Ohio bill: Women need men’s permission to have abortions

Oh this is rich. A group of legislators in Ohio are pushing a bill that would give men a say in whether or not a woman can have an abortion.

“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 [Rep. John] 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.

Written notes? Submitting a list of potential fathers? Sometimes I think that anti-choice folks forget that women are, you know, adults.
But seriously here’s the best part of the bill:

Claiming to not know the father’s identity is not a viable excuse, according to the proposed legislation. Simply put: no father means no abortion.

Fuck. You.
But wait, it gets even better. Women would be required to present a police report if they want to “prove” that the pregnancy was a result of rape of incest. Because women can’t be trusted, obviously.
NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio executive director Kellie Copeland says, “This extreme bill shows just how far some of our state legislators are willing to go to rally a far-right base that is frustrated with the pro-choice gains made in the last election…It is completely out of touch with Ohio’s mainstream values. This measure is a clear attack on a woman’s freedom and privacy.” Not to mention our intelligence.
The text of the bill is here. And if you want to contact Rep. Adams, who is sponsoring the bill, all of his info is here.

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349 Comments

  1. TinyRobot
    Posted August 1, 2007 at 10:51 am | Permalink

    This makes me so furious, I can’t speak!

  2. Spider Jerusalem
    Posted August 1, 2007 at 10:55 am | Permalink

    *sigh* OK…
    World War II, in a very roundabout way, made the American public more open to the idea of Jews, and actually gave Jews a foothold in American society. It became…unpopular to become associated with anti-Semitism for a time, because Hitler was the enemy.
    Why is that not happening now? Why do we seem to be leaning towards the morals of our enemies? Why is it even OK to push the “Women, submit to your husbands” angle at this point in time?
    And, OT, why has Feministing not blogged about the women in Mauritania? Sorry, I submitted that WEEKS ago, and I think its an important feminist issue.

  3. Posted August 1, 2007 at 11:00 am | Permalink

    I love the verbiage in the article. This, apparently, is a “less extreme” than the bill outlawing abortion altogether. Well then, by all means, let’s all vote for it! Fortunately, it only has 8 co-sponsors (probably a core of GOP nutbags) out of 99 members in the Ohio House.
    But who knows, maybe they’re setting up the fathers for conspiracy to murder charges in their new post-Roe prosecutorial scheme.
    P.S. Contacting Adams only gives him grist for the pamphlets he’ll use in whatever crazy fucking district elected him. These are very insular environments.

  4. itsnotfluff
    Posted August 1, 2007 at 11:01 am | Permalink

    “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.”
    Oh, if that’s the case, then can he also request that the woman have an abortion. Maybe in the future there will be court cases where men can fight for the “right” to abort fetuses that they don’t want to support.
    Financial responsiblity is completely ridiculous reasoning.
    “Simply put: no father means no abortion.”
    But only the woman has financial responsibility in this case. Sorry, Adams, you’re full of sh*t.

  5. Leslie
    Posted August 1, 2007 at 11:01 am | Permalink

    ugh this makes me angry too :(
    because if no one is sure who the father is, he’s CLEARLY invested enough to care if he has a baby or not. does a situation of “paternal uncertainty” sound like a situation in which people WANT a child???
    and really…if the father of the fetus wants to keep it but the woman wants to get an abortion…and then she’s forced to keep it…that doesnt sound like a happy couple/family to me.

  6. Janet
    Posted August 1, 2007 at 11:03 am | Permalink

    UGH! I am embarrassed to be a resident of Ohio at the moment! I am going to write my state reps write now!

  7. Posted August 1, 2007 at 11:05 am | Permalink

    Well, obviously, if you aren’t sure who the father is you’re just a big ol’ whore and you deserve what’s coming to you.
    *eyeroll*
    Fuck you, Ohio.

  8. Ann
    Posted August 1, 2007 at 11:05 am | Permalink

    Well, at least they’re putting their misogynistic agenda up front. Give me this bullshit over the “pro-woman” anti-choice rhetoric any day.

  9. SarahMC
    Posted August 1, 2007 at 11:07 am | Permalink

    OK, I am literally shaking right now. This is awful. I feel like I’m going to burst into tears but I really don’t want that to happen.
    Pro-life whack-jobs propose this sort of thing all the time in debates on the Interwebs, but now it’s actually proposed legislation. I feel so helpless.

