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. kax17
    Posted August 1, 2007 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

    This is wrong on so many levels. I also wonder would this bill also allow men to request/demand that the women get an abortion if the man did not want to pay support. Even Adams in his defence of the bill reduces men to their “financial responsibility” Is that all this is about is money?

  2. alexmlwallace
    Posted August 1, 2007 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

    SarahMC- Thank you for the semantics. I’m well aware that there are more issues facing women than men. However, there is zero discussion of issues facing males on this blog. I’ve been subscribed to feministing via RSS for a bit now. Since “most” of your concerns are re: women, surely you can point out an issue that has faced males recently.
    After all, equality means both sexes, and feminism is the pursuit of equality. So, if this blog is called feministing, it should be about the pursuit of equality. And if, as you just said, most of your concerns are re: women, that implies that a minority of your concerns are re: men.
    Correct me if I’m wrong, and I’m quite curious what issues facing men you’ve given thought to lately, since you clearly favor equality over sexism.

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

    As far as I know, condoms (used correctly) are pretty damn effective at preventing pregnancy. But darn; you don’t like them.
    Listen – in most cases men leave pregnancy prevention up to women. We’re the ones with the most to lose. So we’re the ones saddled w/ the responsibility of making sure we don’t get knocked up. Most of the time that requires pumping ourselves full of hormones. Now, I’m pretty sure the male pill is either currently in development or about to hit the market. But guys are all, “I’m not putting hormones in my body!”
    Don’t blame women because you’re not satisfied with the condom. We’re stuck searching for the *perfect* birth control method for our entire sexually-active life.

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

    Alex, people took your comment and ran in the direction it pointed. I’m not sure why you’re surprised that people thought you were saying men should have a say in whether women are allowed to get abortions or give birth, given that you said:
    What a joke. Men need say in reproductive rights, because at the moment, we have no say whatsoever,… …Men need to be able to turn around and request that the woman abort her child, and have it mean something… …if the man had more say in which pregnancies went through, we’d have a lot less single mothers and unhappy homes out there.
    It’s hard to see how that should be read, outside of “Men should have legal rights to force or deny a woman abortion.” It sure seems pretty explicit to me. Is it really a surprise that any pro-choice people aren’t pleased by the suggestion that men should have rights against a woman when it comes to her right to choose or not choose abortion? If you meant something other than that, I’d suggest that a better response would be to explain what you meant rather than ranting about how bad feminism is now.
    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.
    I’m sorry, but that’s ridiculous. What kind of birth control options would you like? Condom technology has hardly stayed static since the sixteenth century and pretending that it has is ridiculous. Furthermore, you can get a vasectomy, which is an outpatient procedure that takes practically no time, and may not even require stitches. Men’s birth control methods are ridiculously safe, effective, and have virtually no side effects, compared to the methods available for women, which can involve serious side-effects and complications, and provide no protection from STDs.
    So, yeah, cry me a fucking river. Condoms are cheap, easily obtained, extremely effective, prevent pregnancy and the spread of disease, and have no side effects. Wow. That sure sucks.
    Please.

  5. alexmlwallace
    Posted August 1, 2007 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

    SarahMC- That was my entire point, and you were completely, 100%, absolutely WRONG. Here I am, a man saying “I WANT MORE BIRTH CONTROL OPTIONS!” I would gladly take a pill everyday. Gladly. Happily. Willingly. I’m not sure how much harder I can beat this into your brain- I don’t like walking around with a loaded gun, and trust me, most men feel the exact same way.
    You’d think wanting more methods and choices in our birth control might ring a bell at a FEMINIST site, but no, instead you’d prefer to assume exactly otherwise.

  6. Kimmy
    Posted August 1, 2007 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

    Alexmlwallace, I need clarification on something. You said (and this is a copy/paste):

    Men need to be able to turn around and request that the woman abort her child, and have it mean something.

