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Abortion: does the man have a say?

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Rudolph Quin

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What does Blue Moon think? If a woman wants to get an abortion, does the man have a right in the discussion? I'm not talking about legally or in the case of rape; I just mean, regular circumstances, if he helped make it, does he get to be a part of the decision on whether to abort it or not?
 

Hahvoc The Decepticon

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I think it depends on the situation but it's ultimately the woman's choice. He can say what he has to say but she has to see how much an impact it has on her life and if he's actively involved - in his life as well. Some guys do the whole, "I'm all for you having the baby," and then once the baby is about to be born, they freak the fuck out and ask her why she didn't abort in the first place. So there's that, too.
 

PredatoryFantasia

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Personally, while I am not ready for kids at this precise moment in time mentally, I am capable of supporting a child financially which a lack thereof would be the only reason that I would want my girlfriend/wife to have an abortion. Ultimately, it is the woman's decision, as Hahvoc said, but it is something that NEEDS to be openly discussed before that decision is made final. If I have the means of helping care for a child that I had helped make and said child was confirmed to be healthy and not a threat to the mother's life, and my girlfriend had an abortion, I can honestly say that I would be single following the discovery.
 

Hahvoc The Decepticon

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Thing is, your last line seems very...oppressive in a way. It's her choice and if she said she wasn't mentally ready or prepared for a kid at all, would you still break up with her? Or would you rather have said something to her to include your opinion in her decision? Because that kind of talk seems a bit backwards.
 

Rudolph Quin

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See, this is why I asked. Because although I do feel it is unfair not to include a willing father in the discussion, I do not feel it is right to punish the woman for making a decision that ultimately regards her body and not his. *scratches head* I wasn't really sure what the compromise would be or if there even is one to be had.
 

darkangel76

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I honestly do not think there is an ultimate right or wrong here. This question bears so many shades of gray it's insane. I mean, you have scenarios where the mother carrying the child doesn't want it, but the father honestly and truly does and would honestly and truly provide for that child should the mother decide to go through pregnancy and delivery and even forfeit custody to the father (assuming they are no longer together, etc). You have scenarios as mentioned above and so many others and a whole spectrum in between. It truly is situation dependent. Both should most definitely be considered and I'm saying this as a woman who has borne two children. Should one have more over the other merely because one has to go through the emotional and physical stresses resulting from bodily changes and hormonal changes due to the pregnancy? Possibly. Because I can tell you that having gone through pregnancy myself has changed quite a few views of mine in regards to abortion in general. However, that's another topic for another time (though I've probably broached it on here somewhere). But anyway, I do think that both should have some sort of say or, at the very least, both be heard. I personally think it's situational dependent. However, one possible way around some things, though I don't really think it's a full out solution, is that if a father feels very strongly about wanting to keep the baby AND if the woman is willing to go through the pregnancy and delivery so long as the father is willing to keep the baby, that perhaps there be a means to sign over rights of custody. Though there would probably have to be a 'back out' clause or some such since I can see there being an issue where the mother might suddenly bond with the child and want to keep it. You'd be amazed at what can happen when you birth a child. No fucking joke. But I'm rambling, though hopefully in my rambles what I'm saying offers out suggestions on possibilities to help solve this problem down the line. It truly is a tough one. It really is.
 

PredatoryFantasia

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Hahvoc The Opast said:
Thing is, your last line seems very...oppressive in a way. It's her choice and if she said she wasn't mentally ready or prepared for a kid at all, would you still break up with her? Or would you rather have said something to her to include your opinion in her decision? Because that kind of talk seems a bit backwards.
I take as many levels of birth control as I possibly can when I am with someone and we agree that we aren't one-hundred percent serious with but, you know, urges happen. When I am with someone and I am willing to not have the protection, then I am serious with them and see myself with them for the long run. This has only been one person so far in life and I am almost twenty-four, so I take this consideration seriously.

Now, I DO want kids and even if I do not feel 100% ready myself, I am wiling to own up to the consequences of my decisions. To answer your question, yes I would. I do want kids, and I like to believe that I have a strong paternal instinct. Pregnancy can never be guaranteed and I do not believe in artificial insemination, so to take the chance that we could have this child and to throw it away would be an insult to me, in my opinion.

Now take into account that I practice a soft Gorean Lifestlye and that rolls over into my sex life. I don't view my partner as anything less than that. She is not my slave, but there is an understood sense of control and domination between us. It's consented, not taken, but it certainly does affect my feelings here, I think.

The basic point is that you can't guarantee that a pregnancy won't happen anymore than you can that it will, responsibility needs to be taken both way. I take mine and 'if' something were to happen, I would expect the same. There is no guarantee that I could ever have another chance to be a father, after all.

