The moment a woman learns she is pregnant can be the best, or worst, day of her life. There are few such monumental pieces of news which can cause such a range of emotions. And no one who is not that woman can possibly know how it feels. There is a reason it is called planned parenthood, because bringing a child into the world can be the most unbelievably rewarding experience but also an enormous responsibility emotionally, physically, and financially.
It would be a perfect world where a woman could get pregnant when she wanted to and not when she didn’t want to. The world, however, is not perfect. So, she faces choices.
What we don’t hear about as much is men and their choices. The immaculate conception as far as I know has only successfully been argued once, so men are always involved in pregnancies. Sperm donors aside; for men, is it your intention, every time you have sex, that you are prepared to create a child and care for it physically and financially until it is 18? Will you always use protection and not complain that the experience is akin to eating a January tomato?
Unless you are someone who only finds post-menopausal women super-hot (and good for you), if Roe v. Wade gets overturned, this could be your reality. There is a thing called DNA testing for paternity so the days of “don’t blame me ‘cause the rabbit done died” won’t cut it. Male legislators who are concerned about preventing abortions could absolutely band together with the solution to require mandatory vasectomies for men, which could then be reversed when they wanted to have a child (with a note of permission from his wife.)
Guys, I hear you cringe. Because that might feel like — what, the government regulating your body and reproductive rights?
So, with states now like Alabama voting to put a total ban on abortions (even in cases of rape and incest), I would suggest non-celibate men either stand up for women’s rights or find some warm apple pies, because Alabama has some laws for you too about unplanned parenthood.
“Both parents, whether married or not, have a legal duty to support their children financially. Alabama, like most states, has very specific rules for determining the financial responsibilities of single, separated, or divorced parents and for ensuring that parents pay support. These rules can be fairly complicated. If you find yourself having trouble wading through all of the forms and calculations, you should contact an attorney for help.” Better start the college and your legal fund now. Hope the legislature puts equal effort into enforcing child support and welfare programs.
While pleasure and procreation remain uneasy bedfellows, the overall best choice is for both men and women to prevent unwanted pregnancy in the first place. One study showed the lowest rate of abortions since Roe v. Wade occurred with the improved contraception access when the Affordable Care Act was established. But that perfect world of 100-percent effectiveness doesn’t exist either.
So, we are back demonstrating.
Our mothers and grandmothers fought for the reproductive rights which child-bearing age women now have today. I hope even if they don’t remember that dark, dangerous back-alley era, they will fight for their own health. Because too many women, the women who didn’t have choices, had the worst day of their life turn into the last day of their life.