Should “potential fathers” have any say in abortion?


Of course women should have the right to choose. But.. shouldn’t the potential father have the right to be consulted, too?”

If you talk about abortion a lot, and you’re coming from the pro-choice side of the spectrum, you’ve probably heard this- or maybe even said it- a few times. The reasons people give for saying it tend to boil down to two basic ideas: that both people are parents of the potential child and so both should have a say, and that it can be incredibly hurtful to men who want to be parents, if their partners abort the pregnancy that they still want.

Both of those points refer to very real, significant things, and it’s only natural to empathise with people in that situation. However, I’m going to argue that, despite these, there should be no obligation on the part of a pregnant person to consult with, or even inform, their partner about their intent to terminate a pregnancy.

We Don’t Have The Right To Become Parents

Nobody- not you, not me, not your ma- has the right to be someone’s parent. We have the right to act, with consenting others, in ways that we hope will result in becoming parents. We can decide that we’d like to have kids, we can have oodles of unprotected PIV with people who’d like to have kids with us, we can- if we can afford it- have all kinds of fertility treatments to make pregnancy more likely, and, depending on our state’s regulations, we can seek to foster or adopt.

We have the right to seek to be parents. We do not have the inalienable right to become parents. Each of the ways in which we can become parents is subject to gatekeeping and the consent of others. If we wish to foster or adopt, we must satisfy adoption agencies that we are suitable parents (and, yes, in some countries, including my own, this depends on a shedload of factors, such as sexual orientation of parents, that are unfair, irrelevant and discriminatory). If we want to be biological parents? We need someone else’s consent for that, too, especially if we’re not equipped with a fully-functioning uterus to do the gestating in.

You could say that this isn’t fair. You would be right. It’s not fair that there are many, many people in the world who would love to have kids and who would make amazing parents who’ll never get to do that. But if something requires the consent of someone else to happen, and if for any reason, no matter how arbitrary, they do not grant or withdraw that consent? It doesn’t happen.

It’s not fair. But the alternative is far, far less fair.

Feelings vs Bodily Autonomy

Let’s go over one of the two major reasons given above for why partners of pregnant people should have a say in whether an abortion happens: that it can be incredibly hurtful to men who want to be parents, if their partners abort the pregnancy that they still want.

It can.

It’s not tough, really, to put yourself in the shoes of someone in this situation, even if it’s something you haven’t experienced. You want to be a parent- you long to be a parent. Hearing that your partner is pregnant, you’re overjoyed. All of the things you’ve dreamed of about being someone’s mum or someone’s dad suddenly seem real, because there’s a potential future person right there, growing. In your mind they’re already taking their first steps, you’re already teaching them all about dinosaurs and how to cycle their first bike and they’re already becoming a Nobel prize winning Olympic gymnast astronaut who never, ever forgets to call home. And in your mind they already have your eyes and your partner’s smile and they sit in that funny way all of your cousins do. And then? Your partner says that it’s not going to happen. And you? You’re expected to hold their goddamn hand through it all, and it hurts.

Yeah. I can imagine that hurting. I can imagine that tearing me apart. I can imagine it being genuinely, honest-to-goodness traumatic.

But a thing hurting our feelings- even in a way that tears us apart and leaves us traumatised and scarred- doesn’t mean that we have the right to infringe on someone else’s bodily autonomy.

Taking a moment to make a comparison- and understanding that all comparisons are incomplete- let’s liken this to breakups. Breakups and divorces can be amicable, they can be painful, or they can be gut-wrenchingly horrible. We all know people who’ve suffered for months or years after the particularly unpleasant ending of a relationship. It’s a horrible thing, it really is, and my heart goes out to people enduring it.

And yet, even with that, we understand that the right of a person to leave a relationship trumps the desire of another to continue it. We know that there is no obligation on the part of a dumper to let the dumpee attempt to change their mind and to take their (real, hurt) feelings into account when deciding whether or not to end a relationship. And y’know what else we know? That a lot of the time that would be a terrible idea.

We choose who to be partnered with.

