When it comes to abortion, we always hear about women’s rights. Currently, the law allows a woman to abort her child without the father’s knowledge or consent. Fathers are completely excluded from the decision. Why are fathers’ rights being denied? For example, fathers who want to abort their child – but are prevented from doing so because the mother will not consent to an abortion – lack both the freedom to determine the fate of the child they co-created as well as the freedom to decide whether to financially support the child. Why should a man be legally obligated to pay for a child that he did not want? If a woman can abort a child she does not want to support or care for, why can’t a man? If a father cannot choose to abort his child, then he should not be forced to support it. The law unfairly discriminates against men by saying fathers have no rights to determine the fate of their children in utero, and yet also saying fathers have obligations to their unwanted children after birth.
You might be saying at this point, “It’s just not feasible to allow a man to unilaterally make the decision to abort his child because that would require doctors to violate the will and bodily integrity of the mother.” Even if I ceded that there are good reasons for not allowing men to make a unilateral decision to abort a child, the injustice of requiring that man to support his unwanted child remains. I think the only fair solution is to change the law so that any father who wants to abort his child – but is prevented from doing so because of the mother’s refusal to consent to an abortion – will not be financially responsible for the support of that child. After all, if mothers can make a unilateral decision to keep their baby, then those same mothers should be required to unilaterally support that baby. It is unfair to require a man to pay for a baby that someone else chose to give birth to.
I’ve discussed the lack of men’s rights to abort their unborn child, but what about their right to let their unborn child live? What if a man wants to keep the baby but the woman wants to abort? Is it fair to allow a woman to kill a father’s child without his consent? I say no. The child who will be aborted is the joint “property” of both the woman and the man. The father has just as much claim to that child as the mother. So why does she get to make a unilateral decision as to whether or not it will be allowed to live? I find it strange that dual parental consent is required to give a baby up for adoption, and yet only maternal consent is required to kill that same baby in utero.
I contend that abortion law should mirror adoption law: both parent’s must consent to an abortion before an abortion can be performed. If the father does not consent, the mother’s request for an abortion should be denied. It is simply not fair to fathers that their children can be killed without their consent. Fathers have rights too.