Do men have rights in abortion? The Greek view

Med Law. 2010 Mar;29(1):77-85.


Aim: We have examined from a legal perspective the father's role in the decision to abort a pregnancy in western society. Furthermore, we have taken a closer look into the inadequacies the Greek legal framework on this issue, from a legal and social point of view.

Methods: Literature in the Greek and English language.

Results: One of abortion's many victims is the father of the child. In most European countries and the United States of America, the law does not give any rights to the father on the issue of an abortion. Quite simply, men have no legal rights when it comes to abortion. Legally, an abortion is a private matter between a woman and her doctor, even if she is married. Greece was one of the last countries in Europe to legalize abortion after a long debate in Parliament and the publication of numerous declarations by women's rights organizations. However, despite the liberalization of abortion, which followed the ratification of L 1609/86, the legal framework in which abortions are carried out is not entirely satisfactory. One of the areas that require clarification is the role of father. L 1609/86 does not specify men's rights in abortion. Post-abortion counseling services are dealing with an increasing number of men coming forward, grieving their aborted children.

Conclusion: A more careful approach is required and a possible review of the law on abortion may be useful. Counselling for women and their male partners should be offered by state organisations. Clarity of thinking, sympathy and understanding are prerequisites in order for a solution respecting the personality of both the woman and her male partner to be reached.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Abortion, Induced / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Abortion, Induced / psychology
  • Cross-Cultural Comparison
  • Fathers / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Fathers / psychology
  • Female
  • Greece
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Pregnancy
  • Reproductive Rights / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Reproductive Rights / psychology
  • Women's Rights / legislation & jurisprudence*