Relationships aren’t even a binary proposition- there are countless shades of grey between strangers and partners. There’s no shade of grey between pregnant and not-pregnant. We each have the sovereign right to decide what we are willing to have happen inside our own bodies. We have the right to choose the people who we talk and consult with about that decision. And we have the right to make that decision on our own.

When it comes to abortion, our right to choose to carry a pregnancy to term or to terminate does not exist because of our genetic relationship to the fetus inside us- forcing a surrogate mother, say, to carry to term is abhorrent. Our right to choose exists solely because the pregnancy is in our body, is part of our body, sharing our blood, our food, water and oxygen. The right to choose is, at the end of the day, nothing to do with pregnancy. Pregnancy is simply a time when that right is contested. The right to choose is about our right to self-determination, nothing more.

Our desire for a certain outcome- and our desire to advocate for that outcome- can never trump another person’s right to self-determination.

She Has The Final Say, But..

People often counter what I’ve said earlier with what I like to call “She Has The Final Say, But..“. They acknowledge that a pregnant person has the right to make the decision over whether to terminate, but stress that she should have a moral obligation to, at the very least, talk to her partner.

She has the final say, but she should hear him out. She has the final say, but having a conversation is the only decent thing to do. She has the final say, but she should take his feelings into account. She has the final say, but..

She has the final say, but..” is nothing more than an attempt to give one person’s desires priority over another’s rights. So here’s the question I can’t but ask: why are we talking about this again? If my rights trump your desires regarding me (and vice-versa), then why are we getting sidetracked from a conversation about rights with a plea to think about what rights others would, or would not, like us to exercise?

It’s difficult to see “She has the final say, but..” as anything other than a last-ditch effort to get someone to change her mind and influence her decision. What it betrays, at heart, is where a person’s empathy lies- in this case, not with the pregnant person, but with her partner. They’re not thinking about how she would feel, or how feeling obligated to have the conversation could make a potentially difficult situation that much harder. They’re thinking solely about how her partner might feel. And also? They’re betraying a profound mistrust of women’s ability to make the decisions we need to make, in the ways that are best for us.

Either She Will, Or She Won’t.

When people plead with women to discuss our reproductive choices with the men in our lives, they do so with certain assumptions in mind. When you challenge those assumptions, the answer is that of course they weren’t talking about those situations.

When people say that women discussing our abortions with our partners is, as one person said to me last week, the “only decent thing to do”, they’re thinking of a particular kind of woman, and a particular kind of partner. They’re not thinking of women in abusive relationships, or women who aren’t in relationships at all. They’re not thinking- a surprise really, given a lot of the other rhetoric about abortion- about women who mightn’t be sure of who the father of the fetus is. They’re not thinking of relationships that, for one reason or another, might be intimate in some ways but not others. There’s no talk of, say, the person I dated who told me once that if I ever had an abortion we’d never speak again. Or of the person who longed for a child, but who also regularly spent days on end unable to leave the house. The image is always of women in loving, mutually supportive relationships who for no particular reason decide not to inform their partners that they’re pregnant and planning to terminate.

That idea? Is frankly ridiculous. If people are in a relationship where conversations on abortion would be welcome, where they feel safe and comfortable sharing intimate details with each other, and where they’ll support each other? They’ll talk about it. The pregnant person will talk about it. If, however, her partner is not someone she feels safe sharing with? Or if they’re simply not the person she thinks to go to, if there’s someone else who she is closer to?

That’s why, at the end of the day, the question of whether pregnant people “should” discuss their plans to have abortions- or not- with their partners is a meaningless one. If they have the kind of relationship where they talk about those things, then they will, and admonitions to do so are unnecessary. If they don’t? Then it’s nothing more than shaming women into doing something contrary to their best interests, in a situation which could be hurtful at best and dangerous at worst.

Which is why we say “trust women”.

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46 thoughts on “Should “potential fathers” have any say in abortion?

  1. I am and always have been pro-choice. I drive by the protesters outside our local Planned Parenthood and scream things out my window at them, things like “Quit harassing women” and “Keep your religion out of my law”.

    But I am guilty of saying exactly what you call out here. And I realize, on reading the last few paragraphs, not only how wrong I have been, but why it’s been wrong. Forehead slap Of course if it was safe for them to talk about, they would already be talking about it, and if they aren’t talking, there’s a reason. Thanks for the cismale privilege wake-up call.

