Abortion is said to be something that is needed for the good of women — yet a new paper from the University of Utah argues that it’s actually men who need abortions to stay legal, so they can be successful. The study, which was led by assistant sociology professor Bethany G. Everett and published in the Journal of Adolescent Health, the study purported to explain how teen boys are “abortion beneficiaries,” and it is therefore important to keep abortion legal.
In the press release from the University of Utah, Everett said that abortion does not just benefit women. “It is important that we recognize the stigma women who have abortions and abortion providers face, yet there are people — namely, their male partners — who reap the benefits of this emotional labor and about whom we never talk,” Everett said. “What we found is that women’s use of abortion during adolescence increases the likelihood that their male partners will graduate from college.”
The study followed men who “reported a pregnancy” while they were still teenagers, which ended in either an abortion or a live birth. This information, collected in 1994, was then followed up by tracking the same men in 2007 and 2008 to see which of them had completed college, as well as what their income was. They found that among men whose partners kept the baby, 6% of them completed college, while 22% of men whose partner had an abortion graduated. Income, however, did not see much of a difference, with the exception of men who reported a live birth, but did not live with their child. “This could be driven by the fact that the men who have stable incomes are more likely to maintain a relationship with a partner and live with their children and have an extra push to be wage earners,” Everett said.
Still, Everett continued to insist that abortion helped teenage boys to grow up to become successful men, despite a lack of income disparity between men who raised their children and men whose partners had an abortion. “Given what we know about the links between education and future income, it is likely that the wage gap will widen as these men age, allowing men whose partners reported abortions to continue to reap financial benefits from access to abortion,” she claimed — a wide assumption.
Not everyone was enthusiastic about this study, however. University of Utah senior Frances Floresca criticized it on Facebook, writing, “This study from the University of Utah is almost repulsive to read… it’s almost like this study is encouraging men to tell their partners to have abortions so they (the men) can have a better future? That sounds very selfish.”
As it is, abortion is a sign that society is failing women. Indeed, that is likely why men were the founders of the pro-abortion movement, and why people like Playboy founder Hugh Hefner pushed for its legalization. Abortion allows exactly what this study outlines to happen: it allows men to use women for sex while avoiding “unpleasant” consequences, leaving them behind as they go on to do whatever they please. It allows men to treat women, as Hefner described it, as “objects,” sexually available whenever men want, responsible for men’s pleasure, and then left alone to deal with any consequences from the sexual experience.
Meanwhile, women who don’t want to abort are sometimes forced into it anyway, with some even facing extreme violence if they refuse. Add in that there is little-to-no support for women who are pregnant and parenting on campus, while abortion is made increasingly available on campus, and it’s no surprise that women feel abortion is their only choice.
Abortion does not help women. It does not empower them, prevent injustices from taking place against them, or give them resources to better their lives. People are increasingly realizing that. But to advocate for abortion’s legalization for the good of men is the definition of misogyny.
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