5 Men Share How Abortion Has Changed Their Lives

Eugene is concerned that the possible end of Obergefell threatens his family. He has two dads and a younger brother, who is 13. “Will he be taken away [from my dads]? This is what I fear every day,” Eugene says.

His dads don’t think Eugene should be worried because they think Obergefell is safe. He says they both used to be politically active, but after queer people won the right to get married, his dads tuned out of politics. “It frustrates me that they’re not involved,” he says. “I love them to death, but what they’ve done is place the color of their skin and the fact that they’re male over their homosexual identity.”

Aiden, 19, Washington, DC

When Aiden was in middle school, he volunteered for antichoice organizations, like March for Life, and crisis pregnancy centers. “Catholic school blurred my view [on abortion],” he says. “I got confirmed in the church and was in that weird realm.”

He can’t pinpoint the exact moment when he changed his mind. He recalls Supreme Court justice Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearings as a moment that pushed him to be more pro-choice. After both of his parents had medical emergencies, he remembers thinking, Why wouldn’t I allow someone else to have the right to make their own health care decisions?

Now a college student, he has ordered Plan B via a delivery app for his girlfriend, and he wonders if easy access to emergency contraception will be lost along with abortion access. “I should’ve thought more about having the right to do that,” he says.

For now, the state in which Aiden goes to college has a governor who is protecting abortion access, but, he says with a sigh, “crazier things have happened.”

Bryan, 34, California

When Bryan was in his 20s, his partner’s birth control, an IUD, failed and she became pregnant. (IUDs are generally considered one of the most reliable forms of birth control, with over 99% efficacy, though pregnancy can happen in rare cases.) The decision to have an abortion was immediate, Bryan recalls, and the appointment was scheduled for a few days later.

With his partner’s consent, Bryan talked to people in his life about what they were going through. Most women he spoke with had either had an abortion or knew a close friend or family member that had one. But not a single one of the men Bryan spoke with said they knew someone who had an abortion. 

Five years later, Bryan still remembers being surprised by that, but there’s a sense of clarity in looking back. “Given the social context and stigma, it makes so much sense,” he says. “Men don’t understand how their lives have been shaped and changed by abortion in every way possible.”

He counts himself among the men who didn’t know how their lives had been changed by abortion. After his mother passed away, he learned from his sister that their mother had had an abortion before Bryan, the eldest, was born. (“My mom didn’t tell me this, even when I was sharing with her about my partner’s abortion,” Bryan muses. “My mom notoriously voted for Republicans who were antichoice.”) After the abortion, Bryan’s mother developed her career and became the family breadwinner. 

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