Roles and Responsibility, Where is the Line?

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It’s been a pretty rough weekend, been feeling pretty sick, sore, stressed, and have had no energy to do anything. Finally today, I have some strength to focus on things and hopefully try to be productive for the busy week I have coming up.

A few days ago a close friend sent me a link with a great ethical debate to it.Should men be able to opt out of fatherhood?

http://www.vice.com/read/should-men-be-able-to-opt-out-of-fatherhood?utm_source=vicefbus

My initial gut reaction is to say yes, he can opt out. If a woman can get an abortion without consent of the father, it makes sense that he should have a similar amount of power over his independence. However, this also seems like it would set a terrible public policy precedent, in addition to being just generally shitty. If you’re going to bang, you’ve got to be willing to own the consequences, whatever those are. Otherwise, you end up incentivizing men to just hit and quit it, never taking responsibility for their own actions or the lives of their children. The ONLY way I’d maybe answer “yes” to this question is if the woman has uninhibited access to abortion services in order to make a full and complete choice. If the woman does not have access to abortion, she really does not have a choice as to whether or not she wants to carry that pregnancy.

Having known people who have gone through similar situations it brings up the question of what about ex-partners or spouses? Do they have a respnsibility to be there for their partner regardless of whether it’s an abortion or full-term pregnancy? It’s an  interesting proposition that I decided to ask anonymously online. I thought I was biased, helping a friend through this exact situation and all the complications that have ensued so I tried to remain as neutral as possible to get the most unbiased opinions. As abortion tends to be a controversial topic for many people obviously the first comment I got on my post was from someone who was pro-choice. Moving on. The second comment I got was:

Okay… Let’s go ahead and ignore that first comment you got (which was completely unnecessary and uncalled for, but, alas, that is what we open ourselves up to when posting on here, unfortunately).

(1) Regardless of whether the remaining fetus is viable at this point (it is only one of the twins remaining, correct?), the issue does not stop with her. It takes two people to result in a pregnancy. I’m of the opinion that he should be there for her until this situation has been completely resolved. Not that she necessarily needs it–it’s more of a moral obligation. It’s irresponsible of him, to say the least, and I feel like part of the reason why you and your friend are still struggling with this is because he wasn’t present the entire time to make sure things went as they should. Correct me if I’m wrong.

The interesting thing about being the carrier of the offspring, however, is that she ultimately can decide how much of a role he should play at this point. Of course, my opinion is that he should be there to ensure that the situation is handled properly, as I’ve already said. But she can completely go out on her own, now, if she feels so inclined. I stand firm in the belief that he does have a moral obligation to assist her though. This is true even if she decides to go your own way.

I really don’t think he deserves updates on how she’s doing if he insists that he has nothing to do with the situation. After all, why the hell should he even care if he has nothing to do with it anyway? He’s completely contradicting himself there. That might be something worth pointing out to him the next time both your friend and him both talk.

If it’s not the father’s role, whose role is it? By bringing in family and friends, you’re forcing them to deal with his mistake and he’s learning NOTHING. This is something she is going to have to push hard.

As for the fact that he’s started to see someone else… Again… So WHAT? He’s just looking for excuses to push you away and to not have to deal with a situation that is literally half of his doing. As the saying goes… It takes two to tango.

I am becoming so frustrated for your friend. I’m actually talking to my roommate and boyfriend about the situation, and the consensus is what I’ve said. She needs to stick to her guns on this one. She’s dealing with so much right now, and it’s deplorable that he thinks he should be able to escape the situation for any reason.

(2) I think he should have a responsibility in this. She didn’t get pregnant on her own if the sex was consensual and she shouldn’t put the blame on herself for contraception that failed. Regardless of their relationship status, it happened and he should be there to see it through, especially with him asking to have updates. It seems like he’s kind of immature and doesn’t know how to deal with this situation so he’s trying to figure out a way to make it easier on himself, rather than “split the load”.

I’m sorry you and your friend are going through this OP. Hopefully he comes around, but if not, know that it’s something he’ll likely regret down the line and you’ll be a much stronger person.

To be honest though, regardless of the fact that the consensus is both partners or ex-partners should be involved in dealing with the situation. I’ve come to the conclusion you can’t force someone to be there for another person and you for sure as heck can’t force someone to care about something. I’ve witnessed my friend go through this and i’ve seen it first hand myself in my own life. The one thing I have come to accept though, is that you don’t owe someone anything if they choose to not stand by you or someone else. You don’t owe them updates, you don’t owe them reports, and you shouldn’t feel like you need to beg someone to play their part or to be there for you when you need them. Strength comes from within, if someone won’t stand by you or someone else then in the end that already makes you a strong person for standing firm in taking care of yourself. If someone really cares about you and your well-being, they will be there for you. It won’t be through an impersonal text or or a letter, they will show up and be there for you in some manner (in person, call, video chat) and it won’t be an inconvenience because they want to be there and want to know what happens. Respect starts with yourself, learn to respect yourself and how you want to be treated and then you can learn to do the same for others.

I know everyone may not agree with how I feel on this, but it seems to fall in line with a general consensus of people i’ve asked both around me and anonymously trying to remain as neutral as possible as hard as it is.

But now i’m done looking for answers.

M