RESOLUTION SUBMITTED BY MEMBER HUGH NATIONS AND ADOPTED BY THE NCFM BOARD OF DIRECTORS, AUGUST 19, 1992
WHEREAS, the function of men in parenting has been confined largely to the second-class role of material provider; and
WHEREAS, healthy relationships and healthy families require that men be equal participants in every facet of parenting, including responsible contraception and conception; and
WHEREAS, in a substantial number of abortions, the prospective fathers are excluded from all phases of the pregnancy termination process, including any prior knowledge of the initial decision to abort and even post-abortion notification; and
WHEREAS, purported “freedom of choice” is neither freedom nor choice as long as one of the two partners-in-conception can unilaterally impose a decision on the other without notification, discussion, consultation, or any other form of reasonable or humane discourse; and
WHEREAS, the question of the participation of the prospective father in any decision to abort is a separate and distinct matter from those positions normally identified as “pro-choice” and “pro-life”; and
WHEREAS, individuals may in good conscience fully embrace either position and still hold to the heartfelt principle that conception and pre-natal participation, as a vital part of a man’s role in parenting, should be respected along with all the other facets of his parenting role; and
WHEREAS, the decision to abort or to carry to term is an intensely private matter, and, to the maximum extent reasonable, the decision to do either should be made solely by the partners-in-conception; and
WHEREAS, ensuring that all options are fully understood and supported by each partner-in-conception before irreversible decisions are implemented requires the complete and healthy involvement of both partners; and
WHEREAS, for the prospective father to participate fully in that process and to fully exercise his pre-natal role as nurturer and protector, notification of conception and establishment of paternity are necessary:
NOW THEREFORE, this organization, in recognition of the foregoing facts, hereby adopts the following:
I. The prospective father has the fundamental right to be informed by his partner-in-conception that conception has resulted from their union.
II. The prospective father has the fundamental right to participate with his partner-in-conception in any decision affecting the future of the fetus he helped create.
III. The prospective father has the fundamental right to consult with his partner-in-conception or the health care provider, and to be apprised of any relevant information concerning the pregnancy or the abortion process.
IV. A putative father has the fundamental right to a determination of paternity, during both pre-natal and post-natal periods, at the earliest practical time, and by the most conclusive methods reasonably available.
V. The prospective father has a fundamental right of custody equal to that of his partner-in-conception and superior to that of any other.
VI. The prospective father has the right to personal guardianship of the fetus when required to protect the well-being of the fetus or to preserve the right to custody.
VII. The prospective father has the fundamental right, with the consent of his partner-in-conception, to be present at delivery.
VIII. The foregoing fundamental rights shall be neither abrogated nor abridged without due cause clearly and appropriately established.
IX. A prospective mother has the moral responsibility to respect and support the rights of her partner-in-conception.
X. Both public policy and medical ethics should seek to protect and advance the fundamental pre-natal rights of the father.
DECLARATION OF THE FATHER’S FUNDAMENTAL
So, what have you done lately to stand up for your or the rest of our rights?