Male reproductive rights

Discussion in 'Archive: The Senate Floor' started by Espaldapalabras, May 19, 2010.

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  1. Espaldapalabras Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 25, 2005
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    The Parent Trap

    Article
    My hope for this thread is that it doesn't become just a debate about abortion, although your opinion on abortion most likely influences how you see this, and in my view this is something of the gaping hole of logic in the ship of the pro-choice movement. If you are pro-choice, why does the father have none?

    I personally think men and women should be equally responsible for the consequences of having sex. Our current system gives women the option to abort, but men have no such choice once they have sex. If we value the reproductive rights, then those rights should be shared between the sexes. Of course if you believe as I do that reproductive rights are nowhere near as important as the rights of the unborn, then we have to ask ourselves, do we want a fair system that lets both parents have the right not to be responsible for their reproductive actions, a system where neither have such a choice, or the current system where one party has reproductive rights to terminate and the other only has obligations to the child and society once the pregnancy occurs.
  2. DorkmanScott Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 26, 2001
    star 6
    Here's the guy's choice:

    Wear a condom.
  3. Quixotic-Sith Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 22, 2001
    star 6
    That's asinine. The experience of pregnancy is nowhere near 50/50, so there is zero justification for a man being able to tell a woman what she can and cannot do with her body.

    You will never experience hormonal shifts (which can produce clinical levels of anxiety and depression), you will never experience having your internal organs pushed out of position as the fetus grows, you will never experience the metabolic disturbances which can produce diabetes that can result from pregnancy, nor will you experience folic acid deficiencies, electrolyte imbalances, or any of the other serious medical issues that can arise. You will never experience the joys of episiotomy - in which the vagina is surgically cut to widen the birth canal (done to
  4. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    Lowbacca_1977 argued in the abortion thread that a man should have the option to purchase his freedom from all future child support or contact with a child by paying the mother the full cost of an abortion.

    I would add to that there has to be a very short window of offer and acceptance. If the man waits too long to offer and provide payment, then he gets the lifetime support responsibility, I would keep it comfortably within that first trimester.

    Hopefully, the net effect of this would be to incentivize more women to get an abortion in situations where they don't have the economic means to raise a child or at least encourage them to give up the child for adoption.
  5. Darth_Yuthura Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 7, 2007
    star 4
    A very valid point. Males don't go through any of this, nor do they always get stuck with the child if he runs out. Naturally women should get the choice, as they already get the short end of the stick in almost every other way. If the male could offer a reasonable settlement by which the female parent would agree to have the child and then turn over responsibility, then I would be for that.

    For such a solution to work, the terms would have to be accepted by the female parent and the financial situation secured by law BEFORE the child is born. This would allow males some degree of influence while giving the female parent the rights to her own body. If she wouldn't do it for a million dollars, then that's her right.
  6. Quixotic-Sith Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 22, 2001
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    Adoption isn't really a feasible option. As of data collected last October, there are still over 120,000 children still waiting to be adopted. Adding another child into an over-taxed system isn't really a solution.

    EDIT:

    I apologize if I'm coming across as being short or rude, but I just graded a stack of papers containing bad arguments like "equal rights for both parents". Nearly all of the students who were advocating that position made fundamental logical errors like "50% of the genes means 50% of the choice" and "because we hold the father economically liable, he should have a say in the matter", which ignores the fundamental inequality of experience in pregnancy, and also fundamentally turns the mother into the property of the father (i.e., it gives him say over what she can and cannot do with her body). My brain is still bruised from those papers.
  7. Vaderize03 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Oct 25, 1999
    star 5
    My hope for this thread is that it doesn't become just a debate about abortion, although your opinion on abortion most likely influences how you see this, and in my view this is something of the gaping hole of logic in the ship of the pro-choice movement. If you are pro-choice, why does the father have none?

    (boldface mine)

    Simple. Pregnancy carries significant health risks, including, but not limited to, diabetes, pre-eclampsia, eclampsia, pregnancy-induced hypertension, hemorrhage, amniotic fluid embolus, uterine rupture, infection (on several levels), and the HELLP syndrome (hemolysis, elevated liver enzymes, low platelets), amongst others. Renal failure, anemia, and risk of significant electrolyte abnormalities also exist.

