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    Thursday, December 01, 2005

    A Man's Right to Choose

    NYT lets Dalton Conley speak:

    About a decade ago, my girlfriend became pregnant. It wasn't planned, but it wasn't exactly unplanned either, in that we obviously knew how biology worked. I desperately wanted to keep the baby, but she wasn't ready, and there were some minor medical concerns about the fetus, so she decided to terminate the pregnancy against my wishes. What right did I have to stop her? As it turned out, none. It was, indeed, a woman's right to choose.

    Not surprisingly, we broke up. And my desire for fatherhood was eventually fulfilled by two wonderful children. But every so often I think back to the fateful decision, and frustration boils up. I am particularly reminded of it now, as I counsel a friend who finds himself in a parallel - but reverse - situation: when he broke off his engagement, his girlfriend told him that she was pregnant and was going to have the child no matter what. ...

    If a father is willing to legally commit to supporting and raising the child himself, why should a woman be able to end a pregnancy that she knew was a possibility of consensual sex? Why couldn't I make the same claim - that I am going to keep the baby regardless of whether she wants it or not?


    You couldn't because it's not your body. If we laid eggs and either were capable of sitting on it, fine. But we have this whole human thing where it sits in someone's body for nine months thing and, until we get that straightened out (I hope we do soon!), shut up!

    I am all in favor of men's being able to "opt-out" should their sexual partner conceive and choose to carry the fetus to term and raise the child it becomes. They shouldn't have to shell out money, or emotional support, for a kid they didn't want anyway. But they don't get to go the other way. Men, if you want a baby so badly, you also have the option to adopt or hire a surrogate.

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