Now, like DA said, there are so many tings that can go wrong. If the child is confirmed to not be healthy from the get-go, I could understand. If they forsee, for certain, that the birthing process will be very hard (used as a relative term for an already unpleasant process) for my partner, then I would understand. 'Not being ready' would not be acceptable to me. I take precautions for situations like this. If you choose to ask me to ignore those precautions, or the fates decide to give us a chance at parenthood regardless, then I take that seriously.

I am not ready, either, but we were gifted with a child so I will be sure to get ready.

Quick Edit: I misread something that you had posted there. So to clarify your final question, any woman that I am with for any length of time that has resulted in me developing feelings for them has been made aware of my lifestyle up front and made aware of my opinions on sex, pregnancy, and birth control before we slept together. These are serious relationship concerns that both parties need to discuss before making stupid decisions, no matter what lifestyle that you choose to live.
 

Hahvoc The Decepticon

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See, if you don't go into full-depth with certain things, it sounds like you would just be like "fuck that shit, you're having it or walking," so the explanation clears some things up. I don't know much about Gorean lifestyles so I can't really understand how that works but I understand what you said. For me, I understand that accidents happen regardless of how many precautions someone takes. For myself, I never have sex without a condom [and when I did without, it was because of the seriousness of the relationship] and the reason I'm not on birth control now is because I didn't like how I reacted to it, aka more problems using it than I had without it, but everyone is different, hence why for myself, I will eventually be getting an IUD so that with a condom I have the best protection.

But I get your point and it makes sense with the full explanation so I can understand where you are coming from. If I was in a serious relationship and something happened, I would definitely be having a very long, thorough discussion about what to do and where my and my partner's heads are at.
 

PredatoryFantasia

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I suppose that I should have fully explained it from the get-go. It's a touchy subject to a lot of people for a lot of different reasons. It is touchy to me, personally, because it is the exact reason that I am no longer with the one girl with whom I have had unprotected sex. She didn't even tell me she was pregnant and I didn't know that she had gotten an abortion until I went to pay the hospital bill and went, "Whoa! Nay, what the fuck was this?" The she confessed and... well, that was the end of that. She didn't even have the respect to tell me and if she had had the means to pay the medical bills herself, I probably never would have. You can't have a relationship with someone if you can't trust them and she clearly either didn't trust or just didn't give a fuck about my opinion on the matter (probably the latter because she had all of this explained to her beforehand and is probably why she tried to hide it). After that, I couldn't trust her either.

Guess the subject just hits home so I got a little fired up and short-sighted in my original post.
 

PredatoryFantasia

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Oh, I didn't think you were bashing - was more responding to Hahvoc. But yeah, I paid the bill and shut her out of my life. After that kind of disrespect, it didn't hurt for too long before I realized that I was better off.
 

Hahvoc The Decepticon

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I can definitely see where some of your feelings come from and I find that shitty to do. I wouldn't do that to someone - especially not make them pay for it. I think I would only hide something like that if my partner and I had broken up and I found myself pregnant, then I wouldn't tell them because there wouldn't be a point in my opinion and it would be me on my own at that point.

But I think we can all seem to agree that at least to some degree a guy does have a right to voice his opinion and such and possibly have a say depending on the varying situations.
 

PredatoryFantasia

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-nod- There will always be situations which will warrant action on the woman's part, regardless of the feelings or opinions of those otherwise involved but not as immediately affected. It is why I am pro-choice, despite being otherwise very conservative in my views. Besides, let's be honest; there are just some people that should not reproduce.

That said, can also see the points that everyone else has brought up. I don't have to carry or birth the child and, for that, I will always respect the decision to abort when it is made (and I explain this to all of my lady friends as well) but respect and accept are two different things. There are consequences to every action and I just cannot be with a woman who would take our chance at a child and throw it away without a better reason than 'I don't want it'.

I always like this section of the site when it is active on a topic. Blue Moon is one of the few places left on the internet that I can rely on to find an intelligent debate as opposed to a bitch-fest fueled by children. <3 You all.
 

LadyYunaFFX2

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Men definitely have a say, yes. But as all the others have been saying, it is the woman's call in the end. But that doesn't mean in any stretch of imagination that the men can't give their input. I, for myself, am against the ideas of abortion and adoption; but not for religious reasons. Just for personal ones ... and that's enough to convince me to know that I won't go down that route. Not intentionally anyways; the closest would be - gods forbid - a miscarriage. But no way am I going to go to a doctor and ask for such a procedure. That I can say for sure.
 

Firm Master

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As it were, men legally have no say. What should happen is men have an option to "sign away" any rights to the child, in return not being legally obligated (such as with child support). It allows a man and woman to keep their positions if they disagree.

On a side note, I feel this would honestly cut down a lot of teen and single parents. I doubt anyone can argue that some women get pregnant just to land a man as a financial beneficiary for themselves.

