Throughout America abortion has become a popular method of birth control, helping women who are put in positions with unwanted pregnancies, or those who just are not ready mentally or physically. When browsing the internet anyone who decides to search up abortion is bombarded with search results speaking on why abortion should be banned and news on where abortion is currently banned. When looking into where and who these abortion bans, and ideas are coming from many readers notice the amount of men who are creating and voting to get abortion bans passed. Abortion which is only preformed on a female’s body is being controlled by men who are not capable of bearing children. This is an enormous problem in the United States because it is giving men control over women’s bodies and taking away from their freedom.
First, abortion has been banned in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Minnesota, and Ohio. When exploring these bans each state contains laws that all differ to an extent. When looking into Alabama’s abortion law a writer from Aljazeera states “Alabama’s law would make performing an abortion at any stage of pregnancy a felony punishable by up to 99 years or life in prison for an abortion provider. The only exception is when a woman’s health is at serious risk.” Alabama’s abortion law gives no room for women who have been sexually assaulted or are dealing with an unwanted pregnancy to get out of their situation. Additionally, some states such as Kentucky, Arkansas, Tennessee, and Louisiana have passed trigger laws which makes some methods of extracting a fetus and preforming the abortion illegal, in return making an abortion impossible. For example, “North Dakota’s governor signed legislation that makes it a crime for a doctor performing a second-trimester abortion to use instruments such as clamps, scissors and forceps to remove the fetus from the womb.” North Dakota’s laws are similar to the other trigger laws, making it impossible to legally have an abortion. Although all of these laws can be understandable, especially towards pro-life activists many do not consider who is making these laws, and it is almost never female politicians.
Michelle Oberman and W. David Ball authors of the article When We Talk About Abortion, Lets Talk About Men discuss the problems of male influence in the creation and presence in abortion laws. Since abortion became a good method of birth control it has been debated whether or not it should be allowed, but when looking into who is creating the laws preventing it no one really questioned it until now. Oberman and Ball claim “The last time we included men in the discussion was 1992, when the Supreme Court wisely overturned Pennsylvania’s law requiring a woman seeking an abortion to prove she had first notified her husband. That’s right — attempting to give men veto power over women…” Although the Supreme Court has overturned the law, Pennsylvania lawmakers attempted to make it a requirement to contact and receive consent from the male. Although this may sound alright, not all unwanted pregnancies are the result of a consenting couple. Rape victims make up a large portion of women seeking abortions and most of the time the victim is not mentally stable and comfortable confronting the assailant. Additionally, attempting to make the woman obtain consent from the male who impregnated her can make her feel as though she is less that the man because she would need to get permission to do what she wants with her body.
Additionally, Ritu Prasad, author of Alabama abortion ban: Should men have a say in the debate? Speaks on the abortion ban in Alabama and the influence men have in it. Prasad begins by mentioning how the Alabama senate is made up of eighty-five percent men with a total of thirty-five members with a total of four women. Prasad explains “When a female lawmaker steps up to the microphone, she says: We do not police men’s bodies the way we police women’s – and this decision about an issue concerning women so intimately is being made almost entirely by men./Though women make up 51% of Alabama’s population, its lawmakers are 85% male. There are only four women in the 35-seat Alabama Senate…” (Prasad 5,6) Alabama lawmakers caused an uproar from many pro-choice activists and woman who believe that men should not have total control over the idea to ban abortion simply because it does not affect their bodies the same way it does with women. Once the law was passed many Alabama citizens were infuriated, Prasad spoke to Travis Jackson who was present after the law was passed and he claimed ‘“When it comes to the abortion debate, I think men should say it is a woman’s right to choose,’ he explains. “That is their body, that is their choice, and that is their business. No man whatsoever has a right to tell a woman what’s right for their body.”’ Additionally Prasad mentions “…Oren Jacobson, a founder of the Men4Choice advocacy group, also believes the issue affects everyone – but that male allies should fight for women to have the freedom to make whatever decision they choose.”Overall, many Alabama citizens believe that abortion should be up to the woman to decide, men do not bear children and should not have the right to control what women can or cannot do with their own bodies.
Lastly, a valuable solution to this problem would be to include more women in the never-ending debate. Although men hold the seats of many political positions, and it may not be necessarily easy for women or anyone to attempt to run for a position if they have no experience it would be beneficial if more women and pro-choice activists would join in the debates and demand for there to be more votes on topics that mainly have to do with women’s bodies. By doing so there will be more opinions circulating on the subject which in return can result in positive outcomes unlike what had happened in Alabama or Pennsylvania. Marjorie Dannenfelser, the president of the Susan B. Anthony List said, “Women are uniquely situated to talk about this issue, because we have babies.” Which perfectly describes why women should be the ones exploring and debating this issue, simply because they have babies. Overall, the main solution to this problem would be for women to join in the debated, and vote on what they want. There is power in numbers, and if the majority of the legislature is men, voting will help women keep their rights and potentially bring new ideas to the table.
Overall, the heavy influence of male presence in the creation and passing of abortion laws is not healthy for the citizens of each state. To solve this problem the most effective way would be by having a heavy presence of woman out debating and explaining why their bodies should not be policed. This would result in a more diverse set of ideas being presented and result in abortion bans to not be passed and other laws that have to do with anyone’s body to potentially not be passed or even brought up.