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Reblogged:Abortion Also Preserves Male Autonomy

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I recall life as a young man enough to remember that the abortion debate was, in a certain sense, not "real" to me. I was in no danger of becoming pregnant myself, and I made sure I wasn't the only one using contraception. I considered and accepted Ayn Rand's arguments in favor of abortion, but my understanding wasn't on a gut level.

The passion to stand up for that right, as well as the thirst for the knowledge to become clearer about the issue were both less for me then than they are now. This was partly simply an issue of my age and newness to philosophical thinking, but part of this was certainly due to a casual blindness. I am amazed and a little embarrassed to admit that even after a close call, I really just knew that I was pro-choice. Abortion remained in my mind, mostly an issue for women.

(To be clear, being young and male were just part of that problem. The relegation of women to second-class status in society was more of a problem when I was younger, and the reaction, of framing this part of equality as a woman's issue may have energized women to fight for this right, but did not help make this any more real to me, either. This is an issue of individual rights: It is not just in women's best interests to achieve political equality with men: It is in everyone's best interests.)

It disturbs me to look back on those days. I think I was more thoughtful than average then, and yet this life-and-death issue simply did not hit me as a life-and-death issue in the same way it does today.

That is a big problem in the abortion debate -- the issue of motivation, particularly among the young men whose futures are in the crosshairs now, assuming that Roe vs. Wade gets overturned. They can't get knocked up.

Or so they think.

This is what I have been thinking ever since I happened upon a question-and-answer from You Literally Asked for It, a parody advice blog.

The blog takes actual questions that have been fielded by the likes of Carolyn Hax, Allison Green, and Ellie Tesher -- questions that come from a desire for validation rather than a sincere concern with clarity -- and gives them the answers the authors seem to be fishing for -- good and hard.

One, originally fielded by Carolyn Hax, came from a married woman who was considering "accidentally" getting pregnant despite her agreement with her husband that they were going to remain childless. The answer makes a couple of great points about the decision to have children.

The first is that it's a great responsibility:
Bringing a child into this world is a serious, life-changing event for all involved. An entire whole human's life will be in your hands, and making the intentional decision to create a living being carries tremendous emotional, financial, and social weight. This is not a journey upon which one should embark cavalierly.

Unless you personally just really want a baby!!!!!!
abortion.jpg
From image by Gayatri Malhotra, via Unsplash, license.
It is worth noting that there are people who want to override such considerations -- who aren't directly affected one way or the other from carelessly bringing a child into the world and yet want to make other people do exactly that.

And that, along with the woman who wants to trick her husband into twenty years of childrearing or financial hardship, brings up the following:
Sure, you'll kind of be a rapist, but you'll be a mommy, too!!!

Your husband's personal reproductive agency and entire fucking self-determined future matter little in the grand scheme of the universe, which spawned from nothingness untold billions of years ago with the express purpose of leading up to this moment, in which you get the baby you are owed at all costs. It's a real gamble to think that your husband knows his own heart and mind; you'd really be taking a major risk expecting him to use his own life experiences, knowledge of the world, and hopes and desires to inform whether or not he wishes to be a parent. No way that works out! That's just topsy-turvy thinking all around!
The punchline at the end is good, too, but pales in comparison to what we face today, with the likely overturning of Roe vs. Wade: Anti-abortionists -- who have no earthly reason to offer for their contention that abortion is murder -- do not themselves want the countless babies this will cause to be brought into the world by unwilling people. In that respect, the letter writer is arguably, possibly a rung of hell higher than they.

The anti-abortion movement really is an attack on individual sovereignty, waged for pretend reasons, and -- we are being told -- on behalf of what are not yet human beings, much less individuals.

As the Ayn Rand villain, Ellsworth Toohey once put it, "Don't bother to examine a folly, ask yourself only what it accomplishes."

-- CAV

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