    How could anyone with any reading comprehension whatsoever interpret that as meaning anything other than what it says? It says nothing about contraception. It says nothing about child support. It mentions men’s request for abortion meaning something.
    Don’t blame us if your meaning bears no relationship to your words. And don’t expect us to cry because you don’t think men’s problems are getting enough face time on this blog. Men aren’t the focus here. Women are. Get over it.

  7. Posted August 1, 2007 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

    My views on the fathers’ rights topic is here.

  8. Sara
    Posted August 1, 2007 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

    I don’t know if this helps the argument any, but as for the flip side….
    If a man pokes a hole in a condom to intentionally impregnate a woman, as means of entrapment of a woman that has repeatedly stated she does not want to be in a serious relationship with him, if pro-choice, the woman has the right to end the pregnancy.
    If a man is lied to by a woman about being on birth control and she intentionally becomes pregnant as means of entrapment of a man who has stated he does not intend to be in a serious relationship with her, what choices is he left with?
    This BY NO MEANS is a statement for forced abortion.
    I am married to this situation, since the entrapment failed to produce a boyfriend, let alone a husband, we are punished by repeated failed attempts for visitation, monthly checks, and 300 dollar car seats that produce only an hour and a half at a chucky cheese for every 6 months of begging and being jerked around. Yes we can take court action in a few years when we have the financial resources. But the situation is unequal, and by nature, will probably remain that way.
    I guess it’s just another example of inequality and frustration.

  9. alexmlwallace
    Posted August 1, 2007 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

    Kimmy: Men aren’t the focus here. Women are. Get over it.
    Thank you for your honesty. Bye!

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

    Sara, I always have very little patience for the “entrapment” issue. The man could have used a condom. He didn’t. The fact that your husband isn’t getting the visitation rights that he wants is an entirely different issue and one that yes, points to the inequities of our “justice” system, which is that those with money can afford to use it, and those without get screwed.

  11. the frog queen
    Posted August 1, 2007 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

    I must interject now after reading ALL of that. I can’t see how Alex, who claims he’s a hardcore feminist would make such outrageous statements about forcing women to abort or to give birth. I’m wondering if maybe he just hasn’t represented himself properly. It’s easy to lose things in internet banter. I often do myself. Alex, could you clarify your opinion maybe?
    Cause I don’t totally undertand it either although I’m not prepared to throw stones at you.
    Also, I can sort of understand where Alex is coming from.. if I get what he’s saying (and I’m not sure I’ve read it properly) in respect to men having some say in pregnancy…because my boyfriend maintains that if I got pregnant I would have to give birth because he would leave me (which I would say too bad, I abort, but i’m on birth control and not anticipating a problem)
    As for my opinion:
    Men and their sperm!? So in this instance if I understand Alex correctly I’d have to simply say (what i told my boyfriend) that in the case of an accidental pregnancy (which I believe thats the scenario Alex is suggesting) the overwhelming physical and mental anguish caused by a forced pregnancy or abortion,on a woman, outweighs the males right to a contribution because he will endure no physical anguish as a result of either.
    Thats the way I see it. I dunno tho.

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

    I don’t see what is so offensive about the idea that men should be able to opt out of having their genetic material become a person. Condoms break, partner’s hormonal birth control can fail, and women can lie about being on birth control to intentionally get pregnant in an attempt to hold on to a man. Perhaps Equal Concent to Birth legislation is necessary to get more birthcontrol options for men.
    And I don’t want to hear about how they should just keep it in their pants because that arguement is just as insulting to them as saying we should keep our legs closed is to us.

  13. alexmlwallace
    Posted August 1, 2007 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

    the frog queen- I want more birth control methods for men. I want more birth control methods for women. I want to keep abortions legal across the nation. I want men to listen to women when they say they want to abort the baby. I want women to listen to men when they say they want to abort the baby.
    I don’t want more children coming into the world with fathers that never wanted them. And no, that isn’t some subtle way of saying that the father should grab a coathanger and forcibly remove the fetus (which some people here had the audacity to assume I was saying.)

