Abortion is often referred to as “a woman’s right to choose.” But increasingly, anti-choice activists have been pushing the idea of the man — be it a husband, boyfriend, partner or even one night stand — being allowed to have his say as well.
Multiple anti-choice organizations are focusing on the “father” end of the spectrum, starting campaigns appealing directly to men, asking them to assert their rights of fatherhood when their partner is pregnant. Radiance Foundation has begun a “Fatherhood” campaign, pushing the idea that “Fatherhood Begins in the Womb.” “Responsibility has become someone else’s concern, and death the solution to this serious character flaw,” the group claims. “Men have been empowered by Roe v. Wade to abandon their primary responsibility–protecting.”
Pro-Life Across America is making the same argument with this season’s newest billboards. They proclaim the children “Daddy’s Little Man” or shout that “Daddy’s My Hero” in an attempt to move the debate from women’s rights to that of the man as well.
And the strategy is working. More and more, activists are popping up, concerned about the plight of the “post-abortive male” or questioning why both partners shouldn’t have to approve an abortion. As a recent op-ed in Maine illustrates, more anti-abortion activists are seeing men as the key to blocking a woman’s right to decide if she wants to carry a pregnancy to term or not. “Theo Purrington, a young man with roots in Maine, spoke passionately about the child he never knew who was aborted against his will,” the author writes. “He tried in vain to stop the abortion legally but learned that a father’s rights only begin at the birth of his child.”
The next logical step in the fight? Anti-abortion activists making “fathers” consent to an abortion before the woman can begin a procedure. It’s a law that Ohio tried to pass as recently as last year, and one that surprisingly no other states have attempted to push for as of yet.
But could this “fatherhood” campaign be the opening of the door for more attempts in 2012?
Ironically, the recent legislative session involved a slew of states passing bills requiring women to be informed that no one, especially their partners, was legally allowed to coerce them into having abortions against their will. Yet, when it comes to the idea of men being able to coerce women out of abortions, suddenly the “pro-life” activists are their biggest cheerleaders.
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