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  1. #1
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    Default SPIN OFF - Sticky situations and reproductive rights - what's the right thing to do?

    So in another thread, I encountered a moral/ethical dilemma that has me a little perplexed...

    OP finds herself pregnant by (essentially) a one night stand. OP wants to keep the baby, bio-dad wants her to have an abortion.

    If the situation were reversed, and the now pregnant woman didn't want the child, but the bio-dad did, she would be justified in exercising her right to choose, right? He can't make her keep it, though the potential child is also his.

    So why can she unilaterally decide to keep the child, when he doesn't want one, effectively forcing him into parenthood?

    It's an honest question - if anybody has ever met me, they know I'm 100%, militantly, pro-choice. But I do find some of these dilemmas to be ethically perplexing...

    CowboyMom said something along the lines of: Despite everything, pregnancy happens to the woman's body. Therefore she has more say in what happens to her body.

    Generally, I tend to agree. However, our legal system has a way of requiring cooperation (at least financially) from both parents, whether they wanted the child or not.

    So...thoughts?
    "Are you yawning? You don't ride well enough to yawn. I can yawn, because I ride better than you. Meredith Michael Beerbaum can yawn. But you? Not so much..."
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  2. #2
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    The only way I see her doing it is if she signs off absolving him of all responsibility for paying child support, and agrees to raise the kid (in writing, if you can even DO that!) 100% by herself.

    Sounds to me like she tried entrapping some poor dude into becoming her permanent meal-ticket. Wouldn't be the first chick who did it! Of course, her paramour could and should have used a condom if he didn't want to get himself nailed that way . . . pardon the pun.

    VERY sticky situation, and illustrates the dangers of thinking with the little head rather than the big one. The MESS people make of their lives . . .


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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lady Eboshi View Post

    Sounds to me like she tried entrapping some poor dude into becoming her permanent meal-ticket. Wouldn't be the first chick who did it!
    Just want to clarify that that is NOT the situation on the other thread.

    Re: the OP...I have to agree with CowboyMom. It is the woman's body. She should not be forced to carry around a child for nine months if she doesn't want it...what a toxic thing.

    While I sympathize with these men being "forced" into parenthood....tough shit Sherlock. Should have used a condom.


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  4. #4
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    The sexes are not equal, never have been, never will be. It's a myth and a fantasy to believe it so. Men will be able to sire children and walk away never knowing or not caring and women will be left carrying the child or killing the unborn child depending on their feelings. It will always be unfair to someone. In many cases it is the child. At least until the "year 2525" if Zager and Evans were right.


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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by GoForAGallop View Post
    While I sympathize with these men being "forced" into parenthood....tough shit Sherlock. Should have used a condom.
    I tend to agree with you, but, to play Devil's Advocate - isn't this the argument regularly used against reproductive rights for women? Don't have sex if you don't want to get pregnant?

    Slippery slope...
    "Are you yawning? You don't ride well enough to yawn. I can yawn, because I ride better than you. Meredith Michael Beerbaum can yawn. But you? Not so much..."
    -George Morris


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  6. #6
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    So why can she unilaterally decide to keep the child, when he doesn't want one, effectively forcing him into parenthood?
    that's a good question. I would want to know what kind of contraceptive steps the man took during the actual deed as that would change my viewpoint. Having sex without using contraception is, in my opinion, essentially agreeing you are willing to have a child. If the guy took every possible precaution- condom, spermicide, made sure the woman was also using contraception (or at least claimed she was), then I think he can and should be absolved of any parental responsibility.
    I don't think forcing a woman to have an abortion against her wishes is ever the correct choice (nor is forcing a woman to carry a pregnancy to term against her wishes). Either of those choices is far more abhorrent than "forcing" a man to be a father.


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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by SaturdayNightLive View Post
    I tend to agree with you, but, to play Devil's Advocate - isn't this the argument regularly used against reproductive rights for women? Don't have sex if you don't want to get pregnant?

    Slippery slope...
    Well, I'm rabidly pro-choice and understand that sometimes accidents happen...

    ...but yes, if you don't want to get pregnant, take steps to prevent it. Birth control. No sex, if you don't have birth control.

    I have very little sympathy for those who do get knocked up using the pullout method or something, although I absolutely support their right to chose to terminate the pregnancy.


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  8. #8
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    To be fair, I think the inspiration for my questions told the guy that she was unable to get pregnant. She, herself, thought she was unable to get pregnant. Turned out not to be so...
    "Are you yawning? You don't ride well enough to yawn. I can yawn, because I ride better than you. Meredith Michael Beerbaum can yawn. But you? Not so much..."
    -George Morris



  9. #9
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    a year and some months ago, a close friend of mine got pregnant. She was in a relationship and he wanted kids, but had changed his mind when she was about 6 months along.

    She of course had the child. (she always wanted a baby and she is getting older, 34yr old) so she had the baby, bio dad is NOT on the birth certificate and holds no parental rights over the child.

    It can be done.

    Just as women choose not to have the baby, men can choose not to be apart of the baby's life.

    If the person the OP is talking about wants the baby, she can have him sign off as being a parent and he can walk away....its basically a sperm donor at that point.


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  10. #10
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    Biology isn't really fair and it is the woman who gets pregnant and she SHOULD have ultimate control over what happens to and in her body.

    Men do have a choice, but it's before conception happens. And, yes, birth control is not perfect, there is a risk for both men and women to having sex that could conceivably result in conception.

    I have only boys, I've had this discussion with the older ones (youngest is only 10!). IF they should get a woman pregnant, they cannot force her to have an abortion and they can't force her to carry a child to term, so think VERY carefully, not just about birth control but about WHO you have intercourse with. (there are ways to have a sexual relationship that won't risk conception). They need to 1) know her well and be on the same page values wise, 2) trust her (and her judgment) A LOT and 3) be willing to take the risk that they could be legally and financially tied to her (through a child) for at least 18 years. Better like and respect the girl (not just love her and certainly not just lust for her)!!


