"Whether your pregnancy was meticulously planned, medically coaxed, or happened by surprise, one thing is certain -- your life will never be the same."
Many considerations, One Opinion
Imagine the woman spends 9 months (40 weeks) in the various stages of pregnancy. Morning sickness, swelling, constant health concerns which revolve around the baby as well as her own safety, and the ever present dangers of childbirth and worries about being able to provide and nurture a little life for the next 18 to 27 years. I am in no way saying that the father does not share these worries, but the actual physical involvement that the mother has is beyond reckoning for the father. On those particular grounds, I would argue that a father’s right extends insofar as the conversation he has with his partner, but ultimately and always, the woman should be able to make the decision. Even if it is a same-sex couple, the decision should be with the woman carrying the child and so it should always be. This is not an argument of superiority so much of practicality. Yes, both father and mother are invested, but who must bear the actual load?
On another note, I would be remiss if I did not mention the problems associated with victims of rape from acquaintances, partners, strangers, etc. What kind of line are we towing if we say those “fathers” should have a say in the birth of a child conceived in such a manner? We certainly saw the dangers of that kind of thinking in politics in 2012. Hopefully a new year means transitions to a safer mentality.
Finally, on a medical note, if the life of the mother is in danger, what then? This is always a difficult thing to consider, but this might be a case in which the father would have the right to choose between the life of the mother and the life of the child. Hopefully the couple would have discussed the possibility of such a thing ever occurring, but it is certainly a situation where the rights of the father could be clearly undisputed. This may not be a popular answer for those who consider that the parents of the mother should be the ones to make a decision, but that is another discussion entirely.