Posted on: December 13, 2016 at 1:18 pm
Last updated: September 25, 2017 at 6:58 pm

No one would argue that being a parent is hard. Moms and dads face challenges from even before their child’s first day in the world- “How will we provide for her?” “How will we protect him?” “How will we have the energy to raise a child?”. Parenting is the one job that you can’t retire from; even adult children need their moms and dads.

Since becoming a parent is such a massive commitment, a lot of consideration has to go into that big decision. So… what happens when someone asks themselves all the right questions and decides that they really aren’t fit to raise somebody? And what if that somebody is already on the way?

What Does Financial Abortion Mean?


More people now than ever are raising questions about a parent’s responsibility to their child. In just one country, people will hold completely opposite views about a parent’s responsibility to their child from the moment of conception. In some states, that means women are now given permission to end their pregnancy. Today, a new idea is growing in popularity- it’s called “financial abortion”.

The Definition

The idea of financial abortion is to give the option to “opt out” of parenthood during pregnancy. Many people compare financial abortion to sperm or egg donors, who, although they are the biological parent, have no obligations in the raising of that child.

Why Do People Want It?

Generally, if a couple has a baby, they are both obligated by law to care for him or her, even if their own relationship doesn’t last. For many men, that means contributing financially for their child’s needs while being prevented from even seeing that child. If they don’t provide money, they can face serious consequences.

Individuals who are in favor of financial abortion argue that both men and women should have equal choice to become parents (involving every emotional, financial, and legal aspect) without being punished if they decide that parenthood isn’t for them. That decision would be made during pregnancy, and rather than aborting the baby, the “un-parent” would leave the scene.

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A Real-Life Court Case

dubay vs wells

Surprisingly, financial abortion has already been argued for in court. In 2007, Matthew Dubay sued his ex-girlfriend, Lauren Wells, for having his child. (You read that right). Dubay and Wells had broken up before their child was born.

Dubay argued to the court that, while Wells had the legal right to abort or give birth to her baby, he didn’t have a choice. He argued that he shouldn’t have to be financially responsible for a child he never wanted to have, and further that it was a violation of his constitutional rights.

In the end, Dubay’s complaints were dismissed by the court, calling his arguments “frivolous, unreasonable, and without foundation”. The judge countered that there is no constitutional right to choose parenthood (or not).


Is it Right?

The reason this idea is so controversial is because people have different opinions about what the “real question” actually is. For some, it’s about establishing the right to govern your own life. For others, it’s about being responsible for your actions. For others still, it’s about what would really benefit a child.

We encourage you to share this article and tell us what you think about financial abortion! Do you think the court ruled correctly? Do you think it’s a system that could actually work? Are you convinced it’s all hogwash and a big excuse for not being an accountable adult? Do you think this will catch on?

Leave your opinion in the comments!


Dubay V. Wells, 442 F. Supp. 2d 404 (E.D. Mich. 2006).

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