WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 24:  U.S. Rep. Renee Ellmers (R-NC) speaks during a hearing on implementation of the Affordable Care Act before the House Energy and Commerce Committee October 24, 2013 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. Developers who helped to build the website for people to buy health insurance under Obamacare testified before the panel on what had gone wrong to cause the technical difficulties in accessing the site.  (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Alex Wong/Getty Images
WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 24: U.S. Rep. Renee Ellmers (R-NC) speaks during a hearing on implementation of the Affordable Care Act before the House Energy and Commerce Committee October 24, 2013 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. Developers who helped to build the website for people to buy health insurance under Obamacare testified before the panel on what had gone wrong to cause the technical difficulties in accessing the site. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Now playing
01:08
House GOP women fight party over abortion bill
kellyanne conway romney backlash bash intv sotu_00000628.jpg
kellyanne conway romney backlash bash intv sotu_00000628.jpg
Now playing
03:23
Conway questions Romney's loyalty to Trump
TOPSHOT - US Democratic Presidential nominee Hillary Clinton (R) and Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump participate a town hall debate against Republican nominee Donald Trump at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, on October 9, 2016.  / AFP / POOL / SAUL LOEB        (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
SAUL LOEB/AFP/AFP/Getty Images
TOPSHOT - US Democratic Presidential nominee Hillary Clinton (R) and Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump participate a town hall debate against Republican nominee Donald Trump at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, on October 9, 2016. / AFP / POOL / SAUL LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
Now playing
01:44
Conway: No plans to investigate Clinton
BEDMINSTER TOWNSHIP, NJ - NOVEMBER 19:  (L to R) President-elect Donald Trump shakes hands with retired United States Marine Corps general James Mattis after their meeting at Trump International Golf Club, November 19, 2016 in Bedminster Township, New Jersey. Trump and his transition team are in the process of filling cabinet and other high level positions for the new administration.  (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
Drew Angerer/Getty Images North America/Getty Images
BEDMINSTER TOWNSHIP, NJ - NOVEMBER 19: (L to R) President-elect Donald Trump shakes hands with retired United States Marine Corps general James Mattis after their meeting at Trump International Golf Club, November 19, 2016 in Bedminster Township, New Jersey. Trump and his transition team are in the process of filling cabinet and other high level positions for the new administration. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
Now playing
02:17
Extra hurdle to clear for 'Mad Dog' Mattis
ASHEVILLE, NC - SEPTEMBER 12:  Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks to a caller on the other end of the phone line as volunteers man a phone bank prior to a rally on September 12, 2016 at U.S. Cellular Center in Asheville, North Carolina. Trump continues to campaign for his run for president of the United States.(Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images)
Brian Blanco/Getty Images North America/Getty Images
ASHEVILLE, NC - SEPTEMBER 12: Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks to a caller on the other end of the phone line as volunteers man a phone bank prior to a rally on September 12, 2016 at U.S. Cellular Center in Asheville, North Carolina. Trump continues to campaign for his run for president of the United States.(Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images)
Now playing
00:50
New poll: Americans split on Trump transition
CNN
Now playing
02:03
Obama on Trump: Take a wait-and-see approach
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump gives a speech outlining his vision for tax reform at his skyscraper on Fifth Avenue on September 28, 2015 in New York City.
Andrew Burton/Getty Images
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump gives a speech outlining his vision for tax reform at his skyscraper on Fifth Avenue on September 28, 2015 in New York City.
Now playing
02:14
Backlash over Trump Cabinet picks
CNN
Now playing
02:36
Chertoff: Trump must address Muslim community
'Clinton Cash' author on 'Trump Cash' issues_00015606.jpg
'Clinton Cash' author on 'Trump Cash' issues_00015606.jpg
Now playing
04:35
'Clinton Cash' author on 'Trump Cash' issues
sessions alabama hometown tuchman pkg_00000204.jpg
sessions alabama hometown tuchman pkg_00000204.jpg
Now playing
02:48
Sessions' hometown delighted by cabinet nomination
Hamilton/Twitter
Now playing
02:58
'Hamilton' stars give Mike Pence a message
John Moore/Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
Now playing
02:21
Trump and Romney's heated war of words
A golden pheasant is seen at Hangzhou Safari Park in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, China, November 13, 2016. According to local media, the pheasant gains popularity as its golden feathers resemble the hairstyle of U.S. President-elect Donald Trump. Picture taken November 13, 2016.
REUTERS/Newscom
A golden pheasant is seen at Hangzhou Safari Park in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, China, November 13, 2016. According to local media, the pheasant gains popularity as its golden feathers resemble the hairstyle of U.S. President-elect Donald Trump. Picture taken November 13, 2016.
Now playing
02:01
China has a new obession and it's Trump's hair
SCRANTON, PA - JULY 27: Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump addresses a crowd of supporters on July 27, 2016 in Scranton, Pennsylvania. Trump spoke at the Lackawanna College Student Union Gymnasium. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 30: Vanguard Award winner Kanye West speaks onstage during the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards at Microsoft Theater on August 30, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
Getty Images
SCRANTON, PA - JULY 27: Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump addresses a crowd of supporters on July 27, 2016 in Scranton, Pennsylvania. Trump spoke at the Lackawanna College Student Union Gymnasium. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images) LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 30: Vanguard Award winner Kanye West speaks onstage during the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards at Microsoft Theater on August 30, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
Now playing
01:10
Kanye West: I would've voted Trump
donald trump undocumented immigrants crime fact check origwx ty_00013807.jpg
donald trump undocumented immigrants crime fact check origwx ty_00013807.jpg
Now playing
02:47
Fact checking Trump on crimes by immigrants
US Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump arrives to speak at a rally organized by the Tea Party Patriots against the Iran nuclear deal in front of the Capitol in Washington, DC, on September 9, 2015.  AFP PHOTO/NICHOLAS KAMM        (Photo credit should read NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)
NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/AFP/Getty Images
US Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump arrives to speak at a rally organized by the Tea Party Patriots against the Iran nuclear deal in front of the Capitol in Washington, DC, on September 9, 2015. AFP PHOTO/NICHOLAS KAMM (Photo credit should read NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)
Now playing
02:42
How will Trump handle North Korea?
CNN
Now playing
01:35
Trump supporter defends internment remarks

