Letter from Cisgender Men of Lancaster
The below signed cismen (men whose gender matches their assigned birth sex) of Lancaster county write to declare and affirm that threats to reproductive rights and abortion hurt our community, and vow to do everything they can to keep and advocate for abortion as a personal right and choice at the national level. Abortion is still legal in Pennsylvania, and must be kept that way.
We must name what the Dobbs v Jackson decision is: another in a long line of attacks on the individual freedom of all women and people who can become pregnant from a system built on patriarchy and white supremacy.
Bodily autonomy is a freedom that heterosexual, able-bodied, cismen have rarely had to fear losing, and the challenges to it is a fight that many cismen have ignored for too long. It is time to listen, learn, organize, and fight in solidarity with our community of people who can get pregnant. As James Baldwin wrote in 1970, “If we know, then we must fight for your life as though it were our own–which it is… for if they take you in the morning, they will be coming for us that night.”
We know that this decision targets already systemically marginalized groups, and we know that based on the opinion written by the Court, abortion access is just the first of many human rights that will be targeted.
We also know that statements without action are insufficient. With this in mind, the below signed men vow to:
- Center and uplift the lived experience and perspectives of people who can get pregnant, specifically Black people and People of Color, to learn the ways that we need to create positive change, and hold ourselves accountable to those changes.
- Continue unpacking and addressing our own complicity in the Patriarchal system that benefits us in every aspect of our lives. We will use groups (such as the YWCA’s Detoxing Masculinity group, as well as other community groups) to do the work that cismen need to do in order to heal ourselves as we work to dismantle patriarchal systems and be effective advocates for abortion, accurate and comprehensive sex education, and other reproductive rights.
- Donate to abortion funds to support those who need abortions in our community, as well as those in trigger law states that cannot access reproductive healthcare.
- Volunteer at our own Planned Parenthood Keystone and other providers of abortion and reproductive healthcare to be patient escorts, or anywhere else we can use our privilege as men to advocate for abortion access. This includes advocating for a safe zones around Planned Parenthoods or other providers.
- Organize to demand our local officials vote no on any PA Constitutional amendment that would deny the right to abortion and reproductive health funding. If the current attempt, SB 106, gets on the ballot as early as May, 2023, we will organize to make sure it does not pass.
- On the federal level, we will advocate for the passing of S. 4132, which protects the right to access abortion, free from burdensome and often medically unnecessary restrictions, including mandatory ultrasounds, waiting periods, biased counseling, and irrelevant medical testing. This bill also protects providers offering abortion services to ensure abortions remain safe and accessible.
- Work in our own spheres of influence to fight misinformation and make sure the people around us understand what is at stake: that abortion is healthcare and a human right.
It is time to act with conviction and the acknowledgment of the ongoing, intentional work that needs to be done to to support our community regarding abortion and reproductive rights.
We will not allow our community to go back.