Quite a while ago, regarding the “Choice for Men” debate, Cathy Young asked me:
Yes, but the comparison is misleading; it implies that the disparity is caused by hypocrisy in the feminist position, when the disparity is actually caused by differences in male and female anatomy. (No pro-choicer would deny men the right to abortion, if men were physically capable of pregnancy.)
When pro-lifers say women’s chance to decide about parenthood is before pregnancy happens, what they really mean is, “I want to deny you one of your medically viable options.” There’s no reason, except for pro-life laws, that women can’t get an abortion after pregnancy begins.
In contrast, when I say men’s chance to decide about parenthood is before pregnancy happens, that’s a statement of biological fact. It’s not an argument in favor of denying men viable medical options; it’s an observation that men physically lack those options.
Although the statements look similar on the surface, the substantive difference between the two positions is enormous, and can’t fairly be overlooked.