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Comments

Zan

I am very Pro-life, as you know, and have always wondered about father's rights. I, personally, think that father's have a right to know if their wife is going to terminate a pregnancy. I would sure want the right to know if my husband was going to get a vascectomy. If there are the few cases of a husband cutting off money so that she couldn't have the abortion that is his right. If I was about to terminate my pregnancy right now I can tell you that my husband would flip and would not pay for it. He believes that the fetus in me is a life and it would go against his religion. It is a very personal thing for my husband because he was involved with a girl when he was younger and she became pregnant. She had the abortion without his consent. It ruined the relationship and really affected him- to this day. He feels he has lost a child. When he first told me this story I was surprised to hear him say that it isn't just the woman who is affected by abortion. Men are never considered. BTW, he offered to marry the girl and support her but she wanted something different. I think it is illogical for feminist to come up with rare "Lifetime Movie" situations where a woman can't get her abortion because of an overbearing husband. If he is cutting off finances so she can't get one maybe she should reconsider if getting the abortion is the best thing for the marriage. If he is beating her or threatening her life she shouldn't be with him. If he is threatening divorce, maybe they should be divorced.

In closing, fathers need more rights in the lives of their children. Feminists never call boyfriends who force their girlfriends into HAVING abortions as abusive but, if they PREVENT them than it is. Doesn't make sense to me.

-Zan

The Happy Feminist

Hi Zan --

I think fathers' interests are very important and I believe that, absent an abusive situation, a woman should tell her husband/boyfriend if she is getting an abortion (and spouses should tell each other before undergoing sterilization procedures, of course!) I just don't think that it should be required by law. Even if you are pro-life, you might not want the law to impose such a requirement. One of the things the Supreme Court pointed out were some of the other problems that could result if such a law were upheld: if your husband's interest in the fetus outweighs your bodily autonomy, could the state require you (as a pregnant woman) to tell your husband before you smoke, drink, get in a car, or do anything that the state considers a danger to the fetus?

The Happy Feminist

Also, I think feminists would be up in arms if someone were trying to force a woman to get an abortion. Fortunately, I don't think that anyone has tried to pass any laws giving the husband the right to force an abortion.

The pro-choice movement (which in my view isn't necessarily synonymous with feminism) is about placing the choice in the woman's hands because she is the one who has to undergo the pregnancy.

Zan

Smoking, drinking, or getting into a car is not going to kill the unborn baby. Having an abortion will definately end it's life. I think the bigger question is when does life begin? I am 20 weeks pregnant and I feel the baby moving in me all the time. However, if I wanted to, I could end this life without consulting anyone. If you don't believe a fetus is a human life with rights than this conversation will go nowhere.

What makes a life? Being ready and prepared makes a fetus a life but being unprepared and finacially unable to support it doesn't? This is a very illogical way to view life.

I hope that as we learn more about the developing fetus that pro-choicers will change their tune about abortions. More and more young people are becoming pro-life thanks to technology. A respected pediatric journal just published a research study that proves that babies cry at 28 wks gestation. Because of this study and others Mich and Arkansas have passed laws that require the doctors performing abortions on babies 20 wks and up to administer pain med to the baby because of evidence that babies feel pain. Pretty sad that they can feel pain but they are not alive. I am very optimistic that Americans will realize the barbaric practice that is legal in this country is really genocide of children.

I don't know if Alito will be the one to overturn Roe. I will believe it when I see it. I think, more important, that Americans need to be educated to how a human develops. I always wonder why they don't have shows about abortion on TLC or discovery. Too controversial and who wants to see dead fetuses? It makes no sense to me.

Anyway, fathers should have a say and there should be a law that allows men to inform their wives if they want to become sterile. It is legal for men to get vasectomies without informing their wife.

Thanks for commenting so nicely. I expected to be crucified by other po-choice people for my comment. That is why I took so long to respond. I didn't want to get all these negative attacks. Abortion is a very sensitive issue with me and when I talk about it I get very depressed.

The Happy Feminist

Hi Zan,

Thanks for your comment. You have actually caught me out on something. I have never said that I am pro-choice, have I? The truth is I am not exactly pro-choice. In fact, I am extremely ambivalent about it, which is why I have never said anything on this site about my position on choice.

When I was in my teens and early twenties I identified myself as pro-life. My view was that abortions are unnecessary in light of the availability of very reliable contraception, so why risk the possibility of killing something that could be said to be a human life?

