No matter which side of the political aisle you sit on, we must accept that laws across the country are changing based on state preferences, and those changes can impact your life. We already acknowledge the fact that men are unfairly crushed in divorces, and the family court system does not favor men. On top of that, the #metoo movement has labeled all men guilty until proven innocent, meaning one false claim can ruin your life. Now we have another element, far from our control, that can alter our lives. As I’m sure you heard, Roe v Wade has been overturned by The Supreme Court, leaving abortion laws up to individual states. With that, Entering Manhood has some advice for men in red states.
Whether you are pro life or pro choice, these changes can affect you if you are in a red state. The reason? For the last fifty years, abortion has been legal anywhere in the US, but now many red states, known for being more conservative, are outlawing it (along with several other medical procedures). Abortion is a highly emotional topic, and with the recent Supreme Court ruling it’s on the top of every woman’s mind. For many it’s a hill they would die on, which means you must develop an awareness for the situation. The morality or legality of abortion is a debate which will span decades and generations, meaning you likely won’t be persuading anyone to take your stance. Your focus should be knowing your place in this equation, and understanding the many directions it can take your life. Any man who’s planning to have sex to think twice before putting it in, because the game has changed.
If you haven’t found the time to consider the implications for you, that’s okay. We’ve compiled some points for men to think about as they consider the potential impact sex and pregnancy can have on their lives.
- Partner selection: You will have to be more selective than ever with who you decide to date. Get to know her as well as you can so you can make the most informed decision about getting involved with her. This includes morals, religion, politics, stability, finances, consistency of character, and quality of choices. You must have an understanding of the lifelong implications your relationship with her may have. Sounds serious, right? Well, it is. If she could possibly give birth to your child, you better make sure she’s mom-material.
- Sex or Abstinence: If you decide to have sex with her, you relinquish all control over your future. Having a hard time understanding why that is? Think about this. If you get her pregnant, she will be the one deciding whether to keep the pregnancy or abort it. If you are against abortion, you’ll have to live with the fact that she’s going to cross state lines to have a horrific procedure done to destroy the baby you created. Can you live with that? On the flip side, if you want her to abort the pregnancy, she may not agree to it, especially now if it’s illegal in her state. These new laws may pressure her to keep the child, leaving you stuck with her as a “baby momma” for life. On top of that, you’ll be faced with the demands of being a new father. These are responsibilities you’ll have for the rest of your days. When you stick it in, be prepared to stick around.
- Birth Control Methods: Okay, so you’ve vetted her as being worthy of your time and energy. You believe she’s trustworthy and aligned with your views on life. The two of you share future goals, so you’ve decided to move forward with “doing the deed”. Unless you want to roll the dice regarding pregnancy and STDs, chances are you’ll decide to use some protection. If she says birth control is enough and you trust her with this, you are trusting her with your life. How do you know she’s actually taking the pills? Say if they don’t work? I highly recommend using a condom, too. Make sure they are your own condoms that you bought yourself. I’ve heard of situations where women have tampered with men’s condoms, purposely sticking holes in them so they’re able to get pregnant and essentially “trap” the man in the relationship. You want to take full accountability over this.
If you use condoms perfectly every single time you have sex, they’re 98% effective at preventing pregnancy. But people aren’t perfect, so in real life condoms are about 85% effective — that means about 15 out of 100 people who use condoms as their only birth control method will get pregnant each year.
- Murphy’s Law: If you use protection and she somehow gets pregnant anyway, what do you do? This is a discussion you should have with her BEFORE doing the deed. Will you both commit to keeping the child, or would you agree to terminate the pregnancy? If so, how will you do it and where will you go? Remember, this is a decision that will stay with you both forever, and you don’t want to be caught off guard if it happens. It’s very difficult to make logical decisions in high pressure, emotional situations. If you and her are not on the same page about this hypothetical situation, do not have sex with her.
- Family Planning: So you have sex, she gets pregnant, and you’ve decided to keep the baby. Do you have a plan for that? Again, you don’t want any surprises, so this is another topic you should align with her on. Are you ready to move in together? Will you put a ring on her? How will finances work? Can you afford it? How will you raise the child? Will you both work full time jobs? This will be the biggest life change you ever experience. If you go in without a plan, it will be painful. Here are some tips for first time Dads to prepare for the biggest job they’ll ever have.
I hope this article startled or scared you. That was the intention. As fun and enjoyable as sex is, the decision to do it can potentially change your life. With states updating their laws on abortion and birth control, complex circumstances are evolving that force us men to consider the implications. Before you decide to have sex with her, think through these steps to protect yourself. You’ll thank me later.
-Your Big Bro