August 3, 2017

"Can I Keep a Baby My Boyfriend Doesn’t Want?"

An interesting question to the NYT "Ethicist." The woman is 38, pretty late to be having her first child, and she wants the baby and says she won't ask the man to support the child. But he is her boyfriend and she's not at all opposed to abortion. He's telling her she's forcing him to have a baby "against his will," and — in the last sentence of the letter — she admits that she allowed him to think she was on birth control when she was not. The first sentence of the letter uses the expression "accidentally pregnant."

If you think abortion is murder, it will color your response to the question. The wrong to the unborn child outweighs the imposition on the man. If he's a decent person, he will care about his child once it is born, so there's no way to relieve him of that burden (even if you're will to let him off the hook financially). You might say: Who cares about this selfish man who's lobbying to kill the unborn child? Lose the man, have the baby, and go forth and try to live a virtuous life. Devote yourself to that child.

If you accept abortion, you might say ethics require her to end the pregnancy because she deceived him into have unprotected sex. (You could even accuse her of rape.) She's mired in deception, as she portrays the pregnancy as accidental. And she doesn't seem to love her own boyfriend, since she's willing to estrange him over this interloping nonentity. Or did she think this man who told her he never wanted children would reshape his world for her?

Now, I'm going to read what the actual NYT ethicist Kwame Anthony Appiah says.

First, he blames the man for not pro-actively ensuring that birth control was in force. (The letter-writer says the boyfriend "never asked." I hadn't noticed that detail.) And if the man is angry because he's thinking "you deliberately misled him, in order to try to entrap him with the child," the man is having an "uncharitable thought." Bad man. (And I'm bad too, because I thought that too.)

The ethicist excludes the question whether it's "morally permissible" to have an abortion. (The woman believes it is, and her opinion locks down the answer). He observes that the man is being forced into having whatever feelings of responsibility might arise from the birth of the child, even if the mother is willing to let him off the hook financially. And "an ongoing relationship with you would involve a relationship with your child." (I'd thought of it more in terms of how feelings of wanting to be connected with his own child would force him into continued involvement with the woman who deceived him and didn't get that abortion he wanted. But I guess they could stay together, with that child he didn't want. It was only a relationship of "a few months.")

The ethicist continues:
I don’t have much sympathy, though, with the idea that he has property rights in his sperm or half-rights in the baby. Children aren’t property, and we should think about their futures in terms of their interests, our relationships with them and the responsibilities those connections entail. So both his feelings and the prospective interests of the child may provide some grounds for ending the pregnancy. (It may seem odd to say that consideration of someone’s interests may count against continuing his or her existence, yet that’s sometimes the case.) 
That's one hell of a parenthetical.

In the end, the ethicist recommends calm conversation and, failing that, counseling. But — and I agree with this — she could "drop the boyfriend and keep the child." She wants it, and she's willing to take all responsibility for it. His "wishes" have some weight, but hers have more, because — as the ethicist puts it — "women bear the greater risks of bringing children into the world." I would have said: The woman's choice prevails because she must have the power to control what happens inside her own body. And: The man lost his power when he gave her his genetic material which was once inside his body, in the domain where he rules.

What's the best solution?
 
pollcode.com free polls

151 comments:

David said...

"The man lost his power when he gave her his genetic material which was once inside his body, in the domain where he rules. "

Very true. Also may explain why many men who never wanted the child and do not marry the mother try to assert power in antisocial and destructive ways after the child is born.

Earnest Prole said...

You forgot the most important poll statement: Don't be a splooge stooge.

Sebastian said...

They are making it way too complicated. No man should be allowed to lord it over a woman's sovereign territory, though obviously he does owe child support regardless, because. She should just do what she likes--have the baby, kill the baby, whatever--and not feel bad, above all not feel bad.

David said...

She is likely going to keep the child and expect the man to help pay for it. Why shouldn't she? The state requires this. She will be a very unusual person if she does not leverage this power.

Apart from the state, this is a case where her ethical duty to her self has to be higher than her duty to the man. Follow your gut, lady. He did.

320Busdriver said...

Poll results leave me feeling better about the day and my fellow man/ woman.

AllenS said...

If she chooses to have an abortion, make a deal with the abortionist that she gets half of the money from selling the baby parts.

traditionalguy said...

Make the killing equal and fair. Write the names mother, father and baby, one on each folded paper and put them into a hat Then draw out the one to be killed by slicing him or her, while fully conscious and tied down, until the screaming ends in the necessary death.

Next question.

Unknown said...

You know, the old fashioned values of "Chastity before marriage and total fidelity after marriage" would do wonders to solve these problems. The fuddy duddy Churches may very well have known what they were talking about.

Yes, it requires discipline and self control, but you don't have to have sex on the 1st, second, or even 20th date.

Men, keep it in your pants! Until she's put a ring on your finger. This guy has no rights at all here; he was apparently mislead about birth control (but really, birth control is never guaranteed to be effective, even if she was using it).

So man up and take care of the kid. You let yourself be seduced or you did the seducing, so now you got to live with the consequences of your choice.

Incidentally, that's one reason why abortion should be banned except for rape/severe health of the mother cases. The guy loses all rights once he's had the choice to have sex. He cannot force an abortion; he cannot keep the kid. Why should the woman be allowed to kill the guys kid if he wants it? He can't force her to abort, why should she be able to force him to pay child support for the next 18 years? Why does only the man lose all his rights when he has sex? Terribly, terribly unfair and gives the complete lie to all the screams of "Patriarchy!" Really? Heck, I'm married and if my wife decided to kill our kid while she's pregnant (though lately more and more leftists are arguing for "post-birth abortions"), I have zero say in the matter. Zero.

--Vance

Michael K said...

"She is likely going to keep the child and expect the man to help pay for it."

Of course.

Matthew Sablan said...

"If it matters, he thought I was on birth control (but never asked, and I had requested that he use a condom once before), so he didn’t think he was having unprotected sex."

-- Whatever she decides, I think their relationship is doomed if they can't talk about these sorts of things BEFORE a crisis develops.

chickelit said...

The baby should go up for adoption. Both parents are morally unfit to raise that child.

Birches said...

People are awful, part 497. I don't know why any of you guys in a casual dating relationship would believe a woman was on birth control. Seriously.

You know, the old fashioned values of "Chastity before marriage and total fidelity after marriage" would do wonders to solve these problems. The fuddy duddy Churches may very well have known what they were talking about.

Yes.

BDNYC said...

She should have the baby on her own but also pay the man monetary damages for the emotional pain she's inflicted on him. The man should be free to have whatever relationship with the child that he wants, including no relationship.

Ann Althouse said...

"You forgot the most important poll statement: Don't be a splooge stooge."

The poll question relates to the present, not to what should have been done in the past. He already was a splooge stooge. The question now is: What ethical responsibilities are owed to a splooge stooge? All the options are in the poll.

Birches said...

I think their relationship is doomed if they can't talk about these sorts of things BEFORE a crisis develops.