I don't know of anyone who has ever had an abortion, but my friends and I all had good education on contraception and the means to obtain reliable contraception. The one friend I had who got pregnant in high school (a white girl) was able to give her child up for adoption.

Later on, however, I became aware of the fact that many women and girls are in quite a different situation. A lot of girls do not receive adequate information on contraception or the means to obtain it. If they get pregnant and carry the child, they are horribly stigmatized. And if a girl is African-American, the chances are much slimmer that someone will adopt her child if she is unable to care for it.

So I now lean towards the choice side although I am not sure where the line should be drawn. I definitely think women should have a right to EC, Ru48 or abortion within the first few days of pregnancy -- after that, I am not sure.

Alito's decision, however, isn't about whether abortion should be legal-- that issue was already decided in Roe v. Wade. Alito's decision was about husband notification, which I am very much against. I do not want to see any laws that require women to notify their husbands about lawful decisions they make regarding their own bodies. Yes, morally, I would hope that most people would tell their spouses about an intention to get an abortion (or a sterilization). I just don't want the law stepping in and forcing the issue because I think it should be up to the individual.

Best regards, HF

John P Sullivan

I am in the navy and just recently flew home to Ca to attend my grandmothers funeral when i returned to Va my wife tells me she had an abortion while I was gone, there should be a fucking law that says we have the right to know. I mean we pay the child support, we are the dead beats, we have no compassion but when it comes to this we have no say either???
that is just cruel and wrong and un just , email me with advise manoverboard21us@yahoo.com

mythago

Yes, it was cruel of your wife to drop this news on you at a tough time and presenting it as a fait accompli. No, there should not "be a fucking law".

Charlie

I dont understand the giving men control over women's bodies agurement as a reason not to notify a husband. I read that a man doesnt have to notify a wife of any medical procedure, so why should a woman? If the fact that a share life had been created isnt an obvious explaination I dont know what would be. If a wife "chooses" to keep their child than both are responsible finacially and emotionally for at least 18 years. Then why should one person get to deciede to end that life.

I have another problem with not notifying a husband. What if the baby is not the from the husband? Does not notifying the husband protect the woman from possible physical or emotional abuse for adultory? If that is another reason for not notifying a husband than what if she contract and STD and the husband contracts it unknowingly? Doesnt keeping the abortion from a husband enable adultory and expose an innocent person to possible STDs? I understand a femminist concern is for woman but what about the health exposure to men?

The Happy Feminist

Doesnt keeping the abortion from a husband enable adultory and expose an innocent person to possible STDs? I understand a femminist concern is for woman but what about the health exposure to men?

Well, that's a completely separate issue from abortion. If you really believe that the law should intervene to ensure that spouses receive notification of infidelity, then it needs to be gender-neutral-- perhaps a law requiring any physician who treats someone for an STD to notify the person's spouse, or a law criminalizing adultery (such laws do exist in many U.S. states), to give just a couple of examples. I don't especially support such laws, but I would certainly oppose any legislation that would tie spousal notification to the woman's conception of a child.

If a wife "chooses" to keep their child than both are responsible finacially and emotionally for at least 18 years. Then why should one person get to deciede to end that life.

Because the responsibility for the child is not equal. Bearing a child imposes a far greater toll on the woman than merely her share of financial and emotional responsibility. Bearing a child having her body taken over for a nine month period of fatigue and significant physical limitations, plus the trauma of actually giving birth. Not to mention the risks to the woman's health and her very life. Sorry, but that is a decision that is simply too personal to the woman to allow any measure of control over that decision to be ceded to her husband or anyone else.

And, by the way, I think this is virtually a non-issue, since I am confident that most women DO discuss such issues with their partners in the absence of a compelling reason not to. So legislating it is unnecessary and overly intrusive.


Charlie

I am not talking aobut ceding a decision. I am talking about notifying. It is not a permission issue, it is an information issue. While bearing a child may be an issue mainly for the woman, raising the child seems a much larger burden and it is shared by both husband and wife.

Just because most women tell there husband anyway should not be an excuse to not tell some of them. I understand there are a lot of issues at play and there are a lot of different kind of relationships but how can a decision that can effect both people so greatly be soley and privately made by one.

I had one more thought, I understand that abortions are a relatively safe procedure for a woman, but what if a woman were to die during one. What would the facility performing the abortion tell the husband? Sorry sir, you wife died during a medical procedure and dont have to tell you anymore.

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