  14. alexmlwallace
    Posted August 1, 2007 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

    Trixie said it far more eloquently than I could have.

  15. SarahMC
    Posted August 1, 2007 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

    Quit attacking me, Alex, when clearly I’m not the only one who read your words literally.
    This is not my blog. Just ’cause it’s called Feministing doesn’t mean it has to cater to the issues you want to talk about. I believe we had a huge discussion about male infant circumscision a few weeks ago. Maybe that was at Feministe. Anyway, we frequently discuss gender roles/norms, which oppress all people. It’s not always a “men VS women” thing. Sometimes it’s a “patriarchy VS everyone” thing.
    I shouldn’t even be defending this blog. It speaks for itself. And if you’re too lazy or willfully ignorant to recall that we value justice for all people, that’s your problem.

  16. the frog queen
    Posted August 1, 2007 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

    It would be great if there were more birth control methods. I’m on the nuva ring, which I love! I LOVE MY NUVA RING! and my boyfriend refuses to wear condoms … which is why I’m on the ring. But in some instances, hormonal birth control is determental to the woman.. it sucks.. (anyone hear about the effectancy of the today sponge btw!?)
    However, I do think there are enough options for a responsible couple to figure something out. In the case of accidental pregnancy I’d be worried that for instance, a young impressonable teenager or a battered woman would end up having to abort or give birth to a child because of legislation. How do you legislate equal say between two parties? It’s not like there can be a deadheat moment cause the fetus is only there for 9 months!?
    I think its perfectly logical and reasonably to assume that couples who accidentally end up pregnant will be able to talk to eachother about what is realistic for them. I think some sort of legislation giving the right of men to decide a womens maternal fate can only do more harm than good. i.e. hurt more women than help men.

  17. Sara
    Posted August 1, 2007 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

    Thank You Trixie, Better said than I because I have high emotions with the situation. What about the woman who had a hole poked in the condom that the man was wearing, shouldn’t she have been on birth control or wearing a second barrier method?

  18. UCLAbodyimage
    Posted August 1, 2007 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

    Okay, I’m guessing that pretty much everyone here can agree that it would be horribly wrong to give males equal say over what a woman can or can’t do with her body. If you have sex with someone who is pro-choice, then having your offspring aborted is just a risk you have to take.
    SO, since we all agree on this, I’m interested what you all think of this scenario:
    In the next 10-30 years we will probably have artificial wombs that can incubate offspring to maturity. In this scenario, do you think the male should have any say over whether the embryo is transferred to an artificial womb rather than aborted?

  19. UltraMagnus
    Posted August 1, 2007 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

    I’m coming to the party late but let me get this straight, once more with feeling.
    Alex said this:
    …Men need to be able to turn around and request that the woman abort her child, and have it mean something… …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, unless he was making a horribly bad joke, he wants the feminists on this board to believe that he’s pro-choice?
    Oh wait, I want women to listen to men when they say they want to abort the baby.
    Mind you right before that he did say that he wants men to listen to women. However, seeing as women are the bearers of the burden of the pregnancy they should have final say in whether or not the child would be brought to term. Even if the father was going to take complete and sole custody of the child afterwards, pregnancy can wreck havoc on a woman’s body and there’s no guarantee that it will go smoothly.
    A man can make his case, no one is saying he shouldn’t, what we’re saying is that this BILL is going to give men the sole power over women’s bodies. As Jessica pointed in the post it’s like getting a permission slip when the woman shouldn’t have to fucking do that. No matter how you want it to be “equal” if the male partner has to sign off on it or else the woman can’t get an abortion that’s men trumping the rights of women, period. And it’s not equality.
    Though I do love the new posters to this board who, upon saying outrageous things get upset that people call them on their shit and decry modern feminism about not being “fair”.
    Like Kimmy said, this is a blog dedicated to women’s issues, which for the most part are NOT men’s issues, though NiceGuy(tm) types like to come in and whine that whenever a women’s issue is discussed we’re not focused on the menz enough. I’m pretty sure at some point when there’s another topic about menstruation there will be guys here crying, “But what about men? Menstruation affects us too!”
    And Alex, while it’s cool that you are willing to take more hormonal birth control most of your brethren aren’t. I’ll have to find the article but there was a discussion a while back about male hormonal birth control and a poll saying that a lot of guys were uncomfortable taking it.

