Is there a place for men in the abortion debate?

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Indeed, when Matt Garbett concluded his Hanime thread on the lack of male participation in favor of abortion rights, men responded to his call by wondering if he would be welcome in such a strongly feminine environment. “Certainly,” a tweet, “I don’t know where I would be most useful nor do I [I] want my presence at events to be [a] problem for others, ”he wrote. So rather than attending rallies or participating in organized efforts, he wrote, he is simply donating money to the cause.


Amelia Bonow, co-founder of Scream your abortion, who encourages people to talk about their termination of pregnancy in an effort to normalize and humanize the practice, has given a lot of thought lately to the role of men in the abortion conversation. After nearly four years of facilitating ways for people who have had abortions to share their stories publicly, Shout Your Abortion “has changed,” she told me. This summer, the organization will release a series of videos in which men will speak candidly about their personal experiences and thoughts on abortion, as part of the organization’s deliberate attempt to include more voices from men.

Bonow recognized that constructing abortion as an expression of a woman’s right to bodily autonomy can give the impression that only women are fit to approach. Planned Parenthood’s marketing aesthetic, for example – with its heavy use of the color pink – seems to telegraph it. And it didn’t help, Bonow added, that some abortion right supporters had everything but insisted that the movement for the right to abortion be a zone without men.

“I’ve seen all these signs that are like, you know, No uterus, no opinion, “she said.” I think it’s reductive and gendered framing that makes it feel like we’re the only ones allowed to talk about it. I think this approach has scared some men out of the conversation we really need. to be a part of it. Every day on social media, she says, she sees progressive men in media and politics weigh in on “all progressive issues” except abortion, even though abortion is also related to some of these issues. “Anyone who cares about economic justice, racial justice, human rights,” she said, “access to abortion is your problem. ”

Doan, a professor at the University of Kansas, compares the fight to preserve the right to abortion to the fight against racism, or the fight for LGBTQ rights – in which the importance of support from outside of marginalized groups in question, or “ally”, is regularly emphasized. “I think [abortion] has been defined as exclusively a women’s rights issue which should therefore only be addressed by women, ”Doan said. “It’s a wrong way of thinking, much the same as when we talk about racism and ask people and communities of color to solve the problem for themselves.”

It is now a pivotal moment in the abortion debate, given recent bills from Georgia and Alabama, and an emerging emphasis on abortion as a key issue in the 2020 presidential election. And because political activism is often a force-in-numbers effort, if abortion rights groups that are predominantly female can attract more men – half the population – they could massively increase their numbers. affecting chatspin.

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