When Gabrielle Blair wrote out her ideas on how to prevent abortion and published them on Twitter in 2018, she thought no one would read it.
The mother of six, who is a designer, author, writer behind the blog “Design Mom” and a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, published the original thread in the weeks leading up to Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the Supreme Court. Kavanaugh's appointment solidified the majority of the Supreme Court as being anti-abortion and seemingly foreshadowed that if Roe v. Wade was to be challenged, the court would have the power to overturn it.
With the conversation sparked around a possible Roe v. Wade reversal, Blair decided to publish her theory on Twitter about a way to actually stop abortions: make men fully responsible for their ejaculations.
“If you want to stop abortion, you need to prevent unwanted pregnancies,” she wrote. “And men are 100 percent responsible for unwanted pregnancies.”
Blair makes a number of points in her thread. Here's a handful that have resonated online:
- She details out how often women can get pregnant compared to how often men can get a women pregnant: “Women’s eggs are only fertile about 2 days a month … that makes 24 days a year … but men can cause pregnancy 365 days a year.”
- She describes the practical drawbacks to women’s birth control, including the actual steps to getting prescriptions: “Birth control options for women require a doctor’s appointment and a prescription. It’s not free, and often not cheap.”
- She shares the reality that many men prefer not to wear condoms or use alternative methods to control ejaculations: “So men are willing to risk the life, health and well-being of women in order to experience a tiny bit more pleasure for like 5 seconds during orgasm.”
- And she notes the general lack of consequences for men if they cause an unwanted pregnancy: "If you’re not holding men responsible for unwanted pregnancies, then you are wasting your time."
“These weren’t new ideas to me,” she told TODAY Parents this week. “I’d written them down in my notes and had been formulating them months before.”
Her biggest concern about the argument wasn’t that there would be backlash but instead that no one would actually read it.
“I was trying to calculate how fast I could delete them if there was silence.”
But there was not.
Four years later, it continues to be retweeted, discussed and debated on a daily basis. The thread has 36 million impressions and has been shared from users around the world, including those in the Netherlands, Latin America and it was recently translated into Japanese by another Twitter user.
And after a draft of the Supreme Court’s opinion to overturn Roe v. Wade was leaked earlier this month, her words years prior have gained new relevancy.
“It feels like we keep stepping backwards even compared to where we were in 2018,” she said.
While Blair says it’s thrilling to see her work shared so widely, she wishes the topic was truly history.
“Let’s have men be responsible for their bodies,” she said, adding that if the country won’t do that, then she believes in trusting women and giving them choices.
“If you believe a mother has instincts for her child, then believe her when she says this is not the time to have a baby.”
For now, Blair continues to debate her iconic thread on a daily basis, adding that there isn’t an argument against it she hasn’t heard at this point. But she watches what’s happening with less hope these days.
“This is patriarchy. This is misogyny. We’re all steeped in it,” she said. “It’s the water we swim in.”