I'm always astounded about what things two people WHO HAVE SEX are embarrassed to talk about with each other. This world is so screwed up.

BDNYC said...

This brings to mind the Serpico child support case. Serpico, the famous ex-NYPD cop, contested his child support obligations on the grounds that the woman deceived him into having unprotected sex with her. She got pregnant and you know the rest. The lower court reduced his obligations on the basis of her deception. Ultimately, the state's highest court reversed, holding that child support is only about the child's best interests, and a woman tricking a man into having a child has no bearing on the amount the father must pay to support the child. This was 30 years ago or so.

I predict this poor man will be stuck with 18 years or more of financial pain.

Ann Althouse said...

"She is likely going to keep the child and expect the man to help pay for it. Why shouldn't she? The state requires this. She will be a very unusual person if she does not leverage this power."

I agree that this is what she will do if she has the child. He should presume she will.

I think the reason for saying otherwise is the hope that he'll come around to loving her and the baby. That's what he'd do if it were a movie.

madAsHell said...

I always write to an advice columnist when I have these kinds of problems.

Tank said...

1. Of course it's her choice.

2. The choice she should make, from a moral viewpoint, is to not kill the human being living inside her. As a bonus, she wants a little human being.

3. If she does the right thing, it's likely, at some point, she'll think he should pay half for his child. The law will see it that way.

4. Their relationship is almost surely doomed.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Many, many years ago a young man came into my law office with a problem. He had had a one night stand with a young lady and now, several months later, she informed him that she was pregnant and was not having an abortion. He didn't even really know her, and did not want to. It was just "one night." He wanted to know what the legal ramifications were. I stuck out my hand and said, "Congratulations, you're going to be a father." Then we discussed child support and paternity tests (which were much less dispositive at that time)(hey, if she could have a one night stand with him, why not others?). It wasn't the happiest conversation I ever had, but being a lawyer is like that sometimes.

Birches said...

Speaking of things that should be talked about, if you're a 38 year old woman who feels the biological clock is ticking down, maybe you should find out if the guy you're dating wants kids. Crazy! I know! But why waste your time with someone who doesn't share your life goals? (Because then you'd be alone and women never, ever ever want to be alone).

Stan Smith said...

Abort the baby. It will have no chance in this world given the horribly selfish idiots that conceived it. Neither one should EVER become a parent.

Comanche Voter said...

Ah interesting questions and issues here. Back in the late 80's I knew a woman of about the same age. Lady lawyer doing well professionally; had been divorced ten years before. She became pregnant by a fellow who was nice--but she deemed him to be an "unsuitable father". She was certainly financially able to raise and care for the child on her own. Part of her calculus in deciding to have the child--and not marry the father--was her desire for her parents to have a grandchild. She had a brother--but it didn't look like any grandkids were going to be coming from him. She was in her late 30's and the old biological clock was ticking.

Like the old Statler Brothers song goes, life gets complicated when you are past 18. And this was all before the Dan Quayle Murphy Brown kerfuffle where a single professional woman was going to have a child on her own. That might have been instructive in the situation.

Static Ping said...

It is difficult to take professional ethicists seriously. The field is half a science and half purely subjective. I can respect an ethicist when the expert discusses a moral dilemma from a variety of different value structures. For example, the orthodox Christian would take this tack while the standard utilitarian would address the issue this way, and so forth and so on. However, the ultimate "correct" decision to any moral quandary is reliant on picking a morality as a frame of reference. This is purely subjective and, at its heart, faith based. I occasionally see a newspaper article where an ethicist's opinion on a matter is used as proof that such and such position is the proper one without the author considering the fact that the ethicist's expertise ended as soon as he or she picked a side and therefore carries no more weight than anyone else. It is the appeal to authority fallacy without an authority.

That said, I do have to wonder what level of despair would recommend the New York Times as a resource for moral guidance. Egad. They only remain in business as the thrall of a Mexican billionaire, their journalism is shoddy and biased, and their editorials contradict their prior editorials depending on what they want the result to be. Was Charles Manson not available?

rhhardin said...

I'd say if she wants the baby, or if the guy wants the baby, have the baby.

Recriminations over lying and deceit and problems are just ordinary ones that adults can deal with.

mockturtle said...

The baby should go up for adoption. Both parents are morally unfit to raise that child.

Bingo, chickelet! The baby is the innocent party here and should not be used for financial or emotional blackmail.

Caligula said...

"Bad man. (And I'm bad too, because I thought that too.) "

As a practical matter, the answer to questions like this will, in contemporary culture, almost always come down to, "What answer would most preserve woman's interests?" Whether or not he's a "bad man" depends only on whether this assertion is necessary to achieve this answer.

"The woman believes it is, and her opinion locks down the answer." See above.

" His "wishes" have some weight, but hers have more, because ..."

Well, his wishes may be allowed to have "some weight" but only so long as hers have more (i.e., so long as the consequences of "some weight" are indistinguishable from "no weight.)

All this fancy reasoning, and for what? One may as well just go straight to, "The only right a man has regarding children is the "right" to pay? Who needs all this fancy logic (let alone an ethicist) when one is dealing with such a fundamental reality?


William said...

From the twisted timber of humanity, it used to be possible to construct a cradle, but these people are way too gnarly.....I wonder if the baby can sense that the man giving the 3am feeding would have preferred the infant to be aborted. Another SJW with an inchoate sense of injustice will soon be born.

Lyssa said...

I have a hard time wrapping my head around this issue, outside the context of the morality of abortion. It's an interesting exercise.

Specific to the child support issue, though, it's worth pointing out that it's not actually her choice to make. The child has a right to the father's support, independent of the mother's desire or non-desire for it. She can't waive his or her rights.

traditionalguy said...

The kid's odds are terrible. Daddy wants him/her dead. Momma wants to please Daddy, but wonders if she can ethically save their child.

We are living back in Roger Taney's America post Dred Scott. Idiots at the SCOTUS the just took over and declared Scott had gone from being a man held in servitude, but with friends somewhere, to being legally"Non existent".

Today's SCOTUS did the exact same thing to this and children similarly situated.

Oso Negro said...

I think a fair policy would be "you breed 'em, you feed 'em". With this approach, the woman would be free to keep the baby or not, if she wanted. The man could help with the baby or not, as he wanted. The ancient practices that women may employ to bind men to them as providers would be available to her. No family court would be there to force payment onto the man. And no government agency would be there to support the child if she can't or doesn't want to. Such an approach would probably encourage something like traditional marriage arrangements. This is, of course, shocking to modern sensibilities.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Tank said...

3. If she does the right thing, it's likely, at some point, she'll think he should pay half for his child. The law will see it that way.

Half?!?

LOL.

MikeR said...

:O

Renee said...

I chose the 'baby is real', but the fact is it's the baby who will suffer from this. Yes, better to live, then die. But we don't get to chose if we exist or not, that decision is made by our parents by means of the conjugal act/IVF/maintaining the pregnancy until birth.

