Abortion for Men!

I’m trying to get some support for this idea.

First of all, I’m a gurl, (and a sterile one at that) so it’s certainly not self-serving.

I think the laws regarding reproductive freedom in this country are grossly unfair. Men are stripped of any choice except the choice not to have sex at all, which isn’t reasonable.

Think about it: why should men be totally at the mercy of a woman’s choices for herself?

If a woman becomes pregnant, she can choose to avoid pregnancy and motherhood via abortion. (I believe in a woman’s right to choose, absolutely. No one, be it the state or the father, should be able to tell a woman what she can and cannot do with her own body.) This is right and good. But the father cannot stop her if he wants to become a father. This is also right and good.

But what if she chooses to keep the baby? Can the father force her to abort it if he doesn’t want it? No, and he shouldn’t be able to. Yet SHE is able to force HIM to be a father even if he doesn’t want it. If nothing else, she can force him to be financially responsible. And I think that blows.

The biological differences prevent perfect parity here, but I do believe we can get closer than we are now via a simple change in the law. Men should be permitted to legally reject fatherhood by making a declaration. Very simple. It would work the same way it does for women: they would have to make the declaration in say, the first 5 months of her preganancy. After that, it must be assumed that they are willingly taking on the obligations of paternity.

Furthermore, to prevent women from manipulating men by failing to inform him that she is pregnant until it is too late, the burden of proof would be on her if she claims he knew and failed to do anything about it.

Very simple, and as close to fair as is possible.

I believe that such a system would have a noticable impact on the number of single mothers. IF women understood that having a man’s baby would NOT legally tie him to her forever, perhaps they would think twice about going forward with their pregnancies, or even allowing themselves to get pregnant in the first place. It wouldn’t eliminate it, certainly, but I think it would help.

And why men haven’t bitched about the inequity of this system up to now is beyond me. If I was a guy I’d be screaming bloody murder.

Excuse me, but just where is the baby supposed to be in all of this? The baby has rights too and you aren’t considering any of those rights!

sorry, but that has got to be one of the stupidest ideas I have ever heard in my life (ok, I’ve heard stupider, but I’m going for dramatic effect here).

If a man is going to take chances and have sex, he (just like the woman) must be prepared to deal with the consequences, be it pregnany, std’s, or whatever. He is perfectly capable of taking measures to avoid these things (in other words, he can use a condom) (and yes, I know condoms fail, but not that often).

Giving men the chance to bow out of fatherhood and financial responsibility does not sound like a good idea to me. They are just as responsible for the pregnancy and the baby as the woman is. It took two people to create that baby. Why should men be able to completely avoid this responsibility simply by claiming that they don’t want to be a father? Sorry, but if you don’t want to be a father (or mother) then you ought to be more careful about sex. It’s called taking responsibility for your actions. It’s not fair to shove all the responsibility, both financial and otherwise, on the mother simply because the man decides he doesn’t want to have kids.

Also, a child needs a father in their life. Allowing the father to disclaim fatherhood would do a great disservice to the child. (I know that many fathers already flake out of their childrens’ lives, but I feel that what you have suggested would only cause it to occur more often).
I think that, rather than discouraging women from getting pregnant or from having the baby, the measure you have suggested would simply encourage men to be irresponsible. After all, under your system of things, there would be no consequences for their actions. They would get off scott-free and all the burden would be on the woman.

You have NO idea how queasy it makes me to agree, even a little, with Stoidela, but she may have a valid point. (see “people hunting” thread)

I’ve seen many women (especially younger women) have an “oops” as a way to get a guy to stay with her or marry her. Happened a lot in my HS, but I do admit to being born in sort of a “white trash” town (IMHO). Not fair to him, her, or especially the child! Kids are far too precious to be used as bargaining chips but immature, manipulative, pseudo-grownups…

I hope the male birth control pill comes out SOON! Then men can have some control over this sort of thing and then the argument will be moot.
Also, I agree totally with Stoidela that only a woman should have the final say over whether or not she has an abortion. I realize there are many issues to cover in this thread, I don’t want a pro-choice vs anti-choice debate opening in this thread, so if you disagreeon this point, fine, just don’t respond to this part of the post, ok?