On yet another tangent, tax breaks for having children. I'd love to see that get reformed. Not to mention it'd make doing taxes a lot easier (not to say I have much trouble in handling anyone's tax forms with those tax breaks, lol).
 

Annika

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I'm pro-choice but I do take contraception seriously, so I've never had a pregnancy scare or anything like that. I think it can be complicated when it comes to 'letting a man have his say' because when contraception fails a lot of men will get suspicious about it and feel trapped or taken advantage of. I can say categorically that I am not going to have children and I have always made this clear very early on in relationships. By the same token, I think guys who really don't want kids should be up front about it, rather than shelve the discussion until the woman gets broody or an unplanned pregnancy occurs.

The problem I have with a man having input on whether a woman carries a child is that even if he says he wants to be a father and take responsibility for that child, he can get cold feet at any time and change his mind about joint/full custody or more than the legal minimum of financial support. Even within a relationship, guys don't always adapt to fatherhood and the fact is that they can jump ship and opt out of the whole business at any stage in that child's life. The mother on the other hand, cannot and will not do this because of the close bond forged during pregnancy, even if she didn't want kids herself or isn't particularly maternal.

If a man wanted a woman to refrain from having an abortion purely because he wants that child and to accept full legal/financial responsibility for it, he should perhaps be required to draw up some legally binding document outlining this and absolving the mother from having to help financially support a child that she didn't want to have in the first place. Now I do know that there are plenty of women who will seek child support from men who didn't want to become fathers but since no man should ever have the power to force a woman to terminate, this is a moot issue really. It takes 2 people to have sex and it takes 2 people to fail at contraception. Plus, there are plenty of men who are cavalier about contraception and who fully deserve to be made to pay for their irresponsibility by supporting their child financially.

I think that in most cases, if a woman really wants to terminate a man should try to accept that. To influence a woman into having an unwanted child would cause potentially irrevocable relationship issues and for a child to grow up knowing that the mother didn't want to bear it would be potentially deeply scarring. I know people have religious reasons for not condoning abortion but if the woman makes the decision to end that life, then surely the 'sin' is hers. I just can't see that compounding that sin by coercing her into bearing a child she didn't want to have is much of a solution.
 

Firm Master

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I'm concerned about how you think it's fair that men can't sign away from the child, but a woman can indeed literally dump their child at any time for no reason at all. Many agencies are required to take an unwanted child without question at any time from a mother. So in regards to a man signing away from it, a mother already can get that. The so called bond you talk about is also terribly unfair to refer to. You assume all women who have children get this undying love for their spawn while in reality it has a huge range, going down to viewing their child as a parasite of their body.

We do have a lot of laws to prevent a father from seeing his child, but practically none that allows them to escape the obligations that would be expected if they were there. I'm all for abortion as well, don't misunderstand that. I just wish men had a way to wash their hands clean of such a situation like women have.
 

Annika

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Firm Master said:
I'm concerned about how you think it's fair that men can't sign away from the child, but a woman can indeed literally dump their child at any time for no reason at all. Many agencies are required to take an unwanted child without question at any time from a mother. So in regards to a man signing away from it, a mother already can get that. The so called bond you talk about is also terribly unfair to refer to. You assume all women who have children get this undying love for their spawn while in reality it has a huge range, going down to viewing their child as a parasite of their body.

We do have a lot of laws to prevent a father from seeing his child, but practically none that allows them to escape the obligations that would be expected if they were there. I'm all for abortion as well, don't misunderstand that. I just wish men had a way to wash their hands clean of such a situation like women have.
I should have qualified that not all mothers bond with their children and not all feel maternal after the birth. I do think it's fair to say though that the majority of them feel strongly about what befalls their kids and would step in if a father had second thoughts about full custody. Although a very small percentage of mothers to give up their children, they're often slaves themselves to vices or emotionally unequipped for motherhood due to their own early experiences.

Some men on the other hand can be extremely cavalier about contraception and selfishly put their own desire for maximum sensation first, avoiding using condoms and uncaring of whether the woman falls pregnant or contracts a STD. Not all men but some men and and a significant percentage.

Men do have a way to 'wash their hands' in some respects and that is to be vigilant about contraception. They should take total responsibility for where their semen ends up, in exactly the same way women should take total responsibility for what winds up splashed all over their birth canal. Unprotected sex should not be had unless you're in a committed relationship where both parties have been STD screened (or a poly relationship where all fluid bonded parties are aware and consenting of one another and STD screens are had) and the woman is religiously on a form of birth control that suits her body. The guy should even then take what responsibility he still can and ask his partner if she's taken her pill (or whatever) before they get frisky. Killing the mood for 30 seconds should be far preferable to 20 years of parenthood.

Bottom line is that if everyone took absolute personal responsibility for their own sexlife and stopped blaming the other party for 'causing' a pregnancy, there would be none of this bad feeling.

