I have argued that a woman may be considered to have a moral obligation to abort a child or relieve the father of all parental rights and obligations, if it is the case that the putative father has clearly, explicitly and consistently expressed that he has no wish of having a child. Would it be morally permissible or even morally obligatory for third parties to enforce an abortion in such a case? I take Thomson to establish that nobody has a right over the use of a woman’s body without her consent and even in cases where she might be thought to be responsible for a pregnancy, having had intercourse in full knowledge of the possibility of becoming pregnant. Her arguments apply for men as well, since the male body and the fruit thereof is needed and used for a pregnancy. I have argued that the fact that a woman makes use of a man’s body and sperm to conceive a child that he doesn’t want is morally wrong. In the ensuing question of what ought to be done in such a case, I argue that despite the moral wrongdoing of the woman, a forced abortion would not simply be a restitution of the initial situation. It would be an additional moral wrong and thereby inadmissible. However, I believe the discussion above supports the view that in such a case the man should not only be exempt from all responsibility in the sustenance of the child but that, depending on the particularities of the case, he should even have the right to demand compensation from the woman. In most cases the usual period of time granted to the woman to opt for an abortion could also be granted to the man to make and express his decision in the matter. The woman could then decide whether she wants to choose adoption, abortion or single motherhood. In some cases it would be an act of generosity, kindness and decency of a man to consent to the woman to have their child. Th is would make him, in Thomson’s terms, a Good Samaritan. But if he doesn’t give his consent, a woman would fail morally if she takes by stealth what she cannot attain by consent.
All this is argued entirely apart from the child's interests.
"ABORTION, EMPATHY AND CONSENT. ON THE POSITION OF THE FATHER IN UNINTENDED PREGNANCIES"
BERIL SÖZMEN IDEMEN
Diacritica 25-2_Filosofia.indb 29 05-01-2012 09:38:19