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. Posted August 2, 2007 at 12:37 am | Permalink

    But I thought it was a woman’s body, with 100% responsibility?

    You thought wrong. A woman’s body alone does not spontaneously reproduce, outside of mythology. Until we evolve asexual reproduction capability, there is one other person involved in causing the pregnancy, who also bears some responsibility for the consequences. That does not give him ownership, in whole or in part, over the woman’s body, any more than the woman can legally force him to have a vasectomy.

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

    Your argument is starting to sound like an anti-choice argument.

    You might want to read more carefully, then. My argument is only anti-choice to the extent that one assumes that men’s responsibility for their reproductive decisions somehow entitles them to control over the bodies of the women they sleep with. If you assume that, then what I say may seem anti-choice. If you don’t assume that men have any entitlement to control over women’s bodies, but do have responsibility for the consequences of their actions, then the confusion will go away.

  3. Scilian
    Posted August 2, 2007 at 12:46 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. ”
    Good, then will still support the law in question if it is passed. Good to know you support the laws to the letter. (or only in the cases it benefits you?)
    “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.”
    Meager? 5k a month to support a child? Maybe you need to review some actual child support judgements.
    The overwhelming majority of child support is not paid? Across what income and status levels? If you are refering to people who live in poverty or on gov assistance, no duh. Most anyone I know pays, so with out proper statistical data from a reliable source, that claim is unfounded.
    “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!”
    Would it be fair if my children’s father, or others, said “until I give birth, stay out of my wallet!”

  4. Posted August 2, 2007 at 12:54 am | Permalink

    Most anyone I know pays, so with out proper statistical data from a reliable source, that claim is unfounded.

    Gotta love the “my friends aren’t like that, so it can’t be true” argument.

  5. YouCanToo
    Posted August 2, 2007 at 1:00 am | Permalink

    Elise,
    I think you’re going off somewhat on a tangent. We’re talking about child support payments that happen once the issue of the woman’s body no longer comes into play. The child is already born when child support payments become an issue. At least the way I understand it. I’ve never heard of a court case where a man was made to pay anything before the child was born, but maybe I’m uninformed.
    Anyway, your argument sounds like the the anti-choice argument I stated because as we all know not all unwanted pregnancies can be avoided. A woman should have complete control over whether to carry to term, but because of this fact a man (who may have used protection) could possibly be forced to pay child support for 18 years for a child he never wanted. That seems very unjust. My proposal would remedy this.
    It’s been interesting discussing this with you and others, but I need to get some sleep, so I’ll check back tomorrow evening and maybe post some more thoughts then.

  6. catty
    Posted August 2, 2007 at 1:00 am | Permalink

    As for the men opting out- men should have the option of opting out prior to the pregnancy of the woman, not after.
    I think that’s the only fair way to do it, if you’re going to make an option. birth control requires people to be pre-emptive. i don’t think asking men to be pre-emptive about not wanting to support kids they don’t want is a bad thing.

  7. Posted August 2, 2007 at 1:03 am | Permalink

    I think you’re going off somewhat on a tangent. We’re talking about child support payments that happen once the issue of the woman’s body no longer comes into play. The child is already born when child support payments become an issue. At least the way I understand it. I’ve never heard of a court case where a man was made to pay anything before the child was born, but maybe I’m uninformed.

    Leaving aside for the moment the question of whether you’re uninformed, this is quite disingenuous. You’re the one saying that it’s unfair for a man to take some responsibility for his reproductive decisions unless he gets control over the woman’s body in the bargain. If we’re only talking post-birth, then your comments about women’s reproductive rights giving men the right to withhold child support would be totally irrelevant.

  8. EG
    Posted August 2, 2007 at 1:05 am | Permalink

    Oh, catty, I like that. If a man wants his decision on the matter taken seriously, he should be able to register it in a publically checkable way beforehand. Then, before fucking him, a woman with an internet connection could check, and, for instance, if his decision is in effect “If I knock you up and you don’t abort, I’m going to walk away and stick you with all the work and bills,” she can make an informed decision about whether or not that’s a risk she cares to take.

  9. YouCanToo
    Posted August 2, 2007 at 1:08 am | Permalink

    And also Elise, I didn’t say your argument was anti-choice. What I said was that your argument struck me as similar to the type of argument I’ve heard anti-choicers make in regards to why they think women shouldn’t be allowed to abort.
    Basically, it’s the “keep it in your pants” argument that has already been discussed earlier in this thread. I don’t think it’s a very convincing argument for why women shouldn’t be allowed to abort and I also don’t think it’s was a very convincing argument from you for why men should always have to pay child support.

