Sometimes, men and women have sex, but don’t want to have a baby together. And no method of contraception is 100% effective, except not having sex. Consequently, humans have been aborting unwanted pregnancies since at least Biblical times. By age 45, about one in four American women will have had an abortion.
So will about one-quarter of American men.
It takes two people to conceive. While Roe v. Wade focuses on female citizen’s right to choose an abortion, this difficult decision is often made collectively, whether between long-committed couples (about half of the women who obtain abortions in the US are in live-in relationships, and 59% have children already) or more casual relationships.
Since 1973, safe, legal abortion has benefited generations of US women and men. Being able to choose when to have a family, or expand your existing one, has allowed Americans of both sexes to complete educations, pursue challenging careers, and take better care of their existing children or other dependents. Men are rarely interviewed or surveyed on the topic, but when they are, they often talk about being unready to be a father, emotionally or financially.
As the Trump administration and the Republican party move to slash funding for contraception and march towards overturning Roe vs. Wade, it shouldn’t be surprising that reports continue to surface of men within the party who have “obtained” abortions that benefited them.
What is surprising, though, is how quiet the rest of America’s men remain. Planned Parenthood rallies are still overwhelmingly female, the politicians who are most vocal on the issue are nearly all women.
If American women lose the right to abortion, American men will also lose the right to even have that conversation with their sexual partners. And while men have no right to say whether their sexual partner keeps the child or not, they do have a legal responsibility to financially support that child if she does.
The data show that there is a simpler way to cut back on the number of abortions in the US than taking away women’s constitutional rights. Three years after the revamp of US healthcare known as Obamacare was passed, the US abortion rate fell to its lowest level since abortion was legalized in 1973.
Why the drop? American women suddenly had greater access to affordable healthcare, and cheaper contraception to begin with.