Friday, July 10, 2015

Should Men Be Able to Back Out of Pregnancy? [Clinton Wilcox]

I'd like to take a moment to respond to a meme that I have seen floating around Facebook:

Essentially, this meme is stating that if women can't back out of pregnancy, then men shouldn't be able to, either. This is one of those arguments that pro-choice people should be able to immediately recognize as a bad argument, but it still gets traction anyway.

The reality is that already, men can't back out of pregnancy. There are child support laws which require a man, if he does not want to stick around, to provide financially for his child. In fact, since in some cases the law recognizes that the needs and rights of the child outweigh the desires of the parents, there have been cases in which a father, who clearly did not want to be a father and was not aware his sperm had been stolen and used to conceive a child, was still legally required to pay child support.

This meme wants to paint pro-life people as inconsistent, but any pro-life advocate worth his/her weight in gold-pressed latinum would agree that men should not able to back out of pregnancy, any more than women should be able to. Perhaps they mean that a man shouldn't even be able to leave the relationship, since the woman can't leave. However, this ignores two key aspects: first, if the woman backs out, she kills her child. Second, the woman can gift her child to a loving family through adoption, so by not aborting she is not required to raise the child herself.

However, I do think that, even though we have child support laws, a man is doing something morally wrong if he impregnates a woman and leaves her. He needs to be a man and take responsibility for his actions, to say nothing of the fact that a sizable number of women likely would not abort if they have the support of their boyfriend. Despite the desires of whoever created this meme, it actually underscores the inconsistency of legalized abortion: a woman can back out of her pregnancy but a man can't. A woman can have her child killed but if she decides to have the child, the man must stick around or pay tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars over 18 years while his child grows.

So while this meme attempts to paint pro-life people in an inconsistent light, I don't know of any pro-life advocates who would say that a man should not take responsibility for the child that he creates. But since the situation we have now is that a man can't back out of a pregnancy because the child's needs and rights must be respected, maybe we should think twice about whether or not a woman should be able to back out of one.


  1. Looking at the this meme, the recent cultural developments around gender and marriage, even if I doubt that God has left this country, I have no doubt that the brains of a vast majority of people has left this country.

  2. A man being forced to pay child support is hardly on par with a woman being forced to gestate a child. Paying extra money won't result in morning sickness, weight-gain, postpartum depression, or any of the many complications that might arise from a pregnancy. But even so, the idea that we have 100% ownership of our bodies is ridiculous. Men can be drafted, and if necessarily be forced to kill for their country. So I ask, if there is this unconditional right to control your own body, why can't men just burn their draft cards and say, "my body, my choice"?

    1. Men can burn their draft cards, they can also dodge the draft by leaving the country, they can also be conscicentious objectors. You do bring up a good point, there should be a universal draft


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