1
   

Man Wants Say in Unplanned Pregnancy

 
 
Reply Thu 9 Mar, 2006 04:04 am
Quote:
Male activists want 'say' in unplanned pregnancy

NEW YORK (AP) -- Contending that women have more options than they do in the event of an unintended pregnancy, men's rights activists are mounting a long shot legal campaign aimed at giving them the chance to opt out of financial responsibility for raising a child.

The National Center for Men has prepared a lawsuit -- nicknamed Roe v. Wade for Men -- to be filed Thursday in U.S. District Court in Michigan on behalf of a 25-year-old computer programmer ordered to pay child support for his ex-girlfriend's daughter.

The suit addresses the issue of male reproductive rights, contending that lack of such rights violates the U.S. Constitution's equal protection clause.

The suit addresses the issue of male reproductive rights, contending that lack of such rights violates the U.S. Constitution's equal protection clause.

The gist of the argument: If a pregnant woman can choose among abortion, adoption or raising a child, a man involved in an unintended pregnancy should have the choice of declining the financial responsibilities of fatherhood. The activists involved hope to spark discussion even if they lose.

"There's such a spectrum of choice that women have -- it's her body, her pregnancy and she has the ultimate right to make decisions," said Mel Feit, director of the men's center. "I'm trying to find a way for a man also to have some say over decisions that affect his life profoundly."

Feit's organization has been trying since the early 1990s to pursue such a lawsuit, and finally found a suitable plaintiff in Matt Dubay of Saginaw, Michigan.

Dubay says he has been ordered to pay $500 a month in child support for a girl born last year to his ex-girlfriend. He contends that the woman knew he didn't want to have a child with her and assured him repeatedly that -- because of a physical condition -- she could not get pregnant.

Dubay is braced for the lawsuit to fail.

"What I expect to hear [from the court] is that the way things are is not really fair, but that's the way it is," he said in a telephone interview. "Just to create awareness would be enough, to at least get a debate started."

State courts have ruled in the past that any inequity experienced by men like Dubay is outweighed by society's interest in ensuring that children get financial support from two parents. Melanie Jacobs, a Michigan State University law professor, said the federal court might rule similarly in Dubay's case.

"The courts are trying to say it may not be so fair that this gentleman has to support a child he didn't want, but it's less fair to say society has to pay the support," she said.

Feit, however, says a fatherhood opt-out wouldn't necessarily impose higher costs on society or the mother. A woman who balked at abortion but felt she couldn't afford to raise a child could put the baby up for adoption, he said.

'This is so politically incorrect' Jennifer Brown of the women's rights advocacy group Legal Momentum objected to the men's center comparing Dubay's lawsuit to Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court ruling establishing a woman's right to have an abortion.

"Roe is based on an extreme intrusion by the government -- literally to force a woman to continue a pregnancy she doesn't want," Brown said. "There's nothing equivalent for men. They have the same ability as women to use contraception, to get sterilized."

Feit counters that the suit's reference to abortion rights is apt.

"Roe says a woman can choose to have intimacy and still have control over subsequent consequences," he said. "No one has ever asked a federal court if that means men should have some similar say."

"The problem is this is so politically incorrect," Feit added. "The public is still dealing with the pre-Roe ethic when it comes to men, that if a man fathers a child, he should accept responsibility."

Feit doesn't advocate an unlimited fatherhood opt-out; he proposes a brief period in which a man, after learning of an unintended pregnancy, could decline parental responsibilities if the relationship was one in which neither partner had desired a child.

"If the woman changes her mind and wants the child, she should be responsible," Feit said. "If she can't take care of the child, adoption is a good alternative."

The president of the National Organization for Women, Kim Gandy, acknowledged that disputes over unintended pregnancies can be complex and bitter.

"None of these are easy questions," said Gandy, a former prosecutor. "But most courts say it's not about what he did or didn't do or what she did or didn't do. It's about the rights of the child."

http://www.cnn.com/2006/LAW/03/08/fatherhood.suit.ap/index.html



What do you think about this?
  • Topic Stats
  • Top Replies
  • Link to this Topic
Type: Discussion • Score: 1 • Views: 8,300 • Replies: 72
No top replies

 
jespah
 
  1  
Reply Thu 9 Mar, 2006 07:03 am
I think that once we perfect the fetal transplant into a man (into where? Helfino, I'm not a doctor. Maybe the spleen), then we can start talking about this. Otherwise, I think it's the stupidest thing I've ever read.

