Does The Father Have The Right To Prevent An Abortion?

We recently came across a story in the BBC, which made us think over some very deep things. Apparently, there is a man in Britain who is attempting to keep his ex-girlfriend from aborting a child that he is the biological father of. The story got our attention because for quite some time we have been troubled by the way in which the US court system views the rights of the mother and father when there are disagreements over a shared child - especially in the Black community. The abortion case in Britain, though, takes that argument almost to its apex. Although many women argue that they have a right to abort a child because it is "their body", many men feel that since both were involved in the creation of the life of the child, that "their baby" should not be aborted without their consent.

Quite often the abortion debate in this country breaks down along partisan lines. But at the root of the debate, we think, are some very important questions that should be asked that are so far above the current pro-life and pro-choice dichotomy of the political discourse, which at times, seems to put party allegiance over common sense and spiritual beliefs.

And it seems that Blacks are not doing their own thinking on this issue - too often deferring to the view of condescending liberal white feminists who have never even had an abortion or self-righteous conservative white men who have gotten women pregnant and then have had them have abortions for them in secret.

Of course we are not referring to all liberal white feminists or all conservative white men. But if the shoe fits, they are already wearing it.

We don't think that either group, regardless of their political party affiliation, is qualified to lead Black opinion on this issue.

In our opinion, much of the disagreement among Blacks, on this issue, stems from Black women and Black men internalizing the disagreements of White America. In that sense, it is not much different than Spanish-speaking Blacks and French-speaking Blacks and English-speaking Blacks internalizing the arguments of their former colonial and slave masters and fighting one another.

Because of slavery and the deconstruction of the Black family that it caused, we think that Blacks need to stop following the lead of their political parties - mainly Democrat and Republican - and start to do some independent thinking on the issue of abortion.

While the case in Britain is not necessarily a model example, the case does bring up some important issues.

We will use it as a springboard for future editorials about the sanctity of life; the rights of a woman over her own body; the rights of mothers and fathers; and the destruction and breakdown of the Black family.

Let us know what you think. Here is the link to the story:

Decision in abortion fight case

Cedric Muhammad

Thursday, March 22, 2001