While white, male legislators across the U.S. are doing everything they can to reduce young rape victims to chattel by restricting abortion access and giving their rapists custody rights, the fact of the matter is that men—here and abroad—view family planning and a woman’s right to bodily autonomy as a necessity.
“I remember how anxious I was thinking about the seemingly absurd possibility of becoming a parent at 18,” he wrote. “I remember thinking about how it would take my life off on a wildly different course than I had wanted at that pivotal moment in time. … Now to what’s happening: 1 in 4 women get an abortion and — since we all know how babies are made — that means many men have been a part of an abortion.
“Seeing this unraveling of reproductive rights, I feel compelled to share my story and especially wake up more men about the importance of their role at this critical juncture. Just because most men don’t get pregnant, doesn’t mean this isn’t our problem.”
That whole Instagram confession can be summarized with a tweet: “Behind millions of successful men is an abortion they don’t regret getting with their partner,” which really isn’t very surprising, according to Planned Parenthood Southeast Director Felicia Brown-Williams.
“We are seeing more and more men come forward on this issue, being vocal about having supported the decisions of their partners,” Brown-Williams told The Lighthouse | Black Girl Projects.
While men should never be central to the abortion debate, that doesn’t mean they don’t feel the repercussions of an unplanned pregnancy. Any decision a woman makes about her own body obviously affects many people. In fact, men are increasingly seeing the world from a woman’s point of view, according to reports.
Spain took a big step a few years ago and implemented a new progressive policy of parental paid leave for fathers. According to a study by Universitat Pompeu Fabra and University of Barcelona professors González and Lídia Farré, many of the men who took advantage of that program in 2007 had a big change of heart about childbirth. The results were obvious in how they began flailing desperately for condoms, birth control pills and other forms of family planning in the following years.
The running theory by many experts on male whininess is that abortion would be free and available on every corner if men could get pregnant, and this Spanish study adds plenty of weight to that argument. According to the report’s authors, fathers’ increasing involvement in childcare in that country likely altered their values toward investing more in one child versus having more of them.
“…[I]t could … be that dads are learning about how hard it is to take care of a child, and this new information is affecting their preferences for how many children they want to have in total,” González reported.
That’s a diplomatic way of saying a man who changes diapers is a man less likely to want more diaper monsters. Thankfully, most men don’t have to have a wailing infant thrust into their face to empathize with women on family planning. Support for legal abortion across the U.S., is overwhelmingly high, and apparently isn’t going anywhere (fingers crossed, organizing strategies in place), despite the determined effort of a handful of cis-hetero politicians from former slave states.