ROSE NOLEN: Let women make their own decisions

Tuesday, April 2, 2013 | 6:00 a.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — Men who serve as state legislators spend a lot of time working on women’s health issues. It seems that most of their annual work is devoted to the subject of women. It’s too bad they don’t spend nearly that much time on public health issues.

As it is, though, men don’t seem to have as much interest in their hometown’s annual outbreak of influenza as they do in overseeing women’s pregnancies. It just seems that there is something about being able to meddle in women’s personal business that gives them a thrill.

I can’t say I share their interest. The bodies of strangers have never captured my attention. It seems to me that with all the problems of keeping states running efficiently, legislators would have a lot more to be concerned about.

It must be difficult for men to have to make decisions for themselves and for all women as well. I’ve felt for a long time that men should have the opportunity to have babies. That way they could make their own decisions about the number they want to bring into the world.

Instead of spending their time on women’s health issues they could be working on the state’s economy and trying to help create jobs by renewing the infrastructure. They could concentrate on keeping highways in good shape, maintaining prisons and making sure state parks are running well.

It’s entirely too much for men to do. Trying to figure out how many months a woman should have to wait before she should have an abortion requires too much effort. Can a woman be certain at six weeks that she is really pregnant? Suppose she’s having some other female trouble. Should a man have to worry about all that when he isn’t even the father?

It’s hard enough for men to earn a living and take care of their own family. How in the world can we expect them to monitor the behavior of all women to make sure they are following the social rules that men have set for them?

Most women, I’m sure, are capable of handling their own affairs. Unfortunately, men are too willing to go out of their way to set them free not to have to make their own decisions.

Or do men really believe that women are incapable of deciding how many children they want to bring into the world? What really makes them believe that they have the right to make that decision for someone else?

There has to be some way for men to learn that no one left them in charge. Like everyone else, they only have one life to live. Leave other people’s lives alone. Can you do that?

You can join the conversation with Rose M. Nolen by calling her at 882-5734 or emailing her at

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