Over the past couple of months, I had a couple of guy friends ask me how they can tangibly help protect a woman’s right to choose. The question beneath the surface: What role should I be playing and how do I go about doing that? The reality is, that over the past couple of months there are probably quite a few men across the nation that are asking themselves these same questions. While we need more men to be vocal in the fight for women’s reproductive rights, men and groups like Men4Choice are not the leaders of this movement. When Men4Choice was created, we sought input from partner organizations and leaders in this movement, built a diverse all women advisory board, and took lead from their guidance. Our role is to follow, support, and serve. So how does a guy go about doing that?
Here are some quick tips of information before jumping in:
1. Talk to Women
After all, this is about them. Talk to the women in your lives about their experiences. Start the conversation and ask them about circumstances they’ve encountered that you might have not thought about before.
2. Get Educated
It seems like everyday there’s a bill being introduced that puts one more restriction in place, making it more and more difficult for women to get the reproductive healthcare they deserve. There’s so much information out there, so get educated on what has led to this point, and why the climate is what it is today. You can start by checking out Planned Parenthood’s 100 year history, or their infographic on creating a healthier world for everyone. Then dive into the facts. The Guttmacher Institute always has the important stats you’re probably already asking yourself. From there, The Indivisible Guide is a great resource on action items you can take. All of these will prepare you when it’s time to act.
3. Use Your Voice
Our voice carries weight. Use it. As a supporter for the reproductive rights, we have the responsibility to speak up around other men. More importantly, Call bullshit when you see it. Call bullshit when you hear it in a bar. Call bullshit when you’re at a sports game. Call bullshit when you’re elected officials don’t see reproductive rights are a priority.
4. Stay Informed
Yes, there are days we all ignore what’s happening in the world just so we can get through the day. But, by focusing on local issues where we can make an impact will help relieve the anxiety we’re all feeling. Here are some organizations you should consider following on social: NARAL, Planned Parents Illinois Action, Midwest Access Coalition, the ACLU of Illinois and Men4Choice. These organizations are on top of their games fighting every day for reproductive rights. They’ll provide you all the information you’ll need to know about what to be aware of, and how you can use your voice to create change.
If someone asked you why you’re pro-choice, would you have a thought out answer? If you haven’t already thought about an answer, check out what some of the leaders in the Men4Choice organization have to say about supporting reproductive rights. Your #ThisisWhy doesn’t have to be long, but making sure you know why will help you articulate why it’s important to you when speaking with others.
46% of men are pro-choice, and it’s about time all of those men start doing their part. Let’s get educated, let’s be visible, and let’s do our part to protect women’s reproductive healthcare.