In the fight over abortion, some claim that men have no right to an opinion on the matter. This is about a woman’s choice and health, they say; men have no grounds to speak into the issue like women.
However, from a biblical standpoint, such a claim lacks foundation. Moral duty is not an arbitrary social construct but based on God’s commands and character, and the judgments we must make based on these have nothing to do with whether we are male or female. If abortion qualifies as murder (and it does), then men and women alike have a responsibility to oppose it. To refrain from having an opinion on the matter is not an option.
In today’s society, the surface-level emotional appeal of this argument is understandable. It appeals to our sense of tolerance, liberty, and minding one’s own business. Dig any deeper, though, and the sentiment falls flat. Even without explicit reference to biblical reality, there are good reasons why men should have a say when it comes to public policy on abortion. Here are seven reasons why men have a right to speak out and should not capitulate into silence.
1. Men bear an enormous part of the responsibility for creating an abortion culture.
Negligent men/fathers are a huge factor behind the astronomical abortion rates, and so part of male public repentance must involve speaking against and shouldering much of the responsibility for abortion. Men have a role to play in abortion, at least insofar as their failure to commit to and support the children they have fathered drive many women to feel as though abortion is their only option. These men should repent and show the fruit of repentance by opposing abortion and caring for their children and the mothers of their children.
2. We were all once in the womb.
Men are not simply “male.” Their maleness is only one aspect of their being. They are also human: fathers, sons, brothers, children, adults, and former infants. It is unclear why this one aspect of maleness should trump other aspects, which may be relevant. For example, all males were once infants in utero. All males were once potential victims of abortion, and many abortion victims are, in fact, male. Why should these realities not impart to men a right to speak on the matter? Why should it only be that their maleness precludes them?
3. Every aborted child has a father.
A child is an extension of the father as well as of the mother. This is true objectively and scientifically as it concerns the source of genetics and DNA, and it is recognized socially and legally with regard to last names, dependence, custody, inheritance, and in other ways. The Bible assumes and affirms this reality as well (Genesis 5:3; Genesis 44:30; Micah 6:7). The child to be aborted is not an isolated unit but the fruit of both a mother and a father. Surely the father should have some say in what happens to the baby.
4. We are part of a society that is being deprived, annually, of hundreds of thousands of people.
Human life never exists in a vacuum, we are inherently social beings in relationship with each other. Over fifty million babies have been aborted in America since 1973 — close to a sixth of the American population. There is inherent value and dignity in each of these individuals, and it is mind-boggling to think of all the potential contributions to society and culture that this lack represents. If society generally is of public concern (and clearly it is), then men should have some say on whether such massive numbers of those coming into it should simply be snuffed out, or allowed to participate.
5. Taking a human life is always a public issue to some degree (homicide, manslaughter, war, capital punishment). There is no good reason why abortion should be different.
If abortion is indeed the taking of a human life, that fact demands a judgment from society at large. Taking a human life may involve homicide, which demands public trial and accountability before civil authorities. It may be negligent manslaughter, which likewise demands public evaluation and judgment. It may be war, which requires a declaration by public authority. It may be capital punishment, which is a public, civil penalty. It may be pure accident, which still calls for some kind of third-party determination to discern.
In any case, taking a human life can never be a purely private matter, and there is no good reason to restrict men from taking part in judgment on it.
6. Part of masculinity is speaking for the vulnerable.
Our society today will be less persuaded by appeals to masculinity. More and more the whole idea of “masculine” is seen as an arbitrary gender construct. This is an important issue in its own right, but at the very least, we should be able to agree that the stronger should protect the weaker. None are so weak as those in the womb, and so common decency (chivalry, some may call it) calls for their protection from any who are able — including men.
7. Possession of a uterus has zero to do with making moral judgments.
A final point to consider is that the objection that men have no right to speak against abortion because they don’t have a uterus is completely arbitrary. What relevance does that have? How does having or not having a uterus affect one’s ability to make valid moral judgments?
Sin finds refuge in unreason. The claim that men should refrain from condemning abortion for what it is simply because they are male is not a reasonable claim. It’s rather a facade, which can appear enlightened at first glance, but is, in fact, a refusal to honor God and his image in man and darkens the understanding (Romans 1:21).