Florida Senator Lauren Book is Wrong: Men Should Be Allowed to Have Opinions on Abortion

In light of the state legislature’s recent attempts to restrict abortion access in Florida, Senator Lauren Book has proposed a new bill which would allow voters to block anti-abortion legislation unless at least half the chamber of Florida is female. “I believe it is time to stand up and fight to ensure women have access to comprehensive health care and family planning,” Book said in defense of her proposal. “No vote about us without us.”

Unfortunately, Book misses a few very important details in her assessment of the Florida state legislature. Yes, Florida’s chamber, like most state’s, is male-dominated. However, Florida’s voting population, like most state’s, is female-dominated. Women have had the right to run and vote for decades, and this is how it has turned out – with a male-dominated legislature. The idea that the current legislature’s vote on abortion would be “without women” ignores the fact that women have had as much say as men regarding who ends up in the legislature in the first place.

More women could run if they wanted to, and more women could vote for women – if they wanted to. They haven’t wanted to so far, so Book’s complaint is just a criticism about how women have conducted themselves in the political sphere. If she was as pro-women as she and her fellow democrats claim to be, she would accept the fact that women will make their own choices in politics. That includes the choice to vote for men. It even includes the choice to vote pro-life.

However, Book’s lack of understanding of how the legislature works is not her only problem. Her basic line of reasoning, that men should have no say in the matter of abortion, is all too common among left-wing Americans. Everyone, whether they’re pro-life or pro-choice, views abortion as an issue of human rights to. To pro-lifers, the unborn’s right to life is at stake. To pro-choicers, the woman’s right to autonomy over her own body is at stake. In important debates about the value of life, personhood, and autonomy, men should have as much say as women. Although restrictions on abortion may affect women more potently than they do men, abortion itself affects everyone. If abortion kills, which science has shown it does, then half its victims are male.

Finally, Book’s hypocrisy regarding the role men play in parenthood and abortion is practically absurd. Sadly, though, it accurately represents the greater hypocrisy of the entire pro-choice movement. According to the pro-choice movement, if a father leaves his partner and child, he’s a “deadbeat dad,” an unfaithful partner, and a bad parent. However, if a mother hires a physician to kill her child, she hasn’t done anything wrong at all.

Furthermore, pro-choicers don’t seem to have a problem with men legislating about abortion – if they favor the pro-choice side of the argument. Roe v. Wade was decided by an all-male Supreme Court, yet no one complains about that. And they shouldn’t – the fact that Roe v. Wade was decided by men isn’t what made it a bad judicial decision. The fact that it was based on faulty premises, badly argued, and largely unrelated to the Constitution is what made it a bad judicial decision. To say that Roe v. Wade, or any other political decision regarding abortion, is good or bad based on the gender of those who decided it is nothing less than sexist.

Ruth Moreno is a contributor to TheRichValdes.com

USA Today - Florida senator wants to block abortion votes unless legislature is at least half women

NY Daily News - Florida senator works to block abortion votes until half of those voting are women