  2. Thank you for writing this. As always, you have amazing things to say that put what I’m thinking into solid, legible sense.

    I have always been opposed to the argument that that potential fathers should have a say in whether a woman aborts or not. If the one carrying the fetus chooses to abort, that is their decision and no one else’s. Period.

    • The woman did not get pregnant by herself. If a man can prove he is financially able,and the mother wants no part of the baby,why should he not have the chance to be a dad?

      The key thing here is whether he can gestate it.

    • I get it she didnt feel safe sharing the news with the partner but she feels safe screwing him around. Double standards, if father want to be out of parent hood he cant he had to pay the expenses but women can opt out of parenthood without even informing the father. Good work hands off to you guys, I guess in USA this is now the case of role reversal in old times and in some countries still it was men who control and abuse women with their mysognistic laws and society norms, now its the other way around, its still mysogynism but instead of women now men are victims.

    • All this talk about body rights, she did get pragnent by herself isnt she? And what about emotional harm to the father?

      • Have you actually read the place in the post where I dealt with that? Because it looks to me like you’re replying to a post you didn’t bother to read. How profoundly rude of you.

        However, here’s a nice equation for you:

        emotional harm < emotional harm + physical harm + being forced to give up your right to your own body and life.

    • If a man can prove he is financially able,and the mother wants no part of the baby,why should he not have the chance to be a dad?

      Get a surrogate.

    • News Flash! You completely missed the point of the article. The myth is that men get to dictate what a woman does with her own body, regardless of who would be raising the baby. I believe with every fibre of my being that men can be great dads, as much as I believe women can be crappy mothers. Neither sex has the monopoly on good parenting. But for those of us that live in the real world, women do, and forever will have the monopoly on having a uterus, and NO ONE should have the right to tell her what she should do with it.

  3. I’m pretty sure I agree with everything written here. No ifs, no buts, your body, your choice.
    But bodily autonomy is for everyone, not just women as I’m sure you’ll agree.
    So Alice finds herself pregnant. She can have a baby, have an abortion, drink and smoke and have a less healthy baby, or whatever she wants, and there’s not a damn thing Bob (the potential father) or anyone else can do to stop her.
    In this hypothetical, though, Alice talks to Bob – which I think is a good thing even if not mandatory – and Bob agrees to pay for an abortion. However, Alice doesn’t want an abortion, she wants a baby. Bob tells her that he does not want or intend to use his body to provide for a child for the next 18 years. He offers her the cash value of an abortion and states that that will be the end of his involvement, financial or personal, with any potential child. Does Bob have the right to do this? And if not, why not?

    • That’s an interesting issue- and one I have a vague memory of talking about with you before, but I’m pretty sure there were pints involved. I do think that it’s a separate thing entirely, though- what you’re talking about there is legal or financial autonomy, not bodily. Abortion is about bodily autonomy because it is to do with the right of someone to determine what happens inside their body. Your equating of that to Bob “using his body to provide for the child” is a bit of a false equivalence.

      So yes, that is an issue that needs talking about. But it’s one of how we define family, what support we as a state/society give to parents, and how we define parenthood, which are all great big knotty issues that I figure deserve a post/article or six of their own.

    • See, that’s exactly the problem I end up with too. If he can’t force her to become a parent, if in fact his feelings should have no bearing on her decision (which I agree they shouldn’t), then what does the reciprocal look like? Because if she has the right not to be a parent, then so does he. And if he has no inalienable right TO be a parent, then neither does she.

      I still agree with the conclusion, that there should be no moral or legal obligation to consult him, but it raises some pretty sticky questions about sort of the opposite assumptions of the partners’ respective wishes.

      • So if he chooses to not be a father he now has the right to force her to undergo a medical procedure against her will? Because that is the issue here, not his wallet because she pays too. She’s the one working, taking care of the child, going through diapers, teething,doctor visits, illnesses, potty training, homework, first crushes, broken hearts, learning to drive et al, usually while working an outside job herself. He’s being made to give a portion of his income to feed, clothe and shelter his DNA sprog.

    • No.

