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TOP 30 OF 2016 - 18. Men have no place in the abortion debate

First published on Tuesday the 22nd of November, 2016, this piece comes in at number 18 in the top 30 most read Villainesse stories of 2016.

Here’s a shocker: most people who were born with XY chromosomes don’t have a uterus. And that low number drops even lower for people with XY chromosomes who are cisgender.

So why, the hell, do men think they need to get involved in the abortion debate? Why do men think they can tell women what they can, or can’t, do with their bodies?

Fellow XY humans, let me proudly say we don’t belong in the abortion debate. At all. Let women decide what to do with their own bodies – because it’s their body – and respect whatever their decision is. It’s really not that hard to get your head around.

Let’s be honest, if not slightly graphic: the biological role of the person who provides the sperm in the whole baby-making process is usually pretty friggin’ miniscule. It can be as non-committal as a one-time hookup, the release of some fluids, and that’s that. Personally, I can only imagine how horrifying it must be to have something literally growing inside you for nine months. I’d be scared shitless – which is one of several reasons why I think it’s perfectly natural someone wouldn’t want that.

Here’s the other thing, fellas: when someone decides or decides not to get an abortion, they’re making a decision about their body. Theirs. As in, not yours. As in, why the fuck would you think it’s OK to dictate what someone else should or shouldn’t do with their body? How would you like if someone told you that you had to allow something to grow inside you for nine months, and made actual fucking laws telling you that you had to let it happen, no matter what?

Of course, there are numerous reasons why someone decides to get an abortion. But the thing is, the reasons don’t really matter. Because whatever someone decides, that decision needs to be respected. Again, it’s their body, their choice. Not yours.

Many of the hardest-core anti-abortion activists claim they are devout Christians, and will cite the Bible as the reason why abortion should be outlawed. But guess what: if one were to read the Bible, they would find that Jesus didn’t once discuss abortion. So why (falsely) claim he did? His apostles in the New Testament also didn’t talk about it. In fact, the Bible doesn’t specifically talk about abortion at all. So again, why try to use religion as a crutch for such misogynistic (because that’s what the anti-abortion stance is at its core) views?

I reckon much of it comes down to fear – fear that women can have their own agency to make their own choices about their own bodies. Because if women can make choices for themselves, what other choices might they make? Might those choices show that people with XX chromosomes can be equal to men, and thus threaten patriarchal power structures? For such men who have always been used to having power over women simply because they have a penis and most women do not, the shattering of their worldview must by utterly terrifying.

But it’s still no excuse. It’s no excuse to tell someone else what to do with their body. It’s no excuse to discriminate against people who choose to terminate a pregnancy or to actually commit violence against them or those who work or volunteer with organisations like Planned Parenthood and our own Family Planning.

Rather than criticise women for the choices they make, we should support those women in their personal decisions. That’s called being respectful and treating someone the way you yourself would like to be treated.

I’m pretty sure Jesus would be all about that.

TAGGED IN

  • Abortion /
  • Women's Rights /
  • Women /
  • Men /
  • Family Planning /
  • Planned Parenthood /
  • Bible /
  • Religion /

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Ben
Mack

Contributing Editor All Articles