Feminism is in vogue, and men are trying it on for size. Campaigns such as the global U.N. initiative HeForShe aim to encourage men to be pro-women voices in culture. Feminism, fundamentally, is the belief that men and women are equal, so it’s only right that men get behind the movement. After all, women have no better ally in the fight for equality than members of the very sex responsible for their oppression. But, men: women can’t take your investment in our equality seriously until you stop supporting and promoting abortion. Seriously. It’s not sexy and it’s not empowering.
I recognize that this message runs counter to the popular opinion that abortion represents the pinnacle of women’s liberation. As I’ve said elsewhere, this dirty claim is the hallmark of all successful abortion marketing. But there is no logical feminist argument for abortion. There can’t be, because history and experience demonstrate that abortion, far from liberating women, is a symptom of systemic gender inequality.
In his book Abortion: The Ultimate Exploitation of Women, Brian E. Fisher notes that it was men — not women — who made America’s first great push toward legal abortion. Key figures in popularizing abortion on-demand include OB/GYN Bernard Nathanson and journalist Lawrence Lader. The pair succeeded in packaging abortion as a good for women — an idea bolstered by the sexual revolution’s demand for consequence-free sex. Meanwhile, an all-male majority of the Supreme Court declared abortion a constitutional right, and the fabricated notion that abortion was key to gender equality rapidly gained steam. But no one took a step back to consider that women would ultimately suffer — not benefit — from this new “right.”
Legal abortion meant that men no longer had to worry about the possibility of a partner becoming pregnant. The new status quo meant that the consequences could literally be disposed of. Rather than being liberated from their own fertility, women entered into deeper bondage to the sexual appetites of men.
With abortion serving as an insurance policy on men’s varied sexual encounters, hookup culture ensued. Women became mere objects existing for the sexual gratification of men. Terms like “walk of shame” encapsulate the humiliation a woman experiences as she fumbles back home in the light of morning after waking up next to a stranger who knows every inch of her naked body but likely does not know her name. And all the while, pro-abortion feminists told women that this was liberation — this was gender equality.
But when hookup culture results in pregnancy, the same use-and-abuse-her approach of the one-night stand applies to women. Euphemisms like “bro-choice” add insult to injury here, with the abortion industry glorifying men’s abdication of responsibility because, after all, “it’s her body, her choice.” Bro-choice men have a lot to lose (read: a lifelong commitment to the woman in marriage, or, at the very least, years of child support payments) if the woman chooses life, but there’s a backup plan for that, too. Bribery; coercion; force — they all fit into the bro-choice playbook. A popular post from an online forum for playboys demonstrates the abortion fallback plan for self-serving sexual prowlers:
“[C]learly, there will be instances where sluts get pregnant and she insists on keeping the child. My point is, IF you get a slut pregnant, convince her to have an abortion… Use bribery if necessary, offer to pay for the abortion, buy her a new purse (most sluts would love a new Prada purse), whatever you can say to convince her that it’s not a good idea.”
So if you’re a man who cares about a woman and wants to be a feminist for her, here’s my advice. First, don’t treat her fertility like a disease. It’s not. If you love a woman, you will embrace all of her — not just the pieces and parts of her that give you pleasure. Remember, feminism means working toward gender equality, and using a woman for selfish ends is antithetical to this equality. Second, you will love only her. Fidelity is a choice that you make every day for your beloved. Don’t settle for hookups and abortion, and don’t ask her to, either.
In the context of a loving relationship where both partners are equal, abortion simply doesn’t follow. Instead, in the vast majority of cases, abortion occurs after a woman has been used for sexual pleasure and left to deal with the consequences alone. She got pregnant; she will undergo the abortion; she will bear the brunt of the pain and baggage that may follow. I’m not sure how such unbalanced scales are purported to add up to women’s rights and gender equality, but I am sure that we can do better for ourselves, and men can do better for us.
Lauren Enriquez is the Public Relations Manager at Human Coalition (HumanCoalition.org), a technology-driven nonprofit outreach utilizing new and emerging compassionate strategies to rescue innocent children and their families from abortion. Visit AbortionExploitsWomen.com for information on how men can end abortion. Lauren is on Twitter @LNEnriquez.