"Choice For Men" (C4M), also known as "male abortion"
"Choice For Men" (C4M) - overview
"Choice For Men" (C4M or "male abortion") - more details
Commentary on the C4M FAQ
The politics of "Choice For Men" in the UK
An aiming point for the future "Beyond C4M"
Reproductive trends for never-together men & women
"Scenario 1" - what should the law be in this case?
Related topic - Advances in male contraception - overview
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"Scenario 1" - what should the law be in this case?

The situation

A man & woman have consensual sex, using a male condom.

The condom fails, and she becomes pregnant, conceiving with his sperm.

He wants to have neither rights to responsibilities to any resulting child, and in fact she knew that all along (hence his use of a condom).

The worst case

She has various choices available to her. They may all be important to him, but one is the primary driver for C4M - she may give birth to the child and claim child support from him. This is the starting point here.

Suppose he is an average full time male earner. These are approximate figures only - precision is irrelevant here & would miss the point. He earns about £23,000 gross per year - perhaps about £19,000 net income per year. Under the reformed CSA scheme, his child support calculation for that child would be about £2,867 per year. He may have to pay this for the next 18 years.

She might spend over £20,000 on the child for the first 5 years, and over £53,000 from then until the child is 16. Suppose that she spends a further £8,000 from then until the child is 18. This is over £81,000. Where does the money come from? From the state - £14,508 in Child Benefit (more if she claims Income Support, of course). From him - £51,606. So, presumably, she pays the remaining £14,886 (of which she may get a lot in Working Families Tax Credit from the state). Her decision can cost him over £51,000 over the next 18 years, while the same decision will cost her all the issues of carrying the child to term & giving birth to it, plus over £14,000.

Some would dispute that children cost that much. They may prefer to use the "Small Fortunes" research by Susan Middleton et al, which gives the expenditure on a child to be about £67 per week at current prices (it was about £57 in 1995). This gives nearly £63,000 in total. He pays £51,000, the state pays over £14,000, she pays ... er .... run those figures again. After he has paid over £51,000 in child support, that leaves about £12,000, of which the state pays over £14,000. Hm!


The undisputed facts here are: he is the bio-father; no one is claiming rape.

She faces all the issues of having a child. That, in fact, may be the real cost to her - the above figures suggest that she may not actually have to pay much for the child herself. But the evidence is that some women want to have children! It may be that her side of the equation is positive, not negative.

If he didn't want the child in the first place, and never gets to care for it, there is no real doubt that the £51,000 he pays is unwanted cost to him - there is no compensation. (But, on the positive side - he had sex at least once!)

There is a child to be supported. There are still social issues raised above which can't be dismissed for ever. At the very least they will drive out other solutions.

A baby was just born. He had all his pieces and looked quite normal, except that he was laughing like hell. I mean laughing real hard. All the doctors and nurses were examining the little thing in front of the worried parents, but he kept on laughing, his tiny fists all closed and tears rolling from his eyes. At one time, a pediatrician unfolded the tiny fingers to check why the hand was always clenched, and... guess what he found?????

A birth control pill!

Page last updated: 5 July, 2004 © Copyright Barry Pearson 2003