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. SassyGirl
    Posted August 1, 2007 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

    “A girl I was dating stopped using birth control without telling me. Which lead to a very bad situation.”
    Every man should use a condom everytime, unless he wants to have a child, then that would not be an issue.

  2. Mina
    Posted August 1, 2007 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

    “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 thought the idea was that when you’re entitled to support from someone then a third party can’t come along and let the one who owes you support off the hook…even if you’re a child, your father owes you, and the third party is your mother.
    “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,”
    It would also require the invention of technology that allows the transfer of an embryo *after* it’s already implanted in a uterine lining. Doesn’t IVF work in part because it transfers embryos from petri dishes where they didn’t implant?

  3. MoodyStarr
    Posted August 1, 2007 at 7:31 pm | Permalink

    First, I come to this site everyday and truly enjoy learning about what’s going on on the world, but my favorite part is reading the discussions that follow. Then some troll comes on and just ruins it for me. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy discussing opposing opinions, but when the opposing position happens to be that feminism, something very important to me is bullshit, it really chaps my ass.
    Sorry for the run on. Regarding the original post… I’ve thought about this before and it all comes down to this: Since women bear all the physical responsibility like carrying and nurturing the fetus, then giving birth to it, I’m gonna say women have the sole right to decide whether to continue a pregnancy or not.
    I’m reminded of a recent General Hospital storyline, where a boy’s family was trying to sue the teen he impregnated to carry to term. I don’t watch daily, but I believe the character had the abortion, then went on to new soap drama, rather than dying or suffering some ofther horrible fate.

  4. Lisa27
    Posted August 1, 2007 at 7:33 pm | Permalink

    “A girl I was dating stopped using birth control without telling me. Which lead to a very bad situation.”
    When I have taken birth control pills, I have been solely responsible for getting them, paying for them, remembering to have them with me, taking them, and dealing with the side effects. My partners have never taken more than a passing interest (and usually at my prodding), yet every time – EVERY TIME I’ve had sex with a man I’ve spent at least half of the time running back through the last 7-21 days thinking about whether there’s a time I missed a pill, or was a few minutes late, and reminding myself to take the next several at exactly the right time. If you want responsibility over your sex partner’s pregnancy status (as I want over my own status), you have to TAKE responsibility. Ask her if she took her pill every day. Take a sugar pill yourself at the same time every day, and at least imagine it was causing you side effects. Use a condom anyway. Get a vasectomy. Don’t have sex. Personally, I most advocate for the condom option.
    Also, numerous comments have addressed the argument that unwanted pregnancy hijacks a woman’s body for 9-ish months and culminates in a painful exit, but let’s not forget that childbirth changes your body forever, in all kinds of ways. And many men seem not to like it, either – remember the posts about vaginoplasty (sp?) we’ve had over the past months/years? Some of those are done to “reconstruct” the vagina after birth, to enhance sexual pleasure (presumably primarily for a male partner – if I have vaginal surgery, I don’t expect to ever have vaginal pleasure again – just the thought of it hurts).

  5. ouyangdan
    Posted August 1, 2007 at 7:47 pm | Permalink

    ok…i couldn’t even get through all the comments b/f i HAD to write something.
    having to get a father’s permission to abort is BULLSHIT! I live by a firm standard, and i am going to catch some shit for this but i don’t care. NO UTERUS NO OPINION! it changes you FOREVER! if a man wants to cough up a womb to grow a human, fine…give him say, but until then, fuck off. i am sick and tired of bending over backward to appease someone who made sperm once (we all know what a challenge THAT is)
    michigan has a law that says any woman giving birth to a child out of wedlock must produce the name of the father to file a paternity case. after the abuse i suffered at his hand i would rather have chewed my arm off than file for paternity or get support from that ass…but the state wouldn’t have it. unless you provide a name and a test comes back…no state aid or medicaid for you! fuck off! if you don’t know…you must provide a list and they pursue one after the other until they find one. well…for me that opened a whole can of worms that i didn’t need. if i want to raise my child alone, that was my business! my safety was at stake, but they didn’t care.
    and what is w/ all these fathers who believe that child support is the brunt of financial cost? i will tell you that the meager amount barely covers what is needed…so get over yourselves. i usually don’t get so heated over this, but money is not the answer to everything…and i don’t need a man’s permission to grow or not grow a baby in MY body. if he wants to get stretched out and fat and changed forever…go ahead and grow it yourself. YOU carry the baby.
    this bill is just one way of making sure that we have no freedom in our repro choices…and we need to stand up for ourselves!
    i apologize for offending anyone…but as someone who is living the result of the state forcing me to involve the man…and i live scared every day…we need to face the facts that this bullshit is taking away our freedoms

