Abortion involves elimination of foetus from the uterus of the mother, right before it becomes viable. Strictly speaking, abortion means putting an end to pregnancy. In some cases miscarriage can also occur, which is also known as spontaneous abortion. People (parents) go for abortion when they do not want a baby and/or have it if both of them are willing to. In many cases a mother wants to have a baby and the father does not and vice-versa. In this controversial case who is an authoritative to make the decision. Should it be the mother who actually carries the baby or the father? It is quite understood that the mother is more associated to the baby as compared to the father. A mother (and also the foetus) should be more respected in such a case. Can a man even interfere with the women’s right for an abortion?
Abortion is a burning issue throughout the world. It is carried out in almost all the countries. Also, certain countries support it through their state laws and regulations whereas many countries treat abortion as seriously illegal. Furthermore, many countries are changing their attitude towards the effects of forced pregnancy, and accordingly are creating a supporting environment for abortion. For instance, the United States of America legalized abortion and provides a supporting environment for the public convenience. The country witnessed harsh anti-abortion laws before. Moreover, abortion seems more concerning towards women, and they exercise a firm control over the decision whether to carry it out or not. Besides laws, there is also one important theme that has created a big debate around the world that is whether men have the same rights for abortion as women have. Precisely speaking, women are more vulnerable to the impact and effects of pregnancy and/ or abortion than men. It somehow gives them power to make a firm decision regarding the removal of their foetus.
According to Kapp (1982), legal and ethical implications regulate and preserve the authority of right to abortion with the mother only and keep the father out of the scenario. His views reflect the importance of a mother in the development of foetus and his vision reveals an ethical approach to deal with the pregnancy. The paternal rights and abortion witness an increasing debate on the two aspects of abortion itself – abortion and father’s rights. There is of course a physical element included, in the pregnancy of a woman, by the act of male parent. It is the father who is totally accountable for bringing out the state of pregnancy in the woman. But, logically speaking, it the mother or the female prospect that remains connected with the pregnancy. Biologically, it the mother that has be in direct association with the developing foetus through her physical, anatomical and mental perceptions.
A father plays his role in the development of the foetus. But, he lacks control over the biological changes that occur right after the fertilization of egg and sperm. The father’s dearth over the modification of the embryo is quite an important aspect that needs to be addressed with an ethical and logical perspective. He plays almost no role in evolving the foetus into personhood. Though the father’s role is a major one but, his participation lasts for a short span of time. It starts and ends with an act of sexual intercourse. This marks the providence of pregnancy with the maternal part. All the authority and control remains attached with the mother itself. The role of the father is declined due to presence of biological vitality of the foetus that rests with the mother only. Also, the total control of the birth leans towards the maternal side, keeping the father exclusively away from the biological development of the foetus. It gives the mother a logical control over her right to decision in keeping the foetus or going for abortion. The father role is now as a third-party situation that has biologically a little role in the growth of the foetus.
The role of the woman is exclusively authoritative for carrying the foetus or not. In other words, the fate of the pregnancy and/ or foetus rests with the mother, as she is wholly involved in its carriage and development. The mother holds a logical and legal right to make a decision for abortion and pregnancy.
Father and mother bear an innate responsibility to support and sustain the happy life of their children. Broadly speaking, each person, whether a father or a mother, endures inborn accountability for his or her deliberate actions that are present in the endless affectionate being of what is known as a parent. Speaking from liberal perspective, it is the father who does not care that much for children as does a mother. Men walk away and let their women to live in poverty and desertion. The act of ignoring is quite common in men as compared to women. Moreover, in every species the female member is more concerned for their children s compared to male member.
Women have been allowed to utilize their power to a certain degree. Abortion was illegal from the time immemorial but, it was made legal for women in order to make a decision (regarding pregnancy and abortion) and exercise their right and power. Legalization of abortion has challenged the certainty of the pivotal connection between sexual (intimacy) and reproduction from women’s perspective, in its erudite practice, and on certain grounds this rational assessment may be shattered from men’s perspective. Such standpoint is well described by the following statement published in a journal – Everyman: A men’s Journal.
Legalization of abortion gives the women right to declare ‘I know a child was conceived, but I refuse to accept the parental responsibilities because I can’t afford the parenthood right now or because I’m not emotionally ready to handle them or, because I want to finish school or build a career first or, maybe I just want to use my money for a new car or spend the next nine months in Europe or frankly, it’s none of your business. No one is going to give me parental responsibilities unless I choose to have them. We are no longer being truthful when we chide the male defendant, ‘‘it took two to make the baby. It isn’t fair for you to leave her stuck with the problem.’’ It might have taken two to conceive the embryo, but thanks to legalized abortion, only one person controlled whether or not a baby was made. Today, the only women who become mothers are women who choose consciously and deliberately to become mothers.
A woman (pregnant) should be free to make a decision regarding abortion with scientific prospect, medicinal protection and authorized acceptability, and she should be able to perform it with no religious, medical and other irrepressible constraints. The women need to implement her right to decision within a democratic atmosphere that governs their safety and security concerns.