  20. azliza
    Posted August 1, 2007 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

    I don’t understand how anyone could not have a very serious problem with this bill. Unless they were an extremely naive, simple, (dare i say) ignorant person.
    The fact is that there can’t be full equality on the issue of pregnancy until men carry the fetuses, gain 40lbs, go through labor, get theirvaginas torn and stitched, shit on a cot, let little babes suckle their nipples whenever they want, and have a looser vag for the rest of their lives (just to name the physical beginning).
    Oh, how I wish that could happen.
    If we are playing “what-if,” I think it’s a very bad idea to set the precedent that if a man wants whoever he got preggers to have an abortion and she refuses, he shouldn’t have to pay childcare. That is just as scary for a women who is anti-choice to have to face as it is for someone who is pro-choice to have to ask to get an abortion.

  21. secondhandsally
    Posted August 1, 2007 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

    RE: Men’s right to determine whether or not they bring their genetic material in this world
    Of course, for women, the decision whether or not to carry a baby to term is not limited a philosophical exercise as to whether or not she thinks it’s right for her to bring life into the world. She also has to ask herself if she wants to undergo all the health risks that accompany pregnancy (and also, in some cases, if she wishes to risk losing her job). Although I do not believe that American society holds men and women equally responsible for childcare/financial obligations once a child is born (I believe the burden is on women), even if that were the case, I think we all can agree that a woman in deciding whether or not to carry a fetus/baby to term has to consider concrete risks that may forever alter her body (and I don’t just mean cosmetically and actually I do mean even in routine pregnancy) or even end her life.
    And that to me, is one of the many reasons why this legislation is absolutely horrible.

  22. UltraMagnus
    Posted August 1, 2007 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

    I’m coming to the party late but let me get this straight, once more with feeling.
    Alex said this:
    …Men need to be able to turn around and request that the woman abort her child, and have it mean something… …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, unless he was making a horribly bad joke, he wants the feminists on this board to believe that he’s pro-choice?
    Oh wait, I want women to listen to men when they say they want to abort the baby.
    Mind you right before that he did say that he wants men to listen to women. However, seeing as women are the bearers of the burden of the pregnancy they should have final say in whether or not the child would be brought to term. Even if the father was going to take complete and sole custody of the child afterwards, pregnancy can wreck havoc on a woman’s body and there’s no guarantee that it will go smoothly.
    A man can make his case, no one is saying he shouldn’t, what we’re saying is that this BILL is going to give men the sole power over women’s bodies. As Jessica pointed in the post it’s like getting a permission slip when the woman shouldn’t have to fucking do that. No matter how you want it to be “equal” if the male partner has to sign off on it or else the woman can’t get an abortion that’s men trumping the rights of women, period. And it’s not equality.
    Though I do love the new posters to this board who, upon saying outrageous things get upset that people call them on their shit and decry modern feminism about not being “fair”.
    Like Kimmy said, this is a blog dedicated to women’s issues, which for the most part are NOT men’s issues, though NiceGuy(tm) types like to come in and whine that whenever a women’s issue is discussed we’re not focused on the menz enough. I’m pretty sure at some point when there’s another topic about menstruation there will be guys here crying, “But what about men? Menstruation affects us too!”
    And Alex, while it’s cool that you are willing to take more hormonal birth control most of your brethren aren’t. I’ll have to find the article but there was a discussion a while back about male hormonal birth control and a poll saying that a lot of guys were uncomfortable taking it.

