By Dana Foley:
In February, a Waxahachie, Texas teen Garison Riggs Pate tweeted and since deleted a photo captioned he was going to commit “jihad on an abortion clinic.” In it, he was wearing a head wrap covering his face and holding gun. Though he was arrested and faces up to 180 days in jail, it has sparked a debate in the role men play in the legality of abortion.
Recently, the Trump administration has been attacking Planned Parenthood and trying to set forth more policies aimed towards eliminating abortions in the U.S.
Vox wrote an article explaining the President’s plan to defund Planned Parenthood by seizing their Title X funding, taking away the large amount of low-income women who rely on them for birth control and other health care.
Back in February, Trump also caught the people’s attention by tweeting about his strong opposition to late-term abortions, saying that doctors birth the fetus and then “EXECUTE” them after birth.
His words may have gotten a debate on the subject started, but his information was wrong. AP News wrote an article explaining the Governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo’s, defense of the state’s law to allow such procedures. Coumo wrote in the New York Times late-term abortions are extremely rare, and are done before the fetus is able to survive on it’s own outside of the womb. Cuomo writes the procedure is performed when the fetus has life-threatening conditions that could harm it or the mother. In that case, an injection is usually given to stop it’s heartbeat, or it is born and given comfort care in which the mother holds and comforts it until it dies naturally.
Interested in what people thought on this idea of men being the primary ones making decisions on the legality of abortion, I put a poll up on Instagram. First I asked whether people were pro-life or pro-choice; the pro-choice option had seven times more votes than the pro-life (16 people voted pro-life, 112 people voted pro-choice).
Then I asked if people though men in positions of power should be the ones making these laws, to which people messaged me their thoughts.
Most were responses like “No uterus, no opinion,” and “Men don’t experience hosting and growing another life inside of you so they shouldn’t be the ones saying what I can and can’t do with my own body.” However, some people said that it’s “Equal rights, equal say,” and “Men should have a say, but not as much as women.” Someone even said, “It shouldn’t be a question of legality, but rather morality. It’s taking a life and I don’t think you should have to be a woman to realize that’s murder.”
Most of the pro-life voters and the ones who thought gender shouldn’t matter in making laws about abortion were men, but a couple were women. What I thought was going to be a clear divide in opinion ended up being very mixed demographics.