Male reproductive rights

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

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  1. urgent_jedi_picnic Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 14, 2003
    star 4
    I agree to the extent that if a child is born, that child now needs to be supported and there is no getting around the fact that the child exists due to the parents' individual and personal choices. My concern (for the topic at hand) is that abortion provides a "legal loophole" of sorts for women in this scenario under the law. A woman can have an abortion for any reason, and there are many that choose it for the selfish one - they don't want to have to take care of and support a child at that time in their lives. They opt out of their entire parental responsibility, legally at that.

    So considering that, is it possible to "level the playing field" regarding these selfish acts? (Aside from the current talk of "contracts" that is, because let's face it: that' ain't happening.)
  2. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    Another thing to consider is that if a prospective father has a right to buy out his fatherhood contract with the price of an abortion, what he is doing in the case of a low income single mother is imposing a lot of parenting costs directly onto the state.

    If someone proposed that the state should have the option to buy out its child welfare obligations with the price of an abortion, there would of course be tremendous outrage.
  3. Espaldapalabras Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 25, 2005
    star 5
    Only because society isn't prepared for the consequences of giving complete control of a woman's body to herself. With totally free choice comes total responsibility. Knowingly creating financial obligations you have no ability to repay is a crime for everyone else except for bankers. We can't force abortions, but why is it we can't punish them like everyone else when they make poor decisions with what they do with their bodies?
  4. Jedi_Keiran_Halcyon Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 17, 2000
    star 6
    Because to do so would also be punish the child. Conservative ideology may be fine with the notion that kids only deserve the quality of upbringing their parents are worth, but taken to its conclusion that thinking utterly destroys the mythical "American Dream" of upward mobility.
  5. Espaldapalabras Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 25, 2005
    star 5
    But liberal ideology gives total freedom to the parents and absovles them of responsiblity for their choices.
  6. Cheveyo Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 29, 2001
    star 5
    You lost me on that one.
  7. beezel26 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 11, 2003
    star 7
    Unfortuneately if you don't get money from the father then you get it from us as taxpayers. So if he don't pay then we do.

  8. Valairy Scot Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 16, 2005
    star 5
    But hey, at least the man had the choice to opt out of parenthood, so it's the mother's fault if she can't support the kid on her own, right?

    (Do note this should be read in a tone laced with sarcasm or disbelief, depending on your POV).
  9. Lowbacca_1977 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2006
    star 6
    Because it couldn't possibly be her fault for sleeping around with a flake, right? What's she doing having kids that she didn't have the means to support? Morally speaking, it's her body and her responsibility, particularly when it comes to cases where no birth control was involved.
  10. Valairy Scot Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 16, 2005
    star 5
    Excuse me - what right does a man have to sleep with a woman who can't take care of a child if he "accidentally" gets her pregnant?

    He should run, run, run far way and sleep with a financially strong woman!
  11. Lowbacca_1977 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2006
    star 6
    Well yeah, if you treat women as not in control of their own bodies, maybe. A man DOESN'T have a right to sleep with a woman who couldn't take care of a child, he is allowed that privilege when the woman consents to have sex.

    If we want to look at fault.... in the case of rape, it's very abundantly clearly the fault of the rapist, but if a woman consents to sex (with the no birth control point I noted) then that would seem to be taking the biological risks upon herself to me and I would question why she's having unprotected sex with guys who have the ability to just disappear on her. That strikes me as rather quite the risk. Obviously can't legislate this, as it's her body and she has the clear right to do with it however she wants, but I don't think one can then choose to be surprised when a possible outcome occurs.
  12. Cheveyo Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 29, 2001
    star 5
    That is a lame, archaic excuse. The man is just as culpable, after all, he also has the power to enact contraceptive measures. I think this line of rhetoric succinctly captures the message behind this argument: Return a man's responsibility to that which existed 400 years ago, that is to say... none. If a man gets a woman pregnant, he's a stud and she's "lady of ill repute". I guess it less than 400 years ago, wasn't it. [face_plain]

    And where are all these "family values" arguments that appear out of the ether in abortion and gay marriage debates? They seem conspicuously absent here, pointing again to the ideal that whatever happens to a woman is the woman's fault, and whatever because of a man's contributions is a woman's fault, therefor, the man shouldn't have to pay jack for his part in the matter.
  13. Epicauthor Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 2, 2002
    star 4
    Nobody is saying that at all. What we are saying is that there has to be an even playing field when it comes to reproductive rights for men.

    Basically, as a society we tell women that they have options for an unwanted pregnancy and men have none.

    "Well men don't have to have sex.....they made the choice and they should accept the consequences."

    Bull. Women also make the decision to have sex and they ultimately have more choices than men when an unwanted pregnancy occurs. Why are we punishing men for their role in an act that both parties are equally responsible for?
  14. Lowbacca_1977 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2006
    star 6
    If he's equally culpable, you would suggest that the father should have a say in if the mother gets an abortion or not?

    I don't understand your point here. You're criticising me for not sticking to "family values" arguments, and I presume you mean the socially conservative definition of that, even though I am 100% in support of abortion being legal, as well as same-sex marriage. If I don't use those "legislate family values" arguments on other issues, why should I use those arguments here?
  15. LostOnHoth Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 15, 2000
    star 5
    Lowie, the reality is that the father, in many cases, does have a say in whether the mother gets an abortion or not. Your "opt out" concept exists in reality if not in law. I've seen it many, many times, particularly with young couples. The 'father' just basically says "if you have this baby then I will leave you, despise you, and I will never pay you a cent" or "if you have this baby then I will kill you both" or variations on these themes. The threat is quite real as child support agencies are often powerless to collect child support in circumstances where the 'father' works in a cash industry (such as labour, construction, hospitaility etc), is unemployed, or is not able to be tracked down. I've done many pro bono cases trying to track down 'fathers' who owed tens of thousands in unpaid child support.