Quote:
The suit addresses the issue of male reproductive rights, contending that lack of such rights violates the U.S. Constitution's equal protection clause.


This fails to take into account the fact that, something we should all know by about the age of five, men and women are different in this area. Equal Protection is not violated if there is a legitimate reason for treating two persons differently, and this one's a doozy.
0 Replies
 
Green Witch
 
  1  
Reply Thu 9 Mar, 2006 08:05 am
I agree with Jespah.

In 1953 my aunt was married to her first husband and they had two children, plus two from his previous marriage. My aunt became pregnant and her husband decided he did not want another child. He was a wealthy man and arranged for an abortion, basically illegal at the time with rare exceptions. My aunt did not want to do it, but she was young and it was a conservative era in which a woman was taught not to argue with her husband. I know she regrets it to this day and it was a large part of the reason she divorced him 15 years later.

I've noticed in my life that when a unplanned pregnancy happens it's usually the man that suggests abortion, I'm glad they have no legal say and it should stay that way.
0 Replies
 
Bella Dea
 
  1  
Reply Thu 9 Mar, 2006 08:10 am
I have to disagree with the both of you. I think that men should have the right. Women have that right. A woman can terminate a pregnancy without so much as an opinion from the man who is responsible for half the baby inside her but a man cannot choose to not be a father? I think that's insane.

I do not think that this should apply to all cases of course. If that were to happen, there'd be more deadbeat dads than there are already. But in cases such as this, where the woman says she wants the pregnancy but the man says no, why should the man have to pay? If the man said he wanted the pregnancy and the woman said no, there would be no baby.

THis is a tough situation because you can't compare men and women equally. Women carry the child so it makes it difficult. But why should men have to void all their rights?
0 Replies
 
shewolfnm
 
  1  
Reply Thu 9 Mar, 2006 08:11 am
Quote:
The gist of the argument: If a pregnant woman can choose among abortion, adoption or raising a child, a man involved in an unintended pregnancy should have the choice of declining the financial responsibilities of fatherhood.


Its called a condom
0 Replies
 
Bella Dea
 
  1  
Reply Thu 9 Mar, 2006 08:13 am
shewolfnm wrote:
Quote:
The gist of the argument: If a pregnant woman can choose among abortion, adoption or raising a child, a man involved in an unintended pregnancy should have the choice of declining the financial responsibilities of fatherhood.


Its called a condom


So, you're saying that the responsibility for birth control is 100% the mans?

you know as well as the rest of us that 1) condoms don't always work and 2) there are women out there that get pregnant on purpose.
0 Replies
 
shewolfnm
 
  1  
Reply Thu 9 Mar, 2006 08:17 am
No.
birth control is an equal responsibility of ALL parties in the bedroom.

( i posted at the same time you did and I didnt see your responce..)

But, if there was NO birth control used , and the man insists he doesnt want children, why should the woman be the only one to bear the brunt of financial responsibility when HE didnt take any percautions in NOT having kids either?

See what I mean?

You said -
I do not think that this should apply to all cases of course. If that were to happen, there'd be more deadbeat dads than there are already

And I cant agree MORE.

But then again, going on what i said, how could you absolutly prove a man used a condom to prevent pregnancy .. and it didnt work..
aside from saving it..
0 Replies
 
Bella Dea
 
  1  
Reply Thu 9 Mar, 2006 08:35 am
How can you prove a woman was taking her birth control properly to prevent pregnancy? You can't.

But again, why should a man have to pay for a baby he was manipulated or tricked into having?
0 Replies
 
jespah
 
  1  
Reply Thu 9 Mar, 2006 08:36 am
I think I see the argument here.

It's not enough to just leave birth control to chance or happenstance -- or to a woman just saying that she's on the pill or the diaphragm is in or whatever. Any guy who does not want an unplanned pregnancy should use a condom. Period. Now, we all know that condoms do not work 100% of the time. However, they do work 85% of the time ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Condom <-- dunno how accurate their info is but sure as shootin' condoms are better than absolutely nothing). Plus, they help prevent STDs. I am not saying that birth control is only one person's responsibility. Of course not. But for a party with an interest in there not being a pregnancy, step up to the drug store counter and buy the damned condoms already, and use them. It's just common sense, to do what you can, if you don't want a baby.

It's in everyone's best interests to use a condom, and for men who don't want to bear the financial burden of an unplanned pregnancy, their choices are (a) don't have sex with women, (b) have sex with women who you can 100% trust to be either sterile or on great birth control that's as close to foolproof as possible and/or (c) use a condom and exert at least some control over the situation. Or, of course, get a vasectomy.

