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Wed Oct 14, 2020, 02:01 AM

I was born in '56

In an Irish Catholic family, I was the ninth child. The day my mom found out she was pregnant again, she prayed for a miscarriage. Instead my older brother was hit by a car and almost died. Same day, you canít make this shit up.

I wish I didnít know this stuff, but I am that unwanted kid. I know what it feels like to be emotionally abused. My dad wanted me, but died just after I turned 13. That was when things fell apart for me. I had no protection. My oldest brother was 13 yrs. older, and was physically abusive. I was beaten. I had garbage dumped in my room. While I washed dishes, he stood behind me saying ďBitch, bitch , bitch!Ē While stabbing a ham bone. He turned off the main and threatened to kill us all, but my mom didnít throw him out- just took us for a ride in the car.

Well, I was 13. Maybe just over sensitive. Maybe being told I was unwanted as a teen was just teenage angst. Despite my suicidal thoughts, despite everything, maybe I really was the problem.
Maybe my mom didnít mean the things she said, she was in pain. She was depressed. Blah blah blah. I loved my mom. I did.


So, I donít,know, 40 years later? Trying to get rid of my momís hoarding, I threw out waist high newspapers while making sure nothing important lingered. Got to the basement- finally only to find her list of things to do, from years earlier, and fifth on the list? Learn to love cate94. Argh.
So my point of view? Forcing people to have children is bad for the children. Forced birth sucks.

My decent siblings are horrified of the notion that Iíd be better off as an abortion statistic, but me? Iím not so sure.

51 replies, 3552 views

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Arrow 51 replies Author Time Post
Reply I was born in '56 (Original post)
cate94 Oct 2020 OP
MFM008 Oct 2020 #1
cate94 Oct 2020 #21
JI7 Oct 2020 #2
cate94 Oct 2020 #22
chowder66 Oct 2020 #3
cate94 Oct 2020 #24
chowder66 Oct 2020 #29
Raine Oct 2020 #4
cate94 Oct 2020 #25
Celerity Oct 2020 #5
cate94 Oct 2020 #26
Meowmee Oct 2020 #6
cate94 Oct 2020 #27
padfun Oct 2020 #7
cate94 Oct 2020 #30
Boomerproud Oct 2020 #8
cate94 Oct 2020 #31
yankeepants Oct 2020 #9
cate94 Oct 2020 #32
judesedit Oct 2020 #10
cate94 Oct 2020 #33
Beringia Oct 2020 #11
cate94 Oct 2020 #34
Buckeye_Democrat Oct 2020 #12
Delmette2.0 Oct 2020 #20
Buckeye_Democrat Oct 2020 #23
Delmette2.0 Oct 2020 #28
Buckeye_Democrat Oct 2020 #35
cate94 Oct 2020 #36
mercuryblues Oct 2020 #13
Buckeye_Democrat Oct 2020 #14
mercuryblues Oct 2020 #18
Buckeye_Democrat Oct 2020 #19
cate94 Oct 2020 #38
Kitchari Oct 2020 #15
cate94 Oct 2020 #39
Kitchari Oct 2020 #43
Delphinus Oct 2020 #16
cate94 Oct 2020 #40
LiberalLoner Oct 2020 #17
cate94 Oct 2020 #41
LiberalLoner Oct 2020 #46
A HERETIC I AM Oct 2020 #37
cate94 Oct 2020 #42
A HERETIC I AM Oct 2020 #45
cate94 Oct 2020 #51
Dan Oct 2020 #44
GopherGal Oct 2020 #47
cate94 Oct 2020 #49
marlakay Oct 2020 #48
cate94 Oct 2020 #50

Response to cate94 (Original post)

Wed Oct 14, 2020, 02:33 AM

1. So sorry💜

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Response to MFM008 (Reply #1)

Wed Oct 14, 2020, 09:33 AM

21. It does sound like a tale of woe

Honestly, I just mean have people thought about what forced birth means to the children? Every time I read some horror story about an abused kid, I wonder if that kid was wanted in the first place. Forced birth is bad.

