants the kid or not, if the woman wants to keep the baby he's on the hook for child support.

Now we are saying that if a man knows that he prefers not to have his fetus child/pre-child aborted, he's a Mother Fucker for avoiding women that might abort. (The irony of a society that offers sympathy to woman who have miscarriages, but not a care in the world for men that have, in essence, miscarriages forced upon them...)

This is why: Men should never sleep with women. And if you have a strong desire to fuck women, fuck them in their ass or mouth only.
Urg...that was hyperbole. Of COURSE he would never agree to that, and one would hope that when she presented that he would be like "hell no...oh, wait..." Hence why I said he'd "run for the hills." He wants to make a moral stand without understanding the results of that stand. I imagine that if she presented him with an agreement saying that he'd cover the percentage of the costs of the child's care (including, housing appropriate for the size of the family, clothing, child care, school expenses, COLLEGE SAVINGS, on and on) commensurate with his relative income, he'd ALSO run for the hills. He's *18*...he doesn't quite get what his "stand" means. Putting it in real terms should be a nice wake-up call.
A man who believes he has rights over your uterus will also believe he has rights over your vagina. Dump the rapist in potentia now.
"he says it's his choice if he wants to stop having sex with me. (Which is something he read in your column, BTW.)"

Um, yes, that's correct. Anytime anyone wants to stop having sex with anyone, that is their choice. Lying to get them to change their mind is WRONG.
No, he is not exercising control over your reproductive rights. He is exercising control over HIS. He is saying that he cannot risk being party to a conception that is subsequently aborted. Since forcing a woman to carry to term is clearly out of the question, the only way to do that is either a) to find a partner who agrees with him about wanting any child conceived, whether planned or accidental, or b) to abstain from sex.

You seem to think that not only do you get to make the final decision on the pregnancy, but that you get to demand from him the sex that caused it. That means YOU are the one exercising ALL the control, including controlling HIS sexual choices. Who would have imagined that men are now the reproductive slaves of women? Sounds absurd when you put it that way, but it's exactly what you are doing, which means you had better rethink your position a little bit.

You have plenty of choice. You still control your own reproduction, and you are perfectly free to dump him on grounds of incompatibility -- and that's exactly what I would advise someone at age 18 to do. But he has choice too. When it comes to the choices that men make, they have basically one: sex or abstention. It is practically canon law to tell men, "If you don't want to deal with the consequences, you should have kept it in your pants." Well, that's exactly what he is doing. You don't get to call him the bad guy for following the standard advice as it applies to his position.

He should go find someone who agrees with him, and so should you.
In that boyfriend's mind he is theoretically opposed to abortion. However, once confronted with the possibility of years of dirty diapers, child support payments and a lifetime commitment in the form of parenthood, he would probably change his mind. Anything that starts out "18 and in love" probably won't work out anyway, but I do think she should have stood her ground. I don't think it's such a hot idea to tell an 18 y/o to give into a man when her views on a topic are diametrically opposed to his. I don't agree with the position some women take of just telling men what they want to hear, and then doing whatever they way anyway. This relationship is not likely to succeed in the long term, but I don't agree with advising her to 1) give in and then 2)be disingenuous and say one thing to a partner to continue to have sex, knowing all the while it's an outright lie. It seems like it's the advising her to lie to continue the relationship that bothers most people here. Probably a bad habit to start.
I do not understand calling this guy anti-choice just because he wants to be involved in making that choice and is trying to be responsible by having that conversation before a pregnancy occurs. I don't share this guy's point of view at all. But I mistrust the implication here that a person should be vilified for making the personal decision that they do not want their sex life to result in abortion.

There is nothing in the letter that says that the boyfriend believes that women should not have a legal right to have an abortion. He may think that, and if he does then he's dangerously wrong and should be treated as such. But I think it's a mistake to equate not wishing to participate in a pregnancy that is terminated by abortion to being anti-choice.

And absolutely yes, they both need to go find someone that they agree with on this issue, and bang that person instead.