Story highlights

Erika Bachiochi was once supporter of abortion rights, but now thinks it's not about equality for women

She says women bear disproportionate responsibility for sex and what to do about pregnancy

Writer: Women should not be saddled with abortion responsibility. Society must prioritize caregiving

Editor’s Note: Erika Bachiochi is an attorney and the author of an article in the Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy: Embodied Equality: Debunking Equality Arguments for Abortion Rights. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

(CNN) —  

Polls taken since the Roe v Wade decision routinely show women in favor of abortion restrictions, and in slightly greater numbers than men. But how can this be? How can any woman want to scale back on the abortion license given them by the U.S. Supreme Court 42 years ago?

Erika Bachiochi
Courtesy of Erika Bachioci
Erika Bachiochi

As a one-time abortion rights supporter, I well know the temptation to see the right to abortion as a representation of women’s equality. After all, bearing an unexpected child would seem to interrupt a woman’s ability to design her own future according to her own goals and ambitions. More poignantly, bearing a child while in poverty or while already overwhelmed by caregiving for other children, or perhaps while experiencing health risks, reeks of an injustice known to women alone.

Abortion would seem to provide women with a practical response to the disproportionate responsibility sexual intercourse can lay at our feet.

But abortion, which is often the assumed solution to unexpected pregnancy in our culture, attempts to cure that sexual asymmetry: the biological fact that women get pregnant and men don’t. It does this by putting the responsibility to care for — or dispense with — the life of a nascent, developing human being on women alone.

Abortion expects nothing more of men, nothing more of medicine, and nothing more of society at large. Abortion betrays women by having us believe that we must become like men — that is, not pregnant — to achieve parity with them, professionally, socially, educationally. And if we are poor, overwhelmed or abandoned by the child’s father, or if medical expenses would be too great for us or for our child, social “responsibility” requires us to rid ourselves of our own offspring.

Today’s feminists cheer us on. Is this really the equality we were looking for 42 years ago?

I think most women want to see a culture that respects and honors women not only for the myriad talents we bring as individuals to our professions, our communities and our country. Women also want to live in a society that, at the very same time, cherishes our shared, and indeed, wondrous capacity to bear new human life. We want to be respected for the work we do as mothers.

What about a culture where women’s childbearing capacity is recognized not as an impediment to our social status and certainly not as the be-all and end-all of women’s capacities as it once was, but as that which calls upon all persons in society to show a bit of gratitude? Rather than structure society around the wombless, unencumbered male, ought not society be structured around those who, in addition to being able to do all that men can do, can also bear new human life?

Such a cultural restructuring in support of caregiving — one that pro-life feminists seek — would benefit this generation’s fathers as well. Many men today would prefer to dedicate far more time and attention to their children than fathers of prior generations did, or could. Pro-woman, pro-child, pro-family policies would enable just that.

Not all women become mothers, but those who do so depend upon a cultural esteeming of both pregnancy and motherhood for their social and professional support. When we belittle the developing child in the womb, a scientific reality that most pro-choice advocates have come to admit, we belittle and distort that child’s mother. We make her out to be one with property rights over her developing unborn child (much as husbands once had property rights over their wives).

We give her the inhumane (but for 42 years, constitutionally protected) right to decide the fate of another human being, of a vulnerable child — her child — to whom she properly owes an affirmative duty of care. We do all this rather than offering her the myriad familial and social supports she needs, whatever her situation, and cherishing her role in the miracle of human life.

But we live in a time when to speak of that miracle or of the biological differences between the sexes seems quaint, as though we have now gotten beyond sex in the brave new world of “gender fluidity.” It seems an effort to erase the notion of moms and dads –as though to do so would be a boon to progress, as though society would finally be free of those old, deterministic categories of male and female.

But here’s the rub: We can pretend sex differences do not exist, but it is women who bear the burden when we do so. Both men and women have sex but it is the woman who becomes pregnant, the woman who must either find ways to courageously and sacrificially care and nurture the developing child in her womb, or who must do the unthinkable and end her own child’s life. Men can have sex and walk away, and with the right Roe gave them, they increasingly do.

It is time to admit the truth about sexual difference — this beautiful, wondrous truth — and shape society to prioritize care for those who care for the most vulnerable. And it is time to demand more, far more, of men.

Read CNNOpinion’s new Flipboard magazine.

Follow us on Twitter @CNNOpinion.

Join us on Facebook.com/CNNOpinion.