Reproductive Justice? Not for Men Hurt By Abortion

National   |   Catherine T. Coyle, RN, PhD   |   Feb 3, 2013   |   6:19PM   |   Washington, DC

In recent years, there’s been a lot of buzz about “reproductive justice” in the media and in political discourse.  For those not familiar with the phrase, here is a definition from Spark, a self-described “reproductive justice organization:”

“SPARK defines Reproductive Justice as a social justice movement rooted in the belief that individuals and communities should have the resources and power to make sustainable and liberatory decisions about their bodies, genders, sexualities, and lives.

Reproductive Justice is pro-sex, sexuality, gender, queer bodies, access to abortion and contraception, birth rights and chosen families, and so much more!”(

Still another so-called reproductive justice organization is The Women’s Foundation of California.  The foundation’s website states the following about their mission:

“Reproductive justice work seeks to expand and protect the rights of all women and girls to make informed decisions about and exercise control over their sexual and reproductive lives.” (

Sandra Fluke, composer of the one-hit wonder (“It’s my abortion and I’ll have it if I want to”) and former president of Law Students for Reproductive Justice at Georgetown provided testimony to Democratic members of Congress last year. The text of that testimony can be read here:

A common oversight in each of these examples is a complete lack of acknowledgement that sex and reproduction involves men as well as women.  (Don’t these people know where babies come from?!) There is no mention of men and no recognition of reproductive justice for them.   This is consistent with the pro-choice view of men as mere bystanders at best or as heartless intruders.  Apparently, only men who support abortion-on-demand are considered “equal.”  Ironically, it is women who champion equality who have put men in this unfair, untenable, and unequal position in which they have no legal power to protect their unborn children but are liable for 18 years of child support should a female partner choose to carry the child to birth.

A recent article by Raimundo Rojas drew attention to the consequences of the lack of reproductive justice for men. Rojas observed that men have “zero reproductive rights.”  That is correct; men, even married men, have no legal power to prevent the abortion of their unborn children.  This inequality has cost us dearly with over 50 million lives lost and millions of parents, both mothers and fathers, devastated by grief that may last for decades as demonstrated by Raimundo’s friend Julio.

There is a paucity of research regarding men and elective abortion. However, there are some common findings concerning the impact that abortion may have on fathers.  After abortion, men may experience ambivalence, anger, anxiety, helplessness, grief, guilt, and relationship problems.  Induced abortion poses a direct threat to masculinity and men may feel that they have failed as partners and as fathers.

Given the legal and cultural marginalization of men, they may be confused about their reactions to abortion and unsure where to seek help in navigating abortion’s aftermath. However, there are resources available for men including books, pamphlets, and referrals for counseling.



Information about these resources can be found at the following websites:

It is way past time to end the disenfranchisement of ½ of our population and to recognize men as having legitimate rights in terms of reproduction.  Common sense and compassion demand that men be acknowledged and justice be served.

LifeNews Note: Catherine T. Coyle, RN, PhD, is a leading post-abortion researcher.