  6. Lisa27
    Posted August 1, 2007 at 7:55 pm | Permalink

    ouyangdan: well said. I also like the “not your uterus – not your opinion” line of reasoning. And fuck the policymakers in Michigan who have left you living in fear, just for trying to get reasonable medical care for you and your child.

  7. SarahMC
    Posted August 1, 2007 at 7:58 pm | Permalink

    Right on, Ouyangdan!

  8. Lisa27
    Posted August 1, 2007 at 8:04 pm | Permalink

    rereading my comment to ouyangdan and recognizing that they’re not leaving her living in fear for “trying to get reasonable medical care for you and your child” but also for having a child out of wedlock -but heaven forbid she should have an abortion either(these people seem to say) – damned no matter what you do if you have sex, and determined a prude if you don’t…

  9. Ephemeral
    Posted August 1, 2007 at 8:32 pm | Permalink

    Garrett Sparks – great chart, nice, simple, promotes information, equality and choice for all!

  10. Posted August 1, 2007 at 8:43 pm | Permalink

    Here is the letter I just sent off to Representative Asshat (thanks to a lot of the comments here!):
    Dear Representative Adams,
    I am writing because I am extremely opposed to your archaic piece of proposed legislature, H. B. No. 287. While I understand the desire to make both parents responsible for a pregnancy, enacting this kind of legislation is not the way to go about it.
    I was wondering how you intend on enforcing this law. If no man can sign a form that is not the father of the fetus, then will you require every man signing as “the father of the fetus� to take a paternity test to prove as such? What if a man is the father, but refuses to take a paternity test? The woman still has to give birth to a child she does not want?
    I also strongly object to the section that requires women to provide police reports that “give reasonable cause to believe the woman became pregnant as the result of rape or incest.� This is incredibly insulting, in that you are stating women are not to be trusted – that they need to provide official documentation of their trauma. Not only this, but have you ever considered the numbers of women who don’t report rape or incest due to humiliation and/or fear of physical violence? You are asking women to put themselves in danger, or to relive a traumatic experience.
    Let me paint a scenario for you. A woman is in an abusive relationship with a man who refuses to use any form of protection, and does not allow her to do so, under threat of physical violence. She gets pregnant, and the father also refuses to sign a consent form. Then, he leaves the woman, and does not intend to send her any money. Would there be a clause in the bill that states that if the father refuses to allow an abortion, he is required by law to support the child financially? If not, in this situation the woman is forced to have a child that she was forced to conceive, against her will, then must raise it by herself and also bear the brunt of the financial responsibility? What environment do you think that child will be raised in?
    It is an extreme example, but I hope it paints an accurate picture of what this bill is trying to do. It is not creating equality in a decision between women and men. It is ultimately making women submit to the wishes of men, and leaving the power of the decision in men’s hands.
    I hope that you will reconsider your support of this bill.

  11. Posted August 1, 2007 at 8:47 pm | Permalink

    And I don’t even LIVE in Ohio!

  12. Posted August 1, 2007 at 9:14 pm | Permalink

    Yogi wrote:

    “I cannot comprehend why a woman, or man, who was pro-choice would have sex with a pro-lifer”
    Because pro-choice men can be sexist assholes, too, doncha know?
    At least a pro-lifer won’t coerce you to get an abortion if you don’t want one.
    Of all of the situations I know of where a pregnant woman disagreed with the sperm donor about what to do with the fetus, the woman wanted to keep it and the guy wanted to abort it.
    It’s the same for parental notification/ permission laws. They hurt a minority of women. More often than not, the parents WANT the girl to abort, even when the girl doesn’t want to.

