August 3, 2007

For Fathers, Responsibility Should Come with Choice (If Only of One Option)

Justin Katz

Of course, I'd argue that moral laws would forbid abortion whatever the father's opinion, but I'm sympathetic to the incremental gain that some Ohio lawmakers are seeking:

Several Ohio state representatives who normally take an anti-abortion stance are now pushing pro-choice legislation - sort of.

Led by Rep. John Adams, a group of state legislators have submitted a bill that would give fathers of unborn children a final say in whether or not an abortion can take place.

It's a measure that, supporters say, would finally give fathers a choice.

"This is important because there are always two parents and fathers should have a say in the birth or the destruction of that child," said Adams, a Republican from Sidney. "I didn't bring it up to draw attention to myself or to be controversial. In most cases, when a child is born the father has financial responsibility for that child, so he should have a say."

As written, the bill would ban women from seeking an abortion without written consent from the father of the fetus. In cases where the identity of the father is unknown, women would be required to submit a list of possible fathers. The physician would be forced to conduct a paternity test from the provided list and then seek paternal permission to abort. ...

With the proposal, men would be guaranteed that voice under penalty of law. First time violators would by tried for abortion fraud, a first degree misdemeanor. The same would be the case for men who falsely claim to be fathers and for medical workers who knowingly perform an abortion without paternal consent.

In addition, women would be required to present a police report in order to prove a pregnancy is the result of rape or incest.

If the mother can force the father to take responsibility for his actions, then the father ought to be able to do the same, making due commitment to share the burden as much as possible. I know the self-centered slogan is "my body, my choice," but the reasoning is the same for both parents: both made the choice to use their bodies for sex, and both are morally obliged to accept an always possible and entirely foreseeable consequence. In this case — with a human life at stake — both ought to be legally obliged, as well.

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Well, it's about TIME.

Posted by: Greg at August 3, 2007 12:35 PM

Great Job Justin. Making it clear that in this world view women are just chattel.

Posted by: Pat at August 3, 2007 1:15 PM

No, moron. This law makes the FATHER an equal in the decision to murder the unborn child.

If a woman can have a baby and then make me pay child support, shouldn't I have a say in opposition if she decided to terminate the child? How can one be fair and the other unfair?

Posted by: Greg at August 3, 2007 2:04 PM

"the women would submit a list of possible fathers"

Do serial adulterers like Right-Wing Heroes,Rudy Giuliani,Nute Gingrich,Rush
Limbugh and Bill Oreily suport this legislation?

Posted by: Ron at August 3, 2007 3:54 PM

The first principle of responsible procreation is that each of us, if part of a procreative duo, is directly responsible for the human beings we helped ushered into existence.

Barring dire circumstances, mother and father are co-responsible before, during, and after. Responsible procreation applies before the attempt to conceive is made (or the unintended actions carried out that lead to conception). Responsible procreaton entails the integration of motherhood and fatherhood in the childbearing and in the education and in the caring for the well-being of the human beings so created.

Abortion on demand nullifies responsible procreation for the sake of ... the well-being of the child? ... the liberty to be irresponsible? ... what?

This proposal will shed new light on these issues.

Posted by: Chairm at August 3, 2007 6:41 PM

Groan. Sorry for the typo.

Responsible procreation applies before the attempt to conceive is made (or before the actions carried out that lead to unintended conception).

Posted by: Chairm at August 3, 2007 6:44 PM

If the father carried around half the child and dealt with half the health consequences of pregnancy and delivery, sure, I could support this.
Instead, the only people who win in this scenario are lawyers (and I won't even bore you with the other consequences).

Posted by: Rhody at August 4, 2007 10:06 AM

So, Rhody, the father is irrelevant?

Unless the mother wants her child ... but not if she wants to end her child's life.

This would demonstrate how abortion on demand is sex-segregative.

Posted by: Chairm at August 4, 2007 8:17 PM

Well said in all of your posts Chaim!

>>Great Job Justin. Making it clear that in this world view women are just chattel.

