As the old saying goes, it takes two to tango. So, why is it that it only takes one to choose life or termination? As a step mother and being married to a man that feels trapped after being forced into fatherhood can give great insight to the heartache, injustice, and lack of choice that men have when choosing the fate of the fetus. A man is just as responsible for creating the baby as the woman, yet only the woman gets to choose if that baby’s life will be granted. If the woman proceeds with birthing a child, the man should be absolved of all financial responsibility and other obligations if she chooses to birth the child against his will. For some men fatherhood and financial obligation is forced on to them by the woman and courts simply because they didn’t use protection, or didn’t think of the consequences before procreation. Men should have an equal say if they would like their baby to live, be terminated and not be forced into financial obligation and fatherhood.
It is evident in society now a days only women get to choose whether to keep or terminate a baby. The decision is mostly left to the woman since they are the ones who give birth and ultimately until laws change have the legal say as to the fetus. Some women might find outside opinions influencing the decision to keep or terminate an unplanned pregnancy due to social pressure. According to Findlaw, a company that connects people to lawyers and hear multiple cases per year “Since the woman actually carries the pregnancy, ‘the balance weighs in her favor,’ preventing the husband from vetoing her choice” (Fathers’ Rights)
Admittedly, if the burden of a child were only present during pregnancy or childbirth, it would be reasonable for the woman to make a choice (Hardwig 42). However, having and carrying the baby are not the only aspects that should be considered when coming to a final decision. Other needs and responsibilities like financial support on top of raising the child, which men should take part in unless they don’t want to. Since the father has to be accountable for the child’s well being too, he should want to participate and be able to do it at his will. For the father to be there against his will would be disheartening as much as him not being there. The moment a woman decides she wants to keep a baby and does not give her partner a choice, she forces him to be a father, even when he is not ready. It is unfair to men that they are expected to be responsible for the child, while they are denied the right to choose (Gibbs). It is evident in society today that only women are asked what they want to do with the pregnancy as soon as their peers or family receives the news, while the man’s opinion in the matter gets ignored. It is not man’s fault that he can not contain and grow a baby in a womb which he was not given.
It’s no secret that some women will do all they can to play victim in this situation, of control, particularly when she has knowledge of the man having financial remuneration. Some women see child bearing as a job that pays for a minimum of 18 years and is almost impossible to get fired. Moreover, many males are forced to work more than one job to keep up with the financial obligations. Many women may take the money and not give their best parenting to the child. Some might even have resentment toward the child but collect the support to use for themselves. Notably, in recent years, child support policies have extended and are being severely enforced, with some men ending up in prison for violation of the systems and laws. In a study conducted among previously imprisoned fathers, men were found to be trapped in fatherhood and unhappiness as well as financial debt as a result of the collaboration between child support provisions and criminal justice (Haney 2). Men who have attempted to warn the female of their absence during the early stages of pregnancy should be allowed the option of a financial exclusion from child support obligations. (Gibbs). Therefore, changing the laws and policies is essential, for fathers to have a choice in financial involvement in the life of the child.
According to Daniel Corbett, a man who is currently trapped by the system and by a woman into having a child he did not want. He states “I was told by the mother, I’m going to have this baby and you are going to pay for it”. His life would be changed forever, especially knowing that the child would have no father to look after it. He said “It is worse to have a child that will never have my emotional support or love. I would rather abort the fetus and not start a life that will suffer the consequences of being emotionally developed by a single parent” (Corbett). A study conducted by researchers from the Swedish Board of Health and Welfare concluded children in single parent homes have a higher possibility of having addiction and psychiatric issues during later stages of life. “The study also showed that “2.2% of girls and 1% of boys living with a sole parent either killed themselves or ended up in a hospital after attempted suicide by the age of 26 compared to .8% of girls and .3% of boys living with 2 parents” (Cosgrove-Mather). How unfortunate for those whom have given up life possibly because they didn’t have fathers. And, having that father would have made an enormous impact and possibly could have avoided all of the obstacles, heartache and suicidal thoughts. The problems that the child may encounter in adolescence and life could be avoided by not having been born to begin with. The mother should have really thought the decision through not only for her own consequences but in the perspective of the child. Having consideration for what the child might feel growing up without a father.
As all humans experience being children, no one should be forced into having a child or have a financial burden for one. Having a child that one day might consider ending its life because of the hardship of knowing it wasn’t wanted is disheartening. Consideration and thoughtful planning should be taken into play for the sake of the child and what he or she might feel in life. In the future one might hope that more fathers stand up to their rights and possibly change the view of those who hold those laws of forcing fathers into fatherhood. Choosing life or termination is a choice that should be decided in everyone’s best interest from mother to father and to the child.
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