    If guys want a choice, they need to demand more male birth control.

  13. UCLAbodyimage
    Posted August 1, 2007 at 9:26 pm | Permalink

    “Every man should use a condom everytime, unless he wants to have a child, then that would not be an issue.”
    A. Not everyone can wear condoms.
    B. The bigger issue here is about being truthful regarding birth control practices.

  14. mimo92
    Posted August 1, 2007 at 9:28 pm | Permalink

    *skips over majority of comments*
    One way we could prevent unexpected pregnancy would be to sterilize all men. Then, the only people who would have a shot at getting pregnant (via sperm banks or combining two eggs and whatnot) would do so purposely.
    Then, the anti-abortion people would have their way and those “sluts” would be free to screw around without worry of a baby.
    /snark

  15. Voila
    Posted August 1, 2007 at 9:39 pm | Permalink

    Mimo92-
    If you combine 2 eggs, you end up with female babies, and then where would the menz be? :P

  16. Posted August 1, 2007 at 9:43 pm | Permalink

    My infertility used to be quite painful to me on occasion. I suppose, in that regard, the Right Honourable Mr Adams should be thanked for showing me the upside of sterility. Is it any wonder the demand for tubal ligations is going up in this country?
    As an Ohioan, I would like to propose a rider to this bill: All male residents of the State of Ohio shall undergo a vasectomy within thirty (30) days after reaching the age of thirteen (13) or, in the case of male residents who have reached the age of thirteen prior to the effective date of this Section, within thirty days after the effective date hereof. It shall be a felony of the third degree for a male resident of at least thirteen years of age to be unable to furnish proof of vasectomy. Persons subject to the foregoing provisions may obtain a reversal of the vasectomy upon presentation of the written and notarised consent of all prior and prospective female sexual parters such persons have had or shall have within ten (10) years prior to or following the date of the request for permission to reverse the vasectomy.
    If we’re going to be making women’s bodies subject to the whims of men, there’s no reason we shouldn’t be doing the reverse. After all, there would be fewer unwanted pregnancies (and abortions) if there were fewer fertile males around.
    As an Ohioan, I am rather less optimistic about the prospects of defeating this bill. The General Assembly is a rather dismal place, and the fundamentalists tend to get what they want. As for a constitutional challenge, the man who said in Planned Pregnancy of SE Pa. v. Casey that a man should have as much power over his wife as he does over his minor daughter is now on the Supreme Court. In any case, any belief I once had that laws like this would be quickly invalidated appears rather naive in the light of recent events.
    However, in Ohio, citizens can amend the State constitution by referendum. Putting Equal Rights and Bodily Integrity amendments on the ballot could be an effective way to mobilise opposition for this bullshit, and might help to create a political climate rather more hostile to proposals of this sort.

  17. neonvillage
    Posted August 1, 2007 at 9:55 pm | Permalink

    wow. double you tee eff. i wrote to my representatives and to this ass, not that he’ll listen.

  18. Posted August 1, 2007 at 10:13 pm | Permalink
  19. Posted August 1, 2007 at 10:18 pm | Permalink

    i wrote to my representatives and to this ass, not that he’ll listen.

    There is no point in arguing or negotiating with someone who wishes to see us treated as less than human beings. Instead, we need to be talking to each other, our friends, our neighbours, and other women we encounter to raise consciousness of this danger and to find effective means of organising to counteract it.

  20. Scilian
    Posted August 1, 2007 at 10:37 pm | Permalink

    Welll something needs to be done about it, thats for sure.
    I do not think its fair for the woman to have 100% say and make men financially responsible for it.
    A simple solution would be to offer the men a choice: If the man doesnt want a child, but the woman doesnt want to abort, the financial responsibility should be entirely hers.
    If the woman wants to abort and the man doesnt, well too bad it is her body.
    But something needs to be done with it, because its current state where one partner decides if the baby is kept or not, and then forcing a man to pay to raise a child he does not want, is completely unfair.
    Women (myself included) should have 100% say only if there is some form or clause that would relieve the man of any and all responsibility.
    This is a very tough subject, but you cant just say, hey I dont want the baby, fuck you Im aborting. Ahh Ive changed my mind (6 months later) now support me and my child for 18 years.

