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What Do Men Say in Defense of Abortion?

Updated: 2 days ago

Access to health care for women, trans men and pregnant women is a human right that should not be questioned. However, the debate for the defense of abortion is positioned in public opinion and beyond limiting the discussion to personal opinions, it makes visible the reality of abortion as a public health issue and the need to prioritize the situation of pregnant women who want to terminate a pregnancy.

Considering that it is an issue of collective interest, we interviewed 5 men* of different ages and professions to learn about their perspective on abortion and to reflect on how they might participate both personally in decision-making and in collective actions to support the struggle for decriminalization.

Some names have been changed to protect the identity of individuals.*some names have been changed to protect the identity of individuals*.

"Abortion should be a woman's decision in respect for autonomy over her own body."

Alvaro Martinez, 53 years old, is an OB/GYN doctor and has 3 daughters. He believes in defending abortion because it should be a woman's decision, respecting her autonomy over her own body, as described in international conventions such as the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) or Belém do Pará. The Venezuelan State, by accepting them, is obliged to comply with them, she points out.

For Martinez, abortion is also a men's issue because patriarchy teaches us that women's bodies and sexuality belong to us. This is a belief that is very present in society and must be dismantled. That is why it is important to talk about it, to explain it so that it is understood and so that each person reflects on it. In her consultations she tries to give adequate and complete information so that people can make decisions without external pressures.

"Criminalization doesn't make women not have abortions or fewer abortions, it makes them seek unsafe conditions to have abortions."

Juan Rodriguez, a 30-year-old lawyer, believes that people have the right to have control over what happens to their bodies, including whether or not to continue with the pregnancy under any circumstances.

Among the main consequences of abortion being illegal, she points out the unsafe conditions in which women and pregnant women undergo abortions to terminate their pregnancies, which increases the risk of death. This clandestinity and the number of abortions that take place in these conditions become a public health problem that must be addressed. She thinks that the defense of abortion is an issue in which men should be involved because they are part of society.

In the legal sphere, she considers that the first measure to be taken in Venezuela is the repeal or modification of the penal code to eliminate criminalization. Then, legislation could be passed on more specific matters such as defining the safest and most suitable conditions for safe abortion services. He believes that decriminalization would open the doors to debate with much more seriousness and breadth so that legislation and a regulatory framework could be generated that would allow for safe conditions.

For Rodriguez, it is not an issue that should only be addressed or limited to the perspective of the abortion procedure as such, but the situation must be understood in its full magnitude. That is to say, the contexts have to be evaluated, for example those of extreme poverty where many women basically lose autonomy over their sexual health and processes. They do not have access to contraceptive methods, they do not have access to information and it is in these types of realities where women and pregnant women are more at risk of having multiple unwanted pregnancies in their lives and at an early age. She also believes that the environments where there is gender-based violence in which many women live and are forced in some way to conceive children should be reviewed. She believes that these types of situations should be taken into account when discussing the issue of abortion defense.

"I think it is an issue that we all have to discuss, among them we men, also understanding that it is about women's bodies and they have the power to decide about their bodies. I firmly believe in the individual freedom of people and I consider that women and pregnant women have the freedom to decide; therefore they have the freedom to decide whether or not to continue with a pregnancy", she said.

"There are trans men and masculinities that have the capacity to gestate, so it is also their right to be involved and decide about their bodies."

Gabriel Moncrieff is 36 years old and has one child. He believes that voluntary termination of pregnancy is a human right and that every woman and pregnant woman should be able to decide whether or not to continue with her pregnancy and that no law or external entity should impede that decision. She believes that what the State should ensure is the necessary health infrastructure to guarantee access to quality health care.

It considers that the participation of cisgender men (people whose gender identity coincides with their sex) in the defense of abortion should be oriented to talks, workshops and protests of demand; to get involved in campaigns of diffusion and incidence in public policies, as well as self-criticism in order to ensure awareness of the rights of women and pregnant women.

"The illegality condemns women and pregnant women to continue unwanted pregnancies or to seek other options that may not be as safe. It is moral and ethical for abortion to be legal, safe, free and accompanied in the 21st century; anything to the contrary is a violation of human rights and a step backwards in our democracies," she points out.

"Adequate quality of life must be protected and promoted."

Ernesto Campos, 24, a health worker, believes that women have every right to terminate their pregnancies, regardless of the reason for which they want to do so. He believes that bringing a life into the world is a unique event, but it is of no use if that life will not have a prosperous life full of love, since that can only be achieved if the person wants the pregnancy, he explains.

For Campos, illegality has the opposite effect of stopping it, increasing the rates of clandestine abortions and the risk factors that can lead to death. He assures that this is a situation that could be totally avoidable if it were legal, since many safe methods are currently available that minimize the risk for pregnant women.

She says that most of the cases she has seen in a working day in a public hospital in Venezuela are between 15 and 20 abortions in 24 hours. She clarifies that not all of them require hospitalization; they are complete abortions or abortive processes that do not require any medical intervention.

"Abortion should not be illegal. The option should be and should be financially supported by the state."

Alexander Ferrer is 27 years old. Although he agrees with abortion advocacy and that women are within their rights to terminate a pregnancy, he doesn't think that's a place for another person to question based on their value judgments. She explains that she does not feel she has a say in someone else's personal decisions about their body.

For Ferrer this is an issue that could even be simple but has become complex because of the religious and misogynist system that conditions the legal. "Just as today they tell you "look don't do this with your body", tomorrow they are going to tell you "do this with your body". Reflect with that it's a delicate thing and people should be more aware regarding the power they give to external and public entities over themselves.

He states that it is a societal issue as such, which includes men, women and all people. As for couples, she considers that the most convenient thing to do is for both parties to have a conversation at the beginning of the relationship in order to have things clear from the beginning. Although at the end of the day, she maintains her opinion that the decision to abort should be made by the person who will undergo the process.


Aya Contigois a women's reproductive health app from Vitala Global, which was launched in March 2022 to address inequalities in matters affecting women, adolescents and people with the possibility of gestation in Venezuela. Designed together with 1,000 Venezuelan women and dozens of feminist, sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) organizations, the app virtually accompanies women through a safe abortion process and empowers their future contraceptive decisions.

Are you looking for safe and confidential support and accompaniment?

Download the app Aya Contigo.



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