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Man Wants Say in Unplanned Pregnancy

 
 
joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Fri 10 Mar, 2006 08:48 am
nimh wrote:
In your analogy, the driver did not intend to hit the pedestrian, "but it is clear that he was negligent and that he alone was responsible".

In the situation of the woman becoming pregnant even though her partner did not want a child, had said so and was reassured it couldn't happen, he may have been "negligent" - but "he alone was responsible"? I dont think so.

Well, first of all, you didn't answer my hypothetical.

Presumably, if the driver's sole responsibility is an important distinction for you, then you would agree that, in my hypothetical, Driver should pay, even though the choice is entirely Pedestrian's. Is that correct?

If it is, then we can agree that, in some circumstances at least, it is fair for one person to choose and another person to pay for that choice. As long as we can establish that as a baseline, then I'll be happy to answer your other questions. But first things first: address the hypothetical on its own terms.
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joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Fri 10 Mar, 2006 08:55 am
mysteryman wrote:
Let me make this as clear as possible.
In the lawsuit mentioned at the beginning,the facts are these...

She knew he didnt want kids
She told him she could not get pregnant
She ended up pregnant.

So,she lied to him.

She is on her own.She lied to get pregnant,she gets no help from him at all.

Hunters will often say: "treat every gun as if it were loaded." Certainly, if someone picked up a rifle, not knowing if it were loaded or not, pointed it at a friend and pulled the trigger, you'd have very little sympathy for him if the gun fired. Most likely you'd say "he should have known." And that would no doubt be the case even if the owner of the rifle assured the shooter that the gun was absolutely, positively not loaded.

Well, why shouldn't we likewise tell men: "treat every woman as if she were fertile?" Why should we have any more sympathy for the man who foolishly gets a woman pregnant than we do for the man who foolishly discharges a loaded gun?
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sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Fri 10 Mar, 2006 09:12 am
I actually agree with most of what you're saying, ebrown, in principle. Where I have problems is simply HOW a viable law would be made. Everything I can think of (except for the contract, maybe) is too open to being abused by deadbeats who simply don't want to take responsibility. This is not to say that all men are deadbeats -- they aren't. Are SOME men deadbeats, though? Yes -- and I'd like to make it harder for them to be that way, not easier.

What kind of a law would you like to see, ebrown? How would it work?

From what I've seen so far, the laws I'd most like to change are those that decide child support and that do not adequately allow for men to make the choice to be a full-time parent. The ones that fishin' complained about, which I agree seem inequitable and seem to have room for being fixed.
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ebrown p
 
  1  
Reply Fri 10 Mar, 2006 09:43 am
How's this Soz.

Let's assume that the unplanned pregnancy has already taken place... and that both man and woman are equally responsible (which I think in most cases is a fair assumption).

Currently "reproductive rights" means that a woman can say "I am not emotionally or financially ready to be a parent" and make the decision to not be a parent. When a woman makes this decision, under any circumstances-- do you ever refer to her as a "deadbeat"?

So I am suggesting that we confer equal "reproductive rights" to men. A man should be able to say "I am not emotionally or financially ready to be a parent" and make the decision to not become a father. A man who makes this decision should no further be called a "deadbeat" than a woman who chooses an abortion.

The proposal that started this thread, as I understand it, is reasonable. A man can, before the baby is viable (meaning that the woman can still choose an abortion) make a legal declaration that he does not want to be a father. If the woman feels the same way, she can choose an abortion. If not she can bring the baby to term, but without the man's support (since he chose not be be a father).

This is certainly more fair than the current system-- where a woman has reproductive rights after she becomes pregnant, and a man has none.
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sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Fri 10 Mar, 2006 09:52 am
Sorry, I don't think so.

A woman who chooses to have an abortion prevents a fetus from becoming a child. The child does not exist.

