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Abortion and a Father’s Right to Choose

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Many who are staunchly pro-choice about abortion also support holding fathers accountable for their children. That is, they believe that fathers should be legally obligated to provide for their children even if they didn’t want children. The law agrees, holding fathers financially responsible for their offspring regardless of their interest in having children. For the sake of clarity, I will refer to such men as “unwilling fathers”. Is it fair, however, for pro-choice advocates to hold unwilling fathers responsible for their children? I will argue that it isn’t.

To see why, notice that, on the one hand, pro-choice advocates argue that the fetus has NO right to its mother’s body unless its mother CHOOSES to give it this right. On the other hand, they argue that a fetus has FULL rights to its father’s wallet REGARDLESS of whether the father chooses to give it this right. On this view, a fetus has rights over its unwilling father but not its unwilling mother. This is especially peculiar because, according to pro-choice advocates, the decision to abort is entirely the mother’s. In other words, on the standard pro-choice view, a fetus has full rights over its father, who has no control over the fetus’s destiny, and NO rights over its mother, who has complete control over the fetus’s destiny. On the standard pro-choice view, the father has no rights and no power but much of the responsibility. This is puzzling because we typically think that individuals are responsible for what’s within their control and not for events beyond their control – but not according to the standard pro-choice view.

One might argue that the father is obligated to his child because he had sex in full knowledge of the possible consequences. But this argument is not available to a pro-choice advocate because, after all, the mother too had sex in full knowledge of the possible consequences (in most cases). If the father should be held responsible because he knowingly took a risk, then the same goes for the mother. And since a pro-choice advocate will not accept the latter, she cannot argue that an unwilling father should be forced to pay child support because he knowingly took a risk. Perhaps there’s some other reason why unwilling fathers ought to be held accountable for their children that’s compatible with the pro-choice view, but I’ll leave it to the reader to figure out what that reason may be.

If holding unwilling fathers responsible for their children is incompatible with the pro-choice view, then I suggest that the only intellectually honest resolution is to extend a right of choice to the father. Specifically, a pro-choice advocate should allow fathers to choose, prior to birth, their degree of involvement with the fetus. On this view, the fetus would have no automatic right to its father’s wallet unless the father gives the fetus this right. Similarly, the fetus would have no right to use its mother’s body unless the mother chose to give it this right. Presumably, some legal mechanism could be devised to implement this proposal. I should point out that, like the mother, the father would have to make up his mind prior to birth. If no one demurred prior to birth, then, once born, both parents would be equally obligated to the fetus, and the infant would have a right to his father’s resources.

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About Mike Valdman

  • http://musical-guru.blogspot.com Michael J. West

    I never thought of it before, but this is a really interesting point. The father’s rights and responsibilities in this situation really are entirely up to the mother, and she can bring down the law on the father if she decides to hold him responsible.

    I’m gonna have to think further on this one.

  • http://dumpsterbust.blogspot.com/ Eric Berlin

    An interesting argument, Mr. Valdman. I’m not sure I’m willing to make the logical leap that you present, but you argue your case well. What would be interesting to learn, I think, is whether or not you agree with the very case you push or if you’re merely throwing out a clever intellectual argument! In any event, your work is always a pleasure to read.

  • Nancy

    You make a good point; there are a lot of unwilling fathers out there because She insisted on having the kid, even tho He was willing to pay for an abortion at a reputable clinic. I have to agree that I don’t think it’s fair for a kid to be foisted on a man any more than I think it’s permissable for a woman to be required to have a kid she doesn’t want. What legal solutions would you suggest?

  • gonzo marx

    ummm..point of Order?

    this is a fallacious argument…

    the child AFTER being born, has Rights to that dead beat Father’s wallet…NOT the fetus

    if the mother needs money from the “unwilling Father” she needs to go to Court AFTER the child is BORN…and prove it’s his kid, if contested

    world of difference here, and it appears either the Poster simply missed the difference, or is deliberately attempting to mislead

    but there is a very real and legal difference here, which this Post fails to recognize and appears to be intentionally muddying up

    Excelsior!

  • Nancy

    Thank you, Gonzo, for clearing that up. Still, there’s something wrong with a guy having to fork out when he didn’t want to see it thru to begin with, and was willing to pay for a careful medical termination.

  • gonzo marx

    de nada Nancy…and i understand the point about a man offering to pony up the $$ for the procedure, her saying no..and then taking him to Court…i can easily Agree there should be something there , however..our Laws protect that child and hold the Father accountable…now i think the Mother should also be held fiscally responsibl to some extent…but with NO daycare…how is she to work, etc…

    this Post..on the other hand, does nto appear to me to be about those unwilling father’s who need to pay for the child…

    rather, it appears to me to be a transparant ploy to garner artificial sympathy for the anti-abortion desire for Father’s and parents and the church and the government and anyone else who cares to to decide what a woman does with her body

    if you read the Post again, you will see the set up…not just in the glaring bit i pointed out already, but in other ready clues as to the writer’s viewpoint on the Issue

    it is a current and continuing trend for the anti-abortion folks to try ANY legal chicanery as well as propaganda skewed like this Post, into trying to take the Choice away from resting solely with the Mother and her doctor

    me?..i call bullshit

    nuff said?

    Excelsior!

  • esther

    I think the father has the right to talk to the mother about issue and how he feels about it. obviously they both made the baby together so they both decide what happens after that. as i always believe if you used contraception you wouldn’t be in that predicament, your better off preventing such a situation!!!!!!!!!

  • http://biggesttent.blogspot.com/ Silas Kain

    Abstinence. Yeah, that’s the answer. What ever happened to promoting masturbation?

  • http://musical-guru.blogspot.com Michael J. West

    it is a current and continuing trend for the anti-abortion folks to try ANY legal chicanery as well as propaganda skewed like this Post, into trying to take the Choice away from resting solely with the Mother and her doctor

    I don’t agree with that, Gonzo. I don’t think it takes the choice away from resting solely with the Mother and her doctor.

    The point that I saw was that it’s unfair to have the choice reside ONLY with the mother, while the responsibility for a possible outcome of that choice resides with the father.

    I don’t object to a mother deciding on her own to have an abortion. But if the father does object to it, I don’t feel he should be required to pay for it. If it was her decision to make, regardless of his input, it’s her responsibility to execute that decision.

    That’s just common sense.

    It works the other way, too. I don’t object to a mother deciding to keep and raise a baby. But again, if it’s her decision to make and the father gets no part in the decision, it’s the mother’s responsibility to execute the decision. That is, to raise the baby.

    Being pro-choice or not pro-choice has nothing to do with it, IMO.

  • gonzo marx

    a decent point Michael, and as you can see in my comment above, i do understand that there is a lot of room for improvement when it comes to the whole financial bit involved concerning these matters…

    it is merely my own Opinion that this is NOT the real Issue dealt with in this Post

    i also think that the discussion of the matters which you have brought up and which i also touch upon, concerning the financial Obligations, are indeed a matter for public discussion and consensus

    bear in mind that a huge amount of these “deadbeat” males will opt for the easy way out…and if the mother decides to have the baby, this leaves her with no recourse…if i read you correctly

    what is the proper balance? damn fine Question

    Excelsior!