Where I have the problem is where a man may attempt to manipulate the situation for his own ends (I am not suggesting that this happens all the time or even the majority of the time). After all, he is not carrying the child. And if he uses the unplanned aspect of the pregnancy as an excuse to try to get out of financially supporting the child, then the person who is hurt the most is the child, who certainly did not ask to be thrust into this situation. Regardless of being wanted, and regardless of whether a condom was used and failed, or whatever, the child still needs food, clothing and shelter. That is, if a child is born at all.

That being said, I also have a problem with a woman carrying a child to term in an effort to manipulate the man into paying and remaining a part of her life (again, not the majority of the time at all). Essentially what I'm saying is that I don't want to see kids used as weapons in a gender war.

But this kind of comes back to the pregnancy part of the equation. There is no question that (duh!) men and women are different in this area. This is where there can be (at this stage of our technological and medical development) no equal treatment because the parties, by definition, are in unequal circumstances that cannot ever change. Only women get pregnant. Only women go into labor. Only women give birth. And, only women get abortions.

But both parties can offer financial and emotional support to a child. Both can exercise their parental rights and live with or frequently visit the child. Or they can relinquish their parental rights to each other or to adoptive parents. There, yes, they can and should be treated as equally as possible. But this also means that men get on the hook for child support. Why? Because when labor comes, and the child is born, who does the state know is the child's parent? The mother. The state only knows about fatherhood if it is admitted/asserted or there is a DNA test. But motherhood is open and obvious. So women are always on the hook for the baby, whereas men aren't, necessarily. Hence the law -- the intention is, actually, to provide equal protection, and to get the man on the hook, too, because the ability to provide financial and other support is not gender-based.
0 Replies
 
Crazielady420
 
  1  
Reply Thu 9 Mar, 2006 08:37 am
I kinda agree with Bella here, woman can choose, why can't men?
0 Replies
 
Bella Dea
 
  1  
Reply Thu 9 Mar, 2006 08:41 am
I wish it were as simple as two people have a baby, love it, care for it, raise it together (even if they aren't) and support it financially. But we all know that isn't going to happen in 100% of the cases out there.

I also wish it were as simple as people actually taking responsibility for their actions. Men and women.

The only problem I see in allowing men this right is that women tend to want to keep the baby more often because they are actually carrying it. The whole maternal instinct thing.

Could we pass a law that says if a man wants to keep the baby and the woman doesn't, she must have the baby and the man will take care of all financial obligations until the baby is born and then take the child to raise on his own? Because that's what a single mother, who's sperm doner doesn't want the baby, does.
0 Replies
 
shewolfnm
 
  1  
Reply Thu 9 Mar, 2006 08:49 am
good point.
0 Replies
 
nimh
 
  1  
Reply Thu 9 Mar, 2006 09:11 am
jespah wrote:
It's not enough to just leave birth control to chance or happenstance -- or to a woman just saying that she's on the pill or the diaphragm is in or whatever. Any guy who does not want an unplanned pregnancy should use a condom. Period.

Yeah, I can just see how that would work out.

Man and woman, have been with each other forever. They did their tests when they resolved to be faithful, dont have to worry about STDs anymore. Like a lot of couples who are long enough together. He doesnt want a baby, and he's said so. She says she's OK with that, she's using the pill.

He: Lets use a condom anyway.
She: Huh? But why? I'm on birth control.
He: Yeah, but I want to make sure...
She: But you know it's much less good for me ... and I'm on the pill, so - what's up? Wait - is there something you have to tell me?
He: Huh? Eh, no! Of course not. You know I am faithful to you..
She: So why with the condom?
He: Well, just because, I want to be sure...
She:...and you dont trust me, or something?
He: No, thats not it!
She: OK. Then I just dont get it. I'm on the pill, you say you didnt cheat ... do you think I cheated? Do you think I'm lying about the pill?
He: No, no, no! Its just ...

Yeah. Not that this conversation will ever happen out loud, of course, but that's basically what it comes down to. Insisting on using a condom when your wife or long-term girlfriend says you dont have to, when you've had your tests, she says she's on the pill, you insist anyway - that will go down well, its like an expression of distrust.
0 Replies
 
joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Thu 9 Mar, 2006 09:22 am
nimh wrote:
Insisting on using a condom when your wife or long-term girlfriend says you dont have to, when you've had your tests, she says she's on the pill, you insist anyway - that will go down well, its like an expression of distrust.