  10. catty
    Posted August 2, 2007 at 1:09 am | Permalink

    fundamentally, I believe that women carry the pregnancy, so it’s her say. I follow the no uterus = no opinion line of thought. I think if men are going to have an opt-out option, then what I wrote above is the best way to do it. Make it pre-emptive. The document must be notarized before a known pregnancy.

  11. EG
    Posted August 2, 2007 at 1:10 am | Permalink

    Dead on, Elise. Neither mothers nor fathers have the right to “opt out” of spending the money necessary to raise their child. The law as it stands is perfectly equal in that respect. The non-custodial parent, regardless of gender, must pay child support to the custodial parent, regardless of gender, in order to provide for the child. The issue corresponding to men’s child support payments isn’t abortion–it’s women’s child support payments.
    There is no issue for men that corresponds to abortion rights, because men do not gestate a fetus inside their bodies.

  12. ouyangdan
    Posted August 2, 2007 at 1:13 am | Permalink

    scilian…if the law in question is the one on the main page here…then you need to read my post from above. i DON’T support this law. and child support doesn’t benefit me, i don’t know who you think you are saying that…becaus it ALL benefits my daughter. sadly, SOME mothers don’t use it that way, but it IS the right of the child in question. in case you didn’t see it, i TRIED to refuse support, but many states have similar laws forcing women to name fathers, and the states in turn file paternity suits ON BEHALF OF THE CHILD. if the man is willing to sign away his rights to not pay, fine by me. my daughter’s father does little else.
    if you are receiving 5k in support, bravo to you and count your blessings. the average is about $300/month. i know plenty of single parents, and have NEVER met one who receives 5k a month. the highest i EVER saw was $1000. that was a unique situation. my daughter’s father is NOT in a low income bracket, and the amount he pays BARELY covers what it cost me for day care. i also did volunteer work for the friend of the court in michigan, who organizes and tracks support, so yes, in fact, i have seen my fair share of support judgements, at ALL income levels.
    if you check resources…almost 100 billion dollars in child support went unpaid NATIONALLY last year. this is not just in lower income brackets either. the tough truth is that some fathers (and mothers too, there are those who pay support) just don’t pay.
    your last point is just a logical fallacy.
    EITHER parent can finance a child. a mother can just as well support a child. the father can’t give birth, outside of hollywood and mythology. if a man wants to be involved, then he is in financially too. that is his responsibility. but he CAN’T give birth, so who is he to make someone do it, or not do it, as this post is about anyway.

  13. Posted August 2, 2007 at 1:13 am | Permalink

    Basically, it’s the “keep it in your pants” argument that has already been discussed earlier in this thread.

    Not at all. As I have said more than once, it’s the “use contraception if you don’t want to impregnate anyone” argument.

  14. YouCanToo
    Posted August 2, 2007 at 1:16 am | Permalink

    And also Elise, I didn’t say your argument was anti-choice. What I said was that your argument struck me as similar to the type of argument I’ve heard anti-choicers make in regards to why they think women shouldn’t be allowed to abort.
    Basically, it’s the “keep it in your pants” argument that has already been discussed earlier in this thread. I don’t think it’s a very convincing argument for why women shouldn’t be allowed to abort and I also don’t think it was a very convincing argument from you for why men shouldn’t be allowed to opt-out of child support if they absolve all rights.

  15. Posted August 2, 2007 at 1:17 am | Permalink

    Or, more specifically, the “use contraception if you don’t want to impregnate anyone because you have no rights to control women’s bodies” argument.

  16. EG
    Posted August 2, 2007 at 1:24 am | Permalink

    It’s not a “keep it in your pants” argument. It is an argument emphasizing the differences between incursions on one’s body and incursions on one’s wallet. They are essentially different. Women have bodily integrity. That means they can choose to have sex or not, they can choose what sort of contraception to use or not, and they can choose to abort a pregnancy or not, because all those choices concern what is happening within their bodies. Correspondingly, men have bodily integrity. They can choose whether to have sex or not, and they can choose what sort of contraception to use or not, because those choices concern what is happening within their bodies. That is the right to bodily integrity, and it covers both sexes. Indeed, men cannot make a choice about what happens post-conception, because conception, gestation, and childbirth have nothing to do with their bodies. That’s a basic fact of biology, but it does not change the fact that the right to bodily integrity is consistent for both sexes.
    Once a kid exists, both mother and father are required to provide for its support. Again, these responsibilities are regardless of gender. Parents can make whatever custodial arrangements suit them, and they can make whatever child support arrangements suit them, including giving the kid up for adoption, which requires the consent of both parents. Again, this is regardless of gender.
    It’s not that rights are unequal; the rights and responsibilities are perfectly equal. It’s that biology is unequal: women take on by far a greater burden when it comes to reproduction, and thus the stage of pregnancy falls into the purview of women’s bodily integrity rather than men’s.

