Monday, February 28, 2011

Can equality and pro choice(as used today) coexist?

Scenario #1

A husband and wife planned to have a baby together. Fortunately for them they got pregnant quickly. At each stage they shared the experience, though the husband could not imagine what it was like having life form in his belly. He did envy(slightly) his wife for this experience. They watched intently the ultrasound, together they counted the fingers and toes. After finding out the sex of the baby they came up with a name that both loved. Soon after this the husband became distant, he seemed disconnected. No longer did he want to hear about his future child. When the wife confronted him he explained why he was distant. Over the last several weeks he began seeing someone else. He no longer wished to have this child. He had a new love in his life and had no room for children. He asked his wife for a divorce and for her to abort the fetus.

Questions:

1. Does he have a right to make her abort her child?
2. Should he be held accountable for financial support after the child is born?

Scenario #2

A husband and wife planned to have a baby together. Fortunately for them they got pregnant quickly. At each stage they shared the experience, though the husband could not imagine what it was like having life form in his belly. He did envy(slightly) his wife for this experience. They watched intently the ultrasound, together they counted the fingers and toes. After finding out the sex of the baby they came up with a name that both loved. Soon after this the wife became distant, she seemed disconnected. No longer did she want to talk about her future child. When the husband confronted her she explained why she was distant. Over the last several weeks she began seeing someone else. She no longer wished to have this child. She had a new love in her life and had no room for children. She asked her husband for a divorce and planned on aborting the fetus.

Questions:

1. Does he have the right to prevent her from aborting his child?
2. Should she be accountable financially for any pain and suffering she causes him?

18 comments:

Boz said...

Scenario 1:
1. Does he have a right to make her abort her child? No. he should not have a right to MAKE her abort. his views should be taken in to consideration by her. She should have the final decision.

2. Should he be held accountable for financial support after the child is born? yes. He agreed to financial support when they planned to have a kid, and fell pregnant. This is like a contract.

The level of support should depend on the relative financial position of each parent. The level of financial support may be zero if the mother is rich and he is very poor.


Scenario 2:
1. Does he have the right to prevent her from aborting his child? No. She should have the final decision.

2. Should she be accountable financially for any pain and suffering she causes him? This is difficult. I don't know.

If yes, He would have to demonstrate that the suffered 'pain and suffering'. He would have to demonstrate that monetary compensation can alleviate the 'pain and suffering'(impossible?). Again, the relative financial position of each person comes in to consideration.

Not So Simply Single said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tit for Tat said...

Boz

I agree with your reasonings for scenario #1. In regards to #2, if he is not able to prevent the abortion then he should not have any financial obligations after the child is born. In regards to his possible pain and suffering, like physical pain we all respond differently. The problem lies in the fact that the man is not afforded any choice in the matter. I question where the equality and fairness is? So if it is a contract then the women has to bear some kind of accountability.


Lisa

Where is the accountability for the woman spreading her legs for him to dip his stick as you so eloquently put it? OH WELL, I guess she doesnt have to have it, right?


My purpose for these scenario's is how do attempt to come up with a system that is equitable for both parties that can cover all the possible outcomes? As the system is currently there are times when one of the parties is left with little or no rights.

Boz said...

Tit for Tat said: "if he is not able to prevent the abortion then he should not have any financial obligations after the child is born." Doesn't make sense? there will be no child?


Tit for Tat said: "The problem lies in the fact that the man is not afforded any choice in the matter. I question where the equality and fairness is?"

I agree that the current situation is not equal or fair.

What do you suggest as a solution? I'd like to hear this.


As far as I can tell, there are three options:

1. man chooses. woman ignored or consulted
2. woman chooses. man ignored or consulted
3. both must agree for an abortion to occur

clearly, 1 is inappropriate.
2 is the current situation. There are instances of A woman having a baby that the man wanted to abort, and of a woman having an abortion that a man wanted to keep.
3: there would be instances of a woman forced to have a baby she wanted to abort. Or a woman having a baby that the man wanted to abort.

when comparing 2 and 3, one of the scenarios can be ignored because they are the same. So, we are comparing:
(2) = instances of a woman having an abortion that a man wanted to keep.
(3) = instances of a woman forced to have a baby she wanted to abort

which is least desirable?

Gucci Mama said...

Anyone who is intellectually honest can readily admit that a fetus is not just an extension of the woman's body, but is rather a distinct and separate being, so the "my body, my choice" rhetoric is such simple bullshit it doesn't really bear talking about.

What bothers me about this more than anything is that feminists don't want "equal rights". They want special rights. They don't want to be on the same level as men, they want to be sixteen levels above men.

Not allowing a man a say in whether his child is allowed to live is a perfect example of this.

Yours is a very hard question and I don't pretend to have the answer, xcept to say that the "my body, my choice" comes BEFORE engaging in activities that can result in pregnancy, and if a man is expected to "take responsibility" for a baby after it's born, should not a woman also be expected to "take responsibility" when it's conceived? Wouldn't that be an exercise in equality?

Gucci Mama said...

*except

Stupid commenting from iPhone.

Luke said...

1. Does he have a right to make her abort her child?
-no
2. Should he be held accountable for financial support after the child is born?
-yes

3. Does he have the right to prevent her from aborting his child?
-i wish. but legally, probably not.

4. Should she be accountable financially for any pain and suffering she causes him?
-i wish. but legally, probably not. she will be out $$ and claim to share property due to her adultery and request for divorce. as for the child, i think this scenario is tragic. well, both scenario's are tragic, i can just picture this one more than the other.

hard questions, good post.