      The point when a man can decide whether or not to have a child comes to a close (pardon the pun) the moment sperm enters the vagina. Women get a slightly longer time frame to make that decision. They also have to pass a small bowling ball sized object and have their body stretched and shifted about for several months.

      Honestly, if this was a union negotiation the amalgamated union of women would be giving their union leaders some serious shit. “We get two to three extra months to make up our minds and for that we have to do what and then do WHAT?!”

      Now obviously if a woman manages to steal some sperm somehow, that’s a different kettle with some rape and or sexual-assault fish in it. He can’t force her to get an abortion, but in my opinion rapists should have zero say in about kids resulting from a rape, so if he wants to give the kid up for adoption, that’s what happens.

  4. I think this is a black and white issue. The partner’s role must necessarily be wholly defined by the wishes of the pregnant woman. That can appear harsh as the sperm donor and/or other parent (regardless of their wishes) may only get a say after a birth has taken place, but there is no alternative. I’m not prepared to cede my desire to have the right to 100% physical integrity so I can’t expect anyone else to give up that right.

  5. A wonderful piece, Aoife, and thanks for writing it up.

    I’ve thought about this issue a lot and discussed it at length on various forums and in real life. People who are anti-abortion often cite the father’s feelings and “rights” when it comes to abortion and very rarely accept that bodily autonomy trumps the father’s feelings.

    The father carries none of the risk of pregnancy. We are not allowed to put people at risk without their consent in other areas of life. Why should it be any different in relation to pregnancy?

    People who are resistant to the idea of a woman retaining bodily autonomy, even when pregnant, are often silenced when asked what they would do/think if they were forced to donate a kidney or bone marrow or even blood against their consent, even if it would save the life of a dying child. Even if they are a perfect kidney match and there’s no one else who comes close and the child will surely die without the kidney, the person is still under no obligation to give it up. Not only that, they will not be judged for allowed a child to die by retaining their own bodily autonomy.

    No one can be forced against their will to do anything with their bodies that they do not consent to. This includes the donation of blood/organs. It is no different with pregnancy.

  6. No.

    I was going to stop there, but will say a bit more. Many women will discuss it with their partners, but in the end, I hope we reach a place in society where people recognise it is her call in the end.

  7. Reblogged this on Tiffany's Non-Blog and commented:

    I really like the strong theme of personal sovereignty running through this piece. It’s well-written and quite sensible. I almost didn’t read it, because to me the title made it seem to be a truth so painfully self-evident to anyone with half a functioning brain cell that there couldn’t be anything original in it. I was so pleasantly surprised.

    However I must sympathize with commenters who bring up the deadbeat sperm donor question. If anyone has a right to not become a parent (which I think is a bold and beautiful notion!), it does leave many women in a tricky situation with men who sleep with them then all of a sudden get cold feet and skip town when she declares that she’s pregnant. I think many feminists (and probably most people other than deadbeat sperm donors) would object to that! However of course by your reasoning the man is completely within his rights and ought not to be questioned (provided the sexual contact was consensual). I think it definitely ought to make us question how we interpret a male’s role in sexual contact, whether he has any moral or natural obligation to the fate or health of the female he impregnates. It would be quite easy to get into a relationship on the pretense of staying with the partner in the event pregnancy might occur then suddenly ditch her when it does occur, and I just don’t know how I feel about that. I want to respect his autonomy. I really do. But something about this situation makes me question how we’re approaching the subject. Perhaps another essay is in order to further sort out the issue!

  8. Hey Aoife,

    I absolutely agree with what you have said here, my following questions are not attempts to poke holes in your article or even express my own views. I’m just curious as to what you think about them.

    What would you think about a situation where a biological father wants an abortion but the biological mother does not? (I noticed this has already been brought up in the comments, so do not actually expect an answer. I know there is a different between ethical and legal issues. Legally if a child is born the bio-pops will have legal and financial responsibilities, even if he voted abortion. I’m just not sure how I feel about it ethically.)

    Anyway good article, well written, nice to read!

  9. I’ve noticed that people seem to be a lot more insistent on the idea that the woman should yield to her partner’s demands if SHE wants the abortion. If he did and she ignored him, a lot more people would be fine with it. Which is interesting – if you think input should be required, shouldn’t be either way?