    Men face no such risks. The burden here is financial. While in principle I agree that men shouldn't be duped into pregnancy and then forced to "foot the bill", the person in question is whining. He fell for it, so he deserves it, in other words. If he has evidence that he was entrapped, he should sue in civil court and present it; he might end up being freed of said financial obligation should a ruling be issued in his favor. PT Barnum once said "There is a sucker born every minute". In trying to undermine abortion rights, his equal protection argument is totally farcical. Women can use the same argument to justify the right to abortion, ie that their biology places them at risk of significant harm or death from pregnancy, and forcing them to bear that risk, while men cannot by definition, is a violation of "Equal protection". I find that argument far more reasonable than veto power over an abortion given to the sperm donor.


    Interestingly enough, the original set of Pennsylvania legislation that led to the USSC case Planned Parenthood vs Casey involved just such a law (amongst others). Specifically, a married women had to obtain her husband's permission to obtain an abortion. The Ninth Circuit court in Philadelphia struck this down with one dissenting vote. Sandra Day O'Connor, upon reading the dissent, was so infuriated that she insisted William Rehnquist allow her to write the majority opinion overturning that particular statute, just so she could slap down the justice who wrote it. That justice, against her personal pleas to President Bush not to nominate him to replace her, was Samuel Alito (source The Nine, by Jeffrey Toobin). Go figure.


    Anyhoo, dad doesn't have a legal leg to stand on. Going by his argument, one could easily compel organ donation; ie it's a violation of equal protection for any random Joe to have two perfectly healthy kidneys when dialysis patients don't have any. I don't think anybody would like where that argument would go (at least I hope not).

    Peace,

    V-03
  8. Kimball_Kinnison Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2001
    star 6
    I'm sorry, but that argument really reminds me of Ebeneezer Scrooge:
    It sounds like you are essentially arguing that it would be better for that child to be dead than put into the adoption system. I don't see how that logically follows without completely devaluing human life.

    Arguments about the rights of the mother to control her own body I can get, even if I don't always agree with them. But arguing that it's better to abort a baby than place it up for adoption because the child would be better off is completely morally repugnant to me.

    Kimball Kinnison
  9. DorkmanScott Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 26, 2001
    star 6
    Not "dead," simply not born, just like all the other billions of hypothetical people who have been not-born throughout history. But that's really more for the abortion debate.
  10. Quixotic-Sith Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 22, 2001
    star 6
    You are equivocating, Kimball. Per CDC data, the bulk of abortions occur in the first and second trimester (with the first heavily outweighing the second), so we aren't dealing with a "child" any more than an acorn is a full-grown oak tree. In order for adoption to be considered to be a viable alternative to abortion, your position requires that the mother carry the fetus to at least the point of viability (and likely full-term; premature infants face profound health risks that deter many would-be adoptive couples). The "adoption alternative" requires additional burdens upon the mother, including labor and delivery, while an early termination does not. I'm not saying that a "baby" would be better off being aborted precisely because their is no "baby" present when most abortions are performed.
  11. Valairy Scot Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 16, 2005
    star 5
    Ah, I had this argument with my brother once while hiking...

    In short, BOTH parents SHOULD take responsibility for birth control if they don't want a child.

    BUT - pregnancy happens, for whatever reason, (birth control failure, failure of one or both to take precautions...)

    BOTH should have a say with the input of whoever they want (clergy, doctors,family)

    In the instance where they cannot find agreement, one must "lose" and one must "win." (Unless someone can find a win/win solution that I've not thought of.)

    In THAT case I would argue that since the woman is the one to carry the child, if we must pick who has the ultimate decision, it is the mother to be's.
  12. Kimball_Kinnison Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2001
    star 6
    Hold on just a moment. Let's review your post I responded to again:
    Your post that I quoted doesn't say anything about burden to the mother of carrying the pregnancy to term. It spoke only of adoption not being an option because of the number of children currently waiting to be adopted. It is that argument to which I responded, calling it morally repugnant.

    Now, you are completely shifting the goal posts and talking not about the adoption system, but about the mother. Allow me to quote my original post:
    I specifically acknowledged that I can relate to other arguments relating to the rights of the mother (which would include the other burdens placed upon her). I simply pointed out that using an over-burdened adoption system as a justification for abortion is reminiscent of Ebeneezer Scrooge's comments about the poor.

