Parenting

Should a Man Have Rights to His Unborn Child?

While I was out to dinner with friends one evening, a rather contentious topic arose over filets and martinis. We were discussing the Supreme Court and how sad we were that Justice Scalia had passed away. The conversation somehow turned into a heated debate about abortion and fathers’ rights. Specifically, does a father have equal rights to to his unborn child?

Currently if a woman decides to have an abortion, the man has no legal right to the child, but he would be forced to pay child support if the mother carried the child to term. This seems like a catch-22. Should a man have to pay for a child he helped create if he doesn’t want him? My friends’ opinions — men and women alike — were almost all the same: Yes, but they could also argue the other side of the coin. The baby was still his child as well.

The Supreme Court has found that a woman does not need a spouse’s consent if she is married. In the case Planned Parenthood v. Danforth, the court argued that even if the husband refused to consent to an abortion, his wife would still be able to terminate the pregnancy. The court’s reasoning states that because the woman carries the pregnancy the “balance weighs in her favor,” which would prevent the husband from impeding her choice.

In Planned Parenthood v. Casey, the court ruled that the father doesn’t even have the right to be notified before the woman has an abortion.

Both men and women suffer the repercussions of abortion. Many women (and men) have had to deal with some very real issues — such as depression, remorse, and possible physical ailments — after an abortion has occurred. Take the time to think about other options, or you could be setting yourself up for a lifetime of regret.

Do you think the father should have equal rights over a child before he or she is born? Leave a comment and let us know what you think.