Should Men Get More Say In Keeping An Unwanted Pregnancy?

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.


Related Stories:

Santorum: Get Those Women Married So They Vote Republican

Tennessee Commission Gives Family Planning Contract to Religious Health Group

Herman Cain On Abortion: Carry Your Rapist’s Baby

Photo credit: wikimedia commons


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Past Member 2 years ago

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Martha Eberle
Martha Eberle6 years ago

NO. NO. AND NO. A "child" is not a "child" until it is viable, separate from the woman carrying it. A woman is a citizen and has the right to decide if she wants to have a child or not. The anti-choice crowd is very sneaky and saavy to focus on men, because men can have this attitude of "this is MINE." Since men have run everything from time in memorium, they will want to assert their "right" to decide -- but if there is a difference of opinion about carrying a pregnancy to term, who gets to decide? There is no "split the difference" like Solomon's dilemma. There is ONE person to decide, and that is the person most affected, the woman who is pregnant. Roe vs. Wade.

Christopher M.
Christopher M.6 years ago

Actually I don't expect anyone to believe necessarily until it is too late, but there would hypothetically be a major attitude shift standing before God. "This.. is... real..."

Christopher M.
Christopher M.6 years ago

Jane B., hypothetically, what happens if you meet God in the hereafter, and have to confess that He is God? (Let's say everyone when they meet God realizes it is all true and have to admit He is God.) Hypothetically, to confess that God tried to save you from Satan, but you either did or did not receive the offer?

I wonder if that has any difference on the vagina or uterus issue. Probably does.

Also, ever wonder that men have been conscripted for war for thousands of years whereas women have not? A. a woman is physically no match for a man in combat with sword or spear, only in Vietnam with Kalashnakovs were they equal snipers against the Americans, but that was not until the invention of the gun. B. Who is going to feed the baby before the invention of the Evenflo bottle and Similac? Mommy.

Ever wonder the coincidence that the draft ended in 1973 right about the time abortion was made legal in Roe v. Wade? Men got their bodies when women got theirs. Ironic.

Kirby King
Kirby King6 years ago

As a male, I don't have rights over my body why should you. I can't sell a foot, or advertise that I have a kidney for auction, I have to ride a wheelchair. I can't even have my toes cut off, why do I have to cut toe nails for the rest of my life. I can't bend down, my blood pressure will dangerously change that quick. So I go through the process of of ingrown nails and infection.

When the body is altered, there is always, always post-depression. Don't they tell you, at your favorite, clinic, oh yes, also the nightmares, months, years later. So go ahead and do your thing, As a Licensed Professional Counselor, and a Phd in Clinical Psychology, I'll continue to help those who drop by the wayside.

Lika S.
Lika P6 years ago

It shouldn't be a legal thing. If a happily married couple has opposing views, then they should be encouraged to go to counseling, ASAP, but, if this becomes a legality, then a rapist can tell his victim she has to keep his baby? I DON'T THINK SO!!!

There are various reasons to or not to have an abortion, and the final decision is left to the woman. No one else should have a legal voice in whether she has one or not. Ultimately, she will have to live with the choice, and when baby is born, she will have most of the responsibility.

fadzilah d.
fadzilah din6 years ago

Jane B.,

Of course I don't know how to argue! I don't agree with you, and I prefer that people decide together. I know that the issue is a result of other deeper issues that has implications on gender relations, culture, society, law and policies, tax payers, pain-- both mental and physical. That's why I suggest taking responsibilities. I assume most people would take that to mean using contraceptives, still others would probably think celibacy, adoption, family intervention, etc. I don't think I should focus only on the right's of the vagina. If you avoid unwanted pregnancies in the first place, neither men nor women have to say anything.

See, did I invoke Beelzebub and Ghostbusters and in 2011 too? But you are the smart one, go figure.

Cedric S.
Cedric Spencer6 years ago

If our lawmakers want to empower a man to legally impose his will over a woman's well being, then that privilege should be accompanied by the responsibility to provide coverage for all pregnancy and labor related expenses. The father should also be legally required to justify his ability to provide a stable parental environment for the child since he'll be the custodial parent.
I don't think you would have a lot of instances of this law being utilized by it's beneficiaries if their privilege was tied to the responsibility it creates.

Being a parent is not easy. Men know this. That is the reason so many are fine with leaving the heavy lifting to mothers and just sending a check, as though money can fill the gap their absence creates. The next time you hear a talk show discussing this debacle of a legislative concept, call in and start discussing the responsibilities and liabilities that should be attached to such a "right".

Jane Barton
Jane Barton6 years ago

Fadzilah, since you have no ability to reason why don't you go back to the third grade and
learn how? No "God", "Jesus", "Almighty", "Rastafarian", "Tribal Leader", "Head Hunter",
"Allah", "Moses", "Abraham", "Crazy Old Prophet", "Man", "the Government", "Ron G."
"the Spaghetti God", or "Anybody with a Weiner" has any business in a WOMAN'S

fadzilah d.
fadzilah din6 years ago

Janice S.,