  10. alexmlwallace
    Posted August 1, 2007 at 11:07 am | Permalink

    What a joke. Men need say in reproductive rights, because at the moment, we have no say whatsoever, we have one archaic form of birth control that most men have long grown to abhor, and men are almost always left with the brunt of child payments and legal woes.
    So Ohio thinks the proper answer is to turn around and say that the man needs to give permission for abortions? HELL NO. Men need to be able to turn around and request that the woman abort her child, and have it mean something. Strangers aren’t meant to raise children, and if the man had more say in which pregnancies went through, we’d have a lot less single mothers and unhappy homes out there. And a lot less guys forking out monthly payments for a child they’ll never even know.

  11. SarahMC
    Posted August 1, 2007 at 11:16 am | Permalink

    men are almost always left with the brunt of child payments and legal woes
    WTF? Since when do women pay for the minority of “child-payments?” You think men who have to pay child support have it rough or something? Paying is the DEFAULT for mothers. Boohoo, men are financially responsible for their offspring, just like women.
    What’s with men who think women:
    a.) don’t earn money
    and
    b.) don’t spend their money on their (expensive) kids?
    Newsflash, dude: Women work damn hard to raise their children, whether they’re single moms or they have a partner. Come off it.

  12. Janet
    Posted August 1, 2007 at 11:18 am | Permalink

    Yes, your right itsnotfluff, financial responsibility reasoning is so ridiculous.
    I had my daughter almost four years ago, and when I found out I was pregnant, I knew right away that the father was not going to be involved in any way. So I knew I would be having to do it on my own, with the love and support of my family and friends. BUT our lovely government officials just nosing into our personal business, and when I went to apply for medicaid, they wanted to open a child support case for me. I knew they werent going to get anywhere with that, and all I wanted was some complimenting health insurance to go with my private insurance that wouldn’t cover most of my pregnancy costs or my daughter following her birth (and since I was trying to complete college – I didn’t have a lot of money at the time to pay for everything out of pocket at once). Why do they want to make it so difficult for us women to even try to make a better world for ourselves? I am so glad I don’t have to go to the medicaid office any more, because it was an absolute nightmare! I feel awful for those women who are far worse off than I was in that situation.

  13. Kimmy
    Posted August 1, 2007 at 11:18 am | Permalink

    And I suppose it’s just a coincidence that all this rigamarole they’re proposing stands a fair chance of pushing the woman past her ability to have a simple first trimester abortion, hmmm? How convenient.
    Oh, and Alexmlwallace? Shove it. Nobody should be able to stop a woman from getting an abortion, and nobody should be able to force her to get an abortion. Forcing an abortion on a woman who doesn’t want it is one of the more twisted things I’ve heard any commenter propose on this blog, and it’s sick.

  14. SarahMC
    Posted August 1, 2007 at 11:26 am | Permalink

    In my rage against that other part of your post, I missed this:
    Men need to be able to turn around and request that the woman abort her child, and have it mean something. Strangers aren’t meant to raise children, and if the man had more say in which pregnancies went through, we’d have a lot less single mothers and unhappy homes out there.
    I’m ALMOST speechless. I thought you were pro-choice? Insisting that a man be able to *decide* whether or not a woman gestates a pregnancy is beyond fucked. Oh, but we’d have a lot fewer single mothers… YEAH they’d all be completely traumatized from the experience of having some man decide she has to abort! Jesus Christ on a cracker. I can’t imagine what that might be like for a woman who’s morally opposed to abortion. The state swoops in and tells her she has to because the douchebag she slept with doesn’t feel like paying child support.

  15. erinjean
    Posted August 1, 2007 at 11:27 am | Permalink

    AAARGGGHHHHHH. Very angry about this.

  16. EG
    Posted August 1, 2007 at 11:28 am | Permalink

    I’d love to hear Alex’s plan for having it “mean something” for men to demand that their partners have abortions. Is he envisioning cops showing up at a woman’s home, handcuffing her, probably having to tranquilize her, and carting her off to the clinic, where he imagines that there will be a doctor so lacking in morality that he or she will perform an abortion on a woman against her will.
    Here’s a newsflash: in this country, we do not force medical procedures on people without their permission–and when we do, such as forcing sterilization on poor women of color, most right-thinking people find it pretty appalling.
    Here’s another newsflash: men and women have the right to bodily integrity. Neither has the right to wallet integrity. You can use condoms (you “abhor” them? too bad. I’m not especially ecstatic about the pill.), or you can get a reversable vasectomy, or you can engage in non-vaginal sex, or you can make sure your sexual partners are infertile. But once that cum is out of your body and in in hers, your decision-making is done. You may have to pay money; that is simply not comparable to having medical instruments shoved up your vagina against your will. Cry me a river.