  17. EG
    Posted August 2, 2007 at 1:28 am | Permalink

    So, my point is that Elise is not making a claim that men should abstain from sex. She is making an observation about the way human biology functions, and the array of choices that leaves men. Those choices have nothing to do with fathers’ financial responsibility to their children.

  18. YouCanToo
    Posted August 2, 2007 at 1:28 am | Permalink

    Contraception can fail for both men and women. Or are you just assuming that all men who impregnate women and then want nothing to do with the child aren’t using any protection?
    And I already discussed how this isn’t an issue about women’s bodies since the child is already born.

  19. Posted August 2, 2007 at 1:30 am | Permalink

    So, my point is that Elise is not making a claim that men should abstain from sex. She is making an observation about the way human biology functions, and the array of choices that leaves men. Those choices have nothing to do with fathers’ financial responsibility to their children.

    Thank you, EG. I was beginning to wonder if I had inadvertently written these comments in Japanese!

  20. EG
    Posted August 2, 2007 at 1:33 am | Permalink

    this isn’t an issue about women’s bodies since the child is already born.
    If the child is already born, both its father and its mother owe it financial support, so I fail to see what the issue is.

  21. ouyangdan
    Posted August 2, 2007 at 1:35 am | Permalink

    and i apologize…i didn’t mean to make this an argument about child support, since deadbeats go both ways…i was showing, using it as an example in my first post, that passing laws like this forcing women to divulge father’s (or alleged fathers) names isn’t fair, it takes away the woman’s CHOICE in the matter. to have a kid or not, and whether she wants to involve a (sometimes potentially dangerous) man into things.

  22. catty
    Posted August 2, 2007 at 1:57 am | Permalink

    EG,
    I figure if any man has the option, that’s the best way to do it. Have both him and her sign a standardized form at the notary’s and filed with the local court. It’s inconvenient and won’t work for one night stands, but for men that are very serious about not wanting kids and not wanting to support kids, it should be worth it. It’ll also stop the MRAs from whining (maybe not).
    1- the form has to be signed PRIOR to a known pregnancy by both parties.
    2- the form also relinquishes all rights of the father to the child .
    3- breaking #2 will result in court action and heavy fines paid to the court, child and mother of the child.
    It’ll also give women more indication of whether they want to sleep with the guy or not.

  23. sasha0189
    Posted August 2, 2007 at 3:16 am | Permalink

    HeatherNan-
    Have you ever considered running for office? ‘Cause I would totally vote for you.

  24. Scilian
    Posted August 2, 2007 at 3:18 am | Permalink

    “3- breaking #2 will result in court action and heavy fines paid to the court, child and mother of the child.”
    So what if the woman breaks the deal by asking for money or trying to instigate a support hearing?
    Me thinks this site is anti-men more than pro women. I notice that wasnt even addressed.
    So if the woman breaks the agreement, should she pay no less than 25% of net worth to man, and face criminal charges as well?

  25. catty
    Posted August 2, 2007 at 4:16 am | Permalink

    How would the mother break the contract?
    If she tries to instigate a support hearing, the contract is in the court records, so there’s no chance. The contract is legally binding. Read all the posts before complaining, why don’t you? i have 2 more posts above the one you commented on.
    Are you here with a f’in chip on your shoulder? Seriously, instead of whining about shit, why don’t you come up with something yourself instead of ragging on others that have tried to come up with something, eh?
    Sheesh. Do you have an alternate solution? I think if men are serious about not wanting to support kids, they should take the time to get a form @ court, go to the notary with the woman, get it signed and drop it off @ court. If the woman doesn’t want to sign, it will also make it clear to him that she’s not someone he wants to sleep with, right?

  26. catty
    Posted August 2, 2007 at 4:26 am | Permalink

    I would say universal health care should be in place before any kind of opting out can happen.
    If the mother does harass the guy for support after she signs a contract, then she can be charged appropriately just like anyone else.
    Incidentally, why would you levy a stricter fine for the woman? It seems you’re not interested in a constructive solution, but want to whine.
    If you don’t want kids, I reckon you know before you get someone pregnant.
    Again, what’s your solution, eh? Lemme guess- I take it you want men to have the FINAL say over whether a woman aborts or keeps the baby, and he should be able to opt out of support at any time for any reason?