  • http://nukapai.typepad.com Nukapai

    An interesting hypothetical argument, but I say hypothetical because you simply cannot draw an exact parallel with a) a woman who has to face up to the consequences of carrying a child to term inside her body (potentially fatal and in every case, a permanent alteration to the female body), who has to become a mother of a child (maybe not the acting parent, but a mother) no matter what (it’s not like there is a need for a maternity test) … and b) a man who, after the child has already been born and paternity has been established may then be required to provide for his offspring (and not necessarily the guardian either).

    In an ideal world, the woman who is pregnant and the man who impregnated her would have a clear, calm and adult way of communicating about actions and consequences, but we do not live in an ideal world and in most cases, choosing to have an abortion OR choosing to carry an unwanted child to term are incredibly hard choices and are not taken lightly by the people concerned.

    I would be interested in seeing some comments from the author of this post in how he would see the ideal scenario roll out in his opinion.

  • http://nukapai.typepad.com Nukapai

    Michael, you fail to see that until men develop the ability to carry a child inside them, the argument isn’t quite so clear-cut. Why should men have the “choice” to simply walk away?

  • http://dumpsterbust.blogspot.com/ Eric Berlin

    Nukapai — Your take is apt, and I agree that I’d like to hear from Mr. Author!

  • Mike

    Eric,

    You doubt my intellectual sincerity, do you? Despite your skepticism, I fully agree with this article’s thesis, which is that a pro-choice advocate should not insist that fathers have unconditional obligations to their fetuses. But, do I think that, all things considered, fathers should not be legally compelled to provide for infants they had no interest in having? The answer to this question depends on the morality of abortion, which is not something I address in the article. For what it’s worth, I have no firm view on the morality of abortion itself, and, having studied the issue and thought about it quite a bit, I can tell you that it’s far more complicated than most people realize. Maybe I’ll post on this topic later.

  • Michael J. West

    Why should men have the “choice” to simply walk away?

    Because women have that choice, Nukapai.

    Respectfully, what we are talking about here is not as complicated as you make it out to be. It’s not an issue of “women agonize over their decisions and men don’t”; there are plenty of men who agonize over that decision, and there are plenty of women who make the decision immediately and never look back. And plenty of times they choose to abort the fetus for no other reason than that they don’t want to have the baby–in effect, they make the choice to simply walk away

    They have the legal right to do that. Regardless of how many women choose to do it and how hard the decision is to make, THEY CAN MAKE THAT CHOICE IF THEY SO DESIRE.

    Men cannot.

    Suppose Ms. Smith tells her boyfriend, Mr. Jones, that she is having a baby and he is the father. Mr. Jones says, “I don’t want to be the father to this baby.” Ms. Smith says, “I want to be the baby’s mother, and I’m going to be, regardless of how you feel about it.”

    Can Mr. Jones say, “I do not agree with your decision and therefore I cannot support you on it?” Legally, he cannot.

    The man has no legal say in whether a woman can abort his baby, but are responsible for seeing through somebody else’s decision. All of the responsibilities of a parent without all of the rights.

    So the question for me, Nukapai, is why shouldn’t men have the choice to simply walk away?

  • Mike

    Nancy,

    I haven’t thought much about what legal solution might work here, but I suppose it could be as easy as filling out a few forms. If a man wanted a woman to abort his fetus but she refused, he could go to City Hall and declare his wishes, thereby legally exonerating him of all future responsibility for the fetus.

  • Mike

    Gonzo,

    You’re right that the issue is whether the child, and not whether the fetus, has a right to its father’s wallet. But I don’t see how this observation has any bearing on the argument I’ve presented. I would explain why but I think Michael West explained it well in his post.

  • http://musical-guru.blogspot.com Michael J. West

    Thank you Mike.

    As far as legal solutions, there are plenty of post-natal situations in which one parent or the other legally waives all parental rights. Why wouldn’t that work in this case?

  • Mike

    Nupakai,

    I’m not sure I know what you mean by an “ideal scenario” here. Indeed, I’m not sure there can be an ideal scenario here. If a woman wants to have the child but the man doesn’t, somebody is going to get hurt (most likely the child). Under these circumstances, I don’t think an ideal resolution is possible. But the question remains why the unwilling man should have any financial obligations to his child when the choice to abort is entirely the woman’s.

    Now, you also said that we cannot compare the sacrifices the woman makes in having a child with the man’s sacrifices in financially supporting it. I agree that there’s no PERFECT analogy here, but I think it’s fairly close. The unwilling father’s burden in supporting the child and, in some cases, the mother, can be quite burdensome. It lasts for 18 years whereas a pregnancy lasts only 9 months. Indeed, in light of the length of the father’s obligation, you might even argue that the father has a more onerous duty than the mother — especially if he is being forced to do this by the government against his will, and especially if he doesn’t have much money to begin with.

  • Mike

    Nupakai,

    Sorry, I forgot about your second post. You ask why men should just have the choice to walk away. I’m not sure they should, but if we’re working within the confines of the pro-choice view which allows women to just walk away, then it’s only fair to let men do the same. Of course, if you’re willing to restrict a woman’s right to have an abortion, then the man’s obligations are no longer so clear. But the point of the article is that, to be consistently pro-choice, you have to give the man the same rights you give the woman. And since she has the right to walk away, then so should the man.

  • http://murasaki.blog-city.com Purple Tigress

    Where does choice begin? Choice begins with the decision to have sexual intercourse and sexual play (since intercourse isn’t always necessary for pregnancy). The father had the choice to use birth control. The mother had the choice to use birth control. If they both chose to not use birth control, then they are both responsible for the pregnancy.

    Allowing fathers to walk away if they don’t want the child, is considering the man not to have any responsibility for the original act. If you don’t know what you want to do in case of pregnancy, if you are not willing to pay child support of a possible full-term pregnancy, then you shouldn’t be having sexual intercourse. Men should think twice before having sex with partners they don’t know that well, don’t care about or don’t expect to see again.

    If a man feels he can’t trust himself or his partner or partners, then he can always be sterilized.

    A woman who has an abortion isn’t just walking away. She is having a medical procedure and could possibly have complications. She might also feel some kind of guilt. However, it is her body and she should have control over what happens to it.

    Pregnancy isn’t the worse thing that can happen when people have intimate relations. Men can unknowingly spread the virus that causes cervical cancer and both men and women can get incurable diseases.

    If you think about the cost of living with genital herpes, HIV or AIDS and the social stigma attached, then I think the cost of raising a child is quite cheap in comparison.

  • KYS

    There is another component here: women bear the moral brunt of the decision to abort. Not because of the decision-making process, per se, but because despite support from the father, it is ultimately her choice. It’s a difficult burden to carry.

    I would also argue that an abortion is much more devastating to the mother; physically, emotionally and socially, and that the effects persist throughout her life.

    I think we need to consider those issues and weigh them appropriately when considering the father’s responsibility. I’m not saying men don’t care about abortions, but I do think it’s easier for them to walk away.