  17. Janet
    Posted August 1, 2007 at 11:31 am | Permalink

    Oh, man ! I just looked at saw one of the co-sponsers is my district representative. UGH!!!!!!!!!!!!

  18. Trixie
    Posted August 1, 2007 at 11:32 am | Permalink

    I think Alex’s point is that if you need a man’s permission to abort, the same line of thinking would require that you need a man’s permission to give birth. It’s the perfect example (for patriarchs who don’t get it) of why this proposal is so ludicris. Couldn’t we turn around and say “no father, no child”? Then no one could vote for this bill.

  19. Kimmy
    Posted August 1, 2007 at 11:35 am | Permalink

    I think you’re giving him too much credit, Trixie. It’s fairly clear in his post that he thinks fathers being able to demand abortions would be a good thing, because “Strangers aren’t meant to raise children, and if the man had more say in which pregnancies went through, we’d have a lot less single mothers and unhappy homes out there. And a lot less guys forking out monthly payments for a child they’ll never even know.”
    His words, and they sound pretty sincere to me.

  20. Kali Ma
    Posted August 1, 2007 at 11:38 am | Permalink

    “Father of the fetus…”
    WTF???
    And by the way Adams, you asshat, for the first 8 weeks it’s an embryo, so that would be “father of the embryo.”
    But really shouldn’t we just follow the logical progression to include sperm as living and call them “fathers of the sperm?”
    Um, does that make jerking off mass murder?

  21. EG
    Posted August 1, 2007 at 11:38 am | Permalink

    And a lot less guys forking out monthly payments for a child they’ll never even know.
    And whose fault is it if they never bother to know the kid? Am I supposed to feel sorry for them or something?
    Back to this outrageously stupid bill. Has nobody in the legislature noticed its blatant flouting of doctor-patient confidentiality?

  22. werechick
    Posted August 1, 2007 at 11:40 am | Permalink

    @EG:
    You can use condoms (you “abhor” them? too bad. I’m not especially ecstatic about the pill.)

    You may have to pay money; that is simply not comparable to having medical instruments shoved up your vagina against your will. Cry me a river.

    May I just say, “kickass.” Oh, and “seconded.”

  23. ekf
    Posted August 1, 2007 at 11:42 am | Permalink

    If every man who is to have a say in the reproductive decisions of a woman with whom he has sex signs a notarized document on the day in which he has sex with said woman, then I think it’s okay. I mean, that’s not such an unreasonable request, right? If a man wants the right to contribute to the decision-making with respect to the consequences of his sexual actions, he won’t mind running off to notarize a legal document every time he has sex, will he?
    Also, where the fuck are all of the yammerers about personal responsibility and not fucking until you can take responsibility for your actions, the same arguments used against us slutty women who don’t want to be forced into pregnancy by the state? If the man fucks, he needs to understand that a consequence is he might have to pay for a child’s life forever, and a consequence might be that any pregnancy he causes might be aborted. Don’t like it? Don’t fuck. Period. Keep your dick in your pants, boys, and if you don’t, use birth control or give up your right to choose. Why does this not work in the mind of this Ohio jackhole?
    I hate this bullshit so much.

  24. era4allNOW
    Posted August 1, 2007 at 11:43 am | Permalink

    I have another question for this John-McDick-Asshole: so if the father gets to refuse abortion of the fetus when that is what the woman wanted, then is he required to take full responsibility and custody of the child since it was solely his decision in the matter and she had no say?

  25. Trixie
    Posted August 1, 2007 at 11:47 am | Permalink

    Seriously though, Alex may be on to something here. It’s the perfect way to defeat this sort of legislations. If a woman has to get permission from her parents or “the father” to have an abortion, shouldn’t she have an equal obligation to get their permission to have a child? The nasty result of this being that there would probably be way more abortions, thus defeating the forced birth camp’s goal of eliminating abortion buy using the same tactics. Afterall, the woman could experience depression, regret and economic hardship, following the birth of a child so we really need to “protect” her from making this decision herself.

