Hadley Arkes, one of the authors of the Born Alive Infant Protection Act (stop and think about that for a second), starts off by discussing the Spitzer debacle, and then veers into very interesting territory:
Bernard Nathanson has told the story often that the mantra “her decision,” on abortion, came from the men who founded the National Abortion Rights Action League. It was to be “her decision” because it was “her problem.” It was a conception that put discreetly out of the picture the man who had his own, distinctive role to play in creating the problem in the first place, or the man whose refusal to take responsibility and stand by her now made the problem hers alone to manage.
This goes to something that we don’t discuss often enough. Men’s role in the discussion about abortion is an odd one, constrained in so many ways. We don’t talk enough, for instance, about what it’s like to be a man whose child is aborted without his consent, or sometimes even his knowledge until after the fact. And abortion-rights activists are very fond of implying that men who oppose abortion are implying patriarchal values upon women as part of a centuries old hegemony to keep women subjugated. But it is undeniable that a political discourse that insists on viewing abortion as a women’s issue, whether pro or con, removes men from the equation, and this severs the connection between the other participant in the creation of the pregnancy and its resolution. It takes two people to make a baby, and hyper-correct sex ed has inculcated in a whole generation that both people are responsible for safe sex. It’s time to extend that to include pregnancy. Insisting that abortion is entirely and solely a decision to be made by the mother (although of course subsidized by all of us) has the unintended effect of letting fathers off the hook.by