  27. SassyGirl
    Posted August 2, 2007 at 8:22 am | Permalink

    “A. Not everyone can wear condoms.
    B. The bigger issue here is about being truthful regarding birth control practices.”
    A. Like? Why?
    B. How about either wearing a condom if you don’t want children? Or only having sex with women you trust 100%, if condoms are not the option? Or go in knowing full well that you may or may not impregnate her and that she may or may not decide to continue the pregnancy?

  28. SarahMC
    Posted August 2, 2007 at 9:17 am | Permalink

    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?
    Well, if an opt-out option were in place, the man would have a certain period of time DURING THE PREGNANCY to make a decision about whether he’ll support the child or not.
    If a man says he’ll support the child and the woman decides to continue the pregnancy based on that information, he couldn’t change his mind. Well, he might change his mind, but once the contract or whatever is signed, that’s it.
    Of course, it’s been noted that the technicalities of an opt-out would be difficult to pin down, but it might look something like this:
    The law says that men have up until the 12th week of pregnancy to decide whether they’ll be involved financially in raising the resulting child.
    The law does not allow the man to force the woman to abort or prevent her from aborting.
    Dick and Jane have sex. Jane gets pregnant.
    She discovers this when she’s 6 weeks along.
    Dick now has until week 12 to decide whether he’d like to help support the child should Jane continue with the pregnancy.
    Dick either:
    a.) Decides he’ll take financial responsibility for the resulting child (should she keep it). He signs a legally binding document saying so. Jane takes this info. into consideration when deciding whether or not to continue with the pregnancy. She decides to continue with it. She has the baby and she and Dick are both responsible for it financially.
    or
    b.) Decides he wants nothing to do with the resulting child (should she continue with the pregnancy). He signs a legally binding document saying so. Jane takes this info. into consideration when deciding whether or not to continue with the pregnancy. If she continues, she’ll be 100% responsible for the child. Or she can abort.

  29. SarahMC
    Posted August 2, 2007 at 9:23 am | Permalink

    How about either wearing a condom if you don’t want children? Or only having sex with women you trust 100%, if condoms are not the option? Or go in knowing full well that you may or may not impregnate her and that she may or may not decide to continue the pregnancy?
    Exactly. Men have options. And nobody’s suggested “don’t have sex.” Nobody’s forcing men who don’t want children to sleep with pro-life women. Nobody’s forcing pro-life men to sleep with women who don’t want children.

  30. Posted August 2, 2007 at 9:54 am | Permalink

    rumpuscat =

  31. DallasDave
    Posted August 2, 2007 at 10:19 am | Permalink

    When a woman turns in such a list, I think she should make sure all the supporting and sponsoring Legislator’s names are on that list. Cause you know, that’s what the legislators are doing with this, right?

