Men’s and women’s reproductive systems are different, and so a full discussion of reproductive rights needs to take into account each gender’s unique concerns. Being the ones to carry the child gives women unique concerns involving the physical/medical consequences of pregnancy, but not being the ones to carry the child gives men unique concerns as well, namely paternal uncertainty—men are at a natural disadvantage when it comes to knowing if the child is theirs. This page looks into how big of a problem this is, and what we can do to address this unique reproductive concern for men.
The courts have properly determined that a man should neither be able to force a woman to have an abortion nor to prevent her from having one, should she so choose. Justice therefore dictates that if a woman makes a unilateral decision to bring pregnancy to term, and the biological father does not, and cannot, share in this decision, he should not be liable for 21 years of support.
That’s according to Karen DeCrow, president of the National Organization for Women (NOW) from 1974 to 1979. “Or, put another way, autonomous women making independent decisions about their lives should not expect men to finance their choice.”
This page is an exploration (in FAQ form) of the idea of legal paternal surrender, which would allow men to opt-out of the responsibilities of parenthood within a certain time-frame, in order to bring them closer to women in terms of reproductive rights and options.
It’s a common misconception (seen from, e.g., Emma Watson, Maisie Williams, and the Geek Feminism wiki) that if you believe in gender equality then you must be a feminist. That’s like saying that if you believe in morality then you must be a Christian, or if you care about the working class then you must be a socialist. In reality, feminism doesn’t have a monopoly on gender equality; it’s just one approach (or more accurately, a group of related approaches), whose beliefs and actions are up for debate.