By Dave Andrusko
“Men Have a Lot to Lose When Roe Falls,” is a “guest essay” by Dr. Andréa Becker that appeared in the New York Times.
She tells us that most of the focus on what would happen should Roe be overturned is on “those who can become pregnant.” What has “research” told us about the benefits to women of “controlling their fertility”?
“This research has found that access to abortion is associated with improved physical and mental health and is correlated to higher educational and financial attainment in the long run for both women and their children,” Becker writes. Not a syllable in the 1,204 word long essay about the children who are obliterated or the rich literature that documents the after-effects on many women. But what do you expect in a Times essay about abortion?
But the focus here is how reliant on Roe (whether they know it or not) men are. Little research, she tells us, is available. But…
Despite this gap in the literature, the data we do have on male abortion beneficiaries indicates that the benefits extend well beyond the person having the abortion. For instance, one study found that among men involved in a pregnancy before the age of 20, those whose partner had an abortion were more likely to have graduated from college compared to those whose partner gave birth.
The remainder of the essay is taken up with quotes from those few sources that have investigated what men have to lose if Roe falls.
“This dearth in knowledge reinforces ideas about reproductive health as an issue for women alone, which results in their shouldering all reproductive responsibility,” Becker writes. “In the case of abortion specifically, the lack of knowledge and cultural attention obfuscates the benefit that abortion access has for the partners of pregnant people as well. According to Dr. [Brian] Nguyen, the lack of focus on men’s involvement in reproductive health care may lead men to tune out the battle for abortion rights or even become opposed to them because they feel unheard or unwelcome in the conversation.”
Jennifer Reich is a professor of sociology at the University of Colorado, Denver who state unequivocally “Everybody benefits when individuals can control their own reproduction, but the benefit can be invisible for cis men since they don’t absorb the risks of pregnancy and it’s not written on their bodies.’”
Extrapolating from her sample of 20 men who were “involved in 30 abortions,” this “could suggest that a smaller number of men are involved in a larger proportion of abortions.” This “further supports the need to understand men’s role.” It also supports the proposition that these men need something more than being understood. Like a sense of responsibility for the children they have help create.
So the goal is to recruit men to take up the cause of abortion. That was clear early. To make even more clear, Becker writes “[S]hedding more light on the invisible benefits of abortion for men could be a powerful opportunity to combat stigma and bring more people into the fight for reproductive rights. After all, women have been telling their abortion stories for years, and Roe is still expected to fall.”
Should men be able to veto a woman’s right to abort? Dr. Becker would scoff at this—of course not.
For all the blather about “invisible benefits,” men are not only left out of the decision making, their infantile behavior is only encouraged.