  • Mike

    Purple Tigress,

    On the one hand, you claim that a woman should have the right to control her body. On the other hand, you claim that “If you don’t know what you want to do in case of pregnancy, if you are not willing to pay child support of a possible full-term pregnancy, then you shouldn’t be having sexual intercourse.” These are incompatible ideas. The mother, after all, had sexual intercourse. So how does this affect her right to control her body?

  • Mike

    KYS,

    Even if you’re right that abortion is devastating to the mother, isn’t it also devastating to the father to be forced to pay for a child he didn’t want? And yes, women bear the brunt of the decision as to whether to abort. But shouldn’t they then have to bear the responsibility for that decision? If the decision is entirely theirs, why should the father have obligations to an unwanted child?

  • Nukapai

    Mike: You say “But the question remains why the unwilling man should have any financial obligations to his child when the choice to abort is entirely the woman’s”.

    My point is, I don’t see a section where you have convincingly explained where “the question is – why should a woman put herself through pregnancy, childbirth and motherhood if the choice is entirely the man’s?”

    Michael: the above could also be a question to you. It’s nothing to do with who agonises more. If you re-read what I wrote, I clearly stated that the people in question (not just women, not just men) generally find it incredibly difficult to make a choice in these matters.

  • http://nukapai.typepad.com Nukapai

    To Purple Tiger: respectfully, I would like to add a little correction to your statement – let’s not forget that a large proportion of unwanted pregnancies are a result of failed birth control, rapes, underage sexual offences, and even ignorance (when two underage chidren have sex – as often happens in USA, for example).

  • Nukapai

    About women “walking away”. The thing is, once a woman gets pregnant, she can never walk away. She now has to carry (pun intended) the results whatever happens.

  • Nukapai

    Mike: what it comes down to it: unwanted pregnancies are NOT fair on EITHER party. Deal with it. ;)

  • Nancy

    Wow – actually a civil dialogue about abortion-related issues. Of course, AG isn’t here to rant. Still, I’ve never seen this before.

  • http://musical-guru.blogspot.com Michael J. West

    My point is, I don’t see a section where you have convincingly explained where “the question is – why should a woman put herself through pregnancy, childbirth and motherhood if the choice is entirely the man’s?”

    How is the choice entirely the man’s in this scenario, Nukapai? The mother is able to choose whether she wants to support a child, and the man is able to choose whether he wants to support it. It’s 50/50. It simply means that if the mother wants the child and the father does not, the mother has to raise and support the child without his help. Why is that wrong?

    unwanted pregnancies are NOT fair on EITHER party. Deal with it. ;)

    Well, of course they’re not fair to either party. But it’s also not fair for the woman to say to the man, “I want to raise and support this child, and therefore you HAVE to do so as well, even if you don’t want to.”

  • http://musical-guru.blogspot.com Michael J. West

    Yeah, where is our young pro-life fanatic, AG? I figured he came in to scream on every post that contained the word “abortion.”

  • Nancy

    He’s come in to inject the issue even into threads that had nothing whatsoever to do with it. I’m glad he’s absent; he’s boring & annoying, because he is imbued with the total ignorance & know-it-all arrogance of extreme youth.

  • http://alienboysworld.blogspot.com/ Christopher Rose

    He must have got tired of having his shoddy thinking processes trashed by a long line of sane people from a wide variety of backgrounds and views; people who were incredibly patient with the young bigot. I thank you all.

  • http://www.futonreport.net/ Matthew T. Sussman

    Maybe his mom went back in time and had one herself.

    “One ticket to hell, please. Aisle seat.”

  • TwoCents

    There are no absolute answers to this. But let me offer a personal experience. Twenty-eight years ago this was my position. A pregnant girlfriend who couldn’t morally abort the pregnancy and me who never wanted a child because, as an aspiring artist, didn’t think it was fair to start a family with little potential to support it.
    But there is no middle ground to parenthood; you can’t have a part child. They are or aren’t. Because the woman faces the greatest risk, both physically and in the eyes of society, I think the decision, ultimately, needs to be hers. But I think Groucho is right. When the child is born, a man is a father regardless. It is that relationship he must confront.
    I think rights and responsibility are joined. Every man has a right to be a parent equal to the mother in all respects. For that right he has an obligation to support his child. If you choose to give up your right that doesn’t mean the responsibility is gone.
    I was in the delivery room when my son was born. And I can honestly say he was been my life’s greatest joy ever since. It was a blessing I wouldn’t have sought or experienced except for a mistake and, as such, one that I didn’t deserve. But to the men out there in that position, I hope you take the time to think about the joy a child can be.
    As a last note: I have been married to my son’s mother for twenty- three year. I have more luck than sense.

  • RedTard

    “if you are not willing to pay child support of a possible full-term pregnancy, then you shouldn’t be having sexual intercourse.” -Purple Tigress

    When this argument is turned around against women and abortion the pro-choice crowd gets enraged. If the argument is flawed in that case then it must be in this one as well.

    I think the man should have the same rights as a woman and be able to terminate his rights by posting the cost of an abortion. Equal rights for all!

  • Nancy

    I can’t pinpoint why, but I still think it’s not right or fair for a guy to be forced to be a father, as long as he’s willing to be responsible for a medically safe termination for the woman. If she insists on having the kid … I don’t know. It doesn’t ‘feel’ right to me, but it’s almost Friday, & my analytic capabilities are waning….

  • Bliffle

    It’s hard to know what’s ‘right’, isn’t it?

    Nevertheless, the prepared heart will find the right path, just ask TwoCents.

  • http://nukapai.typepad.com Nukapai

    It IS wonderful to be able to discuss this topic civilly. I’ve never seen it happen anywhere online, much less in an open-for-all place like this.

    Anyway, to add: I don’t actually think it IS fair for the man to be financially responsible for the child he didn’t want. But then it is not fair for the woman to be stuck with either the stigma, trauma (mental and physical) and possibly even cost (although, agreed, not as high as supporting a child throughout his/her lifetime) of abortion… OR the even more significant consequences of carrying the child to term and then taking it from there…

    What I’m saying is – the world is a bit of a cruel place and whereas in this scenario, the men DO have the opportunity to walk away, the women do not. No matter what, the woman is “screwed”.

  • Bliffle

    Maybe it’s wrong to depend on law to solve every problem. Maybe it’s wrong to think that the Supreme Court can replace the family. maybe it’s wrong to think that the damnations of over-wrought preachers can replace the examples of good parents. Maybe we have to do more than we are required to do by force of law.

    Maybe, even, we are capable of better behaviour than some legal and political minds may think.

  • http://musical-guru.blogspot.com Michael J. West

    I agree, Bliffle and Nukapai. And in all honesty I do think that everybody, male or female, should be well prepared for the fact that pregnancy is in the cards if they have sex.

    But in the (dispassionate) sense of legality, I just worry that there are double-standards in these things that can be overcome.

  • http://trishwilson.typepad.com/blog The Countess (Trish Wilson)

    I don’t think that the two are connected. On the one hand, you’re talking about a woman’s right to get an abortion. It’s a fetus, not a baby. On the other hand, welfare reform has created the big problem of unwed fathers being tracked down for child support. This isn’t done because it’s good for children. It’s done so that the state will get reimbursed for welfare monies it pays to custodial mothers. If a mother wants TANF, she must name the father, even if she doesn’t want to name him or if she doesn’t want child support. If she doesn’t name him, she gets no public assistance. It’s all about the state demanding reimbursement. That’s where draconian child support collection comes from. I personally don’t agree with welfare reform’s draconian child support collection measures. It has created all kinds of problems related to non-welfare cases.

