One of the most typical assertions in our culture today is that abortion is only a women’s issue and therefore men have no place in the discussion.
This argument is a favorite among abortion advocates and is sometimes even adopted by people who identify themselves as pro-life. It is a simple assumption which frames a large portion of the dialogue surrounding abortion and frequently goes unchallenged.
Maybe it is time we started challenging it.
On the surface, the reasoning seems to make sense. The idea is that since a man cannot get pregnant and cannot have abortions, there is simply no way he can understand what the woman is going through, and since he cannot understand he should therefore keep his mouth shut.
The problem though is that this reasoning oversimplifies the issue. There are more people affected by abortion than the women involved, all of whom should have a voice in the discussion.
Keeping men out of the dialogue ignores the fact that there are a significant number of men who have been severely damaged by abortion. There are a lot of men who suffer extreme remorse over abortions that they had encouraged.
If men have a part in the pain, they should be allowed to have a part in the solution. There are wounded fathers who are being silenced because they are told that abortion is none of their business.
Another point worth noting is that in addition to the sharing in the pain, men share a part of the blame; to keep them out of the discussion is to give them an easy excuse to not take ownership for their actions.
The man had a part in creating the child and so he should be invested in what happens to the child. He should not be let off the hook so easily. Since men share in the blame, they should share in the responsibility.
To say that abortion is only a women’s issue is to say that men are not obligated to get involved and to help take care of their children or care for the mothers. Abortion has become an easy out for men to avoid taking responsibility for their actions.
Furthermore, abortion is a women’s issue unless you’re a man who agrees with abortion.
It is strange that the only men who are given a say in the discussion are the men who are for abortion. They are allowed to express their opinion and, in a subtle way, are even allowed to sexually exploit women with limited consequences, because they are in favor of abortion.
No one questions the fact that Roe v. Wade was decided by a panel of all-male judges, or that there are male politicians lobbying for the abortion industry, or even that there is a movement identifying themselves as “bro-choice.”
It is considered perfectly acceptable for these men to be involved. Men are only kept out of the issue when they choose to go against abortion.
The fact of the matter is that if men are not to be allowed to participate in the discussion, then that rule should apply to both sides. If men are to be silenced, then all men should be silenced, not just the pro-life ones. In order to be logically consistent and to have an informed conversation about this important issue, we have to allow both sides to participate.
A large reason for the silencing of men on the abortion issue has been because men cannot fully relate to the hardship that a woman goes through when she is dealing with an unexpected pregnancy. It is true that men cannot fully relate, but that in itself is not grounds for not being involved.
Free men were not able to fully relate to being a slave, yet it was still right for them to advocate for freedom. Most men cannot fully relate to being a victim of rape, yet it is still right for them to stand against it. Although men cannot always fully relate or understand, they are always called to protect.
The principle is this: men have a responsibility to protect the innocent.
An archaic standard of manliness was the art of chivalry. Many people in our culture today mourn that chivalry has become a lost art, but few of us really know what it means. Chivalry in its truest form means to stand up for the weak and oppressed and to treat women with respect.
Maybe it is time for men to stop being silenced by hyper-sensitivity, and to really invest in the women and children in their lives and to take responsibility for their actions. Even though men cannot get pregnant, they can and should still be a voice for the voiceless.
Protecting women and babies from abortion is very much a men’s issue and is perhaps the most needed expression of chivalry in today’s society.
At Save The Storks we aim to empower women to choose life. Part of achieving that vision is empowering men to stand alongside women. We want to help men realize that their voices matter, that their pain is not forgotten, and that they still have a part to play in ending abortion.