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Thesis & Antithesis

A critical perspective on energy, international politics & current affairs

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Location: Washington, D.C.

greekdefaultwatch@gmail.com Natural gas consultant by day, blogger on the Greek economy by night. Trained as an economist and political scientist. I believe in common sense and in data, and my aim is to offer insight written in language that is clear and convincing.

18 July 2005

Roe v. Wade unisex?

Sandra Day O’Connor’s retirement has reignited the abortion debate in America, and to mark the occasion, here is a heterodox thought that has always floated in my mind: if a woman is allowed to terminate a pregnancy, why isn’t a man accorded the same right as well—not in being able to force a woman to have an abortion, but in being able to disavow the child, reneging all legal responsibilities to it? If conception occurs between a man and a woman, why should the woman alone have the right to terminate the offspring of that union?

I understand that there is little legal basis for this idea; the right to privacy, which features prominently in Roe v. Wade, hardly applies to men in this case. Even more, it is different for a man to discharge his duties to a child that lives, than a woman choosing to never give birth to a child. And, it is simplistic to argue for similar rights for men and women as if they bore an equal cost and responsibility in bringing the child to life.

But in the broader sense, I am not immediately convinced that men should not be entitled to that same right as women. (The heavy disclaimer-words are meant to suggest that this is not a position I endorse, just a radical “thinking out loud” that I would like to find the syllogism to disprove.)

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