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Response to cate94 (Original post)

Wed Oct 14, 2020, 02:42 AM

2. 9 kids is too much and I know it was the norm in the past

I think after 2 or 3 kids parents kind of lose interest or don't consider the well being of the kids as much.



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Response to JI7 (Reply #2)

Wed Oct 14, 2020, 09:38 AM

22. True

My oldest sister pretty much took on the role of mom, until she was kicked out of the family for switching religions.

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Response to cate94 (Original post)

Wed Oct 14, 2020, 02:49 AM

3. I'm deeply sorry that this happened to you and glad you have decent siblings.

Just thinking about what you said, you have survived all of that and that is to be commended. I suspect that you can survive just about anything thrown your way including being unwanted (that's a tough pill to swallow to be sure but you've made it this far).

One of my favorite sayings is ......

"You are one decision away from a completely different life". - Banksy

I don't know if that is helpful or just a pain in the ass to hear but I've been to some of the places you've been emotionally and physically, not all but some. While I haven't mastered all of it I've made some headway letting go of history and bad running dialogue in my head that I hung onto because of how deep the hurt ran. All of it just wore me down and I got tired of those ancient feelings driving a fair portion of my life. So I finally decided to just figure out a way to dump most of it and move on with my life to a large degree. It took what seemed like forever but made it happen.

It's okay to be depressed over depressing things. That's actually healthy. What isn't healthy is letting it have dominion over you. Again, I'm sorry if this is unwanted. I'm only sharing in case anything I'm saying is useful. If not, ignore it completely.

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Response to chowder66 (Reply #3)

Wed Oct 14, 2020, 10:43 AM

24. I'm okay

My oldest brother is out of my life. He remains abusive and I wonít accept it. Otherwise, I have good relationships with my surviving siblings and most of my nieces and nephews, and their kids.
I just think forced birth isnít good for anyone. It hurts everyone, including the kid.

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Response to cate94 (Reply #24)

Wed Oct 14, 2020, 10:51 AM

29. I'm glad to hear you're okay.

And I agree that forced birth can hurt the child and the mother. Please take care.

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Response to cate94 (Original post)

Wed Oct 14, 2020, 02:57 AM

4. I'm so sorry 💔

I wish I could give you a big hug ... 💞

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Response to Raine (Reply #4)

Wed Oct 14, 2020, 10:44 AM

25. Thanks.

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Response to cate94 (Original post)

Wed Oct 14, 2020, 03:16 AM

5. I am so very sorry for your pain. I also am so glad that you were born. You do not control

other people's lack of humanity, nor their vileness.

Huge hugzzzzz

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Response to Celerity (Reply #5)

Wed Oct 14, 2020, 10:45 AM

26. Thanks

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Response to cate94 (Original post)

Wed Oct 14, 2020, 03:30 AM

6. So sorry you went through all of that

Life can be very painful. You survived it all and lived to see a better day.

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Response to Meowmee (Reply #6)

Wed Oct 14, 2020, 10:47 AM

27. Yes

I survived and life is much better now.

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Response to cate94 (Original post)

Wed Oct 14, 2020, 03:52 AM

7. I was born in 55 and have a similar story

except my dad hated me and was the abuser. That pain lingers for a lifetime.

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Response to padfun (Reply #7)

Wed Oct 14, 2020, 10:51 AM

30. I'm sorry

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Response to cate94 (Original post)

Wed Oct 14, 2020, 04:01 AM

8. I pray you found love and peace and a sense of belonging.

A teacher of mine used to say "Some people don't deserve to be parents." I was born in 56 too but my family was much different .

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Response to Boomerproud (Reply #8)

Wed Oct 14, 2020, 10:52 AM

31. Thanks

I did find love and peace.