No Pat, it's about equal rights that you claim to support (at least for the already born).

I have a variation on the Ohio proposal at that even you should not disagree with, though sure you'll find a way,for my proposal challenges the hypocrisy of your progressive dogma vis-à-vis abortion-that it is about "rights" and "choice" when in reality it is really about convenience for women.

Instead of the father signing off on the abortion, give the father the right to accept or disclaim financial responsibility for the child if the woman chooses to have the child.

The woman can then take this into account as she makes her own decision as to whether or not to abort. Thus, Pat, the woman will still have the "final choice."

While I vehemently disagree with the barbaric practice of abortion, so long as it remains legal and available to women who "choose" not to endure nine months of pregnancy and the following years of parental obligation, then isn't it only fair that the male in the equation also gets the "right" to "choose" whether or not he will endure the years of parental obligation, i.e., child support?

So which is it Pat, equal rights for all, or convenience for women and their ability to impose financial obligations on men without the man's input?

Posted by: Ragin' Rhode Islander at August 4, 2007 9:15 PM


This is why we don't let the sexually repressed engage in designing health policy.

Please keep your prudish, backwards, unevolved, misogynistic thoughts to yourselves. They are not welcomed in an evolved society.

It is her body, her choice. You don't want the consequences of child support, don't have sex.

Until we can scientifically transfer a fetus from a woman into a man, this bill is a silly waste of time. If we can ever do that, the science has evolved and we will revisit it for those men who wish to carry a baby to term. Wow, there should be thousands.

The bill obviously come from an individual that believes that the world is flat, a woman's role is to be barefoot and pregnant, and the planet is only 10,000 years old.

Shame on anyone for even offering the hatred for women contained in this legislation a whisper of support.

Posted by: Bobby Oliveira at August 5, 2007 12:19 AM

>>It is her body, her choice. You don't want the consequences of child support, don't have sex.

Uh, BO, EXACTLY the same thing could be said to the female-half of that equation ... indeed, wouldn't that be treating women EQUALLY?

Indeed, your statement SHOULD be drilled into the urban welfare breeders who are procreating and expecting US to then bankroll THEIR parental obligations!

Moreover, parenthood - and its concomitant obligations - involves far more than the nine-month gestation period, a concept that seems to elude you. Indeed, given the multi-decade development cycle for a human being to reach adulthood, the gestation / delivery aspect is a relatively small part.

So the debate is not merely limited to a "woman's body" and her "right to choose" - it is about human life and the essence of parental responsibility of both the mother and the father.

Accordingly, if the female-half of the dynamic has a "right" to shirk her responsibility, including by terminating a life, the male-half of the dynamic should have an equal right.

Posted by: Ragin' Rhode Islander at August 5, 2007 12:06 PM

Dear Ragin',

You have a couple of problems, one small, one large:

The small one: it's not a life yet.

The large one: No one will listen to you, although you are on the right track, because you choose to insult instead of enjoin.

Posted by: Bobby Oliveira at August 5, 2007 1:08 PM

Bobby Oliveira said: "it's not a life yet."

Big problem for you because the science of procreation says you are 100% wrong. You may have a different philosophic view on the undisputed scientific fact that the human life is indeed a "person" but he or she is certainly a human being and does not suddenly become one upon his or her birth.

Since when is it okay to subdivide human beings into those whose intrinsic value is self-evident and those whose intrinsic value is denied entirely?

Posted by: Chairm at August 6, 2007 5:16 AM

Re: "It's not a life yet"

But it will be my own son -- if SHE says so.

And if she says so, then I have to support my son financially for at least the next 18 years.

That is, unless SHE decides that my son will not be born.

And all I did was have sex with the woman -- how come I don't get any say over whether or not I'll be supporting a child for the next 18 years?

This is the equality issue of the day. If men and women are truly equal, then we must be treated equally under the law.

If we are NOT truly equal, then just say so.

Posted by: Marty at August 9, 2007 11:15 AM
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