Your best take: Men and abortion

A reader explains the difference between a personal, difficult decision and being adamantly pro-choice


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Salon Staff
February 23, 2011 11:57PM (UTC)

Aaron Traister's story on why it's important for men to speak up about "women's issues" provoked a spectrum of responses from our readers. Our favorite came from viajera:

The difference between being pro-choice and making a personal choice

This is a wonderful piece - thank you! I wish more men would think and write so clearly and eloquently about these issues, as they truly do affect all of us.

I'd like to address one comment you made. You said: I don't understand how some people can be so unconflicted about being pro-choice.

There's really no conflict to be had there. You're conflating the idea of supporting the right of women to their bodies and their choice, on the broad scale, and the very personal and difficult choice of what to do with an unwanted or unhealthy pregnancy on an individual level. These are very different things. It is absolutely possible to believe that women are full human beings with sovereignty over their own bodies, and who should have the right to choose what to do with their own bodies, while at the same time feeling conflicted if/when put in the position of making that difficult decision yourself.

Speaking for myself, I can't say for certain what decision I would make were I confronted with the choice, having not yet been in that position. I do know that there were times in my life where I briefly thought I might be pregnant, but I was financially, emotionally, and physically unable to support a child at that point. I likely would have chosen to get an abortion, though the choice would have been very difficult and emotional for me. However, I certainly am not going to take it upon myself to tell someone else - let alone everyone else - what to do with their bodies. To paraphrase Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., "my rights end where yours begin". Every woman should have the right to make that choice, difficult though it may be.

To read the rest of the letters, click here.


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