Politics seem to play a large role in sex for reasons I have yet to fully understand. This past presidential election, a few people from my university were adamantly opposed to one candidate, claiming that he would set women’s rights back to before we had the right to vote! “It is the woman’s body! She should get the ultimate say!”
In truth though, when it comes to pregnancy, it is not the woman’s body in question. Pregnancy is a natural consequence of sex. Even with contraception, even with surgical procedures, it is still a possibility. When you consent to have sex in any form, possible pregnancy is a consequence you must accept! That fetus is not just the woman’s responsibility; it becomes the man’s, too.
Too often I know of women who shout out “It’s my body; I will do what I want with it!” even to their partners. They refuse to let the father have any say in what happens in deciding to keep the child. But that mass of cells in your uterus is not just your mass of cells. It belongs to him, too. He has emotions regarding this, just as you do. Losing the child can be just as painful for him as it is for you. He also has consequences, just as you do. You may “carry” the child for nine months- a relatively short amount of time- but he has to put up with you! When you wake up at night, he wakes up at night. If he is your long-term partner, he may have all of the financial responsibility if you can’t work. He can be held liable for child support, even if he leaves you- and this is where it gets ridiculous. Some women want no male input about the decision regarding keeping the child, but then force the father to pay child support. Just because the child is not developing inside of him does not make the child any less his, but let him have some say in the full aspect of the pregnancy.
Does this mean he gets the ultimate say? No. He can’t strap you to a chair and force any outcome, whether it is to keep the child or to terminate the pregnancy. But as a woman, it is your responsibility to recognize that this new life is not just about you. It’s about the father, too. A healthy relationship involves discussing emotion, consequences, fears, hopes, and desires. The choice is ultimately with the couple, and it lies within talking to each other and forming a good compromise, so both partner’s emotional and physical needs are met.