Abortion VS. Denial of Parental Rights

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-12-2011
Abortion VS. Denial of Parental Rights
23
Sat, 04-23-2011 - 1:26am

I got into a discussion recently with some friends, and thought it would make a good debate.

If a woman has the right to have an abortion of a child she does not want, regardless of the fathers wishes, should a man

Pages

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-18-2006
Sat, 04-23-2011 - 11:06am

Yes, this is a very good debate question with no easy answers.

First off, a guy who doesn't want kids should take some personal responsibilty. It shouldn't all fall on the woman...who cares if she SAYS she's on the Pill, put a condom on, already...kwim? If you know you never want kids get a vasectomy. That all being said...

The thing is, men sort of DO get to "choose". While a court can order a man to pay child support, you cannot FORCE him to spend time with the child, help raise him/her, etc. We live in a world of absentee fathers. Should they be held responsible? While I think every child deserves two loving parents, in the real world, it doesn't always work out this way. I'm not comfortable

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-18-2006
Sat, 04-23-2011 - 11:50am

Edited to Add - I have a situation in my own family that proves the point I was trying to make.

My sil has three kids. The two youngest, a girl and a boy, have the same father. The girl, my niece, came first. Her dad has always been very involved in her life, and at twelve years old, she is a great kid who is still a big "Daddy's Girl".

When my niece was about 2 1/2, my sil got pregnant again. In her defense, it was completely unplanned and she WAS using birth control. Anyhow, she ultimately decided to keep the baby, my nephew is now ten years old. His father has never had anything to do with him. I wish I was kidding. Weekend after weekend, he would take his daughter to his home, buy her everything she wanted, and spoil her rotten. Meanwhile, there sits my nephew, wondering why he isn't included. He DOES pay child support, but has never been emotionally involved with him whatsoever.

As

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-17-2007
Sat, 04-23-2011 - 10:44pm

Abortion is a pregnancy decision; caring for a child is a parenting decision. A man is required to support his child once it is born, but a woman is also required to do the same. Just as a woman has the right to decide not to become a parent by terminating a pregnancy, so a man has the right to decide not to become a parent either by abstaining from sex or by using protection during sex. The fact that the woman becomes pregnant means that she gets to decide what happens with her body. It has nothing to do with denying a man rights. And frankly it would make no sense to allow men to decide in favor of/or against parenthood after pregnancy has occurred given the fact that it is not their bodies where the pregnancy lies. It is no more complicated than that.




Powered by CGISpy.com


Thanks

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-28-2005
Mon, 04-25-2011 - 8:48am

The woman is given a lot of options - to have the baby or not, to put the baby up for adoption or not. I think she needs to have the father's consent for adoption also. But, I wonder, is it fair to force the man to pay for a child if he asked for an abortion?

Angie, that's so sad that dad doesn't want anything to do with his son. Does he question his paternity?


iVillage Member
Registered: 07-18-2006
Mon, 04-25-2011 - 11:34am

He said he did, but he knew all along he was his. In any case, there was a paternity test done years ago, so yeah - there's never been any doubts.

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-28-2005
Mon, 04-25-2011 - 12:01pm

That's sad. And here I thought men were suppose to be partial to boys. I wonder why he acts that way.

Hugs to your nephew!


iVillage Member
Registered: 04-12-2011
Thu, 04-28-2011 - 8:47pm
@cmwendyw-
That was my thought. Is it fair to force the man to supprt the child financially if he wanted an abortion, and agrees to sign over any and all rights.
I say no. But ONLY if he agrees to no contact.
Women have abortions for other reasons than it's affect on their body, so I do not believe that to be a just argument. And in the same sense, women find themselves pregnant after taking the neccessary precautions, so I do not believe that to be a just argument either.
In short I think that the right to choose to be a parent, is as important as the right to choose to be pregnant.
As sad as it may be, women aren't forced to be parents, why should men?
iVillage Member
Registered: 06-17-2007
Thu, 04-28-2011 - 10:57pm

<>

Actually, women have the same rights and responsibilities as parents as men do. A woman cannot give birth and just give up the baby for adoption. If the father does not give consent and takes custody, then she would be bound to provide child support. If a child is born from that conception, then both parents are equally responsible. The only reason the woman gets an additional opportunity to make a decision is that the pregnancy involves her body, and hers alone. She's got to be able to make decisions for the health of her own body, or she is no different from a child who is bound to the health care decisions of his/her parents.

This topic has been covered several times on this board, but since the board has been dead awhile, I'll rehash my opinions.

1. I don't think a policy allowing men to void their parental rights/responsibilities with no requirements is good social policy. First, there's the obvious argument that allowing men to not have to demonstrate any responsibility puts 100% of that responsibility on the woman. This means that any woman who chooses to have sex, in or outside of marriage, is basically consenting to raising the baby alone, without support, unless she's determined to have an abortion. Considering women already bear the burden of pregnancy, to place this burden on them as well is far more unfair. If this were policy, it would have bad social outcomes. The reason adultery which resulted in a married woman's conception was punished so strictly in early America (it was punishable by death) had to do with inheritance and support. In the days before DNA testing, children born in wedlock were assumed to be the progeny of the man, and so all typical inheritance rules applied. The fact that they expected a man to support the children born in his marriage to his wife meant that they had to severely punish people who might have him giving his land and property to a child who wasn't his. Beyond that, an unmarried couple who conceived would be expected to marry, for the same reason of ensuring that the child would be provided for. Society doesn't need more people on welfare, and allowing men to skip out on the tab, as it were, does nothing better than ensure more women and children will end up in poverty and on welfare.

2. We assume that women aren't forced to be parents, but the laws are far more nuanced. I know that most states have limitations on late-term abortions (abortions past 20-24 weeks). But some states have other limitations, as well. Some simply have limited services available to women. Others require women to receive anti-abortion counseling before having an abortion. And in some states, you can't have one for just any reason. I live in Utah, and the only reason you can have an abortion here is for rape, incest, or if two doctors will verify that continuing the pregnancy would almost certainly permanently damage your health in a significant way, or kill you.

So let's say I got pregnant again. I've had pre-eclampsia twice, and the last time was quite serious. My son was delivered by c-section at 35w because of it. I had to go back into the hospital for two days when he was a week old because it wasn't going away. I would almost certainly get it again, at least as bad as I had it this time. Pregnancy is high-risk for me, not the least because I've had two c-sections now. Yet if I get pregnant again (and it would be by accident after taking as many precautions as I can), I have very limited options. Although I highly doubt I would ever willingly consent to an abortion except literally to save my life, the state of Utah basically gives me the choice to seek an illegal abortion or continue the pregnancy and hope that it doesn't kill me, maim me, or leave me in the position of having to deliver an immature baby.

After all that, I cannot imagine allowing my husband to skip out on the tab if he felt that dealing with another complicated pregnancy was too much for him. I'm sorry, but I'm honestly done thinking that men have such a raw deal when it comes to parenthood. I'm for equal treatment where it is relevant, but allowing men to abort their role in parenthood, as it were, will only force more abortions and more women and children into welfare. More "equal" for men, but absolutely horrible for everyone else.




Powered by CGISpy.com


Thanks

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-12-2011
Thu, 04-28-2011 - 11:37pm
You have raised some very good points. Thank you. I like reading the opinions of educated people :)
There are many factors that come in to play. I guess it will never be "fair" unless each party is on board 100%
That in and of itself is unfortunate.
iVillage Member
Registered: 02-28-2008
Wed, 06-15-2011 - 11:42pm

Pages