Abortion: An Issue That Affects All of Us
Dear Mr. Dad: I remember a thoughtful column you wrote a few years ago about abortion and the need for men and women to talk about it. I’m wondering whether your thinking has changed in light of the draconian anti-abortion laws in Georgia, Alabama, and other places. I’m also wondering what you think about the laws in other states (New York, for example) that seemingly allow late term abortions for any reason.
A: Wow, those are some pretty serious political questions. As I mentioned last time this topic came up, I try to stay out of politics, but these are important issues, so let’s dig in.
To your first question, my bottom line hasn’t changed: When it comes to family planning, I still believe that women should have 51% of the votes. At the same time, I believe that we’ve mislabeled family planning as a “women’s issue,” when, in reality, it has a profound effect on men as well. A woman’s legal right to choose to terminate a pregnancy allows her to deny a man’s just-as-legal right to become a father and unilaterally ends any hopes and dreams of fatherhood he might have had. Likewise, her legal right to choose to become a parent denies his just-as-legal right to not become a parent and forces him into a role he may not want.