|even though there are new threats to abortion laws, i dont think that means we put off any related issues. after all, even if we're going to take a stance on abortion, i think the issue raised by this article are valid. after more than all, this lawsuit is only applicable in situations where there are abortions. so let's assume that there are legal, available abortions and that discuss the lawsuit in that realm.|
I don't believe that, simply because a woman could have chosen to have an abortion, this means that the father of her child should likewise be able to choose to reject the child and refuse to support it. Having an abortion isn't like getting a flu jab.
indeed, it's not. but why should a woman's choice affect a man's when a man's choice doesnt affect the woman. a man right now can pretend to choose not to pay child support for a child if he's in a situation comparable to some of those women who have abortions (too young to support a child, perhaps addicted to drugs - unable to hold a job, perhaps the child was the result of an adulterous affair, or perhaps the man was simply hoping that the birth control would work), but pretending to have that choice means nothing, because it's only the woman's choice that counts. despite any objections from the father, if the mother decides on her own to keep the child, the father is bound to that decision. the mother is not bound to the father's decisions. if the father leaves, moves, quits his job, etc., he's still legally obliged, for the next 18 years, to provide for that child.
we need to stay away from classifying abortion as mother's choice being an issue of "choice" (like a flu jab), and classifying abortion as father's choice being an issue of "responsibility" (like a life within society). a fetus is either one or another and for different arguments, the debate may focus on one or the other, but not both. we cant say that bringing a life into the world is an inherent choice for women without saying that bringing a life into the world is the same for the father. can we?
This is not true of most men who are simply infertile or who have had vasectomies— in these cases there is often an outside chance of pregnancy. Similarly, in the case of women who have had sterilization procedures, or who are infertile; this doesn't mean there is NO chance of pregnancy, only that there is much less. I happen to think, based on these biological realities, that it's incumbent upon men who really really do not want the responsibility of paying child support to take extra precautions even if the woman they are with has been diagnosed as infertile or has had sterilization procedures. I would advise men who are not going to do this to prepare a signed statement with the woman which states that she has undergone sterilization or has been diagnosed as infertile, and that they have agreed not to have a child, but that the possibility was discussed and the following contingency agreed upon (the father will be released from child-support, the child will be given up for adoption, etc.; depending on what has been agreed upon as acceptable).
you shift here, i think. first you say that there are similar situations for men and women in terms of what they can expect from their respective attempts at birth control or sterilization, then you say that it would then be the man's responsibility to prepare something in advance. would you also say that the woman should bear responsibility for telling the man whether or not she would keep a child if she were to get pregnant?
Like, for example, what's to stop a man from impregnating a woman, insisting beforehand that yes, should anything happen, of course he'll support her, then standing back once the stick turns blue and saying "actually, I didn't want anything to do with this child and she told me she was on the Pill and..." I realise this is a very crude example but this article gives the impression of allowing men to wash their hands of the whole affair and not giving wronged women the right of redress, unless they've got the money and resources to spend a lot of time arguing in court after the fact over 'he said... she said' which benefits no-one but the lawyers. Will everyone be canvassed as they enter puberty as to what they want?
I'm not sure this is an area where parity is possible. My view of human nature is to jaundiced to be sure that it's even desirable.
i happen to have a pretty good view of human nature myself. i think that all people are generally good people, but that they sometimes make mistakes. you present a situation where the father can back out after the fact...how is this different from a woman getting an abortion? i think the most simple way to manage this situation would be, as the article says, to give the men, say, within the first trimester, presuming that the mother is diligent about informing him of her pregnancy, to opt out. to make a decision for himself that he does or doesnt want the child. in many ways, this might help the mother come to a decision about the pregnancy.
we cant ignore the very real fact that it is currently ENTIRELY the mother's decision about what to do with an unplanned pregnancy. not that men and women dont discuss it, but, legally, the decision rests with the mother. and we cant ignore the very real fact that child support laws are based on what the father makes, not what it costs to raise a child. and the support can be modified at any time - any time the father gets a new job or a raise or a promotion, he is bound to up the money going to child support. this ALSO means, in MANY cases, that the father is bound to an income level. so if he's laid off, he is still responsible for child support payments. if he takes a lower-paying job, he's still responsible for what he paid originally. child support very rarely ever goes down, it only goes up. and so many unplanned pregnancies happen to young parents, so while the mother can make a choice at 18 about whether or not to raise a child, the father has no choice, and at 18 can be locked into a financial situation that affects his life as much or more than the mother's choice affected her life.