In an unprecedented move, a Uruguay court allowed a father to protect his unborn child’s life by prohibiting the mother from having an abortion.
The man’s ex-girlfriend is 8 weeks pregnant and wants an abortion; he recently petitioned a court to protect their child’s life by stopping the woman from getting an abortion, AFP reports. Abortions are legal up until 12 weeks in Uruguay.
Federico Arregui, the man’s lawyer, told Uruguay reporters this week that the man would like to raise the child “independently of whether the mother was willing to fulfill her role.”
The Mercedes, Uruguay court ruled in the man’s favor; it also said the woman did not fulfill a reporting requirement to her doctors in order to have the abortion, according to the report.
News outlets say the decision is unprecedented, and the woman plans to appeal.
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Such a decision would be unheard of in the United States. Fathers do not have any legal rights to protect their unborn children from abortion. Various state laws requiring that a father be notified or given a say in an abortion decision have been struck down by U.S. courts.
Not long after Roe v. Wade, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in the Planned Parenthood v. Danforth case that spousal consent statutes are unconstitutional if the statutes allow the husband to unilaterally prohibit the abortion in the first trimester. In a subsequent case, Coe v. Gerstein, the high court extended that decision to a spousal consent law regardless of the stage of the woman’s pregnancy.
Then, in the 1992 decision Planned Parenthood v. Casey, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a law requiring that a married woman notify her husband of her plans to have an abortion prior to it taking place.
Pro-lifers think fathers deserve the chance to protect their unborn child’s life; and LifeNews and other pro-life groups occasionally hear from heartbroken fathers who wanted to save their unborn babies from abortion and raise them, but had no legal right to do so.