Men should have the right to ‘abort’ responsibility for an unborn child, Swedish political group say

I saw this article (title is the same as this thread) and I find I am kind of on the fence about this.

I mean, I can see this both ways but not sure where to land.

The short version is a group in Sweden is proposing that men be allowed to formally bow out of responsibility for a pregnancy within the first 18 weeks of the pregnancy. If they do so they lose all rights to the child but also are off the hook for child support.


I can see the abstract logic, but in practice would have to oppose this, as it is to the detriment and disadvantage of the child, and thus is harmful to society. It would make for more destitute children, living on social support, quite possibly going on to become delinquents and criminals.

Child support payments aren’t a lot, but they can certainly mean the difference between abject poverty and merely being disadvantaged.

It’s true that the woman has the option of giving the child up for adoption, and thus she is free from child-support payments. If that happens, I can see sparing the father further responsibility. But if she’s going to keep the child, then she needs all the assistance she can get, and the father does have that moral and legal responsibility.

No. On the abortion issue I’m strongly pro-choice, but the rationale is around the “choice” part and basic human rights. This seems to fly too close to the line of making it, in effect, mandatory if the woman knows she won’t be able to afford to support the child. What if she is emotionally or morally opposed either to abortion or to giving up her child?

She does have a shared responsibility for the situation, but so does the man. I’m as pro-choice as they come, but here I’ll take the position of conservatives on the issue of personal responsibility. Neither abortion nor having to give up your own child is something that should ever be forced on anyone.

So you believe that women are “forced” to have to give up a child despite no law mandating such an action. They are “forced” because the alternative is hard. And you see that is wrong.

But you have no problem forcing a man, through actual laws and threat if incarceration, to become a father to a child and spending 18 years of his life supporting that child? Despite that fact that working to support a child is just as hard for a man as it is for a woman, you see no problem with forcing a man to do exactly that.

How is that in any sense pro choice?

A woman can choose to have sex and choose to become parent, or choose to have an abortion.

A man who chooses to have sex has no choice whatsoever. If he chooses to become a parent, the woman can terminate the pregnancy regardless. And if he chooses not to become a parent, the woman can refuse to have an abortion regardless.

I’ve always supported the idea presented in the OP. The only truly pro-choice stance is for all parties to have all choices. Now, obviously we can’t say that a man can “choose” for a woman to have an abortion. That makes no sense and is as crazy and unjust a s a woman choosing that a man has to become a father. But a man should be able to choose not to become a parent, meaning that he abdicates all rights and responsibilities.

If a woman then chooses to have an abortion because it’s hard to raise a child with no father, that’s entirely her choice. And if she chooses to have the child regardless, that’s also her choice.

That’s the only truly pro-choice stance. Everybody involved has all available options in terms of whether to become a parent or not. Nobody is forced by the state to do anything. That’s a real pro-choice position.

Sorry, but when someone is carrying your child you are a parent. As for abdicating stuff, you may choose to voluntarily relinquish rights, but you don’t unilaterally abdicate responsibility, not in any society of laws and justice.

Turns out that this proposal comes from a bunch of kids – well, a youth organization – and seems to have little support in Sweden or anywhere else.

The woman isn’t being forced into an abortion.

I’m not sure that a failure of Birth Control should automatically make you a parent and responsible for 18 years of child support. If the woman wants to keep the child without the father financing it theres other ways that can happen. Some might argue its better for the child that the father can be honest in their decision of whether they are ready to be a parent or not. Also apparently this was suggested by the women in the Swedish Youth Liberal Party, its not some “mens rights” idea.

There aren’t many tactical disadvantages to being a man, but not having ultimate control over the body carrying one’s offspring is one. People are treated differently by fate on the basis of whether they play the male or female role in reproduction. I think the fairest policy response would not be to let men abdicate all parental responsibility.

How much parental responsibility should be legally mandated for all people is another subject for debate, but, I can definitely see the answer is more than zero.

I don’t see anything wrong with this idea. If a guy gives up all rights to the kid, it makes sense he shouldn’t have to spend 18 years paying for it.

When a couple decide to have unprotected sex they take on the responsibility of raising any children that result from that union. The simple answer if you do not want children either keep it in your pants or wear a condom, you have a choice.
Where I live there are to many scumbags sowing their seed and dodging their responsibilities and not just with one woman.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again.

If couples want to come to an agreement BEFORE they have sex, I would be okay with this. If you want to say “Hey, just so you know, I have no intention to support my children.” And the woman is fine with that, that’s fine with me.

Somehow this idea never had the same support.

That’s an awfully big assumption you’re making , that most unplanned pregnancies are the result of unprotected sex rather than birth control failing. Condoms break , the pill is not 100 percent reliable. Accidents happen despite the best intentions . What then ?

As a society, we have decided that the bar for the government to control what happens to someone’s body is far higher than that to control what happens to someone’s money. That’s why people who have done nothing wrong still get a bill to pay taxes, but only criminals go to jail (in which one can still choose what happens to their body e.g. food and surgeries), organs are not harvested from dead people who didn’t give prior consent, and drafts haven’t happened in ~50 years.