  32. Posted August 2, 2007 at 10:29 am | 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.

    You’ve got it completely wrong. The woman is claiming 100% of the rights over her own body. She gets to decide whether to stay pregnant or not because it’s her body that the fetus uses. In cases where the fetus isn’t inside of her body, control over the fetus is shared, as in the case where there were fetuses waiting for implantation, but the couple broke up, and the man refused to allow the fetuses to be implanted, because they were “half his” or something to that effect.
    The woman rightly has control over her own body. The responsibility for care of the resulting child is- or ought to be- 50/50. Both parties have obligations to the care of the child.
    If you cant take 100% of the responsibility, common sense dictates you dont deserve 100% control. Deal with it.
    The same could be said of you, yeah? If you can’t deal with the possibility of the economic obligations that might come from a child should one result from your actions, you ought to be making damn sure that a child doesn’t happen. Surgery, birth control, and making sure that you’ve discussed and understand what your sexual partners would do if a pregnancy resulted are good ways to start.
    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.
    The problem I have with this is that it treats child support like something that men give women, and that’s simply not the case. Child support is something that goes to a child regardless of which parent it’s coming from. Men and women can end up paying child support. The point of child support is to ensure that the child can be properly cared for and have a minimally decent standard of living. By letting men opt out of child support, you’re not ensuring equality of treatment between men and women, you’re creating a situation where men who are already likely to avoid taking on parental roles (which are important) are able to further diminish their child’s quality of life. The men who are most likely to abdicate their obligation to pay child support are the same men who were likely to avoid visitations and involvement with the child anyway, so it’s not any kind of drawback to say “Well, if they don’t want to pay child support, they can’t see the child” because they weren’t likely to see the child anyway.
    I absolutely agree that, for a guy, it kind of sucks to end up paying child support for a child you didn’t want- but, you know, it sucks for the woman who gets pregnant and didn’t want to be, too. No matter what course she takes, there are consequences, whether it’s an abortion, or giving birth. Efforts to get rid of child support only hurt children, they don’t actually make things more equal.
    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.
    Actually, Scilian, that’s almost exactly how it works. The woman gets to decide for any reason she wants whether to carry the pregnancy or not. If she decides that she wants an abortion because she doesn’t like children or can’t afford a child or doesn’t want to take the time off of work or doesn’t like the way she’ll look in a dress when she’s eight months along… it’s her body, and her choice.
    The only part you got wrong is “you need to support the baby and I.” Child support isn’t for the mother, it’s for the child. Women can end up paying child support if the father has custody, and either parent can get into legal trouble if it turns out that s/he isn’t using the money for the child’s benefit, but for personal gain.
    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.
    Oh, please. Men do have reproductive rights. If I don’t want a child, there are lots of things I can do to prevent having one. I have the best birth control methods available to me, as a man. Condoms and vasectomy are the absolute best and most effective methods of birth control out there. Both of them have far, far fewer side effects than almost any method available to women, and are at least as effective as- if not more than- any method available to women, as well. Just because a woman has final say when it comes to what happens with her body doesn’t mean that men suddenly have no reproductive rights or responsibilities, and it’s insanity to suggest otherwise.
    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?
    Well, you thought wrong, and I get the feeling that you’re not arguing in good faith, anyway.
    Women have 100% of the control over their own bodies. Sex is not something that women are doing alone, and so, men ought to take an equal hand in protection and birth control. Men have just as much at stake when it comes to preventing disease, and if a man doesn’t want to end up with an unwanted child, he ought to make damned sure he takes every precaution he can to ensure that the woman doesn’t get pregnant. That he can’t tell her what to do with her body doesn’t mean that he isn’t responsible for his role in sex or for the fetus, and it’s insane to suggest otherwise.
    Meager? 5k a month to support a child? Maybe you need to review some actual child support judgements.
    Christ, maybe you do. The average child support payment is well below 5k a month. In fact, many women receive less than 5k in child support a year. According to the US Census Bureau for 2002 the average child support payment was $350 a month. That’s only $4200 a year. The median monthly payment was only $280 a month- that means half of the people who pay child support pay that or less.
    If you’re going to claim that people are paying $5k a month, back it up. Making bullshit stats up out of thin air won’t convince people of anything but that… well… you’re making shit up.
    Elise – stop being a complete tard.
    Can we not us “tard” as an insult, please? It’s offensive, and to those of us who are friends or family of people with mental disabilities, it can be particularly hurtful.

  33. dinogirl
    Posted August 2, 2007 at 10:33 am | Permalink

    EG, ages ago, said:
    men and women have the right to bodily integrity. Neither has the right to wallet integrity.
    And it bears repeating. To the rights/responsibility crowd: women have an ‘extra’ right (to abort or not to abort) because they bear an extra, and overwhelming, RESPONSIBILITY.
    There is no anti-male matriarchy at work here. It is the tyranny of biology. Men have choices all along the line as they CONTRIBUTE to the creation of a child. Once their contribution ends, their control ends too.
    Unfair? Complain to Mother Nature.
    Oh, and Scilian… ‘tard’? Fuck you. Seriously, fuck the fuck off if you think using that word is appropriate. I know you wrote it a while ago, but I work in special needs and I don’t think hate speech should ever be allowed pass without remark. Fuck off.

  34. Lisa27
    Posted August 2, 2007 at 10:37 am | Permalink

    Scilian, from hours ago: “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?”
    100% my uterus, 100% my choice.
    As many people have said in this thread, women-controlled birth control options are more dangerous and less effective than men’s birth control options, even though some men “abhor” condoms. If a man isn’t sure he wants responsibility for conceiving a child (“his genes” or whatever), yes, condoms can fail, though rarely when in combination with a female-controlled method, and men have the relatively simple, effective, affordable option of reversible vasectomy . If tubal ligation were as straightforward, I would have done it 10 years ago.

  35. 13lesslee
    Posted August 2, 2007 at 10:50 am | Permalink

    fantastic smackdown, roymac. when i read scillians’ comments and try to comprehend where she is coming from two things happen- my blood pressure soars and my i.q. plumments.
    i’m curious as to why this conversation has turned away from the topic thread and veered into a discussion on child support and the right of men not to pay it. correct me if i’m wrong here, but this bill proposes to give men a say whether or not a woman aborts the fetus. so if a man refuses to “let” his partner abort the fetus, she must carry it to term and then he has eighteen years to miss child support payments. the least that this bill could do would be to offer a clause in which the man if agrees to financially support the child if he refuses to “let” his partner abort.
    in other words, this bill basically gives men a whole lot of power with none of the responsibility involved with actually caring for a child- once he forces his partner to carry to term, he can still bail.
    and scillian, please don’t use the word “tard” as an insult to other posters. it makes you sound cruel and less than intelligent.

