Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Abortions double edge sword

It's election Tuesday in America and while many of us will not be going to the polls several bell weather races are taking place. That is not what I am going to blog about today; rather I am going to take on a more controversial topic that is taking place locally. Last week Dameon Gatson was found guilty by jury in his participation of a murder-for-hire plot against the woman who carried his unborn baby. Shyloe Linde was six month pregnant when the attack took place and gave birth the day after the attack. According to the Star Tribune article Jury Convicts in murder-for-hire plot on October 31, 2009 the prosecution planned to "introduce transcripts of interviews with Petersen in which he said Gatson hired him to punch Linde because Gatson did not want to pay child support."

The transcript is where I want to focus; specifically the issue of child support and the role of the man in the decision of having a baby. When two people decide to engage in the act of intercourse a potential outcome is a child. According to The New York Times, Out-of-Wedlock Birthrates Are Soaring, U.S. Reports, stated that "unmarried mothers gave birth to 4 out of every 10 babies born in the United Sates." NPR reported, Abortion Decline, Despite More Liberal Laws Worldwide, that "the number of abortions worldwide dropped to about 42 million in 2003 from little over 45 million in 1995." Now, I am not one that believes that abortion is an option when two people engage in the act of intercourse at their own free will. At the same token, I do not believe I have the right to impose my belief on abortion onto others and they ought to have the right to decide what is best for them.

That being said, the decision of having an abortion is a weighty one and should not be made in haste. The United States Supreme Court, Roe v. Wade, stipulated that a woman's has a right to terminate a pregnancy. Unfortunately the suit left one aspect of the equation out of the picture; the father. Now, I do not condone the act of Dameon Gatson in hiring a person to inflict harm upon another but I do understand his frustration in being required to pay child support for a child he does not want. Nor does Gatson have a say in the outcome of the act he engaged in with Linde that created the child.

As I said before, if it were me the concept of an abortion is not an option. A double standard is created by unwanted pregnancies. The double standard is that the decision to have or not to have the child is ultimately the females alone. The female can decided to terminate the birth regardless of the wishes of the willing partner. Let's set aside the case above that brings us here as this conversation moves forward. The father of an unwanted pregnancy has no recourse if the female decides to terminate while is expected to support the child if the female has the child. Why is this? Why is the father's voice silent in the decision?

The father is required to support the unwanted child by law yet the father holds no legal standing on the decision to abort. Why cannot the father of the pregnancy not have the same luxury to abort or not to abort the child? For instance, why cannot the father say that he'd like to have the child regardless of how the mother feels? Or why cannot the father be exempt for child support if the mother has the child and he "bows out"?