Should boyfriends/husbands have any say in a woman's choice for abortion?

I'm just curious, as a guy, how women feel about men having say in whether their child will be aborted or not. Not men as a whole, but the father of their baby obviously.
I understand that I'll never know what it's like to be pregnant, have children, or for that matter, even understand what it's like to be a woman. I'd also like to add that I think of myself as pro-choice, and would never try to tell a woman what she can do with her body.
That being said, I feel it's slightly unfair that for the most part, when it comes to reproduction and child birth, until the baby is born men aren't much more than sperm donors from a legal stand point.
I'm not trying to start a debate as to the reasons why people should or shouldn't get abortions, or the morality or ethics to such decisions, simply asking if men should have any say as to whether their child can be aborted or not?

Tags: Families, Feminism, Politics

Views: 162

Replies to This Discussion

Yes, I see it happen here all of the time. Here in the Bible belt where single mothers are looked upon with disgust, "you should have waited for a good man!"
Not having read what I'm sure is a mile long thread by now (put 'abortion' in the title and watch it grow like a creature in an over-the-top B-scifi movie)...

I think I get what you're saying Noah. I think in most situations, if it's a healthy, productive relationship, the father is very much entitled to have his wishes taken into account.

And then it's up to the woman. She has veto power.

If I was truly on the fence and my hypothetical and very supportive husband presented a good enough case, enough confidence that he's in it for the long haul, that he doesn't want the child just because 'abortion is wrong' but because he truly wants to raise a child, I can see myself being talked out of an abortion.
This is interesting,
I have this discussion when we get to the gender/sexuality and pop culture section of my class.
For example, we talk about the Roe v Wade debate and how congress is working on health insurance companies not paying for abortions. Yet, I also ask what about women who use abortion as a trap for men when they are not pregnant. How is it that men are often times blamed for impregnating a woman when she has the power to prove or disprove a pregnancy? However, I bring up cases of incest and rape and the right to plan a parent-hood not have it forced upon you...I know my mother wanted to get her tubes tied and she couldnt because my step-father would not sign the papers...After the fact of giving him two children...Two boys at that. (Not including me of course)...So, this topic is such a slippery slope.
I'm a guy that says "no matter what a woman has the right to decide what happens to her body" period.
Years ago, my girlfriend and I had a condom failure. You wanna know how you can tell. Sex suddenly feels even better.

Well, I have some swimmers in me. The two times I've had sex without birth control, it has resulted in a pregnancy. The second time resulted in my daughter.

But that first time really hit me from out of left field. I had been sexually active since I was fifteen. But, as I said, always protected - at least with birth control. And, being a serial monogamist, I always used condoms for the first part of any relationship - except my first - which lasted two years. This particular relationship was a month old - so we were still using latex. I was 24 and she was 28.

In any case, the condom failure came (pardon the pun) only a week after her period. We held off further activity until we could tell. Early detection wasn't as readily available back then and waiting (and hoping) seemed prudent. But I made it clear that the decision was hers, that I would support any decision she made as co-parent or emotional support through an adoption or abortion. I would help with all financial issues be they the procedure or the 18 years (plus) of parenting. And, I would help her work through the decision if she wanted it. When she said she had to work through it on her own and, besides, maybe we were worrying about nothing - I didn't push it.

The way I saw it, any fetus would have no say. So there were two adults involved and whatever my opinion, she had the right and burden of the choice. It wasn't going to be me risking my life - or having what amounted to a part of myself taken from me. If she was pregnant - at that moment - it held my DNA - but little more.

Then, she did the only thing I was totally unprepared for - the only thing I thought that she could do that was unwarranted. When she found out she was pregnant, she had her roommate tell me and completely shut me off forever.

Now, I have never held a grudge and didn't then. But I was deeply hurt by what she did. Today, I can see that she dealt with it how she felt she needed to. I can't even call it cowardly, per se. She aborted the pregnancy. I never heard from her again. I tried very hard for a few days by phone and, once, a knock on her door. After that, a couple of weeks of letters - though she lived only a couple of miles away.

So, from painful experience I have to, nevertheless, say this. I didn't see it coming. I never pushed her toward any option. I never would have abandoned her. But, at the end of the day - it was her choice and her burden. I believe I could have made some part of it easier. I believe she chose to close me out so she could 'wipe the slate clean' and avoid facing all of it head on. But I would rather she had that right than that anyone ever take it away.
Nerd, you hit it on the head! The fundies put a huge burden of guilt on women! The local catholic church once every year makes a huge cross on the ground with hundreds of small ones. Then puts on a month of bull about the death of all those babies!
I do think you are right. She wasn't that religious. Politically, she was pretty progressive. And it was in Seattle - also very progressive. But she was raised in the Midwest. She may have been raped as a child - I'll never know. But, unfortunately, the odds, in general, are far too high. I just will never know in what ways she had been hurt before that. If we had gone through it more together (some part of it cannot be shared) she might have opened up to me more about her fear and whatever else.

Overall, the really sad thing is that her experience didn't allow her accept support where it would have been given - because it must have taught her otherwise. That was why I was sad - not because she took something from me. But because she would failed to allow me to take any of it on. So, in the end, I guess that's the part I took on.
The sperm donor/wanna be father has the right to make a case for keeping the child or giving it up for adoption or pursuing an abortion but if he doesn't like the woman's decision then he can walk. As men, we have an option to walk away practically scott-free from parenthood and childbirth that women do not have.

The final decision belongs to the woman and its her right to not have it overridden.
In a related twist consider the following:

I have an appt. to see a Dr. in a couple of weeks about setting up a vasectomy for myself.
In the conversation on the phone I was asked if I was married and then, when I answered "yes", I was told that my wife had to be there for the consult. Wha???*

If I understand this correctly, that means she (my wife) could go and get an abortion completely without my knowledge and the Doctors would uphold her right to "confidentiality." BUT, in order for me to get the big V, my wife has to be informed of my decision?? How is that fair?

*Note: My "outrage" about this is purely academic, as my wife and I discussed this at length before deciding that I would get the procedure. That said, the apparent inequity does bother me.

Thoughts?
Honestly, it's probably not the law... However, I'm pretty sure it is the law that doctors are not allowed to ask such information (nor require such spousal consent) of women wanting an abortion.

So how is it okay for them to ask it of men wanting vasectomies?
Can you get back in touch with the Doc and ask if your spouse having to be there is a Fed/State law, Hospital policy and/or the Doc's personal preference?

It could be argued that getting a vasectomy without your spouse's knowledge could be grounds for the spouse to sue the Hospital (the same could also be true with an abortion) or the Doctor. The Doc asking that question and forcing your spouse to be present before going ahead with the procedure might just be a case of trying to cover his/her own ass in case of a lawsuit.
Yeah, I'd be curious if spousal notification is a law or just the doctor's personal policy.

Unless the law specifically prohibits it, I can see the doc erring on the side of caution and not wanting to get between a husband who wanted one and the wife who didn't. Sucks for you and it's not right, but I can see it.

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