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  11. Reblogged this on moxie supper and commented:

    Choice matters! –getting pregnant was “chosen” for me by a rapist! –I didn’t have that child when I was sixteen!! –rapist was 25! –never, never spoke to me! –had a third trimester saline-induced abortion when I was 16, became pregnant when I was 15, was left frigid and silent for many, many years….. Didn’t have a pregnancy that I wanted till I was 37 and living in Massachusetts! –child of a wonderful sperm donor! –took that long and many difficulties including a (biologically) childless marriage, but I was so ready for,this pregnancy! –did everything to prepare for this child, even before I became pregnant! –and I’m so glad that I did!

  12. Yeek, horrified by the number of folks arguing that ‘financial bondage’ is a reason guys should be able to have a say in whether a woman has an abortion or not. Guys DO have a say. They get to choose not to stick their d*ck in a woman’s vagina in the first place. Logically that is not a terribly complicated concept, is it?

    Abstinence is a 100% reliable way of not becoming a father. Perfectly responsible and acceptable choice. I am willing to guarantee that you will never have to pay child support to your own right hand.

    Seriously. Two people choose to take a risk, the financial responsibility for that gets shared. Not a hard concept. Bodily autonomy and personal sovereignty does NOT trump one’s obligation to take responsibility for the consequences of one’s own decisions, particularly at the cost of a child’s quality of life. (NB. Child Support is called Child Support because it is for SUPPORTING THE CHILD. The innocent being you carelessly brought into being.) The child did not ask to be conceived or born and does not deserve to suffer a reduced quality of life because someone doesn’t feel like admitting they made the decision that brought them into existence.

    This is so important it needs restating in several ways and in big letters: IF YOU ARE HAVING PENETRATIVE SEX, AT ALL, THEN YOU ARE TRYING TO GET SOMEBODY PREGNANT. Biologically speaking, that is exactly what you are doing. You might not be trying very hard, you might be trying to minimise the risk, but biologically, if a penis is going into a vagina, it is because bodies want to make babies. If you want to be absolutely 100% certain that it won’t result in babies, and you’re not willing to face the consequences if or when it does, then don’t do it at all. Nobody has telepathic powers controlling their fertility. Accidents happen. Accidents happen a lot. If you can’t deal with it, and that includes paying the bills, then don’t do it.

    I facepalm at the world.

    I’m anti abortion. (I mean who the hell is pro abortion, really?) But I’m also pro choice. I’m looking forward to the day when we have artificial wombs so that a woman’s bodily integrity need no longer be the deciding factor as to whether a foetus gets to continue into a child. But til that day, yeah it’s the woman’s decision. And in the meantime I’ve gotten myself operated on, as it was the only way of making sure that only I can decide about my fertility. Not my partners, not my rapist, not my government, not anyone else who happens to feel they have a right over my body, only me.

    • Does this seem like a bad argument against abortion rights?
      “Abstinence is a 100% reliable way of not becoming pregnant. Perfectly responsible and acceptable choice. I am willing to guarantee that you will never get pregnant by your own right hand.”

      If you think it is, I am sure you won’t have to work very hard to understand why the following is equally bad:
      “Abstinence is a 100% reliable way of not becoming a father. Perfectly responsible and acceptable choice. I am willing to guarantee that you will never have to pay child support to your own right hand.”

      ” IF YOU ARE HAVING PENETRATIVE SEX, AT ALL, THEN YOU ARE TRYING TO GET PREGNANT. Biologically speaking, that is exactly what you are doing. You might not be trying very hard, you might be trying to minimise the risk, but biologically, if a penis is going into a vagina, it is because bodies want to make babies. If you want to be absolutely 100% certain that it won’t result in babies, and you’re not willing to face the consequences if or when it does, then don’t do it at all.”

      Note: The only thing I changed in the quote above was to remove the word ‘somebody’ in the first sentence. It is otherwise verbatim. This could be presented as an argument against the legalisation of abortion. It would be just as terrible an argument in that context as it is the context above.

