From one of the few male readers to contribute to our abortion series thus far:
The ultimate decision is the woman’s. (As the old Southern saying goes, men are involved; the woman is committed.) But men need to realize that abortion is not solely a woman’s story.
I was 18, a college student, when a friend became pregnant the first time we had sex. It was, hard to believe, only the second time either of us had intercourse. We both knew immediately that we did not want to have a child. Abortion was still illegal, so it was a “friend of a friend” who put us in touch with someone (I have no idea if it was even a doctor; we were assured that “he knows what he’s doing”) in a state 800 miles away.
My friend went by herself. A friendly college advisor loaned us the money but didn’t want any further involvement due to the illegality. During the most traumatic event of my young life, I had no one to turn to.
Our friendship failed soon after; neither of us had any idea how to deal with this. We saw each other several decades later. We both had families and agreed that we had done the right thing.
In the 45 years since, I have never told anyone about this. But you can use my name, Peter Noris.
If you are also a guy who went through an abortion with a woman and want to share your perspective, drop us an email. That last line from Mr. Noris—giving us permission to use his name—stuck out for me because almost all of the dozens of women who have emailed their abortion stories have preferred to remain anonymous. One of the few women to allow her name be used, Danielle Lang, makes a core point about the social stigma that accompanies abortion:
I am one of the lawyers featured in the amicus brief profiled in Emma Green’s note, and, per your request, I’m happy to share my story (you are certainly free to use my name). My story is simple and unremarkable in its details but, of course, remarkable to me because access to abortion undeniably changed the course of my life. Here is what the brief said about me: