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A Man’s right not to be a father?

Most of the discussion around abortion and abortion rights concerns the woman.  After all, she’s the one who carries the child.  She’s the one whose body will be used by the child to become a person etc..

Along the same lines, we don’t want a world in which a man can legally or otherwise coerce a woman into having an abortion.  That seems as wrong as the people who want to change the laws so that women can’t access an abortion if they think they need it.

BUT — and here’s the big one.. how much say should a man have in situations where he may WANT a woman to carry his child to term, but she doesn’t want to?  Some Father’s Rights advocates would say that if he’s willing to take full responsibility for a child he fathered, she ought to carry that child to term — especially if he’ll support her during her pregnancy.  That makes me a bit uncomfortable — at best, but I can see how, if she decided that would be ok with her — it’s like giving a child up for adoption at birth, only the adoptive parent is the biological father.

How about the other side — when a man doesn’t want to be a father, but the woman wants to carry the child to term?  Some people argue that he should be able to relinquish his parental rights and along with them, his parental duties of support.  The idea is that if the woman wants to be a mother badly enough to have a child with a man who doesn’t want one, then she ought to be ready to fully support and raise a child on her own.

The trouble with this position is that it leaves the most important person out of the equation, the child — it seems unlikely to me that this kind of scenario really has the child’s best interests as a long-term goal.

I suppose my best advice to both women and men is to be very sure your birth control works — and only have sex with folks you’d like to be parents with…

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2 Comments

June 28, 2013 · 12:03 pm

2 responses to “A Man’s right not to be a father?

  1. Joan Bennett

    Totally agree! Blokes who don’t want kids should have the snip (reversible if you change your mind later). Much better than bringing an unwanted child into the world (and having to pay for them!).

  2. For the love of Children

    I’m surprised I’ve never seen the argument that the best interest of children should trump the rights of a single child.
    Women who decide to have children to men who don’t want to be fathers, when they can’t afford it, end up expecting everyone else to pay for their life. A child brought up in the home of a single parent is almost 5 times more likely to suffer from mental illness than a normal person. 3 times more likely to exhibit a conduct disorder. Almost 3 times more likely to have emotional disorders. 67% of people in poverty are from single parent homes. They are more likely to be violent, abusive and end up as criminals as well as a string of other social problems. Girls are twice as likely to end up as teenage mothers. They’re all more likely to end up having their own broken homes when they grow up.
    That’s not even mentioning the unfairness to men who just want equal rights, or even just “some” rights, since they hold all of the responsibility against their will and none of the rights. When you choose to have a baby, that is not a responsibility.
    Now there is another legal situation that is strangely very similar to a mother who decides to have a baby without the fathers consent and then expects him an the government to pay. Except the government takes the exact opposite approach to it.
    Now bare with me, this does have a legitimate basis.
    A hostage situation involves 2 parties with 1 making demands.
    It also has an innocent 3rd party that has no say in the situation.
    It is also in the best interest of the 3rd party statistically, that the demands are just met.
    Yet, all western governments recognise that meeting these demands is not in the best interest of the public, even if it results in a child’s death.
    By allowing women to essentially put unwilling fathers (how awful if it was a night stand) in indentured servitude for 18 years, it encourages more women to do it, knowing they will always be able to make other people pay for their “life choice”. So by not looking at the problem as a whole, like they would in a hostage situation, they are in fact putting more and more children at risk from mother’s who have a kid purely because they want one despite the horrible situation their kid is going to go through and their kid is far more likely statistically to end up in the same situation and the problem grows and grows.
    Which is why it makes even more sense to apply the same principle to mother’s who have kids without consent, because unlike a hostage situation, by encouraging this behaviour the “victim” is very likely to repeat the situation down the track, where they are the perpetrator and the problem grows and grows.
    Woman who choose to have children without the fathers consent, should not be treated as a victim. They are in fact being selfish by putting their wants before their child’s who deserves a proper chance at life under good circumstance’s and with a 2nd loving parent who wants them. Not to mention the 18 years they expect huge amounts of money by an innocent party and the government. The costs to society as a whole is immeasurable and constantly growing as a result.
    You can not force somebody to want to be a loving parent (or just a parent) , male or female and it’s an incredibly bad idea to try, it just builds resentment and costs the society greatly by the mental anguish instilled on the child and father as a result.
    Sex does not consent to having a baby (especially when raped), if it did, women would not be allowed to have abortions unless life and death. Yet they do, even if the father wants the child and is willing to support it by himself. In societies where we pride ourselves on equality, should we revert back to making abortions illegal to make it more equal?
    Sadly due to the poor decisions of some women, the best and fairest solution (including children) is to allow a paper abortion for men. This in fact discourages women to have children they can’t support and levels the playing field so unless they want to raise the child by themselves with their own finances, they actually have to at the very least, listen to the father and not just completely disregard what he wants.
    So for the sake of all children, please support paper abortions and force the current governments of the world to take the welfare of all children into account instead of endangering more children for the sake of the rights of a single child.

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