  26. Kimmy
    Posted August 1, 2007 at 11:49 am | Permalink

    The nasy result of this, as you put it, is perpetuating the idea of women’s lack of agency in their own lives. You don’t defeat stupidity by introducing more stupidity, and you don’t stand up for women by knocking them down.

  27. EG
    Posted August 1, 2007 at 11:50 am | Permalink

    Hey, by the way, what if the father is out of state? What’s gonna happen then, the Feds are gonna be dispatched to arrest him and drag him back to Ohio for a paternity test?
    I’ll tell you who could get rich off this legislation–a bunch of guys who decide that they’re willing to write these notes for say, 50 bucks a pop. “I, Joe Schmoe, am the father of [fill in name here]‘s fetus, and give her permission to abort.”

  28. alexmlwallace
    Posted August 1, 2007 at 11:51 am | Permalink

    Kimmy- I never stated that a man should be able to force a woman to get an abortion, and don’t believe anything even close to that statement. It’s disgusting. You’ve completely misinterpreted what I was saying, as so many people do the moment somebody brings up the other gender in this whole reproductive rights shebang.
    SarahMC- I’m referring to child support… as in the monthly payments decided in court. I’m well aware that women pay for children as well, thanks to this handy-dandy thing I’ve got called common sense.
    So much for anything remotely pro-equality. I just hope this isn’t an accurate representation of the modern face of feminism, because if it is, it’s becoming a parody of itself. Feminism is supposed to be about equality, something that many feminists seem to have been forgotten in the past 15 years or so.
    EG- Ummm… no. But if you would prefer to envision the bad man daydreaming about brutal violence against women to further solidify your judgments against me, go ahead. It’s really disgusting that everybody assumed I wanted abortions forced. I was thinking more along the lines of birth control that would enable men to actually have a say about whether or not they’ll have children or not. Or have you not noticed that men haven’t seen a new mainstream form of birth control since 1597? You say it’s too bad that men abhor condoms, and that we should cry a fucking river? Tell it to Africa- it’s pretty obvious that something needs to improve, because they haven’t caught on, and, due to all the men that, yes, abhor them, probably won’t catch on. Tell them to cry a fucking river, and then tell all the women they infect with AIDS to a cry a fucking river, and then maybe you can also go tell the pre-pubescent virgin girls they rape to “get rid of AIDS” to cry a river too.
    Chell_belle- Your question really has no relation to anything I believe in whatsoever, so I don’t see how I could really answer it. And, ahem, “John McDick Asshole”? I see we’re really engaged in some serious discussion now!
    Anyways, I think most people here read what I said and completely ran with it in the wrong direction. I’ve noticed it happening a lot on this site, because most people here are incredibly intolerant of any viewpoint other than their own. Sad that this is the face of feminism today. It’s incredible disheartening, but hey, there’s a choir to be preached to and I’m not a member.

  29. SarahMC
    Posted August 1, 2007 at 11:52 am | Permalink

    If a woman has to get permission from her parents or “the father” to have an abortion, shouldn’t she have an equal obligation to get their permission to have a child?
    Well that’s the logical conclusion, yes; but anti-choicers aren’t exactly known for their respect of logic or reason.

  30. alexmlwallace
    Posted August 1, 2007 at 11:58 am | Permalink

    I just saw a term thrown around that I fear is going to be applied to me, simply because I’m realizing that there are a lot of judgments going around, and a lot of mistruths being said.
    So, in case any of you are suspecting the worst, don’t worry, I’m militantly pro-choice.

  31. galnoir
    Posted August 1, 2007 at 11:59 am | Permalink

    As vile as Alex’s logic is, he does (very, very indirectly) bring up a good point. Parental consent laws and this heinous bill assume that if a girl’s parents or the prospective father know that a woman is planning an abortion, they will stop her. But that reasoning can backfire easily. Not all parents would oppose their daughter aborting, and not all prospective fathers would object to the abortion, either. In some of these cases, the parents/prospective father would strongly support an abortion, to the point of coercion.

  32. era4allNOW
    Posted August 1, 2007 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

    HEY ALEX. I wasn’t talking to you!! I was talking to John Adams, the guy who created the legislation. I’m not paying ANY attention to you! Cute though!

