You are on page 1of 2

Should Abortions Require the Consent of the Father?

Boston Osborne
If a woman becomes pregnant, should the father have a
legitimate say in whether the fetus is aborted? If the mans partner is
seeking an abortion, should he be able to veto her choice? If the man
does not want the child and wants his partner to have an abortion,
should he have a right to say so, or be exempt from child support
obligations?
As it stands now, a woman can terminate her pregnancy without
the consent of the father. This was determined in a Supreme Court
case, Planned Parenthood of Missouri v. Danforth. Essentially, this case
ruled that the partners refusal of abortion would equate to a veto of
the womans choice to terminate. According to the Court, since the
woman actually carries the pregnancy, "the balance weighs in her
favor," preventing the husband from vetoing her choice.
Supporters of this suggest that it is the womans body being
affected so she should ultimately have the final say. To make the
woman carry a child against her will would violate her right to body
autonomy. Those that disagree with this argue that if the baby was
conceived through consensual relations, the prospective father should
have a right to make a choice about the fetus. If the father wants to
have a child and support it, should the mother carry it for nine months
and birth it so the father can become the guardian of it?
This topic relates closely to the fathers obligation to pay child
support. If the father is legally responsible for the child in life, should
the father have a right in matters concerning death?
Some advocates argue that a man should be able to decide, after
conception, that he does not want to be a father. Frances Goldscheider,
a professor at Brown University, has argued that men should have the
right to "financial abortion." A "financial abortion" right would require a
woman to notify a prospective father when she's pregnant. The man
would then be allowed to refuse financial or legal responsibility for the
child if he doesn't want to be a father. The biological father would not
be legally or financially responsible for the child's upbringing.
What if the father of the unborn fetus wants his partner to have
an abortion and she refuses? Should the father still be held responsible
legally for the child he did not want to bring into this world? Should he
have the responsibility of paying child support for a child that he
thought should be terminated in the womb?
If a woman decides she wants to have an abortion, should she be
responsible for telling her partner that the fetus he helped create was
terminated? As of right now, the father does not have a right to be
notified about abortion. This was decided in a Supreme Court case,
Planned Parenthood of Southeastern PA. v. Casey. While most women
discuss an abortion with their partners, those who do not were much

more likely to be in abusive relationships, according to the Court. The


Supreme Court saw spousal notification requirements as placing an
undue burden on women who may fear for their safety, or that of their
children. Should women in non-abusive relationships have an
obligation to tell the father of the unborn child that it will never be
born? What if the father never knew the fetus existed?
http://family.findlaw.com/paternity/fathers-rights-and-abortion.html
http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-supreme-court/505/833.html
http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-supreme-court/428/52.html