A man who chooses not to support a child is not supporting an actual CHILD. There is a child who is maybe not getting enough to eat; who doesn't see much of his mother because she's forced to work long hours to put food on the table; who is maybe in sub-par childcare because that's all she can afford.

As Joe indicates, there are rights afforded to a child that are not afforded to a fetus.

This proposed law might protect a man who honestly believed that his girlfriend had no intention of getting pregnant, and that would be nice. But this proposed law would also protect a guy who was plain not careful, didn't pay any attention to whether his girlfriend was on birth control, and contributed irresponsibly to the conception of a child. I don't think this guy should be protected. I think it's terribly unfair to let the entire burden default to the woman.
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ebrown p
 
  1  
Reply Fri 10 Mar, 2006 10:03 am
I disagree Soz,

The issue here is the choice to become a parent.

Abortion gives the woman the right to not become a parent if she is not ready. She has this right even when the pregnancy was a mistake.

Men should have the same right to not become a parent if he is not ready.

Insisting that men make the decision to become a parent or not in the same timeframe that the woman do (i.e. before that fetus is viable) is certainly fair.

If a woman makes the decision to not be a parent, she has no responsibility. She is not a parent.

A man who makes the decision to not be a parent should be treated the same way. The woman can choose (with the knowledge of her partners decision) to bring the child to term. But that is her responsibility and her choice and if she made that choice, it isn't a burden.

I also strenuously object to this sentence.

Quote:

But this proposed law would also protect a guy who was plain not careful, didn't pay any attention to whether his girlfriend was on birth control, and contributed irresponsibly to the conception of a child.


The man and the woman have the same responsibility. You are putting all of the responsibility on the man, and giving all the authority to the woman.

In this case (where they both were irresponsible) the law should protect the rights of both the man and woman equally.

The woman can-- in spite of her "irresponsibility" choose not be a parent. Why shouldn't the man have the same right?
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sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Fri 10 Mar, 2006 10:13 am
Men do have the right to not become a parent. Nobody is forcing a man to marry the pregnant woman and help raise the child. That's what being a parent is. That's the choice he can make.

The problem here is that there is no reasonable way to compromise. If there is a disagreement, one person or the other gets the pointy end of the stick. I'm not saying the current situation is necessarily fair. Just, replacing one unfair scenario with another does not satisfy me; especially since this second scenario is even more likely to make things difficult for the child.

I'd rather see a true compromise -- and I haven't seen one yet. My initial thesis is that it would be impossible to come up with one after the fact, and the only way to handle it in an equitable manner is if everyone agrees to a course of action ahead of time in a way that is legally enforceable.
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joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Fri 10 Mar, 2006 10:46 am
ebrown_p wrote:
The woman can-- in spite of her "irresponsibility" choose not be a parent. Why shouldn't the man have the same right?

Because he isn't a woman.
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ebrown p
 
  1  
Reply Fri 10 Mar, 2006 10:55 am
Two final points Soz, and then I will respectfully shut up.

First, I think the plan I am offering is the compromise position and is more fair that the status quo. Examples of "more fair" but clearly unworkable solutions would be to allow the man to either choose an abortion (i.e. force the woman to end the pregnancy) or to forbid one. I don't support either of these positions (although a man can be forced to accept the abortion of his child). I simply offer them to show the reasonableness of my position Wink .

Second, the part of your arugment to which I have no good response is the good of the child. My proposal would mean more children born which would have less resources.

I admit this is a flaw in my argument.

Anyway, this issue has been flushed out to my satisfaction.
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Debra Law
 
  1  
Reply Fri 18 Aug, 2006 08:53 pm
"Roe v Wade for Men" Dismissed by Sixth Circuit

Quote:
On July 17, 2006, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals dismissed Dubay v Wells et al., stating:


    "According to the pleadings, Dubay commenced a personal relationship with defendant Lauren Wells, dated her, engaged in intimate sexual relations, impregnated her, terminated his relationship, and sued her for bearing his child. If chivalry is not dead, its viability is gravely imperiled by the plaintiff in this case."