  33. Trixie
    Posted August 1, 2007 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

    Introducing stupid legislation can be a valid way to call more attention to stupid legistlation. I live in Washington State where the courts decided that gays could be denied the right to marriage because the purpose of marriage is the creation and nurturing of children. A gay rights group introduced legislation to null all marriages that didn’t result in the conception of children within three years. It called quite a lot of attention to the baselessness of the marriage/children arguement.
    http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/politics/2003558717_nokids06m.html

  34. EG
    Posted August 1, 2007 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

    Oh, I see, men who rape virgins in order to cure themselves of AIDS are actually the fault of condoms. Yeah. That makes tons of sense. Because how cruel and inhumane is it of me to have no sympathy for men refusing to use condoms because they don’t like them, even when refusing to do so endangers their lives and the lives of the women they fuck. Clearly, men are not moral agents at all and should not be blamed. It’s all the fault of those dastardly condoms. What else are men to do?
    You’re conflating two separate issues, by the way. Condoms are the only option for either sex that prevents the spread of HIV. So I’m not sure what your point is re: Africa’s AIDS epidemic.
    As I mentioned, vasectomies are reversable. Go get one. You can also go back through the feministing archives and peruse the many threads devoted to coverage of potential new contraceptives for men. But that wasn’t what your comment was about, was it? Your comment was about the trials and travails of poor, innocent men who are forced to actually pay child support for children they’ve fathered. And I repeat, cry me a river.
    I’m referring to child support… as in the monthly payments decided in court. I’m well aware that women pay for children as well, thanks to this handy-dandy thing I’ve got called common sense.
    Child-support payments are decided by the court only when the woman in question has enough money to go to court. Otherwise, not so much. Do some research–do you really think that a monthly payment even begins to compare to the ongoing daily expenses of raising a child? The bulk of financial responsibilities for children certainly does not fall on men.

  35. Posted August 1, 2007 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

    Um, does that make jerking off mass murder?
    Haha. That reminded me of Legally Blonde when they’re in class talking about sperm donors and Elle says something like “all masturbatory emissions where the sperm was not seeking an egg could be termed reckless abandonment.”

  36. Ephemeral
    Posted August 1, 2007 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

    This is a terrible bill and I hope/presume it will not pass given its limited support (I am curious what it would mean for women who went out of state to have an abortion and then returned and a father found out).
    However, some of the views expressed here on responsibility for the child post birth are almost as bad. Many reasons women choose abortions are based on longer term factors when it is no longer a simple issue of the woman’s body. For example, economic factors (I/my family can’t support a child) or emotional (I am not ready to be a parent). In this respect men would like an equal say as we are, under the law, equally impacted by the birth of a child. This is not unreasonable (no more so than women seeking control of their lives). It does NOT necessarily mean forced abortion. We live in a litigious society where custody is well understood. This could be a simple legal process (very quick to ensure a woman’s choices are not negatively impacted) of a father giving up all rights and obligations for the child so that a woman could make a decision based on all the information. For the record, I would also couple this system with an iron clad child support payment system so that if you don’t opt out you are explicitly taking responsible. I would propose something like the government pays up front based on a fixed scale and collects directly from the parent like income tax.
    To say “you should not have sex�, or “you should have thought about the consequences first� is no different than anti-choice people saying the same thing to someone who wants an abortion because they accidentally became pregnant (I will leave out the issue of sexual assault, which is not an issue of choice).

  37. Trixie
    Posted August 1, 2007 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

    Introducing stupid legislation can be a valid way to call more attention to stupid legistlation. I live in Washington State where the courts decided that gays could be denied the right to marriage because the purpose of marriage is the creation and nurturing of children. A gay rights group introduced legislation to null all marriages that didn’t result in the conception of children within three years. It called quite a lot of attention to the baselessness of the marriage/children arguement.
    http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/politics/2003558717_nokids06m.html

  38. SarahMC
    Posted August 1, 2007 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

    Gee, Mr. Common Sense Alex, I wonder why MEN have to write the majority of child support checks? Could it be because in most cases the SINGLE MOTHER is the one raising the child, saddled with the day-to-day caregiving and responsible for the majority of the expenses? As in, she’s paying a hell of a lot more than the man; it’s just not called “child support.” It’s called parenting.

