“It’s easy for men to see this as someone else’s problem, but it’s not. Without the right to abortion, all of our lives would be much worse.”
Matt Lavellee, whose partner had an abortion, is quoted in the New York Times article.
Millions of American women are anxiously awaiting the impending fall of Roe…but it seems many men are still not acutely aware of the impact this could have on them. One in five men have been involved in an abortion.
Studies have repeatedly shown that men consistently benefit from access to abortion as well as their women counterparts. One study showed that men under 20 who reported a teenage pregnancy ending in abortion rather than live birth were more likely to go on to graduate high school or college and report higher personal incomes. (Interestingly, this study also found that the sample of 20 men were involved with 30 abortions, further demonstrating the urgency of understanding men’s role in abortion). Another study again found that abortion made it possible for the men interviewed to further their education or career.
Dr. Nguyen of the University of Southern California’s EMERGE lab has said, “Men can and should be involved in sexual and reproductive health care, and we’ll do this work until it becomes very clear that this is everyone’s issue.” His team estimate that 20% of men have been involved in an abortion, and many choose to do so in order to focus on the children they already have – this shows similar reasoning to the over half of women who already have children when seeking an abortion.
Advocates such as Dr. Nguyen hope that removing stigma and shining a light on the male beneficiaries of abortion access can bring more people into the conversation about reproductive rights, and reframe reproductive health as something that involves everyone. WHilst we fight to respect women’s bodily autonomy, we must remind the men in our lives that abortion is far from ‘somebody else’s problem’, and how much they too will lose if Roe falls.
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