Pro-choice women have long asked men to remain silent when it comes to the issue of abortion. The theory was that it’s a woman’s choice, and therefore no man should have a say in the matter. And while Sara Robinson of AlterNet makes it clear that she doesn’t believe that men have the right to stop the killing of their own children, she does believe that men need to start speaking out in favor of abortion. In her post, “Abortions Have Made Life Better for Millions of Men: It’s About Time to Speak Up in Support,” Robinson reminds us all that “for every single woman who’s ever had an abortion, there’s a man somewhere in the story.” But it’s only those who supported the abortion who matter to Robinson. She writes:
But even as we’re getting an aggrieved earful from the full chorus of patriarchal bullies, our own pro-choice men have receded into the background of the conversation, to the point where they have no voice at all. Worse: these sweet guys think that by holding their tongues, they’re doing us a favor.
To Robinson, men who support abortion are “sweet,” while men who are against abortion are “patriarchal bullies.” And she refers to the men who don’t want their own babies aborted as a “stereotype,” claiming that men who have lost a child through abortion are better off. She honestly believes that life as a parent is somehow so terrible that abortion saves men from that horror. She speaks directly to men, saying:
Think about it. How would your life be different today if she hadn’t chosen abortion? Would you be co-parenting with a woman you knew wasn’t right for you? Or fathering more kids than your time and resources responsibly allow? Are there educational opportunities you would have had to skip, reducing your earnings for the rest of your life? Or career breaks that wouldn’t have happened if you’d been encumbered with a kid (or another kid)?
Robinson reiterates what the pro-choice factions have always been about: putting everything else above the well-being and even life of your own child. Pro-choicers would have you believe that children are a fun-stealing burden, a waste of your hard-earned money, and an obstacle that will stand in the way of achieving your dreams. The abortion industry is here to tell would-be parents that they aren’t good enough to have a child or another child, and that adding a child to the mix would cripple them and ruin any good thing they have going. It’s an outright lie told in an attempt to control the population and make money.
The truth is that we cripple ourselves. Our children don’t stop us from getting an education or moving forward in our career; we stop ourselves. And let’s not forget that if you end up co-parenting with a woman you “knew wasn’t right for you,” perhaps you should have refrained from having an intimate relationship with a woman whom you knew you wouldn’t marry in the first place. The baby you create together doesn’t deserve to die because of your mistakes.
Robinson also goes on to make the false claim that once a woman decides to have her baby rather than abort, she is in it for the long haul. She will spend the next 20 years being a parent, whether she wanted to or not. Robinson says that men just don’t carry that weight, and that while women are stuck being a parent, men can walk away. She writes:
Men still enjoy the luxury of being able to choose their level of parental engagement. Some walk away and never see their baby. Others dedicate the rest of their lives to their kid’s welfare. Which path they choose is totally their decision, and they can (and do) reconsider that relationship at any time, at will. Women have no such choice. Once we’re pregnant, we’re in it, full-on, for the next 20 years, whether we want to be or not.
First of all, it isn’t a luxury to decide to ignore your child. It is a shameful tragedy. Are men who were once labeled “deadbeat dads” suddenly now just men who have the extravagant ability to choose to abandon their children without anyone even blinking an eye? Secondly, a woman doesn’t either abort or parent for the rest of your life. Adoption is a choice that allows the mother to continue living her life without the responsibility of a child, while also allowing her child to live, grow, and thrive with a family who wants her. Abortion isn’t the answer for a woman who doesn’t want her child. She can make the choice to let her child live. She can still make the choice to have zero parental involvement.
Robinson goes on to say that women won’t be able to secure their “reproductive rights” without men standing up for them. She writes:
It’s sad but true that male voices and interests still carry more weight in our culture than female ones do — especially with the kind of patriarchal men who have chosen this as the political hill they’re going to die on. We can’t tell those guys to STFU [shut the f#%^ up]. We’ve been trying for decades, but their sexism totally deafens them to voices in our higher register.
But you will be heard. If you start making it clear that this is an issue that matters to all men – and that you’re willing to defend it, because it matters to you very personally – they will at least be able to hear you and respect you in a way that they will never hear or respect us. You bring authority that we can’t.
Unfortunately, Robinson still lives in the altered reality where the pro-life movement is about men wanting to control women. She thinks that the fight to save the unborn humans of our world is more about sexism than it is the right to life. She’s throwing out the “women are weak” card, claiming that without help, we can accomplish nothing, which seems to appear when the pro-choicers are running scared. Women’s voices do matter in this country and in our government, even in the conservative sector. Robinson just refuses to admit that millions of women are against abortion, not just men. There are feminists against abortion, and atheists against abortion. Abortion isn’t a men-versus-women debate. It’s a debate about human rights and the right for a person to live despite the fact that her own mother doesn’t want her.
At the end of the day, abortion isn’t a women’s issue; it’s a human issue. It’s a civil rights issue. It’s an issue of discrimination, eugenics, and murder. Abortion takes away one life and leaves a mother and a father childless, forever oblivious to the joys they would have known through parenting that child. Abortion hurts women. It hurts men. It hurts families. It kills children. No one is better off in the end.