"If men could get pregnant, abortion would be a sacrament," Gloria Steinem once told the Guardian. And while that may be a bit of an exaggeration, it's probably a lot closer to the truth than the notion that everything would stay the same. If men could get pregnant, the rules for pregnancy would likely favor men, rather than fetuses. The same can't be said for the state of pregnant women's rights. States like Indiana and Texas now grant personhood to medical waste, and believe that women's bodies should be held hostage even by unviable pregnancies.
All this is supposedly done in the name of encouraging (read: forcing) women to continue their pregnancies, so it would stand to reason that willingly pregnant women would be lauded as heroes, and given everything they need to stay happy, healthy, and comfortable while gestating. But instead, Republicans are happy to allow insurance companies to treat pregnancy as a pre-existing condition, women still report being fired for getting pregnant despite the fact that the practice is illegal, and Amal Clooney can't even go to work without being accused of flaunting her "bump." It's a man's world, but what would a pregnant man's world look like? Would they have to put up with this nonsense?
No way. Here's a few things that would look very different if the roles were reversed:
Free Health Care
Pregnant men would have access to free universal health care. We're talking birth control, abortion, prenatal vitamins, and all the 3D ultrasounds they could hope for. No doctor would second-guess them if they wanted to get their tubes tied, have an elective C-section, or use formula, either.
No Unsolicited Comments
A pregnant man would never have to listen to his mother-in-law criticize his eating habits or his choice of baby name. His coworkers wouldn't ask prying questions about whether the pregnancy was planned, or if he planned to get an epidural. And I can guarantee that no stranger would dare lay a hand on his belly.
All The Support He Could Hope For
A pregnant man could "work from home" (read: nap all day while periodically attending conference calls and replying to email) if that's what he needed. And once that baby arrived, he'd have a year off, with full pay. Of course, if he wanted to go back early, nobody would question his choice. And forget a nursing room next to the supply closet, he'd have a full nursery on site.
So Much Credit. All The Credit.
When a woman gets pregnant, she's just doing her duty to propagate the species. But think about how a man gets showered with praise for simply fixing his daughter's hair or "babysitting" his own children. Now imagine if one actually gave up his body for nine months straight. We're looking at a parade every week here, folks.
And Boy, Would They Take Advantage
Have you ever witnessed a "man cold"? It's the exact same cold he caught from his wife or child, but somehow, his suffering is 100 times greater. He can't get out of bed. He needs tea and soup and ibuprofen and tissues delivered to his bedside constantly. The whole household grinds to a halt for a week. Now imagine months of that. Good lord, you know what? Maybe we shouldn't wish for that, after all.