In his ‘His Side’ column for The Root, writer Jozen Cummings tackles the impact that abortion has on men, a topic often met with skepticism before being summarily dismissed.
MUST READ: ‘My Abortion’: 26 Women Share Their Stories
As previously reported by Hello Beautiful, New York Magazine‘s Meaghan Winter compiled the abortion stories of 26 women, providing an intimate peek into the confusion, fear, loneliness and shame that women often feel in a nation that attempts to legislate our bodies.
In similar fashion, three men share their abortion stories with Cummings, who also touches on his own abortion experience. The results provide a rare look into the minds of men, whom as a collective, often remain silent. One man speaks of the distance he felt from the decision and the procedure; one speaks of his cautious relief; and one speaks of his confusion and pain.
Seldom do we hear about how abortion lingers with men long after the procedure is finished. Which, in truth, is understandable because their rights are not under attack and there is no war on them. They are not vilified for their decisions — or lack thereof. They do not have to lie on an operating table and literally face death. Still, they are often asked to simultaneously be father, bystander and silent partner. At the very least, we can listen to their lived experiences with an open mind — and, in some cases, an open heart.
We can realize that some men become fathers from the moment they learn of the pregnancy, and an abortion does affect them. Maybe not in the same ways, but in ways that are worth examining and, potentially, learning from.
Read why Cummings decided to explore these stories below:
The New York Magazine story mentions a startling statistic: One in three women has an abortion by the age of 45. What the article doesn’t mention is that every single one of them involves a man. I understand that there are many men who are the enemy to abortion rights, enacting legislation that makes it more difficult for women to do what they decide is best for their lives and their bodies. But we can be allies, too, standing beside women and, in some cases, standing up for them and their right to choose. We can listen, and though not understand the pain they feel, emotionally and mentally, we can be in concert with a woman because we know what it feels like to be a part of that decision.
Read more at The Root.
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