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Unformatted text preview: dill H a ruler want to assume the role of father have absoluter no right to demand that their wishes be con stdered as one factor influencing the abortion desision. This seems problematic; especiain if it is true, as we have argued, that it is fair to force men to nay.r child support because women’s possession of a tight to abortion on demand does not reheire men of all [ESPDnSihillty for their children‘s births. At an},r rate, the possibility,' of developing a sound argument along these lines is intriguing, and further thought on the matter might bejustit'ied. Acknowledgments l are indebted to lGeorge Rainbolt for helpful comments on an earlier 1tiersiizin ofthis chapter. Notes and References 'Ste 'iien D. Hales, Abortion and Fathers ’ Rights. in this 1rolun'ie, pp. 3— 25 (Hereafter, AFR}. 2Drtlin.a.t‘ilj,i, we do not think that men possess the right to abort. Thus it might appear that HaIEs eoulel drop a]1 reference to principle {3} and sin’ititirr argue that the conjunction of { l 3', and {2} is ineonsis lent. However, Hales does not take this tack because he allows that this ineoneistericzir could be avoided by either: {a} declaring {trmally} that men. have the right to short, or {b} by saying that principle {1} applies only when biological differences do not make it absurd to ascribe the same rights to men and women (AFR, 53. 3This is one possible interpretation ofwhat Hales means when he says: "The mother does not especially have the nght to kill the fetus: rather, what she has is a right not to have to deal wnh lit-.111}! more In the future. Abortion itself might be looked at as [a] means, or a mechanism, of avoiding certain future duties." (AFR, 3]. “Stating Halesr position in this way assumes that Hales ts operating Wllh some sort of ascripniic theor}.r of rights. However. the tenor of Hales‘ essay,r IS such that this assumption seems Justified. SAIthough Hales clearly wants to claim that possession of the right to abort gives women a right to avoid future duties and that this creates an inconsistency among principles {1}, {2}, and {3}, there Maternity, Paternity, and Equality 41 are times when he Intimates that he would he wtlltng to accept the above reformulation of his argument. For example, he says that abortion ts a right tltat makes tt “morally pennrsathle [for women] to avoid future hardships. " (AFR, 5]. thus suggesting that It is a right that does nothing more than triller (or permit} women to avoid the duties of [3]. Moreover, when Hales eon- ceives ot‘ahottlon as Sll'l'lplj" the rtght to end one‘s pregnancy, Le , as not entatltng a supposed “trght” to avoid future duties, he asserts that “the father sttll lacks something that the mother pos- sesses: a legitimate mechanism for eventing future duties.“ He then assumes that this state ofat‘t'ans needs to he "rectified," thus implying that It is unjust (APR, 1'). r'rlttrtstotle, Nienmar'henn Ernie-s, Book V. “Hales seems to assume that men and women are equally responsthle for conception. and here 1 simply accept this presupposnlon as true. It is worth noting. however, that the assumption of equal respnnsihtlltv is vet'jir nfien False, and that there are many cases where men are more responsible than women for the onset ot‘preg- nanev. For example, women are sometimes tricked tnto having intercourse by heat and deceptton, there also are numerous eases where women use htrth control mechanisms that Just happen to fail, while their male partners show a total lack of Itfipflnfliblltl}! in this regard In all such eases it is possible to argue that allowing women to abort Is Fair because tt provides them wrth a mechanism for avolding the deleterious consequences of their lovers" coer- ctve andtor negligent actions. ...
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