Mens Rights in Abortion
Running Head: ABORTION Abortion is one of the most common controversial topics facing our society today. Many people have different opinions on the topic, and I think it is important to take into account people’s perspective when discussing this topic. From a religious perspective, obviously they believe abortion in general no matter what is wrong. People from a more liberal background, or feminist perspective believe it is a woman’s right to choose. One could spend hours trying to pick a side, which at the end of the day is probably pointless since we live a in a culturally diverse society with many different views.
Another controversial issue that stems from abortion is men’s rights. Do men have the right to know if their partner chooses to have an abortion, and further more do they legally have rights concerning the unborn child? Currently, women have the moral right to get abortions on demand at their discretion, they can make unilateral decisions whether or not to abort, and are not morally obligated to consult with their father or any other person before making a decision to abort (Hales, 1996). Does the mother posses all the power since it is her body, or does the man deserve to know?
I believe there are many different things to take into consideration, when making a decision on this topic. There are extraneous circumstances in my opinion when determining if the mother should tell the man she is choosing to have an abortion. Abortion has two conflicting principals, the value life principal, and the principal of individual freedom (Thiroux, 2006). Both these principals support basic human rights, but they also create conflict because they somewhat contradict each other. I do not think abortion is a black or white type of issue.
Also, I would also like to point out the distinct difference between what I “think” the woman should do, versus what her “moral” responsibility is. For example, if a man and a woman are in or were in a significant relationship I believe the man has a right to know whether or not the woman is choosing to have an abortion. I think that if there is some type of emotional investment in each other, or financial investment this warrants disclosure on abortion. Whether or not the women takes the man’s opinions into account is another issue, she has no legal obligation.
However, I do not think it is as necessary for the woman to disclose this information if the couple engaged in a one night stand, and there is no investment from either party. I believe that investment changes things, whereas a random one night stand does not. Now one may ask how this is justified, but this is my opinion. Morally, it is an easy argument to say that the man has the right to know since it takes two people to make a baby, he is “part” of that baby and has every right to know. I could absolutely see the relevancy in this augment.
So, if this were true then my next question would be at what point do we mandate or make it a man’s responsibility to then financially pay for half of the abortion. If it is a woman’s right to disclose no matter what, then should it be a man’s responsibility to pay for half or all of the abortion. There are also circumstances where the man may want the woman to keep the child, and the woman wants to abort, or vice versa. Since we cannot force a man to invest in a child’s life if he does not want to, we cannot force a woman to make a decision on abortion, or disclose information.
Many cases have been shown where a woman becomes pregnant and the man does not want her to have the baby. It is his right to choose not to participate or be involved in the child’s life. Therefore, since the man is entitled to these rights, a woman is entitled to hers, which is the freedom to make decisions regarding her body and abortion. In a 1976 Supreme Court case, Planned Parenthood of Central Missouri v. Danforth, a decision was handed down regarding fathers’ rights in abortion. One of the findings was that a man’s right to know about his wife or daughter’s abortion is “unconstitutional” (Bunch, 1990).
I believe that pregnancy investment is much more costly to the woman, men do not have the level of investment that the woman has due to the fact that men do not have to carry the child for nine months. Since this burden is placed on the women, she is entitled to make these types of decisions, this is her right. References Bunch, C. (1990). Women’s Rights as Human Rights: Toward a Re Vision of Human Rights. Human Rights Quarterly, (12), 486-498. Hales, D. (1996). Abortion and Fathers’ Rights. Biomedical Ethics Review, 1-22. Thiroux, J. P. & Krasemann, K. W. (2009). Ethics Theory and Practice. (10th Ed. ) Pearson Prentice Hall.