The SexisSubjective topic this month is about whether or not the father of a child has any right to decide if the mother does or does not have an abortion. I have conflicting opinions on this topic. I am a pro-choice person and consider myself a feminist. With these viewpoints, I feel like an abortion is the woman’s decision, as she is the one who will be responsible for carrying the fetus to term or not. But it is not that simple.
There are many different life situations that result in a person considering abortion as an option. Sometimes violent situations can occur that result in a woman having an unwanted pregnancy, like rape or sexual abuse. In those particular situations, I do not feel like the attacker or abuser deserves to have any opinion in what happens with any resulting fetus.
Other situations may occur where the woman gets pregnant due to an accident, like a condom breaking or birth control that is not 100% effective. In this case, I think that the woman’s partner should be a part of the decision making process. I think that any couple with an egalitarian and respectful relationship should work together to make this decision and respectfully weigh the pros and cons of having a child.
It may be that the woman is in school and does not want to leave to take care of a child. Perhaps she has no health insurance, and the cost of having prenatal care and paying for delivery would be too much. There may be physical or mental issues that the woman has that cause her to want an abortion. Again, I think that in a respectful relationship this is a decision that both parties should make, but sometimes the male partner may not understand or may minimize the reasons a woman has for abortion. He may not understand why a woman would choose to have an abortion and it may cause the relationship to end.
Abortion is a very personal decision, and while I think there are situations where the father should be involved in the decision, it is ultimately up to the woman. Every situation and relationship is different and I do not think it is an easy decision to make, but at the end of the day the woman is the one who has to carry the fetus for nine months and often has to take care of it afterwards. I don’t think I can say whether or not a woman in a specific situation should involve the father or not, because I have not experienced that situation myself.