Should Men Speak against Abortion?
One of the common arguments today is that men have no right to be involved in a woman’s choices regarding her physical health. Specifically, many people are outraged at the idea that a man could have any say in a woman’s reproductive choices.
One aspect of frustration is directed against the all-male Catholic priesthood, on account of the fact that the Catholic Church condemns the use of birth control and abortion. Novelist Louise Erdrich fumes, “I still feel a sense of fury at the ghastly idea that celibate old men can dictate what a woman does with her body.”1
This frustration has been expanded in recent years to include pro-life male leaders of various communities — ministers of Christian denominations, rabbis, leaders of Muslim communities, teachers and politicians. Many pro-choice supporters believe that most pro-life efforts are grounded in chauvinistic attempts to control and subjugate women. George Carlin raved during one of his “comedy” shows, “They’re not pro-life. You know what they are? They’re anti-woman. Simple as it gets, anti-woman. They don’t like them. They don’t like women. They believe a woman’s primary role is to function as a brood mare for the state.”
These fears come from a justified desire to protect a woman’s free will and physical autonomy. No one wants to see women devalued to a status comparable to that of the breeding slaves portrayed in the popular TV show “The Handmaid’s Tale.” This has led to a situation where men are actively discouraged, if not publicly villainized, for taking any active part in the political debate of pro-life vs. pro-choice policy. We must be careful to avoiding swinging to the other end of the issue, to a political situation which would erase the civic dignity and personal responsibility of men.
There are four primary reasons why the argument for the wholesale exclusion of men from the question of pro-life vs. pro-choice politics is untenable.
1. Right to Free Speech
As citizens of the United States, men have just as much right to speak publicly regarding controversial issues as do women, according to the Constitution of the United States.
Pro-abortionists write and talk endlessly about their rights, but seem intent on depriving half of the population of its right to speak on this topic. The First Amendment to the Constitution was established in 1791 as the very first article of the Bill of Rights; but the Supreme Court only manufactured the “right” to abortion 182 years later, in 1973. Any man or woman who claims that men have no right to speak against abortion should receive a short lesson in the First Amendment. Just because pro-abortionists find certain speech offensive does not mean that it should be banned.
The validity and truth of an argument has nothing whatsoever to do with a person’s sex, age, race or state in life. If a statement or argument is true, then it is true — it matters not who is saying it! Anyone who disputes this assertion is, by definition, being illogical.
Furthermore, disregarding an argument on the basis of a person’s gender is not only illogical, but also an incredibly bigoted and intolerant act. Therefore, ignoring men’s opinions on abortion simply because they are men is both bad reasoning and sexism.
2. If Pro-Life Men Don’t Have a Say, Why Do These People?
Experience shows that pro-choice supporters who advocate a “no men allowed policy” tend to be flagrantly inconsistent — if not outright hypocritical — in the types of men that they exclude.
Many pro-choice supporters argue for the exclusion of men on the grounds that men are not personally affected by a woman’s reproductive choices, but they actively support the inclusion of several groups who are also not personally affected by a woman’s reproductive choices. For example:
1. Pro-Abortion Men
Most pro-abortionists welcome men speaking for abortion. They certainly didn’t complain when seven old men gave them abortion on demand on January 22, 1973. Why didn’t they tell the all-male United States Supreme Court to mind its own business? Also, when we look at the population of abortionists, we find that a large majority are men. The feminists don’t tell them to get out of medicine. Why not?
If the opinion of a man is automatically worthless simply because he is male, then logically he should not be allowed to argue for abortion or birth control either.
2. Infertile Women
Sometimes abortion advocates say that men should not be able to speak out against abortion simply because they can’t get pregnant. If they are to be consistent, they should reject the leadership of any pro-abortion woman who is post-menopausal or who is sterilized, because they can’t get pregnant either.
For years, NARAL Pro-Choice America was run by Nancy Keenan, born 1952. The National Organization for Women was headed by Terry O’Neill, born 1953. Eleanor Smeal (b. 1939), is President of the Feminist Majority. Loretta Ross, co-founder of Sister Song, was born 1953. Other very prominent pro-abortion women include Nancy Pelosi (1940), Faye Wattleton (1943), Frances Kissling (1943), Kate Michelman (1942), and Hillary Clinton (1947).
3. Pro-Choice Religious Figures
Abortion advocates also have no problem with religious figures like pro-choice priests, bishops or nuns speaking out for abortion. Two sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, Patricia Hussey and Barbara Ferraro, were treated like heroes when they “courageously” stood up for abortion rights, despite the fact that they were presumably celibate.
4. Pro-Choice Sexual Offenders
Pro-abortion women often defend and praise men who treat women like utter garbage ― just as long as they actively favor abortion “rights.” These men include:
- Serial adulterer Bill Clinton
- Ted Kennedy, who walked away and let Mary Jo Kopechne drown at Chappaquiddick
- John Baxter Hamilton, an Oklahoma City abortionist who murdered his wife
- Disgraced Senator “Lightning Lips” Bob Packwood of Oregon, who foisted his unwanted sexual attentions on his female staffers
- Abortionist Brian Finkel, who sexually assaulted dozens of his abortion patients and was sent to prison for 35 years
- Kermit Gosnell, who ran an illegal “pill mill” and killed dozens of newborn babies and abortion patient Karnamaya Mongar
Overall, the evidence indicates that when pro-choice supporters argue that men should have no say in a woman’s reproductive choices, they really only mean men who are actively pro-life.
