Men and Abortion

6 Dec

A while back my boyfriend posed a question to me: What do I think about a woman getting pregnant, keeping the baby when the man doesn’t want it, then the man being required to pay child support. I agree that this is a tough question, but I had a well-reasoned answer for him.

When a woman has sex, she knows that birth control or not, she could get pregnant. She knows that she would have to make a choice: motherhood, adoption, or abortion. That is a decision she has to make and she has to decide whether she can live with the decision she makes. For somebody decidedly pro-choice and nowhere near ready to have children, the decision is easy for me. Unfortunately, many women don’t think about these things until the decision must be made.

When a man has sex, he knows that the woman may get pregnant. He (should) also know that it is the woman who decides whether it will be parenthood, adoption, or abortion. Both parties are fully aware of the options. Thus, it is up to the man who has strong feelings about any one of those choices to ask the woman what she would do. If he is against abortion, then he shouldn’t have sex with women who would get an abortion (somebody like me). If he doesn’t want to be a parent either financially or emotionally, then he shouldn’t be sleeping with a woman who would choose motherhood. He has to decide if he can live with the choice she makes, and if not, he shouldn’t sleep with that particular woman.

All adults engaging in intercourse should be having this conversation. My boyfriend and I have and he knows that I am not interested in having kids anytime soon. He knows that if I get pregnant, I will get an abortion. He accepts and supports that decision. Unfortunately, considering most women don’t often consider their options beforehand, it is very unrealistic to expect men to consider them either. As well, all of this shits the bed if neither party is taught proper sex-ed.

Continuing this train of thought, a friend of mine posed a question to me that at the time I had no answer to. She is in a serious relationship with her boyfriend and marriage is inevitable. If she gets pregnant, she really questioned whether an abortion was appropriate. She fully supports the decisions other women make, but she felt that being in a stable relationship with a man who could support her negated her option for an abortion. At the time, I was vehemently opposed to having kids, so the decision for me would be a no-brainer. Eight months later I find myself in pretty much the same situation as her: stable, long-term relationship with a man who could support me. Ultimately for me, I will not have kids until I am ready. That means my career is settled and my students loans are all but paid off. My timeline is 8-10 years. If I got pregnant unintentionally in 7 years, I might keep it but I can’t really say. The important thing is that my boyfriend knows what I would do. I don’t hide it from him, and when it all boils down, he doesn’t have to like my choice, he doesn’t have to even support my choice, he just has to accept that it is my choice.

So men out there, if you have a preference for one of the 3 options, you need to find out what the women you sleep with would choose. If you can’t sort it out before you have sex, trust me, you won’t be in a better position to sort it out after she gets pregnant. If you are responsible enough to have sex, you are responsible enough to talk about choice.


4 Responses to “Men and Abortion”

  1. Morgaine December 6, 2010 at 8:49 pm #

    I was in a long term cohabiting relationship when I had my second abortion (the first was nine years earlier when I was in high school). We eventually got married and are still married (and childless by choice right now). We had been living together for over two years when I got pregnant. We were homeowners, stable etc. It wasn’t that hard of a decision to make, but afterward I kind of felt like I should have (due to what was “right”) chosen differently, but we really weren’t even sure we wanted children at the time. I don’t regret the abortion at all.

    Oh I got pregnant because while I was on BC I had the stomach flu for a week, and I must have vomited up the pills. I am anal about BC (even now that I would be okay with becoming a parent) so when I found myself pregnant again, I was very disappointed in myself.

  2. David December 7, 2010 at 1:02 pm #

    I often enjoy taking a look at your blog, though this is the first time I’ve chosen to comment.

    You take an interesting position, but you don’t answer your boyfriend’s question.

    What do you think of men being forced by the power of the state to support children they don’t want?

    Do you think default 50/50 time with each parent would make it a better situation?

  3. Not Guilty December 7, 2010 at 1:10 pm #

    Well point blank the answer is yes. As a commenter on my blog noted, “Why do men want to control our reproductive rights and yet they don’t want to take any of the responsibility for the part they play in making babies?”

    If a man doesn’t want to be responsible for a child then he needs to, at minimum, wear a condom. Society puts the burden on women to use birth control to ensure they don’t get pregnant, and almost none on the man. This is evidenced by this notion that it is “unfair” for a man to be financially responsible for a child he didn’t want.

    If a man doesn’t want to be responsible for a child, he needs to wear a condom and/or not sleep with women.

    I am very supportive of 50/50 custody and believe that should be the default in our system. That being said, if a man doesn’t think he should have to pay child support, is it really a likelihood that he is going to want to be an equal parent?


  1. Tweets that mention Men and Abortion | Abortion Gang -- - December 6, 2010

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Education For Choice and Kripa Patwardhan, The Abortion Gang. The Abortion Gang said: new post: Men and Abortion #prochoice […]

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