The abortion movement heavily focuses on women’s bodily autonomy, which allows men to be shut out from abortion debates, completely ignoring their struggles and burdens, or avoiding teaching them about duty and responsibility – things that, in themselves, may prevent abortions.
Equal Responsibility for Men and Women
Too often, we demand equality but fail to preach equal responsibility. Pregnancies require active participation from men, and yet, we have allowed men to avoid culpability in accidental pregnancies. We don’t teach men to “step up” in the face of such situations; instead, men are allowed to walk away scot-free, even able to claim to be a “supporter of women’s rights” in doing so.
We should be teaching men to support women in these situations. Most women have abortions due to the fear, the difficulty, and the never-ending stigma around single motherhood. By teaching men that it’s their duty to step up and act as a support system in these situations, many women would not have to endure this heart-wrenching fear. Alongside this, normalizing such expectations again would draw us away from this modern idea of “consequence-free sex.”
Abortion can sometimes encourage further sexual exploitation of women.
Abortions, whether modern feminists realize it or not, can sometimes encourage further sexual exploitation of women too. Men in this scenario can sexually mistreat a woman free of consequence; he has no child to “burden” him. He can desert her, detach himself, dodge responsibility.
When we shut men out of the abortion debate, we turn them away from accountability. Actions have consequences. We’re taught about sex and its risks from an incredibly young age, yet to deny responsibility for such careless actions has become more commonly accepted across the Western world. Moreover, such situations have become more frustrating when considered how many modern ways of contraception there are and how advanced we are in modern science. Abortion should not be nearly as common as it is.
Post-Abortion Grief Is Real
We usually discuss this subject in sole regard to women, (which, of course, makes since women are the ones who have the procedure), but we rarely acknowledge the grief men can face following an abortion. It’s a woman’s choice, founded on female anatomy; because of this, men usually have very little say on the topic. But men experience the same feelings of loss women do following the termination of a pregnancy. They’re left to wonder what their child would have grown to be, a feeling of loss that fades in and out over time.
Men experience abortion regret too.
Of course, there are countless instances where abortion grief has been brought on by men. Abusive and selfish partners can often pressure women into having abortions when they aren’t ready to have children, refusing to accept the consequences unprotected sex holds.
Abortions and the situations leading to them are wide-ranging. And, like women, responses following an abortion are also varied, but men still struggle with abortion grief. They have little control over abortion, they’re accustomed to accepting it. Unless confident in his morals or family-driven values, the modern man doesn’t get the opportunity to be a pro-life activist; he’s encouraged to keep his mouth shut. With “my body, my choice,” male emotions are hindered into redundancy; he can only accept the decisions made by the mother of his child.
Real Debate Gives Every Side a Voice
Whether you think abortion is entirely a woman’s right or a complete moral corruption, the space for these views to be shared and discussed is imperative to society, and not just between women. Both men and women can be reckless and foolish, so we can’t plant these situations onto one and refuse the other any say – men should feel welcome to engage in these debates and become advocates for their cause if they wish to.
Men need to step up, get involved, and fight their cause.
It takes two to tango, and these circumstances highlight the responsibility that needs to be taken by both involved. The abortion debate has been around for what feels like an eternity, and its high controversy means it won’t be leaving anytime soon, but we need more voices, not fewer. Men need to step up, get involved, and fight their cause, and we as women need to try our best to welcome men back into this debate – they deserve to be here.
Pregnancies are brought on by the actions taken by men and women. We can’t engage in fair debate when we cut half the population from it. Men do have a place in the abortion debate, and a vital one too.
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