All pregnancies require both a woman and a man’s active participation. So, it stands to reason that the same applies to the journey of seeking abortion or choosing life. In a debate that has been increasingly marked as solely a “women’s issue,” where does the man’s perspective land? How do men impact choices for abortion? If a man has no legal say in abortion, does he really affect the woman’s decision to choose life?
THE FATHERHOOD GAP
Women who face an unplanned pregnancy turn to the father of the child more than anyone else. According to a study done by BMC Women’s Health, 48% of women stated they “don’t want to be a single mother” or “having relationship problems” as the reason for choosing abortion. Today 1 in 6 children are being raised in homes where the father is absent.
With statistics of fatherless children growing rapidly, it’s no wonder why many women are so hesitant to choose life. They end up pursuing what was intended to be a two-person job as a solo gig. The lack of fatherhood in culture today is staggering and can be attributed to the growing number of abortions. As fewer men stick around, more women see abortion as their only option. Some even pursue abortion without consulting their partners, assuming that the man will not want the responsibility of fatherhood. This is the power that the culture of fatherlessness holds today.
In one particularly upsetting story reported on GQ where 12 men shared their abortion stories; one man describes his experience of his girlfriend getting an abortion without telling him. She claimed she didn’t think he would want to deal with it, and he explains that this was not the case at all. This clearly shows how men impact choices for abortion, even indirectly. The presence of fathers grows more important as this crisis in culture increases. What most don’t realize is the father’s responsibility begins at conception. Their presence in the pro-life movement is critical to supporting women in choosing life.
MEN ARE IMPACTING CHOICE
Although there are a variety of reasons why women will seek an abortion, the mother’s relationship with their partner is an essential part of the decision. According to a study done by the National Library of Medicine, 31% responded they sought an abortion due to partner-related reasons. Of this percentage, 8% specified that the partner was not supportive. 3% specified that the partner did not want the baby. These percentages might seem minuscule but of the 954 women who were surveyed, 106 of these women would have chosen life had their partners been brave and supportive fathers. That is 106 abortions that could have been prevented, further proving the father’s massive role in a woman’s decision to seek abortion rather than choosing life. This is nearly five kindergarten classrooms worth of children that would be alive today because of their father’s support.
CULTURAL PRESSURE FOR MEN TO CHOOSE APATHY OVER CHOOSING LIFE
According to Gallup’s Values and Beliefs poll taken in 2022, 47% of men consider themselves pro-life, 48% identify as pro-abortion, and 5% claim to have no opinion on the matter. The pro-abortion movement is teaching men to essentially abandon partners when faced with the choice. The pro-abortion movement states that a man’s response to unplanned pregnancy should be “your body, your choice.” How men may impact choices for abortion starts with their initial response. A man who is truly pro-woman will stand behind the woman and give her support rather than apathy. If 47% of men consider themselves to be pro-life, then why do abortions persist? The pro-life movement needs to embrace opportunities to encourage this 47% of the men to actively support their partner in choosing life.
MEN WHO CHOOSE LIFE
It is vital now, more than ever, with a culture that emasculates men, to empower men to speak up. Many personal testimonies from our pregnancy resource centers and buses show the importance of the father’s involvement. How his choices, desires, and beliefs often persuade the other toward abortion or choosing life.
In one story of a couple named Malory and Jack; even the smallest support from the boyfriend, Jack altered Malory’s decision. Although Jack told his girlfriend that he was going to support her no matter what, he greeted her by calling her “mommy” the next day. When Malory went in for her ultrasound, she made the decision to choose life for her baby. Malory recalled that she had a feeling that Jack would be happy with this news. The smallest seed of support in Malory’s relationship affected change in her decision to choose life for their baby. Had her boyfriend Jack been openly supportive of aborting their baby this story might have ended differently. It is undeniable that men’s input and support could be the difference between life and death.
Research and testimonies from women who face an unplanned pregnancy show that men do have a place in the pro-life movement. Men have the power to positively or negatively affect women’s choices for their babies. Men need to know that their support is critical in a women’s decision to choose life. While society cries out that abortion is solely a women’s issue, it ironically leaves the woman alone in the already isolating situation that is an unplanned pregnancy. If we silence men’s opinions in the pro-life movement, we also silence the support in a woman’s decision to choose life.
Read more about how abortion affects men.