Imagine if men were excluded from the abortion debate

The abortion debate has gone cross eyed in Europe this week as Ireland prepares to vote on loosening its draconian abortion laws, while Slovakia discusses restricting its liberal ones. The prompt came from a right wing man. Surprised?

Zuzanna Ziomecka
Zuzanna Ziomecka Gazeta Wyborcza, Poland
Imagine if men were excluded from the abortion debate - NewsMavens
East News

As far as I know, this doesn’t happen with other laws. When Americans abolished slavery, there was never any going back on that decision, was there?  When it became illegal to smoke in public places, smokers didn’t get that privileged back after a key election.

And yet, in the case of abortion, governments all over the world have the public support to go back and forth. Sometimes you can do it, sometimes it’s a crime. Sometimes a fetus is a human being and sometimes it’s a collection of cells.

Today I wonder how the issue would be play out if women dominated in governments. Bear with me. I know that women are very often passionate pro life campaigners and that gender does not predetermine a progressive world view.

But wouldn’t it feel better to work this issue out among ourselves? Without anyone mansplaining at us, without catholic bullying, without getting talked down to, interrupted and overlooked?

Though messy, I think that left to ourselves, we’d figure out a way to secure reproductive freedom without a violent conquering and subjugating of one side by the other. We’d conspire to make abortion a moot point instead of a powder keg doomed to periodically blow up in everybody’s faces. Because regardless of where we stand on abortion, no woman wants to be forced into motherhood. Or wants her daughter to be. I’m sure we would all agree about that.

Quote of the week

“If men could get pregnant, abortion would be a sacrament.”

 -- Florynce Kennedy, American lawyer, feminist, civil rights advocate, lecturer and activist.

These were the most read stories of the week

Project #Femfacts co-financed by European Commission Directorate-General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology as part of the Pilot Project – Media Literacy For All

The information and views set out on this website are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official opinion of the European Union. Neither the European Union institutions and bodies nor any person acting on their behalf may be held responsible for the use which may be made of the information contained therein.

NewsMavens is a media start-up within Gazeta Wyborcza, Poland's largest liberal broadsheet published by Agora S.A. NewsMavens is currently financed by Gazeta Wyborcza and Google DNI Fund.
Is something happening in your country that Newsmavens should cover?
Zuzanna Ziomecka
Zuzanna Ziomecka EDITOR IN CHIEF
Lea Berriault-Jauvin
Lea Berriault Managing Editor
Jessica Sirotin
Jessica Sirotin EDITOR
Ada Petriczko
Ada Petriczko EDITOR
Gazeta Wyborcza, Agora SA Czerska 8/10 00-732, Warsaw Poland
The e-mail addresses provided above are not intended for recruitment purposes. Messages concerning recruitment will be deleted immediately. Your personal data provided as part of your correspondence with Zuzanna,Lea, Jessica and Ada will be processed for the purpose of resolving the issue you contacted us about. The data provided in your email is controlled by Agora S.A. with its registered office in Warsaw Czerska 8/10 Street (00-732). You can find more information about the processing and protection of your personal data at