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Unwilling Fathers and Abortion: Terminating Men's Child Support Obligations?

Sheldon, Sally (2003) Unwilling Fathers and Abortion: Terminating Men's Child Support Obligations? Modern Law Review, 66 (2). pp. 175-194. ISSN 0026-7961. (doi:10.1111/1468-2230.6602001) (KAR id:249)


There is broad agreement across the western industrialised world that men who father children outside of marriage share in an obligation to support their offspring financially. Against this consensus, some men's groups have claimed that if women are accorded control over the decision to continue or to terminate a pregnancy then it is unfair to hold genetic fathers financially liable for child support. This paper assesses the merits of this claim from a feminist perspective. Having considered a number of arguments, it suggests that the currently accepted grounding of child support liability (in voluntary creation of need) provides little scope for refuting the men's groups' argument. The paper then moves on to argue that voluntary creation of need is, however, inadequate as a basis for child support liability, and that the current analysis offers compelling grounds for preferring a collective model of support obligations.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1111/1468-2230.6602001
Additional information: The definitive version is available at
Uncontrolled keywords: fathers, abortion, child support
Subjects: K Law > K Law (General)
Divisions: Divisions > Division for the Study of Law, Society and Social Justice > Kent Law School
Depositing User: Katrin Steinack
Date Deposited: 19 Dec 2007 18:06 UTC
Last Modified: 16 Nov 2021 09:39 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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