Abortion ultimatum

Joey Garcia

The guy I am dating had a one-night stand with a girl before he and I met, and she is pregnant. He wants nothing to do with her. He wants to be with me, but he wants his baby. The problem is the other girl is threatening to have an abortion (her third) if he is not with her. To stop her from killing his baby, he is willing to see her and then see me secretly. He assured me that he would not have sex. I don’t think I could handle being his secret. And what if this isn’t his baby? She sleeps around. He can have a DNA test once the baby is born, but can anything stop her from having the abortion? I know that it is a woman’s choice, but what are his rights as father? She is only seven weeks along.

He is powerless to stop the abortion unless he succumbs to her intimidation tactic. U.S. court rulings consistently state that a woman’s right to an abortion cannot be vetoed by a husband, partner or ex-boyfriend, and no woman is required to notify the father if she chooses to have an abortion. Philosopher George W. Harris has argued that in certain situations, a woman’s choice to have an abortion is morally wrong because it does harm to the father, but this idea has had little impact. Only in China can a man sue his wife for withholding his opportunity to become a father.

I understand your boyfriend’s desperation to save his child. Do you both understand that his former fling’s threat to abort the baby unless your boyfriend commits to her is insane? You are dealing with a woman who is unbalanced. Perhaps she is frightened at the prospect of being a single mom. Or maybe she believes that intimidation is the only path to a life with a man in it. Either way, I doubt that this threat is the only one she’ll spew.

Do you want a life spent responding to her coercion and power plays? If not, refuse your man’s invitation to a secret relationship. It’s a growth-stunting option, anyway, because he cannot be fully present and available to you when his priorities must be his child and the mother of his child. I suggest that you leave now. Let him make his decision without distraction while you seek an available man.

I am a gay man with herpes. I have lived alone because I was tired of courting men only to be rejected because of the disease. Recently, I discovered a singles Web site for people with sexually transmitted diseases, and I placed a profile on several sites. I am a one-man-only guy, and I find myself being contacted by three fine men! Two are HIV-positive, and one is uninfected but interested. We e-mail regularly, and I have spoken to one on the phone. Is this wrong? I don’t want to hurt anyone. I’ve never had this problem before because I have never had this opportunity before. I tried the one-at-a-time approach, but now I am discovering interesting people who are interested in me. What is the right thing to do?

You are doing it! Dating is the process of getting to know several different people in order to discern which one is the best partner for you. The vital virtue in this process is honesty. After a few in-person dates, let your men know that you are seeing others and hope to find one man to be your partner. It’s possible that one man will feel hurt if you do not choose him, but you cannot protect him from his own feelings. Trust that the hurt will lead him into a deeper understanding of himself, as difficult emotions often do.

Meditation of the week
Recently, while I was answering relationship questions from callers on V101.1, morning-show host Lee Perkins asked how couples benefit from volunteering together. “It builds spiritual intimacy in the relationship,” I said. “The couple learns that their gifts and skills are useful to the world, and they are reminded that everyone–not just those in their nuclear family, but everyone–is kin.” Dear readers, a nonprofit needs you. Will you answer the call?

Our content is free, but not free to produce

If you value our local news, arts and entertainment coverage, become an SN&R supporter with a one-time or recurring donation. Help us keep our reporters at work, bringing you the stories that need to be told.


Stay Updated

For the latest local news, arts and entertainment, sign up for our newsletter.
We'll tell you the story behind the story.