The lawsuit, often described as "Roe v Wade for Men," was filed by Matthew Dubay in the United States District Court at Bay City, Michigan. Dubay claimed that Michigan's paternity law is unconstitutional because the father is compelled to pay child support even if he did not want the child to be born.

Dubay argued that he could choose not to pay child support because he told the mother of the child while they were dating that he did not want a child. He claimed that she told him that she was on birth control or was otherwise infertile. When the Saginaw County Prosecutor filed a paternity action, Dubay filed a lawsuit against him seeking to avoid his enforcement of the Paternity Act. The mother of the child was also named as a defendant. Michigan's Attorney General, Mike Cox, intervened in the case to uphold the Paternity Act.

The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the State did not violate a constitutionally protected right to privacy that had been the underlying basis of Dubay's claim. The Court stated that "[t]he fundamental flaw in Dubay's claim is that he fails to see that the State played no role in the conception or birth of the child in this case, or in the decisions that resulted in the birth of the child." The Court relied upon N.E. v Hedges, 391 F3d 832 (6th Cir 2004), a Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals case that rejected the notion that some sense of fairness ought to allow biological fathers to avoid the financial responsibility of supporting a child as a proxy for the loss of control of the events that naturally flow from sexual activity. Dubay's claims against all of the defendants were dismissed.

The court agreed with the Attorney General that Dubay's case was frivolous, holding that the action was "frivolous, unreasonable, and without foundation and seeks to advance a theory that is foreign to the legal principles on which it is ostensibly based." The Attorney General is to submit a claim for his office's attorney fees.
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joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Sat 19 Aug, 2006 06:52 am
Quote:
The court agreed with the Attorney General that Dubay's case was frivolous, holding that the action was "frivolous, unreasonable, and without foundation and seeks to advance a theory that is foreign to the legal principles on which it is ostensibly based." The Attorney General is to submit a claim for his office's attorney fees.

Bwahahahaha!
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oralloy
 
  1  
Reply Thu 28 Sep, 2006 06:11 am
ebrown_p wrote:
Saying that the woman has to live with the consequences of her actions by being forced to become a parent is a Pro-Life position.


I really don't like the pro-life position on its own merits. However, it is fair in that men and women are treated equally.

I haven't jumped into the pro-life camp yet, but I have begun to think that they might be the only ones with a viable position that results in equality for men and women.
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oralloy
 
  1  
Reply Thu 28 Sep, 2006 06:21 am
sozobe wrote:
Sorry, I don't think so.

A woman who chooses to have an abortion prevents a fetus from becoming a child. The child does not exist.

A man who chooses not to support a child is not supporting an actual CHILD. There is a child who is maybe not getting enough to eat; who doesn't see much of his mother because she's forced to work long hours to put food on the table; who is maybe in sub-par childcare because that's all she can afford.


Lots of people do not support a child. A child's unrelated next-door neighbors have no responsibility for supporting the child, for instance, even if the mother is impoverished.

The argument for forcing a father to provide support for a child is that he is partially responsible for the child's existence.

If he were to opt out of fatherhood under the system proposed by ebrown_p, and the woman then decided to have the child anyway, it would be reasonable to argue that she is solely responsible for the child's existence.



sozobe wrote:
This proposed law might protect a man who honestly believed that his girlfriend had no intention of getting pregnant, and that would be nice. But this proposed law would also protect a guy who was plain not careful, didn't pay any attention to whether his girlfriend was on birth control, and contributed irresponsibly to the conception of a child. I don't think this guy should be protected. I think it's terribly unfair to let the entire burden default to the woman.


So long as the woman has the entirety of the choice whether the pregnancy goes forward, I see no unfairness in having her shoulder the entirety of the burden.

Power and responsibility go together. Those with all the power should have all the responsibility.
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