Many thinkers along with renowned feminists express their concern over the apparent disjuncture of the rights (and responsibilities) of men in the framework of abortion. The United States National Organisation of Women noting states in this context that a women has right to make a decision to terminate pregnancy and it remains at quite a distance from the father who is biologically concerned with the pregnancy. The women bear a logical and biological authority to address their pregnancy. They do not depend on men in such decisions. The men do not have a right to intervene in their decision making process as far as the removal of the foetus is concerned. It emanates as a biological right of the women to deal with her pregnancy according to her aspirations and consent.
The attitude of a society towards should also change. It should be allowed freely without any religious, social or scientific constraints. Abortion is advantageous for women, and it develops a sense of rightness and culpability in the minds of the individuals of the society. The society cannot be a progressive one until it creates a sensible place for abortion. The mind-set of the individuals’ of a nation should emphasize on the altruistic facets of the pregnancy and abortion. It should provide a democratic space for the women to exercise their right up to a full content. The people need to accept that abortion is a part of their social etiquette that needs to be evaluated to demonstrate a supportive environment for the women.
Abortion is a right of women; it empowers them and lets them to facilitate the world improvement. Abortion helps the women to concentrate on their most important issues in order to make proper progress that is fruitful for social, political and economic development of the world. It provides them with a sense of actual space with no burden of child bearing and labour of housework. It empowers them to attain equal successes and accomplishments as men do, irrespective of professions. The societal approach is quite harsh towards the women and their problems in certain areas like abortion and pregnancy. The elements have deprived them in confirming their wisdom, enablement and egalitarianism, which can have a fruitful influence on their valuable lives. It seems that women have experienced failures when it is the case of abortion. By terminating their pregnancy, the society treats them as culprits and criminals. The whole attitude of the individuals, even their immediate relatives and friends, always goes against them, grudging their confidence and morale. If a woman wants abortion, she is neglected by everyone mostly by her own blood relatives. Such attitude needs to be changed in order to solidify a concrete cause.
Getting pregnant seems a final death of romance for many women because the man has not encouraged it rather wants abortion. Sometimes a woman does not want to remove the foetus, and the man leaves her. This has been the most vulnerable threat that gave rise to single mothers and father less children. In most of the cases, men with intimate sexual relations with girls want to escape; may their motto was just to use the women or their bodies. Otherwise, he would be always close to her, especially during pregnancy. The woman who found themselves unrestrained by men develops into single parents. Single parent is a big threat to the normal life a woman. It brings tonnes of responsibilities both financially and socially. Lack of support by the male partner creates a chaos in the normalcy of the women and makes them vulnerable to severe mental complaints.
Abortion has other liabilities associated with it. Male partner’s denial and ignorance creates an aura of apprehension in certain immediate relations like husband – wife, mother – child etc. Less or no support from father’s side develops negative syndromes in the children. These fatherless children are susceptible to harsh environmental pressures and compressions. Children with no father cultivate negative perceptions that have huge negative effects on the development of the children. It is quite concerning that unwanted children develop into criminals (possibly) and live outside law. Due to their exploitation during their childhood, they more likely commit crimes and suicides. NARAL - National Abortion Rights Action League is of the opinion that free abortion and contraception can minimise the frequency of unwanted children, limiting their mistreatment. I can, therefore, reduce the number of criminals and crimes. Legalization of abortion can create add less undesirable kids to the population of the country and lessen the child abuse cases, which will automatically check the case of crimes and other social ills like drug addiction, rapes, murders etcetera. All the social ills are either directly or indirectly concomitant with careless parenthood.
Abortion, removal of foetus, is one of important burning issues in the world today. It is directly concerned with the development of social, political and economic facets of the world as a whole. However, it needs to be addressed logically, legally taking biological and ethical aspects into consideration. The women should be enabled to exercise their right to make decision regarding abortion. The man is biologically important for transferring sperm during the sexual intercourse but, he holds no right to manipulate or interfere in the decision of the woman. He should rather support the women in making her decision by creating a favourable aura. The abortion is totally unwelcomed by the society. The members of the society create unsupportive grounds for abortion, supressing the social and economic right of the women. Men do not care for the emotional etiquette of the women. Why does a woman always need to follow a man? If she protests against abortion, the man leaves her and forces her to be a single parent. It gives result to fatherless children. Single parents and fatherless children are vulnerable to severe social ills. Strictly speaking, women need to be provided with a favourable space so that they can employ and exercise their rights. Men alone do not have the legitimacy to make decisions or give orders.
Hayward, ‘Abortion Rights for Men: Some Careful Thinking about Fathers’ Rights’ 20 Everyman: a Men’s Journal 8 (31 August 1996) 8
M. B. Kapp, ‘The Father’s (Lack of) Right and Responsibilities in the Abortion Decision: An Examination of the Legal-Ethical Implications’ (1982) 9 Ohio NULR 370, 376–377.