FYI on where I’m coming from- I’m due June 22 (but pray for sooner please!), happily married, and this baby was lovingly planned by both of us.

Off to go swimming…if anyone laughs at me in my maternity suit I’m gonna thwack them! :slight_smile:

PR

Prairie Rose: Hey, jsut because we disagree on one thing doesn’t mean we would or should disagree on all things!

Handy: The baby only has rights if it is actually born, and whether it is or isn’t is very much affected by the choices made by the mother. That is essentially a different topic. My argument begins with the law as it now stands, which is that women have the right to choose to have a child or not, and men are completely at the mercy of those choices.

Yepitsme: But you aren’t addressing the disparity here. Let’s say (assuming you are male for the moment, I don’t know) that you and I have sex. And let’s say we use a condom and it breaks, and I become pregnant.

You are now standing on the sidelines waiting for ME to decide how YOUR life is going to come out. I have complete freedom to decide not only MY future, but YOURS.

If I do not want the baby, no sweat: I have actually TWO legal options available to me: I can either abort, leaving us with no child at all and no future issues to deal with, OR I can choose to give that child up for adoption.

If I DO want the baby, I go ahead and have it. And not only that, I come after you for child support to boot!

And what are your choices?

You want the baby? No choice, you can only hope I want it, too. (Or, if I’ve elected to go the adoption route, you can contest and take custody yourself. Assuming you even know what’s going on.)

You don’t want the baby? No choice, you can only hope that I don’t want it either.

Men have NO choices, NO control. The ONLY choice they have is to NOT have sex. WOMEN get ALL choices. Bottom line: NOT FAIR.

One thing I am not certian about, but it seems to me it would have come up in paternity cases if this was an option. Why can’t men “give up” their children for “adoption” by the mother if they want? I don’t believe this is possible, and it is in essence what I’m saying should be allowed.

Men should not be forced to take responsibility for children thay have made quite clear they do not want, right from the beginning. (This should not apply if a man has taken responsibility and then changes his mind later. No go on that one.)

And I have yet to have anyone make a good case to me about why our current system is fair.


Stoidela

so, essentially what your saying is that a man should be able to sleep around, not use protection and then just duck out of any responsibility? Sorry, but that just does not seem right to me.

I don’t think our current system is fair. However, I don’t think that the system you are proposing is any more fair. Indeed, I think that it will do more harm than good.

Hey, no one said life is fair (to quote my father). If you choose to have sex, then you had better think long and hard about the consequences and possible outcomes. Yes, your life will change. Yes, it will be harder. Things will happen that are beyond your control. Deal with it. If you are not willing and able to take responsibility for your actions, then you had better be damn sure that you are taking steps to ensure that pregnancy does not occur (I agree - that male b/c pill is a wonderful idea - I hope it becomes available soon).

I know that some women get pregnant in order to “keep their man” and I think that is very wrong. I’m not sure how to solve that, but greater access to birth control for men would be a good step (meaning the pill for them or a depo-type shot for them). But I just can’t agree that letting them give up their personsibilities is a good solution.
btw, since everyone else said where they’re coming from, I’ll let you know where I’m coming from. I am a mother of two children. I was a teen mom, and the father and I were married for eight years. He still takes responsibility by paying child support and he is a wonderful father.

Bottom line here, folks:

WOMEN can shirk their responsibilities! Why are men expected to shoulder theirs?


Stoidela

And your answer is what? Responsibility for none? Everyone do whatever you want - there are no consequences - woohoo!

yah, screw the children - who cares about them? they aren’t even born yet, so why should we worry about them?

It seems to me that Stoidela is taking issue with biology, which is beyond anyone’s power to change. A woman can decide whether or not to have a baby because SHE is the one having the baby. We may talk about co-parenting and sharing pregnancies, but the bottom line is that only one person is the incubator and that’s the woman. It’s HER body and therefore her decision whether she wants to have the baby or not. You’re right; men essentially stand on the sidelines when this decision is made, but there’s no way around that – the man isn’t having the baby and no man (or government) should be able to force a woman to have a baby if she doesn’t want to. I don’t think this is particularly unfair to men in general; the man doesn’t get to choose because the man isn’t bearing the child.

