I won’t soon forget the day Morgentaler announced the opening of his Toronto abortion clinic.
I was taking the subway to the Carlton Inn where the press conference was being held, and, as if I wasn’t nervous enough, I ended up beside a young businessman who happened to be reading about our leading executioner in the Toronto Sun.
“I’m just on my way to see that man now,” I said to my companion. Presuming that I was sold on Morgentaler’s false altruism, the man remarked, “I hope they permit him to stary open.”
“Oh, you really don’t mean that, do you?” and I proceeded to explain my amazement that people could honestly believe Morgentaler was helping women rather than exploiting them. The poor guy – he walked into this conversation innocently. But, before he got off the train, he said, “Well, no matter what I have to say about the issue, it really doesn’t matter, does it? I’m hardly one to voice an opinion.”
And then it dawned on me – he shied away with the conditioned guilt we’ve inflicted on him because HE’S A MAN.
I stood up to leave and sympathetically replied, “Don’t you believe that; this issue concerns you as much as it does anyone else.”
As the train left the station, I turned to smile at him through the window. He left me convinced that part of the reason why abortion has been permitted to continue at such a chilling rate is because we’ve cruelly silenced half of our population – the male half.
Toronto Sun columnist, Dennis Braithwaite, wrote recently that the biggest negligence on the part of feminists is allowing men to “succeed” regardless of body shape. His point was that women in the media or political world (e.g. Joyce Davidson) must struggle to remain attractive to the public eye. Hogwash!
Perhaps our biggest downfall is the way we, as women, have hypocritically discriminated against men by accusing them of all sorts of nasty things if the disprove of abortion – just because they can’t get pregnant.
The logic is, of course, ridiculous. I do not have children of my own; I may never have. Regardless of the fact that I am childless, if I know the little girl next door to me is being badly abused, I’m sure going to do something about it. We are all called to seek justice, are we not?
Androgeny was a big fad a few years back. Women thought that it would be wonderful if society would endorse the male and female qualities which compose each one of us, regardless of sex. Yet, when a man who doesn’t particularly find Morgentaler a hero says he doesn’t like abortion, we tell him it’s none of his business! We call him an insensitive chauvinist. Ironic!
My disturbing little chat on the subway made me understand what Donald DeMarco meant when he wrote:
“The poor typical male of today: tenuously rooted to reality, vulnerable to one-sidedness, seduced by his environment into worshipping the computer and emulating the wolf, divided, disunified, depersonalized, distraught; might he be given a single sip of solace in the assurance that he is not clearly better off than his rival sex?”
Out of curiosity, I wanted to know just what that “typical male” thinks of abortion. Undoubtedly, I’ve been impressed by the opinions of such great men as Father John Powell, Joe Borowski, Bernard Nathansen and those who are very active in the various facets of the pro-life movement. I’ve also been greatly dismayed by the adamantly pro-abortion views of apparently intelligent men such as Carl Rowan, Pierre Burton and Charles Templeton.
But what about those men who aren’t right in the middle of the battlefield?
I decided to talk about it with a few of the men in my own little part-time world. In the summer I work at a popular bar in Brampton, so I meet many gentlemen from assorted walks of life. Now, it’s difficult to casually bring up the topic of abortion to unsuspecting men, but when I did, sometimes the responses startled me…
One group of four guys were flipping past the Sunshine Girl of the Toronto Sun and were reacting to an article on abortion clinics. It didn’t take much eavesdropping to realize that they were divided. One man said he hoped the clinics remained open, the other retorted, “they had better not.” The third retreated to the washroom and the fourth concluded, “Let’s not get into it.” A common response.
My manager, whose wife is expecting their first child, told me that his parents raised a mentally retarded girl who died when she was eight years old. The love she brought to his family outweighed any burden.
The only male waiter in the place, who rakes in about $85 a night for his “charming” service, was, to my surprise, adamantly opposed to abortion. He said that he would be unforgivably hurt if his girlfriend or wife didn’t discuss the pregnancy with him.
The bartender and one of the regulars also said something to the effect that they couldn’t deny that it was human life, right from conception, that it was being taken – but, alas, the final say is the woman’s. Chalk that one up to feminist conditioning.
One youth pastor who eats at the bar quite often, expressed deep sorrow at how cheaply innocent life has become regarded.
And our doorman “doesn’t like abortion,” but he said, “you’ve gotta have it.” That is the reaction of someone who received five years of private, Catholic education.
Generally, then, most of the men I spoke with weren’t in favour of abortion-on-demand. Not one of them really trusted Morgentaler. However, they often ended up groping for those cases of rape, and incest to justify access to legal abortion.
Can we blame then for their ignorance of those hundreds of abortions performed daily for mere expedience? After all, the isolated cases to which they refer are outrageously sensationalized to play on the public’s emotions.
Despite all of this distortion, I still firmly believe that there is, in the hearts of both men and women, an innate sense that tells us abortion is wrong, unnatural and dangerous to society in countless ways. We just have to expose that deeply buried intuition.
One young man I spoke to summed it up quite well. He said, “I never used to think abortion had anything to do with me as long as a I played my cards right. But the day I held my tiny 3-week old niece, I thought, ‘who could ever destroy such a beauty?’
“No matter what, there are other alternatives. They may mean a little more sacrifice, but we don’t need abortion.”