Births, control: Readers debate how much say men should have in abortions

 FEATURE, SEPTEMBER 9, 2010
HE'S NOT HAVING A BABY
A loaded propaganda extravaganza: Apparently the RFT has become the FOX News of St. Louis, erecting mountains of aggrieved "post-abortive" men out of resentful or religious molehills ["She's Not There," Kase Wickman, September 9].

RFT has unwittingly become a publicist for the Far Right's shibboleth about abortion's supposedly traumatizing effect on men. The plain fact is: Men don't have abortions. Another plain fact is that some little sliver of the male population whose sexual partners had abortions is upset by it, usually after absorbing political or religious indoctrination. The pretense that men generally are more aggrieved than relieved when they don't become unplanned parents is simply the latest fabrication of the Religious Right's war on women. After all, why should we worry about one in three women's feelings, when one man on the planet may regret that a woman he impregnated didn't want to be a mother at that time? I notice you didn't mention the National Institutes of Health various reports that the No. 1 emotion experienced by women after an abortion is relief.

This article was a completely loaded propaganda extravaganza of the Far Right. If your editors think giving the whole first half of an article to a decidedly minoritarian, fractious bunch of ax grinders and giving the last half to men who support the one in three women who do have abortions is "fair and balanced," you might as well publish Right to Life's press releases as objective news.
Pamela Sumners, Executive Director, NARAL Pro-Choice Missouri

Pro-lifers don't like us, either: It is such a shame that this article tries to act like it tells "both sides of the debate fairly." It is obviously a pro-abortion article. It's so sad that people that are for "rights" feel like they can decide who has rights and who doesn't. If we are really all equals, then don't we all have an equal right to live? Also, the pro-life activists who are mean do not represent all pro-life activists. Just like mean pro-choice activists don't represent all pro-choice activists.
Lindsay, via the Internet

Baby daddies have no choice: I appreciate that this article gives weight to both sides of the argument for fairness' sake. However, I will say this: I do not think that pro-life activists are simply using men as another jumping-off point for pushing their agenda. There are reasons that pro-life believers are concerned about the effects of abortion. I've known men whose partners have gotten an abortion without consulting them or letting them be a part of a decision, and this left them feeling very helpless. The idea of choice for a woman definitely leaves a potential father without a choice in the matter, and I can definitely see how this would lead to emotional difficulties for that man.
Nichole Zielke, via the Internet

More birth control, please: A man who utterly failed to use protection has nobody but himself to blame when the woman he impregnates decides to exercise her choice to either keep or abort a fetus. Sometimes birth control fails, and that is tragic, but when it was not used at all and neither party insisted on it, unwanted pregnancy is the consequence that has to be dealt with. There needs to be more education and availability of birth control!
Kittekaat, via the Internet

ERRATA
In last week's feature story about Black Spade, "Dig This," by Keegan Hamilton, we stated that the rapper grew up in Jennings; Spade was raised in Pine Lawn. We also misheard the lyrics from his song "Breakthrough": "I'll be damned if I made a cool rap song." The correct words are: "I'll be damned if I made a coon rap song." Finally, we quoted Spade as saying that his uncle was in the army. He later clarified that it was his uncle's friend, not his uncle, who served in the military.

 
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