Abortion is generally held to be a women’s issue, but this is not the case. Considering the absurd ‘Protect Life Bill’ that has been preoccupying the House Representatives in recent days, it is very clear to see that it is also an issue for men. The reality is that it is mostly men who have been discussing this bill in the House (with only 72 women gracing the seats of the House). So, in taking this absurd bill seriously – making the life of a fetus more important than the life of a woman – men are saying that women’s lives are of little significance. The ‘Protect Life Bill’ is about more than taking a woman’s right to abortion from her. Essentially, what this bill does is force women to have children that they do not want, not to mention cannot afford, by limiting female healthcare in insurance policies and making health plans so expensive that many women will be unable to afford preventative measures of birth control.
In a previous article I have already delineated on the many ways the bill undermines the real lives of real women; but the predominantly white male House doesn’t seem to be too concerned. Why is it that, despite the economic crises and unemployment levels, the House seems preoccupied with writing grandiose pieces of legislature that are rooted in misogyny and bigotry? What is democratic about men making decisions on reproductive rights? Furthermore, when did the idea that abortion is exclusively a women’s issue become so prevalent? The reason why women get pregnant and worry about getting pregnant and need birth control is because the presence of men is so real.
Forgive me for stating the obvious, but men are involved in sex. It is not just women who want abortions; men are just as often, if not more so, in favour of them. Not all men want the ‘burden’ of fatherhood, at least not at certain points of their lives. Do the House really believe that men would prefer that their wives, girlfriends, sisters and mothers die (when their death could be prevented) to save a fetus? I suppose the conservative and fundamentalist part of the House is still of the belief that a woman should pay the consequences of sex; even if this does mean that she could die.