A man's right to choose, take four

A wise granddad puts some fellas in their place.


Lynn Harris
December 7, 2005 9:09PM (UTC)

Broadsheet is open to nuanced opinions on the matter of men's involvement in their partners' abortions. But we also heart New York Times reader Steven Lewis for his elegant response in today's Times, to Dalton Conley's Dec. 1 Op-Ed, "A Man's Right to Choose," which started it all. We quote Lewis' letter -- titled "It's Not Always About Dad" -- below:

"To the Editor:

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"As a dad of seven (and granddad of nine), I know well the rights and privileges and obligations of fatherhood. But this I know as well: conception is not pregnancy any more than a first sentence is a novel.

"No matter how many ways one looks at gestation, men carry none of the abundant discomforts, anxieties, transformations or perils associated with carrying a baby to term. (It is not so cavalierly dismissed as "attendant morning sickness, leg cramps, biological risks and so on.")

"Nor do we suffer the profound physical, spiritual or emotional trauma of miscarriage or abortion.

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"By its very nature, pregnancy is the exclusive and private domain of women. Men who think otherwise reveal a stunning lack of humility.

"Over the past 37 years of a life informed by children, I have slowly and sometimes painfully come to understand that it is not always about me. Someone who equates a father's relevance with the ability to obtain an injunction against abortion needs to look beyond himself for his place in the family."


Lynn Harris

Award-winning journalist Lynn Harris is author of the comic novel "Death by Chick Lit" and co-creator of BreakupGirl.net. She also writes for the New York Times, Glamour, and many others.

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