How Men “Benefit” From Abortion

Pro-lifers have always maintained that, far from “liberating” women, Roe liberated men to follow their most base sexual instincts while sloughing the outcome on to women and on any child that is conceived.

Americans are constantly being warned of the dangers of “disinformation.”  

There is, no doubt, real disinformation out there, stoked by America’s enemies.  But there is also information out there that American elites, for ideological reasons, want to label “disinformation.” Conversely, there’s “information” out there—particularly in the mainstream media—that really should be labeled disinformation.

Case in point: the New York Times’ May 26 guest essay “Men Have a Lot to Lose When Roe Falls.”

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(The title is actually true, though not for the reasons the essay promotes.)

First, the credentials feint. The author bills herself as a “medical sociologist, researcher, and writer.”  

This is where you have to get into what, 52 years ago, the famous California Medicine editorial called “semantic gymnastics.”

See, according to ideological orthodoxy, abortion is “medical care.” Of course, it is “medical care” in the sense that a physician (in those states that still haven’t waived that “arduous” requirement) hasn’t yet prostituted his profession to kill. But abortion doesn’t “cure” any disease, any medical pathology. The overwhelming majority of pregnancies are not pathological. So, at best, abortion is “elective”—not essential—medical care.

The consequence of that fact, of course, calls into question the starting point that misrepresents abortion to be “medical care.”

Abortion orthodoxy also claims, of course, that because abortion directly affects women, women and only women should be the ones deciding and talking about it. So, by the tenets of abortion orthodoxy, this whole essay is mauvaise foi.

But, hey, Roe is endangered so we can, this one time, make an exception: “consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.” We can let some men into the debate, provided their voices come down on the right side.

Why do I emphasize coming down on the “right side”? Because there’s a wrong one, according to abortion orthodoxy. Because back in the early 1970s, right after Roe was decided, a number of states decided to “follow the science.” If pregnancy involved two people, then two people had an interest in its outcome or termination. That is why Missouri gave fathers a say in whether an abortion could be performed.

In 1976, the Supreme Court, in Planned Parenthood v. Danforth, declared the Missouri law unconstitutional. The same Court that held in Roe that a “pregnant woman cannot be isolated in her privacy” (410 U.S. 113 at 159) isolated her by concluding that a father’s interest in saving the life of his unborn child could not outweigh a mother’s right to kill that child. The Court, however, adopted an even more bizarre rationale for throwing out spousal consent, maintaining that if a state could not ban abortion, it could not “delegate” that prerogative to a husband. I never thought my fatherhood was a delegation of the State of New Jersey.

But I digress. Men who oppose abortion, please shut up. Men who support it: shout your co-parent’s abortion!  

So, what does our “medical sociologist”—who is writing about a “medical” procedure that in virtually no instance addresses any disease—conclude about what men would lose if Roe was overturned? That their “lives would be affected.”

Would they be sick? Handicapped? Dead? No. None of those conditions that might have some medical nexus.  

They might have to adjust their college plans. They might endure temporary poverty. They might suffer career impact. They might earn less income. And they might have to deal with a “relationship they [otherwise may not have] most wanted to have a lifelong connection to….”

In other words, they would have to be responsible for their son or daughter and maybe even the woman they slept with.

None of the so-called catastrophes that “beneficiary” men might have to endure if Roe falls has anything to do with medicine. They have to do with money, jobs, and the future—in short, life and taking responsibility for one’s actions—but they have nothing to do with any medical conditions.

Of course, that’s all covered up by our “medical sociologist” who cites another sociologist and an OB-GYN about men and abortion. All those credentials, however, do not establish any nexus between abortion and a medical “benefit.”  Diplomas don’t substitute for facts.

As I observed above, the title of the New York Times’ article is technically correct. Men have benefitted from legalized abortion. They have benefitted from being able to enjoy sex, usually outside of marriage or even any “relationship [with] a lifelong connection,” while not having to deal with its consequences. They have benefitted from abandoning women and killing their own offspring.  

Pro-lifers have always maintained that, far from “liberating” women, Roe liberated men to follow their most base sexual instincts while sloughing the outcome on to women and on any child that is conceived. Because men do not bear a child, it has always been easier for men to pretend that a life doesn’t exist: Roe simply inscribed that fiction into law and taught women to believe it, too.

One of the bizarre and unscientific cancers left in American law as a consequence of Roe has been the thesis that an individual’s “procreative interest” is a matter of pure privacy that brooks no further analysis. But “individual” and “procreation” really don’t belong in the same sentence; if you think they do, please get to any sex ed class to learn “it takes two.”  

Yet our law’s focus has, in fact, reduced that two-ness not into a union of persons but into one with an interest and another with a necessary commodity. Our guest essay concedes as much: “society’s vision of a man’s role in reproduction has come to be limited to ‘having sex and providing sperm.’” It’s also Roe’s vision, which is just another one of that decision’s multiple lies.  

But, as the Times sees it, men would benefit not by having to assume responsibility for their own sexuality and children. (That might call Danforth into question). No, they should instead continue to “benefit” by having sex, providing sperm, and otherwise shutting up…unless they want to cheer that order of things.

[Photo Credit: Unsplash]

  • John M. Grondelski

    John M. Grondelski (Ph.D., Fordham) is a former associate dean of the School of Theology, Seton Hall University, South Orange, New Jersey. All views expressed herein are his own.

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