If a man requests, but woman won't have abortion, should he be freed of obligation?

So here’s the givens to my question:

  1. A woman gets pregnant the old-fashioned way (i.e. horizontal mambo with a man). We’re not talking sperm-banks and in-vitro here. Nor are we talking rape (female or male) or anything like that. We’re definitely talking about consensual “it takes two to tango” territory here…

  2. The law of the land is currently that the woman has a 100% right to have an abortion. It is a choice she alone makes. The desires of the father (to stop an unwanted abortion, or to compel an abortion for a child he doesn’t want) are NOT relevant (legally). He has no legal standing in the woman’s “health-care decision” as far as the status quo is concerned.

  3. IF that woman chooses to carry and deliver the child, that choice can impose upon the man a decades- to life-long obligation – financial AND otherwise – whether he’s willing or no.

  4. Given that the woman can choose to end the pregnancy and thus any obligation, but the man can NOT make that choice… Shouldn’t we allow a man, during the period where a woman could get a legal abortion ONLY, to “opt out” of the pregnancy? To have a “man-abortion” so to speak? He would thus have NO obligations to the child (and no rights regarding it either).

  5. This would have to be very narrowly defined. It would have to be during the period where a woman COULD get an abortion. No ex-post-facto nonsense: “gee, baby, after three years being a daddy just ain’t for me…” It would have to be 100% binding – no “I’ve reconsidered”, No “finding your birth child” 20 years later. It would have to come hand-in-hand with a permanent restraining order forbidding the bio father from seeking to find out about the child or approach her.

  6. Please note that while this is NOT an abortion question, it’s predicated on the status quo. I am the first to admit that the MOMENT a woman no longer has the right to choose an abortion this is no longer a “goose and gander” situation. But the rights and wrongs of abortion are NOT the topic or the question.

That’s my thought? What’s yours?


If a woman wants an abortion, but the father doesnt want her to, can she carry it to term and then hand it over to dad, thus absolving herself of any responsibility?

Nope. The baby deserves to have a daddy (at least financially) as well as a mommy.

Daddy has options before the woman gets pregnant:

a> Don’t have sex
b> Use a condem and ask the woman to use protection too
c> Get a vacectomy

In general I agree with the OP that this is an unfair deal that men get in as much as they can have a decision thrust upon them that they have little to no control over.

Nevertheless I don’t really see how it can be any other way. Plenty of women dealing with kids now who do not have any support from the biological father. Handing men an easy opt-out solution to me seems to make matters worse than they already are.

As a guy you know the deal going in and take your chances. If the man does not want a child then he should take measures to avoid one (condom, abstinence, etc.). If she does get pregnant then be a man and own up to your responsibilities. Discuss with your partner how things should proceed.

Consider the flip-side to this. Imagine you (the man) are very opposed to abortion and are also thrilled your SO is pregnant. She wants to have an abortion. Should the man have some legal say in this as well?

I’d say yes. If she wants an abortion and he doesn’t, and she agrees to bring the child to term, then she should be able to bear it, hand it to him and be done with it if she likes.

But this should be a pre-arranged deal and have legal protections and restrictions for both parties as above. The chief element is that of CHOICE. If the father doesn’t have the choice to agree to this plan, if he didn’t know that the mother was willing to abort and have the opportunity to say “okay, yeah, I’m not ready for this either: have the abortion” then it’s a problem.

I know the most common counter argument is “if you don’t want a kid, keep your d*** in your Dockers”… But that doesn’t quite cut the mustard in my book.

Women are NOT faced with that choice. If they “indulge” and an unwanted pregnancy occurs, they CAN choose to end it. Another way to put it, how is it that conception is a strong enough event to compel a life-long obligation in a man, but not strong enough to compel a nine-month obligation by the mother?

PS - Whack-a-Mole: While I don’t want this to become yet another abortion debate, part of what brought to mind the question was the scenario you outline. I do think a father should be able to insist on a pregnancy continuing (barring health issues) IF he’s willing to undertake full responsibility after birth.

My first thought is that you might have searched first as the very same topic was on the board three weeks ago, and has been there many, many times before.

But of course, you’re right because if the father makes such a request the child will no longer need to be fed, clothed or sheltered.

Well, but mommy has the same options.

Amerinth: Wow! Just three weeks ago? Many, Many times before? Then clearly it’s truly a GREAT Debates topic and worthy of regular discussion!

I take it that the latter part of your response is sarcastic: that your point is even if Daddy wants to “opt out” that the child still has needs. This is certainly true. But if Mommy has an abortion (which is her choice), the child won’t have needs… If Mommy doesn’t want an abortion, that’s also her choice, right? Why should Daddy have to suffer for HER choice?

Realize I’m not talking about creating a no-obligation-weekend-daddy situation here. You’re not just gonna be a bum who won’t contribute. You will legally completely give up all rights to the child whatsoever. Wanna see her? Tough. Need a kidney and maybe she could donate? Shoulda thought of that… etc…

I’m probably one of very few people here who would say that yes, absolutely a man should be able to ‘abort out’.

