Monday, August 16, 2010

Pro Life vs Pro Choice: Is there a role for the father?

I’ve gone back and forth on whether or not I should even post on this issue. For one, it is such a controversial issue that usually stamps out  any intellectual conversation.  Also, it is family business, and even though the subjects are anonymous, I still felt a LITTLE guilty putting their business on the Internet.

Be that as it may, the issue is an interesting issue. I’m curious to see where people stand on the issue. Hopefully, if any conversation comes from this, it doesn’t get side tracked…

A couple of weeks ago I attended a Family reunion (which has its OWN post coming…). As I’m sure with many families, there was a certain level of “family gossip" going around. Usually I try my best to avoid it, but this issue I found interesting.

I have a male cousin, mid forties and middle income. He's not married, but he does have a long time girlfriend with two kids and one other child from a past relationship (three kids total-prior to his latest news). Apparently, sometime within the last year I assume, a woman from his past sued him for back child support for a fourth child that he didn't even know existed until recently. Now, my cousin says that he knows the woman and acknowledges their past relationship. He even knew of the pregnancy. According to him, he and the young lady agreed to terminate the pregnancy. Subsequently, their relationship ended, and they both went on with their lives. Needless to say, this “NEW” revelation took him and his family by surprise.

My cousin shouldn’t be confused with a Saint, but having children did put his life on “the right path.”  He worked hard for one of the Big Three in Detroit, and has always taken care of his children. I would imagine that if his past with this young lady was different, he would’ve been more than capable of being a loving father to the "new" child.  However, this did shake him up. I assume more so since he was laid off from his job, (which is no excuse, a father must ALWAYS provide!)

Now mind you, this is family “gossip” so I don’t have all the facts, but HIS mother (my Aunt) did ask some questions that I thought were provoking. What are HIS rights? We know there is a debate over choice vs life, but is there any room in that debate for the father? If NO, why not? Should there be? Is the father’s role only restricted to AFTER the birth of the child? Does the father have any say in what will be a financial obligation to him?  

It was his understanding the pregnancy would end.  That's what they agreed too.  However, she changed her mind.  Without his knowledge or feedback, now he is being sued for back support. 

Should he have ANY input when it comes to abortions or is it solely up to the woman and whatever her choice, he HAS to be ready to provide support?  Does the initial "agreement" mean anything?

Just curious to see what you all at the UP thought.

Thanks!
The Fed
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