For every unmarried woman who testified about the pregnancy she was not in a position to see through, there was also a single man who was not ready to become a father. For every married woman who spoke about the life-threatening circumstances of a much-wanted pregnancy that she had to terminate, there was a man who was within a few hastily-written laws of losing his wife. The idea that those men might think that the fight to keep abortion safe, affordable, and accessible is somehow not really their fight doesn’t make any sense at all.
I wrote about abortion for The Frisky. Specifically, about why men who are capable of impregnating someone need to stop treating abortion like it’s somebody else’s fucking fight.
It’s something that will never make sense to me, for the reasons outlined in that paragraph excerpted above*. The stunning luxury involved in men believing that the fight for abortion rights is someone else’s battle is shameful. To put it very bluntly: If you can get someone pregnant, then you have a responsibility to make sure that abortion is accessible, affordable, and safe. If you don’t fight for this right, then you’re not really much difference from a deadbeat dad.
But let’s not call dudes out and make ‘em feel bad, because this is a hard thing to realize. We spend a lot of time taking in the lesson that abortion is a woman’s choice, and that’s a good thing. But just because it’s her choice doesn’t mean that abortion isn’t something that is every bit as important to the man who gets her pregnant. Just because we lucked into the genetic luxury of not having to carry a fetus doesn’t mean that we have no responsibilities when it comes to reproductive choice and access. That’s a hard thing to justify with the truth that “abortion is up to the woman, case-closed,” but we’re not talking about the role of men in that decision. We’re talking about the role of men in access. And that’s something we need to be very, very vocal about, because if you can make someone pregnant, abortion rights are about your life in very real ways, too.
*And yes, there are certainly circumstances under which women need abortions and there is not a man with a personal stake involved, for reasons that are almost always awful.