This is a difficult post for me to write because it’s an issue which is incredibly devisive. It is however, a case of being true to my convictions – so here I go.
I am a father, and I am very proud and indeed, priveleged to be a father. It is not an opportunity afforded to everyone. I am grateful for my daughter and all the ways that she makes me smile and brings joy and love to my life.
What would my life be if my wife had decided she didn’t want the baby?
The idea never crossed her mind (we both wanted a baby and she would never personally consider an abortion), but what if it had? Would I, as the father, have any say in that decision? Should I have any say in that decision?
The first answer that springs to mind is ‘maybe’. After all, the child growing within my wife would my child too. However, I would not be the one carrying that child, enduring changes to my body for nine months. I would not undergo the mood swings, the cravings, the stress of the extra weight, or the pain of childbirth. What right would I therefore have to make my wife keep the baby?
It’s a sad fact that some men will get women pregnant then abandon both mother and child after the birth, refusing to take responsibility for their actions. It is equally sad that there are some men who would dictate to women what they can and cannot do with their own bodies, and pregnancy is but one way this happens.
Fellas, we need to remember, we don’t get to tell women what they can and can’t do with their bodies. We are more prepared as a gender to abandon our child and the mother, leaving them to pick up the pieces. We are also the ones who will demand (be it for cultural or religious reasons) that women cannot get an abortion. This isn’t right. It is the mother whose life is affected the most by not only the pregnancy but also by parenthood. It is all well and good to say ‘you did the deed, you take responsbility for it’, but men are involved in the deed, and have it far easier when it comes to walking away. If we’re as committed to avoiding pregnancy in the first place, then we can bring up protection and make sure it’s used.
We don’t get to boss around or make demands of women, either way.