Even though I believe in equal rights based on gender, this is a tricky issue in that the area of contention is INSIDE the woman’s body.
At first glance I wanted to say YES. Why shouldn’t men and women have equal say in abortion? Isn’t this a new age equal rights where our age, skin color, religion, sex, and even sexual orientation are becoming protected against discrimination? But then I thought a little harder about this question from the point of view of a woman.
If I was a pregnant woman (of which I am neither) in a world where mothers and fathers to be each have 50% say as to whether or not an abortion takes place how would you deal with a tie? If the father and mother disagree; one wants to keep the baby and the other wants to abort, would you solve the dispute with a tie-breaking coin toss? Obviously not. The thought of me being a pregnant woman who wants to keep a child, and to be told that legally I have to get an abortion because I lost a coin toss really got my blood boiling. Likewise; to be forced into carrying a baby for nine months because I made one mistake one night, and lost the same coin toss to the father seems like madness.
So what about a slight majority vote for the mother? Say, 51% for the mother and 49% for the father? That didn’t sound too bad to me. Granted, when only two people have a vote and the mother always has the final say, the father effectively has no vote at all, but that is not entirely true. it would require mothers who are pregnant to inform the father. I know it does not sound like much to a lot of you, but it really is a huge deal which would allow some currently non-existent legal protections for fathers.
So my answer to the question as to whether the father should be able to force an abortion to happen or pregnancy to continue is NO.
BUT, with some conditions.
1) The father MUST be informed.
2) Failure to inform the father in a reasonable enough amount of time to give him the option to request she get an abortion waves her right to support from the father.
3) If the father requests she get an abortion and she chooses to carry the baby to term, the father can permanently wave all of his paternal, and custodial rights to the child while simultaneously waving the mothers right to support from the father.
4) If the mother wants to have an abortion, but the father is willing to keep and raise the baby alone, they can come to an agreement in which she continues the pregnancy. In this agreement the mother would permanently wave all of her maternal, and custodial rights to the child, and the father would simultaneously wave his right to support from the mother.
These four caveats would effectively give fathers a say in the abortion process, while never taking the final decision out of the mother’s hands. Also this would equalize the responsibility gap between men and women in child rearing by single parents.
I know this answer will anger people on both sides of the argument, but if you can think of any other compromise that would be more fair to both parents; i’m all ears.