Writing in an opinion piece on FOXNews.com, Dr. Keith Ablow, a psychiatrist and member of the Fox News Medical A-Team, offers a new challenge to women’s reproductive rights: he argues that men should be allowed to veto abortions.
I believe that in those cases in which a man can make a credible claim that he is the father of a developing child in utero, in which he could be a proper custodian of that child, and in which he is willing to take full custody of that child upon its delivery, that the pregnant woman involved should not have the option to abort and should be civilly liable, and possibly criminally liable, for psychological suffering and wrongful death should she proceed to do so.
He does not bother to exclude cases of incest or rape, so apparently all that matters is that the man can claim he fertilized the egg. What Dr. Ablow is arguing for is a form of sexual slavery. I made that baby: I own your uterus and I own that embryo. In all ways that matter, until that baby is born, I own you!
I’d never seen such an ingenious case made for sexual slavery. Dr. Ablow, to put it bluntly, is a misogynist and he certainly fits in nicely at FOX News. Nobody in history has been better placed.
He claims that if the man is “fully willing to parent his child (independently, if necessary)” he should have full veto power over the woman’s reproductive rights. The man’s rights – unsurprisingly coming from a conservative on FOX News – trumps the woman’s.
He complains that men have no voice. He laments that his descendents are disposable (shouldn’t this be “potential” descendents?) “at the whim of the woman you choose to be intimate with.”
This is a troubling statement on a number of levels, including the implication that women have abortions on a “whim.” Clearly, he has never talked to a living, breathing woman, let alone a woman contemplating an abortion. I can assure Dr. Ablow that women don’t have abortions on a whim. He needs to get his head out of his books (or out of his ass).
To add insult to injury, he goes on to claim that
The notion that there is no emotional injury done men by depriving them of decision-making power as to whether the children they father are aborted is naïve.
So women suffer no emotional injury from the ordeal, but men do? Women do it coldly on a whim? But men have feelings? I think Dr. Ablow has surrendered any right to complain of naiveté in others.
He admits that,
Just in my own practice of psychiatry, I have listened to dozens of men express lingering, sometimes intense, pain over abortions that proceeded either without their consent, or without them having spoken up about their desires to bring their children to term and parent them.
So by your own admission he hasn’t talked to any women. Good to know. It shows.
Of course, Dr. Clueless saves the best for last:
I understand that adopting social policy that gives fathers the right to veto abortions would lead to presently unknown psychological consequences for women forced to carry babies to term. But I don’t know that those consequences are greater than those suffered by men forced to end the lives of their unborn children.
He doesn’t even begin to get into the issue of gathering evidence, of hearings and trials and appeals. Any man who is not the father (he assumes they will all be honest in this regard) could claim to be the father and by the time the matter is resolved the woman will be forced to have the child. I think, speaking as a man, that the emotional consequences will be far greater for the woman.
And in the end, it will be the woman who is forced to carry a child to term, experiencing the physiological and psychological changes pregnancy brings, and go through the pain of birth, all at the whim of man who may have no more motive than keeping the woman from having an abortion.
It’s an odd argument to make, claiming that men are excluded from the decision making process, by arguing that instead, women should be excluded.
As an addendum to this piece, I thought I would include some of Dr. Ablow’s other irrational views (listed on Wikipedia):
- Ablow has suggested that President Barack Obama’s appearances on “YouTube and the daytime talk shows” may have contributed to an increase in suicide rates.
- Ablow has stated that policies like health care reform in the United States “sow the seeds” of the “kind of oppression” seen in Egypt.
- Ablow has stated that “Lots of species may be about to leave the planet, and I don’t care.”
- Ablow has stated that participants in the 2011 Wisconsin protests against weakening and possibly abolishing collective bargaining rights for civil service employees are “Parasitic and need to be identified as such.”
- Ablow has stated that a complaint filed by the National Labor Relations Board against the Boeing Company, for the company’s alleged retaliation against unionized workers represents “the end of freedom in America.”
- Ablow has falsely suggested that there is “no evidence” linking asthma to the burning of fossil fuel.
- Ablow has claimed that President Barack Obama pursues “a socialist or communist manifesto.”
- On July 19, 2011 on a Fox News Fair and Balanced debate, Ablow stated emphatically that “I am not a pedophile, at all.”
As you can see, Dr. Ablow is not exactly a credible expert where a wide range of fields are concerned. Given his bizarre and outlandish views on these subjects, his aspirations for a “manly” veto power over women’s reproductive rights make him no less of a conservative tool (in fact they make him more of one) but they do make it less surprising.