However, the exclusion of only pro-life men from the grounds of public debate means turning over the discussion of reproductive choice not necessarily to women, but anyone who is pro-choice; historically, this has included including murderers, philanderers, drug addicts and sexual molesters.
It is necessary to point out that sexual offenders like these have everything to gain and nothing to lose by being pro-choice. The use of abortion frees them from taking any moral, social or fiscal responsibility for unexpected pregnancies. It is obvious that pro-life men — the overwhelming majority of whom love, care and provide for their families — have better intentions than the millions of pro-abortion men who just use and discard women when they become pregnant (or pressure them into having abortions).
Far too many pro-life men have remained inactive because they are afraid of being accused of having an “unhealthy obsession with women’s bodies.” Feminists would like to spread the impression that men carefully observe women taking their birth control pills, check them monthly to make certain that they still have an IUD, and even chart their menstrual cycles ― Oh, but wait, that really does happen. It has been going on in in pro-abortion China for decades, but we don’t hear a peep from the feminists about it.
3. Abortion Affects Men Deeply
Pro-abortionists assert that men are not affected by abortion and should therefore not speak against it.
If this were true, then people not affected by other practices should not speak against them either. For example, under this flawed logic, only homosexuals should speak out about what they call anti-‘gay’ laws, because only they are directly affected by it. Only Jews should be allowed to speak out against anti-Semitism, because only they are directly affected by it. Only women and children should be allowed to talk about sex slavery, because the vast majority of those people enslaved today are women and children.
All of this ignores the undeniable fact that men are profoundly and deeply impacted by abortion. Former abortion mill workers tell us about the heartbreak suffered by men whose wives or girlfriends kill a preborn child, who is just as much his as hers, and who feel helpless and worthless because they can do nothing legally to stop it.
And, of course, we must consider the inescapable fact that half of those preborn children killed by abortion are males, which all the more gives men the right to speak out against it.
4. The Pro-Life Movement is Predominantly Female
If we consider the pro-life movement as a whole, we find that about 80% of all pro-life activists are women. Most of these women work for the thousands of crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs) in every sizable city and town across the United States, offering real help in the form of counseling, listening and material assistance to other women in crisis situations. Yet the pro-abortion movement is doing all it can to shut down what they call “fraudulent clinics,” from trying to force them to post ridiculous lists of the services they offer (and don’t offer) to condemning them publicly.
Women are, and always have been, at the heart of the pro-life movement, but they are condemned by their pro-abortion “sisters” as “brainwashed” or, as Pennsylvania State Representative Babette Josephs said, “What are they? Women, or are they men with breasts?… I don’t believe they’re really women…. I believe they’re men with breasts.”2
In fact, pro-abortion women even deny that pro-life women are acting for the benefit of women as a whole. Writer Tracie Eagan Morrissey says of pro-life women, “You are not a feminist, that’s for sure.”
Women who actively work for pro-life causes in politics are publicly harassed, derided and shamed for being “traitors” to their gender, if they are not outright ignored. For example, in the 2017 uproar over the Alabama ban on abortion, internet protesters condemned the bill that was passed entirely by men, with no votes by women. They completely ignored the fact the bill was officially signed and passed by Alabama’s Governor, Kay Ivey ― a Republican and a woman.
Such virile persecution of pro-life women is unseemly, coming as it does from an organization that champions “the power of women” and declares that being a feminist means being anything you want to be. Presumably that would include the personal choice of a woman exercising her civic right to be actively pro-life.
So we see that the pro-abortion argument here is not that men should be automatically excluded from of the abortion decision ― the real idea is that nobody should oppose abortion.
In conclusion, the very definition of “oppression” is stripping a group of people of their political voice. This means that any pro-abortionist who is trying to divest pro-life men of their right to speak out against abortion is trying to oppress them.
This is significant in light of the fact that gender feminists are constantly crying that they are “oppressed by men.” Their assertion is hypocritical, since radical feminists seem to see nothing wrong about oppressing those who disagree with them on the abortion issue. Liberals preach to us constantly about equality. The obvious conclusion would be that if they seek to deny others a political voice on abortion, they have no right to call themselves “liberal.”
 Novelist Louise Erdrich. “10 Questions.” Time Magazine, January 14, 2013, page 60. As we have already shown, the preborn child is not a part of the woman’s body. This is hard scientific fact, not open to debate based upon emotions, opinions, or superstition.
 Pennsylvania State Representative Babette Josephs, a Philadelphia Democrat, speaking about women legislators who supported an ultrasound bill, quoted in Steven Ertelt. “Legislator Attacks Pro-Life Women as ‘Men With Breasts.'” LifeNews, March 26, 2012.
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Dr. Brian Clowes has been HLI’s director of research since 1995 and is one of the most accomplished and respected intellectuals in the international pro-life movement. Best known as author of the most exhaustive pro-life informational resource volume The Facts of Life, and for his Pro-Life Basic Training Course, Brian is the author of nine books and over 500 scholarly and popular articles, and has traveled to 70 countries on six continents as a pro-life speaker, educator and trainer.