I believe we all remember the craziness that occurs around election time, and the way social issues get fired up in our media. With all the talk of abortion, gay marriage, and wage gaps, it’s not hard to believe that everyone would want a bite of the “equality” apple. One of the major issues to come out of the discussion of gender biases and the like is the question of whether a man should have similar rights concerning paternal responsibility and choice as a woman does with maternal rights. The question I wanted to raise is this: Should men (and women) have an option for a financial abortion?
Before the wrong idea gets implanted, I would first like to say that I am a firm Pro-Choice believer. When it comes to the decisions that a woman makes for her body, I support her right to do just that. However, in what ways do we break the gender-biased views of parenthood and procreation? This question is being asked because to many, ejaculation followed by financial support seems to be extent of what a father brings to the table. While no one can truly doubt that there are gender inequalities in various places, such as the workplace and in politics, should we continue to believe that these discrepancies regarding fatherhood are unrelated to equality and opportunity for both sexes? If the responsibilities are equal, shouldn’t the choices be? Armin Brott, an author and spokesperson of father’s rights, is quoted with “A woman can legally deprive a man of his right to become a parent or force him to become one against his will.” Agree with him or not, this should certainly spark some debate.
Financial Abortion [See: Dubay v. Wells], if implemented properly, could give fathers (potential fathers) some rights regarding their own reproductive activities. For example, if a man and a woman agree that they are not interested in having children, and the woman gets pregnant, she can terminate it. However, if they agree that they are still not interested in children, but she decides to complete the pregnancy, what rights does he have? On the flip side, if the man wants a child and she does not, she can choose to terminate the pregnancy. For the record, I believe that she should have every right to terminate said pregnancy, seeing as it’s inseparable from her for 9 months, and she should decide for her own body. Additionally, if she goes through with the pregnancy, and decides she does not want the child, there is some legislation (California, for example) that allows for her to give up said child, even if a perfectly fit and wanting father is available. [See: CA Courts Force Adoption]
When it comes to who gets to decide on having a child, should the field be leveled to an extent? If some states allow for a mother to give up her rights as a mother via adoption (post-pregnancy), should a father be given the same courtesy? Do we believe that this would increase the numbers of dead-beat dads? Or would this be a wake-up call for women to be more selective with the men that they are intimate with? Overall, if it’s all for the sake of the children, would we see a decrease or an increase in the welfare of children in our nation? Overall, we should consider that sex is a two-person affair (most of the time, anyway!) and as such, both parties should have some degree of responsibility and some degree of choice. As they say, “it takes two to tango.” Your thoughts? I’d love to hear them.