The baby is real, and she should put the child up for adoption since both are so completely emotionally negligent to think of the child's needs first. The child will become an adult, find his/her birth parents, and upon meeting will realize what selfish jerks they are. The child will probably be sad about that, but at least wouldn't have to endure 18 years of this narcissism. Maybe the child will find a few cousins for the sake of kinship bond.

Sex creates babies. If you don't want a baby and co-parent don't have sex. Birth control skews evolutionary mating choices.

Left Bank of the Charles said...

"she wants the baby and says she won't ask the man to support the child"

Let's say the baby is born. Is not asking the father for support ethical? Maybe it is if the mother has sufficient finances. The state may insist on support form the father if the baby becomes a burden on the state. But what if her finances are borderline? This baby may need a guardian ad litem to assert the baby's right to financial support.

Achilles said...

Ethicist:

Person who makes women feel ok about making amoral selfish decisions.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

OMG...are we going to do this again? Splooge stooge and all?

She and he have only had a short term hook up of a few months. There are basically still strangers to each other.

She tricked him into being a part of a pregnancy by deceiving him as to whether she was using birth control. His not 'noticing' is ridiculous. How can you 'notice' something that you cannot see, unless she is using a diaphragm in front of him. She has thereby taken away HIS choice to not have a relationship at all or use to condoms himself. She is a lying conniving bitch.

If she doesn't think that abortion is murder and CHOOSES to continue the pregnancy that is her solo choice and the responsibility for the results are on HER.

If she did think abortion was murder then her deception is even worse in that she has conceived a child that she knows she wants and played him for a fool.

The assumption that he is a decent man and should spend the rest of his life paying for her deception is also ridiculous. She should have determined if he IS a decent man before getting pregnant. A short term hook up is not enough time to assess decency. She screwed up.

She has options.... keep the pregnancy IF that is what she wants, get an abortion if that is what SHE wants, have the child and adopt the baby to a couple who are not unstable selfish idiots and who will raise the child in a loving stable environment.

He has some choices too, one of which might require him to go to jail for eliminating the source of his future slavery.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Lyssa said...

The child has a right... She can't waive his or her rights.

Except the child's right to trivial things. Like life.

Achilles said...

Blogger chickelit said...
"The baby should go up for adoption. Both parents are morally unfit to raise that child."

This should be the default option when the woman lies or is "unclear" about birth control.

Tommy Duncan said...

The NYT has an ethicist? Ironic, no?

The time for this woman to consult with an ethicist was before she engaged in the behavior that got her knocked up.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Blogger chickelit said...
"The baby should go up for adoption. Both parents are morally unfit to raise that child."


This is my selection as well.

penelope said...

It seems the New York Times Sunday Magazine has had a hard time keeping an Ethicist since they let Randy Cohen go five or six years ago. The column has never been the same since. This Kwame Anthony Appiah’s response is just further proof.

penelope said...

It seems the New York Times Sunday Magazine has had a hard time keeping an Ethicist since they let Randy Cohen go five or six years ago. The column has never been the same since. This Kwame Anthony Appiah’s response is just further proof.

Bill said...

The ethicist excludes the question whether it's "morally permissible" to have an abortion.

Surprise, surprise.

Chuck said...

Tommy Duncan said...
The NYT has an ethicist? Ironic, no?

The time for this woman to consult with an ethicist was before she engaged in the behavior that got her knocked up.

Who can possibly top that comment? Not me.

SeanF said...

Lyssa: Specific to the child support issue, though, it's worth pointing out that it's not actually her choice to make. The child has a right to the father's support, independent of the mother's desire or non-desire for it. She can't waive his or her rights.
The mother can, in fact, waive the child's rights to their biological parents' support. Unilaterally.

Well, she can certainly waive the baby's right to her own support. I wonder, though - if a mother gives a child up for adoption, and the child is adopted by a single woman, and that single woman is able to locate the child's biological father, would he still be held legally responsible for child support?

Michael Hess said...

This is tangential to this post, but because this post relates to the respective rights of men and women vis a vis abortion I believe it is relevant.

I've always been curious how the Equal Rights Amendment, if it had been ratified, would affect abortion rights.

Here is the text of the Equal Rights Amendment

Section 1. Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.

Section 2. The Congress shall have the power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.

Section 3. This amendment shall take effect two years after the date of ratification.

Per Roe and Casey, the right to abortion is grounded in the general sense of liberty and privacy protected under the constitution. Constitutional protection of the woman's decision to terminate her pregnancy derives from the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

But would not the plain meaning of the ERA abrogate women's exclusive right to decide whether to terminate their pregnancy . The right to abortion is entirely on account of sex -- its a right held only by women. How would a person who supports the right to an abortion and the ERA -- e.g. feminists -- square the ERA with Casey.

I hope our host can address this.

Roger Sweeny said...

The best solution is a very late term abortion for the woman, which will automatically be an abortion for the child.

Otto said...

Secular drivel. Remember Jane Doe was a whore who wanted an abortion so she can continue whoring for her drug addiction.

TosaGuy said...

This:

"So both his feelings and the prospective interests of the child may provide some grounds for ending the pregnancy."

Doesn't quite square with this:

"Children aren’t property, and we should think about their futures in terms of their interests, our relationships with them and the responsibilities those connections entail."


People have a prospective interest in living. Perhaps Ethicists should be rebranded as Rationalizers.

rhhardin said...

Scott Adams says of the Acosta-Miller exchange over who speaks English that Miller was jokingly adopting the outrage of the left as a rhetorical joke, playing their own trick back at them.

Adams is a little wrong - it's false outrage even on the left. The lie is the seriousness.

I took it rather as a sign that Trump is adopting the progressive ethical touchstones. Lie about everything, with real lies; not just literal vs figurative things.

Richard Dolan said...

"She wants it, and she's willing to take all responsibility for it."

Her wishes are not binding on state officials, who may come after the father to make him support the child whether the mother likes it or not.

But all the back-and-forth about who did/said what to whom, who deceived whom, blah-blah-blah is just a way of avoiding the reality that Baby is on the way. To kill or not to kill is the only question, and once you decide whose interests count, it doesn't seem all that difficult to answer.

Bay Area Guy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bay Area Guy said...

This is, by definition, a faux debate.

The question, "Can I keep a baby my doesn't want," isn't even a real question, because both sides agree that the answer is Yes. The Left won that debate with Roe v. Wade. My body, my decision.

And, memo to Boyfriend Splooge Stooge -- if she keeps the baby, you will be on the hook for some serious child support, when things go south, sorry.

rhhardin said...

I think abortion is fine but the right choice is keep the baby if either parent wants it.

It's right because it keeps language working, as to what is meant by having a soul.

The phrase denotes relations to others ("He has no soul," "He hardly seems human," commonly said of adults). If either parent has plans for the baby, the baby has a relation to others, and the language keeps working if you say it's a baby and not a fetus. If not, not.

Don't look at the baby, look at the parents, when you want to find out about a soul.

Soul as something the baby has regardless is a dogmatization, trying to nail down something that depends on something else that seems utterly too contingent.