  • http://dumpsterbust.blogspot.com/ Eric Berlin

    Mike — While I strongly support the right to choose to have an abortion, I absolutely agree that it’s a very very difficult topic. Those who wish to simplify it often do so at the peril of their argument.

  • http://dianahartman.blogspot.com/ diana hartman

    so you co-signed a car loan, giving only passing consideration to the idea that you might just have to fork over several thousand dollars for the next few years…it’s between you and the bank, and the bank gets most of the say…

    what it takes to raise a child is not comparable to what it takes to pay child support…when a co-signer of a car loan ends up paying for a car he never sees, he still isn’t saddled with cleaning it, keeping it fueled, insuring it, maintaining it, paying for or making repairs, getting it out of an impound, having meaningful discussions with it to get it started and keep it going, or making arrangements should it get totaled…if raising a child and paying for that child were comparable, then why aren’t there more men accepting the task, not just the title? after all, it’s the same, right? or could it be that paying is just paying, where raising is raising and paying? even if the non-custodial parent is paying every penny of the expense of raising a child, they are still not doing the bulk of the work…those who would disagree need only put their mouth where their money is: get out that no-doz, you’ve got some sleepless nights ahead and that sleeplessness changes considerably as the child grows from toddler to teenager…

    this discussion revolves around what is going on inside the woman’s body and the man’s head…by god and by law, we somehow never get around to getting inside the man’s body where a few mandatory choice clips could do a world of good…even if we take a chapter out of scott peterson’s guide to terminating an unwanted pregnancy, the combined esoteric and financial nature of the unwilling man’s burden still doesn’t add up to what the women must do – whether she takes a child into adulthood or not…and that brings us to the ever more boring harp-fest about the nine months a woman carries a child…as if this were not the event-filled time of sickness, joy, and pain that it is, we’ve no shortage of men seeking to categorize this nine months as a non-eventful period of time with a set beginning and a set end when in reality it never ends…ask any man who is a man and raised his child, the man who paid for his child with cash, heartbreak, and unthinkable joy: pregnancy is a chapter in a very long book, not a book all unto itself…

    our author employs the same fence-riding tactics of both the pro-life extremist and the pro-choice extremist…this precarious balancing act allows him (and them) to shift just so in either direction without actually falling off the fence into the grassy green pasture of decisive maturity and commitment…he wrongly believes he has this right or that responsibility, not both…
    from his perch of “poor me” he wags a not-pregnant finger at the expectant mother, employing the word of law and special interest groups in an effort to avoid blame and responsibility — never wagging that finger at himself…apparently having never engaged in an actual conversation with any woman ever, he comes away from the news of her pregnancy with the notion that he has anything more than a passing say in what she does with her body…you liked what she did with it before there bucko; how’s about you just trust her next call as well…
    don’t come crying into a court of law that you didn’t know what choice she would make…that’s your fault for not taking the time to get to know the woman you chose to sleep with…

    when all is said and done, it doesn’t matter what the law or groups say; it only matters what the two people involved have to say…the bio-father, carrying none of the physical burden and risk, simply isn’t going to have as much say — because he carries none of the physical burden and risk…he can hope like hell all day long that she complies with his preferences, but even with a change in laws the bottom line will still be what the bio-mother decides…this was true before abortion was legal and before there were child support laws…
    the good thing about this scenario is that it makes it glaringly obvious who the real men are…you’ll not see a responsible man blathering on about his rights and responsibilities…he doesn’t use the fanatical words of others because he doesn’t have a see-saw mindset in need of substantiation…we’re not going to hear from the responsible man as much as the “unwilling” because the responsible man is busy reading a bedtime story, sitting in an emergency room, and encouraging the newest addition to his car insurance policy…

    just because there are men who don’t want to deal with the consquences of their actions doesn’t mean there should be a law or any allowances made to accomodate the fact while their penis is grown, they aren’t…

  • Anthony Grande

    Father’s right to choose what? Kill?

  • http://victorplenty.blogspot.com Victor Plenty

    Well, at least the discussion was civil for awhile.

  • http://URL Lisa

    I am in this situation with my husband, who fathered a child 16 years ago. In my husbands opinion, he was ‘set up’. She told him she was on the pill (now why wouldn’t he believe her?). They were in a friendly, but not serious relationship, she ends up pregnant, he doesn’t want the child or want to be a father. He tells her this, but of course she still has the baby. He’s there for the birth, supports her in every way possible, feels he should be, but doesn’t love the mother. In the meantime, he met me, falls in love, and marries me. Only THEN does she decide to sue him for child support. What gives? He tried to do the right thing all along, but wasn’t in love with her. She’s bitter, so she sues. It is true, fathers DO NOT have a right to choose, and there’s something seriuosly wrong with that. He has done whatever he can to help her all these years, and continues to pay his support. He is NOT a deadbeat dad. There’s a big difference.

  • Shelly

    Ok…One post suggested that if the mother wanted an abortion, and hte father didn’t then he didn’t have to pay or be involved, and if she wanted to keep the baby, and he didn’t then again he didn’t have to pay or be involved. So basically if she choose to abort he could say it’s not what he wanted, and he walks away like nothing happened, and if she says she will then keep the baby, he again can say not what I wanted, and walk away. So what is really being asked for there is complete non responsibility for men in regard to procreation.

    At any rate….If a women get pregnant she is the one who will carry the baby for 9 months. She is the one who is risking her life, and she is usually the one to care for the infant after birth. In most non marriage scenerios it is the woman who has custody of the child, takes care of it night, and day, feeds it, baths it, shops for it, takes it to the doctor etc. She is also the one who has to pay for the majority of the expenses. Generally a man is ordered to pay child support, and if you look the amount barely covers the cost of diapers for the month. The woman then has to cover food, rent, electricity, medicine, transportation, clothes etc.

    If a woman chooses to have an abortion then she is responsible for the cost. The man can pay for all or a portion if he wants to, but if he doesn’t its up to her. Have you ever heard of anyone sueing, and winning for the cost of an abortion. So if that is a womans choice she is responsible for the cost.

    If she chooses to carry the child to term which is the normal, and general outcome of sexual intercourse without protection, or failed protection then the child once born has rights. Those rights include the right to be supported by both parents the male, and the female who created her/her.

  • http://adamantsun.blogspot.com SteveS

    You know a condom solves this whole issue.

  • Neil

    What a concept, but you have left out a whole subgroup. I know several women who are raising their child alone because the father did opt out. Some were dating the man, and he wanted the baby until it was born. Others were married, and then got divorced. In each case the father has been court ordered to pay child support, but doesn’t pay. They have in fact run off, and everything the child support people find them they simply move on. These are men who wanted a baby, but then refused to take any responsibility for the baby after birth. There are millions of these men out there.