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Response to cate94 (Original post)

Wed Oct 14, 2020, 04:22 AM

9. 1957, last of 7, Irish-Catholic children

My mother had 3 miscarriages after me. My parents were not emotionally or financially equipped to handle the needs of us. They followed the dictates of a religion and procreated. I'm not sure who lost out more-my parents or me and my siblings. No one should be forced to have unwanted children.

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Response to yankeepants (Reply #9)

Wed Oct 14, 2020, 10:53 AM

32. Exactly.

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Response to cate94 (Original post)

Wed Oct 14, 2020, 04:50 AM

10. It's the first child that was the reason for them having to marry in the first place many times

back then. And when the marriage is unhappy, that child can carry the guilt for being born and causing the whole situation. So there are many reasons for not going forth with an unwanted pregnancy. In the case of rape, the child is often resented their whole lives.

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Response to judesedit (Reply #10)

Wed Oct 14, 2020, 10:59 AM

33. That's true

No one should be forced to give birth.

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Response to cate94 (Original post)

Wed Oct 14, 2020, 05:00 AM

11. I'm sorry for your pain.

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Response to Beringia (Reply #11)

Wed Oct 14, 2020, 11:01 AM

34. Thanks

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Response to cate94 (Original post)

Wed Oct 14, 2020, 05:20 AM

12. I'm sorry, and I can relate.

I was only the youngest of five children, but my Protestant parents didn't want any kids beyond their first two. My mother told me that we were all "accidents" beyond the second child (a son).

I think it mostly affected the third one, turning her into an anti-abortion evangelical Christian. That issue is her obsession. She was born a couple years before you, btw.

Almost every time we have a family gathering, she feels compelled to share how our mother kept talking about aborting me in the late-1960's, and she'd do it if it was legal. And how she was traumatized by Mom talking about it, and she kept praying to God it wouldn't happen and that I'd be born without health problems since our mother was in her 40's at the time.

Then her prayers were "answered" and I turned out to be the prettiest and intelligent baby in the world, who barely ever cried according to her. Yadda yadda yadda.

So it mostly affected her, I think, but I also felt unwanted by my parents many times. I can still remember when that sister moved away and I felt so hurt because she was basically my mother in my mind. Pics of me as a baby usually showed her holding me.

I later found old pics from the 50's showing my father was actually hugging the two oldest siblings!

I was like That never happened to me or my youngest brother, who is 7 years older than me.

After hearing about that time period from my sister MANY times, I eventually reached the point when I'd say, "Sorry you went through that, but I would've never known it happened if I had been aborted!"

Edit: And my birth affected that sister in another way... she was quick to have her own kids after leaving our parent's house. Then she learned that most babies actually cry all the time!

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Response to Buckeye_Democrat (Reply #12)

Wed Oct 14, 2020, 09:31 AM

20. I am also the 5th child.

Mom admitted out of the blue that the last three children were accidents. She also said that was after me that my father had a vasectomy. I'll have to ask my sister how that announcement affected her. I was a sickly baby and my parent were dirt poor. I'm sure the doctors and hospitals got minimum payments. I was in the hospital for eye surgery at 6 months old and pneumonia at 9 months all during 1953.

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Response to Delmette2.0 (Reply #20)

Wed Oct 14, 2020, 09:48 AM

23. I'm sorry!

It sounds like you had it worse than me at that age!

My parents were pretty poor too, and they seemed to never have health insurance. I broke a collar bone and several ribs as a young teen, and they wanted me to just deal with it. I was laying flat on my back and drenched in sweat, and then Dad finally took me to an ER after I asked him to just shoot me in the head and put me out of my misery.

The food was good, maybe the best in the whole neighborhood. It was like a .superior version of Cracker Barrel every day in their household because Mom was often hungry during the Great Depression, so her focus was always feeding us well!

My sister, 14 years older, was like the surrogate mother in terms of lovey-dovey stuff with me... until she left at age 18.

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Response to Buckeye_Democrat (Reply #23)

Wed Oct 14, 2020, 10:49 AM

28. The food!

I'm sure my parents reacted to same about food since they both grew up during the depression. Dad was #5 of of 12 children on a rural farm.

