What Say Should Men Have in Abortion?

Can we ignore all the jargon about people so much as considering an abortion being evil, slutty, whores who are totally going to hell for a moment to ask a serious question? My boyfriend is not quite the talker I am, but I love the intelligent conversations I can have with him. We’ve discussed the concept of adoption, abortion or carrying a pregnancy to term, to which he proposed a unique idea: men should be involved in the discussion – even the decision to abort. To clarify, the man who supplied the sperm should have a say (if he wants) in what happens. I can see this exploding into a lot of different issues. For example, what if a woman is pregnant by one man but married to another. Does he partner get no say? More importantly, in any situation, how much weight should the man’s voice carry, considering the fact his body is not the one affected by the decision?

To be clear, I am NOT asking if any of these options should be made into law. I’m not discussion law at all here. Think of this as more of a moral question.

 

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25 thoughts on “What Say Should Men Have in Abortion?”

  1. Ultimately, carrying and giving birth to a child has a much larger impact on a woman. It is her body and she should in my opinion have the final say. That being said, a child is a life changer, for all parents involved male or female, straight or gay.The most important thing to consider will always be the future of the child, a stable and emotionally safe environment is paramount. This is why some couples who choose to adopt become great parents. Also, I just want to be clear on what I mean by emotional safety. I do _not_ believe sexual orientation has anything to do with being a good parent. : )

    1. I agree with all you say. That’s part of the reason why I believe the government should have no say in this very personal decision. Unless the government plans to step in and provide that stable, emotionally safe environment, they don’t get a say. The people whose lives will be changed forever are the only ones who should have a say in how their lives are changed. Whatever the choice, to keep, give up for adoption or abortion, I think the life of at least the woman is forever changed (the mans’s life can be forever changed, too, but only if he aware and affected by the decision being made).

  2. I have always said, that if men cared so much about abortion, then they would spend more time caring for the woman carrying their babies…

    1. If we get to the point where we have the technology to a) implant the fetus into the man to carry to birth or b) grow the fetus outside the body until term, then the man is welcome to keep it if he so desires. BUT if the woman doesn’t want the child, then she should not be obligated to pay for any of that to happen, pay child support or in any way have anything to do with it – if she wants.

      Just to note, I am also not a fan of child support for men (outside of divorce agreements, which are a different animal in my opinion).

  3. I am prolife. That being said, I can see the other side of the issue clearly and I don’t judge because it’s a very complicated issue. Having worked at a clinic that promoted life over abortion I can say this, the statistics change drastically when the father is involved. Almost 100% choose to carry to term when the father has seen the ultrasound (and this does not mean that he will be involved in raising the child.) It is VERY rare that a couple (regardless of circumstance) will choose together to teonate a pregnancy. Just food for thought.

    1. I appreciate that you understand and don’t judge the other side. I personally am Pro-Choice but I also believe that deciding for or against an abortion is never a good place to be in. Having an abortion or not having one is never a easy or emotionless decision.

      I think it’s easier for the man to want the fetus or at least to want to avoid abortion because he doesn’t have to carry the child. He doesn’t even have to care for the pregnant woman if he doesn’t want to.

      My problem with most abortion laws is that it doesn’t prevent anything. Those woman will still seek what they want and many desperate woman will put their lives at risk in the process. I don’t think this discussion belongs in the government at all because it’s too much about personal/religious belief. What I would prefer is for churches and anyone else interested in preventing abortion to use real scientific facts to help people avoid unwanted pregnancy and to provide a safe, comforting and accepting environment for those who end up in that situation. Imagine if people protesting in front of women’s health clinics and condemning people to hell instead offered free child care, assistance with purchasing all the items needed to raise the child and a kind ear to listen to their concerns. To me, that would be so much more effective. it would reduce so much fear and worry.

      And, in the absence of all the laws, those women who need to have an abortion for reasons other than fear (such as a medical risk) can get one safety.

      I’m sorry. This became long. I’m not trying to sway you or start something here. I only mean to say that I wish people who were pro-life were more compassionate – like you seem to be. The message “we accept you, will help you and will be your family if you need someone to lean on” goes so much farther than a lot of the hate I hear.

    1. I disagree. Rauner has no desire to change the laws on the books, but he is still against abortion. I worry a little bit that if a bill further restricting women’s access to safe health care crossed his desk that he would sign it happily. Now, I’m not sure and I haven’t made a decision yet. It’s just something I worry about.

