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Prohibition of Abortion in Alabama: Should Men Participate in the Debate?



10 Republican Senators from AlabamaCopyright on the image
http://www.alsenaterepublicans.com/

Most US states that banned or severely restricted access to abortion were voted by male politicians. Should men have the right to pronounce a question that affects so many women?

The corridors leading to the Alabama Senate are lined with black and white photos of past legislative sessions – each poster framed as a page of the yearbook by a well-known male-only school.

But in the vague public gallery looking down at the Senate floor, many of the places are full of women. They are young and old, some in costumes, others in bright shirts with slogans of choice, placed on the front.

They watch how drama is played in the camera below, as a handful of Democrats and even fewer women express their indignation at the abortion bans, which will only take a few hours and a day, become law.

The activists next to me in the gallery laugh and sigh with every argument and answer. Some call "Amen!". in line with the debate.

When a female lawmaker approached the microphone, she says, "We do not organize the male body the way the police women" – and this decision about a female question is so intimately made by men.

Although women account for 51% of Alabama's population, MEPs account for 85% of men. There are only four women in the 35-seat Senate of Alabama and they are all democrats.

Media playback is not supported on your device

Title of the mediaA new law in Alabama makes abortion illegal in almost all cases

Outside the strict white walls of the State House on Tuesday night, women were a majority. Groups of supporters of the choice of hours in the yard held signs calling for freedom of abortion, so that women themselves can decide what is going on with their bodies.

Delaney Burlingham, one of the young activists I met there, told me: "These people are not interested in the protection of human rights.

"They just want to be able to say," I control what's going on in your body. "

So, should people participate in this debate at all?

The prohibition of abortion in Alabama, one of several in the rise of anti-abortion legislation in the Trump era, has resumed the debate over another key question: Should men participate in this battle at all?

Internet forums such as Reddit and social platforms such as Twitter and Facebook are full of arguments for both sides. Yes – these laws affect everyone, including men. No – women only get pregnant, so why letting men decide?

Travis Jackson is one of the few men who joined the protests in front of the Montgomery capital and dressed in a shirt that says: "True men support women's rights.

But Mr Jackson would not offer his own opinion on abortion, namely, instead preferring to remain silent about the specifics, as "women are the only experts when it comes to their bodies."

"When it comes to a debate about abortion, I think men should say that this is the woman's right to choose," he explains.

"It's their body, that's their choice, and that's their business. No one has a right to tell the woman what's right for their body."

Jordan Kiser is against abortion, but says he thinks Mr Jackson's decision is "honorable" and that men have to "share their privileges."

"Believe women, believe women. If they tell you that they feel in a certain way or that this is their experience, you [as a man] do not say no, it's not, "he says.

Mr Kizer is part of New Wave Feminists Group in Austin, Texas, which seeks to promote women's rights as a means of making abortion "inconceivable and unnecessary."

"I think a woman must absolutely have the word about her body, I just paint the border between her body and that different body inside her body," he says. "I know this is a complicated distinction for some.

On the other side of the debate, Oren Jacobson, founder of the Men4Choice advocacy group, also thinks the issue is all about – but allies must fight for women to have the freedom to make whatever decision they choose.

"Too many people who choose to choose, think that this is just a matter for women and that is not their place. This is an issue that affects us all and will require all of us to engage if we want to create a society in which everyone is free to pursue the life they imagine for themselves and their family. "

Mr. Jacobson tells me that the issue is not about abortion, but about freedom and control.

"No one can be free if he does not control his own body, his own healthcare and his own reproductive decisions." The role of men is to protect the fundamental freedom and dignity of all people.

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Title of the mediaDina had to give birth to her rapist's child – in banning Alabama's abortion, women had no choice

Anti-abortion activists, however, argue that putting the burden of choice entirely on women repels men and allows them to avoid the responsibilities of paternity.

Derrick Jones, communications director of the oldest American Abortion Group, the National Commission on the Right to Life (NRLC) told me that men should participate in the discussions because "statistically speaking, half of the children aborted every year , are men ".

"To say that this is entirely a woman's problem, it misses the sense that it is much bigger than that. It's a matter of human rights, to say you're a man, you do not carry that child, for to reject the idea that men may have an opinion about human rights being insulting. "

Mr. Jones adds that there must be "absolute" representation of women when it comes to legislative bodies like Alabama but notes that many of the leaders of the abortion movement are women.

Women are equally divided with regard to men

Carroll Clark was one of the first protesters to appear before the Montgomery State House and stayed in the night until the bill passed to the Senate.

"Let a woman choose what she will do with her body," she told her, his voice breaking with emotion. "That's not his body. She is a body.

This view is repeated by most of the women I spoke with during the protests in Alabama; that women should dictate abortion laws because women have to wear the baby, have to deal with the social and medical consequences of pregnancy and have a child.

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Title of the media"Abortion is wrong" – women in Alabama are reacting to the bill there

But there are many women in the streets of Montgomery's center – and many other US states with conservative inclinations – who do not allow this choice.

Some are shades – like a mother who can only say she is against abortion, but it's "complicated" – but others are just as hard as some Republican legislators – like two young women who told me that abortion should be banned even in cases including rape, incest or maternal health.

Catherine Coyle, a psychologist and advocate of human health and rights, says that giving women "unilateral authority in abortion decisions is incompatible with the idea of ​​gender equality."

"As equal citizens." [men] She must certainly have the right to express her views on the issue of abortion, says Mrs. Coyle. "As co-creators of life, they must be recognized as a legitimate interest in the protection of this life."

Where do most Americans stand?

For the whole debate, the views on abortion across the country are broadly the same for both sexes.

According to a Pew Research Center survey of 2018, 60% of women claim that abortion should be legal in all or in most cases, with 57% of men agreeing.

About 60% of the black and white Americans surveyed also supported legal abortion in most cases, although support was lower among the Americans at 49%.

But in the context of choice or abortion, Gallup's study of 2018 found that the country was evenly divided. Even among women, 48% were identified as pro-choice and 47% as anti-abortion.

Gallup also said that although about eight out of ten Americans believe that abortion should be legal in all or some of the circumstances, the further study of their attitudes reveals that the public prefers more restrictive rather than less restrictive laws " .

Do men really do these laws?

It is true that in countries with more conservative abortion laws, men make up a larger percentage of the law houses.

In Alabama, although the governor who signed the abortion bill is a woman, the CAWP has still ranked Alabama as 47 out of 50 on women's representation in the legislature.

And while women saw big profits in the state services during the mid-term elections in 2018, the vast majority of these new women deputies were democrats who supported election laws.

Analysis in Washington A post of state legislatures in Alabama, Missouri and Georgia found that out of 367 votes in favor of the abortion bans, seven out of eight voices are from men – and mostly from Republicans. Out of a total of 154 votes against in the chambers, more than half are women, although most women legislators even at the state level are democrats.

Copyright on the image
Reuters

Image caption

Governor of Alabama Kay Ivy signs the law

In the four countries that have endured six weeks' abortion bans – "heartbeat bills" – this year women make up 23% of the state legislator, according to the CAWP. Mississippi is the lowest of this group and nation, with women having just over 13% of the seats.

However, abortion activists quickly point out that the ban on Alabama is sponsored by state congressman Terry Collins and is signed by the law by one of the few women governors of the country, Kay Ivy.

The fate of Herdon-de-la-Rosa, founder of New Wave feminists, adds: "The irony is that the older white men gave us a roe [vs Wade] on first place."

"We tend to choose which old white men we want to agree on, and you have to overcome this and realize that many of the people in this [anti-abortion] the movement is very varied, and we are women.


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