I am a man. I was also a philosophy major. Most of the time these two facts did not conflict in any meaningful way. Then we had the abortion debate.

Aside from the typical abortion rhetoric of pro-choice vs. pro-life, I found myself wondering how I, as a man, could argue meaningfully on either side of the issue. Sure, I could speculate about when I thought an embryo becomes a person. I could even argue that abortion should not be used as a means of birth control in lieu of condoms, the pill, etc. (and no, I don't actually think that it is used this way). The problem that I faced was a very simple question: How could I argue meaningfully for or against abortion when I will never have to make that choice.

How can I have an opinion on a situation that I will never face? On a choice that I will never have to make? How could I argue that Mary shouldn't have an abortion when I will never be in that situation?

An even more controversial issue is what rights a man should have as a potential father. There is a tangled web of relationships at play in situations like this and an equally complex line of questioning. Should the man have a say in whether the woman he impregnated keeps the child? What about teens who are still under their parents care? What if the woman's life is at stake--either from the pregnancy or from having to continue a relationship with an abusive partner?

What do you all think? Should a husband have rights to an unborn child? Should a boyfriend?

In an ideal world, would men have any say whatsoever over a situation that they will never have to personally experience?

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In response to the former: in my opinion, the father of child may state how he feels- hopefully he can do this in a non-judgmental non-coercive way. But ultimately the choice is up to the woman. It is in her body that this embryo/fetus/zygote will be developing therefore it is her choice of whether or not to carry out the pregnancy.

As for the latter- in an ideal world there wouldn't be any abortion because everyone would have access to comprehensive sex education, know when they are physically and emotionally ready to have sex, it would be their choice to have sex- they would not be forced, and they would have access to contraception.

However- I get where you are going with the "ideal world" question. So should men have a say "over" the situation? No, they should not have a say "over" it because this would imply that they are inforcing their beliefs (by the word "over"). Unfortunately, however, many do (this is esp true in my state, Missouri, where we have the most restrictive abortion laws in the United States of America and the number of representatives in the state that are male is far more than are female). Men can have opinions, they are human and all human are allowed to have their opinions and to even express them (in a non-violent and non rights oppressive kind of way, of course)- however, the say "over" whether a woman should terminate or go through with a pregnancy is one that women ultimately must have- each individually.

And this is why it is Choice- no forced abortion, no forced births. A choice, made by a woman.

I feel I can't have an honest opinion until I am there, facing myself in the mirror and feeling my guts twisting in anguish. And I'm a woman, and I have been scared and thought about it a lot more than I would have wanted. I have been irresponsible and stupid, I think because a pregnancy has never really been a reality for me. So if I am to be honest, I feel I can't have an opinion on it. following that same idea, I think no one should have an opinion on such a delicate matter unless they are or have been there. And even still, it should only be an opinion, not a right to impose desitions.

But you did get me thinking. and thanks so much for putting such a complex and delicate subject out there.

I've never read anything on abortion with the questions that you've brought to the table. So, i found myself reading your post completely amazed and then sat for a while pondering this subject. I agree with Juanas comment that I don't feel as though I can have an opinion or judgment on it because I've never had to go through it. I don't think i have the right to sit here and implementing my views. Nevertheless even though I've never had an abortion or had to contemplate having one- i believe that it's a choice and that, that "choice" should not be taken away by any form of government.


Wow. I echo pazYamor...and wonder why no one has ever posed the abortion question like this before. (at least as far as I know) I'm sorry that I don't have much to say now, as I want to think more and read more and ponder more. But I just wanted to say thank you for raising these questions like this...and for leaving it open for us to try and form our own answers.