      I won’t belabour point further as it deals with an off-topic subject. I was just a little astonished that this argument had met no resistance at all.

  13. Great post. I’d like to see this circulated more widely. When I got to the end, it reminded me of the states with the law that girls of a certain age must tell their parents or get parental permission….another good comparison: what if her parents want to be grandparents? Most people would think it’s absurd to say the girl ought to have a baby to give her parents a grandchild. Not so different, really.

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  15. “There’s no talk of, say, the person I dated who told me once that if I ever had an abortion we’d never speak again.”

    Wow. That’s a big, red warning light right there!

  16. This was amazing. I’d really love to see a society where nobody got hooked for financial support of a child he/she didn’t want to parent, but you’re totally right. Bodily rights trump financial concerns. And we can fix the dysfunction that leads to people being forced to pay for kids they didn’t want to have–that’s just a societal problem and those are definitely fixable, as many countries are discovering now, but there’ll never be a magical argument that makes it even a little bit okay to force someone to gestate against her will and endure a violation of her personal body against her consent. Self-ownership is the most important right there is, and it is not at all negotiable no matter what that insufferable jerkweed Ross Douthat thinks (did you know he actually tried to negotiate with women’s bodily rights not long ago in the NYT? “Give us conservative Christians a ban on voluntary abortions and we’ll in turn give you living-wage jobs!” I have no words for how disgusted I felt reading that).

    Thank you for writing this. Thank you, thank you.

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  18. When people dont want to listen they just do what above commenter said, she remind me of man who had ten children, and he was irrosponsible father, and you know what he said the same thing i have right to have my child whether my wife want it or not, now its the you people are sayingits women right to havechild whether he want it or not. How oppresed now beome opressors, times have changed.

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  20. Should women have bodily autonomy. In principle yes. In most practical cases, yes. There is a point in most pregnacies where the fetus/baby becomes viable before birth actually occurs. Excluding medically necessary situations, the baby is, in my opinion, a person at this point, capable of living without the mother’s direct support. Should the baby’s bodily autonomy not be considered at this stage?

    In all other cases, her body, her choice.

    As to the idea that women can go and have abortions without informing their partner. Well, yes, they can do this (ignoring current legal issues wth abotion itself) but that doesn’t necessarily make it morally ok. A man has autonomy over his body too. If a man is thinking of having a vasectomy shouldn’t he tell his wife/partner? Maybe she wants kids. Maybe she can convince him not to have the procedure. Fair play to her if she can. You could make the same bad argument about it being his body. Yes, he has all the rights where his body is concerned. That doesn’t automatically make him morally right. His wife has a moral right to know. It affects them as a couple.

    The idea that we should just “trust women” is ridiculous. The same can be said of any group in almost any situation. It isn’t about trust, it is about competing interests.

    If I was with someone who was ideologically vegetarian and who considered eating meat a major moral issue. Would it be ok for me to go off and have steak and just not mention it? It is my right to consume what foods I will. Most people can very easily understand the moral imperative to let the person you are with know the things that you do, especially when they are things the other person feels strongly about.
    A woman knows her partner really doesn’t want kids but he is strongly pro-life. Despite thier best efforts, she gets pregnant. She thinks it would just be easier to get an abortion and not say anthing. She’s probably right. She is also ignoring her partner’s right to choose who they are with.

    Everyone tries to influence their partner in ways they think is for the their good, their partner’s good or the couple’s good. There is nothing wrong with that. People do have their minds changed. Is there something special about pregnancy and abortion that discussing it or trying to change someone’s mind is tantamount to abuse or somehow a denial of bodily autonomy?

    Taking this view, talking a sucidal person down off a ledge is not being sufficiently respectful to their bodily autonomy.

    • The special thing about pregnancy and abortion is that it happens inside a person’s body.

      Yes, a person should have the right to get a vasectomy without needing their partner’s go-ahead. Because it’s their body.

      That’s not a ‘bad argument’, unless you think that other people’s hurt feelings trump my right to basic bodily integrity?

      • You are conflating rights vs morality.