  21. Posted August 1, 2007 at 10:40 pm | Permalink

    Women (myself included) should have 100% say only if there is some form or clause that would relieve the man of any and all responsibility.

    I’d be fine with that, as long as it only applied to men who had no responsibility in causing the pregnancy in the first place.

  22. Lisa27
    Posted August 1, 2007 at 10:45 pm | Permalink

    Elise, I would be in support of that rider to asshole Adams’s bill. Excellently put.

  23. Scilian
    Posted August 1, 2007 at 10:46 pm | Permalink

    Yes but how can you claim 100% reproductive rights, but then say I dont want 100% of the responsibility?
    You fall back on the notion its completely fair to have 100% say over the fetus, and then 100% say over financial responsibility.
    If you cant take 100% of the responsibility, common sense dictates you dont deserve 100% control. Deal with it.

  24. Posted August 1, 2007 at 10:50 pm | Permalink

    Yes but how can you claim 100% reproductive rights, but then say I dont want 100% of the responsibility?

    Last time I checked, a woman has about 50% responsibility in getting pregnant. In the case of men who haven’t got a vasectomy and don’t regularly wear condoms, the man’s share would increase. Women don’t get pregnant spontaneously.

  25. Scilian
    Posted August 1, 2007 at 10:57 pm | Permalink

    But if its your body, its your responsibility to remain protected.
    By what your saying, you agree that every man has the right to infect women with HIV, and that it should be legally acceptable.
    After all sex is 50%.
    Thats some scary shit.

  26. Posted August 1, 2007 at 10:59 pm | Permalink

    By what your saying, you agree that every man has the right to infect women with HIV, and that it should be legally acceptable.
    If you mean “by a complete and bizarre distortion of what I’m saying to the point of unrecognisability”, I would have to agree.

  27. roro80
    Posted August 1, 2007 at 11:01 pm | Permalink

    There’s been a lot of talk on this thread about a man being able to “opt out” of being a dad if he wants his wife/girlfriend/etc to get an abortion but she wants to carry to term and raise the child. While I do definitely understand how many feel it’s lobsided to leave the entirety of the decision to one parent, there are more complicated issues at work here. What if neither parent can afford to pay for an abortion, especially if the pregnancy is over the 1st trimester? Also, it’s fairly common that a potential father will say that he supports the pregnancy at first, and then will change his mind later on, after it’s too late to get an abortion? What if it takes a while to track down the father? I think you can all see where I’m going with this line of reasoning: an opt-out option would be bad bad bad for women, especially for poor women.

  28. Lisa27
    Posted August 1, 2007 at 11:02 pm | Permalink

    Scilian: women have some options (though not fabulous ones) for preventing pregnancy that don’t require a man to wear a condom. Women don’t currently have woman-controlled methods of preventing HIV. (yes there are female condoms, I know – I haven’t talked to anyone who has tried and liked them, and they’re much more expensive and harder to find, at least where I live).

  29. Rock Star
    Posted August 1, 2007 at 11:07 pm | Permalink

    roro80- if you can’t afford an abortion, how are you going to be able to raise a child?
    Sicilian- I really don’t understand your point. If you’re a man, and you don’t want to get a woman pregnant, then PUT ON A CONDOM.

  30. sojourner
    Posted August 1, 2007 at 11:12 pm | Permalink

    “Because pro-choice men can be sexist assholes, too, doncha know? At least a pro-lifer won’t coerce you to get an abortion if you don’t want one.â€?
    A man who would coerce you into getting an abortion is not pro-choice, because he obviously does not respect a woman’s right to bodily integrity, just “ok with abortion�, which doesn’t make anyone pro-choice.

  31. Posted August 1, 2007 at 11:13 pm | Permalink

    I really don’t understand your point.