      Did you know in Illinois a pharmacist can deny to give you Plan-B because they are morally against it? It doesn’t even do anything if there is a fetus, and yet we have a law like that. Disgusting.

  4. Depends on which men.
    The father? Definitely.
    Her father? No.
    Her male friends? No.
    Anybody not involved with the relationship or the conception of the child has no say to what the woman (and the father of child) chooses to do with the potential baby.
    I’m all for pro-choice, but I think abortion is a terrible thing, so I believe that people should take steps to keep the child from being born, instead of outright killing it when it does come into being. But ultimately, my opinions don’t matter, it’s still the mother (and father) who has the say and no one else.

    1. I don’t know anyone who is pro-choice who thinks abortion is a good. Thing. Abortion is always a hard, terrifying and life changing decision – no matter what choice is made. People act like women use abortion like birth control. While I’m sure there are women out there who do, I’m willing to be less than half a percent, perhaps less than 1/10 a percent do.

      I hope we can mature as a society to better teach those coming into their sexual selves (tweens and teenagers) what sex is, how it works and how to avoid things like pregnancy and STIs. When I was in high school, me and every other person thought vaginal sex was the only sex. I actually had a friend who thought it was only sex if he ejaculates inside of you. Where was the person to tell us there were still chance of getting pregnant from pre-cum? Where was the person to tell us we still need to use protection during oral sex because there are still STIs to worry about? Where was the person to tell us what sex was and wasn’t?

      That information alone can go a long way in preventing people from ever having to make this very hard decision.

  5. Depends on what they’re saying. I don’t think a man has any right to insist on an abortion. A man has a right to argue against abortion only to the extent that he is committed to love and support the mother and child.

    1. I think I agree. I don’t think a man has a right to force either decision, but I do think a man present in the life of a woman should have his opinion heard.

  6. I’ve given this a fair bit of thought, and come to a somewhat simple conclusion.

    Premises:

    1) A woman’s body is her own. If push comes to shove, nobody should hold her down and make her have an abortion. Ergo, only she CAN choose whether to abort (assuming a reasonably sane medical practice).

    2) As with anything, the man can state his opinion. As with anything, other people (like his partner) may or may not agree.

    3) A man’s actions are his own. If push comes to shove, nobody can make him pay child support (not even the police or a judge, in reality), or be present in any respect; and his partner can’t realistically force him to. (We can see examples of this autonomy on practically every city block, it seems: single parents who will never see a dime of child support, despite a court order.) Ergo, only he CAN choose to help raise the child.

    Conclusion:

    If a couple gets pregnant, then they should talk about it, both realizing that they can control their own actions, but not the actions of another person. Therefore, the conversation must revolve around meeting the needs of everyone involved, as best they can, and not forcing anyone–neither the man, nor the woman–to do anything. In other words, if the woman wants to keep the child (including not giving it up for adoption), despite the man being absolutely against it, she’ll unavoidably end up raising it without him. So, she can choose to abort/adopt out or not, and he can choose to help raise it or not. One only hopes that the couple will come to an equitable agreement.

    I think that anything more complicated than this solution will necessarily involve the use of force (legalistic, physical, etc.) against one party or the other–and won’t be good for the child, in any case. In fact, as we can see, no such method that we’ve yet devised manages to reliably do more than get people mad: the laws we currently have are basically unenforceable–both for child support, and, in the past, prohibiting abortions.

    1. I agree with every piece of your logic. I think people get so heated about abortion because of the religious element. For example, I get heated when I see pointless laws go into place to make getting an abortion harder as most of them have no concern for the woman, her health, her life or any other difficulties she faces. I also hate the “I believe…” or “God says…” because we live in a free country with freedom of religion. You can’t legally force me to follow the rules of a religion I don’t believe in when they have no other logical reason for existing outside of religion. If the women shaming and restrictive laws were removed, if we could speak about women as more than just whores or incubators and have a real discussion, I’d get less heated.

      On the flip side, religion is a very personal and important part of people’s lives. To have one’s religion denied, to say “no you are wrong” can feel like a personal attack. If you feel like your religious beliefs aren’t being respected or valued, I can see how that can also make someone heated.

