As Father’s Day approaches, what is the role of dads in the Pro-Life movement?

Anti-Life activists have landed on a strategy that is new to them: engaging men in public conversations about abortion.  Of course, the abortion lobby wants to hear from men only if they support elective abortion for any reason without restriction.  This ground-breaking strategy, which is anything but, could ultimately backfire. As abortion activists demand men speak about abortion, they reveal how anti-Life and damaging their cause is and shed light on the countless fathers who regret the role they played in an abortion decision.

In one example of this bold, new anti-Life strategy Michelle Oberman and W. David Ball writing for the New York Times discuss the hypothetical example of John and Jane who conceive a child.  They come to the stunning realization, “If a fetus is a child, then John is a parent.”  Yes. Despite the anti-Life rhetoric that Pro-Lifers are “punishing women,” Pro-Life laws are not about punishment: the purpose of Pro-Life laws is to protect the innocent and defenseless preborn child from a violent death.  For this reason, Pro-Lifers rightly recognize women and men as mothers and fathers of their preborn children.

Oberman and Ball write, “Though it might seem strange to talk about men and abortion, it’s stranger not to, since women don’t have unwanted pregnancies without them.”  The Pro-Life movement has been engaging men for decades and offering support to mothers and their families through pregnancy resource centers across the country. Pro-Lifers are not the ones who have been banning men from conversations about abortions.  Anti-Life activists who insist abortion is a “women’s issue” have banned them.

Evidently unaware of these facts, Obreman and Ball state, “All men, whether leaders, legislators or just regular guys, should know that abortion is personal for them, too.”

In an op-ed for the Washington Post, Monica Hesse is more explicit about the fact that she only wants anti-Life men to speak up; Pro-Life men are not welcome.  “I’ve been thinking about men who support abortion rights and how they should talk about it,” she wrote. “It can’t always be only women who have to bare their souls in public.  It can’t be only women painstakingly sharing their stories in the hopes that legislators will listen.”

She condescendingly writes, “Men who support access to abortion are going to say wrong things and do wrong things, and they might feel awkward about it, and they might be gently castigated and encouraged to do better.  And the whole conversation might be incredibly uncomfortable, because these aren’t conversations anyone wants to be having.” Despite the fact that men are, according to Hesse, bumbling and clueless, she claims, “Men who support abortion rights should still try” to speak about abortion.

The examples of anti-Life men speaking publicly about abortion are enough to show us why this is backfiring majorly on the anti-Life lobby.  The big movement gaining ground in anti-Life circles is having men speak about how abortion has “benefitted them.”  That’s right, anti-Life activists think they will convince people of the moral rightness of killing preborn children by having men explain how not having to deal with or provide for their children made their lives easier.  This is, mildly put, not a good look. This also explains why a strongly Pro-Life state like Texas has ranked highly in holding fathers accountable and securing child support.

The Pro-Life movement has brought to light the fact that abusive men benefit from legal abortion more than anyone.  There are many tragic examples of the abortion industry ignoring or even covering up abuse.  Legal abortion means that men can take their victims to the predatory abortion industry to hide their crimes.  In several cases, the abuse continued for months or years with some victims undergoing multiple forced abortions.  If anti-Lifers actually wanted men to “take responsibility” as the article in the New York Times claims, they would not endorse a coercive abortion industry that aids predatory men and further victimizes women.

Additionally, asking men to speak about abortion highlights the fact that fathers have no legal rights to protect their preborn children.  When the abortion lobby asks men to speak about abortion, they cannot selectively ignore the stories that don’t support their position; they must grapple with the countless men who regret lost fatherhood and struggle with the role they may have played in an abortion decision.

This Father’s Day, the Pro-Life movement must speak about the vital role of fathers, including fathers of preborn babies.  No father has a right to pressure a mother into aborting his child just as no mother should have the right to kill a child.