Why Men Should Have No Say On The Abortion Issue

Nancy B. Alston

I had a discussion with a close male friend this week who says he is pro-choice – to
an extent. He went on for sometime sharing his views on abortion with me. While he
was talking I realized something very important – unless he is the father of the
fetus, what he says really doesn’t matter because he’s a man.

It really gets me steamed when a man sits in judgment of a woman who has had an
abortion. I just don’t see how a man can speak to this issue at all. Why should men
need to establish any type of position at all on a subject that is clearly feminine by
nature? I know many are already cowering away from this article in fear of hell’s fire.
Think about it though, there are several reason why men should not have a say in
what women do with their bodies.

Congratulations Sir, You’re Pregnant

For example, men have never had to face the decision of whether they should allow
a child to grow inside them. They have never been in the position of reconciling the
gift of life with the invasion of life. In fact, a man can just impregnate a woman and
walk away, which is exactly what many have done. If a man can have the right to
choose whether he wants the responsibility of fatherhood, shouldn’t the woman
have the same choice concerning motherhood?

Men have never been in the position of having a foreign object growing in their
bodies and being told it would be immoral to want that object removed. Men cannot
relate to the feeling personal invasion brought about by an unwanted pregnancy or
the fears of being a single mother. The woman’s body is used as a vessel for life,
but it should be each woman’s decision as to whether she wants to be a vessel at
that point in her life.

Daddy Isn’t Here, Sweetheart

Another reason men shouldn’t have a say on the abortion issue is because since the
dawn of time women have carried the majority of the burden of child rearing while
the man pursues his own interests in life. Meanwhile, the wife is tied to the home to
raise the children that both of them created. Men cannot relate to the stifling feeling
that comes from being subjected to living a life as the primary care giver. In fact,
there should be no primary care giver at all, it should be a shared responsibility.
However, when the father is not around, the woman has no other choice.

The woman knows what having a child will mean to her personal life (and yes, her
life does matter too). Sometimes the changes are welcomed, other times the future
is very scary. A man can go on with his life, his career and his own interests with
little worry about his future other than being forced to set up the baby’s crib before
the mother goes into labor – if that much. However, the mother’s sacrifices and
responsibilities are endless and she knows how important it is to raise children who
are productive members of society. She can’t fail – even if he does shrug his
responsibilities.

Men have basically handed over parental responsibilities to the women and walked
away. Even the most well-intentioned father engages in but a small amount of the
parenting responsibilities. The women, with no other choice but to raise the children
since the father is out pursuing his career, or whatever it is that men do when they
are not at home with their families, are forced into a situation that may not even be
what that woman needs to thrive in life. She has no choice.

Does the man care that his selfishness could have a detrimental impact on the
woman? Nope. She’s doing what society expects of her and he is doing whatever he
wants. It is especially difficult for women in these days when so many men just
abandon their responsibilities as fathers altogether and leave the woman completely
alone to raise the child as a single parent. Even when a father is physically around,
oft times he is not around emotionally. But again, the woman has no choice.

It Takes Two

The reason it takes both a man and a woman to make a child is because nature
knew it would take both a man and a woman to raise that child. When the man
shrugs his paternal obligation, the woman is left with a burden that wasn’t meant to
be shouldered by one person.

So many conservatives believe women get recklessly pregnant and then use abortion
as birth control. This is just a tactic used to justify the imposition of their morals on
other people. Anyone who has ever been inside an abortion clinic knows abortion is
always a last resort for women. It’s a desperate move to solve a desperate problem –
not a routine action.

What’s even more ironic is that many times these conservatives would be the first to
rush their daughter to the abortion clinic just to save face if she ended up with an
unwanted pregnancy. Then they have the audacity to condemn the women who
choose to not have a baby because they couldn’t afford to feed it or didn’t want to
raise the child alone. In fact, the guy I mentioned at the start of this article
encouraged his girlfriend to have an abortion because he was afraid of what his
religious parents would think about an illegitimate child. He thinks what he did was
moral, but some abortions are not. Even worse, he is blind to his own hypocrisy.

Men, It’s Time To Be A Daddy

It all too ironic that while women have been home raising the children, men have
been in politics making laws concerning women and their bodies. Men have used
their power in politics and religion to control and dominate women by telling us
what they think we can morally do with our own bodies. Imagine the arrogance!
That any man believes he has any place at all tell me what is legal for me to do with
my own body! This is why there needs to be more women legislators and religious
leaders.

I don’t see men rushing to change societal expectations for maternal responsibility
concerning child rearing. I don’t see them demanding the right to be more
responsible fathers or to play a more integral part in their children’s lives. In fact, if
they did then they would be entitled to more say in the abortion issue. But why
should they want things to change? They’ve got it made in the shade. If things
changed, they’d have to pull their own weight, give up some of their own career
pursuits, and go home at a decent hour to the child waiting for dinner and a caring
hug.

In short, when men start choosing to be fathers, that’s when they will have the right
to pipe in on whether women can choose to be mothers. Until then men, your
opinion just doesn’t matter.

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