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  11. #11
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    I think ultimately the decision is the woman's because like it or not, she is the one whose life is most affected by continuing a pregnancy.

    Unfair or not, in my mind, because it's her body being affected (and this isn't a light thing - women can and do still die giving birth. Or end up on bed rest unable to work, or any other number of things) most, that puts her squarely in charge.

    I don't know how I feel about men being "forced" into fatherhood, but what's the worst case scenario in that regard, really? The most men can really legally be forced to do is pay some child support. Anything above and beyond that is up to them. Women do not have that same sort of freedom. They're the ones with the pregnancy, the birth, and 99% of the time, the raising of the child to deal with. The genetic involvement may be equal for a man and a woman, but in a situation like this, nothing else is.

    When men can handle a pregnancy and are bearing the brunt of parental pressures at an equal rate to women, then we can have a conversation about them having more say in an abortion, IMO
    "smile a lot can let us ride happy,it is good thing"

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  12. #12
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    So, I guess additional question -

    What if the woman effectively tricks the man into getting her pregnant? IE, tells him she is on BC, when she knows that she is not, in an intentional effort to get pregnant.

    Fair, then, that he should have the legal obligation of parenthood?

    I only ask because these questions are often brought up in opposition of abortion rights, and I'm just as often stumped by them, which I find endlessly irritating.
    "Are you yawning? You don't ride well enough to yawn. I can yawn, because I ride better than you. Meredith Michael Beerbaum can yawn. But you? Not so much..."
    -George Morris


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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by SaturdayNightLive View Post
    So, I guess additional question -

    What if the woman effectively tricks the man into getting her pregnant? IE, tells him she is on BC, when she knows that she is not, in an intentional effort to get pregnant.

    Fair, then, that he should have the legal obligation of parenthood?

    I only ask because these questions are often brought up in opposition of abortion rights, and I'm just as often stumped by them, which I find endlessly irritating.
    Yes, because he still should have put a condom on if he didn't 100% know. (NOT defending crazy-ass lady, btw.)

    I suspect, though, that he could then sue for something? I feel like I've read cases about that....



  14. #14
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    could n - not agree more - women's body, women's choice. I don't think that can EVER be trumped.

    And absolutely it is never the right choice to force an abortion, nor the right choice to force someone to carry to term.
    and Canaqua, totally right to tell your boys that there is indeed risk of all sorts from unprotected sex, risk even when using some form of protection.

    I think a pretty good arguement could be made that whether or not he wants it, the man is on the hook for the child financially. Women run the risk of pregnancy, and in some cases, having to make some reallyhard choices.Men run other risks and one of them is financial.


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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by GoForAGallop View Post
    Yes, because he still should have put a condom on if he didn't 100% know. (NOT defending crazy-ass lady, btw.)

    I suspect, though, that he could then sue for something? I feel like I've read cases about that....
    Yep...what guy in his right mind, who does not want to get someone pregnant, doesn't use a condom? There is so much at stake! Not just pregnancy, venereal disease too. If I were single (and still young enough to get pregnant ), I would STILL use birth control with a guy who swore he'd had a vasectomy or was otherwise sterile.

    I mean, if he trusts the woman sooooooo much that he is willing to forgo condoms on her word that she is on BC or not fertile, he shouldn't have a problem reproducing with her if there is a true accident...must be true love! If he DOESN"T trust her that much he should be using BC himself (and maybe not even be sleeping with her at all).


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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by SaturdayNightLive View Post
    So, I guess additional question -

    What if the woman effectively tricks the man into getting her pregnant? IE, tells him she is on BC, when she knows that she is not, in an intentional effort to get pregnant.

    Fair, then, that he should have the legal obligation of parenthood?

    I only ask because these questions are often brought up in opposition of abortion rights, and I'm just as often stumped by them, which I find endlessly irritating.
    Slimey, yes, and has been done for ages (in marriages too and there is definitely a legal obligation of parenthood). As was pointed out, there are lots of ways to enjoy sex without the need for contraception...



  17. #17
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    I think if a man doesn't wear a condom he is risking (more than the usual risk) becoming a father out of the deal. By hook or crook, if he believes a girl that says she's on reliable protection he is taking a risk. In concept, I'd like to say there are varying degrees of responsibility that a man can find himself involved in but legally and morally I don't have that hashed out in my head at this point.

    I think it's one of the great No Fairs! of life that women just have the trump card when it comes to having babies.


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  18. #18
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    Its really hard to see the guy as the "victim" here unless he really did not have the cognitive capacity to appreciate what he was doing. In that case, it is a very different issue with the potential for exploitation.



  19. #19
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    While I get that the male in the situation may be heartbroken by the woman's decision not to have the kid, outside of a relationship, it's the woman's choice unless and until the man can carry and give birth to the kid, with all of the social, professional, and health-related complications that entails.

    I think if you are in a committed relationship then the two people involved should be talking through it before anyone makes a decision, but the bottom line is, the person carrying and birthing is the one of the pair most impacted by the decision and her opinion is the one that duly needs to hold the most weight.
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  20. #20
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    The right to abortion is about a woman's right to bodily self-determination, integrity and autonomy, which is not the same as the right to refuse parenthood. Men have no such bodily reproductive burdens and so it is impossible to imbue them with such reproductive rights. The state or anyone else forcing a woman to remain pregnant against her will is nothing less than enslavement.

    After the child is born the state's concern is the best interest of the child, not the parents. However, in practical terms this just requires financial involvement from the unwilling father and no further physical or emotional responsibilities.


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