    I was just responding to the actual argument that you made. If you don't like the comparisons it brings forth, then you might want to reconsider the arguments that you present. Don't blame me for taking you at your word.

    Kimball Kinnison
  13. Jabba-wocky Chosen One

    Member Since:
    May 4, 2003
    star 8
    KK if anyone has shifted goal posts, it's you. Look again at what you actually quoted. He didn't use over-burdened adoption system as a "justification for abortion." He used the over-burdened adoption system as justification for saying that adoption alone couldn't solve the problem of unwanted children. True, he argued in completely separate posts that abortion was a more feasible solution--but those are also the posts where he included discussions of the risk of pregnancy. There was never a point where he said "Too many kids are waiting for adoption, therefore let's kill some" which is what you're trying to construe this as.
  14. Espaldapalabras Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 25, 2005
    star 5
    I wasn't advocating the right for the father to terminate the pregnancy, I don't think many are, it is primarily about child support once the child is born.
  15. Kimball_Kinnison Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2001
    star 6
    I'm sorry, but that's a load of crap.

    He specifically said "Adding another child into an over-taxed system isn't really a solution." Within the context of this discussion, the only alternative that he was discussing there was abortion. He essentially said that those who do choose to give the child up for adoption instead of having an abortion are irresponsible because they would be "adding another child into an over-taxed system".

    As I said, the exact argument that he is making there sounds an awful lot like the same argument given by Ebeneezer Scrooge about how to deal with the poor. The similarities are there, as plain as day. You can't just wave your hands and go "burden to the mother" and wipe them away.

    The statements that he presented suggest that a living child in the adoption system is worse than a child who is not alive (whether you wish to refer to it as "dead" or "never born"). To me, that argument is morally repugnant.

    Kimball Kinnison
  16. Jabba-wocky Chosen One

    Member Since:
    May 4, 2003
    star 8
    Actually it was a response to the following specific proposal by Jabbadabbado.

    He wasn't, out of the blue, shooting down adoption. He was rejecting plans that incentivized adoption as a major way to deal with unwanted children. There's a tremendous difference between saying "X is not a good solution to the particular problem we're discussing" and saying "X has no value at all." The "better off not existing" argument is one that is entirely of your creation, that you've then chosen to put into his mouth.

    Yes, it would've been a nice parallel if he had sounded like Ebenezer Scrooge. But that doesn't mean you can retcon him into saying that.
  17. Valairy Scot Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 16, 2005
    star 5
    Excluding cases where a woman lied and duped a man into fatherig a child and potential recourse to the courts - a child is born. Dad didn't want it, so he *should* be allowed to wash his hands financially of *his* child and leave the mother alone to raise or give the child up for adoption?

    Take it a step further: mother does not give up the child and cannot financially support the child on her own (let's assume she is working) - so dad should be able to step away because he didn't want a child and we the people get to pick up the financial contribution of "dad" through the social safety net?

    It would be much eaier if all children were wanted by both parents, wouldn't it?


  18. Espaldapalabras Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 25, 2005
    star 5
    You're right, it is so much easier when the woman gets to kill it. You know, it is amazing how many problems I could think of that could be solved with this simple solution.
  19. Lowbacca_1977 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2006
    star 6
    I'm not sure where this got so quickly into the idea that a man should be able to tell a woman she MUST get an abortion, as unless I missed it reading up through this all, that wasn't proposed. What WAS proposed was being able to not have any financial responsibilities, and I would add to that losing any parental rights as well. A sort of 'civil abortion', if you will.

    I will say first of all that saying that the father had his chance, he chose to have sex therefore he should deal with it, by focusing on the idea he ALREADY made his choice would make the issue about if they chose to take the risk or not, and if they chose to take the risk they should accept it, then that would be a strike against women having abortions that aren't in the case of rape or health issues, either.

    I would also point out that there's an element of saying that if it's for financial reasons, well that isn't good enough. However, the U.S. has very liberal abortion laws. In the US, women can get an abortion on request. There's no check about WHY a woman gets an abortion, she just can. And I think that should be the law. I would further say that I think it should be expanded. A woman can decide that she simply doesn't want to deal with having a kid and get an abortion, and I think a man should have an option, within a narrow window of time, where he can divest himself of any responsibility, while also sacrificing his rights as a parent.
  20. SuperWatto Manager Emeritus

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    Sep 19, 2000
    star 5
    The difference is that the woman who gets the abortion really won't have a child. The guy who gets your 'civil abortion' will. So I'm not sure you can balance those two.
  21. anakin_girl Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 8, 2000
    star 6
    This is a tough one, and I can see both sides of the argument.