  23. William
    Posted August 1, 2007 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

    EG raised two questions earlier: how do you deal with fathers who are not residents of the state, and whats to stop guys from just taking parental responsibility for 50 bucks a pop. That got me thinking. I’m a guy, I live in Illinois, and violation of this proposed law is a misdemeanor. Whats to stop me from signing permission form after permission form via fax from out of state? I doubt Illinois would extradite over a misdemeanor offense that doesn’t exist in this state, especially if it was a largely political offense. Even then, it might not even come to that if you had enough people involved. Whats to stop Planned Parenthood in Illinois from making an open call for men willing to donate their signatures?
    You can take that logic a step further, whats to stop Planned Parenthood in Illinois from simply providing signatures that they believe to be genuine but that they never bothered to check? Whats to stop someone from providing 30 or 40 assumed names with addresses that fall in Lake Michigan?
    I imagine any attempt at enforcement of a bill like this would be next to impossible and would end up a PR nightmare. People like this asshat Adams need to know that even if their bills succeed they will cost the state huge amounts of money and make them (and their constituents) look foolish. The pro-choice crowd needs to make it understood that they will wantonly violate these laws.

  24. the frog queen
    Posted August 1, 2007 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

    This legislation can’t be passed.. Like William said, how will it be enforced?!

  25. Posted August 1, 2007 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

    As somebody who is used to show legislation out the ass in Texas, I can assure everybody that the authors and co-sponsors are not interested in logistics or in this actually ever being implemented.

  26. tankerton
    Posted August 1, 2007 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

    Alex, I have to agree with everyone else that your original post was abhorrent. Your words say that a man should have the right to force a woman to have an abortion, which is absolutely not a pro-choice position. You claim to be pro-choice and that we have all taken your words the wrong way. But really, I don’t understand how your post could mean anything other than what I, and many other, think that it mean. So please don’t be so shocked that people are pissed off at your statements. And please don’t think that its rude of us to request that you refine and better express your ideas.
    Also, Feministing has done posts on men’s reproductive health. I believe there was a recent post on circumscision (albeit it was focused on the effects of circ. on men’s sex partners). And I am certain that if you look through the archives you will see a post or two on new developments in men’s birth control.
    That said, these are mostly women’s issues becuase Feministing is primarily concerned with women’s issues. Yes Feminism is about equality, but again, the site focuses on women’s issues rather than all issues of equality/inequality, including racism, ageism, “reverse sexism”, etc. (although there have been some great posts on the intersection of racism and feminism, as well as other topics). There is nothing wrong with the site having a focus. Try some other website, like Pandagon, if you want to look a broader issues.
    Phew! That said….this is one of the most disgusting, insulting, and non-sensical bills that I have ever heard of. And it does logically follow that if a man must give permission for an abortion, then a man must give permission for the birth of a child as well. And I do suspect that a LOT of guys are going to choose abortion over childcare or child support before they are ready for fatherhood.

  27. Roxie
    Posted August 1, 2007 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

    Alex, pls just admit your very first comment wasn’t worded clearly..or at least not to the best of your ability.
    B/c it DID sound as if you were playing the violin for men who pay child support, for “children they hardly know”…
    Also, I don’t understand your point about condoms and AIDS…that seems really out of left field. I don’t think anyone here would disagree that new methods of birth control and STD prevention for men would be awesome but we just don’t have it yet. They are being researched however.
    I agree with Ephemeral’s anaylysis about our litigious (sp) society…however, I have the same question as
    lokispet
    On the flip side, are they going to force abortions if the father doesn’t want the child?

    This bill, is absolute nuttydum. Even if I didn’t have a problem with the ideals behind it, it’s STILL chock full of holes (many probed here)!

  28. the frog queen
    Posted August 1, 2007 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

    Just out of curiosity and this subject isn’t directly completely related to article, I apologize.. but whats everyones opinion on this..
    What do you think of the motivations of a man who wants to keep or abort a fetus? Do you think they are drasticaly different from that of a womans? or are the intechangeable? I’m just curious..

