Does a woman contemplating abortion owe any notice to the father of the baby?

That’s the only out you can see? I can see many more where the woman wouldn’t be morally obligated to tell the father. Rape, an abusive (or potentially abusive) SO, a SO that is rabidally anti-abortion, if the child is the product of a “one-night-stand”, if the child is a product of an affair and she feels that telling the father may endanger her (or his) marriage, etc.

I honestly wouldn’t care. She can change her mind any time she feels like it. She’s not my property.

That’s not what was outlined in the OP.

This to me states a normal, monogamous relationship. Under these narrow parameters, I would say the wife has an obligation to inform her husband, especially if she wants to keep his trust.

So, as has already been asked, do you think it’s okay for your wife to have an affair?

What do you mean by “ok?”

If you’re suggesting that anyone who cares about what medical decisions his wife makes regards her as his property, you’re wayyyyyy out of line.

It comes down to trust. I trust my wife to tell me the big things going on in her life. If she doesn’t do so, there’s a problem. If I don’t tell her what’s going on in mine, there’s a problem.

Furthermore, if I want to have kids and my wife tells me that she wants to have kids, but she secretly doesn’t, then she’s robbing me of my ability to make fully-informed decisions. At that point it goes beyond “mere” betrayal of trust, and becomes full-fledged coercive dishonesty.


Seems to me that, excluding abuse or rape or other bad stuff that the OP seems to have ruled out, the deciding factor in the woman’s moral (not legal) obligations here is the wishes of her partner.

If she knows that her partner doesn’t want to know or doesn’t care about issues like her having an abortion, she’s got no responsibility to tell him if she doesn’t want to.

On the other hand, if it’s something that he considers important and a major issue of trust in their relationship (as I would think most men in a committed relationship would), and she knows that, then her keeping it a secret would be a betrayal of trust.

If she feels that pregnancy or abortion is completely her own business and her partner has no right to be involved or informed about such situations, she should definitely make that clear to him at the start of their relationship. It’s not something she should take for granted just because it’s her own body.

Similarly, a man shouldn’t assume that, say, getting a vasectomy is none of his partner’s business just because it’s his own body. (I remember the Master had to dope-slap some schmo who was thinking along those lines.) Like it or not, when you’re in a committed romantic and physical relationship, your own personal reproductive system becomes pretty important to the person who’s putting their own reproductive system in close contact with it on a regular basis.

I think this was already answered very well right here.

Not even psychologically?


What do YOU mean by okay? Sheesh.

Let me put it this way; do you think your wife’s handling of her own body is entirely her business and none of yours, or don’t you? Be it an affair or an abortion, it’s her body.

Oops, sorry. Short attention span made me forget the full original premise. Sorry Stonebrow.

Trying again I’m still not sure I agree. I can still picture situations that fit the premise of the OP that would make it, if not moral to hide the abortion from the father, at least put it in somewhat of a grey area. For example: one could be in a commited realtionship where the male is deadset against abortion. He believes it equivalent to murder, and knowing that his wife is having one would truly trouble him, making him feel like a participant in an unforgivable act in which his wife and he could burn in hellflame for all eternity. He may even divorce his wife (possibly leaving preexisting children in a split home), not out of lack of love, but because he can’t deal with what she’s done. The wife on the other hand is deeply against having a child, for whatever reason, and is going to have the abortion no matter what. I wouldn’t say she would be obviously in the right to hide it from him then, but it’s atleast in a grey area.

Similarily, a few years back I was in a situation where my gf missed her period and jumped to conclusion that she was pregnant. We were both unemployed and raising a kid at that point would’ve been really tough. Instead of telling me she took some rudimentary steps towards planning to get an abortion on the sly, presumably trying to spare me worry, etc. I found out, confronted her, there was a lot of crying and in the end I told her that I definately wanted her to keep me informed of these things so that I could support her, give advice and comfort, etc (she had her period the next week, so it was all just a case of the jitters anyways).

I feel strongly that my gf should’ve told me that she thought she might have an abortion. I would hate for someone I love to go through that alone. But I would have trouble saying she was morally wrong to try and spare me at a time when I was having a lot of other problems.

Well, as Kimstu pointed out, surely the Child/No Child discussion would be held before the nuptials. Your scenario outlines a complete disconnect between two people as far as beliefs and morality goes, and that should have been covered before the engagement ring was slipped on the finger.

If she has a partner that doesn’t care about issues like her having an abortion than she has no responsibility to him at all!

Where a child is conceived in love, she definitely has a moral duty to consult - not just notify - the father. She would be aborting his offspring, after all. It seems to be a commonplace that men care less about their unborn than women. It would be incorrect here. The current rules on abortion seem to merely view men as sperm donors before the birth and money donors after. Perhaps a standard price should be set for a woman who doesn’t want the baby (but the man does) to carry it to term? Equally, should a woman decide to carry a baby to term when the father wants an abortion, why should the father be liable to support?

Woulda, shoulda but in real life these discussions are often left more ambiguous then they should be (also I don’t believe we’re assuming that the putative couple is married). Also of course they could’ve decided that they’re not going to have any (more) children, but not planned for what specifically to do in case birth control failed. Obiously the perfect couple would’ve had this worked out in a perfect understanding before hand, but we’re assuming a normal non-abusive couple, not some Ken and Barbie super-couple. And in real life these things are often talked about less then they should be.

Also I’m not sure that disagreeing on abortion constitutes a “complete disconnect” between people.

This thread is a demonstration that law and morality are not equivalent, despite the desparate attempts of some groups to make them so.


It’s not “his” anything unless and until there is a live birth. A man has no ownership of what is inside another person’s body.

This is another illustration of the point that, as Sua noted, law and morality are not equivalent.

I tend to agree that a woman who knowingly chooses to bear and keep a child against the father’s wishes has a moral duty to support it without asking for his help. However, I have no problem with the fact that the law, whose chief concern is that the child be adequately supported, makes the father legally liable for support in cases where that moral duty isn’t honored by the mother.

He has no ownership of the baby even after it is born, so this is not about “ownership”. It can be “your offspring” without you “owning it”.

A man has HIV. He always uses a condom Nope, his body doesn’t concern her. It only becomes her business if she contracts HIV.