Mom and Dad had a huge garden and we had lots of fresh veggies, apples for Apple sauce, plums and currents for jelly. Dad went hunting every year and Mom knew how to prepare deer and ducks so it wasn't gamey. The best was when Dad bagged an elk. Mom made potato sausage one year ( I helped). I loved the process but I don't know if i really helped that much.
We picked wild chokecherries for jam and syrup. Mom made her own bread and dinner rolls.

Of course I don't remember the health issues, but Mom was very protective of me, right up to the day she died. I have her Betty Crocker cookbook from the early '50s.

My sister was just 17 months older than me and we are best friends especially now that our children are grown and on their own.

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Response to Delmette2.0 (Reply #28)

Wed Oct 14, 2020, 11:02 AM

35. I'm still thankful for the food!

Mom could always find ways to make their money stretch in terms of food. We almost never ate at restaurants or fast-food joints, or ate anything that wasn't prepared from scratch.

I remember spending the night at some friend's homes as a kid and being envious of their Pop-Tarts and the other processed stuff they regularly ate! LOL!

And one of those friends spent the night at our house, his eyes bulging out as he saw the table covered in our various breakfast foods. He didn't understand the grapefruit at all, but liked it. I looked away for awhile to talk to another friend who had spent the night too, and later noticed the friend who had been enjoying the grapefruit ate ALL of it except for the outer skin! It looked more than like a hollowed-out and dry coconut shell, with even the most bitter innards all gone. LOL!

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Response to Buckeye_Democrat (Reply #12)

Wed Oct 14, 2020, 11:05 AM

36. I'm sorry too.

It sounds like it was very similar for you.

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Response to cate94 (Original post)

Wed Oct 14, 2020, 06:18 AM

13. I am sorry for your pain.

And your Mother's pain. She had more children than she could handle. Instead of abortion, it would have been nice if she could have had access to other means of birth control to prevent pregnancies to begin with. Because of church taboos and secular laws, she was denied that choice. She had no choices.

It is not just the physical aspect of pregnancy that harms women. The emotional strain of having too many pregnancies bears a greater toll. Your Mom reached that point decades before you were born and has absolutely nothing to do with you personally. I suspect Post-partum depression was in play, which was also pretty much ignored by the medical profession and discarded as the "baby-blues."

That is why Barret must not be confirmed, she will gleefully bring women back to those days.

I am the 4th of 5 children. My mom had 4 of us within 8 years, then Griswold vs CT was passed. My younger sibling is almost 10 years younger than me. The only child she had a choice to conceive was her youngest. The rest of us were unplanned.

Please don't let your Mother's mental illness define your life. And completely cut out those who do not have your best interests at heart or a negative impact on your soul. You deserve better. I had to do that, interestingly enough with the sibling that is directly older than me.

Peace.

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Response to mercuryblues (Reply #13)

Wed Oct 14, 2020, 06:24 AM

14. Totally agree about birth control.

They don't always work, though. My mother had birth-control nicknames for the "accidents" among my siblings and me. I was the pill-baby.

Of course, our father could've pulled out if he had more discipline, but that was apparently too much to ask of him.

I have a sister who is 21 years older than me.

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Response to Buckeye_Democrat (Reply #14)

Wed Oct 14, 2020, 08:22 AM

18. LOL

I grew up thinking my name was Sibling name, sibling name, sibling name, my name-yeah-that's you. I actually thought my last name was Thatsyou.

21 years. My Mom was an aunt before she was born. If she were alive, she could relate to that. She called herself the change of life surprise baby. I hope you 2 have been able to form a bond, even with the age difference.

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Response to mercuryblues (Reply #18)

Wed Oct 14, 2020, 08:42 AM

19. Lol, yeah.

I used to interact with that oldest sister more often, but not so much lately. I was born a few months before her oldest was born, so I wasn't quite an unborn uncle. Lol.