But soul is a token in an account, not a thing.

Scott Adams recently played on that, offering two souls (shipping included) for $19.99. Souls follow you around and stick to the bottom of your chair when you sit.

Endless joke possibilities for reification errors.

Jeff said...

We think it's very important for men to be sure a woman has really consented before having sex, but we don't think it's necessary that the man actually consent to fathering a child? She chose to get pregnant, he didn't choose to be a father.

She should either keep the child or put it up for adoption.

However, if she has the child and they stay together, most likely he will come to love and cherish the child. Babies have a way of doing that. Because of that, she should try to hold the relationship together, unless he is abusive, and there's no evidence of that.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

This hurts my heart.

Clearly the answer is for her to jettison the boyfriend (their relationship is a failure on numerous levels so no big loss), have the baby and try to grow up in the process.

She wants a baby and there is nothing wrong with that. She was deceptive and manipulative, no question, but it makes me sad that she believed all the lies that her secular urban society told her for so long, and now here they are in this mess. I wish she'd known the truth earlier in her life, which is that what makes our lives worthwhile is knowing our inherent value as human beings, and nurturing deep/satisfying/loving relationships with other humans. Also that you must reserve your sexuality for a man who loves you deeply and wants to be by your side through all the possible outcomes of your shared intimacy.

The root of so much suffering is people using each other, instead of loving each other.

fivewheels said...

One problem with this particular tale is that we may have an unreliable narrator.

But I propose again what I think is fair: Have the child. It's up to her. But if child support payments are truly for the benefit of the child, and not the mother, then consider the support he will inevitably pay a loan. When the child turns 18, the mother must repay the full amount plus interest to the father. If she fails, she incurs the exact same penalties as the father would have for missing payments, including jail.

Seems ethical.

Roger Sweeny said...

A close relative of mine worked for an expert who had a syndicated "write in and I'll answer your questions" column. When there weren't enough questions or the questions weren't interesting enough, the office would make up questions.

rhhardin said...

Knocked Up (2007) had the right start but the guy was made too much of a boor, and there was no deception just a decision.

And it went the romcom route instead of just noticing gradually that the guy has responsibilities that he actually grows into, given the lady's choice.

rhhardin said...

The trouble with not keeping language working is that you can't think any longer.

Nothing makes sense and punishments are random.

tcrosse said...

When there weren't enough questions or the questions weren't interesting enough, the office would make up questions.

I always assumed they made up all the questions.

MayBee said...

His not 'noticing' is ridiculous. How can you 'notice' something that you cannot see, unless she is using a diaphragm in front of him. She has thereby taken away HIS choice to not have a relationship at all or use to condoms himself.

Yeah, that's weird.
Women go from strong, independent decision makers to child-like creatures who must be monitored by the patriarchy very quickly when it suits feminism.

Scott said...

If the pregnancy is past the first trimester, the fetus must be allowed to become a child. It really is murder after that point.

It would be really nice if the moral fog of the self-styled intellectual elite in this country would lift.

rhhardin said...

"He hardly seems human." A joke if you're first seeing a new baby.

Its use is for psychopaths, where it's not literal. For the baby, it perhaps is. Hence the joke.

The baby has to learn to be human (not just human species). It's done a thousand ways.

Say-foring, where the parent says what the kid should learn to say, like thank you.

You take your four year old to dinner and he wants to pay for the meal. You give him the money and he hands it to the cashier. Did he pay for the meal?

Not fully. But you treat it as his paying for the meal, something he will learn to do if you keep doing it.

Learning to have relations to others, being human, having a soul. The same language cluster.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

His not 'noticing' is ridiculous. How can you 'notice' something that you cannot see, unless she is using a diaphragm in front of him. She has thereby taken away HIS choice to not have a relationship at all or use to condoms himself.

Yeah, that's weird.
Women go from strong, independent decision makers to child-like creatures who must be monitored by the patriarchy very quickly when it suits feminism.


Shaking my head at the idea of sharing your most intimate self with someone with whom you're too shy to discuss birth control. As I've said many times before, promiscuous sex must be *wretched* sex. These people don't even talk to each other. How can you learn to please and be pleased by someone you are so emotionally distanced from and distrust?

rhhardin said...

Bans on abortion are based on where society can take an interest, and have its own relation to the baby/fetus. This can be pushed back by showing cuteness.

At the early end, it's not cute no matter what you do, so it's bounded below too.

Somewhere in the middle there will be a final line. Not based on soul or anything but just what seems cute.

Take it as an expression of society taking an interest in general but not to the point of there being no point in living in it.

Unknown said...

"If he's a decent person, he will care about his child once it is born, so there's no way to relieve him of that burden"

Yes, sometimes we have responsibilities--burdens, if you will--that we didn't ask for. Adults accept this.

And yes, adoption is a real option here, probably the best one. Did the NYT even mention this?

rhhardin said...

A complete ban on abortion will come from a population demographic crisis - the need for babies - rather than dogmatics, unless we're unlucky.

William said...

"...she allowed him to think she was on birth control when she was not."

Maybe that is why he "didn't ask". He thought it was taken care of based on what she had led him to believe. And he trusted her. Big mistake, apparently.

Martha said...

This dilemma is the result of treating sexual intercourse as a fun dating experience uncoupled from its procreative consequences. Before birth control pills and legalized abortion entered the dating calculus, the possibility of every sexual encounter resulting in a pregnancy was very real and feared and I do believe sexual activity was not entered into so lightly.

TestTube said...

Here is another option for your poll: Quit telling Newspaper columnists about your personal problems.

She got what she wanted. She has the baby. The means to support it financially. MAYBE a man to help raise the kid. Maybe not the best way of getting it, but could be worse.

Most people who ask for advice really just want validation for a decision they have already made.

HOWEVER, it is a good idea for her to cut out the drama and attention seeking, which is obviously the point of her of publicizing her personal life problems. That is very self-destructive.

exiledonmainstreet said...

"And she doesn't seem to love her own boyfriend, since she's willing to estrange him over this interloping nonentity."

Did the "interloping nonentity" aka the baby choose to be conceived? "Interloping" makes it sound as though the baby deliberately invaded her body.

I agree that the child should be given up for adoption - but I doubt that will happen. She'll either abort it or be a single mother.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

I have a hard time recognizing the 'imposition on the man.' The sooner we dispense with the false notion that anyone has a right to consequence-free sex, the better. He choose to deposit his semen in a pre-menopausal woman, which means babies the possibility of a baby. I am sympathetic to the fact that he was raised in a culture which taught that sex is nothing but a fun recreational activity, but he never saw through the lie. Sorry dude.

whswhs said...

I don't agree with any of your answers. Her body, her choice, and she should not be pressured into having an abortion (that's part of "her choice"). But if her choice is to keep the child, that doesn't impose an obligation on him; he's free to walk out. That's the ultimate freedom that we're entitled to: The freedom to turn our backs and walk away.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

*which means the possibility of a baby

Sorry for garbled. My own 11 year old baby kept coming into the office and interrupting me. I don't appreciate being asked to parent when I'm trying to Althouse. :)

Static Ping said...