    What he’s saying is that, if a man were to have unprotected sex with a woman who is able to become spontaneously pregnant without his intervention, the man should be able to opt out of paying child support if the woman decides to keep her spontaneously generated pregnancy.
    At least that’s what he seems to be saying, if one tries to make some sense out of it. Otherwise, he’s just saying that he isn’t familiar with where babies come from.

  32. roro80
    Posted August 1, 2007 at 11:25 pm | Permalink

    RockStar — exactly. I guess what I considered a logical conclusion wasn’t explicit (sorry): if a man can legally say “go get an abortion or I opt out of raising the kid”, but there is no financial (or logistical, etc) way for her to get one, she is then forced to raise the child alone, because the father “opted out”. And further, if the opt-out law were to state that, ok, then if the man wants an abortion, then he should pay for it, how quickly would you guess the menz will retort that a woman who really wants an abortion will say she doesn’t so she doesn’t have to pay for it? I’m just not seeing a logistical way to deal with the opt-out idea.

  33. YouCanToo
    Posted August 1, 2007 at 11:26 pm | Permalink

    Shinobi actually stated a similar idea to one which I thought I was the only one to ever have thought of. That is, men should be able to get out of paying child support by signing a legal document saying they absolve all rights to ever see their child and will never try to contact the child. After that, if there is ever reason to believe that the man broke his contract and he was found guilty of it then he would have to pay child support from then on.
    This makes much more sense to me than the way the current system is. Men don’t have a say in whether a woman carries a fetus to term or not. And that’s the way it should be since it’s the woman’s body and not the man’s. But, since the man doesn’t have this say, according to our current system they have to pay child support whether they wanted the child or not and whether they want to be a part of the child’s life or not.
    As a feminist, this is something that has always bothered me since I’m very much interested in equality for all and this is one area where the men are getting the short end of the stick. I’m aware that there are so many other areas where women are getting unfairly treated (hence the need for this website and the continued existence of feminism.) But that still doesn’t make this particular injustice for the men right.
    I just noticed Phlegmatic is also advocating for a similar idea.

  34. Heather Nan
    Posted August 1, 2007 at 11:29 pm | Permalink

    To all the folks who support the idea of men opting out of parenthood and child support: when exactly do you propose a man can decide this? Within the first 3 months of a pregnancy? Within the first six months of a child’s life? On the day that a woman could no longer have a late-term abortion legally? After a divorce? What if a man agrees to be in a child’s life and to support it but then decides “nah” once the woman could no longer have an abortion? Also, whose going to support these children? The state that refuses to fund health care for low income children as is? No man should ever have to pay child support? If a man decides that he doesn’t want to be part of a child’s life, should that automatically mean that at the moment of birth all children of single mothers should be taken away and put up for adoption? (This was once an ACTUAL proposal by Gingrich–rather, that the children of women on welfare should automatically be put up for adoption or in orphanges). The thing is, as I pointed out, 60% of child support payments are not being made in the first place; its really easy to screw over poor women who are single mothers. Its being done every day. Child support is not “for the woman” but rather to provide the necessities of what it takes to SURVIVE for a child. Your proposals, that a man could drop out of his genetic responsibilities are reprehensible and wrong. This could never work and it shouldn’t be considered. If you really want to work for all children being wanted than one needs to support:
    1. Universal Health-Care and Universal access to contraception for women and men.
    2. Comprehensive Sex Education that helps young people develop a sexual philosophy that respects their own health, their partner’s, and teaches the planning of families (not some nonsense that God decides when you should have babies…its all about the sperm and eggs).
    3. Financial Education classes that help children comprehend the impact of teen parenthood on their whole lives and on the lives of children.
    4. Advocate for more male contraceptive options in addition to condom use and a philosophy of sex that makes men responsible for their fertility and women responsible for their fertility.
    5. Require all hospitals to offer EC to rape victims and require all pharmacies to carry (had have pharmacists who are willing to dispense it) to anyone woman over the counter.
    6. Support universal child-care.
    Peace

  35. roro80
    Posted August 1, 2007 at 11:32 pm | Permalink

    YouCanToo — I’m with you on the sentiment, but again, the logistics don’t work out. How late in the pregnancy can pops opt out? What if he says “let’s have a kid” at 2 months pregnant and decides at 7 months that, no, he’s not up for it? I know that one factor in getting an abortion is not having someone there to help or be the father, and if that man changes his mind after an abortion is medically possible, where does that leave the woman? Of course, this happens all the time already, but at least the woman has some recourse to get child support (if, of course, she is able to afford to go to court).