Tit for Tat said...

Boz

Im not sure what we can do. It is a very volatile situation. Maybe for starters though we should start to look at it from a business transaction position. Afterall, we offer many physical services that require contracts that if broken require some sort of compensation. This way both parties would be held accountable for their actions rather than the status quo.


Gucci

Actually, at certain stages it is a fetus that is not a dinstinct and seperate being. At certain stages without medical intervention the fetus will die if seperated from its host. As far as women wanting equal rights I agree that is the furthest thing from their minds.

Luke

Hey man, thanks for stopping by. I think legality is the area where equality may come to this subject. Make a person pay some damage for their actions and they might be more willing to negotiate a reasonable outcome. I always hear how we as men cant understand the physical aspect of pregnancy(which I agree) but I think what is lost many times is the fact that they dont understand how impactful it can be on a man's emotional state. Its going to be a long road.

Gucci Mama said...

The semantics of personhood are admittedly debatable, yet there is no denying that the heart begins to beat at 18 days, brain waves can be detected as early as around six weeks, and that regardless of viability, all a fetus needs from the moment of conception in order to live outside "the host" is time to grow.

That's not really the point of this question, though, obviously.

This idea of looking at parenthood like a business transaction is an interesting one. You would require every parent to sign some sort of contract? Who decides the terms? Who pays for the legal advice? What happens if the parents can't come to an agreement within the forty weeks of pregnancy?

A Daft Scots Lass said...

I've been pondering this one for a while...

I am pro-choice but never considered this...

mac said...

Tough questions, man!

I think, ultimately, the choice on whether or not to birth a child must lie with the woman. She is the one who must carry it. She is the one who must deliver it.
I'd like to think men should have some say in the matter though.

As for financial support from the father. There is no doubt in my mind that a father is responsible for any children he produces. Period.

I would like to see some form of scenario number two played out where a woman might be held accountable to the father if she aborts against his wishes. But, that is a slippery slope, I think.

scotterb said...

As for abortion: that is the decision of the woman because it is her body.

As for financial obligation, that is completely separate from the issue of abortion because the obligation is not to the woman but the child. If the child is born and not aborted, the man's responsibility is to help assure the child is raised with enough resources. Because the responsibility is to the child, the father should have the right to see the child regularly, and even make an argument for custody after the child is born.

So I don't see any linkage between either abortion question and the obligation of a father to a child who does get born.

I generally don't believe much in the so called 'pain and suffering' bit. In the third world you find pain and suffering.

hopeles case said...

Tit for Tat:

Nice job on constructing the scenarios.

I think the penalty for getting an abortion over the husband's objection (without medical cause) should be that the husband then gets the right to initiate a divorce-with-prejudice, by which I mean that he automatically gets custody of any (already born, obviously) children, he would then not owe any alimony, and she would get less than half of the marital assets (as a penalty for poisioning the marriage like that).

BTW, I also think a divorce-with-prejudice should be the penalty for adultery.

The principle concept is this: when you make a promise to someone, and on the basis of that promise, they commit serious resources to a joint project with you, then you should pay a penalty for breaking your promise.

This concept is enforced in business partnerships routinely (if it weren't, there would be a lot fewer group projects undertaken, and we would all be the poorer for it).

What is a marriage but a partnership arrangement by which people commit serious resources (time, energy, money, ...) to a joint project (for example, having a and raising children)?

That the idea that holding people to their promises in marriage is considered a bizarre concept astounds me.

I think a woman, when she has consensual sex with her husband, is agreeing to make a good faith effort to bear and raise the child, and that they should both have to agree for her abortion to be likewise in good faith.

Adding this one concept (there should be meaningful consequences for breaking certain promises in a marriage) to the current mix would take us most of the way to equalizing the rights and responsibilities of men and women in marriage.

Tit for Tat said...

h c

Thanks for the compliment.
I like the way you described the divorce-with-prejudice idea. That has a truthful ring to it. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts.

Tit for Tat said...

h c

Do you have a blog or any writings that I could read or do you only comment?

hopeless case said...

Tit for Tat:

I do not have a blog.

I am a frequent commentator at http://www.reddit.com (especially the men's rights subreddit), under the user name "hopeless_case".

The basic questions you asked in this post come up a lot on reddit, although I think your framing of the question was much better. On reddit, people usually want to make it easier for men to walk away from their freely undertaken responsibilities, instead of making harder for women to walk away from theirs.

pino said...

scenario One

1. Does he have a right to make her abort her child?
2. Should he be held accountable for financial support after the child is born?


1. No
2. Yes

Scenario Two

1. Does he have the right to prevent her from aborting his child?
2. Should she be accountable financially for any pain and suffering she causes him?


1. No. But the child has that right.
2. Can he take civil action? I suspect he can.

pino said...

Anyone who is intellectually honest can readily admit that a fetus is not just an extension of the woman's body, but is rather a distinct and separate being, so the "my body, my choice" rhetoric is such simple bullshit it doesn't really bear talking about.

Well said.

At certain stages without medical intervention the fetus will die if seperated from its host.

Consider this:

"At certain stages without government intervention the person will die if seperated from its host."

This is true of many Liberals I know ;-)

The principle concept is this: when you make a promise to someone, and on the basis of that promise, they commit serious resources to a joint project with you, then you should pay a penalty for breaking your promise.

I LIKE!