Ann, I'll be quite honest in that I find it very difficult to address this issue because my frame of reference does not fit. I think abortion is killing another human being, so I would be opposed to the abortion generally barring some unforeseen circumstance. In addition, I am very much of the opinion that if I am having sex with a woman I have already consented to having a child with her, regardless of any precautions we do or do not take. I would be making plans for a wedding and a baby shower, not demanding an abortion. The fact that the woman may have misled on the birth control just makes her a jerk, but a jerk I was more than willing to sleep with so apparently a jerk I can tolerate. I simply cannot imagine being the man in this scenario and acting like this.

If I am to take the assumptions of the supplicant here, there is nothing wrong with abortion and the father will not have to pay child support. (The latter is highly dubious. That is usually enforced by the state regardless of the mother's wishes, and she can always change her mind so the promise is also meaningless.) At that point, pretty much all the major moral questions have been swept away. This is more or less the equivalent if she bought a very expensive couch for the living room with her own money, he doesn't like it, and he will leave if she does not get rid of it. Do you prefer the couch or the boyfriend? Whatever. Shallow people get a shallow analysis, I suppose.

FullMoon said...


Blogger Martha said...

This dilemma is the result of treating sexual intercourse as a fun dating experience uncoupled from its procreative consequences. Before birth control pills and legalized abortion entered the dating calculus, the possibility of every sexual encounter resulting in a pregnancy was very real and feared and I do believe sexual activity was not entered into so lightly.

8/3/17, 11:06 AM


And the social acceptance of unwed mothers. I imagine plenty of rushed marriages and "pre mature" births prior to sexual revolution.

Fernandinande said...

"The wrong to the unborn child outweighs the imposition on the man."

That could be solved by killing it.

Static Ping said...

The couch is a poor analogy, given it does not take up a great deal of time or ongoing maintenance. Something like an expensive hobby would be more apt. Perhaps she could buy a boat.

rhhardin said...

I've got an important announcement to make.

Exciting.

We've decided, after a little bit of thought, to get married.

That's wonderful news.

Who are you getting married to?

To Mary. Over there.

Thank God for that. Jolly embarrassing if it had been another girl. imagine that.

We're so pleased.

No, sorry. Yeah.

By the way, the wedding will be quite soon because we're having a baby, too.

You're pregnant?

Yes.

Who's the father?

Well, Tim, I hope.

Thank God for that. Jolly awkward if it had been another fellow.

- It's about Time (2013)

A lot of these things could be settled more easily of one of the partners could control time.

Gahrie said...

I have a hard time recognizing the 'imposition on the man.' The sooner we dispense with the false notion that anyone has a right to consequence-free sex, the better

Tell that to the feminists and the pro-choicers.

Why do women get consequence free sex but men don't?

Gahrie said...

Yes, sometimes we have responsibilities--burdens, if you will--that we didn't ask for. Men are forced to accept this.

FTFY.

Women have choices and no responsibilities.

Women have choices and no responsibilities.

Gahrie said...

"The wrong to the unborn child outweighs the imposition on the man."

Why doesn't it outweigh the imposition on the woman?

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Ann Althouse said...I would have said: The woman's choice prevails because she must have the power to control what happens inside her own body

Ok. Now apply that to a world with artificial wombs...a world we'll be in very soon.

Ann Althouse said... And: The man lost his power when he gave her his genetic material which was once inside his body, in the domain where he rules.

Respectfully, ma'am, that's bullshit: we know from the previous discussions that you consider the father justly obligated even in cases where his genetic material was taken from him by force (where the guy was raped you still found that it was ok to make him pay for child support, etc). This comment of yours implies that you'd side with the guy where his bodily integrity/"domain where he rules" is concerned, but we already know that's not true.

Gahrie said...

But if her choice is to keep the child, that doesn't impose an obligation on him; he's free to walk out. That's the ultimate freedom that we're entitled to: The freedom to turn our backs and walk away.

This is 100% wrong legally.

mockturtle said...

rhhardin mentions: Scott Adams recently played on that, offering two souls (shipping included) for $19.99. Souls follow you around and stick to the bottom of your chair when you sit.

In Dead Souls Gogol features a soul-selling entrepreneur. But it was more like a tax write-off, IIRC.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Children aren’t property, and we should think about their futures in terms of their interests

What utter bullshit. The later parenthetical "sometimes" might apply if we're talking about a child that would be born with a horrible, painful disease or disorder, but that's very much not the case here. Nor with the vast, vast majority of abortions! The balancing is therefore between the mother's (and sometimes father's) valuation of their own convenience vs. the unborn child's interest in life/existence. Stated in those terms the child wins every time the child's existence is known to not be horrible--that is, in the vast majority of cases.
That's why that balancing is almost never given as a reason for abortion to be legal. The reason given, the fallback reason, is that it's the woman's body and she has a right to not have it used in a way she finds inconvenient. Again, positing the existence of safe artificial wombs that particular argument (for abortion-as-killing) disappears...and we're certainly moving towards the existence of such artificial wombs.

The pro-abortion people will have to come out and say "my convenience and personal wishes/preferences to not be burdened by a child outweighs the child's right to continued life/development/existence." We find it monstrous when men refuse to financially support children--we call them deadbeat dads, etc. How much more monstrous is it of women to actively desire the death of that child in order to indulge in the same responsibility avoidance?

Pianoman said...

Sixth Choice: Men should be allowed to "abort" their responsibilities.

After all, "sex is not a baby", right?

Remember, women have all the power when it comes to deciding whether it's a "clump of cells" or a "human being". Men don't have that right. So since women have the right to decide whether to accept all the responsibilities that come with parenthood, men should have the same rights.

In my Perfect World, women are required to make a reasonable effort to notify the Bio-Dad within two weeks after she finds out that she's pregnant. Then the Bio-Dad has two weeks to decide whether he accepts the responsibility. This rule wouldn't apply to couples that are legally married.

It's all heresy, of course -- if any legislator were to suggest such a law, the Feminist Mafia would go to Defcon 1 and empty the silos.

mockturtle said...

Ann Althouse said...I would have said: The woman's choice prevails because she must have the power to control what happens inside her own body

Unless she was forcibly raped, she had the power to keep that semen out of her vagina.

Ann Althouse said...

"I think the reason for saying otherwise is the hope that he'll come around to loving her and the baby. That's what he'd do if it were a movie."

If it were a movie, she'd continue the pregnancy, he'd get mad, leave her, but then come back just in time for the birth, fall in love with the baby and — all over again — with the woman, and then, another man would show up and say that it's really his baby, and it would drive the man to get DNA tests and discover that he isn't the biological father, so he leaves a long note to the woman and runs off, but he misses her and the baby, and as he's walking anxiously through the city he happens to see the biological father doing something cruel to a woman and a child and he goes to pull the guy, and he pulls way to hard and the guy falls and hits his head and dies, so the man gets arrested, but an hour later the cops thank him for killing that guy who it turns out has done all these other terrible things. Free, the man runs home to the woman, gets down on his knees and does a whole long marriage proposal that keeps almost disclosing that he knows he's not the biological father but ultimately affirms over and over that the baby is his. She says yes and so does the baby.

