In story on the front page of today’s LA Times, “Changing abortion’s pronoun,” we find that men are having abortions in increasing numbers. And feeling just awful about it, according to the subhead:
‘We had abortions,’ say men whose lovers ended pregnancies. It isn’t just a women’s trauma, they insist. But critics see a political calculation.
Oh those critics. They’re always so cynical whenever the Ministry of Truth introduces a fresh and innocent new trope into Newspeak.
SAN FRANCISCO — Jason Baier talks often to the little boy he calls Jamie. He imagines this boy — his son — with blond hair and green eyes, chubby cheeks, a sweet smile.But he’ll never know for sure.His fiancee’s sister told him about the abortion after it was over. Baier remembers that he cried. The next weeks and months go black. He knows he drank far too much. He and his fiancee fought until they broke up. “I hated the world,” he said.
Really? Good thing you didn’t bring a child into it.
These days, he channels the grief into activism in a burgeoning movement of “post-abortive men.”
Yeah, that’s a name that’s sure to catch on quick. I can see the merchandising opportunities now — Playgirl spreads, Men of the Post-Abortion, a cartoon spinoff, Post-Abortive Man, Master of the Universe, maybe a romantic comedy featuring this new breed of sensitive man,Four Weddings and an Abortion.
Abortion is usually portrayed as a woman’s issue: her body, her choice, her relief or her regret. This new movement — both political and deeply personal in nature — contends that the pronoun is all wrong.”We had abortions,” said Mark B. Morrow, a Christian counselor. “I’ve had abortions.”
And, I have it on good authority, we all scream for ice cream. But I suppose you know what this means, Mr. Morrow? Justice Kennedy feels that you’re a bit too hormonal to make rational decisions about your civil rights, so why don’t you just toddle on off to the kitchen and let the pre-abortive men talk…?
Morrow spoke to more than 150 antiabortion activists gathered recently in San Francisco for what was billed as the first national conference on men and abortion.
And how nice of the LA Times to give Page One exposure to this hotel conference room full of angry, self-pitying gynophobes and their ghost zygotes.
Participants — mostly counselors and clergy — heard two days of lectures on topics such as “Medicating the Pain of Lost Fatherhood” and “Forgiveness Therapy With Post-Abortion Men.”
Followed by symposiums on “Investment Planning for Post-Abortive Men: The Best Ways to Save for Your Imaginary Child’s College Education,” and “Take Your Flushed Fetus to Work Day.”
The most striking session featured the halting testimony of men whose partners aborted. Baier, who now lives in Phoenix, told the crowd he suffered years of depression and addiction. “I couldn’t get the thought out of my head about what I had lost.”Since the concept of post-abortion syndrome first emerged in the early 1980s, some women have recounted similar stories — and learned to leverage them into political power. They speak at legislative hearings and rallies organized by the Silent No More Awareness Campaign. They write affidavits detailing their years of emotional turmoil, which the Justice Foundation, a conservative advocacy group, submits to lawmakers and courts nationwide.Last spring, the Supreme Court cited these accounts as one reason to ban the late-term procedure that opponents call “partial-birth” abortion. The majority opinion suggested that the ban would protect women from a decision they might later regret.
And while this reasoning might seem a bit sexist and otherwise suspect, it’s important to remember that intact dilation and extraction is an extremely rare procedure, and most women forced to undergo it had been trying to bring their pregnancy to term. So all you’re really doing by outlawing it is forcing a few women to have unnecessary abdominal surgery, and a few others to hemorrhage to death. And since Justice Kennedy had just finished reading The Lovely Bones, he knows the dead, unlike the living, have no regrets, and don’t need to be protected from the consequences of their crappy decision-making.
“It’s a rule of thumb that if you want to get a law passed, you have to tell anecdotes that grab people,” said Dr. Nada Stotland, president-elect of the American Psychiatric Assn. Antiabortion activists have done that well, she said. “They’ve succeeded in convincing a lot of the American public” that abortion leaves women wounded.Now, those activists see an opportunity to dramatically expand the message.The Justice Foundation recently began soliciting affidavits from men; one online link promises, “Your story will help legal efforts to end abortion.” Silent No More encourages men to testify at rallies.
But I’m sure these testimonials aren’t just cynical histrionics designed to restore mens’ traditional property rights over the uterus and its contents. And to prove it, I’m willing to make this offer: I will happily accept that we have abortions if, whenever a woman dies in childbirth, the father is immediately executed. It’d be easy. Just make sure that, along with the epidural, you have a lethal injection on hand, and you could do it right there in the delivery room.
Therapist Vincent M. Rue, who helped develop the concept of post-abortion trauma, runs an online study that asks men to check off symptoms (such as irritability, insomnia and impotence) that they feel they have suffered as a result of an abortion. When men are widely recognized as victims, Rue said, “that will change society.”
That’s what usually does it.
But the activists leading the men’s movement make clear they’re not relying on statistics to make their case. They’re counting on the power of men’s tears.
That’s what I hate about men. When they can’t win an argument with logic or facts, they always stamp their little feet and turn on the waterworks.
Meanwhile, in other news, Kim du Toit’s testicles just exploded.
Posted by scott on Monday, January 7th, 2008 at 7:29 pm.