Men Need To Start Sharing Our Personal Abortion Histories
Our silence allows men like Gov. Greg Abbott to attack women’s right to abortion as basic healthcare
Men, here is a simple yes or no question for you. “I am a man who was part of creating an unwanted pregnancy with my partner and the choice was made to have an abortion. I supported that choice.” Yes or no?
I’ll go first. “Yes.”
It’s not easy to answer publicly, but as men, we need to stop hiding our #MensAbortionHistories
When I was young, I had sex with a women I was in a long term relationship with. She was on birth control. It failed. *I did not wear a condom.* As a result, she became pregnant. She decided to have an abortion. I supported that decision. This is how abortion is a part of my personal history as a man.
→ Men, share your story on social media and add this hashtag: #MensAbortionHistories
Men sharing their abortion histories publicly, can show clearly that abortion is a part of men’s daily lives. But publicly acknowledging this part of our histories isn’t something men do. We fear being judged and feeling shame at having been part of creating an unwanted pregnancy. While it’s easy for me to support women’s right to abortion. What’s harder is to acknowledge that an abortion has been part of my own history. That having sex with me was the reason a woman needed to make that choice. This is why I and millions of other men stay silent about our direct personal connection to the need for abortion as a central part of women’s healthcare.
Women like Uma Thurman are sharing their abortion narratives in very public ways in the fight for their healthcare rights, while men can continue to hide our #MensAbortionHistories.
Our silence on our own abortion histories is a huge piece of why men like Texas Governor Greg Abbott can dominate the conversation. But men like Abbott know that men on all sides of the political spectrum have been part of a women’s decision to end an unwanted pregnancy. We know men have. We know men will again. If we want to end such hypocrisy, it’s time for us to stop hiding our #MensAbortionHistories
Along with women, trans/NB/gender fluid/intersex people can get pregnant as well. The right to abortion as basic health care is under attack for all of these folks. As men, we can share our #MensAbortionHistories and support abortion as basic healthcare for all of these people.
Men, let’s stop hiding our #MensAbortionHistories and start taking some risks for what we believe in. Share your stories. Own your history. Yes, its a risk. There may be some repercussions in our personal lives. But the personal risks we face by sharing our histories are tiny compared to what women, trans/NB/gender fluid/intersex people face every time they have sex with us.
Mark Greene is an author, speaker and consultant on masculinity and Man Box culture for organizations worldwide. More on his work at RemakingManhood.com