I haven’t looked closely at the recent story about guys who think Roe v. Wade‘s “reproductive choice” provisions should apply to fathers as well as mothers. I don’t know whether they are serious or they are making an ironic point to show how silly it is to say that only one parent’s wishes are considered legally. After all, if they’re serious, what do they expect to happen in the case of a man who wants his child aborted and the mother doesn’t? In the case of those promoting “Roe v. Wade for men,” they want to be able to have a “financial abortion,” releasing from any financial obligation for children they don’t want.
Jeff Jacoby, however, is taking them at their word and says that real men take responsibility for their children. He says that before Roe, men and women did what it took to avoid the consequences of unintended pregnancy or, if they didn’t, they knew enough to live up to their obligations.
But the old code was swept away by the Sexual Revolution. With the Pill and easy abortion came the illusion of sex without consequences. Pregnancy could be avoided or readily undone. Men didn’t have to marry women they impregnated; women didn’t have to reserve themselves for men who were committed or whose intentions were honorable. With the devaluation of sex came the devaluation of fatherhood.
It also brought about the devaluation and denigration of motherhood. A woman with an unintended, inconvenient, or difficult pregnancy is often assumed to be considering abortion. Jacoby notes that the system as it exists does treat fathers unfairly. The father of an unborn child has almost no rights if the mother decides to abort and complete responsibility if she doesn’t.
The root cause is a crisis of fatherhood