Men are speak-ing up

Will you join them? Share your story #SpeakUpMan.

Jay’s story


I don’t think until I had a personal experience with abortion that it was on my radar at all. I think at best it was on my radar as a women’s issue that mattered to my mother or sister or friends, but it wasn’t really something that pertained to me.

I’d been dating someone for a while. We had sex, almost always protected, but not always. And one of the times, she got pregnant. We were pretty young, and so we weren’t prepared to have that kind of responsibility, either individually or together. We decided to have an abortion.

My experience, even just over the last few months talking about it, has been interesting in that most of the men that I’ve talked about it have shared similar experiences.

While this is an issue that should be about women’s choice, it’s also an issue that should be about men’s responsibility. Nobody wants an abortion, including the women who might need to have one. The fact that they’re forced to be in that position is often, if not almost all the time, a result of an irresponsible man. And I was one of those. And that’s something I’m deeply sorry about. And I want to make sure I can do whatever I can to make sure that other men can show up in a better way than I did.

Donny’s story


My wife, she was in so much pain. She was 30. So, they just kind of was like, well, this is part of you being high risk. We got the results back and shockingly enough they were very adverse. Nothing was growing at the rate that it was supposed to. The child was already 90% brain dead

So, they presented us with an option to either have an abortion or risk having the child and possibly she losing her life or they both losing their life, or the child being in the hospital for the rest of her life. She was just like, well, what do you want to do? And I was just like, if I had to make a choice, I’m choosing you. Because she already came into the relationship with a child. And I was like, I don’t want you to miss out on your child for a child that I’ve never even met. Ultimately, both of us, made the decision to have an abortion. I felt like it was the right decision. I wanted to protect my family. I didn’t want to lose anybody.

I have three daughters. What if this happens to them? This is not a show. This is not fake. This is not something that you do for clicks and likes. This is something that’s affecting everyone’s lives, whether they know it or not. And we’re going backwards.

Phil’s story


I was 16 and she was 18 years old, and her period was a couple of weeks late. And we were terrified. Fortunately, she knew about a clinic in Manhattan that did this procedure.

We were on the subway on the way home afterward, and we were in a kind of a stunned silence. It was almost like there was some parallel universe where that baby was born and we were poor and we were trying to live a life as a married couple with a child at 16, 18 years old. I would have had to drop out of high school. I wouldn’t have gone to college. I wouldn’t have met my wife. I wouldn’t have had my children.

After Roe v Wade was overturned, I gave her a call. And we talked about how lucky we were that we were able to make the decision that we made. We had no money. We had no resources. We both came from crazy, screwed up families. What kind of a life do you think we would have lived? What kind of life do you think that child would have lived? It would have been miserable.

The idea that we might be going back to that place where kids are going to start finding other ways… it’s terrifying to think of. When we talk about abortion rights, we talk about it as a women’s issue. And the decision should lie in her hands. But it’s a man’s issue, too. And so, men have to speak up just as loudly as women do. And our fathers and grandfathers and our sons need to speak out because this is our story to.

Samuel’s story


I had just finished up grad school. There was this friend who I had met through some other friends. We hung out quite a bit one thing led to the other. And we ended up being romantic with each other. I already knew I was moving to Tulsa Oklahoma; I had got a job offer. And I remember her giving me a call and letting me know that she was pregnant.

My first response to her was, you know what do you need? Like, how can I be of support? I didn’t want her to feel alone. She was graduating as well, and she didn’t know what she was going to do with her life. And so, we made the decision jointly that it was for the best of both of our lives to not have the child. And I thank her very much for giving me the opportunity to weigh into that decision, she didn’t have to.

It took me a long time to process all of my own emotions and feelings about that. I can only imagine what it took her. I know she’s married now. I know they have children together. And I know she seems very, very happy. I don’t know that that’s something I could have given her at that time. More importantly, I don’t know that I could have given a child the life that that child needed at that time.

Latino Catholic guilt never goes away. But that’s between me and God. One in five men has had an abortion. But no one knows. We have to tell people our story. We have to be in that fight, because it’s a basic human right, you know?