Women don’t spontaneously get pregnant. As a guy, I don’t know much, but I’m pretty sure that’s not how it works.
Nor does any woman, I believe, naturally desire the death sentence for any child conceived within her womb. No woman walks into an abortion clinic because of her choice, but rather because of a perceived lack of choice. She feels alone, abandoned, and without options.
As a man, I place a large portion of the responsibility upon men for abortion.
“Take Care of It”
We who have been brought up in the aftermath of the sexual revolution have been taught to “protect” ourselves with condoms, but not to act with self-control and true “responsibility.” The sexual act between a man and a woman entails the possibility of new life. That’s biology. It’s just how it works. Sex has consequences. To try and stifle that biological fact leads to violence against the human person and to the unrepeatable life created in conception. But if we’re already closed off to the possibility of caring for a new life at the onset of sex, then we’re that much more likely to try to “fix” the consequences.
“Take care of it.”
“Here’s some money.”
“I’m not raising a baby with you.”
In Genesis, we see how Adam is entrusted with the duty to guard and protect his wife, the woman under care and charge. He fails almost immediately. He neglects her and blames her for his downfall. He looks for anyway out of acting with responsibility. He failed to love Eve. This failure ripples on and on.
The sin of murder, in particular infanticide, spans recorded history. The Canaanites would sacrifice babies to the pagan deity Moloch (Leviticus 20: 1-4; Wisdom 12:3-7), many children deemed “unworthy” were left to die in both ancient Greece and Rome, and in the 3rd century BC, philosopher Han Fei Tzu wrote, “As to children, a father and mother when they produce a boy congratulate one another, but when they produce a girl they put it to death.” Yikes. Since 1973 and the Roe vs. Wade Supreme Court decision, over 50 million babies have been aborted in the United States, and a 2004 Guttmacher study revealed that 86% of all abortions are done out of pure convenience (rape and incest each were cited by less than half of a percent).
It’s a great evil that we have wedded the phrase “women’s health” with the greatest violence that could be done to a woman: the murdering of her child. Nothing could be further from a woman’s physiological, mental, emotional, and spiritual health than abortion. Sure there have been callous and self-centered female leaders throughout history that share the blame in advancing this movement (Margaret Sanger comes to mind), but I believe it ultimately comes back to men not being self-sacrificial enough to care for any new life they have played a part in conceiving.
Men, we are responsible.
We are responsible when—as if we were claiming the virtuous choice for washing our hands clean—we say, “It’s a woman’s decision. Who am I to tell her what to do?”
We are responsible when we take the cowardly way out and abandon our women when they need the most support.
We are responsible for doing nothing in the face of evil.
Yes, there are virtuous men who take responsibility and desire for their “unplanned” child to live (but don’t always get a say in the matter). But many more men simply do nothing.
A baby makes demands on you, no doubt about it. As a new father myself, I’ve had to die to myself in hundreds of little ways. When all I want to do is sit and read a book, stare at my iPhone for hours on end, or simply close my eyes on an airplane, my daughter is there as a living reminder that this life is not “all about me.”
What an exhausting and amazing gift! It is so humbling and freeing. My daughter, just by her existence, reminds me to get over myself. This life is not all about me. The child teaches us this. As William Wordsworth wrote, the child is truly the father of the man. It’s a lesson too many men never learn because they’ve wasted away their fertility, their God-given gift and responsibility to bear new life.
“Man cannot fully find himself, except through a sincere gift of himself.”
– St. John Paul II, Gaudium et Spes
We’ve lost our God-given desire to strive for greatness. We settle too quickly for what’s pleasurable, comfortable, and whatever satisfies our “animal” instincts. And anything that inconveniences my pleasure, I get rid of.
But we’re not animals. We have a special place in creation. And with roughly 3,000 abortions happening across America each day, 3,000 musicians, poets, presidents, and doctors are daily snuffed out of creation.
But we can change the course. We can stop looking at children as a “burden” and re-see the transformative beauty of the human person before us. We can speak out for those who have no voice and give assistance to the women who are teetering upon the horrible decision to be rid of their child.
We can be men for others. For our children, and our children’s children.
Because if good men do nothing, what hope do we have?
“Silence in the face of evil is evil itself.”