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Opinion

Listen to men who do not want their unborn children aborted

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Protesters on both sides of the abortion rights issue demonstrate May 31 outside a Planned Parenthood in St. Louis.
(Saul Loeb / AFP/Getty Images)

To the editor: I couldn’t agree more with Los Angeles Times executive editor Norman Pearlstine’s piece about men not remaining silent in the debate on abortion, but not for the reasons he says. Every pregnancy involves a man who should have a stronger voice in making the decision for the life of his unborn baby.

Today, there are clinics with staff members who meet with both women and men for guidance on unplanned pregnancies. As a volunteer and board member at one of these clinics, I personally meet with men to counsel them with a holistic approach involving the physical, emotional and spiritual aspects of pregnancy, childbirth and parenthood in addition to choices of adoption and abortion. This is exactly what “choice” is supposed to be. Women too receive the same counseling, but with the medical component of pregnancy tests and an ultrasound, and all for free.

While Pearlstine’s story of his then-girlfriend’s botched abortion 57 years ago is indeed heart wrenching, the pendulum has swung too far when one considers the toll of 60 million abortions since the U.S. Supreme Court’s Roe vs. Wade decision in 1973. Abortion has become too affordable and convenient.

Men, women and their babies deserve better.

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Michael Parente, Northridge

The writer is a board member at the Open Arms Pregnancy Clinic in Northridge, which does not provide OB/GYN care or abortion services.

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To the editor: Thanks to Pearlstine for sharing his very personal, traumatic experience. It is so important to hear the concerns about abortion from the perspective of a man. This may be a women’s issue, but it undeniably impacts men as well.

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Those of us who have been fighting for choice understand that we cannot do it without the support of like-minded elected men. But, the real goal is parity.

Women need to be at the table. I, for one, am tired of seeing a table full of only males voting on issues dealing with women’s health. Only 25% of the U.S. Senate is female, and only 102 out of the 435 House seats are held by women.

Thus, we are almost halfway to parity — after 243 years as a country.

At the local level, only two of Los Angeles’ 15 City Council members are women. We can do better, and I have high hopes that we will.

Marcia Herman, Los Angeles

The writer is co-founder of the Women’s Political Committee.

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To the editor: Pearlstine’s story hit close to home.

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In 1960 I was 19 years old and and serving as a merchant seaman on an oil tanker in the Pacific when I received a telegram. It was from my girlfriend, who notified me that she was pregnant.

I could have “escaped” and just sailed to Europe, but I decided to disembark in San Francisco. After I made it back to Los Angeles, we married. As one might expect, the marriage lasted but a few years; however, I have never been disappointed at my initial decision.

My first-born son is now 58 and a wonderful father in his own right. In fact, my daughter-in-law died a few years ago, and I could not be prouder of my son who, as a single father, is an outstanding example of dedicated parenting.

While I accept abortion as necessary and appropriate under certain circumstances, I will forever be thankful that I made the right decision in 1960. I know I would have been left wondering what my son would have been like, had I made the decision to prevent his birth through abortion.

Jim Weyant, Big Bear City, Calif.

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