Via both Melissa at Shakesville and Cara at the Curvature, I’ve unwittingly been prompted to confront (not really for the first time, but officially) the existence of a disgusting group of men whose intentions lie at the intersection of the men’s rights (so long as they’re posited and pursued as being oppositional to women’s) movement and the anti-choice crowd, and proclaim themselves victims of their sex partners’ decisions not to carry unplanned pregnancies to term. Lovely.
Now, I don’t deny that a partner’s abortion may have severe emotional implications for some men. And that those feelings should be assessed and dealt with. But…duh?…restricting women’s access to the health care they need, in this case abortion services, is not an acceptable method for moving past any possible grievance. Therapy, maybe? Some attempted compassion for the woman and the situation she found herself in, at least?
No, I don’t mean the kind of therapy or “compassion” offered by so-called Christian counselor Mark B. Morrow mentioned in the above-linked LA Times article, who claims that “We had abortions,” or, “I had abortions.” If, in this case, I’m not making a mistake by consciously assuming that this guy does not personally harbor his own female reproductive system, then this is an offensive and impossible over-reach of egocentricity. There is a distinct difference between being emotionally involved in another’s abortion and actually having one. And, you know, it’s that bit right there that makes all the difference and really matters when addressing that other person’s right to healthcare and physical independence, for pete’s sake!
And let me spoil the end of that wonderful piece of journalism for you with one of the last quotes from one of the men profiled, who had just been chronicled as re-imagining what his life might have been like (not for his present wife or children, but only for himself, of course) if his previous girlfriends had endured their unwanted pregnancies (emphasis mine):
In the end, Aubert says his moral objection to abortion always wins. If he could go back in time, he would try to save the babies.
But would his long-ago girlfriends agree? Or might they also consider the abortions a choice that set them on a better path?
Aubert looks startled. “I never really thought about it for the woman,” he says slowly.
Clearly. Because the importance of his retrospective feelings about their potential life-altering choices and actions eclipse the actual human experience of the women who found themselves face-to-face with whatever options they had to choose from to better their own living situation.
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