One of the most common arguments in the debate regarding abortion is that the opinions of men are invalid due to the fact that they don’t have a uterus. For example, Jessica Valenti has written in The Guardian: “Her body, her choice. Period.”
What follows are ten reasons why men should certainly be allowed to oppose abortion:
1. First, because the child is genetically half theirs. Yes, it is the woman’s role to physically nurture the physical development of the baby in her womb, but biologically the child is obviously the product of both male and female chromosomes.
2. Second, because men should take responsibility for the consequence of their actions, especially when it comes to sexual intercourse. The onus should be on the father of the child to provide for his children and their mother.
3. Third, because it is a logical fallacy to argue that you can only have an opinion regarding an issue that you have personally experienced. For example, should a woman who is a stay-at-home mum and, therefore, makes no income outside the home, have a say on tax policy? After all, she doesn’t directly pay taxes for an income …
4. Fourth, because if the mother decides to go ahead with the pregnancy, then the father is (rightly) required to provide child support. Obviously, it is inconsistent to argue that a man should be legally made to financially provide for his child after birth but cannot also have an opinion as to what happens beforehand.
5. Fifth, because abortion affects the dynamics of the couple’s relationship. Dr. D Naziri found that in approximately half of the couples that went through an abortion “the relationship suffered serious after effects” with many never recovering.
6. Sixth, because historically men have played an integral role in the legalizing of abortion. One of the main objections against the recent decision of Alabama to ban abortion was that it was voted on largely by men. However, not only does this overlook the fact that it was signed into law by the female Governor of Alabama—Kay Ivey—but the original panel which decided on the legality of Roe vs Wade in 1973 was completely male!
7. Seventh, because abortion affects men—as well as women—in a deeply negative way. There has been an increasing body of peer-reviewed research substantiating the fact that men psychologically suffer all kinds of ill effects when their partner elects to terminate the pregnancy, including feelings of guilt, anger and grief.
8. Eight, because if only those with a uterus are allowed to have an opinion then what about women who have had a hysterectomy, or are no longer fertile?
9. Nine, because it dehumanises men to exclude them from the debate. One of the most basic—and obvious—aspects to human existence is that males and females share in a common experience of having been in the womb.
10. Finally, because in a free and open democratic society, everyone should be able to voice his or her opinion.
The argument that men should not be allowed to have an opinion on abortion is, apart from anything else, fundamentally sexist.
Terminating the life of an unborn baby is one of the most traumatic—and tragic—events a parent can ever make. It should be that both parents share in the care of the infant, beginning with conception.
– Mark Powell, Cornerstone Presbyterian Church