The Right to Choose Is Our Struggle, Too

By Giving List Women   |   May 20, 2024
The Men4Choice team at a recent retreat.

Men4Choice understands clearly that the fight for women’s reproductive freedom is not just a women’s battle. It is a vital issue that men must be educated about. They must know what’s at stake and become allies in the face of the anti-abortion movement’s constant and growing attacks. 

In early 2015, Men4Choice Co-Founder Oren Jacobson was listening to a presentation about protecting abortion rights when he had a horrifying realization: The anti-abortion movement was plotting to overturn Roe v. Wade and wouldn’t stop until they’d banned and criminalized abortion nationwide. 

“I was stunned,” he recalls. “I was politically active, educated, and I had zero idea that laws across the country were targeting both reproductive rights and access to care.” He immediately started educating himself.

“If I was not aware,” he says, “what did the average guy know?” He was thunderstruck by what he found: There wasn’t a big gender or ideological divide; liberal and progressive men and women both feel virtually the same – they support abortion being legal in most or all cases. The big divide was on who decided to take action on the issue. Who sees this as their issue and therefore who bears the burden of the work to organize, mobilize, and follow through on the fight on this issue? What Jacobson couldn’t understand is if most men support reproductive freedom, why are they staying silent? Why isn’t this their fight?

Jacobson co-founded Men4Choice to turn already pro-choice men from passive, silent supporters into active allies in this fight. 

 The Intersection of Culture and Policy

Originally a local Chicago-based nonprofit, Men4Choice expanded nationally with the arrival of Co-Executive Director Mrinalini Chakraborty.

“Mrin reoriented our direction. We now situate ourselves at the intersection of culture change and policy change,” Jacobson says.

Men4Choice Youth Fellows at a Florida organizing event to expand abortion access in the state.

To change the culture, Men4Choice focuses on Millennial and Gen Z men before their political identities are baked in. Because the fight to ensure reproductive rights will be long – a 10-20 year campaign, Chakraborty believes – “we need younger men constantly entering the leadership pipeline.”

The Youth Fellowship Program is the heart of Men4Choice’s organizing and long-term capacity-building work. It’s a 10-week, rigorous, hands-on training program. There, a community of peers learns about the issue, learns how to organize, learns to communicate, learns to show up as an ally. The fellowship program is offered throughout the year. Graduates then become organizers, ambassadors for reproductive freedom.

We Can’t Leave Half the People on the Sidelines

“There’s no way to win this fight if we leave half the people who are with us on the sidelines,” Jacobson contends. “We know the reason men are on the sidelines is because they haven’t been listening to women. It’s on us, Men4Choice, to go out and get them to listen.”

Chakraborty agrees. “We can’t win this fight without changing a culture that tolerates men using their power to control other people’s bodies. That requires teaching men not only to engage, but also to educate, activate, and mobilize other men.”



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Co-Executive Director: Oren Jacobson


Men4Choice’s mission is to organize for change, build a pipeline of young allies, and to educate our base. This year, Men4Choice will continue hosting educational webinars and creating resources for allies.

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