      1. I think that, in terms of religion (or any ideology), there’s a certain amount of personal responsibility that needs to go into the evangelization thereof–whether it be in talking casually to others, or trying to pass certain laws related to religion. The problem, as I see it, is this: people are willing to tell others that they’re wrong, but are unable to handle (gracefully) being told that they, themselves, are wrong. This often seems true for people on all sides of a legislative, regardless of whether they claim a religious belief: they want to force others to do as they wish (whether allowing or forbidding something), and can’t handle being told that the opposide should be done. (Something about glass houses and stones come to mind…)

        I think that the key to “resolving” all of the “hot button issues” we face is to simply grow thicker skin and attempt to see the other person’s point of view. I think this would solve a heck-of-a-lot, almost regardless of what issue (or political climate) it’s applied to. Maybe the issues we get so fired-up about aren’t really as important as getting to know and appreciate one another. Maybe just doing that would make an equitable solution appear, more often than not.

  7. Ignoring all of the variables that different people’s contexts might create, I think the man in a committed, stable relationship should have the right to offer his opinion and to be a part of the discussion. Ultimately, however, in a difference of opinion, the woman’s opinion should carry more weight as the burden of pregnancy or the burden of abortion falls to her, physically and emotionally, to a degree that it does not impact on the man.

    1. I agree. I feel bad in a way because I feel like whatever the woman’s decision – it will still have an effect on a man who is present in her life. For her to choose the option he does not want would be quite hard. That’s the nature of the beast, though. It’s what makes the decision so hard and so personal and why it would be better, across the board, if such a decision never had to be made.

  8. “Yes, the man who contributed to the conception should have a say, if he’s around.” I agree with this part but I’d like to add that they should come to a mutual respectful decision. If they can’t agree… well then I’m stumped. I mean I guess its the woman’s body but if the man really wants to be a father, how could she deny him? I remember once a story my father told how he had gotten his 16yr old girlfriend pregnant and she wanted an abortion but he didn’t and in the end his girlfriend went behind his back with his mother to get an abortion. needless to say they didn’t stay together long after that but every time I hear this story from my dad I can’t help but see and hear the hurt and sadness on his face and in his voice. My father is a great father and I can tell that he wanted to be a father to that child to and is upset that the chance was taken from him.

    1. I feel for your father, but I also feel like the ultimate decision is in the hands of the woman (I sure hope her mother didn’t pressure her into an abortion and let her make her own decision, though).

      I can’t imagine being in a situation where I want one thing and my boyfriend wants another. I think what happens in that situation depends on the strength of the relationship. If one or the other resents the other for whatever decision is made, the relationship will crumble.

  9. If we look at the reason why women often want to have abortions it’s because they feel a lack of support both financially and emotionally. Abortion rates are lowest in countries with universal health care for women throughout the pregnancy and afterwards. This can help compensate for a lack of additional parental support. Those countries usually focus more on education and birth control as well. Here in the U.S. not only is there little in terms of health care for women, but men are frequently the reason they are getting an abortion. Both in terms of the father not being there or wanting to be there, and often parents who perhaps are very religious or simply are angry at their daughter for getting pregnant. It is a woman’s body, but I think both parents should be part of the discussion. I think if more men would take responsibility, abortion rates would go down. That being said, the man always has to accept the fact that it is not his body going through the stress of pregnancy and that it is the woman’s final decision. But being a good man can help swing the decision in your favor if you want to keep the baby. And taking responsibility for your actions should also be the man’s job if she decides to keep it.

    1. I would agree with parents being part of the discussion after the first term of pregnant. Before that… I mean, in an ideal world parents should be involved, but when so many will abandon, shame and scorn their children for getting pregnant, I just don’t think it’s a good idea. A 16-year-old kicked out of her home for getting pregnant will face a harder life than a 16-year-old who had an abortion (assuming that’s what she wants) and keeps her parents in the dark.

      As a teenager, I had a plan. While I didn’t have sex until I was 21, I still had my period and therefore had an escape plan. If I ever got pregnant in high school, I would have run away. The plan was to stay away for 9 months, then return if I could. The risk was worth it to me because I had been well convinced that discovering I was pregnant would ruin my parents’ marriage.

      At the end of the day, though, I think we can all agree that the best situation is to never have to consider abortion. It would be better if we had the education and health system to prevent those pregnancies wished to be prevented and to support those that aren’t.

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