Right now non-custodial parents are not forced to actually parent. If the NCP do not want to participate, the custodial parents are on their own in terms of changing diapers and dealing with tantrums and sick kids. Child support is payment – an extra tax if you will – for a minor part of the expenses incurred raising children. To equate child support with forced pregnancy is to equate property taxes with forced organ donation.

Women have historically paid most of the price for propagating the species – from death during childbirth to physical labor of child-rearing. To this date women suffer more economically than men when they become parents – from reduced pay to increased risk of poverty for single parents. To make the unfair situation worse yet by removing child support is to take a step backwards in gender equality.

Thanks for putting my thoughts into words. How can anyone who has raised kids compare it to a simple payment? Not even in the same galaxy of levels of commitment.

But when a woman is carrying a child she is not a parent because it’s not a child, it’s a foetus.

If a woman is not carrying a child until the third trimester then how can a man be a parent in the first trimester?

Your “reasoning” lacks any semblance of consistency.

So apply the same standard to both sexes. A woman can’t just abdicate responsibility for the child that she is carrying. She has to carry it to term and then, even if it is adopted, pay child support for 18 years.

Once again, there is no consistency in your position. If it’s not a child for the female parent, it’s not a child for the male parent. If the female parent can unilaterally abdicate responsibility then so can the male.

So you are strongly pro-life? You believe that when a woman decides to have unprotected sex she takes on the responsibility of raising any children that result from that union?

Or, when you say “couple” do you actually only mean “male”?

And when did these couples say they would take on that responsibility? If it’s not a decision, but rather a state mandated responsibility, then the state can and should un-mandate it if it’s unjust.

And if we accept that state mandated responsibilities are OK when it comes to reproduction, then we are supporting the standard pro-life argument that a woman
takes on the responsibility of bearing any children that result from consensual sex.

Sweden is not the US. Sweden has socialized medicine, and a lot more support for children. I had a college roommate who was Swedish and Deaf. Her hearing aids were paid for by the state. American parents usually had to cough up a couple hundred dollars for their children’s aids, and do it again a couple of years later.

Swedes pay much higher taxes for all the government services they get, so men who opt out of fatherhood in a sense, get away with less. They still pay Sweden’s high tax rate that makes sure their children get medical care and are fed and educated. In the US, fewer of those things are funneled through taxes, but go directly from parent to child, so a father who absconds actually leaves a child high and dry.

It makes it difficult to compare the two countries, and, even supposing this should succeed in Sweden, Sweden is not an example for the US, at least not until every child here has free medical coverage, and the assurance of a minimum of food, clothing and shelter. When society gladly bears these things, and everyone is supporting all children by means of taxes, then it’s less of a problem for men to opt out.

FWIW, I know men who pay their support like clockwork, but in every other sense have opted out of their child’s life. Men are perfectly free to do that. No one can make a man change a diaper, take a child to the park, or help with homework. That may suck for the kid, but that is in fact, a man’s prerogative.

When a woman is pregnant, there is no child. By law, men are not responsible for the cost of prenatal care or childbirth.

Once a child is born, both parties are equally financially responsible in the eye of the law. Either can choose to parent without the other’s consent (in which case child support applies) and it takes both to agree to put the child up for adoption. Still, no one is forced to parent, only to pay.

Women are being forced into having abortions. Even if she wants the child, she can be pressured into having an abortion. And women are also forced to give their children up for adoption. Especially unmarried women in the past, to cover up the “sin” of having sex outside of marriage.

My sister knew a lesbian who got pregnant by rape. The anti-abortion crowd thought she should be forced to give birth and then give the child to a “real” family.

There is no easy, one-size-fits-all answer.

You are quibbling over semantics. A successful impregnation is conventionally referred to as “fathering a child”, and a doctor may well ask (at any stage of gestation) who the “father” is. Semantic quibbling aside, the point here is that pregnancy marks the beginning of a process for which both mother and father bear a shared and ongoing responsibility, and that responsibility ends only with abortion, miscarriage, adoption, or the child becoming old enough to no longer be a dependent.

My position is consistent, yours is incoherent. Neither parent pays child support if the child is adopted. It’s perfectly consistent. But until and unless that happens, both parents should bear equal responsibility for the child’s welfare, and if only one parent is raising the child, then the other should at least contribute financial support. That’s perfectly consistent, too.

The lack of equivalence arises from the facts of nature wherein the woman can’t just walk away from a pregnancy or its consequences, the man can. And that’s why we have laws governing such matters.

The only way she can abdicate responsibility is to get an abortion or give the child up for adoption. It’s fine if both parties agree, but it’s not fine if she’s forced into one or the other because the guy is a jerk who walked away from his parental responsibility.

Interesting idea, but you’d have to draw up a contract for this to stand up in court. Otherwise, it’s he said/she said.