What You Should Know About Abortion and Fathers’ Rights

Fathers’ Rights and AbortionWhen discussing abortion, the topic often revolves around the rights of the woman and the unborn child. With that being said, it is important to also note that during family planning decisions that involve abortion, the father’s rights need to be considered as well. The father to an unborn child may be opposed to the mother’s decision to terminate the pregnancy, or on the flip side, he may not want to be a father and may oppose the mother’s decision to bring the pregnancy to term. Regardless of the case, it is not uncommon for the father’s rights to be considered secondary to the rights of the mother and the child.

Consent to Abortion

Should a male’s pregnant partner wish to seek an abortion, the male’s consent is not required by law. A woman may make the choice to terminate a pregnancy, even if the alleged father objects to the procedure. The reasoning behind this is twofold, based on the woman’s right to medical privacy and the fact of the female body being more directly affected by the pregnancy. During the Supreme Court Case of Planned Parenthood vs. Danforth, the court ruled that requiring a father’s consent to having an abortion was unconstitutional since a male’s refusal would essentially veto the woman’s right to choose.

Right to be Notified

While a male’s consent to having the abortion is not required, there have been questions about whether or not the alleged father has a right under law to be notified that an abortion is taking place. This issue was addressed in the Supreme Court case of Planned Parenthood vs. Casey, in which the court decided that an alleged father does in fact not have a right to be notified of the abortion of his former sexual partner’s pregnancy. Even though many women discuss the possibility or decision of abortion with their partner or with the child’s alleged father, it is not required for them to do so under the law.

Private Agreements

In cases where the alleged father wishes to keep the child and the mother wants to terminate the pregnancy, it is possible for the couple to come to a private agreement outside of the court room. Should a pregnant woman wish to terminate her pregnancy against the father’s wishes, an attorney has the ability to draft an agreement where the alleged father agrees to pay the medical costs and other expenses of the pregnancy and then obtain full custody of the child after it is born. In some cases, these agreements are enough to help sway the pregnant woman from abortion and take the pregnancy to term.

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14 thoughts on “Fathers’ Rights and Abortion”

  1. HELP! my gf found out she was pregnant days after a huge fight. When she told me she was pregnant, I forgot about the fight and was happy about the baby. First She said she was on the fence about keeping it. I expressed how I wanted us to be a family. Everything was fine for about a week. Then she started having doubts again, which led to another argument. In which she said she just gonna raise the baby on her own, to which I disagreed with. Because I would like to help raise the baby that I helped create through the love I had for it’s mother at the time of conception. Another week and argument later and she says she’s gonna get an abortion. At that point, she was about 8 weeks pregnant. I reached out to her friend to check on her, hoping she changed her mind, and her friend implied (but never stated outright) that she had already gotten the procedure done… I have a very strong feeling that she did not get an abortion and is planning on having my baby, but not letting me be apart of its life. What legal procedures must I take to 1) find out for sure if she is still pregnant or not. And 2) if she is, what I have to do to get joint custody of my child whenever it is born. (“It” because I never found out about a gender). I would love for us to be a family, but if she doesn’t want to be with me, I still want to be involved in my child’s life… BONUS QUESTION: if she told me she got an abortion (knowing I want to keep it), but carried to term anyway, is she legally allowed to put me on child support instead of joint custody?

  2. I’m sorry to hear of your babies passing that must have been difficult for you . If you want to tell the father you can, of course. If he didn’t know you were pregnant or cared to know that you were pregnant then why tell him? If he was involved then I would tell him but if not, then I wouldn’t tell him. Move on. Live a good life.

    1. If I murder your children then flea the country so that I can’t be ‘legally’ prosecuted… would it be reasonable for everyone to tell you that your child never existed and that you just need to ‘move on’? Now let’s say I don’t even need to flee the country. In fact, I can continue living in YOUR home and you’re now homeless.

      Just move on… enjoy your life and a cardboard box because nothing is sacred.

      Well, this is no longer a question of IF. You no longer have a say. I’ll be seeing you Sunday.(Nope, not a threat, a promise)

      1. When I hear this reasoning by a woman or a man; “her body, her choice”, I automatically decide this person has no reasonable explanation why anyone should listen to any decision they make on anything.