But if the woman has the child against the man’s will, should the man be held responsible for it? Hell, yes. Child support isn’t for the benefit of the mother, it’s for the benefit of the child and of society in general, because children whose parents don’t support them are supported by the State. You may have a point that the mother, by choosing to have the child, is “forcing” the man into a position of parenthood that he doesn’t want, but it wouldn’t be fair to punish the child for the mother’s actions by removing the child’s right to parental support.

If a man doesn’t want the responsibility of a child, he should excercise some restraint and responsibility in his sexual habits – like using a condom, to start.

Stoidela is absolutely right, and has thought this all the way through, including the use of birth control measures.

The “What about the baby?” question is one for the mother-to-be, as in “What about having a baby that the father doesn’t want?” Unfortunately, this adds another layer of difficulty to the choice for the pregnant woman, but, hey - she’s in for a minimum 20-year emotional roller coaster ride if she goes full term. Better that she face this problem before she shares it with a baby.

What I find interesting is that the focus has been on how to get the I-don’t-want-it father off the hook. I assume that this is because the I-do-want-it father is more problematic; how can he have his baby if she won’t bring it to term?

If the medicine were there, could the law go in and get it and plant it somewhere else to grow?

Man, the way you guys are so completely willing to ignore that WOMEN BLOW OF FTHEIR RESPONSIBILITIES TOO absolutely amazes me!

Unless you are anti-abortion AND anti-adoption, it is not LOGICAL to say that men shouldn’t have any option while it’s perfectly ok for a woman to have the options. WHY WHY WHY??? Please, someone, present me an argument that amounts to more than “Just cuz”.

By the way… I aint’ saying there is anything admirable about anyone blowing off their parental responsibilities. HOWEVER…if I were Queen, I would force anyone who wanted to have children to be licensed, and licensing would involve getting an in depth psychological evaluation and passing it.

Too damn many unwanted kids being born as it is. Norplant for every woman the minute she goes through puberty! (I can be something of a fascist, which is okay, because I have no power.)

Better that than the physically, emotionally, spritually and psychologically beaten and scarred people we have now.


Stoidela

some women may “blow off their responsibilities”, as you put it…

consider this though - who has to carry the baby in their womb for nine months and then give it up to a stranger if they choose adoption? who has to go through a major surgery and deal with the emotinal and/or physical scars of having an abortion if they choose to give up the baby? who has to raise the baby for at least 18 years if they choose to keep the baby? the mother - she has no choice - the baby is INSIDE her and she can not simply decide that she doesn’t want to deal with motherhood and give up her claims to it. No matter what she chooses, it will effect her.

The way I see it, adoption and abortion are NOT about shirking responsibility. They are about choosing the best option. Often the above options are actually MORE responsible than keeping the baby.

What you are proposing in completely different, at least in my eyes. It does not have to do with choosing the best option for the parents and the unborn baby. It has to do with letting the father out of his parental duty. Not only does he not have to make the choice to give birth or not give birth - not only does he not have to face the option of having major surgery or giving away something that has grown inside him for nine months - he also does not even have to acknowledge that he is the parent or take any responsibility for the baby that HE helped create, according to your plan.

I’m having a really hard time seeing how this would be a good thing.

p.s. you say “Too damn many unwanted kids being born as it is”

how the heck do you figure that your plan will reduce unwanted children? The way I see it, it will only encourage ment o have irresponsible sex - after all, there are no consequences for them. Seems to me that we would have just as many unwanted births - only under your plan we would have more fatherless children.

Yep:

Well, first of all, keep in mind that I am a woman myself, so you don’t need to clarify for me what reproduction means to my gender. I am a woman who has had an abortion, and I am a woman who elected to have my tubes tied rather than deal with the whole thing any more. I made those choices, because I saw it as MY problem. I didn’t want to get pregnant, so I made sure that I wouldn’t. And in the 20 years between the abortion and the tube tying, I made absolutely certain that I was protected from pregnancy.

However, had I been a different sort of woman, a more stupid one, a more manipulative one, I could have allowed myself to become pregnant through irresponsibility. Or I could have DELIBERATELY become pregnant while lying thorugh my teeth to the man I was sleeping with. Would it have been fair for him to be held responsible for the child I then had? Most particularly if he made it crystal clear that he absolutely did not want said child? No, no, and more no.

