Abortion, viagra, what’s the difference, right?

I recently had a conversation with a family member of mine about the “controversial” medical procedure that is abortion. As we all know Texas has recently passed a bill limiting the access women have to abortions. The bill insinuates that six weeks is a long enough time for a woman to decide whether she wants to carry a fetus to full term or not. The conversation started out civilized; no shouting, logical points being brought up on both sides, and listening to what one another were saying. Unfortunately, like most familial debates we began to drift off topic. Many women today, even myself at times, have this mentality that “men shouldn’t have an input on what a woman chooses to do with her body”. As easy as it can be to hop on this bandwagon, I have come to terms with the reality that if we, as women, want men to respect our bodies and such decisions we make with our bodies, the conversation must be open to all in order for the latter to understand where we are coming from. Some may argue that men will never understand, and to a certain respect they won’t, but to disinclude them from the conversation will only insight anger and ignorance. 

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The conversation, as mentioned before, was going well until he stated, “I don’t care what a woman wants to do, but when it is coming out of my pocket is where I draw the line”. At first I heard his point, I respected the agency he was upholding in the conversation, but then I thought to myself, “ah viagra”. People and more specifically, men are so caught up in this mentality that healthcare for women should not come out of their wallets, however are ignorant, (and I use this word respectfully as a lack of knowledge rather than a belittling term it is usually misstated as) to the fact that men have viagra being prescribed to them as a governmentally funded aid for ED (erectile dysfunction). Men have a pill to make their sex lives more worthwhile and no one is up in arms about the idea. For instance, we don’t see men fighting in the streets, marching for their right to an erection (because they don’t have to) or women insisting that men shall not be granted this medical attention. So why is it so normalized for women to have to fight day and night for agency over their decision to lend their body to fetus for nine months when it is something they very much do not choose to do. 

All this is to say, that systemically men are respected in the healthcare industry more so than women. It seems to be no argument amongst people that men’s sexual pleasure is crucial to having a fulfilled life. However, we see everyday men, and women too, strongly believe that women should not be granted the same agency when pleasure is not even on the table, rather the discussion of allowing a fetus to take hold of a woman’s body. This however, is just the tip of the enormous iceberg that is healthcare disparities between men and women. Planned Parenthood for instance is a single organization that was set to sustain healthy sex lives for women all over our nation and it is constantly having to fight battles in order to stay afloat. The inequality set in place within the healthcare industry is systemic. Men, especially those in power have a real hard time allowing women to make decisions for themselves. The issue is prevalent and people are talking about it more and more each day which is reassuring that conversations are being had rather than decisions where we as a society sit by and accept the toll these choices have on women’s bodies. Keep talking, welcome other opinions, and don’t be afraid to question those who are even most close to you.

2 thoughts on “Abortion, viagra, what’s the difference, right?

  1. PREACH. Holy yes. Thank you for this amazing perspective shift. I never stopped to consider that our country actively supports men’s sexual health while women are forced to fight tirelessly for support or autonomy. The point about ED medication will most likely make a debut in my next feminist rant haha

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  2. This reminded me of the argument about vasectomies. For example, people are now claiming that it should be pushed for these instead because it is reversible and has alot less side effects. I feel like men need to be looked at more when it comes to birth control and care.

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