The other issue is that if the father can wash his hands and the mother has a new baby and can't work, the state winds up raising the baby. If men weren't held to account for paternity, however accidental or unwilling, the bill for the taxpayer would be astronomical. You can ask 'why should an unwilling father be forced to pay?' but the obvious question is who else is going to? Why should the state take responsibility for raising a child financially just because you couldn't keep it in your pants? The other problem with absolving fathers is that there's always two sides to every story and the state shouldn't spend its time and resources trying to make that kind of call when it's only ever one person's word against another's.

You might not like the system but by acting as a deterrent for irresponsible oat-sowing it's very much doing its job.

FYI ~ I can't take hormonal contraception because of other medication I'm on and I couldn't have a coil fitted because my cervix has never been dilated and it was too painful. My contraception of choice is condoms, along with lube to make sure there isn't enough friction to snap the latex. I'm in my 30s now and the very few times I've experienced a mishap, I've had an extra strength morning after pill (because hormonal drugs work less well on me) from my GP and everything's been fine. So I'm walking my talk. If I do fall pregnant I certainly won't have any bad feelings towards the guy, because I will know that I did everything I could to avoid it. I wouldn't have the child but that's as much for medical reasons as it is about personal choice. If your serious about not becoming a parent, it's not rocket science.
 

Ruphhausin

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AS for the topic. There is an episode of one of my favorite TV series, "Boston Legal", in the fourth season, titled "Roe vs. Wade: The Musical". That, in a nutshell, is one of the pipe bombs of the issue. If a woman can abort a child without telling the man, especially if it was for spite or to not have to deal with the guy and not for any real reason, I believe a man who has been tricked into fathering a child, no matter how that trickery happened or was carried out, has the right to either got to court for custody, or to make the woman have an abortion. It really is that simple.
 

Ms_Muffintops

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I wish they could. I've heard of many instances where men who wanted to be fathers lost the opportunity because the woman chose to abort. I am pro-choice, but I would only abort if neither I or the father were capable of supporting and caring for it. But if I was pregnant and not ready for motherhood for one reason or another, but the father wanted to 100% support it, I'd try my best to cooperate with him.

I do wish father's had more rights, but at the end of the day its her body, her say.
 
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Even as an atheist, I don't necessarily like the idea of abortion. I feel like everyone deserves a shot or an opportunity, but that's just me.
However, I am completely and utterly against the idea of telling a woman what to do with her own body. I fell like regardless of what I believe, that it is extremely misogynistic and lacking in respect.
 

Dr. Nibbles

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Honestly, I think abortion is unnecessary. But also a liberal I believe people are entitled to their own views and I believe all avenues should be available. However, I do believe we've discussed this once before. I honestly believe, unless the case is rape, or the mother's life in danger, the man should receive some say. Because if its not rape, it was a Conscious, consensual decisions to have sex. She didn't just wake up preggers like the virgin mary and she certainly didn't accidentally fall on a penis multiple times. Its as much his DNA brewing in the baby pot as it is hers, and thus its as much his responsibility as it is hers. Further more, responsibility does allow him to have a say in the matter. If the party is not completely agreed upon for an abortion (rape and life threatening instances excluded) the man should have a say.
 

Dameon

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If it was me, and the other person wanted to have an abortion, I'd probably feel very strongly about it. I've always wanted a kid (albeit when I'm financially secure) and the thought of someone killing what is, essentially, my kid, even before it's fully developed to the point of legal consideration as a person, I'd be very upset.

That said, I would not expect that I could have the right to force another person to go through an entire year of what could very well be mental, physical and emotional stress, and possibly trauma, if they were entirely against the idea.
 

Rudolph Quin

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By allowing a man into the discussion, you're basically giving him the okay to tell a woman what to do with her body. That means, if she wants to abort and he does not, he can put in his "vote" to save the baby. But it also means, if she wants to keep it and he does not, he can force her and pressure her to go through with the procedure.
 

Dameon

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Rudolph Quin said:
By allowing a man into the discussion, you're basically giving him the okay to tell a woman what to do with her body. That means, if she wants to abort and he does not, he can put in his "vote" to save the baby. But it also means, if she wants to keep it and he does not, he can force her and pressure her to go through with the procedure.
...that's not what 'discussion' means.

You're replacing the meaning of 'discussion' with 'forced labor'.

Literally.
 

Rudolph Quin

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Dameon said:
...that's not what 'discussion' means.

You're replacing the meaning of 'discussion' with 'forced labor'.

Literally.
So, what you're saying is, if we give a man a choice about abortion for a child that is his, it doesn't matter what he says because the woman will always do whatever the hell she wants either way? That was my question in the OP. How much of a say does a man get if he gets one at all?
 
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