  • Neil

    What a concept, but you have left out a whole subgroup. I know several women who are raising their child alone because the father did opt out. Some were dating the man, and he wanted the baby until it was born. Others were married, and then got divorced. In each case the father has been court ordered to pay child support, but doesn’t pay. They have in fact run off, and everything the child support people find them they simply move on. These are men who wanted a baby, but then refused to take any responsibility for the baby after birth. There are millions of these men out there.

  • whatamess

    This post makes a great point which I will never understand. I remember a young man who moved across the country because his girlfriend became pregnant…She decided on her own to have an abortion and he begged her not to do it. He has been forever scarred by this and she has moved on. With that said, how is that fair? The woman is killing that man’s child? How is that her choice? Why is it that if a man hits a woman and kills her “fetus” he can be charged with manslaughter, yet a woman can kill her OWN fetus and not be charged with manslaughter?

    Regardless of which side of the abortion issue you are on, the current laws are unfair ONLY to men.

    The fact is that a woman not only has the option to have an abortion…but they also have the option of having the child and then deciding they don’t want to be responsible for that child and they can drop them off at any hospital and the state will NEVER again come after them for child support. On the other hand, a man has no choice to do the same. Someone mentioned the difference was that one was a FETUS and the other a CHILD…well, when a woman drops off a CHILD at a hospital and disappears, the law does NOT go after her…Isn’t she also not taking responsibility for her child?

    I also can never understand when women say that men should keep their pants zipped or use contraception if they don’t want children to support…My question is, why don’t WOMEN do the same? Why is it that it’s ok for women to have sex, have children and then go after a man to support the child, and many times, even them, because she didn’t think enough to NOT have sex knowing she could get pregnant?

    I hope that someday, for the sake of my son, these types of issues are resolved.

  • i_am_an_IDIOT

    as a potential unwilling father, my position is that if she decides to have the child i will respect her decision. but she needs to respect my decision to not have anything to do w/ her nor the child. my feelings have been expressed… it was a one-nighter, nothing more. absolutely no love or emotion other than booze-induced horniness, and if the child is born and she comes after me for financial or other support there will be strong animosity between us. why would anyone want to bring up another single-parent welfare baby in this world? and i’m just the best potential option for the baby and will definitely order a paternity test if it comes to that.

  • Stephany

    Mike, your scenario referred to a pro-choice one. My question to you is: if the girl is pro-life, and won’t have an abortion for moral and ethical reasons, but the guy is pro-choice, in this case who gets to have the last say? Who gets to choose whether this child should be born or not?

    Both had been in a relationship and both knew what they were doing and how reckless they had been. So to what extent does the father really get to say that he won’t have anything to do with this “mistake”?

  • Lisa

    Im personally in this situation myself. He doesn’t want it I do, his excuses for not having it even include what his ex is going to think. Poor man at 47 still has to walk in his exs shadow always worried about what she thinks.

    I am willing to have a paper signed that he will have no rights to the baby nor will I ask for support.

    I feel he doesn’t want it fine, then he has no rights anymore.

    I so hate fathers that fight for fathers rights and how they want that chance with their kids yet the same fathers disown a pregnant girlfriend over something as dumb as eating at the computer.

  • Franco

    Lisa,

    You’ve got some shit going on here.

    First of all you need to know what you are saying to someone and what it sounds like who is not emotionally involved like you are in this.

    If you really want your child for you and the childs sake (apart from the father) then you really only have once choice. If the father splits then that has to be still OK with you.

    As far as signing a paper to not seek support, I would not think that is in the child’s best interest. And there are laws that take care of this issue, it’s not a debate with him.

    As far as what the father sounds like with his worrying about what his ex thinks, that’s a two side red warning flag! On side is his unfulfilled commitment and total respect for you, and the other is your putting up with that lack of respect.

    If you really want your child and you give it up for this guy, you have nothing but a man who dose not respect you and he now knows he has you so emotionally bound to him you will give up the life of your child for him. He is a one way street looser.

    If you don’t think you can leave him, I think your wrong.

    If he comes back around later after thinking it through, and you want to take him back, he will know that you demand respect. Its also something real men value in a woman and makes them more attractive.

  • gatteaux

    Several problems with the article and some of the comments.

    1. The right to abort is that of bodily integrity and privacy NOT that of just reproductive choice. Just like a man has every right to use deadly force against a rapist, a woman has the same right to use deadly force against someone using her body (a fetus in this case).

    2. Child support is a right of the child (after its born) to parental financial care from both parents. It is not the mother’s right.

    3. The statement that one has to bear consequences of one’s actions is not absurd at all. A woman bears the consequences by either having an abortion or by giving birth. Either way, she is forced to face the consequences by Nature itself.

    Therefore, there is nothing hypocritical in saying that a man similarly must face the consequence.

    Now if anyone here is going to argue that a man must have the right to choose, let me remind you that the mother can choose because she is the one who carries the pregnancy and thus it is a matter of her bodily integrity. The man has no demand to a right to not face the consequence as he has every right to prevent the pregnancy by not engaging in sex as that is his only role in reproduction—-to inseminate the female.

  • Emily

    I find this appalling. First weather it is the mothers choice or not to have the child BOTH had sex with that risk as a possible outcome. And second, when this outcome is born BOTH do have obligations both morally and monitarily. Just because a father pays child supprt doesnt mean that the mother is entitled to sit at home on her ass and do nothing. The mother is to manage his money as well as her own to benifit the child.

    This is crazy. Pro choice or pro life, it is both who took the risk and eventually both who will and SHOULD support the child. And by the way, the fetus does have rights to both parents AND thier wallets!

  • Anthony

    first off, this is rather in the face of pro choice.. cause otherwise there wouldn’t be a legal stand or decision if there was no abortion permitted…

    I been reading through alot of this, and i think first and formost like any descision made is based on the father and mother’s situation..

    first i’d like to declare that it takes 2 to tango. it takes two to have sex and it should be both of their responsibility… otherwise it’s forced upon another and is considered rape. and that is in another situation…

    as far as countercepts, sterilization is just as much as a woman getting her tubes tied, the pill as to a condom, and more… so equally both women and men are responsible for that.. and yeah not having sex is another possibility.. how ever people aren’t perfect and things happen and “both” made the choice to do so…

    the situation here i see is 2 people had sex and unplanned pregnancy has came into play. and the two disagree on going through with birth/abortion. if both agree’d to go through birth then the father should be responsible with child support without rights of backing out once a document may be signed and it’d be fair to put a time on it sonce life doesn’t stop for anyone,and neglecting the matter should be automatic responsibility..

    i have some questions that that are possible variables to the situation, first off if the couple is married then what? it doesn’t say it was a one night stand above… as two people in contract of a marriage, should there be something in there that he has equal right? depending on whats in a marriage contract, and pre nup… lets say this is what breaks up a marriage, the father/mother is already forced to loose half of everything, as well as alamonie, but then to pay child support on top of it?

    next marriage or not, who’s to have rightful custody, if in marriage there are many situations where the mother is not able to care for the child, or the father may be in better situation to do so, who’s to say that the father shouldn’t get custody as if it was in a divorce case with a 10 year old?

    with both equal citizens of the government, how is one declared better then the other to make that descision of an abortion. what if the father was the one who wanted to keep the baby, and the mother was perfectly healthy to go through with it but decides not to.