        “Yes, a person should have the right to get a vasectomy without needing their partner’s go-ahead. ”
        This is not in dispute. I am wondering if you even read my post. You are straw-manning me. Did I suggest or even hint at “needing their partner’s go-ahead”?
        I would have thought this was fairly clear:
        “Yes, he has all the rights where his body is concerned. That doesn’t automatically make him morally right. His wife has a moral right to know. It affects them as a couple.”

        Should they discuss it with their partner. I would say, yes they absolutely should. It is indisputable that it affects both people in the relationship.

        “That’s not a ‘bad argument’, unless you think that other people’s hurt feelings trump my right to basic bodily integrity?”
        I don’t think this. I didn’t insinuate, intimate or hint at this.

        It is still a bad argument.

        If it isn’t clear, I am talking about the suggestion that the only reason she wouldn’t discuss it is becasue her partner is dangerous or abusive. The whole “trust women” thing. You are essentially arguing that women always make good choices or that no other perspective but hers matters at all.

        • I am not arguing that women always make good choices.

          I am arguing- no, I am stating- that when it comes to a person’s basic right to bodily autonomy, their will trumps anyone else’s.

          And yes, by disagreeing with me, you are insinuating, intimating, hinting, and flat-out arguing that what relationships I am in dictate my right to my own body.

          Pregnancy isn’t about relationships. Pregnancy is about something growing in a human’s body, and choice is about whether they get to decide what to do with that or not.

          Also, don’t tell me that I have a “moral obligation” to discuss my medical decisions with someone because we fucked. There is nothing moral about requiring that.

          • “I am not arguing that women always make good choices.”
            I would say tha was heavily implied.

            I am arguing- no, I am stating- that when it comes to a person’s basic right to bodily autonomy, their will trumps anyone else’s.
            For the last time. I agree. This is not in dispute.

            “And yes, by disagreeing with me, you are insinuating, intimating, hinting, and flat-out arguing that what relationships I am in dictate my right to my own body.”
            How you can still be misunderstanding the point is baffling. Show me where I even hinted that I think your rights should be curtailed at all or that there should be some kind of legal requirement for disclosure.

            Pregnancy isn’t about relationships. Pregnancy is about something growing in a human’s body, and choice is about whether they get to decide what to do with that or not.
            If only the world were really this black and white. All moral actions would be so simple. I was talking about abortion in the context of at least some form of relationship. To suggest that pregnancies in that context are not relevant to a relationship is facile.

            Also, don’t tell me that I have a “moral obligation” to discuss my medical decisions with someone because we fucked. There is nothing moral about requiring that.
            Yes, that is what I was arguing for, a moral obligation on the back of a one-night stand, which seems to be the insinuation. As I can’t be confident that it will be understood, I will point out that my previous sentence was sarcastic.

  21. A woman has the right to end a pregnancy she doesn’t want to carry to term or should have at any rate.

    Ireland’s backward abortion legislation is an embarrasment. For the sake of argument, let’s assume it is a legal option.

    So if a woman wants to get an abortion for revenge, she can. You would have the right to think that she is a horrible, nasty person but not to prevent the abortion. All you could do with people like that is get as far away from them as possible.

    I’d imagine that revenge is an exceedingly rare motivation for abortion.

  22. I fully agree with the case made in the original post.

    I fully disagree with the individual who has posted under the following pseudonyms:
    1. arizona jack
    2. dave bowen
    3. Jacob A Eagleshield
    4. straightalker / straighttalker / straight talker
    5. jeff

    The changing identities are not accidental, since on February 5, 2014 at 22:21, “straight talker” said “I must sympathize with Arizona Jack.” That is intellectually dishonest use of a sockpuppet. Even if your identical gravatars didn’t give you away, your consistent mistreatment of the common comma would. Aoife should also be able to see what IP address you posted from.

    • You’re entirely correct, on all accounts. Thanks for the heads-up- I’ve been lucky until now to never have issues with sockpuppets on the blog, so it’s not something I was looking out for. Guess that’s changed :(

  23. arizona jack/dave bowen/Jacob A Eagleshield/ straightalker / straighttalker / straight talker/ jeff? Sockpuppetry AND arguing with yourself is some serious shenanigans. You just lost your commenting privileges, chicken.

  24. Pingback: Femmostroppo Reader 29th March 2014

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