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Seven months ago, my family and I moved to South Carolina. Tomorrow night, my son plays his first game of Surfside Beach Youth Baseball, and my daughter plays her first game of Surfside Beach Youth Softball. We’re all excited!
Shortly after we signed up last month, the league parents all received an email urging us to help find local sponsors. One of the sponsorship options included having a large banner placed along the outfield fence. This one piqued my interest. Though we don’t have many local business connections yet, we do have a local church—along with a web-based non-profit I’m always looking to promote!
I decided to buy one banner for our church and another one for Abort73.com—though I assumed from the outset that the Abort73 banner would never be approved. Still, this is the Bible belt; maybe things are different in the South! After making sure our pastor had no objections to the church banner, I submitted payment and artwork for the two banners—separately. The next day, I got an email response to my Abort73 submission. I imagined it to be the “thanks, but no thanks” message. Instead, it simply acknowledged receipt and expressed gratitude that a church would be willing to help out with youth sports. Surprise, surprise!
Still, I wasn’t holding my breath. Time would tell—and sure enough, the call I’d been waiting for came this morning. A league rep apologized but informed me that the board had voted against allowing the Abort73 banner to be put up. I didn’t
For the last 2-3 years, Abort73’s “U.S. Abortion Statistics” page has been the first page listed in Google’s search results for the term “abortion statistics.” As a result, it has become the most viewed page in our entire site—by quite a lot. Though I’m extremely grateful for such placement, I have found it a bit ironic that the two primary sources of abortion statistics—the organizations from which virtually all of our data comes from—are listed below us: the Guttmacher Institute at #2 and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) at #5. Earlier this month, however, our placement at the top of the list may actually have been justified!
One of the difficulties with federal abortion data is that it’s generally released a few years after the fact—a problem I addressed in a May 2013 blog post. The lag time makes it hard to accurately assess abortion’s current state of affairs. In an effort to combat this delay, I made my own calculated estimates for the number of nationwide abortions that occurred in 2009, 2010 and 2011. I used available, state-level data for the states that publish such information and projected the numbers for states that don’t—based on past statistics and nationwide trends. That information was first published in the blog post already mentioned, before it was added to our abortion statistics page.
When the Guttmacher Institute finally published its 2011 abortion statistics this month—its most recent since 2008—they reported that there were 1.06 million
Last week, the new Abort73 web store made its debut—the first step in a site-wide overhaul. Though most of the initial changes are related to aesthetics, there are some structural changes worth pointing out—not least of which is an entirely new approach to shirt sales. I’m hopeful that it will yield both an increase in sales and an increase in web traffic!
A Brief History of the Abort73 T-shirt
It’s been almost ten years since I placed the first Abort73 T-shirt order at a small, back-alley print shop in Burbank, CA. Since then, we’ve sold about 50,000 Abort73 T-shirts and sweatshirts. That’s enough shirts to outfit a capacity crowd at an average MLB stadium—and gets us more than half way to filling the Rose Bowl. It's a good start but really just scratches the surface. Along the way, I’ve done plenty of tinkering with pricing and inventory, and here’s what I’ve discovered. Low prices and high inventory or very good for shirt sales and very bad for our bottom line. In recent years, we’ve raised prices and reduced inventory—which has helped our bottom line but hurt our sales.
Turning the Retail Model on its Head
In an effort to breathe new life into shirt sales, I’ve decided to implement a fairly unconventional approach. To my knowledge, nobody else is doing it this way; time will tell whether it’s innovative or foolish! Whereas the standard retail pricing model is to start high and gradually lower the price until inventory is cleared, I’ve decided to work in the reverse.
For the last three weeks, I’ve commented on the manifold implications of Margaret Sanger’s grand apologetic for birth control, The Pivot of Civilization—which was first published in 1922. Sanger wrote at the time that “the most urgent problem to-day is how to limit and discourage the over-fertility of the mentally and physically defective.” She theorized that “drastic and Spartan methods may be forced upon American society if it continues complacently to encourage the chance and chaotic breeding that has resulted from our stupid, cruel sentimentalism.” Sanger’s relentless devotion to eliminating the unfit (for the good of the world, of course!) led to her establishment of the American Birth Control League—now known as Planned Parenthood.
Interestingly, at the same time that I was reading and reflecting upon the unmasked bigotry of the late Margaret Sanger—bigotry towards anyone of genetically inferior stock—I encountered a recent TIME article and TED talk that helped expose Sanger’s rhetoric for the rubbish it is. The international cover story for the December 2 issue of TIME magazine is titled: “Why China Needs More Children.” The November TED Talk features San Francisco architect, Chris Downey, and is titled, “Design with the Blind in Mind.”
Beginning with the first—nowhere has Margaret Sanger’s vision for birth control been more thoroughly realized than it has in China, and the TIME piece makes it clear what an unmitigated disaster their one-child policy has been.
You might say that Planned Parenthood founder, Margaret Sanger, was the mother of the birth control movement and the grandmother of the abortion industry. She would have embraced the first title and bristled at the second. Birth control, Sanger assured us, would eliminate the “crime of abortion.” It would help protect children, whom she called “the chief asset of a nation.” Margaret Sanger, believe it or not, referred to human fetuses as “child[ren] in the womb,” marked conception as the “point of creation,” and despite her contempt for the “unfit,” decried the practice of euthanizing “defective progeny” through infanticide—something Planned Parenthood refuses to do today. Sanger opined that the the pursuit of wealth was no reason to “shut our eyes to the sacrifice of human life” and argued that “each human being is essentially implicated in every question or problem which involves the well-being of the humblest of us.“ Nevertheless, the organization she founded for the propagation of birth control went on to become the largest abortion business in America. Though abortion has long existed on the fringes of society, Planned Parenthood brought it into the corporate mainstream—on the coattails of birth control.
I’ve already addressed Margaret Sanger’s religious devotion to birth control and her contempt for Christian charity, but there remains at least one more piece to the puzzle—as revealed in her 1922 treatise on birth control, The Pivot of Civilization. To truly