    if women movement rights have moved women to be equal of men, should men not be in equal power to make descisions that will effect their life dramaticaly, as a woman theirs in such a situation?

    one of the problems today is the fact that there are single parents (mothers and fathers alike) trying to raise a child by their self. The situations are almost numerous but none the less it is in our best interest to do what we can for these single parents in raising these kids as our future. but i have seen where the father with no rights of seeing their kids along with way over charged child support where they can’t even make ends meet. and the mother not having to get a job to help out. so for child support to be a punishment for some who deserve it may the case. but what about those who can’t afford it and constantly forced back to jail or prison for not affording child support…

    another situation i wanna ask is what if these were two teenagers, two people who are not yet responsible for their actions in the matter of sex. Do you then put child support on a 16 year old who’s still trying to graduate highschool? when a 16 year old mother can opt out of having a child for her future, why shouldn’t a 16 year old father opt out for his future either as a say in abortion or a say in not paying child support.

    why can’t that future also apply for an adult. the question isn’t a matter of who loses and wins, but a matter of whats right and wrong, who does the descision go to, and is it still fair to address one better then the other…

  • http://blogcritics.org/archives/2005/12/07/143915.php Seeking Rationale

    I’m trying to make the most informed decision possible. At exactly what point during gestation, or maybe its the birthing stage, does a fetus undergo a physiological change that differentiates it from that of the baby once born? I’m looking for scientific evidence to support my decision in the face of heavy criticism from family.

  • Les Slater

    Seeking,

    There are constant changes going on during gestation. Birthing is certainly an important point. However development continues for years after birth.

    There happens to be a political battle going on where the primary forces are lined up against a woman’s right to make informed, and supported choices with regards to her reproductive biology. The most reactionary of these attempt to define an undivided cell as a ‘person’.

    One of the features of the attacks on woman’s rights is to lay down a guilt trip on her. They misuse the legal term ‘murder’. They try to isolate her by spreading misinformation to society at large, which of course reaches those near and dear to to her.

    It is really a question of choice. The Supreme Court, in Roe v Wade, protects her right to make the decision up to the third semester. It’s her choice.

    People around a women are doing her no favor by delaying the decision by laying trips.

    Les

  • http://fathersrighttochoose.blogspot.com/2009/01/fathers-right-to-choose.html Jack

    One of the greatest initiatives were taken when it became a national issue about a women’s right to choose. Whether she is pro-choice or pro-life the option to carry out or terminate a pregnancy is completely up to the woman in question.

    But what about men?

    There exist a great number of men who want a child and if the woman decides she wants to terminate the pregnancy then that man must swallow the murder of his child. Yet even still it is a woman’s choice. Pro-choice advocates emphasize their beliefs that having a child is a personal choice that affects a woman’s body and personal health. The general belief is that it is a man’s responsibility to protect him self via condom. It is a common belief that “if a woman gets pregnant it’s a man’s fault”. There is no “generally accepted” belief that women share the blame equally for not taking proper precautions. Many women simply rely on condoms to protect themselves when there are a myriad of precautions to be taken including IUD’s, Depo-Provera shots and many others. Yet in many situations women become pregnant and even though the father choose’s not to have a child he is forced to be tied down by that woman’s choice for life.
    For example we could look at the Maury Povich talk show. Maury Povich has allowed us to see an epidemic of insurmountable proportions and if he had not, we as a society would never have believed it. There are women in America who are having unprotected sex with dozens of men within short periods of time and yet still believe that her choice to keep that child means that “if she ever discovers who the father is” is now responsible for supporting that child.
    The amount of tax payer money that is spent on court costs to have blood tests, custody battles, determining Child Support, and Visitation is a waste of money. Therefore a bill should be past that also gives men a right to chose. If a man chose’s to agree to a pregnancy then he would have three months to sign a form that states ahead of time that he is agreeing to the pregnancy and in the event that he and the mother were to ever separate that he will pay child support, no fight. And on that same page it will also state that the man who signs that form will ALWAYS have rights to see that child. Automatic joint custody is agreed upon before the child is even born. If there is a circumstance where one of the parents aren’t fit to have their half of joint custody honored then that can be reviewed and determined by a court. But many men and women use children as pawns to hurt the other parent by not allowing that child to see their other parent.
    I believe that if women understood that men also have a right to chose, then there would be a lot less frivolous and irresponsible sex resulting in many unwanted pregnancies (by women or men); Tax payers wouldn’t have to foot the bill for years of court dates to determine who the father is, who will pay child support and who will get custody. All of this would have already been determined before the child is born.

    I am writing this because I had a son on April 21, 2000; a pregnancy/child that was not wanted by the mother but I begged her not to kill my son. She agreed but after a horrible fallout between his mother and I, she made it completely impossible for me to see my son. There was court ordered visitation, which she repeatedly disobeyed and even with police reports to prove my claims the court allowed her to keep my son away from me. It has been 5 years since I’ve seen my son and I ran out of money for lawyers a long time ago. I can’t retain a legal aid because I make to much money, but I never see any of that money because I pay an incredibly high child support. This is unfair and its time that men who step up to the plate as fathers are recognized and are given due respect by the court systems of America.

    Disclaimer: This is not an Anti-abortion blog and I understand that there will many who disagree with this bill but the purpose of this blog is to get ideas on how to tweak the details

  • Greg

    Im surprised noone has mentioned the third option that mothers can choose but fathers can not.

    ADOPTION.

    A mother who is ‘pro-life’ can give birth to the baby, and then give it to someone else to bring up, often a couple who cannot have children of their own. She will pay no child support and even give the baby away anonymously so will never have to see the child again.

    She can ‘walk away’ even after giving birth!, Men do not have this choice!.

    So Women have three choices, keep, abort or adopt. Men have no choices!. Equality??? yeah right.

  • Cindy

    Greg,

    Men have no choices? What about birth control?

  • Greg

    Birth control is irrelevant to this discussion, we are talking post conception. My ex girlfriend was illergic to condoms and on the pill, so she was responsible for birth control. Lucky for me she was responsible, but other guy arnt s so lucky. Also in my opinion condoms are like taking a shower with your clothes on.

  • AP

    Cindy,

    “Men have no choices? What about birth control?”

    I believe what Greg meant that women have four choices: birth control, keep, abort or give the child up for adoption.

    Men have one: birth control

    Moreover, birth control is not a perfect choice (non-zero failure rate, even if everyone does everything right).

    Keeping, aborting or giving the child up for adoption are relatively fail-proof, no? (Please correct me if I am wrong.)

    Some people have spoken about sterilization as a fail-proof method of birth control. How is that reasonable? Maybe he just doesn’t want to father a child at this point in his life or with this woman. (There are probably many other possibilities along these lines.)

    Why must it be incumbent on the man alone, to make his contribution to the conception fail-proof? I’m absolutely not saying it’s incumbent on the woman either.

    Since we are having a civil debate (it’s a miracle!) about the actual merits of the argument, how about allowing both sides an imperfect option (birth-control) that could, in extreme cases, be made perfect (sterilization). Let’s assume neither side actually sterilizes themselves (the common case). Conception happens. So far, everything has been equal. Now what?

