Male rights in the abortion debateHow about a new argument?  Abortion violates the civil rights of men who wish to procreate!  I know it is a stretch, but theoretically, a woman (wife) could have...

Male rights in the abortion debate

How about a new argument?  Abortion violates the civil rights of men who wish to procreate!  I know it is a stretch, but theoretically, a woman (wife) could have multiple abortions thereby preventing the man (husband) from enjoying the right of procreation, also known as the right to CHOOSE. 

This also brings up another aspect of the debate.   Why are women the only ones allowed to have this right to choose to be a parent post conception?  Doesn’t social justice (whatever that is) require that rights be available to both genders?  Perhaps men should be given the right to legally abort their parental rights and responsibilities within a few months of learning of the pregnancy or birth.

Expert Answers
ask996 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Mshurn and tericarson make some valid and objective points. Regardless of one's stand on abortion, the laws are in place not as a sanctity or right to life issue but as and issue of "health and safety". That being said, the man really has no place in the decision according to standards of health and safety. Is there perhaps a moral obligation of the woman to consider the man's decision on the abortion issue? Perhaps, but I'm curious as to statistics with regard to women who are raising their children alone without the benefit of child support--not because they choose this, but because the man chose not to be involved.

Is it not possible that many men would make the decision for the woman not to have an abortion because they want to control the woman. Is it possible that a man would make the decision against abortion out of some outdated ideas about manliness being based on children sired? Is it then possible that the men who wanted to be involved in deciding to not abort will turn into men who no longer want to be involved at some point after the child is born? The answer to all of these questions is yes. It is probable that some men would choose to be involved in preventing an abortion and then be strong and active parents, but the doubt and disparity in these two groups of men is why abortion laws are based on "health and safety". The men really assume none of the risk. 

dano7744 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Are we really equal in all aspects? I think not. For years women have demanded equality in all facets of life. It is highly debatable whether they have reached that goal or not. On this topic are men's rights being trampled on? Or do men have any rights at all in this regard? The fact of the matter is that when a woman becomes pregnant she can do as she sees fit with her own body. Is there some legislative clause in some old,dusty law book that compels the female to consult with her male partner before she carries the child to term or chooses to abort the pregnancy? I think not? Have the tables turned in regards to the right of the male?

A very thoughtful, contemplated decision must be made by both partners as to what to do or what not to do regarding this beautiful child in the womb. After all, both are responsible for putting him there. However, under our current system of "equality" this is certainly not the case at all.

marbar57 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I like the saying, "It takes two."  It takes two to make a baby; therefore it should take two to come to the terrible decision to "unmake" a baby.  Personally I don't believe in or condone abortion, but if people are bent on doing it, it should be a mutual decision of both the father and the mother whether they are married or not.  However, if the man shirks his responsibility and wants nothing to do with either the woman or her unborn offspring, then and only then should the woman have the right to make the decision on her own. 


brettd eNotes educator| Certified Educator

You're right, it is a stretch (laughs).  It's not that men don't have any rights where parenting is concerned, certainly not, but the old argument of the definition of life and when it begins can certainly limit a man's legal say over whether a woman has an abortion or not.

Should women be given a say over whether or not men have a vasectomy?  It's not a perfect analogy, but we're talking about a woman choosing a medical procedure for her own body, and giving men control over that legally, is dicey in a democratic republic.

pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

1.  As a man, you'd have the right to CHOOSE by divorcing your wife to find someone else to marry.  By your reasoning here, you'd be able to compel a woman to forego contraception if her husband so chose.  (At least by your logic in your first paragraph.)

2.  I think you've got a better point here in terms of the chance to "abort" your rights and responsibilities.  It probably makes sense if the pregnancy was the result of a casual encounter with no implied contract like there is in a marriage.

Susan Hurn eNotes educator| Certified Educator

To further the discussion, consider this. Because a woman must assume all of the many physical risks to herself in carrying and delivering a child, it then becomes her decision whether or not to do so. Proceeding with a pregnancy does not endanger the life or health of the male in any way. All of the risks and potential dangers are hers alone.

enotechris eNotes educator| Certified Educator

If a woman countered her male partner's wishes, regarding abortion, he gets to choose a new partner.  Who would choose to live with someone after a disagreement on that topic?  There's no such thing as social justice.  There is either justice, or there is not.

atyourservice | Student

I believe men should have no say on whether or not a woman should have an abortion or not. For many years I've been fighting with myself over the idea of whether or not abortion is right, but in the end i chose to believe that a woman's body is her own. Any risks brought along with pregnancy are on the woman alone, a man does not have to go through the symptoms neither do they have to go through the labor and give birth. All a men do is impregnate the woman, but the responsibility of a child is always on the mom. If a pregnant person decides that they are not yet prepared to take the responsibility of bringing a person to life then they shouldn't be forced to. If a man really wants a child he can find a person who is ok with the idea or he can adopt. The responsibility of a child lies more on the mom than the dad, once a child is brought into the world the father who was once so opinionated about having the child could decide to leave and the mother would have the sole responsibility. So unless there is a law that makes it illegal for fathers to abandon their child or men get the ability to have a child, I personally believe they should have no say. I do know it seems cruel to get rid of a fetus but so is forcing a person to make a choice that would effect their whole lives.

Wiggin42 | Student

When men are the ones pregnant for 9 months with a child, they can decide. But for now, the woman's right to have control over her own body, trumps the right of a man wanting a child. If men are so desperate to be fathers, why don't they adopt instead of forcing women to have children. Also, men do have the legal right to " abort their parental rights and responsibilities" . Its called leaving the family behind. its called single mothers. This is a complete farce of a question.

tericarson | Student

When a woman knows who she has conceived a child by, I believe it is her moral duty to notify her partner.  However, when an unborn child has no rights because abortion is legal, I doubt the government is going to issue the rights to the male who wishes this procedure not to occur.  The only reason abortion is legal is because it is a Health and Safety issue.  I look forward to the day that abortion is abolished and only used for real Health and Safety issues for example the woman's life/health is at stake.  Until then I agree that men should have an equal say in the matter because if we treat "Pregnancy" as "Property" then abortion gives woman all the rights to destroy "Property" in which they would not have obtained with out the other partner.

krishna-agrawala | Student

Ideas put forward in post #1 are very interesting.

When we speak of equality of sexes, in practical terms it is limited to eliminating all forms of advantages and limitations faced by women. There is no attention to the eliminating the disadvantages or limitations faced by men. This thought leads me to another thought. Are we not carrying this idea of equality between sexes too far. I agree that there are many areas where women need to be protected against oppression and discrimination by men. But in our enthusiasm to fight this evil, are we not neglecting to protect the benefit and happiness of serving and submitting to people we love. For example a child should be a source of joy and happiness for both parents. Then why are we so much concerned about the right of husband over that of the wife, that we do not think of promoting ways in which they can arrive at a decision that will bring happiness and satisfaction to both of them.

parama9000 | Student

There haz to be two parents for a child to be born. The decision thus has also to be mutual on abortion just as the initial process was.

xlaurenbx | Student

i agree with dano it is a very good point that they should noth have a say and women have fought for rights and at this point it might be men that don't have any rights to a desision...but I think that the disision should be made by both of them as they are both responsible in the first place..

xlaurenbx | Student

of coarse a man should have rights to decide as well after all it would be his child as well as the womans...