  29. ShifterCat
    Posted August 1, 2007 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

    “In the next 10-30 years we will probably have artificial wombs that can incubate offspring to maturity. In this scenario, do you think the male should have any say over whether the embryo is transferred to an artificial womb rather than aborted?”
    I would say that artificial wombs should only be used if a couple really wants a child, but the mother’s body can’t handle giving birth.
    Realistically, the couple would also have to be able to foot the bill for said artificial womb. Imagine how expensive those would be.
    The problem with using this theoretical development as a way to “make abortion obsolete” is that you’re making one of the usual mistakes of the anti-choice crowd: considering only the well-being of the fetus before it’s born. Who would raise all these artificial-womb babies? We’ve got plenty of naturally-born babies in need of adoption, and not enough parents. Who would provide the resources to raise yet more children properly in this already overcrowded world?

  30. Posted August 1, 2007 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

    Exactly, norbiz.
    There’s a direct relationship between the fact someone says “I’m not doing this for controversy” and the likelyhood that, in fact, they’re doing it for controversy. As soon as someone says “I didn’t bring it up to draw attention to myself or to be controversial” it’s almost a certainty that that’s exactly what they’re doing.

  31. Kamacys
    Posted August 1, 2007 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

    I live in Ohio, and I just sent a lovely e-mail to Mr.Adams. Bastard.

  32. azliza
    Posted August 1, 2007 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

    frog queen-
    i think motivations between men and women may be similar: aren’t financially ready, emotionally stable, etc (or, on the flip side, want to be a parent, can’t morally terminate, blah blah). what i think is drastically different is the ability for women to understand how a pregnancy will affect their bodies and the rest of their lives verses a man. any man who wouldn’t support my choices is a man that i would not consider a long-term partner.

  33. slavdude
    Posted August 1, 2007 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

    Then there’s the 19-year-old woman here in Colorado who wants to define “personhood” as beginning at conception. So what happens to miscarried embryos and fetuses, or to the half of all fertilized zygotes that do not implant?
    http://www.denverpost.com/search/ci_6474481
    Sorry I don’t have a link to the article they are discussing here. The full article costs $2.95 to download from the newspaper’s archive.

  34. tofutti
    Posted August 1, 2007 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

    I’m sure they are going to try and pass this off as giving both parents a chance to decide. However, it’s really just giving men all the veto power in the situation. Which really makes sense because.. ya know.. men are the ones who get pregnant.
    the father has financial responsibility for that child, so he should have a say
    So, since he would be financially responsible for the child after it’s born, does that mean he can also force the woman to abort to avoid that financial responsibility?
    I can’t believe that is the entire reasoning behind it either. What if we made it so men were not required to pay child support? These people would still find a reason for the father to decide, which would be horrible. Because then a father would be able to force a woman to have her baby and then he wouldn’t have to financially support her. That would be really damaging, considering financial instability is one of the leading reasons women get abortions.

  35. tofutti
    Posted August 1, 2007 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

    I’m sure they are going to try and pass this off as giving both parents a chance to decide. However, it’s really just giving men all the veto power in the situation. Which really makes sense because.. ya know.. men are the ones who get pregnant.
    the father has financial responsibility for that child, so he should have a say
    So, since he would be financially responsible for the child after it’s born, does that mean he can also force the woman to abort to avoid that financial responsibility?
    I can’t believe that is the entire reasoning behind it either. What if we made it so men were not required to pay child support? These people would still find a reason for the father to decide, which would be horrible. Because then a father would be able to force a woman to have her baby and then he wouldn’t have to financially support her. That would be really damaging, considering lack of financial stability is one of the leading reasons women get abortions.

