I was born before Roe v. Wade came into being. Abortions were illegal, but not nonexistent. There were always doctors willing to perform those procedures. Some were actually licensed. If a woman couldn’t find a doctor, there were always the DIY methods, though those often worked by killing the mother-to-be. All of these were considerations, of course, when the decision was made to carry me to term.
My biological parents were not married. My biological father was one of those guys who would say anything to get what he wanted from people. When my biological mother told him she was pregnant, his words were, “Not my problem.” And it wasn’t. As simply as that, he was allowed to walk away and remove himself from the situation. It was my biological mother who had to make the decisions about how to proceed. She was young. She was alone. And she was faced with something life-changing that she had help creating, but no help enduring.
Perhaps if abortion had been legal and safe, I wouldn’t be here today. But my argument has nothing to do with whether or not abortion should be legal. I was put up for adoption because having a child out of wedlock was an abomination in those days. The irony is that I was given up so no one would make fun of me for not having a father. Instead, the school I ended up in was full of people who could find other things to make fun of me for. Another irony is that her religion didn’t believe in abortion, but it did believe in giving up family members to avoid being shamed by others. I was, after all, a sin.
Marriage was also a religious belief for my biological parents when children were in the picture, yet my biological father didn’t step up to the plate to legitimize my existence. In hindsight, knowing what I know about him, my biological mother and I were better off without him. However, he was allowed to dodge his responsibilities as a participant in the creation of human life. And had this happened today, our legislators would still allow that to be the case.
Every year, a bunch of men in suits get together to figure out how they can end abortion. They don’t consider any education on the front end. That would be preventative, and they can’t seem to grasp that concept. These bills get stricter and stricter. And, to be fair, are often supported by female legislators and constituents as well. The latest craze (short for crazy idea) is to charge the mother and the medical staff with crimes. Murder. You’ll note that one key participant is missing from that group of criminals. The father.
Without the father, there would be no baby. Without the father bailing on the situation, there would be no reason to think the child couldn’t be supported and brought up in a loving home. Yet, these bills always target the mother. Make the mother wait several days to get an abortion. Make the mother listen to the heartbeat. Make the mother read brochures and watch videos on other options. What. About. The. FATHER???? Where does he fall into this? Why does he get a pass when no one else does?
If you want to end abortion, you can’t just charge one person with the responsibility that took two to create. We charge people with first degree murder in this state if they are tagging along during the commission of a felony and someone gets killed. It doesn’t matter if that person didn’t do the killing. It doesn’t even matter if that person was sitting outside in the getaway car and had no idea someone died. They get automatically charged because they were involved in the other crime. They can say, “but no one was supposed to get killed,” or “but I didn’t do the killing.” And they do say that. The law doesn’t care about their intentions where the death is concerned. All it cares about is that they were there.
In another example, we charge people who serve too much alcohol to someone who goes out and injures or kills someone else due to the level of intoxication. We hold bartenders responsible for recognizing someone has had too much alcohol. We hold parents and adults responsible allowing underage kids to drink on their property. We hold a lot of people responsible for things like this, but not once do we include a father in the penalties for abortions.
Yes, I know. There are those clever female legislators who suggest fining men for masturbating. I say clever with sarcasm because it’s a waste of my tax dollars. If they were really clever, they would be adding an amendment to every abortion bill that includes the father. What’s good for the goose, as they say. Instead, these female legislators try to be funny with something that isn’t remotely related. I never find humor in my money being wasted.
The likely reason we don’t see the fathers added to these bills is, dare I suggest it, some of these male legislators would find themselves on the other side of the law. Right now, fathers who don’t want to be responsible fathers get to be completely free and clear of any abortion decisions. They can even provide the money to pay for the abortion, but no one even glances in their direction when it comes to penalties. Yet, if someone buys liquor for someone who later drives drunk and kills someone…
Until we start holding men accountable for their actions, this issue with unwanted children will continue. We can blame religion and we can blame politics, but the simple truth is, we need to blame the father. We are so focused on the mother that it never occurs to anyone she didn’t get that way on her own. Abortion bills should be equitable. They should also be constitutional, but that’s a whole different blog post. So write your legislators and tell them to add “baby daddy” to the list of offenders on these one-sided bills. If they truly want to end abortion, they should thank you for that suggestion and fix their oversight. If they don’t…then we will know it really has nothing to do with pro-life at all. (as if we didn’t already)