Todd said...

SeanF said...
Lyssa: Specific to the child support issue, though, it's worth pointing out that it's not actually her choice to make. The child has a right to the father's support, independent of the mother's desire or non-desire for it. She can't waive his or her rights.
The mother can, in fact, waive the child's rights to their biological parents' support. Unilaterally.

Well, she can certainly waive the baby's right to her own support. I wonder, though - if a mother gives a child up for adoption, and the child is adopted by a single woman, and that single woman is able to locate the child's biological father, would he still be held legally responsible for child support?
8/3/17, 10:31 AM


I would say the answer is no. BUT if there is some way for the answer to be yes, does that answer change if the baby were adopted by a single man?

Static Ping said...

Ann, you're not supposed to upstage the commentators on your own blog! Bravo!

Gahrie said...

What ethical responsibilities are owed to a splooge stooge?

Why none..of course. Women don't have responsibilities.

Of course if she did owe any ethical responsibilities to the man, surely she would owe them to the child? But we can't have that....

BN said...

"The man lost his power when he gave her his genetic material which was once inside his body, in the domain where he rules. "

Yes, and furthermore, this man "who told her he never wanted to have children" chose NOT to get a vasectomy to make sure it didn't happen. It would have been so easy, and I'm sure he always planned to, it just was never made a priority. Well, I bet he's gotten one now.

The real question here is how persuasive can he be? If not enough, he will wind up paying lots of serious money--regardless of what she intends--and just as serious emotional costs to all.

Life happens.

hombre said...

"...so there's no way to relieve him of that burden (even if you're will to let him off the hook financially)."

Back in the olden days the right to financial support belonged to the child and could not be relinquished by the mother. Has that changed?

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Ann Althouse said...She says yes and so does the baby.

Just then the TV in the livingroom gives a piercing wail as the emergency broadcast alert comes on and a frantic announcer warns "evacuate the city, unknown creatures are falling from the sky and kidnapping women and children." The woman gasps and grabs her child as the man turns towards the camera, snatches a shotgun from the corner, and growls "not my family you alien bastards!" and the music swells.

Gotta think about those sequels.

MayBee said...

I have a hard time recognizing the 'imposition on the man.' The sooner we dispense with the false notion that anyone has a right to consequence-free sex, the better. He choose to deposit his semen in a pre-menopausal woman, which means babies the possibility of a baby

We can recognize both the fact the possibility was always there and the imposition.
Even people who are in a committed, married, stable relationship can find themselves at odds with whether they meant for the woman to get pregnant and whether they want to keep it.

And yes, our society has promised the idea of consequence-free sex and our society makes the laws that will determine whether or not that is sort of possible.

Clyde said...

I haven't yet read the comments here, but my take on it is that she's getting really late in her fertile years. If she wants the baby, she should consider it a gift from whatever deity she might believe in.

And I'm glad that the majority of the people here picked the last answer. Abortion is a shitty method of birth control, at the very least.

Sebastian said...

@I Have: "Shaking my head at the idea of sharing your most intimate self" What, you mean sex? Like, the Laslo kind? Surely you are joking. Now, whether you are Trump or anti-Trump, whether you like pumps or stilettos, whether you eat animal flesh--that kind of intimate-self stuff can wait until the 8th hook-up or so.

Sex is just bodily tourism. Except that male tourists typically turn into travelers, sticking around too long and leaving stuff behind.

Todd said...

HoodlumDoodlum said... [hush]​[hide comment]
Ann Althouse said...She says yes and so does the baby.

Just then the TV in the livingroom gives a piercing wail as the emergency broadcast alert comes on and a frantic announcer warns "evacuate the city, unknown creatures are falling from the sky and kidnapping women and children." The woman gasps and grabs her child as the man turns towards the camera, snatches a shotgun from the corner, and growls "not my family you alien bastards!" and the music swells.

Gotta think about those sequels.

8/3/17, 12:17 PM


"unknown creatures" or sharks (so the plot would have to be changed to "eating" from kidnapping)?

Meade said...

OT: Thanks to everyone who has resisted "feeding the troll." Much appreciated.

Ralph L said...

She's an idiot for consulting a perfect stranger about something monumental in her life, to say nothing of her child's.
Anything about adoption in the article?

bagoh20 said...

I believe the reason many women get so angry over restricting abortion is not becuase it's their body, but becuase it's their future life being decided for them. They intensely fear getting caught in the the same situation this man is in now. He's forced to have a child with all the very messy entanglements of that: financial responsibilities, lost time and freedom, and probably most scary, being locked into a lifetime relationship with the other parent, their family, their life, their competing control. It's just about the most serious thing that can happen to a person, and you certainly don't want it forced on you, mother or father.

If you are a responsible, caring person, most of the issues in being forced to have a child are the same for the mother or father. Only the physically carrying through of the pregnancy is different for her, and that's a relatively short and minor part of it.

mockturtle said...

OT: Thanks to everyone who has resisted "feeding the troll." Much appreciated.

I've learned my lesson, Meade.

bagoh20 said...

Imagine the man borrowed the woman's car to go get her a pizza. The brakes were not working, and she knew that, but she was hungry and wanted the pizza, so she didn't tell him about the brakes. He crashes the car and kills a pedestrian. He's charged with homicide. She could get him off, by admitting it was her fault, but then she would never get pizza again.

MikeR said...

I'm a little fuzzy myself. I'm apparently supposed to start with the assumption that "The woman has a right to choose an abortion." What that says to me is, The impact on her life, including childbearing and dealing with a child after birth, is so profound that it overrides consideration of the child - and consideration of the man's desires. I.e., she can choose an abortion no matter what he would want, even if he offers to completely take over responsibility for the child after it is born; he has no rights that can override the undoubted impact on her life. Could be.
But if that is so, I'm having trouble hearing why it is clear that he can't do the same. Being a father is truly a really big deal, life-changing. According to the story, she imposed that on him without his knowledge, without his consent, and actually against his will. ("uncharitable" or no, that seems to be true as the story was presented.) I don't know why she has the right to do that to him.

Bad Lieutenant said...

He simply does. not. have. to. change. his. independent. lifestyle. just because she essentially went out and got herself pregnant. He is not carrying a baby in his womb. That's the cruelty of nature.


Remember that until modern IT, the guy could just change his name and leave town. It's only the very tippy top of civilization that allows women any such power as this to compel performance of men.

As Nina Burleigh said of Clinton, women should be lining up with kneepads to thank IT guys for keeping [splooge stooges|cads|men] accountable. (Curiously this does not regularly occur.)

bagoh20 said...

