A friend shared an article with me from someone named Catherine Deveny about what she calls "financial abortion", the idea that if a woman can decide she doesn't want to be a parent and opt out through abortion, men should be able to do the same. I didn't know who Deveny is but after doing a little research I discovered that she's an Australian comedian.
The idea behind "financial abortion" is that if a man indicates to a woman before they have sex that he does not want to have a child, and the couple uses contraceptives to try and ensure that she doesn't get pregnant, then if the contraceptives fail and the woman winds up pregnant, he has the right to opt out during the early parts of pregnancy. This means he can essentially sign all his rights, responsibilities, and privileges of fatherhood away, cutting all financial and emotional ties with the child. She says a "financial abortion" is also known as a "paper abortion" or "statutory abortion", but this is literally the first I've ever heard of this idea. I'm left to wonder how there can be so many other people who call this idea by other names. It's certainly not an idea that's gained any traction in the abortion literature. Deveny indicates that the idea came from sociologist Francis K. Goldscheider in 1998. David Boonin, however, has argued that even though (he believes) women have the right to an abortion, it does not follow that a father has the right to opt out of pregnancy since the question of whether or not to have an abortion or whether or not someone should pay child support are two different questions, and a legal obligation to pay child support does not necessarily translate into a moral obligation to pay it (see Boonin, A Defense of Abortion, Cambridge University Press, 2003, 4.11). I may respond to Goldschedier's article in the future, because it rests on very problematic assumptions.
Read the rest on the Life Training Institute blog.
Like what you read?
Official Comments Policy:
This is my blog and I reserve the right to delete any comments that don't abide by these rules and/or don't contribute to the overall intellectual atmosphere of the blog. I don't mind comments from people who disagree with me, as I am very much open to reconsidering or revising anything that I write.
1. No swearing or otherwise profane language.
2. No insults or otherwise abusive language, toward me or any other commenter.
3. No spamming or trolling.