A man shouldn’t be forced to support the decision made by someone else to raise a kid. I think he ought to be able to legally sever all rights and responsibilities some time before the third trimester (or, to prevent cases of the woman just not telling him she’s pregnant until it’s too late for an abortion, he gets six months from the time he knows to decide for the ‘abort out’) and that should be that.

I don’t believe men can force women to have children they don’t want, so I don’t believe a woman ought to be able to force a man to have a child he doesn’t want. If she chooses to raise the kid alone, that’s what it means. Alone. Entirely without money forcibly taken from someone else.

Q: Can a man be said to “own” his genetic material after injecting it into a woman, and thus be able to have a say in what is done with it after the woman gets hold of it, even if the child support right/responsibility is ignored?

It’s not a question of ‘owning’ anything. It is a question of someone forcing an obligation upon you that you do not necessarily agree to.

To extend your question imagine I give you my car. You then turn around and say that since you have my car I have to pay half of the insurance and maintenance costs…I will of course be allowed to drive the car every other weekend and for two weeks during the summer.

I have seen this thread here many times.

There is one argument someone made here that struck home to me.

No matter what the mom and dad decide, together or unilaterally, the State has every right to pursue either for payment if the child and/or guardian end up on public support. You can surrender parental rights but that still means you are on the hook financially until you can find someone to carry this burden.

It was a very well written post and it convinced me.

On another note…

Having dated single mothers, it was amazing how quickly the father/relatives of mother/child/even mother herself felt that I had a financial obligation to another guys kid just because I was dating/having sex with the mother.

It seems to be that Females have much more rights than guys, much better protection by the law etc.

I aggree for both aspects. The guy should be able to request the female take the baby to term AND he should be able to abort out as well. The provisions for both would be to pay for it, IE he covers ALL medical payments for the term and/or abortion.

By the way, I have been on both sides of this and both times the female has done the opposite of what I requested.

Are we really so desperate to divorce sex from its potential consequences? Is this just the rational “next step” in what appears to be America’s(and perhaps humanity in general’s) desperate rush to live a life with absolutely no strings attached?

Is such a life a good thing?


I don’t see it as seperating things from consequences, its about Equal Rights. The female has a choice, but the male doesn’t.

The male and the female have exactly the same choice.

Not to have (unprotected, potentially life-causing) sex in the first place.

After that, sorry, guys. It’s not your body. You don’t get to use mine as your incubating machine.

Until you have to go through the hormonal changes, pregnancy clumsiness caused by the loosening of the ligaments, rearrangement of internal organs, risk gestational diabetes, and all the other fun physical stuff that goes along with pregnancy you don’t get to force some woman to go through them, either.

That’s cruel and unusual punishment. We have laws against that.

Forgot to add:

I am not 100% in favor of “making” a man pay child support. However, there are some very specific caveats:

If you raised a child, believing it’s yours, for more than say three years, for all intents and purposes it’s your child and you should continue to help support it, no matter what a paternity test says.

If the woman comes after a man more than a year after they’ve had sex, then no, I don’t think he’s obligated. (However, I would like to think that said man, having engaged in a potentially life-creating act some two years prior, would be willing to help the child out if mommy can’t take care of it.)

If the man gives over all paternal rights. That means NO visitation, ever, NO acknowledgement that the child is his, free reign for the mother to sign the child away to an adoptive family without the father turning around and sticking his nose into the arrangements…and NO problems with mommy’s new SO adopting the child (male or female). His medical records, and family records, should be given to mommy in case they become necessary for the child later, but that’s it. At that point, assuming that the woman in question has agreed to this, then yes, Dad should feel free to walk away.

An abortion doesn’t let a women off scott free. Abortions are often painful both physically and mentally to a women. A women having an abortion causes no physical pain for a man doesn’t put his future fertillity at risk. How is it fair to allow a man to force a women into that choice?

Women would be forced into abortion if they could not count on financial support from the father.

Not quite the choice the OP was trying to get at. The choice in question is post-fertilization.

Women have this choice,

Abort - no long-term consequences(ignoring biological complications for the moment, most abortions don’t seem to have long-term biological complications) for either party.

Carry the child to term and raise it - long term consequences for both parties, raising(the legal duty of one or both parties), or providing financial support(the legal duty of one or both parties).

Carry the child to term and give it up for adoption - does not always fully absolve the parent(s) from legal/financial obligations.

The man’s choice? Sit back and abide by whatever the woman decides.

If we’re going to seperate the act of sex from the process of pregnancy and childbirth (as abortion laws currently do, one does not necessarially obligate the other) then why is it seperated for one party and not the other? A woman can enjoy sex and then later make a choice to absolve herself from long-term commitment by having an abortion. Sex is much riskier for a man because they don’t have this “out”.

That seems to be the percieved imbalance the OP is asking for discussion on.