    Mom has choices (3 of them), Dad has none? As others have pointed out, the father could well be affected by either of the three choices:
    * Mom keeps – Dad didn’t actually want the kid, has to pay child-support
    * Mom aborts – Dad actually wanted the kid, is emotionally devastated, forever
    * Mom gives the child up for adoption – Dad doesn’t get a say in who adopts

    Doesn’t sound fair.

    (I’m not a Dad, haven’t been one, was never in this position. I treat this as a real-world thought-experiment, purely in the interest of fairness. I currently agree with the author’s premise. Convince me with logical argument and I’ll change my opinion. I’m not saying I want to believe – I’m willing to, though.)

  • Cindy

    AP,

    Okay. Maybe I’m being unreasonable. Maybe. I don’t know.

    But, that’s not right about the adoption thing. The father would get to take the child and therefore that is another choice for him.

    So, birth control or raise the child.

    I’m not sure what other choices could be expected.

    So much is unfair. Maybe men should carrying around birth control for both them and their partner.

    (p.s. I’ve know a few men…shockingly the majority of them left the birth control up to me)

  • Cindy

    Look here is something called a contraceptive sponge.

    As a consolation, if it doesn’t work, you can use it to give the baby a bath.

  • AP

    Cindy..

    Perhaps it’s only fair to share the responsibility of “carrying around” the birth control. It’s sometimes a medical choice for women (right?) and should hardly be made by the guy.

    (I know I’m being slightly cheeky, apologies, but) one could always say no to the shocking majority if one did not agree with them or their ways.

  • “Anonymous”

    This is very real.
    Im 17 years a girl and has been very depressed.
    I wasn’t thinking about my life at the time and decided to go to a girls house.
    She wanted me bad but i didn’t want her at all. She begged me to do it so i did anyway. She got on top and the weight/pressure ripped the condom without us knowing.

    Now I:
    Ruined my illustration career.
    Lost complete respect and trust from my father.
    Have an STD.
    Lost my friends.
    Lost my good grads.
    Lost all motivaton to do anything.
    Becoming suicidal and suffering from depression.

    I’m stuck at such a young age fathering a kid with a girl that I don’t have any feelings for what so ever and isn’t even at all attractive in the inside or out.

    Im stuck giving up everything that Ive been striving for and working towards ever since i was 3 years old just to do something that I didn’t want to do in the first place.

    I took 2 people to make a child.

    And only ONE person has all the authority?

    Equality all just a f***ing joke.

    I ruined my life before it even started unintentonally and I can’t have a say in what I feel is right for my life and my child just because Im not carrying it.

    I believe in Pro-Choice and Pro-Life.

    This child is going to have to suffer from now having the love he needs from his parents together and towards him because of an accident that happened one night.

    I had plans for myself and my future.
    And they’re wiped away in a few minutes?

    You know when your ready to have a child, You can choose to give your child life.

    Life is birth?

    The creation on life isn’t completed until air fills your child’s lungs.

    I want a great life for MY child.

    Not having to dealwith the separation of 2 parents that he has to choose which one to live with. What one says about the other. Which ones gonna show up at his big game. Which one loves him and which doesn’t.

    That’s no way for someone to live.

    Cause that’s how Im living my life now…

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    You had better get some help – call some agencies. They’re geared to help people in the kind of trouble you are in.
    I wouldn’t waste a second if I were you.

  • ProDeadBeat

    Good article, but with one significant weak point:

    >”Presumably, some legal mechanism could be devised…”

    This sentence is of a completely different journalistic caliber to the rest of the text, and basically amounts to “I didn’t research this part or interview anyone about it, cos it looked to complicated.”

    A highly intelligent article marred by one clumsy descent into generic ill-informed blog soapboxing.

    Perhaps a follow-up might be in order where you make the effort to talk to legal experts and activist groups who can actually answer this point?

  • Efosa

    People, many argue that a women can do what she wants to her body and that is true. However you are missing the point, that fetus isnt a part of her actual body, it is simply inside her body. She is not only doing stuff to her own body, but also destrying the body of the fetus. If the father doesn’t get the right to decide if the baby can be aborted or not then he shouldn’t have to pay for it. Some say he impregnanted her and therefore should pay. I definitely agree, however the mother also had the choice too, so in the case that she aborted, she is also walking away from responsibility. The fact is while sex may be fun, it comes with responsibility and risk. If you aren’t prepared to raise a child, don’t have sex, it’s really simple if you’re mature. And don’t go saying what about immature people, the answer is plain simple.

  • Heather

    Actually the father does have a say as to if he wants to father/support this “fetus” and that is.. Dumbass dont shoot a teaspoon of fertile sperm into a vagina without any protection if you dont want to be held responsible for a child your at the time agreeing to create! Is there a small statistic of condoms not being 100% in preventing pregnancy, ya. But if you but a load in a latex pouch verses a vagina with fallopian tubes and ovaries your odds are pretty good. I have no sympathy for this man because he chooses to cum or not to cum, I mean worst case scenario pull out.

  • Heather

    PREVENTION IS BETTER THAN CURE.

  • Pro Choice for BOTH!

    I am very pro choice. With that said, I do believe in what the author said. Both parents should have the right to choose.

    I do believe the decision should be between the mother and the doctor if the mother’s health is at risk. I also think that the father should have to decide prior to 20 weeks if he wants the baby just as the mother does. The mother should have to have a legal obligation to tell the father as soon as she finds out she is pregnant in order for him to make his decision and if not she should not be allowed to hold him financially or morally responsible for the child.

    If the mother chooses to get an abortion and the father is against it. The father should be allowed to keep the baby (unless there is a health risk to the mother) but should have all financial responsibility, including all cost during pregnancy and after the birth with the mother being allowed to relinquish her rights as a mother and the father get full custody.

    If the Mother wants to keep the baby and the father does not the father should be allowed to relinquish his rights as the father and the mother should have all financial responsibly. Keeping sole responsibility of the child. Neither being able to come back later to claim their stake.

    Example. A 15 year old boy gets a 16 year old girl pregnant. She said she was taking birth control the boy believing her (him being 15 and immature) She gets pregnant. Her and her family decide to keep it. The 15 year old boy does not want to. He should be able to hand over his rights to that child and move on with his life. The mother should have all responsibility after. The boy should not have to be bound and pay such a heavy for a mistake they both made.

    Alot of teenage girls will try and trap a boy into staying with them using a pregnancy as a tool. This never works and then the child suffers. Because the girl doesn’t want the baby she wants the boy. When this doesn’t work out then she often time takes it out on the now unwanted child. Why should this 15 year old boy be financially bound to this child when he didn’t want it and is being held hostage by this girl.

    She is allowed to eliminate her mistake but he has to pay for it?

    I feel that if one has the right to choose they both do. Condoms brake and are often put on incorrectly. The boy could be doing all he can to prevent it and should not be held responsible at 15. I feel anyone under the age of 18 should not be held responsible for an unwanted child.

  • Jessie

    I utterly think that a man has no right to decide whether a mother should keep a baby it’s not his body thats going to go through the changes or feel the stress of carrying a baby

  • Druk

    A simple solution is to have an unwilling father be forced to pay child support of an amount dependent upon his custody rights. If a father gives up all custody (or is disallowed from having custody), he pays for no more than the price of an abortion.

