By Rebecca Richmond
“Not a single boy from our club came to help,” noted the club president with a sigh. We had just spent two days outside in the cold, sharing the pro-life message with thousands of students on this campus. But it had been the women of the club who had endured the name calling, insults and outright hostility from their peers.
“There’s the problem,” I quipped. “You have boys. We need some men.”
Though pro-choicers will sometimes accuse our movement of being run by old men, the opposite is more likely true. Just last week, one protestor at UBC wielded a sign that read, “77% of anti-abortion leaders are male. 100% will never get pregnant.” I don’t know where the 77% statistic came from, for even a cursory look at the Movement would show the reverse. NCLN, for example, has an all-female staff and a mostly female board. Numerous organizations have similarly skewed demographics.
So I chuckle when I hear those accusations, but the reality is no laughing matter.
Through my pro-life work, now and previously as a student, I have been privileged to work alongside incredible young men. They are pro-life in principle and in action. These men often face more hostility, from men and women alike, whenever they are publically pro-life. They take the abuse in stride and continue to pray in front of abortion clinics, to engage in dialogue on street corners with Choice Chain, to stand in front of a pro-life table at the university centre, and to speak up in class. Unfortunately, they are rarer than they ought to be.
Sadly, although there are other men out there who are opposed to abortion, many won’t lift a finger to stop the carnage. They’ll give a thumbs up or a “God bless” when they pass 40 Days for Life, but you won’t catch them taking an active, let alone public, role.
Then, there are men out there who intuitively dislike abortion and who would support their significant other through a pregnancy, but they can’t “force their opinions on anyone else.”
Many more refuse to really look at the issue at all.
“What do you think about abortion?” I’ve asked countless young men on campuses and on street corners.
If I had a dollar for every time I heard, “I’m a guy. It’s a woman’s issue,” well, I’d be a wealthy woman.
These “men” place the issue squarely on women’s shoulders. Perhaps it’s because they’ve been brainwashed to think this is what respecting women’s rights is all about, and perhaps it’s because this “choice” allows them to continue living their lifestyle “consequence-free”. It’s probably a combination of both.
Abortion definitely affects men and women differently, but it is not solely a woman’s issue. It is a human rights violation and, since responsibility for this atrocity rests on both men and women, so too does the remedy.
So to all my stalwart, courageous, compassionate, selfless pro-life brothers: thank you. You inspire and encourage me. You give me hope for the future. Thank you for standing up for women, for babies, for the future generations. Thank you for respecting and honoring me and the pro-life women you stand with.
To all the other good men out there: I’ve heard you say that you’re afraid, nervous of saying the wrong thing, not sure how to handle the anger and emotion you might encounter. I know you have other things to do: commitments, ministries, jobs, activities. But are the fears and obstacles that hold you back more important than the cause I know you believe in? Please, won’t you stand up and stand alongside us?
Our society has more than enough boys. What are we need are many more good men.