The abortion debate continues apace with the 40th anniversary of the Roe v Wade decision this year. Advocates for abortion rights celebrate a woman’s right to choose, while pro-life supporters emphasise not only the loss of an unborn baby but also the regrets that haunt many women after having an abortion. Unfortunately, both sides miss an important–and unheard–voice in this debate: The voice of fathers who lose their children to abortion.
Men bear equal responsibility as women for creating life but have no say in whether or not their unborn child will see the light of day. In the name of gender equality, that choice is placed on the shoulders of women alone. This harks back to the days when women who fell pregnant, like my great grandmother, were taken away from home to bear their child in shame whilst fathers-to-be went about their lives with impunity. Over time, the view that pregnancy was a woman’s fault has simply morphed into being a woman’s lifestyle choice.
Those arguing that abortion rights are about reproductive rights also miss a fundamental point. If women alone can choose to end their pregnancy, they also make the choice to continue it. Extending the logic further implies that women alone therefore bear the moral and financial responsibility for raising a child, since it was their choice alone to have that child. However, we as a society reject that position; both parents are responsible for their children’s well-being.
If parenthood is a joint responsibility, then men should have a seat at the table about their child’s fate. Abortion is not just a women’s issue, or just an issue of unborn children–it is a family issue. Losing 55 million lives since the Roe v Wade decision has not impacted 110 million lives, but 165 million lives including the baby, mother and father.
CLICK LIKE IF YOU’RE PRO-LIFE!
In the least, the voices of fathers deserve to be heard except in cases of rape or incest. I for one can attest to the deep scars that abortion can leave behind. Not a day passes when the chilling loss of my unborn child 8 years ago doesn’t come to mind. Words cannot describe the pain of powerlessly watching someone extinguish the life of a child you just recently learned you would have. The law enshrined her right, just as freely as it does for those crossing an empty street. My story is not unique; I am not alone.
LifeNews Note: Tony Perry is an Oklahoma native with Masters degrees in public health and public policy