  39. Kali Ma
    Posted August 1, 2007 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

    Alex, I have a couple of questions that are genuine and not meant to be antagonistic, so read them without any “tone” to them. k?
    Why is it that men being able to force women to have abortions = equality?
    Why does not sharing that perpective make us the sad “face of feminism” today?
    What about the last 15 years is it that makes you think feminism is about anything else other than equality? It sounds like you have some significant beefs with feminism (or your perception of it). Where is this coming from? Can you give examples?

  40. Shinobi
    Posted August 1, 2007 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

    I think this bill is total bullshit, it is controlling and patriarchal and disgusting.
    I do think,however, that it would be good for men to have more of a say in what happens to their potential children. Both men and women have methods of birth control available, but everyone knows that these do not always work. I think it is unfair that in the event of a mistake the decision is left entirely to the women. There should be some way that both parents could legally express their desire to have and raise a child, or not. (In a totally non binding way, allowing for the health of the mother)
    I CERTAINLY do not think that men should have the first right of refusal on whether or not a woman has an abortion that is ridiculous. What happens to a woman’s body should ultimately be her own decision.
    However, I do think that a man has a right to say whether or not he is chosing to support his child. I think that both parents should have the right to legally declare their choice to support or not to support carrying the pregnancy to term. This declaration of support/non support should be a clear and legally binding document that a woman can use to help her make her decision about whether or not to abort. For instance if a man wanted the child, but his girlfriend did not want it he should be able to offer to assume up to 100% of the legal and financial burden of the child. She could then factor this in her decision regarding whether or not she wanted to carry the pregnancy to term. Conversely if he does not want it, then he should be able to say he will not financially support it should the mother choose to have it. (I also think that financial support would have to be tied to visitation rights, if you want to see your kid you have to contribute money. If you decide when the is 13 you want to see them then you have to pay back support.)
    I know this isn’t an ideal solution. If a woman really didn’t want to carry to term, but the father was willing to support it that could get complicated, I think there would have to be clear protections in place for the mother, especially for health reasons or situations like sexual assault and incest.
    Anyway, this is all “in an ideal world” where stuff actually worked. I do think a system like this would cut down on the children in the world that no one wants to pay for. It would also eliminate the myth that women are having children just to collect child support from the childs father.

  41. Kyra
    Posted August 1, 2007 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

    Ugh.
    Well, it should go without saying how disgusting it is that a man should get to decree that a woman pay such a price so HE can have a child HE wants, so I’m just going to say that I hope the Ohio Democrats get creative with proposed amendments.
    First and foremost, cite the reasoning for this bill in the first place to require the father’s permission to give birth/create the baby; secondly and on a more serious note, require that every father who does not grant permission for an abortion sign an agreement for child-support payments to be deducted from his paychecks, and if he has no paychecks during the time he’s required to pay child support, an agreement for it to be subtracted from his personal property on the date it’s due (with enforcement), and if that is ended, open up a line of credit in his name (offered by the government, perhaps) from which payments may be given to the mother. Have him legally required to sign one or the other
    If it passes, charge it as unconstitutional not under Roe v. Wade, but under the Thirteenth Amendment: “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude shall exist . . .”
    (If paternity tests aren’t required in cases where the fatherhood is not in question, what is to stop the woman from getting a male friend to pretend to be the father and sign a consent form?)

  42. Posted August 1, 2007 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

    Funnily enough this law applies in Japan, where abortions are widely and easily available. There is a process for getting round it but no-one ever bothers – they just get a male friend to sign the release form. No-one checks if he is the biological father or not. I agree that the spirit of such a law is deeply fucked but I think in practice its so easy to get round that it would have little impact. In the UK we have no requirement for your partners consent but you may have to check with your parents!!

  43. giffy
    Posted August 1, 2007 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

    Single mom working a full time job and having to be there every minute of every day for the kid vs. dad who has to *gasp* pay some money each month. Oh the injustice.
    As far as I can see the mind of these winning men goes something like this. Damn bitch got pregnant. I would raise it by I got a career and am to young ot not be going out every night. If she wants to keep it it her responsibility. What this fucking court is making me pay for this kid and I don’t even get to boss around it and the mom. THATS UNJUST. I know. I’ll fail to control myself in court and yell and scream and bad mouth the mom. That way maybe I can get partial custody, because you know raise a kid is easier then writing a check.
    Yet another example of twisting the loss of power into the suppression of rights.