What kind of an idiot trusts a woman on such an important issue as brakes and pizza. He should just tear up his driver's license and never drive. It's the only way to be sure.

wwww said...

But if that is so, I'm having trouble hearing why it is clear that he can't do the same. Being a father is truly a really big deal, life-changing. According to the story, she imposed that on him without his knowledge, without his consent, and actually against his will. ("uncharitable" or no, that seems to be true as the story was presented.)


There's a solution to this problem -- the to-be father should be able to renounce his parental rights& duties. He should be able to become a legal sperm donor.

I find the letter to the ethicist to be sad & depressing. Children are a blessing.

Prior to birth, if a to-be father doesn't see his future children as a blessing, let that person renounce all his parental duties & rights and walk away. Perhaps the mother will find another man who wishes to adopt the child.

heyboom said...

Althouse, can a person pwn their own blog? That was superb!

Bad Lieutenant said...

See Pearl S. Buck, "The Good Earth," Chapter 31. I can't find text but a summary of my point:


The uncle’s son gets his slave pregnant before the troops are called away to the war. When he leaves, he boasts that he’s leaving a son behind, and says soldiers are lucky because they can make others take care of their children when they go on their way. <--all of human history before...Social Security? IBM?


Bad Lieutenant said...

bagoh20 said...
What kind of an idiot trusts a woman on such an important issue as brakes and pizza. He should just tear up his driver's license and never drive. It's the only way to be sure.

8/3/17, 1:23 PM

Bagoh20, there is one exception. If the woman is a New York metro area native, and the man is not, she should be put in charge of the pizza.

bagoh20 said...

"Make the killing equal and fair. Write the names mother, father and baby, one on each folded paper and put them into a hat Then draw out the one to be killed by slicing him or her, while fully conscious and tied down, until the screaming ends in the necessary death."

Our system gives only one person the right to decide, and they just happen to be one of the three at risk. Seems like a conflict of interest that would require recusal. To be fair, I assume the other two would decide similarly in their own favor. I almost forgot that nobody really has to die at all. Which I also think is true if the abortion is early enough.

wwww said...



Outside of marriage, I do not think a man should automatically be considered a legal father. There should be a way that the option of "legal sperm donor" ought to be available as a category that a man can choose before birth.

It's quite ridiculous to expect, say, a 15 year old boy to be a legal father.

There's a bunch of categories that it doesn't make sense for unmarried men to become fathers.

Marriage solves a lot of these questions.

Laurel Lowrey said...

I proffer a 'Solomon' solution.

If the woman wants to have the baby, the man receives custody, and, with it, any financial support required from the woman.

CStanley said...

Althouse, can a person pwn their own blog? That was superb!

It made me wonder if Nicholas Sparks is Althouse's pseudonym.

Ann said...

What a world - where consultation with a nameless, faceless "ethicist" might determine the life or death of another human being. It's really, really disgusting.

bagoh20 said...

If the woman has the existential right to end the child's life, is it unreasonable that the man have the right to force an adoption. It's clear that either way the child has few rights, but at least the man right to forced adoption preserves the child right life, two parents and love.

SukieTawdry said...

The woman's choice prevails because that's just the way it is. No one can force her to terminate the pregnancy; no one can force her to carry it to term. She even has the choice of turning the child over to third parties once delivered. The man's choice is stick around or beat feet (although he can stop a third party adoption and be awarded custody).

If he chooses to beat feet, he will still be vulnerable because if she chooses to go after child support, the court won't care if he was deceived or even relieved of his responsibilities by the woman. Will his name be on the birth certificate? Because courts have ruled the "legal" father is responsible even in cases where the child turns out not to be his. The court will always put the so-called welfare of the child first. I have no idea what kind of legal weight a written agreement relieving the father of all responsibility actually has. I imagine it's rather like a prenuptial agreement which in many cases can easily be circumvented.

I don't address the morality of the various choices because abortion and paternity law has rendered morality irrelevant.

CStanley said...

I'm a little fuzzy myself. I'm apparently supposed to start with the assumption that "The woman has a right to choose an abortion." What that says to me is, The impact on her life, including childbearing and dealing with a child after birth, is so profound that it overrides consideration of the child - and consideration of the man's desires. I.e., she can choose an abortion no matter what he would want, even if he offers to completely take over responsibility for the child after it is born; he has no rights that can override the undoubted impact on her life. Could be.
But if that is so, I'm having trouble hearing why it is clear that he can't do the same. Being a father is truly a really big deal, life-changing. According to the story, she imposed that on him without his knowledge, without his consent, and actually against his will. ("uncharitable" or no, that seems to be true as the story was presented.) I don't know why she has the right to do that to him.


Because legal scholars like Professor Althouse have put bodily autonomy at the top of the hierarchy of rights when considering abortion,

Not only has this led to a horrific moral climate which should make ethicists suspect something was wrong in the analysis, but it's also inconsistent with other instances like the military draft where the right of physical autonomy is ignored. For that matter, even concerning pregnancy the man's right to physical autonomy is ignored when he is forced to labor for the welfare of the child.

SukieTawdry said...

Static Ping said...It is difficult to take professional ethicists seriously.

Indeed it is. Especially when the ethicist is someone like Peter Singer or Ezekiel Emanuel.

heyboom said...


It made me wonder if Nicholas Sparks is Althouse's pseudonym.

I'm embarrassed to admit how many Nicholas Sparks movies my wife has FORCED me to go watch. And I'm always the only guy in there too.

FullMoon said...

She likes giving blowjobs, you know!

You don't? Your poor husband !

SukieTawdry said...

Guess I must have missed the troll. Had to be pretty bad if no traces remain and Meade is saying thanks for not feeding. Now I'm intrigued. Oh well, that's what happens when you're always late to the party.

mockturtle said...

bagoh20 opines: I almost forgot that nobody really has to die at all. Which I also think is true if the abortion is early enough.

Really? And before what specific day of gestation? One day, a blob of tissue, the next day a human being? Or, as the old saying goes, "No such thing as a bit pregnant", there in "no such thing as a bit human".

Feste said...

~
“If you think abortion is murder ...”

“If you accept abortion ...”

And if you don’t know?

Arbitrary demarcations that we make for ourselves between omniscience (knowing: not all actuals, only all future potentials ) versus what we think we know in advance - keep your sperm in the sacred-sack-bank. Men change. Women change. Motives are whatever passes through an excited mind at the time - when "it" seemed like a good idea. My understanding is that issues like these regarding child custody, support, visitation, paternity cannot be agreed nor enforced through state versions of the model Arbitration Act. Think first.

bagoh20 said...

Which party was knowingly and purposefully irresponsible?
Which party defrauded the other?
Which was unfair, and selfish?

Which party will be punished and which rewarded at the expense of the victim?

What is ethics?

rhhardin said...

Nicholas Sparks is take any romantic comedy and kill off one of the lovers at the end.

Achilles said...

Open question for the commentariat:

What do a pregnant woman, a frozen beer, and a burnt pizza all have in common?

fivewheels said...

"You can always just get another one."

