Abortion and Fathers Rights

In this section I will be focusing on the fathers’ situation before and after conception, and bring out arguments how he could effectively avoid becoming a parent in any way (biological, bearer of financial costs, emotional).

The father after conception has no alternatives left, unlike the mother has. She is in a position that can terminate the pregnancy by opting for an abortion, or she can carry out (or at least try to) the pregnancy until the end. The father is in a position of tied hands, whereas the mother can solely decide whether he will or will not become a father. Di Nucci argues that regardless of the performance of duties that constitute fatherhood, nor paying child support, that person, became a biological father. The existence of the child, without being forced to perform any duties, or even legally recognizing the child, has a psychological effect on the father.  When it comes this argument, I claim that the last word in decision-making is given to the mother by nature, and that this argument is not general but rather individual. There are also men that do not care about being a biological father to someone, but just care about the financial costs, or fear any kind of responsibility or liability. Di Nucci has stressed out throughout his work that responsibility to abort does not exclude absolute right to abortion of the mother, but rather gives the man the right not to become a father.

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As seen from above, the fact that the mother is the bearer of the foetus/ child is the only relevant fact when it comes to deciding about the future of the foetus/child, as a result of right to physical integrity and autonomy. But also interests of the father should be taken into account when deciding about the future of the foetus. Di Nucci has referred to Harris to point out that morally relevant interests of the father do exist after conception:

…when a man and a woman autonomously decide to become parents together, a harm done to the fetus by a third party without the consent of both parents is a prima facie wrong done both to the man and to the woman because it is an interference with his  autonomy as well as with hers. Moreover, a harm done to the fetus is a harm done to the man as well as to the woman because the fetus is both the object and the result of his pursuing a morally legitimate interest, that is, the interest in procreation.

Coming back to the aforementioned claim that fathers cannot undertake a concrete action after conception logically brings us to the period of time before conception. The actions that are left to the father in order to control conceiving is checking if the partner is taking regularly birth-control pills, but with a slight insecurity, as he cannot actually be sure whether the partner is or is not taking the pills. The only deed left, that can assure the father that conception will not occur, is abstaining from sex. This radical point of view is connected with the procreative conception of sex.  This reasoning brings us to the situation where women who do not want to become mother need not to abstain from sex, but at the same time, fathers who do not want to become father need to abstain from sex, which is merely a question of fairness.

Furthermore, besides abstaining from sex, vasectomy is suggested as a possible solution. This seems as a legitimate solution, as even with bringing out the possibility of changing his mind, the potential father can still freeze his sperm and use it later on, if he wishes to become a father.   But the question that immediately comes to my mind is, is it really necessary that we suggest these radical proposals as only solutions for a man to avoid becoming a parent unwillingly?

 

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