  36. Vanessa
    Posted August 2, 2007 at 10:56 am | Permalink

    Thanks for pointing that out roymacIII, I deleted the comment. And I know these heated debates may be frustrating Scilian, but we don’t condone any insults on our site. Just a warning.

  37. Phlegmatic
    Posted August 2, 2007 at 11:54 am | Permalink

    In regards to the “man and child” argument, I still stand by my view that, while its inhuman to take away womens rights over their pregnancies, I also despise the idea of those choices possibly linking a man to a child he didnt want, for whatever reasons. This isnt just in regards to child support (which I know is sometimes distorted in its “harshness”) just generally having to be “linked” to a child because the mother wanted it. Men should have no say on a womans decision to become a mother, or not to become a mother. But I feel, while the situations differ, no man should be forced to become a father, in any way possible, if he doesnt wish to.
    I see so many commenters building this barrier between men and pregnancy, and because Im a man and unable to ever experience that, Im very much inclined to agree with them. However, I also believe that barrier should create freedom for men who have no wish to be linked to this child, biology be damned.
    A women should be allowed to have an abortion, for whatever reasons she deems necessary, Im perfectly in agreement with that. But for fathers the choice is sometimes made for them? Tough luck mate, you fucked, youre stuck?
    Now before anyone says, Im perfectly in agreement with the idea that men who have no wish to become fathers should use the many efficient ways available to them. I, a person who has yet to have sex, and most likely will keep it that way, can see the logic behind that. However, the same could be said of women with no wish to become pregnant, couldn’t it? But as always there are complications from time to time. And once again, in the course of those complications, Id like to think a man can make it clear he doesn’t want to be linked to this child, should a woman decide she wants to go through with it.

  38. EG
    Posted August 2, 2007 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

    What you’re suggesting, Phlegmatic, is that men should have the right to fuck and walk away with no consequences whatsoever. Why should men have that right when women don’t? If women have sex and get pregnant, they need to take responsibility, either by having an abortion, or seeing the pregnancy through. Walking away is not an option. Why should it be an option for men?

  39. Blitzgal
    Posted August 2, 2007 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

    “Meager? 5k a month to support a child? Maybe you need to review some actual child support judgements.”
    Maybe you do. After a quick Google search, I found the following on Findlaw: “In 2001, the average annual amount of child support received (for custodial parents receiving at least some support) was $4,300, and did not differ between mothers and fathers (as support recipients).”
    That’s 4K FOR THE ENTIRE YEAR. When it comes to the expenses of raising a child, that certainly falls under the definition of meager.
    I’m guessing you’re the spouse or partner of a man who has children by a previous relationship and are embittered by the fact that he has to pay support to those children. As Judge Judy would say in cases like these, “You hitched your wagon to that star” all on your own.

  40. EG
    Posted August 2, 2007 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

    I still like the idea of men who feel really strongly about these things saying to women before each sexual encounter: “If I knock you up and you decide not to abort, I have no intention of helping to support the child the I helped to create. I will walk away and leave you on your own.”
    I suspect that doing so would lessen his chance of impregnating anybody.

  41. Posted August 2, 2007 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

    This isnt just in regards to child support (which I know is sometimes distorted in its “harshness”) just generally having to be “linked” to a child because the mother wanted it. Men should have no say on a womans decision to become a mother, or not to become a mother. But I feel, while the situations differ, no man should be forced to become a father, in any way possible, if he doesnt wish to.
    No offense, but no man is. Sending a couple hundred bucks a month to help support the life he helped create does not a father make.
    But for fathers the choice is sometimes made for them? Tough luck mate, you fucked, youre stuck?
    Not completely. Men who find that they’ve fathered a child they didn’t want still have choices. They can choose to be a part of that child’s life and try to work out a situation that is beneficial to everyone involved, or they can choose to do the bare minimum, and send some money each month. And, again, child support is not just a man’s issue- there are women who pay child support as well. Does it suck? Sure, I’ll agree that it does, but casting it as something that’s unfair to men just isn’t right. It’s an unfortunate situation, but saying “Well, men shouldn’t have to pay” doesn’t work, and it only hurts the children that are involved.
    It’s like EG said, you want to give men the right to walk away completely and wash their hands of the whole affair, while women are stuck having to make choices and do something no matter what. Even if a woman gets an abortion, she’s still got to deal with those consequences- she doesn’t have the option to walk away without doing anything. Until we have a better system for caring for children and making sure that their needs are met, I don’t see any reasonable way to eliminate child support in a way that is fair to everyone involved.

