The LA Times alerts us to the plight of "post-abortive men," who are suffering unjustly and intolerably from their lack of control over other people's bodies:
Jason Baier talks often to the little boy he calls Jamie. He imagines this boy -- his son -- with blond hair and green eyes, chubby cheeks, a sweet smile.As well it might. You don't have to be a psychologist to suspect that Baier's fixation is indicative of larger problems, and that they existed long before he reveled in the ejaculation that got his fiancee pregnant.
But he'll never know for sure....Baier, 36, still longs for the child who might have been, with an intensity that bewilders him.
But in a world where misogyny is routinely confused with morality, pathology can easily pass for principle:
These days, he channels the grief into activism in a burgeoning movement of "post-abortive men." Abortion is usually portrayed as a woman's issue: her body, her choice, her relief or her regret. This new movement -- both political and deeply personal in nature -- contends that the pronoun is all wrong.Who on earth cares if this madness is "deeply personal"? Like the maudlin description of Baier's "child who might have been" (behold childhood innocence at its most beatific!), this language comes perilously close to glorifying, or at least mainstreaming, a reaction that's basically pathological. Sane people don't "talk often" with aborted children, any more than they celebrate Hitler's birthday or wash their hands twenty times per hour.
"We had abortions," said Mark B. Morrow, a Christian counselor. "I've had abortions."
I'm actually in favor of support groups for "post-abortive men," so long as they aim to assuage inappropriate grief and rage and textbook Freudian melancholy, instead of intensifying and exploiting them. You'll never guess which approach Morrow favors:
The activists leading the men's movement make clear they're not relying on statistics to make their case. They're counting on the power of men's tears.And God knows these men have plenty to cry about:
Morrow, the counselor, described his regret as sneaking up on him in midlife -- more than a decade after he impregnated three girlfriends (one of them twice) in quick succession in the late 1980s.Alright, then. Two decades after this fellow saw fit to behave like some jizz-spraying version of Johnny Appleseed, he wants society to acknowledge and honor his pain...not because he made a mess of three women's lives, mind you, but because he woke up one day wishing he'd forced them to bear and raise his children. First he wanted sex, and now he wants sanctity; either way, no sacrifice is too great for Modern Womanhood to make.
Here's another cute anecdote:
Chris Aubert, a Houston lawyer, felt only indifference in 1985 when a girlfriend told him she was pregnant and planned on an abortion. When she asked if he wanted to come to the clinic, he said he couldn't; he played softball on Saturdays. He stuck a check for $200 in her door and never talked to her again.It's sad that so many people would see this as evidence of moral progress, or at least a change of heart. It isn't. Aubert's "unease" is even more pathological than his indifference; it's progress only in the medical sense, like the progress from primary to tertiary syphilis. His post-abortive regret - which seems to be based on the crude assumption that he had some all-compelling power he failed to exercise - demonstrates perfectly why abortion must remain legal, and why men should never be given a formal right to decide whether a woman can have one.
Aubert, 50, was equally untroubled when another girlfriend had an abortion in 1991. "It was a complete irrelevancy," he said. But years later, Aubert felt a rising sense of unease.
Sorry if that sounds harsh, guys. I'm suffering from PMS right now, and my bitch of a wife won't bring me a Midol.
(Illustration: "Crying Man" by Kauzya Akimoto.)