  • Unfair

    I was looking for legal precedent discussing making a father pay for an abortion for a girl he impregnanted, since I am in a situation like that. Why is it that men are forced to pay child support for the rest of their lives for a child they do not want, but that same man is not legally obligated to pay half to get rid of a child that neither of them want?

  • Tess

    This is an interesting point. However, there’s one thing you haven’t mentioned, and that is that, for the fetus to have access to its father’s wallet, it would also need its mother to grant it access to her womb. As a result, the fetus would have access to neither, or both. A pro-choice advocate would argue that it’s the mother’s choice whether or not to give the fetus access to their womb, and that the father has the responsibility of respecting this and backing up her decision with his wallet precisely /because/ she has much more invested in this (after all, she’s the one looking after the fetus after they’re born). Also, I don’t appreciate your referring to pro-choice advocates as women (‘she wouldn’t be able to argue’, or something to that effect), as surely there are men that are pro-choice as well, just as there are pro-life women.

  • Kayleigh

    I, as a pro-choice lady, have not really even considered the father’s view on the fetus. Though, would he have to pay child support for the child, when the child is aborted? ;) The man’s opinion can be considered, just as the woman considers the choices she has, but in the end, it should only come down to what the woman wants or needs. It would be her body carrying the baby, and maybe she would never be ready for that feeling.

  • Allyson

    BACK STORY

    I’m going to have to agree that I have utilized this philosophy in whether or not to hold my sons Father, financially responsible against his will. He pops in from time to time and commits periodically to being a parent but is overall unreliable.

    We are living together at the time I got pregnant, both very young and in a young (1.5-2 year) relationship.
    He wanted me to have an abortion, I didn’t have it in me. He despised me for a long time, and I despised him and although my life has been very difficult from making those decisions I turned out to be a pretty good mother, with a pretty phenomenal kid.
    The problem is, with a now 9 year old child- I’m pregnant again ! AND as a result of a very isolated moment that we (The father and I) slept together last month. I took the 72 hour pill, which was clearly ineffective, I haven’t slept with anyone else- I haven’t even hugged a man who isn’t related to me in a long time. So it’s undeniably the result of us sleeping together.

    THE DILEMMA

    This would mean that I’m 3.5 weeks now and I perceive what’s inside me at this time to be very scientific. In fact, it still looks like a plasma and I’m driven to taking an RU486 as I won’t feel guilty to “get rid of it” at this time before it grows into and takes on the shape and characteristics of a baby.

    BUT ETHICS…

    lead me to believe that I should at least inform him before I go through with it.

    OPINIONS? Thoughts??

  • Logic Fallacy

    This one sounds tough and complicated… But the solution is actually simple. Make it illegal and the responsibility now rests with both parties. Done deal! Just like taxes you may not like it, but we all gotta pay it! If you allow choice fathers are at a disadvantage, since they don’t have a choice to begin with anyway.

  • Josh

    Ok then let me ask a question: I’m facing the issue right now of having a woman choose to abort a “future child” that neither of us planned for but is still there. I DO NOT want her to abort because I believe it to be morally wrong. There is always the choice of adoption if she doesnt want the baby or to be a mother. We both made the choice to have sex knowing full well the possible reprocussions of our actions and SHE is the one choosing to not live with the consequences and “I” have absolutely zero say in the matter. How is THAT fair??????

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Is she your wife? If not, then it’s her body, her choice.

    I’m a Foster dad of a medically-fragile child – he has Fetal Alcohol Syndrome – all nutrition through a g-tube, he has two rods going down his spine, he breathes through a trach tube, he’s got seizure disorders, a cleft palate, can’t walk without direct assistance, and will always, always need professional nursing care. He’s been with us for over eleven years now…and between the 16 hours of professional nursing care he receives each day, the feeding (about $60/day), the doctors’ appts, and plethora of medications, he costs state taxpayers over $300K every single year of his life, just to keep him alive. BTW, very little of that goes to us – we’re “just” the Foster parents.

    What’s the point? This was Fetal Alcohol Syndrome – which means the mother (who lives in town but has made zero efforts to see him) drank while pregnant. To me, when I see all the anti-abortion-rights protesters on the street corners, I consider them hypocrites because they’re SO worried about the embryos, but I never, ever see them at the bars or at the schools telling kids what happens if they drink or do drugs while pregnant (we also had a child with Fetal Drug Syndrome – the symptoms were much the same).

    No, guy, it’s not your body – it’s her body. It’s her choice. She is every bit as much a person as you are…and the fetus inside – if it’s too undeveloped to live outside the womb without intensive medical assistance – cannot be considered a priority over what a woman wants to do or not to do with her own body.

  • Jodie

    I know this article has been here for quite a few years but I wanted to post my comment about this. I am a mother of 4, I had my older 3 kids against their fathers wishes. They were MY choice!! I have my youngest with a man I am with now and this comment is in regards to his story. He has 3 children, one with me, one with his ex-wife, and one with another woman whom he dated out of high school. He was with this woman for years, she took birth control faithfully and never got pregnant. my bf decided at one point that he didnt want to be with her and started preparing to leave her, until he found out his father was cancer stricken and only had a few months to live, at that point he turned to her for a shoulder to cry on, he looked to her for comfort through his difficult time. She stood by him but at the same time she stopped taking her birth control and never informed him. A day after his dad died of cancer she told him she was pregnant. He was extremely confused because he thought she was on birth control. She was deceitful and knew he was ready to leave her!! she got pregnant with him completely in the dark of her not taking her birth control pills. He wasnt ready to be a father and he didnt want a child with that woman, but he didnt have a choice. She had the kid and he was forced to be a father. For a while he was there for the kid. When the child was 2 he finally left her but had his child support obligation there after. From day 1 the court system has been unfair to him. He has no rights to his children accept for the right to responsibility. They leave him not enough money to survive and it has made him devastatingly depressed. He wants nothing to do with her or they child they made. I believe that when you have a child with an unwilling father, your most likely to get a dead beat father!!! why would you want that for your child? if YOU choose to have the child and he doesn’t!! it should be YOUR responsibility!!! and your alone!! and in his casse, he was tricked by her. Women do that all; the time to save relationships and tghe man are always getting the shit end of the stick. This is coming from a mother of 4. I dont ask my kids father for much of anything because they were MY choice. I think this world needs to do some changing for everyone…and be more fair and equal with men

  • Denise

    In my opinion, the only choice a man should have is saying “no” to the mother having an abortion. I do not believe murder should be legal and the fact that these women can kill the mans child without his consent is pure evil. As far as you believing a man should be able to walk away, I believe its sad that our society has become so distant. I am raising a child of a man whom did not want our son and he asked me to have an abortion.
    The biological father has never touched his son and pays the minimum amount of child support possible. We send more money to starving orphans in Africa than what he pays monthly. If I only contributed as much as his father towards my sons well being then I would be arrested for neglect bc my son would have no clothes, no food, nowhere to live, etc.. So why shouldnt the father be arrested for neglect when he only pays 40-60 dollars per month in so called “child support”? Isnt that the same as neglect? I do believe it is…