  42. ouyangdan
    Posted August 2, 2007 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

    thank-you blitzgal…after she retorted to my comment about child support, i did the same google search, which backed up MY OWN EXPERIENCE, and came up w/ the same info. i have never heard of anyone ever paying such hight support…i am sure it happens, but i have never seen it in the five and a half years i have been dealing w/ the system. people who think that child support is the ‘brunt of the financial cost of raising the child’ are off their rocker…and should do some research on their own. just b/c your friends do it doesn’t make it true.
    this doesn’t even compare the to physical cost giving birth charges your body…grr…

  43. JudithK6
    Posted August 2, 2007 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

    For sixteen years, as a volunteer, I ran the nuts and bolts of the largest abortion fund in the U. S.
    Our statistics, which closely follow those of the Guttmacher Institute, indicated that Ohio was the state where we funded the greatest number of safe and legal abortions. It is also the state where we funded the greatest number of teen pregnancies. It’s closest rival is Texas.
    In over 70%, repeat, 70% of cases, the man ran out on the woman. Until all men stand up and take responsibility for their actions, they should get no say in what a woman decides to do about a crisis pregnancy.
    Perhaps what needs to happen is that women are required to name the father of every live birth so that when the woman has to file for public assistance in any form, the state will go after the man to provide support before helping her with tax paid dollars.
    Men are equally responsible for pregnancies and they need to step up and be accountable before we again blame women for everything.

  44. Phlegmatic
    Posted August 2, 2007 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

    Why should men have that right when women don’t? If women have sex and get pregnant, they need to take responsibility, either by having an abortion, or seeing the pregnancy through. Walking away is not an option. Why should it be an option for men?
    I don’t know, you tell me. The only thing I can think of is because, as I have repeatedly suggested, they cant do much of anything else, because that would be taking away womens rights over their own body. What are the options for women? Have the child and see it through, or get an abortion. What are the options for men? Stay with her if she decides to have the child and see it through together, or….. Hope she gets an abortion? Oops, doesn’t look like much of an option to me. Surely if a woman gets pregnant, and a man has no way out of it, isnt that taking away his rights to then suggest he is somehow partly responsible for this child he didn’t actually want? Im actually trying to be reasonable here.
    What you’re suggesting, Phlegmatic, is that men should have the right to fuck and walk away with no consequences whatsoever.
    I don’t think I was suggesting that, because there could be a possibility Im not as stupid as you might think I am.
    It’s like EG said, you want to give men the right to walk away completely and wash their hands of the whole affair, while women are stuck having to make choices and do something no matter what.

    I thought the point of this post was, that law is bullshit because all women have to/should be able to do exactly that if they are pregnant, no matter what. She should be in control, because its happening to her. As Ive said, Im perfectly in agreement with that. So whether a man is there or not, the general impression I get from women here is that its very possible that he is no help what-so-ever anyway. After all, all he did was ejaculate into her after sex right? And while I feel somewhat left out as a man, like its been said, its biology, and women are the ones who get it harder. I cant really argue with that.
    But if a mans contribution is so little, why should he have to suffer if he didn’t actually want it to happen in the first place? That’s all Im asking, and suggesting that there be options to avoid that.
    I agree Im being very callous because my post is suggestive that women should bear the brunt of the (very hard) strain of bringing up a child. But then, I imagie some men are crushed by the revelation that his partner doesn’t want this baby after all. So no child for him, because its out of his hands really.

  45. Phlegmatic
    Posted August 2, 2007 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

    If I knock you up and you decide not to abort, I have no intention of helping to support the child that I helped to create . I will walk away and leave you on your own.
    That’s strange, many comments here are suggestive of “I do all the work, so fuck off if you think you have a say!�
    And I don’t think this should be a common thing for men to do, but as its been pointed out, many men practically do it anyway. I imagine youre right, that it would be quite helpful if it were accepted that men could say those things up front. That in itself would probably be a form of birth control, as women wouldn’t want to fuck that guy.
    Perhaps people might think Im trying to make a point of saying kids are womens problems, but Im not. I still think men should equally contribute in a relationship where both partners wanted the child. But once more, unlike in abortion where a man should have to accept his partner might not want this child, and accept the consequences. I also believe with women wanting the child, THEY should be the ones to accept the consequences should their partners decide they dont want the child.

