The Father of the Baby: What Rights Should He Have?

A newly proposed bill in Tennessee is taking a lesser-used approach to the abortion issue: what if fathers had some power to protect their child from being killed in abortion? What if the father, who had an equal part in creating the child, could do something to stop his partner from making the devastating choice to have an abortion?

Two Tennessee lawmakers introduced a bill this week that would do just that: give fathers a say on the matter of whether their child lives or dies. State House Bill 1079/ Senate Bill 494 would allow fathers to request a jurisdictional order that would prohibit the mother from aborting their baby.

Not surprisingly, this bill is getting extreme pushback from many, and even many pro-lifers do not agree on the specifics of it. For example, as is cited by the Huffington Post, the bill doesn’t explicitly state that the man would have to prove he is the father in order to prevent the woman from getting an abortion.

These specifics would obviously need adjusting, and, as always, there are clarifications that many people are going to want to be made. But all in all, this bill could be monumental. This could lead to a rising up of fathers who value their children, fathers who have been devastated when their partner chose to have an abortion, fathers who didn’t even know of their unborn child until after it was too late.

For decades, the pro-life movement has been trying–to no avail–to make the voices of fathers heard, trying to introduce bills and legislation that would give the father some sort of legal right to participate  in his unborn child’s life, to no avail. 

Organizations such as Men and Abortion Network and others exist to help men grieve the very real pain of loosing a child to abortion, and with the passage of such legislation we could see change come to the pro-life movement in a very new, very real, and very different way.