This is an easy question for those on the prolife side of the abortion debate. They’d like men to be not only notified of pregnancies, but also given veto power over abortions.
Being prochoice, I don’t agree with that position, but I admire the logic. It’s a gender-neutral policy: If either parent thinks it’s wrong to end the pregnancy, then the pregnancy must proceed.
If the prochoice side adopted a gender-neutral policy, then either the man or the woman would have the right to say no to parenthood. I don’t know of anyone advocating that a woman be required to have an abortion, but there’s another right that could be given to a man who impregnates a woman who isn’t his wife. If the woman decided to go ahead and have the child, she would have to notify him and give him the option early in the pregnancy of absolving himself of any financial responsibility for the child.
When I was pregant with each of my three sons, I had severe hyperemesis gravida. AKA, pregnancy sickness — not morning sickness, as I was sick all the freaking day. We’re talking multiple ER visits for rehydration with each child. I threw up so much after my law school graduation that two little old ladies stood around and tsk-tsked about graduates who drank too much. I threw up all through taking the bar exam.
During my first pregnancy, I became so severely dehydrated I had to be admitted to the hospital for 48 hours. During my third pregnancy, I developed pneumonia from having accidentally aspirated my own vomit, and became seriously ill, and spent a week in the hospital.
And these were from children I made a conscious choice to have.
Pregnancy is gender-neutral? Like hell it is.
Pregnancy carries with it significant risks. Pregnancy carries with it the risk of death and long term disability. My sister suffered nearly crippling back damage as a result of her last pregnancy.
I don’t think I would have an abortion. It is a situation fraught with moral significance and I know where I come down on that question. However, who am I to make that decision for any other woman?
With each child I knew more certainly I would not have an abortion, and I knew more certainly that no woman should have any other person make that choice for her. Whatever the anti-abortion forces will say, it is her body, completely, and she should have the right to decide what she wants to live with, and what decisions her conscience dictates.
It is between a woman, her doctor, and her God. No one else.