women making independent decisions about their lives should not expect men to finance their choice.
She is right that if the mother were regarded as having the sole right to abort or birth the child, it would not follow that the father should be financially obligated for the support of a child for whose entrance into the world he had no subsequent, say, "veto" power. But both of these claims bear further examination as to their validity...
Is it possible to derive the unilateral right to abortion, as
described in the quote, and the duty for men to pay child support from
the same reasoning?
No. In pregnancies arising from consensual sex, there is no veto right for either parent. That decision was already made. Procreation is a three-party contract; in every case there are now three human beings involved, and no one can claim to honor human rights and yet violate any one of these.
If so, how exactly? And if it's not possible, what are adjustments to
either the right to abortion or the duty of child support that unify
the underlying ethical reasoning?
In a relationship involving consensual procreation, the mother is as obligated to bring her pregnancy to full term and to nurture her child as the father is to provide for and protect and teach the child. Both obligations are in full force as of the time of procreation and cannot possibly be annulled without violating real human rights. The child has as full a right to live as any other human. He or she has a right to be born, nurtured, loved and provided for by stable and mutually committed parents. Voluntary neglect of these responsibilities is an abandonment of the most fundamental human rights. Children are obligated to live in such a way as to honor their parents for the gift of life, nurture, protection and upbringing. It is a mutual contract of pure benefit to all involved.
Neither parent ever has a right at any point to deny his or her child's right to life nor to hamper the child's chance of life or success.
But what about...
In uncommon cases such as rape, the procreative act was not remotely consensual on the part of one of the two parents. In such cases, adoption can be encouraged, such that the financial burden of rearing the child can be borne by those more willing if one or both of the biological parents is unwilling. Forfeiting a viable life even when begotten through coercion is strongly discouraged, since avenues exist for the life, care, and well-being of the child.
In the rare case that the mother's health is threatened by the pregnancy or the chances for survival for the mother or baby are very slim, compassion persuades us to do all that we can to improve those chances. It would seem crass to condemn one who . Nonetheless, discovery, innovation and patience and sometimes re-tests have brought about safe or safer deliveries for many children and mothers who were thought to have a very grim prospect. As an example, the false positive rate for diagnosing potentially life-threatening ectopic pregnancies is stunningly high. Re-tests and further diagnoses are encouraged before deciding on a course of action that might result in miscarriage or inflicted birth defects.
Rights and Responsibilities in a Changing Landscape
Both father and mother have an equal right to their children insofar as they both fulfill their duties to their children and to each other.
We must be careful ethically and politically to avoid any one-sided policy or a situation that creates a conflict of interests that enables continued fracture of families and lowers esteem for marriage and children. It is totally unjust, as Mrs. DeCrow insightfully observed, that the mother and father should be on unequal (that is, not equally valued or equally important) grounds. In a world in which masculine and feminine roles (though ironically not value) are increasingly seen as equal, any asymmetries in treatment should naturally disappear so as to maintain or restore fair treatment. If mothers leave nurturing roles to become breadwinners and providers, requiring fathers to bear sole financial responsibility for their children is an injustice. Such imbalance is unsustainable, especially since it fractures relationships between men and women and makes wholesome family life a near impossibility. Ultimately, this cycle of insincere equality and gender-based collusion and destabilization of the family is unfair to everyone.
Wholesome contractual marriage and the elimination of the welfare state is the necessary solution to the problem. Eliminating no-fault divorces and erasing any and all financial or legal incentive for divorce will do far more to ameliorate family relationships than will any amount of romance novels, diamonds or counseling. The undoing of these safeguards has precipitated the current figurative and literal bloodbath. Let father and mother be co-equal according to mutually agreeable conditions. If any will not then fulfill his or her end of the contract, the corresponding rights are forfeit.
Intentional failure to care for one's own offspring is a sin against human rights so deep and disturbing that it nullifies the perpetrator's own corresponding rights in society at large. Ultimately we see that it is the discarding of marriage that leads to irresponsibility regarding offspring, broken families, unilateral abortion decisions and the child support dilemma spoken of in the question. Wholesome, intact marriage eliminates the child support question and makes much more likely a favorable and united decision regarding birth and childrearing. It is in the best interests of all societies to seek to maximize its appeal and the success of marriage.
Sticking with realities of universal and equitable law, you will find that a great many complex and dense issues suddenly become easy to understand and practical to apply consistently.