The end of Roe v. Wade will impact men too

Ruben Nararrette
Liberal Opinion

Ruben Navarrette

Columnist, host & author
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With the Supreme Court effectively ending a woman’s constitutional right to abortion via the Dobbs ruling overturning Roe v. Wade, women around the country have few choices if they find themselves with an unwanted pregnancy. But women aren’t the only ones affected. A recent study suggests 1 in 5 men have impregnated someone who’s had an abortion. Straight Arrow News contributor Ruben Navarrette is thinking about the ruling’s impact on men and asking that they step up and take responsibility:

Lately I’ve heard a lot of people say that young women should be careful not to get pregnant. Yet I haven’t heard many people say that young men should be careful not to get young women pregnant. The Right gives us a “Handmaid’s Tale” version of the world where women have no autonomy or dignity. And the Left in response offers up a hardcore feminist roar that says that women should be the only ones participating in the abortion debate.

What do these two narratives have in common? Yeah, they both make men irrelevant. And men, ah, we’ve only been too happy to take advantage of that. And back away from the abortion debate, like it was a honey-do list of chores on Super Bowl Sunday. Gone are the days of what used to be called being a stand-up guy. Remember the words of the prophet — Bruce. In his classic ballad, “The River,” Springsteen tells the tale of a young man whose life’s dreams were derailed by a bad choice, when abortion was not on the table:

“Then I got Mary pregnant
And man, that was all she wrote
And for my nineteenth birthday
I got a union card and a wedding coat.”

Some women are catching on, like the sweet, grandmotherly type, who at a recent abortion rights protest after Dobbs, held up a sign that read, “Regulate the dick, not the Jane.” Their framing of the abortion debate is sexist and antiquated and it puts an unfair burden on women. Worse, the burden then gets disguised as freedom. How sneaky is that?

Look, there’s no question that the Supreme Court decision in Dobbs impacts women more directly than men. But the truth is that this decision will and should have some impact on men. Most of all, it will likely impact men who get women pregnant. What do we expect from them? The answer can’t be, “well, not much,” because the question of what to do about an unwanted pregnancy is after all, 100% the woman’s choice.

Where have all the men gone? Seriously, they’re missing an action from a nasty divisive at each other’s throat. national dialogue about abortion. In this country of 330 million people, there are approximately 162 million men. And we’re not just a productive bunch, but also a reproductive one. The male species is responsible for exactly 50% of every pregnancy, wanted or unwanted. You don’t believe that statistic. Look it up. Men also represent 80% of Supreme Court justices for the five who are not content to merely uphold a Mississippi law limiting when a woman could get an abortion actually went for the whole enchilada and overturn the landmark decision in Roe versus Wade. The Court’s decision in Dobbs versus Jackson Women’s Health Organization, pass the buck to the states. So now we have a patchwork of free states and not so free states, just like in the 50s, the 1850s. Yet men are still after all that an afterthought in the abortion debate. Everyone seems to talk only about women. What this decision in Dobbs means for women, what women should now do about unwanted pregnancies, how women may respond at the ballot box. How women could lose reproductive freedom, not just in some states, but maybe someday and all of them. women, women, women. Lately I’ve heard a lot of people say that young women should be careful not to get pregnant. Yet I haven’t heard many people say that young men should be careful not to get young women pregnant. The right gives us a Handmaid’s Tale version of the world where women have no autonomy or dignity. And the left in response offers up a hardcore feminist roar that says that women should be the only ones participating in the abortion debate. What do these two narratives have in common? Yeah, they both make men irrelevant. And men ah, we’ve only been too happy to take advantage of that. And back away from the abortion debate, like it was a honey do list of chores on Super Bowl Sunday. Gone are the days of what used to be called being a stand up guy. Remember the words of the Prophet Bruce. In his classic ballad the river Springsteen tells the tale of a young man whose life’s dreams were derailed by a bad choice. When abortion was not on the table. Quote, I got married pregnant. And man, that was all she wrote. And for my 19th birthday, I got a union card and a wedding quote, unquote. Some women are catching on, like the sweet, grandmotherly type, who at a recent abortion rights protest after Dobbs held up a sign that read regulate the dick, not the Jane. There framing of the abortion debate is sexist and antiquated. And it puts an unfair burden on women. Worse, the burden then gets disguised as freedom. How sneaky is that? Look, there’s no question that the Supreme Court decision in jobs impacts women more directly than men.

But the truth is that this decision will and should have some impact on men. Most of all, it will likely impact men who get women pregnant. What do we expect from them? The answer can’t be Well, not much, because the question of what to do about an unwanted pregnancy is after all, 100% the woman’s choice. About 10 years ago, I wrote about abortion for the very first time. Even though at that point, I had been writing columns for more than two decades, I had avoided this subject like a virus. In response, many readers shared their own personal stories. One woman, a married professional, who now had two children, recalled an abortion she had in college. What she never forgot and never forgave, was how her loser boyfriend checked out of the process. Quote, whatever you decide, he told her, playing the part of the male feminist.

My reader didn’t feel free or empowered or liberated. She felt alone and abandoned and scared. That’s not freedom. That’s letting men off the hook. A woman’s right to choose should not translate into a man’s right to flee. Now that row is gone. So abortions may be avoided, more men may have to step up, do the right thing and be held accountable. Good. It’s a new world. That’s what we’re told. Not just for our daughters, but also for our sons as well. Don’t get so wrapped up in the cloud that you miss the silver lining. I’m Ruben Navarrette, and this is not resonation


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