        I discussed this at length with an African American woman I work with. While I do not agree with her she gave me what I considered the best response possible under this situation.

        We both claim to be Christian by faith. She said that any woman who considers abortion does not do so flippantly. That she thinks about such a great matter long and hard to come to a decision. She assured me that a Christian woman has long brought God into her discussion through prayer and thought before finally deciding what to do. She believed it is best left between her and her Creator.

        Having lost a potential child through abortion I know first hand how it feels not to be able to save your child. It is one of the most cruel things a woman can do to a man. To think she has a right under the law to make such a decision about your child without any input by you is absolutely outrageous to me. “her body, her choice,” is absolutely meaningless to me. There are three lives at risk here, not one. It’s complicated for sure, but giving rights to the mother while denying rights to the father and the child is barbaric. Why give anyone rights then.

        It is not fair that a woman must go through so much to bring a new life into the world. Why does this make the value of a human baby so precious when a woman wants the unborn child and so meaningless when she does not?

        My faith tells me that God told us he created all life. It tells me that it is indiviidual at conception and wove together by God in its mother’s womb. That even the hairs of our head are numbered. One of the commands given to us is that we do not kill each other. Only God has the right to take a life. Not women alone.

        Human life has meaning. We cannot expect one half of the population to respect us and our bodies if we by law allow the other half the right to throw it away as trash. If we do then how can any of us claim any value whatsoever. All of us are equally valuable from our conception on. Every attribute a person is going to have or be is at the point when the sperm enters the egg.

        I know I could have done a better job of writing this, but hopefully whoever is reading will understand what I wanted to convey. I had hoped to not sound religious, but my faith is a part of me and therefore a part of my opinion in my answer. If as a species all human life is not considered to be worth the same value as anyone else then what does that say about ourselves?

        Each life is individual and each life created has value. WHERE IS THE MEANING TO LIFE IF THERE IS NO VALUE IN SAVING IT.

      2. Well she decided she wanted to have him put his body into hers at the chance of creating another body. So here we are that women have the choice of being irresponsible when engaging the reproduction process, sex. But either way she decides the Man is responsible. Hmm, seems pretty one sided to me.

        If she didnt put her body in a position,knowing the chance of becoming pregnant, she wouldnt be in that pickle. YOU WANT EQUAL RIGHTS. It goes both ways. A child is more likely to be killed or abused by they hands of the mother or partner. A great way to not have to work is having several children and no recurring father. Given they make decent money bam shes paid. One father wont have to pay less because shes already getting support from another…. Men cant trappa woman like that…. Still want to be equal?

  3. why is it okay for her to want to keep the kid and I dont to then hit me up with support of the kid I knew I didn’t want?

    1. Why do mothers feel it is entirely the right of themselves to bring a child into the world when the father doesn’t want the child for financial reasons and then go after the father for support of the child. She chose to keep the child knowing all this financial problem she should then have full financial rights and no one else. All this not serving papers and telling fathers 5 years later they are behind on payments that were not even known to start with is beyond stupid and just shows how much a women doesn’t have the full say in the event of an unwanted pregnancy. I want to take this up to the supreme court.

  4. Regarding abortion and fathers’ rights listed above no mention is made of when a father wishes to terminate his parental rights. Since a woman can arbitrarily terminate her parental obligation by either abortion or adoption under the 5th amendment of the US constitution so should a man. I would like to meet with an attorney to discuss suing California in federal court to stop the state from further penalizing me over my inability to, pay excessively onerous child support.

  5. How would it work out if the couple broke up midway through the pregnancy after deciding not to abort. The father was cut out of the life, the mother delivered the baby and tried to keep it as secret as possible so that she could give the baby up for a private adoption without his permission. Now the state says he has no rights because they have stripped him of them in a county 3 hours away because he didn’t fill out a paper he didn’t realize he was supposed to fill out because he had no idea she was doing this.

    1. I gave birth to twin babies that pass away do I have to let the father know I’m not married and live out of state

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