Fathers: The Forgotten Person in the Abortion Debate
Featured Rightgrrl February, 1999
May 19, 1999
At 17 years old my sister had a child, a wonderful little boy and like many guys in the same situation, the birth father took off soon after he was born.
Now imagine for a moment what people would think if someone had told my sister the following:"Didn't you at least discuss this possibility with your boyfriend before you had sex? Why didn't you pick a better man? You were stupid and you got what you deserved so he has no responsibility to you or your child. Why should his life be disrupted because you got pregnant? How dare you force him to become a father against his will! What about his choice?"Now most women would be after a someone like this with a shotgun and I would be leading the pack! However, it has recently occurred to me through the pained postings of a man online, that through their insistence on legalized abortion, feminist send a similar to message to men everyday.
The reasoning is simple. Because men have the biological ability to walk away from a crisis pregnancy, many pro-choice feminist argue that women should have the right to kill a man's child without him having any say in it. If he has any convictions against abortion or if he wants to keep the child, he simply has to except whatever choice she makes as people tell him that "you should have been more careful buddy. Its her right you know." This attitude is wrong and it leads to what one person calls "a silent agony for many men."
Now it would be nice if it were different on the pro-life side of the fence, but often it is not.
In the pro-life movement we subtlely send men the message that while abortion is terrible, they have no right to feel any pain or anger over abortion because it is ofen irresponsible men who put women in this position in the first place. We nourish the perception that women in these situations are simply the victims of men's desires and refuse to go beyond the minimal acknowledgment of the injustice done when fathers are excluded from the abortion choice. To my way of thinking this attitude is wrong and the pro-life movement needs to seek out avenues to work for justice and healing for men who lose children in this manner rather than simply judging them for being involved in a crisis pregnancy.
In my mind, the woman who has an abortion without considering the view-point of the father in the matter is little different from the man, who after after getting his jollies with his girlfriend, walks away because her pregnancy will crimp his style. It is high time for everyone, both men and women, to take responsibility for the lives their actions bring into the world and fight legalized abortion laws which cause pain for everyone. Including men.
This article copyright © 1999 by Erin Hudson and may not be reproduced in any form without the express written consent of its author. All rights reserved.