No, I know it's supposed to be about pulling it out in time ...

Birches said...

In addition, I am very much of the opinion that if I am having sex with a woman I have already consented to having a child with her, regardless of any precautions we do or do not take.
This is pretty much how everyone should conduct themselves. Both sexes.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

What do a pregnant woman, a frozen beer, and a burnt pizza all have in common?

Objection! Women cook pizza, too. Plus w/pizza you could set a timer.

holdfast said...

Technology is going to make this more interesting soon.

Imagine a situation where the man wants the baby and the woman doesn't.

And we have fully-functional artificial womb technology.

And the procedure to remove the fetus is not significantly more invasive than an abortion.

So the man can force the woman to disgorge the fetus to him rather than aborting it; he can raise and nurture it; and he can sue her for child support, right?

Of course, with artificial wombs, eggs for sale on the darkweb, and high-tech sex-bots, remind me again why we'll need actual women?

Good luck ladies - technology is about to make you obsolete. Better start polishing that resume.

Achilles said...

"Of course, with artificial wombs, eggs for sale on the darkweb, and high-tech sex-bots, remind me again why we'll need actual women? "

It goes deeper than that.

Why do we need men?

Why do we need any people?

In the end humans will be surrounded by dutiful servants. The robot to human ratio will be very interesting to watch. None of us will need to do the dishes anymore. Back massages all the time.

My 4 year old and 1 year old are "cooking" in the kitchen. You can't see the floor. Ugh.

Sarah Rolph said...

"That's one hell of a parenthetical."

It sure is. And I would think it should disqualify someone from providing advice on ethics.

Mark said...

What's the best solution?

Let's start with recognizing and admitting that, for all of this "it's a women's choice" from the pro-abortion crowd, a LOT of abortions are due to the man demanding that the woman get one. And the "choice" crowd is perfectly fine with that.

Tom said...

I certainly wouldn't describe myself as pro-choice, particularly in this day and age when it is exceptionally rare that women die in childbirth and there's much more of a social safety net -- both factors were substantially different in 1917 as opposed to 2017.

But I am certainly amenable to the argument that the woman should absolutely have the right to tell this man to bugger off. There are three people involved with this equation, and two of them should have substantially more of a say than the man. The unborn child has a right to live and the woman has a right to restrict the man requiring the woman to abort the baby.

That said, this man does not have any say with respect to what the different social services will require of him in the event this woman needed any kind of government assistance. She can claim that she doesn't want child support, but should see get any food stamps, medicaid, subsidized housing, etc, then the government will want their child support.

The lesson here for men is don't have sex unless: a) you wear a rubber; and/or b) you're completely prepared to support and raise a child with this woman should the rhythm and pull out methods don't work.

Achilles said...

fivewheels said...
"You can always just get another one."

No, I know it's supposed to be about pulling it out in time ...


You didn't have to apologize for having a better answer.

buwaya said...

The published analysis is defective because they all assume it is a matter of individual choice, of individual morality.

There are larger purposes and larger obligations on everyone in this thing. They owe all to their ancestors, to society, to God, if you like. There is a universe of duty on their shoulders. These people have a duty to reproduce.

Given their ages it is their last chance. Through their negligence they have fetched up in this less than ideal situation, when all human cultures are designed to establish better circumstances for it.

Achilles said...

Mark said...
What's the best solution?

Let's start with recognizing and admitting that, for all of this "it's a women's choice" from the pro-abortion crowd, a LOT of abortions are due to the man demanding that the woman get one. And the "choice" crowd is perfectly fine with that.


Good point.

Any talk of a man having a "choice" i.e. signing a contract that says he wants and abortion and is indemnified from child support is met with open outrage from "choice" advocates.

Mark said...

Let's also recognize and admit that something more is going on than some nebulous "choice." Let's call it what it really is -- killing.

Killing is the final solution -- with all that that envisions -- but slaughtering an innocent human being is never the best solution.

Mark said...

The most insistent supporters of abortion are often men.

Michael K said...

One of the saddest things I ever read was a column in the NY Times by a guy whose girlfriend was going to have an abortion.

On the night before her abortion was scheduled, she said she didn't want to have wine because "it might hurt the baby."

He was bragging about this in the Times.

Meade said...

That's right up there with Ricky Ray Rector — the brain damaged guy whose execution Governor Bill Clinton, for political gain, made sure went forward — saving the pecan pie from his last meal "for later."

iowan2 said...

When is society going to start teaching our offspring the truth? Humans are an emotional, not logical beast.
All the "old fashioned" rules came about through thousands of years of learning from failures. Creating children outside of marriage, hurts the child. That's the inescapable science. Women, emotional need children. To entertain any other notion ignores anthropological truth. I laughed out loud, at an 'ethicist somehow divining some truth from the ether. Have a tough question? Ask you grandmother. That's why they exist, to be our moral guides.

mockturtle said...

Iowan2, I agree. Traditional societal rules are usually in place for good reason. More to the point, IMO, is that that Judeo-Christian morality constitutes what is best for mankind [and womankind]. We ignore these rules at our peril. And which of us has not learned this lesson the hard way?

mockturtle said...

saving the pecan pie from his last meal "for later."

That's rich, Meade! Both the comment and the pie. I hope it didn't go to waste.

walter said...

For those who won't read the article, the following quotes may help:
"It turns out my boyfriend does not ever want children, never mind after just a few months of dating; he wants me to have an abortion."
Turns out? In an "early" relationship and she assumed otherwise? Or..she did not care.

"If it matters, he thought I was on birth control (but never asked, and I had requested that he use a condom once before), so he didn’t think he was having unprotected sex. "

If you are screwing a 38yr old woman sans child, you better be asking, watching..and keeping things..in your own hands.

walter said...

Smart guy. That pecan pie might have contributed to type II diabetes..

wildswan said...

I think she wanted the child and treated the guy as a sperm donor. So I can't see a relationship lasting - in fact, there never was one. But she wants the child and she has the law on her side so why is she going to an ethicist? Maybe she is facing Facebook unfriending or Twitter storming or some of those other weird digital experiences this generation must deal with. So, get the NYT ethicist to pronounce. But more likely she is realizing that her 'friends' won't help her with the child, neither will the man. She has to go to Ohio where her only relative, an aunt, lives. There, those people (who will cherish the baby and help her) voted for Trump. How will she adjust? The story is called 'Ohio and Beyond' because she remembers seeing the sign in Maryland which says Ohio and Beyond after you pass the exit to the last major freeway back to PA, NJ and NYC. But will SHE ever get beyond the NYC version of Ohio? She falls in love with a Trump supporter. She has to hide him when some friends come to visit. "No, no, that's his twin brother in that truck with a rifle and NRA tags." "Well, we need to talk to a Trump supporter for an authentic safari experience. Can you arrange it at a diner?" Moral crisis. She turns to opioids. Luckily she is killed in a car crash and her fiance raises her son, known as 'Little Trump' who becomes President.

Meade said...

Nice dénouement, wildswan.