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Right to Abortion

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Is the decision to have an abortion solely that of the woman or should the father's perspective be considered?

The issue of abortion is one of the most controversial in modern society. Female activists argue that women should have full control over their bodies and be able to decide whether or not they want to give birth to a child. Moral arguments on abortion include strong statements that the unborn child is a person who has the right to be born. However, there is another perspective on the issue of abortion: Should the father of the unborn child have an opportunity to decide whether the child should be born or a woman should have an abortion? The father's perspective should be considered because it is not only about the rights of a woman, it is about the rights of both man and woman to make decisions on abortion issues.

Conception occurs between two individuals, thus giving both parties equal decision making rights. The justice system has demanded that many fathers pay child support for children they did not initially want, therefore, it is only fair that the father have a say on the matter of abortion even though the mother does not wish to have a child.

Men are also prone to the dynamics of post abortion distress that we see in women. A man may turn to alcohol and drugs to dull the pain of knowing he was too 'weak' to prevent the death of his unborn baby. Once the abortion takes place, the odds are over-whelming against a successful relationship with the mother of his unborn child. Future relationships with women are often difficult or impossible. A study published by Blumberg et al (1975) found that there was an 82 percent depression rate among men who had a partner that committed abortion.

Although the law does not consider men's rights in abortion decisions, attempts are still being made for this to change. Men are highly programmed to protect and provide for their family. This need to protect and provide for their off-spring should not be underestimated. A father who is willing to commit to raising a child with no help from the mother, should have a say in the decision making process. A study conducted by Risman (1986) found that over 80% of all fathers reported that they were personally responsible for the varied tasks of housekeeping, grocery shopping, food preparation, house cleaning and yard work. Risman found that not only do fathers take responsibility for house cleaning and other mundane tasks, they also reported spending considerable time with their children in both household chores and recreational activities. According to Richards and Schmiege (1993), 69 percent of fathers in their study, believed single parenting became easier over time.

The opinion of fathers should be considered because the decision to undergo an abortion procedure has strong impact on the life of both partners. Nolan and Wardle (2005) emphasize that men and women have equal right to decision-making on abortion. A father has to deal with new responsibilities as well because the presence of a child at home is accompanied with several limitations (no late parties, no smoking in the room and no noise). A man may not be ready for such a change, thus he should have an opportunity to discuss his worries and concerns



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