Bisexuality and Fertility

One writer poses a pertinent question

Feature by Luke Cockayne | 06 Nov 2013
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A bisexual man recently told me that a casual sexual partner of his was getting an abortion. Over the course of the conversation it emerged that this woman was not the first of his partners to terminate a pregnancy.

This guy, who is in a long-term relationship with another man, said several women he had been involved with over the years had had abortions after sleeping with him. This was because, he said, he didn’t like to use condoms.

The vast majority of same-sex relationships are not naturally reproductive, apart from those with trans or intersex partners. Maybe he has just forgotten that sleeping with women might result in pregnancy?

What worried me about the discussion was that it implied, to me at least, that he had got out of the habit – or never got into the habit – of taking women’s reproductive health or his own fertility seriously.

And then I started to wonder, perhaps unfairly, whether this sort of behaviour is common among bisexual men.

Bisexuality presents, in a sense, a choice between potentially reproductive and non-reproductive sexual encounters or relationships. Does this element of choice, or the reality that less time might be spent in fertile relationships, allow a certain subsection of bisexual men to skip the ‘not being an inconsiderate arsehole’ part of sexual education?

Because abortion is one of those contraceptive methods – if you want to use that term – where the physical impact on the (usually) female partner can be fatal. Has been fatal. Repeatedly. Without trivialising the emotional impact of abortion on all those involved, it cannot be denied that having an abortion is a serious undertaking in terms of a woman’s long-term physical health.

The fact that in this country we have a hard-won right to terminate pregnancy in its early stages does not mean that men should be using abortion as a safety net.

But maybe it was just him.