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

    I’ve always been under the impression that a paternity test performed on an fetus can compromise a pregnancy so that’s why they aren’t done often. So they are risking accidentally terminating a pregnancy to pervert an abortion. That is the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard. This bill just goes on the prove what I’ve known all along, these people aren’t concerned about saving babies, but about trying to control women and punishing them when they don’t obey.

  37. Daniella
    Posted August 1, 2007 at 11:45 pm | Permalink

    Elise beat me to the Planned Parenthood v. Casey mention, and I thnk she’s got some great points there. This law would be right in the face of that decision, but what else is new? What’s disconcerting is states’ sudden desire to not only challenge established law and precedent but also their need to interfere in the homes and private lives of their citizens. How very neo-con of them; I’m not one, but I’m surprised more true Republicans aren’t revolted at the idea.
    Any chance we can shift that 5 to 4 vote before this sort of law ever comes before the Court?

  38. roro80
    Posted August 1, 2007 at 11:48 pm | Permalink

    Thanks, HeatherNan, you much more clearly made the point I was trying to make.

  39. rumpuskat
    Posted August 1, 2007 at 11:55 pm | Permalink

    I think we can sum up this entire conversation thusly:
    LORETTA:
    It’s every man’s right to have babies if he wants them.
    REG:
    But… you can’t have babies.
    LORETTA:
    Don’t you oppress me.
    REG:
    I’m not oppressing you, Stan. You haven’t got a womb! Where’s the foetus going to gestate?! You going to keep it in a box?!
    LORETTA:
    [crying]
    JUDITH:
    Here! I– I’ve got an idea. Suppose you agree that he can’t actually have babies, not having a womb, which is nobody’s fault, not even the Romans’, but that he can have the right to have babies.
    FRANCIS:
    Good idea, Judith. We shall fight the oppressors for your right to have babies, brother. Sister. Sorry.
    REG:
    What’s the point?
    FRANCIS:
    What?
    REG:
    What’s the point of fighting for his right to have babies when he can’t have babies?!
    FRANCIS:
    It is symbolic of our struggle against oppression.
    REG:
    Symbolic of his struggle against reality.

  40. YouCanToo
    Posted August 1, 2007 at 11:57 pm | Permalink

    Roro,
    I never thought of it as an issue where men would “opt out” during the pregnancy. I’ve been thinking about how this would actually work and one way could be that the men who are sure that they don’t want anything to do with the child could sign the document at any time. Those who haven’t signed, but are also unwilling to pay child support can be brought to court and given the option to pay or be forced to sign away their rights to the child. I don’t think it’s that complicated or unenforceable an idea. Any contact the man is found guilty of then he automatically has to pay from then on.
    I don’t understand the recent posts saying it won’t work because the man might say he’s for the pregnancy in the beginning and then decide he’s not later on. Whether a woman carries to term or not is her decision and she’ll make it based on her situations and knowledge at the time. Things can change in anyone’s life and they can regret doing/not doing something. As it is, women may think they are going to have the baby’s father there for them (financially and otherwise) in the future and that could change. The idea I and others have proposed isn’t really affected by that.

  41. roro80
    Posted August 2, 2007 at 12:03 am | Permalink

    YouCanToo — You mean after the child is born? So if dad breaks up with mom when the child is, say 2 years old (maybe even a planned child — how would you prove otherwise?), and no longer wants to pay for the child they had together, he can just opt out then? It sounds like a “dead-beat dad clause”.
    I had assumed the opt-out option we were talking about would occur before the child was born just because the post has to do with fathers’ rights in the abortion decision.

  42. Posted August 2, 2007 at 12:04 am | Permalink

    As it is, women may think they are going to have the baby’s father there for them (financially and otherwise) in the future and that could change.