  36. katliz
    Posted August 1, 2007 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

    As an Ohio resident, and one who is constantly appalled regarding the bullshit legislation like this that gets proposed in her state, I have another angle to add to this.
    Ohio is an equal opportunity offender when it comes to women’s/men’s rights. If an unmarried woman has a child, she is automatically granted sole custody of the child. A father who wishes to be involved in his child’s life in this case would have to sue for visitation if the mother doesn’t allow him near the child.
    So Rep. Adams would have you believe in this bill that he is looking out for concerned fathers, when the law already denies them lawful access to their children (born outside of marriage). I wonder if (god forbid) this law would pass, would Adams give a damn about following through with the responsible father’s rights? Or will men who want to know their child still be forced to sue in order to be a part of his child’s life?
    Long story short, Ohio is one hypocritical state when it comes to the law.

  37. era4allNOW
    Posted August 1, 2007 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

    UCLAbodyimage, to your question about the artifical wombs: I think if the man really wants the baby and the woman doesn’t, then then it should be an exact role reversal. Follow this:
    If a woman wants a baby and the man doesn’t, then the woman has the baby and the father doesn’t do anything in the child’s life, usually, except possibly right a check for child support.
    So, same should go that way. The fetus can go to term in the artificial womb and the man can take full responsibility for it since it was his decision and not the womans. Then the woman can choose to not have a part in the life of the child, outside of maybe a check for child support (that is, if she doesn’t leave state like the men do now). I’m not sure this is the ULTIMATE ‘right’ thing to do, but it seems the fair thing to happen given the current realities. I’m sure there could be better ways to handle this, though, as we all know how rotten we think a man is when he doesn’t stay in the child’s life.
    I guess that’s the only “equal” thing given the current reality of it all.

  38. azliza
    Posted August 1, 2007 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

    It seems to me that taking an embryo out of a woman and putting it in some type of artificial womb would still involve sedation or surgery, and so i’d be hesitant to say that doing that would make it equal- the woman’s body still suffers a risk.

  39. the frog queen
    Posted August 1, 2007 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

    I have to agree with Azliza. Doesn’t it seem extremely evasive to the women to cut the fetus out of her to put it into a man? Shouldn’t she have a say in that…

  40. Jane Minty
    Posted August 1, 2007 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

    I don’t see what is so offensive about the idea that men should be able to opt out of having their genetic material become a person.
    I agree 100%.
    I also find it amusing that this bill probably contradicts the authors’ religious beliefs. If a father has to exist to get an abortion, then logically Mary’s whole “virgin birth” scenario never took place.

  41. tankerton
    Posted August 1, 2007 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

    FROGQUEEN,
    There may be many instances where men and women have the same reasons for wanting an abortion.
    However, a man will never have to face the effects of pregnancy on their body. And I’m not just talking about labor, delivery, weight gain.
    For example, I am 7 months pregnant and on official bed-rest. I’ve been in constant pain and I’m very worried about my baby. I’m unable to work. The situation has caused emotional stress to my loved ones, including my 5 year old. I am so much luckier than many women in that the my family can handle the financial burden of the increased medical bills and the loss of income and because I have a great support network.
    However, I would never put myself or my loved ones through this again. Should I become accidently pregnant in the future (Husband will get a vasectromy, so an accident is unlikely) I will not hesitate to have an abortion.
    My situation is something that no man will ever have to experience.
    And it highlights yet another problem with this bill: costs. If they are saying “no father (with signature), no abortion” then who the hell is going to cover the costs of a normal pregnancy and child care. Who will cover the costs of medical complications and resulting loss of employment for mothers on bedrest? And let me tell you the costs are great and exceed medical care. This includes the costs of child care for existing children, day to day expenses, such as rent, and the costs of having someone help with things like housecare (laundry, dishes, etc).
    OF course, the bill’s sponsor haven’t thought this through. Its absurd.

  42. tankerton
    Posted August 1, 2007 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

    JaneMinty, you just made me laugh out loud with virgin birth comment!

  43. JPlum
    Posted August 1, 2007 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

    Wasn’t there an attempt at a similarly wacky law in Florida a few years ago? It required women who were giving a child up for adoption to put notices in newspapers to inform the potential father of her actions: http://writ.news.findlaw.com/commentary/20020829_hodes.html
    Not exactly the same, but the same class of stupid and paternalistic.
    Especially read the bit about the history of the Act-it was created in response to a rapist who tried to get his victim’s child from its adopted parents. So the solution was to force rape victims (and others) to let their rapists know about the adoption, so that they could more easily contest it?

