abortion roe v wade
UNITED STATES - JUNE 24: Pro-life protesters react as the Dobbs v Jackson Womens Health Organization decision overturning Roe v Wade is handed down at the U.S. Supreme Court on Friday, June 24, 2022. (Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)

Roe v. Wade Overturned: What the Supreme Court Ending Women’s Right to Abortion Means For Men

Sit down, gentlemen. We need to have a talk. Today, the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, the constitutional right to an abortion. Women have had this right for almost 50 years thanks to a previous landmark decision. Now, in a 6-3 vote, the court has reversed that decision, turning the power to decide whether or not a woman can have an abortion over to the states. More than 20 states are already jonesing to ban or restrict abortion.

This is a big deal, and not just for women. Because, if you’re a man who has sex with women, this affects you, too. (And even if you aren’t having sex with women, hello, they’re your fellow humans, and should have bodily autonomy just like you do, right?)

But let’s get down to the nitty-gritty. What does this mean for guys?

Your Partner’s Life May Be at Risk

Just because abortions might become illegal doesn’t mean women will stop getting them. Oh, no. Desperation will lead a woman to have an abortion, even if it’s the back-alley kind. The problem is that the conditions of such abortions can cause all sorts of complications, like infertility, infection, or even death. If she decides to have a child, that’s not necessarily a safer option, either. Pregnancy can cause life-threatening health conditions in women, and according to the CDC, for every 100,000 live births in the U.S., 23 women die.

You No Longer Have a Say in How Many Children You Have

Ultimately, it’s women who decide how many children come into the world. Without access to abortion, that choice is taken away – and so is your ability to have a say in family planning. What’s more, even those who want children may be forced to continue pregnancies despite fetal abnormalities. Are you prepared to care for a child with special needs?

More Men Will Pay Child Support

No abortion access means more children will be born. All those children have fathers, and guess what? If you father a child, you’re legally mandated to provide financially for them.

Doctors Will Go to Jail

Men perform abortions, and states can now decide to send doctors who perform abortions to jail. Hopefully, you’re not an OBGYN.

Fewer Men Will Go to College

Were you capable of making intelligent decisions about your future in high school? Yeah, we thought not. Can you fathom having had to take care of a baby in your teens? Impossible, right? Well, as more teenage boys become fathers and have to help care for their children, fewer men will go to college. So found a study by the Journal of Adolescent Health.

Contraceptive Bans Might Be Next

If abortion becomes illegal, why shouldn’t contraception be, too? That’s the road we’re headed down now that Roe v. Wade has been overturned. Imagine if your partner didn’t have access to any form of contraception. Imagine if condoms were suddenly illegal. Last time we checked, the pull-out method had a miserable failure rate (about a 1 in 5 chance your partner will get pregnant). Those odds are not in your favor.

Gender Equality Will Backslide, Followed by Democracy

No one is free until we’re all free, right? Without access to abortion, any progress made by feminism will be stunted. Why is this bad for men? Because equality is key to democracy. “Right-wing movements in this country and around the world understand perfectly well that feminism is one of the greatest threats to oligarchy and autocracy,” masculinity expert and scholar Jackson Katz told MSNBC. “They know that rolling back women’s reproductive freedom is a key way to block women’s struggle for gender equality. And without gender equality, there is no real democracy.”

Society Will Pay the Price

You live in a society (we assume). When we all do better, we all do better. But when half of the population no longer has a say over whether or not she has a child, there will be a ripple effect. More child poverty, more people on government assistance, higher health insurance premiums (giving birth is freakin’ expensive, people), the list goes on. Not to mention that people who don’t want to be parents often make terrible parents. So now you have a bunch of uncared-for kids growing up into disgruntled adults — and we all have to live in the world together! No matter how you spin it, this is bad news for everyone.

Cover Photo: Bill Clark / Contributor (Getty Images)


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