    I absolutely do not think that "50 percent of the genes means 50 percent of the choice" for the very reasons that Quix pointed out. And for the sake of full disclosure, I've been pregnant twice, I have two beautiful kids. I also had two C-sections and with my older son, I had a placental abruption that would have killed both of us if I had had less competent and attentive doctors. No, my husband did not have to experience the physical aspect of any of this, although in his case it was less fun to watch from the sidelines.

    I do not think the man should be left with no input either, especially if we are going to make him pay child support assuming the woman has the baby.

    I just wonder if there is a good place to draw the line. Could we or should we keep a woman from having an abortion if the baby's father agrees (legally, on paper) to adopt the baby and raise it?

    There is also the aspect of men who "don't like" wearing condoms. I know of several women who got pregnant because their men told them they "didn't like" wearing condoms. Except when I was planning for my kids, my response has always been, if you "don't like" wearing condoms, I "don't like" having sex with you.
  22. Epicauthor Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 2, 2002
    star 4
    This.

    I don't know how prevalent this is, but I'm sure it does happen. In addition to looking at whether a father can have a "civil abortion" we should be asking whether the father has any rights concerned with keeping the child if the mother wants to have an abortion.

    I'm torn on this subject. On one hand, I think a father should have some rights about whether he wants to take care of a child or not if the woman decides to have it, especially if he gets "duped" into it. However, I also think that since women bear the physical cost of the pregnancy, the decision to terminate should only lie with her. If she doesn't want to have a baby, she gets to decide that, not Dad.

    If a man doesn't want to take care of his child, he won't (aside from mandatory child support payments). It has nothing to do providing a "civil abortion." It's sad, but the truth.
  23. urgent_jedi_picnic Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 14, 2003
    star 4
    This is actually one of the more interesting topics of discussion with regard to the pro-life/pro-choice argument, to me at least. And to preface this - I am a pro-life supporter, with the exception of instances of rape or medical danger to the mother.

    The legality of abortion in America leads to a situation where a woman can opt out of her parental responsibilities while a man cannot. Is this fair or equitable? I believe it is unfair from a legal standpoint. That is not to say I believe that whether to get an abortion or not should be the man's decision. In a world where abortion is legal, I am fine with it being a woman's choice, not the man's. I don't have to deal with the hormonal & medical issues of the pregnancy - she does.

    However, in that scenario, it can be argued that it is unequitable for the state to "force" a man to support his child financially if he wishes to end his parental rights/responsibilities. The policy sets up a situation where the woman can opt out of her parental responsibilities, solely at her own choice for any reason, by ending the life (or potential life if you want to haggle about terminology) of her unborn no less. Yet it would be illegal for a father to opt out of his parental responsibilities by failing to provide monetary support after the child is born. It's a fundamental question of responsibilities of a parent under the law. Abortion gives women an out to their responsibilities via choice and personal decision. No such out exists for men.

    Also - just for the record, I in no way support a man opting out of child support. I work in a law office and this is the kind of "legal question" that gets discussed solely as an intellectual exercise about the law itself - i.e., if abortion is constitutional, is child support therefore unconstitutional?

  24. Jedi_Keiran_Halcyon Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 17, 2000
    star 6
    Really? So you find it morally repugnant when a couple says, "Okay, we've already got two kids. We can afford to raise them with decent standard of living and send them to college. Now we're going to get our tubes tied, because if we had a third child we couldn't afford to raise all three children that well"?

    If not, stop pretending that your moral objection is based on anything other than the anti-abortionist belief that fetus=child.

    If so, why the hell would you think such a thing?
  25. Zaz Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 11, 1998
    star 9
    There was a Canadian case, where a man tried to stop his pregnant girlfriend from having an abortion. In the middle of the case, she went off and did it anyway, without any legal repercussions, I think. (Abortions are legal in Canada)

    She said that she didn't want the child because he was violent. Of course, the papers dug up his background, and he had a history of it, so he didn't get much sympathy.
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