Bioethics Blogs

Should men be allowed to discuss abortion?


Feminists are kicking up quite a storm in Oxford at the moment. Oxford Students for Life have organized a debate on abortion to happen tomorrow (the 18th November, 2014), which has inspired some rather troubling attacks. Now, Oxford feminists (‘WomCam’) are generally rather intolerant of any pro-life rhetoric (or, indeed, anyone that disagrees with them), but what has really got their goat this time is that the debate is between two men.

“It is absurd to think we should be listening to two cisgender men debate about what people with uteruses should be doing with their bodies. By only giving a platform to these men, OSFL [Oxford Students for Life] are participating in a culture where reproductive rights are limited and policed by people who will never experience needing an abortion.”

As the Student newspaper reports,

WomCam have also criticised the debate as “shaming,” “stigmatizing abortion,” and “contributing to a culture of misogyny and body policing.” They have also called for an apology from OSFL and have asked them to cancel the event.

Oxford feminists have actually now set up a protest group to disrupt the debate, and are actively campaigning for the event to be banned. Indeed, whether the event will go ahead is now uncertain due to security concerns raised by the feminists declared intention to disrupt and end the debate.

Note that the OSFL group has already hosted two all-women panel debates on abortion this year, so the criticism isn’t that they only have men speak in their debates generally, but that this particular time men are speaking.

The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.