Cohabiting Men’s Views of Abortion and Perceived Roles in Fertility Decision Making

Amanda J. Miller, Ohio State University

Rising numbers of men are fathering children within cohabiting unions. However, we know little about their feelings regarding pregnancy and their roles in fertility decisions should an unintended pregnancy occur. To address this gap, I use data from 61 qualitative interviews of working and middle class heterosexual cohabiting men, most of whom have no immediate desire for (more) children. I examine their views of abortion, desired outcomes, and to what extent they think their opinions will play a role should their partners experience an unplanned pregnancy. A sub-sample of eleven men from this group who have experienced a pregnancy with their current partners is used to explore men’s actual roles in determining whether a conception was terminated or carried to term. In general, the strength of men’s relationships with their partners and their perceived instrumental readiness for fatherhood shape their desired outcomes for pregnancy and views of abortion.

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Presented in Poster Session 3