Should Men Be More Responsible Now That Roe v Wade Is Overturned?

Should Men Be More Responsible Now That Roe v Wade Is Overturned?

It’s been almost a month much of the country is still in a frenzy ever since the overturn of Roe v Wade on June 24th. Regardless of where you stand on abortion or what your opinion is, the SCOTUS decision is proving to make quite an impact on all sides socially and also within the US’s health care system.

In 1973, the revolutionary case authorized women federal constitutional protection to choose abortion, but now that it is overturned, the matter is left up to the states. This move has shaken many pro-choicers, and as a result they’re commanding certain efforts from men that actually aren’t all that unwarranted.

In a CNN interview, Vice President Kamala Harris shared a message to parents who are raising boys. “Everyone has something at risk on this,” she said. She continues, “First of all, if you are a parent of sons, do think about what this means for the life of your son and what that will mean in terms of the choices he will have,” she said.

It seems as though she might be alluding to the idea that young men would be wise to caution themselves before having sex with a woman and really consider if they’re ready and prepared for fatherhood, which is an objectively reasonable (and basic) request.

Kamala Harris isn’t alone in calling on men to get their act together and step up for fatherhood. There is now significant commentary from people who demand that men be included in taking responsibility for the lives they conceive, as if this request is a novel idea.

Here’s a question, how many people thought the overturn was only going to affect pro-choice women? Needless to say, a scarcity of access to abortion shouldn’t be the only thing that drives men to be mindful of who they are hooking up with and take responsibility for their actions.

Unfortunately, it remains a persistent gender norm that responsibility for birth control and reproductive health falls primarily on women. Though, that might now be changing rapidly so  considering how many men are now suddenly interested in getting a vasectomy. Perhaps it’s at least partially on us for failing to regularly engage with men and age-appropriate boys about their role in reproductive planning and sexual well-being. How much does your boyfriend or husband know about your cycle? Is he aware of what risks and burdens you take to stay on birth control? How is he taking part in that strategy?

If we want men to step up and take more responsibility, then we need to make sure we are properly enabling it by communicating clearly BEFORE sex happens what we need in prevention and what we expect should pregnancy occur. Ensuring that men are involved in the conversations around menstruation, birth control options, parental planning and other aspects of women’s reproductive health might be a good place for us to start in leading the way.

What are your thoughts?  What message can parents leave with their sons to prepare them for such a responsibility?  Leave your thoughts in the comments below.



  1. My father taught me that sex carried two primary risks, STDs and pregnancy. Prior to the advent of the Pill, the primary methods of birth control were IUDs, diaphragms, or condoms. With the discovery of antibiotics, condoms fell out of vogue until two new STDs hit, herpes and AIDS. Abortion wasn’t a discussion when I grew up because it wasn’t available.

    My father also taught me to accept responsibility for what was rightfully but not accept responsibility that wasn’t.


    Before sex, I would ask the woman if she was on a form of birth control. If the answer was “yes,” we went ahead. If it was “no,” out came the condom. As AIDS became more widespread, condoms became the de facto method of risk mitigation. I was never too concerned about herpes. I never asked them to prove they were using birth control, peeked into their purse, or checked their medicine cabinet. They could have been lying to me. By the late 80s, only relying on a woman using birth control was considered sexually irresponsible. Until AIDS, pregnancy was considered the primary unintended consequence of sex. Advances in contraception and abortion rendered pregnancy less of a consequence. “Took a risk and got pregnant? No problem. We can fix that.”

    Not to start a debate here but the whole abortion issue boils down to the question of when does a fetus acquire the status of a person with protection under law? Anti-abortion states move that line to the left. Pro-abortion states move that line to the right. Pro-lifers think the state can make that call. Pro-choicers think the woman can make that call.

    [Humorous OT: My ex-girlfriend’s method of BC when we met was the diaphragm. One morning I was pretty groggy, grabbed the wrong tube, and brushed my teeth with spermicide. The stuff tastes terrible.]

    I had one pregnancy scare with the woman I post about frequently. She claimed to have had an abortion after getting pregnant with a married guy at 19, 9 years before I met her. She hadn’t run any tests at that point so I said we’d wait it out until we knew. She looked at me and asked, “But, what if I am?” My response to her was “It looks like we become parents and sort us out later.” She turned out not to be pregnant.

    But, I’d thought a lot about it. If she chose to terminate the pregnancy, I couldn’t have stopped her. I would have tried to dissuade her and would tell her she could sign custody over to me and abrogate her parental rights. I wouldn’t go after her for child support. If she had gone through with it, our lives might be cleaner but it would have doomed us. I’d have been gone as soon as I wrote the check. She would have made her choice and I would have made mine. The future kid was just as much mine as it was hers and she would have denied me that. It never mattered to me that she’d had a previous abortion, that was between them. But, that’s me. Everyone is entitled to their own view on that one.

    I’ve taught my kids the same thing. Sex carries risk and they have responsibilities. My son is just as responsible for accepting, mitigating those risks, and dealing with the consequences as my daughter is.

  2. Quite interesting for women to now demand that men be “interested” in fatherhood, when women have spent the last 80 or so years telling men they’re worthless and not needed.

    It’s funny that women now demand men be “responsible” while at the same time rewarding irresponsible, dissolute jerks with sex.

    It’s really rich to see women demand that men “step up” when before, you women were telling men to shut up and go away.

    I think vasectomies are great ideas and most men should be getting them. Nothing says “I am not going to commit to you or marry you” like “I’m getting sterilized”. Most women don’t want most men anyway, so it should be just fine with women.

    Women have spent the last several decades crapping all over men and telling them they’re not wanted, not needed, unnecessary, superfluous, and unattractive. Don’t be surprised when men take women up on it.

    • Saying that women have been telling men they’re “worthless and not needed” for the last 80 years is quite a broad brush to paint with. Gender roles have changed a lot, but it’s a complex issue with many shades of grey.

      Vasectomies are becoming more popular. It seems to reflect a shift towards men taking more responsibility in birth control, which is arguably a positive change. But saying that “most” men “should” be getting them is a bit of an overstatement. Decisions about reproductive health are deeply personal and should be left to the individual.

      Some men might feel they’re not wanted, and that’s a concern for sure, but there are many who feel appreciated and important in their relationships with women.

  3. It’s really funny that women want men to be “responsible” parents while abortion rights activists at the same time demand that men have no say in whether abortions happen.

    If abortion rights activists are serious about abortion rights, then they need to be OK with men practicing “financial abortion”, or men saying “I don’t want to be a father and I will not support any child you have. Since you get to decide whether to have the baby or abort it, you can bear the financial consequences of your decision: If you want an abortion, you pay for it. If you want to have the child, you pay for it. You do not get to exclude men from the decisionmaking process while at the same time demanding that men pay for whatever you’ve decided.”

    • Yeah I definitely think men should have the right to walk away and sign away his rights, privileges and responsibilities during the time of pregnancy, without consequence.

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