Weekly hindsight
21-25 May 2018

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
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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.

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