Comment of the Week: Pro-Choice Means Giving Him a Choice, Too

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I’ve always known that I’m in a minority on this issue, but I’m going to voice it anyway.

I absolutely believe that if a mother doesn’t want the child and the father does, that she should carry the child to term and he raises the child. Is that “imposing” on the woman’s body? Perhaps. But they were equal partners in the situation knowing full well how a pregnancy works. They deserve to be equal partners in making the decision.

I am pro-choice, which in my mind says the man deserves a choice too. I think the fact that we as a society say “it’s a woman’s body, it’s her choice” helps to perpetuate irresponsible fathers who *don’t* participate in the decision and child-rearing. We send a message that the woman is dominant and the man is helpless. How can we do that and then be surprised that some men take the low-maintenance route.

I know my opinions are controversial. And I am a woman. I am a woman who also had an unplanned pregnancy where I didn’t know who the father was. I told both potential men and involved them both in the final decision of the child’s fate. Was it *ultimately* my choice? Yes. But the child was only half mine and the men deserved input on their own child’s future.

Period.

If I had wanted an abortion and one of them wanted to keep the child, I would have carried it for them. It’s not surrogacy. And it’s not “unfair” or “imposing rights on/over my body.” It’s dealing with the consequences of your actions. Women are equally as responsible as men in these situations and we know it. Taking away a man’s right to decide his child’s future is vile to me.

Katie, commenting on “Your Call: Do We Need Male Reproductive Rights?”


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8 Comments on "Comment of the Week: Pro-Choice Means Giving Him a Choice, Too"


Molly
5 years 8 months ago

Sure it takes two to make a baby, but today one partner generally takes care of the birth control and the other partner must simply trust their partner to do the right thing. Whether it is the woman taking her pill at the right time every day or the man promising to wear the condom properly and alert his partner if it seems to have broken or slipped off, sometimes birth control rests more on one person than the other. Your belief is nice if a long-term couple makes an honest mistake, but if it became a law (needing the father’s consent for an abortion, for instance) then a man who wanted a child could fail to inform his partner if something goes wrong with the condom and then have a baby in 9 months. Or what if he says he wants the child but disappears? In certain situations, it might be a nice thing to do, but I can think of all sorts of situations where it would be TROUBLE.

Spes
5 years 8 months ago

Again, I believe Doug has put it best and puts forth some feasible solutions. I, however, would like to highlight the point that women have been fighting for quite some time to have rights over their own bodies. Forcing a woman to carry a child to term just takes us leaps and bounds backward in the fight for women’s rights. Ethics should always be of concern, but not everyone’s ethic are the same just like their religion, which is why the law needs to stay far away from this issue beyond granting freedom choice to obtain an abortion. And let’s forget that just because a law exists doesn’t mean it’s always upheld. Again, I wish to remind you of the days of the coat hangers when women couldn’t get abortions. Do we really want to send women back to those dark times of pain and death?

Doug
5 years 8 months ago

I find it shocking that so many women will advocate requiring a woman to carry a child against her will. Last time I checked, women have the right to choose and spent the last few decades fighting for and keeping that right to do what they want with their bodies. Whether or not you agree that women should have the right to choose, the fact is that Roe v. Wade stands and will never be repealed. My issue with this is how many people use the old (and misguided) addage that punishing people for stupid mistakes repeatedly means they will make less of them.

I think both women AND men should have a choice (equal rights under the 14th ammendment and all) and it would not be too hard to codify it into a law. It should be the responsibility of the woman’s primary care provider to notify the man listed as the child’s father (note: this would require mothers to list a father before birth) within a week of discovering his identity if she plans on keeping the child. Then, the father gets to ahve his own choice. He can choose to stay there, support and pay child support or he can choose to have nothing to do with the child. That would entail a permanent retsraining order placed upon the father by the mother until and unless he begins to pay support. That way everybody gets a choice, and the woman knows how much support she is getting from the father and can make an informed decision. Perhaps with the knowledge she will have support she will choose to keep it, or with the knowledge she doesn’t she will choose to abort or put it up for adoption. However she chooses, it will give both sexes the reproductive rights they deserve.

5 years 8 months ago

That’s nice Katie but I hope you are talking about what you would do and not what the law should be. You have had an abortion but you have not given birth so really don’t know what that is like. I have given birth twice and let me tell you, carrying a pregnancy to term and giving birth is a big deal. Pregnancy carries with it significant risks and sacrifices and it should never be forced on any woman, ever.

Jessica
5 years 8 months ago

I agree with this post and the comments that followed. My biggest concern would be what if I carried the baby to term under the plan that he would raise the child. What if at some point along the road he upped and changed his mind? Legally, the child would become my responsibility unless I put it up for adoption.

But, I think this is yet another reason why comprehensive sex ed is a must to reduce the # of unplanned pregnancies. Not to mention it would probably help foster an environment in which women did involve men in their decisions and were able to make a decision that they could both live with.