I do think the ideal solution is for a relatively foolproof male birth control device, but it won’t be happening any time soon. And until it does, I cannot imagine why men must be forced to be parents when they dont’ want to be.

No one here has addressed the adoption thing… what is different about a man declaring he does not want a child, and a woman giving her child up for adoption? Why can’t HE be allowed to do that? Where is the difference? And why isn’t it the best option for an irresponsible cad to give up being a father, if he’s going to suck at it and resent it?


Stoidela

Women shirk responsibilty? Huh. That’s not acceptable where I come from.
My ex husband left me 5 days before our son was born. The last (and only) time he saw him was at his first birthday and he virtually ignored him.
All these years, he has not ONCE asked about our son. I would get child support very sporadically. He would quit his job or get himself fired to avoid helping me out. I had to go on welfare (not on it anymore…i worked my butt off to get off it). i am the one clothing him, feeding him, making sure he has a roof over his head. I was there when I found out our son is autistic. I am the one making sure he gets help for that.I was the one there when he spent the night in the hospital in an oxygen tent. You get the picture.
WI sent him to court to make him start paying support. He decided that since he has to pay, he wants to see our son. He can’t drive up here because his drivers license was taken away. He asked his mom if she’d come here and get our son and bring him to him. She refused. She told him that he wasn’t there for him for 8 years and if he started seeing him now he’d destroy our son (he has a history of coming and going as he pleases with out regards for anyones feelings but his own. I didn’t know that before I married him). I agree with her. i want him to stay away.
Now, suppose I left the 2 of them 5 days after I gave birth. Suppose I didn’t come into contact with them at all for 8 years. i was out cavorting, doing as i pleased and leaving him to raise him. Now suppose I decided that I wanted to see our son. do you think society would accept that? NO WAY! I’ve heard of stories of just that…people would comment about how unfit she was and dare she think she can just come in out of the blue and expect everything to be all right!
I will be DAMNED if he will father a child and not have anything to do with raising it, then think it’s ok to come over here and see him just because he suddenly decided to. He lost that priveledge when he left. But on the same token, if he gets away with not paying support, he is getting permission to be irresponsible. And that’s what he did…i found out he fathered 4 other child after he left. And no…he never told me that he didn’t want kids. he told me he wanted a lot of kids and when we found out i was pregnant I thought he was more excited than I was. To this day I have no clue as to why he left. We never fought…never had a disagreement…nothing! Even if all that didn’t happen to me, you’d never convince me that the man should be able to not be responsible.


MaryAnn
Sometimes life is so great you just gotta muss up your hair and quack like a duck!

maryanne - you must be a really strong person for being able to go through all that and still have some sanity left. I commend you. =)

your story reminded me that no one has pointed out yet that, even with current laws, men still are able to (and do) shirk their respibilities as fathers.

I know of at least two fathers who refuse to pay child support, even though it is court ordered (for the record, neither of these men were forced to become parents or were tricked into fatherhood). In both cases, the man works “under the table” so that his wages can not be garnished and the court thinks he does not work and therefore can not pay. he gets the carefree lifestyle - his child gets screwed.

I know, me knowing two jerks doesn’t mean make this type of irresponsibility a fact. but I am willing to bet that there are more where those two came from.

oh yah, one more thing - stoidela said, “However, had I been a different sort of woman, a more stupid one, a more manipulative one, I could have allowed myself to become pregnant through irresponsibility.” so, are you saying that when you did get pregnant you were a different, stupid, manipulative and irresponsible woman?

Maryann:

Wow. Your husband is an absolute prick, isn’t he? I’m familiar with the breed - my mother raised 5 daughters pretty much alone, 2 husbands bailing late in the game.

This is obviously a hot topic for you. I’d just like to reiterate that I am not recommending or suggesting that men can come and go as they please, anymore than women do or can or should. Only that men be given a comparable opportunity to opt out of parenthood early in the game, just as women have.

Your husband was an ass, and under my scenario, he would not be let off the hook. You were married, you both wanted kids, he didn’t decide to bail until the birth or damn near. Too late.

Yepitsme:

I did not mean to lump all those attritbutes together. I was unquestionably stupid and irresponsible and foolish. I knew better, but like many (most?) kids, I was convinced I was somehow immune to such things happening to me. Duh. I was not manipulative, however.