    The point a lot of people seem to be missing is that child support isn’t about “being there for” the woman; it’s about supporting a child one had a hand in creating. The idea that a man should have the right to abandon a child whose existence he is in part responsible for just because a woman didn’t undergo an invasive medical procedure is simply surreal.

  43. YouCanToo
    Posted August 2, 2007 at 12:14 am | Permalink

    Sorry, I’m going to try to word that post a little better:
    Roro,
    I never thought of it as an issue where men would “opt out” during the pregnancy. One way this could work is that the men who are sure that they don’t want to have anything to do with the child could sign the opt out document at any time. Those who haven’t signed, but appear unwilling to pay child support can be brought to court and given the option to pay or be forced to sign away their rights to the child. I don’t think it’s that complicated or unenforceable an idea. If the man is found guilty of any contact then he can be court ordered to pay from then on.
    I don’t understand the recent posts saying it won’t work because the man might say he’ll provide financial support in the beginning of a woman’s pregnancy and then change his mind when she’s further along. Whether a woman carries to term or not is her decision and she’ll make it based on her situations and knowledge at the time. Things can change in anyone’s life and they can regret doing/not doing something. As it is, women may think they are going to have the baby’s father there for them (financially and otherwise) in the future, but that could change. The idea I and others have proposed isn’t really affected by that.

  44. Scilian
    Posted August 2, 2007 at 12:22 am | Permalink

    Elise – first off I am a woman.
    Your frustration, false presumptions, and belittling have no place here. Grow up or simply die, the world is much better off with false elitists that never made it past the second grade. (nice for someone to return the favor, isnt it?)
    Second – You said a women should have complete control of carrying a pregnancy, and then have complete control over the assumed father’s role – IE child support etc.
    You claim a man has no right to have any say in the fetus, be it an abortion or carrying to a full term.
    Ok – so which is it? Is a woman responsible enough for her own body to not require the father’s approval for an abortion, but is not responsible enough for taking birth control? You are saying men are financially responsible and that is it. That is not how the world works. You just dont decide at a whim – this is my body, you dont have any say in wether or not I carry this baby – but if I decide to, you need to support the baby and I.
    Either you are for 100% reproductive rights or not. 100% reproductive rights is all encompasing, financially as well. If you cant handle the responsibility – then maybe you shouldnt have reproductive rights.
    Either give an option for men to opt out if you dont want an abortion, or simply get yourself sterilized. Anyone who too ignorant to understand the point (or your just said what you said to be a prick) – you of all people should not be discussing this matter.

  45. Scilian
    Posted August 2, 2007 at 12:22 am | Permalink

    Elise – first off I am a woman.
    Your frustration, false presumptions, and belittling have no place here. Grow up or simply die, the world is much better off with false elitists that never made it past the second grade. (nice for someone to return the favor, isnt it?)
    Second – You said a women should have complete control of carrying a pregnancy, and then have complete control over the assumed father’s role – IE child support etc.
    You claim a man has no right to have any say in the fetus, be it an abortion or carrying to a full term.
    Ok – so which is it? Is a woman responsible enough for her own body to not require the father’s approval for an abortion, but is not responsible enough for taking birth control? You are saying men are financially responsible and that is it. That is not how the world works. You just dont decide at a whim – this is my body, you dont have any say in wether or not I carry this baby – but if I decide to, you need to support the baby and I.
    Either you are for 100% reproductive rights or not. 100% reproductive rights is all encompasing, financially as well. If you cant handle the responsibility – then maybe you shouldnt have reproductive rights.
    Either give an option for men to opt out if you dont want an abortion, or simply get yourself sterilized. Anyone who is too ignorant to understand the point (or your just said what you said to be a prick) – you of all people should not be discussing this matter.