  44. alexmlwallace
    Posted August 1, 2007 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

    Kali Ma- I started to type out a response, but it quickly dissolved into an incomprehensible mess. Apparently my personal views on feminism are more convoluted than even I knew- I consider myself a very hardcore feminist, yet I hardly identify with the movement as a whole. Which is partly why I was interested in this new blog, as I thought it would be the modern face of feminism. Finally, I thought! Feminism that’s interested in progress, in equality for both sexes! A place where sexism is seen as a faux pas, for BOTH genders!
    After spending a few weeks reading the posts and a few days posting comments, it’s becoming pretty clear that it wasn’t what I originally thought.
    And now even my second response is getting longer, and it was supposed to be just a blurb! Ah well. If anybody would like to discuss (civilized!) feminism, abortion, or whatever you even feel like it, feel free to email me at alexmlwallace@gmail.com.

  45. Heather Nan
    Posted August 1, 2007 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

    alexmlwallace, 60% of child support cases are in default and not being paid currently in the USA. If you simply move out of state it is often possible that a man may never have to pay child support. Demanding that a woman abort a fetus at the whim of a man (or stay pregnant at the whim of a man) is patriarchy at its worst. No other adult human being has the right to determine medical decisions for another adult human being. What you suggest is morally reprehensible. If you are so concerned about “child support” payments, then advocate for male hormonal birth-control options or other male fertility precautions. If men were responsible for their own fertility (instead of putting it all on women), then women and men would be able to decide when and under what circumstances to have children. If you want every child to be wanted by both partners, advocate for universal health care where birth control is considered a human right (for both men and women) and for comprehensive sex education so that Maury Povich style “whose the baby daddy” isn’t a real problem. Also, consider those 60% of children who are due child support but can’t have a winter coat or always have a meal at home. Think of them, not the mothers because quite frankly, that’s who we’re talking about.

  46. SarahMC
    Posted August 1, 2007 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

    Oh, Alex; you make a horribly offensive post that, coincidently, everyone happened to “take the wrong way,” and because we were rightly aghast at the sentiment behind it, feminism is bad and we’re really turning you off to it.
    Either apologize for failing miserably at getting your “actual” message across or acknowledge that our perception does match up to your intent.
    Africa is suffering w/ AIDS because there’s not ENOUGH condom use! And the men there won’t use the ones they have available. Kinda tough, if you’re a woman under a man’s control, to insist that he uses a condom he *abhors* when he forcibly fucks you. Dontcha think?

  47. lokispet
    Posted August 1, 2007 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

    This is unbelievable. On the flip side, are they going to force abortions if the father doesn’t want the child?

  48. newslang
    Posted August 1, 2007 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

    So uh, what if I go to France or another country that isn’t the US and while there I have sex and when I get back, I realize I’m pregnant. Am I going to have to track down this person (imagine you only have a name to go off of), make them trek all the way over here (so much paperwork and time!) all so I can get a paternity test and obtain their permission for an abortion? Is the governement going to help me out in tracking them down and paying airfare? or are they just going to shoot me the finger and tell me to have fun being a mom?
    This bill is ridiculous. I am so mad I can’t even think about it. UGH! I am so terrified of what they are trying to turn our country into.

  49. alexmlwallace
    Posted August 1, 2007 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

    SarahMC-I’m not going to apologize for you not understanding what I wrote and then further clarified. Africa still has an AIDS epidemic because the use of condoms isn’t anywhere near high enough for it to slow down the spread of disease. I suggested that men should be looking for new forms of contraception that could stop the spread of disease and give them more of a say as to whether or not they’re going to be getting women pregnant- simultaneously addressing two key issues, stopping the spread of STD’s and helping men avoid unwanted children. I didn’t realize how explosive those two issues truly were!

  50. SarahMC
    Posted August 1, 2007 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

    The word “equality” implies “for both genders.” Going around saying you advocate equality for both genders is redundant.
    Just so happens that as it stands, women are the ones considered second-class citizens, not men. So yeah, most of our concerns are re: women.
    I’m really curious about all the “reverse sexism” (another unnecessarily cumbersome term – “sexism” doesn’t imply “…against women.” Even though that’s usually the direction in which it’s aimed.) being perpetrated in our movement, though.

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