Saturday, March 18, 2023


By Tim Rohr

That abortion (and contraception) has liberated men and not women, should be a no-brainer for anyone with brains (and normal hormone levels). 

However, pursuant to the contemporary persistent penchant for the narrative over the truth - or as Tall Tales host, Bob Klitzkie, terms it, "systemic rice-ism' (aka "the rice is red") * -  this ugly fact gets little play outside moral arguments. 

Note: Bob explains this at the beginning of nearly every show

So it is instructive, helpful, edifying...whatever, to see this glaring fact - that abortion (and contraception) has liberated men and not women - laid out in mathematical models in an economics paper titled: 


The paper was authored in 1996 and published in The Quarterly Journal of Economics and can be read in full here

Copied here is the Abstract:

This paper relates the erosion of the custom of shotgun marriage to the legalization of abortion and the increased availability of contraception to unmarried women in the United States. The decline in shotgun marriage accounts for a significant fraction of the increase in out-of-wedlock first births. Several models illustrate the analogy between women who do not adopt either birth control or abortion and the hand-loom weavers, both victims of changing technology. Mechanisms causing female immiseration are modeled and historically described. This technology-shock hypothesis is an alternative to welfare and job-shortage theories of the feminization of poverty. - SOURCE

My own Abstract would be this:

Prior to the "constitutional right" to both contraception and abortion - contraception in Griswold (1968) and abortion in Roe (1973), there was social pressure on men to assume responsibility for the children they fathered. 

However, post Griswold and Roe, men were liberated to say:

"Hey, not my problem. She had The Pill. And if she doesn't want the kid, she can abort it. Screw you. Leave me alone."

And the father would be right. 

The U.S. Supreme Court in Casey specifically denied a father's rights relative the mother's decision to abort. In fact, Casey held that the husband (father) did not even have a right to be told:

Section 3209's husband notification provision constitutes an undue burden, and is therefore invalid” Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pa. v. Casey, 505 U.S. 833, 837 (1992)

 In short, Casey said "screw you" to the father. So, in effect, Casey functionally permitted the father to say "screw you" to the mother.

In the last legislature, Senator Tina Barnes introduced the “Pregnancy Support Act of 2022.” 

It appears that the bill didn't go anywhere - and just as well - since it was nothing more than "virtue signaling" anyway. But had it found its way into Guam law, then - because Barnes' bill was pre-Dobbs - it could have set the stage for a constitutional challenge under Casey

Once again, Casey held that fathers did not even have the right to know of the mother's decision to abort "their" unborn child. However, Barnes' bill required the father to financially support the same unborn child - regardless of the mother's intent to keep or kill the child. 

It logically follows that if a father can be legally required to financially support his unborn child then the same father could certainly require that the mother bring the child to term, birth the baby, and not kill it - thus creating an "undue burden" pursuant to Casey.

At the time Barnes introduced her bill (pre Dobbs) the bill could have been found unconstitutional pursuant to the "undue burden" standard.

It all becomes very interesting when we review the governor's second question to the Supreme Court of Guam:

Whether the Organic Act of Guam, as it existed in 1990, authorized the Guam Legislature to pass an unconstitutional law. 

Did Barnes violate the Organic Act when she introduced legislation that created an unconstitutional undue burden on a pregnant mother?

The bottom line in this whole fiasco - and why the governor's question is stupid - is: 

It is NOT for the legislature to determine constitutionality of anything. Its job is to enact legislation - come what may. 

It's the job of the courts to determine such stuff as lawfulness and constitutionality, and that's if, and ONLY if, the matter is properly brought before the courts via adversarial parties through the court's front door - and NOT through the backdoor via Guam's absurd 7 GCA § 4104.


Copying below some excerpts from the aforesaid 1996 report in the Quarterly Journal of Economics. (Emphases added)

  • Rising out-of-wedlock birthrates are of social policy concern because children reared in single-parent households are more likely to be impoverished and to experience difficulties in later life. 
  • A substantial literature documents that single parenthood results in a variety of adverse consequences for children (see, for example, Manski, Sandefur, McLanahan, and Powers [1992]).
  • the case of female contraception and abortion, men may have been beneficiaries.
  • The first task of this paper is to illustrate, through two theoretical models, how analogous mechanisms could operate with respect to increased availability of abortion and female contraception for women. These models will show how the legalization of abortion and the availability of female contraception could result in a decline in the competitive position of women relative to men-especially if they do not use contraception or abortion.
  • ...a decline in the cost of abortion (or increased availability of contraception) decreases the incentives to obtain a promise of marriage if premarital sexual activity results in pregnancy.
  • Those women who want children, who do not want an abortion for moral or religious reasons, or who are unreliable in their use of contraception, may want marriage guarantees but find themselves pressured to participate in premarital sexual relations without any such assurance.
  • Sexual activity without commitment is increasingly expected in premarital relationships, immiserizing at least some women, since their male partners do not have to assume parental responsibility in order to engage in sexual relations.
  • The sexual revolution, by making the birth of the child a physical choice of the mother, makes marriage and child support a social choice of the father. 
  • "Since the decision to have the child is solely up to the mother (see Roe v. Wade) I don't see how both parents have responsibility to that child.... When one person has the decision-making power, they alone have the responsibility to provide and care for that decision."
  • This paper offers theoretical reasons why the technological shock of abortion and female contraception may have played a major role in the rise of out-of-wedlock childbearing. 
  • The fraction of children born out of wedlock increased at an accelerated pace beginning in the middle 1960s, for both whites and blacks. This trend has continued almost to the present time. 
  • The fraction of women retrospectively reporting having had sexual intercourse prior to age sixteen-jumped in precisely 1970...
  • When the cost of abortion is low, or contraceptives are readily available, potential male partners can easily obtain sexual satisfaction without making such promises and will thus be reluctant to commit to marriage. 
  • Thus, women who, in the absence of contraception and abortion, would not engage in premarital sexual activity without assurance of marriage will feel pressured to participate in uncommitted relationships once contraception and abortion become available.


  1. Replies
    1. I just realized that one of the authors of that study was Janet Yellen, currently serving as the Secretary of the Treasury! Here's another piece that takes a look at contraception using the tools if economics.