  46. YouCanToo
    Posted August 2, 2007 at 12:28 am | Permalink

    Elise,
    I was talking about “being there for the woman” in that case because I was replying to a comment about the mother thinking she would have the father there to financially support the child. So I think we’re actually saying the same thing, I may have just worded by statement badly.
    Yes, men have a hand in creating children. And women have and should have the right to solely decide whether to bring a pregnancy to term or not. But since men do not have this choice open to them they shouldn’t have child support forced on them if they are willing to choose not to have anything to do with what may be an unwanted child for them. Condoms are available, but no form of birth control is 100% So I don’t think it’s unreasonable to say that if a man doesn’t want to have anything to do with the child then he doesn’t have to be financially responsible for it. After all, this is true for women too. For whatever reason, if a woman decides to carry a pregnancy to term but doesn’t want to keep the baby she can give it up.

  47. Posted August 2, 2007 at 12:28 am | Permalink

    Ok – so which is it? Is a woman responsible enough for her own body to not require the father’s approval for an abortion, but is not responsible enough for taking birth control?

    Why exactly should birth control be entirely the responsibility of the woman? The birth control options for men (vasectomy, condoms) are much safer, more effective, less expensive, and more easily reversed than anything available for women. Plus, hormonal contraception alone doesn’t always work, even with perfect administration (failure with perfect administration is rare, but it happens). Simply put, a man does have a role in causing the pregnancy, and acquires some responsibility if a child should be born as a result. If he does not wish to assume that responsibility, there are things he can do with his own body that can all but eliminate the need to worry about it. If a man wants to “opt out” of child support, he can opt out of fertilising eggs.

  48. ouyangdan
    Posted August 2, 2007 at 12:29 am | Permalink

    good point elise, b/c the law as it is shows us that child support isn’t the right of the mother, it’s the right of the child. but, if the father doesn’t want to be involved, or abort, and the mother doesn’t want to, and is WILLING and ABLE to go it alone, shouldn’t she be able to raise her child w/o the state butting in and saying ‘no, i hereby link you two adults financially for life.’ she is willing to put her body through the torture of growning a person in it, complete the greatest feat of athleticism recognized by medical science, she should be able to decide not to need the money. or, she should be allowed to say ‘no thanx’ and choose not to do it at all.
    the truth is men feel that this is lop sided and horribly in favor of the women. an overwhelming majority of child support isn’t paid at all, and men who pay these meager amounts believe that alone makes them ‘good fathers’, and entitled to call the shots. BULLSHIT.
    at the same time, it IS the woman who has to do it. end of story. if a woman wants to abort, unless a man can come up w/ a place to grow it, then too damned bad. unfair? then find a way to fix it. until then, stay out of my uterus! if we allow laws to pass that put men in charge of uteruses (what IS the plural of uterus anyway?) then who is to stop them from forcing an abortion. this is dangerous ground, even if you ARE anti-choice.
    i will say it again…
    NO UTERUS, NO OPINION!
    unless you are willing to offer up your own body to the science experiment, fuck off. i don’t see anti-choicers saying ‘here, my church will fund this baby’ or ‘hey, it’s a precious life…i’ll grow it for you.”
    come up w/ a solution, or sit down.

  49. Scilian
    Posted August 2, 2007 at 12:35 am | Permalink

    “Why exactly should birth control be entirely the responsibility of the woman? The birth control options for men (vasectomy, condoms) are much safer, more effective, less expensive, and more easily reversed than anything available for women. Plus, hormonal contraception alone doesn’t always work, even with perfect administration (failure with perfect administration is rare, but it happens). Simply put, a man does have a role in causing the pregnancy, and acquires some responsibility if a child should be born as a result. If he does not wish to assume that responsibility, there are things he can do with his own body that can all but eliminate the need to worry about it. If a man wants to “opt out” of child support, he can opt out of fertilising eggs.”
    But I thought it was a woman’s body, with 100% responsibility? If a woman cannot be 100% responisible for taking care of her own fertility, then why should she have a 100% say over the fetus which is not 100% of the woman’s genes?

  50. YouCanToo
    Posted August 2, 2007 at 12:35 am | Permalink

    Elise,
    Your argument is starting to sound like an anti-choice argument.
    You say, “If a man wants to “opt out” of child support, he can opt out of fertilising eggs.”
    Anti-choicers say, “If a woman isn’t willing to carry a child to term she shouldn’t have had sex.”

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