With the current debate on abortion going on it's an ideal opportunity to take a look at another aspect of reproductive rights that is never discussed i.e. men's reproductive rights. With all the advances in medical technology and a half century of legislation/initiatives on 'equality' women now have the following choices:
1. Abstinence from sex
2. Contraception - a Google search shows up a wide range of pills, devices and medical procedures for women
3. The Morning After Pill
4. Abortion (let's not pretend this isn't an available option)
So a woman can decide at every step of the way whether she wants to get pregnant or not, if she wishes to continue to have the child or not and if she wishes to keep the child or not. Furthermore with medical advances she is no longer restricted by having to find a man or engage in sex in order to get pregnant. If she's married she can also decide to get pregnant by another man and her husband is automatically the legal father. She has almost full control, except in exceptional circumstances, over her reproductive choices.
Conversely men's choices have barely changed over the last half century, they are:
1. Abstinence from sex
2. Contraception - condoms or medical procedures
Basically a Man's choices end after sex, from that point forward his options are solely at the discretion of the woman. Some might argue that he can decide to abandon the child but this is not true, he still has a legal responsibility to pay for the child for the next 18+ years. So basically a man has full legal obligations but very little choice in the matter and deciding to have sex does not mean deciding to have a child.
Now obviously men and women are never going to be equal in reproductive rights and I'm not arguing that they should be, I'm saying that men should have more choices than they currently have.
1. The Male Pill:
While the female pill has been developed over the last 50 years there has been almost no development in the male pill despite the medical technology to do so. It has been blocked at every stage by feminists and their political allies who are unwilling to give men any choice in reproduction. The following video shows what happened when the male pill was discussed at the World Population Congress in Budapest:
The male pill would give men a lot more control over reproduction, most men don't like wearing condoms plus they're expensive, and most men don't want to go through a medical procedure. Instead by taking a pill a man can decide on his own whether he wants to have a child or not. If he has legal obligations for a child he should also have all available reproductive choices first. Furthermore with the debates on abortion and unwanted pregnancies surely every contraception should be available.
2 Paper Abortions:
This (badly named) proposal has been around the blogosphere for a while now. Basically it's the right for men to legally abandon their responsibility for fatherhood within a specific timeframe. Now before some people get up in arms about "deadbeat dads" let's think about the implications here. First off women already have the choice of abandonment or adoption with no financial repercussions as well as the right to exclude the father from the birth certificate and secondly, as I previously stated, having sex is not choosing to have a child. Having this option would lead to more responsible choices for both sexes.
In conclusion it's time for a long overdue discussion on men's reproductive choices and responsibilities. Women have argued for decades that men need to take more responsibility in this area, I would argue that without real choices we can't have a a discussion on responsibility.