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

    I also believe with women wanting the child, THEY should be the ones to accept the consequences should their partners decide they dont want the child.
    They already do! What you’re actually suggesting is that the child be further punished by having a father who didn’t want a child. I don’t want children. If I get a woman pregnant and she wants to keep the child, my choice is between staying an active part of that child’s life, or cutting my ties and contributing child support. Child support isn’t for the mother- it’s for the child. If I cut and run and just give child support, then the mother of that child already has to deal with the consequences of having a child I didn’t want. She’d have to raise the child alone, explain to it why I’m not around, deal with all of the difficult physical, emotional, and financial responsibilities that come from day to day life with a child. My meager financial contribution isn’t going to change that.
    And, again, Child support and the right to abortion aren’t the same. They’re just not. A financial burden- particularly one that can be incurred by either sex- is not the same as the physical burden of bearing a child, and it’s not intellectually honest to suggest that they are.
    That’s strange, many comments here are suggestive of “I do all the work, so fuck off if you think you have a say!�
    That’s not even remotely what is being said. What is being said is: It’s a woman’s body, so it’s her choice.
    Woman have wombs. Wombs are where fetuses grow. Thus, women have the right to decide whether to remain pregnant or not.
    But if a mans contribution is so little, why should he have to suffer if he didn’t actually want it to happen in the first place? That’s all Im asking, and suggesting that there be options to avoid that.
    Because there’s no good option to avoid it. Just saying “Well, men who don’t want to shouldn’t have to pay child support” isn’t a viable alternative right now, because all that does is create a situation where millions of children would potentially end up without the economic means to support them. Does that suck for men who didn’t want and don’t like that they have to pay a couple hundred bucks a month to help pay for the child? Sure. But, until there’s some other alternative method for supplying the money required to raise a child, I’m sorry, but that’s the way it is. And, again again again: Women pay child support too. It’s not just men who are paying money for the raising of children. Women do, as well.
    I agree Im being very callous because my post is suggestive that women should bear the brunt of the (very hard) strain of bringing up a child. But then, I imagie some men are crushed by the revelation that his partner doesn’t want this baby after all. So no child for him, because its out of his hands really.
    I think you are, as well. I think you’re being callous, and I think you’re making a mistake by trying to suggest that a woman’s body is somehow equivalent to a man’s wallet.
    I’d imagine that a woman who keeps a child and finds out that the man doesn’t want anything to do with it is probably pretty crushed, and I doubt that a $280 a month makes up for that. An unwanted child is unfortunate for everyone involved, not just the guy who has to cut a check.

  47. Phlegmatic
    Posted August 2, 2007 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

    I think youre reading a little too much “child support” into my posts Roy. I admit its linked in many ways, but there are others things involved then just that, surely?

  48. catty
    Posted August 2, 2007 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

    I’m not *for* opt-out options, but I think if it was offered, it should be only available to men prior to any known pregnancy. If a guy really really doesn’t want kids, he can take the time to go to court, etc- just like women take the time to go see and ob/gyn and get scripts for birth control.
    To be honest, I’m for the “no uterus = stfu” line of thinking. A lot of men use abortions to shame the women. I’ve known men to pressure women to get abortions, then later use the abortion to shame them as a control measure. I know my ex did that to me.
    Fundamentally, I’d love to see more birth control options for men- but sadly, men aren’t clamoring for them, and many downright reject the idea of taking a pill. The market forces aren’t going to produce birth control that doesn’t have an enthusiastic audience- so when men whine about not having birth control, they need to get other men involved and show the damn pharms that yes, they ARE interested! If men showed interest in male BC like they did with Viagra, you betcha they’d have more options. They’re not.

  49. SarahMC
    Posted August 2, 2007 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

    …suggest he is somehow partly responsible for this child he didn’t actually want?
    It’s not a suggestion; it’s a fact. Men contribute something – sperm. Women’s bodies, however, do all the work and bear all the burden of pregnancy & childbirth.

  50. catty
    Posted August 2, 2007 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

    One more- I love children but I’m vehemently child-free for my own life. I know several guys that are vehemently child-free.
    That said, almost all child-free women i’ve known make sure to get together with likeminded men. OTOH, I’ve seen vehemently child-free men hook up with women that were not. This is just anecdotal, but I’ve always been upfront about my decision. no kids for me- ever, and if i get pregnant, i’m having an abortion- period. I can’t take hormonal BC, so the guy’s going to wear condoms. If the guy doesn’t like my stance, we aren’t sleeping together. Yet, I’ve seen a lot of guys get skeeved out about women that were direct about such things. I’ve been accused of being ball-busting, aggressive, and plain unattractive/unromantic because I talk about birth control and the consequences very early on.
    I’ve had lots of guy friends tell me these type of talks “scare men off.” Wha?
    Basically, a lot of men want the ability to screw whoever they want and walk away from all responsibility whenever they want.
    Even if there was a opt-out program, men would complain about it (see Scilian) being too cumbersome, restrict their entitlement to screw women, etc etc. Nothing aside from full control over a woman’s life and body will satisfy the MRA crowd.

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