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Adam

When I was preparing for my Bar Mitzvah, my parents and I went over to our Rabbi's house to talk about the big day. Typically, family members of the Bar Mitzvah boy participate at various points throughout the service. We belonged to a conservative synagogue, and there was a limit on the number of women who could participate. As it turned out, we had more women on our list than the synagogue would allow. When we discovered this, my mother and the Rabbi got into an argument. She felt it was unfair; he didn't want to break with tradition. Finally, Mom looked at him and said: "You will never understand, as a man, how it feels to be told you can't do something just because you're a woman."

I was only 13 when I heard this, but I remember it like it happened yesterday. The more I looked around, the more I realized there are far too many areas in which men tell women they can't do things just because they're women. Nowhere was that more apparent than in reproductive rights. Women have been fighting for the ability to control their own bodies and lives for centuries; all too often, men throw up obstacles and get in the way.

I think my mom is right. As a man, I'll never precisely understand how women feel when men try to decide for them whether and how they bear a child. But I can try to understand it better, and I have a responsibility to be on the right side of the cause.

So why am I pro-choice? Because my Mom inspired me, because men and women need to fight the good fight side-by-side, and because the Rabbi, good man that he was, let us choose in the end.

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