john hex carter

I am a White Man With an Opinion on Abortion

If there's one thing this world doesn't have enough of it's straight cisgender white dudes telling you their opinions, amirite? And when it comes to abortions BOY HOWDY do we have a lot of opinions. As you can probably guess by the self-aware tone, yeah, I'm incredibly pro-choice. I can't really think of a time where I wasn't pro-choice, but to be frank, for the bulk of my life, I didn't really have an opinion. I was strictly of the privileged mindset that it wasn't something that impact me directly, it didn't really matter, right?

This past week, with Alabama Republicans signing draconian and barbaric legislation into law and similar stories rippling through the nation, opinions on abortion, the rights of people with uteruses, pro-choice vs. pro-life are filling the internet. A lot of the opinions that come from people that identify as I do - white, cisgender, heterosexual man - is usually filled with animosity, foaming at the mouth, and usually not argued in good faith. In my experiences, I usually open my mouth and talk more when it's time for a self-admittedly privileged dude like myself should listen, and so that's what I've been doing.

The problem with that is that leaves a cavernous silence as the only voices are incredibly loud dudes trying to drown out women and other people with uteruses (a community that the loudmouths generally don't care to hear from in the first place). To be a true ally in the fight for abortion rights, cisgender men also need to stand up and give our take.

A while back, my partner had an abortion. 

It's a point of contention for both of our families. My (mostly) liberal Californian family still don't like to talk about it and my partner's (mostly) conservative Kentucky family kind of bring it up whenever they can to guilt her over it. But it's something we proudly live with because it was the right thing to do at the time.

We already had one child at the time. She was actually an unplanned pregnancy as well, and we debated on terminating her as well. We're grateful that things went as they did with a safe and healthy pregnancy, but not all of them would be. My partner and I had taken steps towards birth control with an IUD installed in her. Turns out - it wasn't properly installed and was actually falling out of her, which is why it failed. The improperly installed IUD would not have made that a safe pregnancy for the child or my partner.

For me, it was an obvious answer: abort. I didn't want to chance anything with my partner. Having another child is something we might like, but not if it means doing it as a widower. My partner means the world for me. She felt the same way, so we arranged to have it done at our local Planned Parenthood. I accompanied her to the location. There was a pack of silent protestors lingering at the building the whole time we were there, so I was there to help my partner feel comfortable and safe while glaring at them.

The procedure went wonderfully. We were able to use that same location to properly replace her IUD. A lot could have gone wrong from when we learned my partner was pregnant to the procedure. And a lot of those possibilities were alleviated because of the ease of access to a properly maintained Planned Parenthood location. It was our decision to have our abortion and without that choice, I don't want to think might have happened if such a potentially dangerous pregnancy was forced on my partner.

Until this past week, when I looked back at this story, I didn't really see it as my story. I still thought of myself as a passenger in it all. It was an important party of my partner's story, but not mine as it didn't happen to me. That's a pretty bullshit take when the love of your life has an abortion. Just like couples talk about how the plural they are pregnant, I changed how I think of this now. We aborted. I'm grateful that, at the time, that it was an option, but to regress past that where, not only could the pregnancy be forced, but a miscarriage illegal truly is offensive.

If you're an ally for the fight of abortion rights, make sure your voice is heard. Make sure you're doing what you can to make sure that people with uteruses have their bodily agency.

Thanks for reading! If you enjoyed this, throw me some coin so I can buy more laserdisc:


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