Abortion for Men
Fr. Frank Pavone
Priests for Life
One of the slogans used by extremists in the pro-abortion movement is, "If
men could get pregnant, abortion would be a sacrament." The slogan, besides
being simply ignorant, is an insult to the Church and to the integrity of
pro-life people. Less crude expressions of the same sentiment take shape in
arguments like, "The prohibition of abortion discriminates against women," and
"Pro-life people are intent on depriving women of their rights." In fact,
pro-abortion forces took this argument all the way to the Supreme Court, but
lost in their attempt to claim that women as a class were discriminated against
by pro-life efforts.
The fact is that we oppose abortion both for women and for men. The
fact that men do not get pregnant does not stop them from choosing abortion.
Indeed, anyone who has worked directly to stop abortions has seen many instances
in which the "choice" in question was being made by the man, not by the
woman. In the thousands of case testimonies I have in my office, time after time
I read these or similar words: "My boyfriend wanted me to have the abortion; I
was unsure," or "The baby's father said that unless I aborted the child, he
Of course. Abortion is not about women's rights. It is often about men
wanting the right to be able to continue to have sexual relations without the
"intrusive burden" of the child that can come about.
Morally speaking, the sin of abortion is committed when it is chosen,
knowingly and willingly. Many factors mitigate the guilt, but the point here
is that the choosing of abortion does not require that one be pregnant.
Men choose abortion; men perform abortions. Men are therefore often guilty of
the sin of abortion.
Being pro-life is in no way to single out women for blame. Being
pro-life is about helping men and women alike to have the courage to do what is
right, namely, to conceive children only within the bounds of valid marriage,
and to protect all children who have been conceived under any circumstances.
Ministry to men is increasingly important, and Christians are responding more
and more. We see movements like Promise Keepers, St. Joseph's Covenant Keepers,
and the Catholic Men's Fellowship striving to meet the pastoral needs of men in
our day. We also see the post-abortion movement increasingly extending its
resources of counseling and healing to the men who have become entrapped in the
lie that abortion is a solution to their problems.
It was the promoters of abortion who from the beginning framed abortion as
simply a "woman's issue." No, abortion involves everyone. Once, at a Life Chain,
I was asked by a passerby what right I had, as a man, to say anything about
abortion. "I'm a human being," I replied, "and when my fellow human beings are
being killed, I have a right to stand up and say no." "No," that is, whether it
is addressed to a woman or to a man.
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