She was out of the house and married by the time I came along. Super-popular and confident all of her life, so our personalities aren't a good match. She was the "homecoming queen" and all that crap years ago. (Saw her being hugged and loved by our parents in old pics of her as a kid, so maybe that explains it?)

I've been closer to the religious-nut sister who treated me like her own son early-on, despite how she drives me crazy with her religion and support for Trump.
It's a subject that we usually avoid with each other.

Edit:
They've chilled out in their old age, but the oldest sister and her husband were always hosting parties and making "connections". Her husband never had a "real job" as far as I'm concerned, always being a manager of some kind while acting like he knew everything despite being an idiot.

Our mother (now deceased) spent a couple nights with them when me and my brother drove to Atlanta for a conference years ago, and Mom was in bad health. The oldest sister was outraged that Mom kept hobbling out of her room to berate them for their parties, calling their guests "drunken trash". My sister replied, "I'll have you know that those people are millionaires!" Yeah, whatever! Like that matters!

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Response to mercuryblues (Reply #13)

Wed Oct 14, 2020, 11:23 AM

38. It's funny but her mental illness did define me.

Not in ways you might think. I was very protective of my nieces and nephews at family gatherings. My mom expected them to act like adults. Sheíd be mad at my siblings for not controlling them. I was young enough to know how to engage them and keep them out of trouble.
As a result, I have great relationships with most of them!

My oldest brother - the abusive one - is out of my life. My other siblings have let him back in, but knowing how homophobic he is, Iím not about to do that.

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Response to cate94 (Original post)

Wed Oct 14, 2020, 06:44 AM

15. What you've been through has been so hard

through absolutely no fault of yours - I am thankful you survived and I admire your resilience and humanity

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Response to Kitchari (Reply #15)

Wed Oct 14, 2020, 11:24 AM

39. Thanks!

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Response to cate94 (Reply #39)

Wed Oct 14, 2020, 12:57 PM

43. : )

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Response to cate94 (Original post)

Wed Oct 14, 2020, 07:17 AM

16. Oh, cate94,

so many hugs.

I'm grateful you are here and you shared your story. And I am sorry for all the pain you have experienced due to your family. May you heal.

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Response to Delphinus (Reply #16)

Wed Oct 14, 2020, 11:27 AM

40. Thanks

I think Iíve healed, but you know scars still can hurt. Sometimes itís good to acknowledge them.

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Response to cate94 (Original post)

Wed Oct 14, 2020, 08:16 AM

17. Oh this breaks my heart for you. I am so so sorry.

I grew up being abused and feeling unloved too. Your story made me cry. Iím so sorry. You deserved so much better.

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Response to LiberalLoner (Reply #17)

Wed Oct 14, 2020, 11:30 AM

41. I'm sorry it made you cry

And brought you to tears. You deserved better too. Those damn scars.

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Response to cate94 (Reply #41)

Wed Oct 14, 2020, 02:54 PM

46. 🌹

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Response to cate94 (Original post)

Wed Oct 14, 2020, 11:11 AM

37. I don't normally respond to threads like this, mostly because I have no idea what to say, or that...

whatever I might say would be little more than an irrelevant platitude.

But this strikes home with me.

I must say it doesn't strike home because I had anything CLOSE to the experience you relate in this very short missive, but it does because I am the last of 4, and though I was planned, my mom told me she expected a baby girl, not a fat, old, truck driver like me!


Sorry....can't resist. Humor is a defense mechanism for me.

I had several friends that were from very large Catholic families, and the idea that the woman can and therefore MUST bear as many children as she is presented with is something I have always found absurd. As I have grown older and more resolute in my Atheism, it becomes more and more clear to me that religion does far more harm to humanity than good, and your experience is a perfect example of that harm.

I want you to know that I am sorry that you had to go through the abuse you did. NO CHILD DESERVES SUCH A THING.

I can not imagine the deep sorrow and hurt it must have brought you to read those words you found on the "list of things". The fact that your mom wrote it down says to me that she was an enormously tortured woman herself.

Here's hoping you have learned to overcome these issues and have prospered in spite of them.

