Tuesday, September 4, 2007

A Man's Right to Choose

I am a very lucky man, I have a beautiful, healthy and happy little girl who I have a great relationship with. I am no longer with her mother but we share the parenting. Being a parent is a huge responsibility and one that you need to be fully committed to in order to build a positive relationship with your child. I believe that everyone (regardless of gender) should be able to decide when they are ready to be a parent.

If a woman decides that she doesn't want to have a child she can have an abortion. However, a man has no legal impact on this decision making process and he will be bound by the woman’s decision. I must say that I am not a big fan of abortion as I believe that we need to consider other options. (I can appreciate that there are certain circumstances ie when the baby is severely deformed or the mother's life is at risk) . However, there are other options to abortion (ie adoption) that should be promoted and actively supported by governments. (ie provide comprehensive financial support for pregnant women who might otherwise have an abortion, to offset job loss etc).

A man cannot decide to abort his parental rights, he must then commit to 16years of child support whether he wants to or not. We should be able to choose whether we want to be fathers, just as women can choose if they want to be mothers. But unlike women our choice will not be whether we kill the child or let it live, rather our choice will be between taking on the role of father or passing this role onto other men who are ready and willing (ie adoption).

Indeed abortion and birth control are two key processes that have enabled women to extend their education and take on careers, and are crucial to the feminist perspective. Without the ability to control their reproductive cycle they were confined by biology. Today the situation is reversed and it is men who have no choice when they will be parents.

In some countries if it is proven that you are not the father of the child via DNA, the "non-father" may still be required to keep paying child support.

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