Banning abortion is a step toward equality. But it's not enough for real equality. We must go further. Or go backward.
Abortion bans are good for equality
Generally, a man and a woman are equally involved in conceiving a baby. But currently, the equality ends there.
The woman controls the decision to keep or abort the baby. If the woman decides to abort the baby without the man's consent, that is fine. If the man decides to abort the baby without the woman's consent, that is charged as murder. The man does not control the decision to preserve or abort the baby's life.
The man also does not control the decision to support a baby until adulthood. If the woman keeps the baby, she can ask the courts to hold the man accountable for the financial costs of that baby until age 18. We force men to support the baby.
In short, we force men to be fathers. If we practice equality, in life and law, shouldn't we also force women to be mothers? If men do not have control over the two primary decisions of reproduction, decisions that are life-changing for both babies and men, why should women?
Abortion bans are not enough for equality
If we want real equality, abortion bans don’t go far enough. Those only equalize one of the two primary decisions of reproduction, the question of life. We also need equality on the decision of support.
In other words, if men aren’t allowed to abandon a child, women shouldn’t be allowed either. They should be forced to support every child until age 18. Physical disability or mental health problem? Let's factor that in the same way we do for men, as a mitigating factor but not an excuse. Courts should prohibit women from putting a baby up for adoption. Also, courts should compel women to spend a minimum amount on each baby for 18 years. If they can't afford that amount, women should be arrested just like men.
This sounds horrific because it is. It's dystopian. But it's the logical conclusion of our current thinking. That's a hint our current thinking is flawed.
If abortion bans are wrong, child support is wrong
Women protesting against abortion bans often say, "my body, my choice." That is reasonable, even on a matter with life-and-death consequences. Nothing in our physical world is more sacred than our bodies. So what about the second decision, the one of support?
Maybe we should follow the same principal regarding both decisions. Maybe what belongs to us should be ours to control. Comedian Dave Chappelle explains:
The right to choose is [women's] unequivocal right. Not only do I believe they have the right to choose, I believe they shouldn't have to consult anybody, except for a physician, about how they exercise that right. Gentlemen, that is fair.
And ladies, to be fair to us, I also believe if you decide to have the baby, a man should not have to pay. That's fair. If you can kill this motherfucker, I can at least abandon them. It's my money, my choice.
This is the logical conclusion of a free people. This is equality that both men and women can live with, and support for each other. It may not seem perfect, but it's not horrific or dystopian. We each get to control ourselves, instead of the government controlling us.
Do you want to be authoritarian or free?