Presidential hopeful Sen. Cory Booker penned an open letter to men in GQ magazine on Friday, imploring them “to listen, to speak out, and to take action” in the wake of recent legislature around the country impeding women’s access to abortion.
“Women should not have to face this fight alone,” Booker wrote. “Men, it’s on us to listen, to speak out, and to take action. Not because women are our mothers, sisters, wives or friends—but because women are people. And all people deserve to control their own bodies.”
The New Jersey Democrat addressed the draconian Alabama abortion law passed this week that bans the procedure in almost every case. Booker said that men need to understand these “types of bills were designed to control, dehumanize, and criminalize.”
“This attack on women’s fundamental freedoms and agency is a blatant assault on constitutional and human rights,” he wrote, adding that Alabama’s bill isn’t “an anomaly” but rather part of “a decades-long, coordinated, all-out effort to erode women’s reproductive rights and freedom nationwide.”
Booker explained that restrictions on abortion affect “women of color, low-income women, and women living in rural areas” the most because they may not be able to afford travel to a different state to get the care they need.
He added that men may find abortion “too uncomfortable” to talk about, but they need to acknowledge that they “benefit from abortion rights and reproductive health care, too.”
“I’m still learning how to be the best ally and partner I can be in this fight—but one thing I know is that I would not be writing this today if it were not for generations of women and men who spoke out and stood up for each other during times of moral crisis,” Booker said.
Booker has made similar statements on Twitter and in appearances on major news stations.
“We need to lead on this issue with women and demand that people get up off the sidelines,” said Booker on MSNBC.
“This is an existential fight for the right and liberty to control your own body.”