Stoidela

to Stoidela

Quote
I do think the ideal solution is for a relatively foolproof male birth control device, but it won’t be happening any time soon. And until it does, I cannot imagine why men must be forced to be parents when they dont’ want to be.

It would appear to me that there is, in fact, a completely foolproof method of male contraception. As a matter of fat, it works for women, too, and requires no equipment or supplies. This is commonly known as abstinence.

I realize that this would interfere with people’s rights to whatever pleasure they desire, while requiring the rest of our society to bear the consequences, but I think that this would be a simple and elegant solution.

I am a male, who in his younger days exposed himself to the risk of unplanned pregnancy, but escaped by good fortune. By way of background, I also do not believe in any abortion except those in cases of rape and danger to the mother’s life. I believe that aborting a baby, which I feel is a person, no matter what age, for a moment of pleasure should be considered murder.

Please excuse me if this post doesn’t come out as planned, this is my first time.

Jvanhorn:

Well, it was only a matter of time before someone jumped in from this angle.

Actually, abstinance is not foolproof: it requires that people actually practice it. Which, aside from a small percentage of the population, will never, ever, ever happen. Never. Ever. Not ever.
Never.
Aside from hunger, sex is the strongest drive we experience, and being the weak-willed, pleasure-loving, self-indulgent (in other words, perfectly normal) species that we are, we will always be driven to satisfy that drive. Sure, a teeny-tiny percentage of people don’t care, a larger, yet still tiny percentage have very strong wills and will wait forever if necessary, a slughtly larger percentage will wait a long time, then give in, and everyone else will have at it.

This being the case, we must find and implement the most effective means possible of preventing unwanted pregnancy.

And if you consider abortion the murder of innocent children, then you should not make an exception in cases of rape. Children conceived in rape are just as innocent as children conceived in love or lust.

Just as a matter of curiosity, since I do not feel as you do and have always had a hard time understanding it, may I ask: at one point does a fetus become a person? How many cells must it have before it is a person? must they begine to differentiate into actual organs and body parts, or will a blastocyst do?

I’m not being a smartass, I’m genuinely curious about your thinking on this. I’ve seen footage of a fertilized egg, as I’m sure you have, and there is nothing remotely person-like about it to my eyes. Given time and the correct conditions, it will certianly become a person eventually, but the fertilized egg is not a person.

And frankly, from my point of view, it doesn’t qualify as a real person until it has reached a stage of development that would permit it to live outside the mother’s womb if it had to.

But again, I’m curious about your thinking on the subject.


Stoidela

As I see it, discussing the man’s or the woman’s options AFTER she becomes pregnant is the root of the problem with this discussion. Once a bad situation is created, there is very rarely a fair and ideal way to clean up the mess. That is life. When you screw up (no pun intended) there are consequences, and they are not limited to your own little space in the world. Virtually every mistake we make, every bad decision, has an effect on other people. If you want everything to be fair and just, then walk on that path from the beginning. Don’t rob the liquor store and then complain about unfair sentencing. It puts you in a bad position to argue. If you are not prepared to have a child, don’t have sex! I absolutely refuse to buy the argument that it is some sort of travesty if a man who doesn’t want a baby has to refrain from sex. I have absolutely no pity in this regard. It is akin to saying, “I stole the money because I REALLY wanted to buy a motorcycle, and because I REALLY wanted it, you should excuse my theft”. Hardly. You say that a man’s only option is to not have sex. You’re right. So what? That is his option. It makes absolutely no difference how many options someone else has.
And, while I certainly don’t intend to male-bash here, I would like to point out that it is very likely that giving the man the option to legally bail would result in more father-less children and destitute single mothers. Why do I feel confident in saying this? Because if woman were chosing to abort or adopt and the father’s of these children had any interest in the future of these children, they would be demanding their rights to the children. It is a very rare thing that a woman decides to give up a baby for adoption and the father jumps in saying that he wants the child. It is my experience that men are generally quite relieved to be free of their responsibility and I don’t think they need any further encouragement to do so.

“I think it would be a great idea” Mohandas Ghandi’s answer when asked what he thought of Western civilization