Stay well, be good to yourself and others.

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Response to A HERETIC I AM (Reply #37)

Wed Oct 14, 2020, 12:53 PM

42. Well, you hit a mark with this one

My mom was a tortured soul, especially at the time she wrote the list. And it did cause me deep sorrow and hurt when I read it, even after all those years.

The whole abortion issue pokes at the scars, and one of my sisters has been posting anti-abortion bs all over Facebook. I certainly canít discuss it there, so I appreciate having a place to vent about it here on DU.

Thank you so much for your response.

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Response to cate94 (Reply #42)

Wed Oct 14, 2020, 02:40 PM

45. ....

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Response to A HERETIC I AM (Reply #45)

Wed Oct 14, 2020, 06:35 PM

51. ...

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Response to cate94 (Original post)

Wed Oct 14, 2020, 02:22 PM

44. I remember reading this article - some years ago, about the unwanted

The article basically stated that the homicide rate declined, not because people quit being violent, but rather because the Ďunwanted childrení were not realized because of the right to have abortions. This is something that those pro-life people do not want to talk about.

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Response to Dan (Reply #44)

Wed Oct 14, 2020, 03:42 PM

47. Sounds like one of the chapters in "Freakonomics"

[link:https://www.amazon.com/Freakonomics-Economist-Explores-Hidden-Everything/dp/006073132X|]

Academic papers:

ďThe Impact of Legalized Abortion on Crime,Ē by John J. Donohue and Steven D. Levitt (The Quarterly Journal of Economics, 2001).

ďUnderstanding Why Crime Fell in the 1990s: Four Factors that Explain the Decline and Six that Do Not,Ē by Steven D. Levitt (Journal of Economic Perspectives, 2004).

ďThe Impact of Legalized Abortion on Crime Over the Last Two Decades,Ē by John J. Donohue and Steven D. Levitt (The National Bureau of Economic Research, 2019).

Discussed in a podcast:

LEVITT: I actually think that our paper makes really clear why this has nothing to do with eugenics. In our hypothesis, what happens is that abortion becomes legal; women are given the right to choose; and what our data suggests is that women are pretty good at choosing when they can bring kids in the world, who they can provide good environments for, okay? The mechanism by which any effects on crime have to be happening here are the women making good choices. And thatís such a fundamental difference ó between women making good choices and eugenics, which is about the state, say, or some other entity forcing choices upon people, almost couldnít be more different.


[link:https://freakonomics.com/podcast/abortion/|]

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Response to GopherGal (Reply #47)

Wed Oct 14, 2020, 05:01 PM

49. It does!

Every time I read about a child being abused, or killed by their parents I wonder if they didnít have access to abortion, either by distance or cost. So sad what some children live with daily. Honestly feel lucky that up until my dad died, I had a decent childhood. At least as a teen I knew Iíd be able to get eventually get out.

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Response to cate94 (Original post)

Wed Oct 14, 2020, 03:55 PM

48. My husband is a 6th child born way

After the others and his parents always let him know he was a accident, they were older by then, done with kids and by the time he was 5 it was just him and a sister and by 10 she was gone.

They moved from small farm to farm yearly so he was never able to make friends moving and living so far out.

He blames his parents for most things in his life and his depression.

I had a crappy start to with abuse and parents who did nothing about it.

The difference between me and my husband is I have spent the last 15 years working on mindfulness and staying in the present. I find that is the best tool to let the past go is to stay in the now. We can't change what happened to us but we can affect how we think about it now.

I wish you well. My hubby deals with his depression with pot, works for him. I just wish he didn't have to be high to be happy but glad he has it.

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Response to marlakay (Reply #48)

Wed Oct 14, 2020, 06:34 PM

50. Pot helped me

Get through high school, but now both types make me anxious. Oh well. Mostly, Iím okay. Sometimes are just harder than others. The past 4 years have worn me down a bit, and sometimes it is difficult despite what work thatís been put in. I wish both you and your husband the best.

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