With recent changes on the Supreme Court, states across the country are vying to pass the most restrictive abortion legislation possible in hopes of setting up a judicial challenge to the landmark Roe v. Wade case.
In some states, the widely-held exception for cases of rape and incest has been discarded, meaning that women will be forced by the state to carry the child of their rapists and to give birth.
While opinions on abortion vary wildly across the political and religious spectrum, a look at the political bodies that make the decision about what women should be required to do with their bodies is dominated by the gender who will never face the question themselves.
A look at the overall numbers in three states — Alabama, Georgia and Missouri — by the Washington Post showed that 7 of 8 votes in support of those laws came from men.
And this, unfortunately, isn’t unusual. In 2012 a picture from a Congressional hearing on birth control went viral online because it showed the witnesses speaking — five men — prompting some female lawmakers to get up and leave.
Even in The Herald-Zeitung, the conversation about abortion is dominated by men. Guest columns and letters to the editor on the topic are almost always written by men who are, absent scientific or supernatural miracle, incapable of getting pregnant or giving birth.
Nobody is saying that men shouldn’t be capable of having an opinion on the issue, or sharing that opinion with others. This newspaper will continue to publish such submissions as it always has.
But it’s worth asking the question — where are the voices from the people who will actually face the question of an unplanned, unexpected pregnancy — potentially as the victim of a horrible crime?
The Herald-Zeitung is listening.