Father’s rights

Many people are familiar with the arguments for and against abortion but less so with the issue of father’s rights.

What exactly does this mean?

It refers to the situation in which a mother wants to undergo an abortion but the father wants her to continue with the pregnancy and keep the baby. Basically, she wants to terminate her pregnancy whereas he doesn’t.

What is difficult about this part of the debate is deciding upon at which point are the father’s wishes over-ridden in favour of what the mother wants?

Is abortion always wrong if it overrides the father’s wishes or is there an exception to this? Supporters of father’s rights argue that if a woman deliberately deceives her partner and claims to want a family (but is lying) then abortion is another part of that deception.

In this situation the father is the wronged party.

It can be very difficult for men who are in a relationship and want a family but their partner does not. This is further compounded if she becomes pregnant but decides to terminate the pregnancy, with or without his knowledge.

Some people would argue that it is still the women’s right to choose. It is her body and she has the right to terminate a pregnancy or not, irrespective of what anyone else thinks.

But others argue that this must be a joint decision and that as it took both the man and woman to create a baby then they should have an equal say in what happens to that baby.

There is also the reverse situation in which the mother wants to keep the baby but the father insists that she has an abortion. In this situation the father has no right to insist on this and the mother’s wishes override this. This ruling applies in most countries.

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