July 27, 2009 Abortion: What About A Man’s Right To Choose
I want to interject a different approach to the abortion conversation. We are constantly talking about “the woman’s right to choose” what happens with her body. And the other side of that debate is the issue when life begins– at conception, birth, or somewhere in between. But nobody mentions the father. Remember, like the song says– “it takes two, baby!” At this point, I am sure all the feminists are ready to rip their computers cords from the walls in an attempt to get these words out of their site. Who cares about the father!?! It’s his fault that everyone is pregnant in the first place, right? But today I am going to throw myself to the lions and represent the “fellas”in this fight.
Let me start by saying that in the big general sense, I am against abortion. There is an old African proverb that says, “the death of an elderly man is like burning a library.” Well I don’t like the idea of ending the potential life of someone, who knows what they could have contributed to the world or to the private world of the people in their own family. I am aware that the issue of abortion is not exactly a black and white issue. Most of the time it is the grayest of gray. I have counseled people in the midst of having to make that decision on several occasions. And it’s not easy. I heard Barack Obama say that he believes that women do not take that decision lightly, and I agree with him. Even after women have aborted their baby, they tend to think about that child for years wondering what that child would have been like, similarly to the way women who give their children up for adoption. It’s a tough thing.
However, I am also aware of their being young women who do, in fact, take “their right to choose” lightly and I have counseled several of them as well. They keep getting abortion after abortion because they “accidentally” got pregnant again. So rather than use contraception or birthcontrol, they chose to be irresponsible. And one act of irresponsibility sometimes begets another. So for those situations would kind of go in the category of “you do the crime, you do the time.” The sentence: 18 years to life of taking care of your child.
I have a real problem with the “woman’s right to choose.” It’s not only because that I am a person who believes that life begins at conception, but rather because I think that idea is a bit vain and selfish. Except in certain cases where the woman may die if she delivers or carries the baby to term, or rape and incest, it seems a bit selfish to me for a woman to say that “it’s my body” and I just don’t feel like being pregnant right now. Regardless of whether or not they believe that life begins at conception or not– you know that the end result of that pregnancy is that life comes out of it. And so ultimately the selfish decision is made not to bring a life into the world. (You may know pause and type furious comments in the comments box, below.)
Now, for why I really wrote this blog today. The man in the picture.
Let me present two scenarios with which you and I are awfully familiar:
Man meets woman. Man and woman date (or not.) Man and woman have sex. (Maybe lots of times, maybe twice, maybe one night stand) Woman gets pregnant. Woman is like, “whoa, I’m pregnant.” Woman calls man to inform him of pregnancy. Man is like, “whoa, she’s pregnant.” Woman is sad. Woman is really confused. Woman doesn’t want to have baby with Man. She calls Man to tell him that she is getting an abortion. Man wants to keep baby. Woman says, “This is my body.” Man is upset. He has no choice in the matter. Woman has abortion. Man is upset.
Man meets Woman. Man and Woman date (or not.) Man and Woman have sex. (May lots of times, maybe twice, maybe one night stand.) Woman gets pregnant. Woman is like, “whoa I’m pregnant.” Woman calls Man to inform him of pregnancy. Man is like, “whoa, she’s pregnant.” Woman is thrilled (or not.) Woman calls man to let him know that she is keeping the baby. Man is like, “I am not ready to be a father.” Woman says, “well you shouldn’t have laid down with me.” Nine months pass. Woman has baby. Man is still not ready to be a father. He had no choice. Man is upset. Man has to pay for baby. Man stops paying for baby. Woman takes Man to court for child support. Man paycheck is garnished. He can hardly afford to live. Man is upset. He had no choice in the matter.
Now these are two scenarios that happen every day. My question is: Since it takes two to make the baby, why doesn’t the man have a choice SOMEWHERE in the matter. If the woman doesn’t want to have the baby, then the man has no choice on whether or not his child makes it into this world, but if the woman decides to have the baby and the man does not want the baby, he doesn’t have a choice on whether he has to financial support the child. That doesn’t seem fair. What about his right to choose? To make the situation fair and balanced the man should have a choice either in whether or not the abortion takes place or a choice in whether he should be forced to financially support a child that he did not want in the first place.
If a woman wants to have an abortion but the man wants to keep the baby, then the court should give the option that once the baby is born, then the man has custody and the woman can walk away. Now, then the question comes up about the right of the woman’s body. She’s the one that has to carry the baby to term. True, but every person knows that when you have sex there is a possibility of pregnancy. Responsible people should have to deal with the consequences, right? I mean that is the argument used when they are assigning child support payments.
Now, I understand that this would be so complicated in working out the details or people even agreeing to do it. But the fact is I know many people who have fell in both of these categories.
Now I am a Christian, and I believe that there was a reason that God put things in the Bible like, not having sex before marriage because you see what kind of complicated drama comes out of not being committed to the person you sleep with. Lots of this stuff would not even be an issue, but we have created our own life of drama. But it is what it is. (or what we’ve made it.)
This is just another side of the story to throw into the already confusing mess of the abortion debate. I know you are all thanking me for making it all the more complicated… and you’re welcome.