The Case of the Blue-Eyed Girl: Husbands, Wives and Abortion


Reader Robert Freedland commented on the post below about spousal notification and abortion. I wanted to respond to his question here:


Do you actually think women need to ask permission from their spouses prior to obtaining an abortion? Perhaps what you mean to say is that you are opposed to abortion and that if a spouse can stop a woman who desires an abortion, then that would be a good thing in your view.

Actually, Robert, I have a really bad habit of coming right out and saying exactly what I mean. I won’t leave you wondering.


My Daughter’s Eyes

See these blue eyes? They belong to my dreamer-girl. If you meet her in real life, it’s one of the first things you notice about her. They are piercingly blue.

My eyes are hazel.

Those are her dad’s eyes. From the recessive gene.

So here’s what I “actually think.” I don’t think the question of spousal notification is an issue of “permission.”

It’s a question of courtesy. At least. I’ll go further and call it a question of justice.

Men in America today have no rights when it comes to abortion. Even husbands. None.

Despite the fact that the living human being the pregnant woman can unilaterally choose to kill “terminate” might have his eyes.

* * *

Glenn Reynolds with some important points on “spousal autonomy.”

Stop by Open Post at Mudville Gazette. . .

. . .and at Stop the ACLU. . . and the Political Teen.


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6 Responses

  1. Men in America today have no rights when it comes to abortion. Even husbands. None.

    Strangely enough, men in America today have no pregnancies. Even husbands. None.

    When somebody’s husband gets pregnant, that husband will get to decide whether to have an abortion. As long as it’s wives’ bodies that the fetus is occupying, it’s wives who get to decide what to do with those bodies.

  2. charmaine says:

    Kevin — I realize you are purposefully going for ironic bloodlessness. Fine. What I find interesting is that in the midst of all the passive voice, we run smack into an active fetus who “is occupying.” That just seems to beg the existential question.

    But maybe that’s just me.

    Thanks for the comment.

  3. Jane Lathem says:

    Thank you for your stand on this issue. It seems much to easy these days to ‘get rid of’ anything and everything that may be hindering us from doing what WE want to do or from being what WE want to be. Heaven forbid that we put someone else’s need above our own.

  4. Excellent!

    Don’t you find Kevin’s statement “it’s wives who get to decide what to do with those bodies” kinda creepy? What to do with those bodies?

    What do we do with “those bodies” of the unborn babies? Maybe if America would finally take a good long look at the “remains” of those bodies, we could end this horror right now and we might not even need a law to do it.

    Maybe our conscience would be enough?

  5. Charlie says:

    Kevin’s stance is profoundly wrong, but perfectly consistent with the view that marriage is merely a contractual economic arrangement between two independent adults.

    The traditional view of marriage is a transformational partnership in which there is no longer a “me” and a “you,” but only an “us.” A woman who would abort “our” child without first talking to her spouse will have the law on her side, but in the process she will utterly destroy the unity that makes a marriage sacred and the trust that holds a marriage together.

  6. Charmaine,

    Your daughter has beautiful eyes. Small note on the recessive gene thing. If your husband has blue eyes (and assuming a single gene controlling color), he is double recessive. In order for your daughter to end up with blue eyes, she is receiving the recessive gene from you as well. You should take credit if her eyes are piercingly blue.

    I do agree that spouses should discuss important decisions like abortion prior to such an event. What I disagree is that the state should intervene to limit a woman’s rights requiring notification of her spouse. That discussion should between the husband and wife and should not be dictated by the state. We don’t need “big brother” intervening in our most personal of relationships.

    While technically notification is not about permission, in fact, this is exactly what it is about. Otherwise, the state could require notification ‘after the fact’ and allow the spouse to receive that information after the abortion has occurred. The fact that there is a prior notification assumes that the spouse should have some input, should have his “say” about the decision about terminating a pregnancy.

    Those that oppose abortion are willing to take apart the laws piecemeal. Whether it be by spousal notification, parental approval, choosing to outlaw partial birth abortions or suppressing the Plan B emergency contraceptive, they don’t approve of any type of abortion at all.

    If you can assure me that you are actually in favor of abortion rights for women and just want to have spousal notification as a courtesy, then I shall be convinced. Otherwise, I still believe that while we can argue the minutiae of this notification procedure, the agenda is far greater, that is the denial of abortion rights for all women.

    I stand with my sisters arguing for their rights and privileges in the eyes of the law. Where are you standing?

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