Too bad. The man has a choice: to have sex and risk an unwanted pregnancy, or to refrain from sex. It may be a difficult choice, but who said all choices have to be easy?

For another thread on this topic, click here.
0 Replies
 
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Thu 9 Mar, 2006 09:30 am
If a man and woman have been together forever and have declared to be faithful to one another and if they don't want kids AND the woman has to take birth control pills instead of the man having a vasectomy.....
0 Replies
 
nimh
 
  1  
Reply Thu 9 Mar, 2006 09:34 am
joefromchicago wrote:
For another thread on this topic, click here.

Not quite the same topic though.

When I saw the title of this thread, I felt a little sick - I thought, what sick prat would force a women to go through a full pregnancy and childbirth when she doesn't want it? Or would want to force a woman to have an abortion when she doesn't want one? The right to abort should never be subject to the man's approval.

But the question here is different. The woman is free to have or not have the child - but should the man be forced to take on the consequences of her choice, if he didn't have a say in it?
0 Replies
 
shewolfnm
 
  1  
Reply Thu 9 Mar, 2006 09:43 am
as boom said, a man can have a vasectomy.
And that is easily reversable later on in life if his decision ever changes.

Women can NOT have such a simple reversal when it comes to having their tubes tied.

I wish.. men had more options for birth control thenjust going under the knife..

but as women who are absolutly sure they dont want kids and have thier tubes tied to ensure that, men can too.

Now, as Bella said, things like this dont apply to EVERY single situation.

And I believe that there should be a way a man can go through some kind of legal rights hearing .. thinngggyyy.. to offer him a way out of taking care of a child that he didnt want.
But , I believe there should be alot of strings attached to make it a HARD thing to accomplish so that people.. men AND women.. really have to wiegh the consequences of such a hearing .. hopefully before they hit the bed.

but that is a pipe dream
0 Replies
 
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Thu 9 Mar, 2006 09:51 am
Heh.

Try to convince a doctor to tie your tubes when you are a young woman. They won't do it.
0 Replies
 
Bella Dea
 
  1  
Reply Thu 9 Mar, 2006 09:58 am
nimh wrote:


But the question here is different. The woman is free to have or not have the child - but should the man be forced to take on the consequences of her choice, if he didn't have a say in it?


Should the woman be forced to have a baby she didn't want?
0 Replies
 
joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Thu 9 Mar, 2006 10:06 am
nimh wrote:
Not quite the same topic though.

When I saw the title of this thread, I felt a little sick - I thought, what sick prat would force a women to go through a full pregnancy and childbirth when she doesn't want it? Or would want to force a woman to have an abortion when she doesn't want one? The right to abort should never be subject to the man's approval.

But the question here is different. The woman is free to have or not have the child - but should the man be forced to take on the consequences of her choice, if he didn't have a say in it?

Read further in that thread. Here's a hypothetical I posed:
    Driver accidentally hits Pedestrian, injuring her severely. Driver did not intend to hit Pedestrian, but it is clear that he was negligent and that he alone was responsible. Pedestrian's doctors give her a choice: she can have an operation to correct her injuries, or she can forego surgery. If she has the operation, she has a 50 percent chance of dying, but if she survives she will be 100 percent cured. On the other hand, if she foregoes surgery, her lifespan will not be shortened but she will crippled for the rest of her life. Pedestrian has brought a lawsuit against Driver. Driver can anticipate that, if Pedestrian decides to forego surgery he will have to pay $100,000 in damages. If she has surgery and dies, it is certain that he will pay at least $1 million or more in damages to Pedestrian's estate. And if she has the surgery and survives, Driver will have to pay $10,000. As Pedestrian is weighing her medical options, Driver tells her: "since your decision will undoubtedly affect me, I should have a say in whatever choice you make. After all, it's not fair that you have 100 percent of the choice while I bear 100 percent of the financial burden. Therefore, in exchange for paying you $100,000 right now, I demand that you forego that operation. If, on the other hand, you choose to reject my offer and go ahead with the surgery, then I will be absolved of all responsibility and I won't be obligated to pay you (or your estate) anything."

Now, in that situation, is it fair for Pedestrian to make the choice and expect Driver to pay for it?
0 Replies
 
 

Related Topics

 
  1. Forums
  2. » Man Wants Say in Unplanned Pregnancy
Copyright © 2021 MadLab, LLC :: Terms of Service :: Privacy Policy :: Page generated in 0.04 seconds on 12/08/2021 at 01:17:02