  44. the frog queen
    Posted August 1, 2007 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

    Tankerton, I’m very sorry to hear about the complications your experiencing. Thats horrible!! and I’m sure if your in the US it’s a larger strain. I read something about the costs of being pregnant in the US and it scared me.
    YOur right tho and thats a whole other issue I haven’t thought of, as I’m canadian and the cost of having a child is drastically less. But thats a big issue for the US I never considered! Who would pay for that? They can’t expect to force women to have kids and just throw them into the system of welfare! How scarey!

  45. ekf
    Posted August 1, 2007 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

    If I may make a bit of a clarification to an earlier post…it seems as though people read something I posted as advocating a position that if men don’t want to be responsible for the fruits of their sexuality, they should keep their dicks in their pants. My tongue was planted firmly in cheek, and I was only referencing that kind of position as a note on how hypocritical it is of the anti-choice side to pull their slut shaming, “personal responsibility” crap with women, and then to act like the poor menz need the laws to protect them in case some mean woman denies them their heir. If they want women to have “personal responsibility”, then they should want the same for men, but that’s not the way they act. They just want to punish women.
    So, just to be clear — I think the law should refrain from slut-shaming both men and women, and, in a perfect world, there would be some mechanism for permitting men some say (albeit certainly not a veto!) about what happens when their view of an unintended pregnancy they helped cause differs from the view of the woman now unintentionally caused to be pregnant. We’re not in a perfect world, and until there are better ways of dealing with sex and pregnancy and parenthood, we will continue not to be. It’s complicated, and it’s not made any easier by jackasses like Adams, who think that entirely taking away a woman’s moral and legal agency.

  46. Posted August 1, 2007 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

    They’ve been trying this for a while, gaining support under a “movement” called “choice for men” (or C4M for short). It’s totally fucked up and dangerous.

  47. Jessica
    Posted August 1, 2007 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

    Wow, I go into Manhattan for lunch and come back to almost 100 comments!
    Just want to remind folks to lay off the personal attacks. I know it’s hard to remain civil when talking about some of this stuff, but please…try.

  48. Phlegmatic
    Posted August 1, 2007 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

    Well this certainly is disgusting. Im absolutely in agreement with anyone who thinks abortions and pregnancies are solely the choices of the women who will experience them. Trying to give authority over them to men who will never experience them is nuts in my opinion. I really think men should no more be allowed to make these decisions for women in regards to pregnancies/abortions, then they should have to pay for a baby they didnt want anyway. Perhaps people will think me heartless but I simply say tough shit to any men who want the child the woman is carrying, when she doesnt, and to women who want support for a child that the father didn’t want.
    Then again, I only brought up my views on men having to have “financial responsibility� because it was mentioned above. Bottom line is men have no say.
    Of course, its not like Im planning on having kids, or engaging in the activity that sometimes leads to having kids.

  49. Vervain
    Posted August 1, 2007 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

    I pulled a fake login name off bugmenot.com so I could give some of the more stupid comments on the article a good fisking.
    I just couldn’t resist. ;)
    Try and guess which one is me! It won’t be hard–the high snark quotient is pretty much a dead giveaway.

  50. Lisa27
    Posted August 1, 2007 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

    Okay, so it’s taken me more than 2 hours since initially reading this to be calm enough to actually put words together…
    I remember as a kid, maybe about 8 or 9, that my mother taught my younger brother a song that they used to sing, especially while getting dressed and doing bathing routines. I always interpreted it as being about teaching kids that other people touching them in ways they don’t like is okay for them to say ‘no’ to and stand up for themselves, but it sums up my feelings here pretty decently:
    My body’s nobody’s body but mine!
    You run your own body, let me run mine!

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