    I really don't think there should be an "even playing field". Sure, it's a tough old world if your sexual partner falls pregnant and unilaterally decides to have a baby which you as the biological father will have to financially support. But I'm OK with that. I've got four kids, the first one completely unplanned when I was just 19 years old. Personally, if I had the option to just walk away in terms of financial support, then I might not have had the incentive to actually make something of my life. So for me, it was the best thing that ever happened to me, plus I now have a fantastic 21 year old daughter whom I love dearly.

    If both parties consented to the sexual encounter, then both parties must accept the financial risk of potential pregancy and potential child rearing. There is equal culpability. Does this mean there should be equal decision making in terms of whether the pregancy is aborted? I guess theoretically the answer is 'yes', but practically, the answer must be 'no' because it is the woman's body which is affected. There should never be a right to compel another to undergo a surgical procedure against their will. Should a woman who decides that she doesn't want any more kids have right power to compel the man to have a vasectomy? No. On this basis, once the decision is made by the woman to have the child, then the 'father', who accepted the risk of financial responsibility for a child when engaging in sexual conduct, becomes liable to finacially support the child together with the mother.
  16. Lowbacca_1977 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2006
    star 6
    It actually almost seems like it's a bit more lenient there on child support then, as here in California they suspend the driver's licenses of people not paying the child support.

    And my stance holds that the MOTHER isn't required to accept that she'll have to have the financial burden of having a kid because she got pregnant, I don't think that the father should therefore either. And I'd disagree with a system that tells the mother "well, that's what you get for getting pregnant, now deal with raising a kid". Which is why she can get an abortion or put it up for adoption.
  17. Darth_Smileyface Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 22, 2004
    star 2
    So you're saying that the woman assumes financial responsibility only upon deciding to have the child, but the man assumes responsibility upon deciding to have sex. Does this reaaly seem equitable to you or is it that you consider this to be the most equitable solution? I'm not be facetious, I'm just trying to get a handle on your position.
  18. LostOnHoth Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 15, 2000
    star 5
    In some states in Australia unpaid child support can lead to the inability to renew a driver's license. However that is not much of a deterrant for someone intent on avoiding child support liability. It's pretty easy to exist without a driver's license. Once you get out of the cities, rural Australia can be like frontier land.

    I understand where you are coming from but like I said I don't think it should necessarily be an even playing field. It is unfair, but in my view it is an unfairness which is in the public interest. I feel the same way about legal restrictions on the expression of religious worship. Sometimes you have to take a hit for the greater good.

    See above.
  19. Espaldapalabras Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 25, 2005
    star 5
    In my experience at my job, it seems like California is the most aggressive as far as going after people's bank accounts who owe child support. I don't have any numbers or anything, but it just seems like every time I see that happen they live in California. So they either go after them more or CA is just full of deadbeats.
  20. Darth_Smileyface Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 22, 2004
    star 2
    "I understand where you are coming from but like I said I don't think it should necessarily be an even playing field. It is unfair, but in my view it is an unfairness which is in the public interest. I feel the same way about legal restrictions on the expression of religious worship. Sometimes you have to take a hit for the greater good."

    I can respect this opinion. So much better thought out than "Life is unfair, deal with it". I still disagree, but I can definite see where you're coming from.
  21. Cheveyo Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 29, 2001
    star 5
    That is because the mother plays a rather unique role in the development of the fetus. Would you disagree? If a man could carry fetus to term, then you might have an argument for the case of an "even playing field".

    Additionally, the man can and does have a say. The problem is that in this case there are 2 sides and only 2 arguers. Many of you are saying that the law should be the tie-breaker in favor of the man. So what if the man wants the child and the woman doesn't? Does he still have final say? Or do you believe that the decision should only fall in the man's favor when he DOESN'T want the child? What if not paying child support isn't enough for him? What if he doesn't want that kid to come looking for him in 18 years, and demands she get an abortion? To even the playing field, would he be permitted to deny her the pregnancy?

    The bottom line is that there IS no even playing field in this. Creating a child is not like any other action a human can take. It is by nature of biology NOT equal. As a society, we have decided that it is in the best interest of that new life for the father, when not a part of the child's family, to remain financially supportive of that child.

    Oh, and here' a news flash for you: the vast majority of claims of dereliction of child support come not from fathers who abandoned the mom pre-birth, but rather from dads who divorce the mom well after the child(ren) is born. And guess what. Moms do this divorce and run thing, too.

    If a child is conceived out of wedlock, it takes a LOT to legally nail down the father as the biological culprit. And he can fight the accusation of paternity.
  22. urgent_jedi_picnic Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 14, 2003
    star 4
    I would agree with your point that there is no even playing field from a biological standpoint. I think the heart of this issue is a question of a mandate to "take responsibility for your actions." What are your thoughts then on an abortion by convenience, i.e., done for no other reason than the mother simply does not want the responsibility of carrying a child to term, let alone take care of it after birth? Is this action acceptable? Does the biological danger a woman may encounter make this a just decision?
  23. Cheveyo Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 29, 2001
    star 5
    My thoughts are unchanged. Once a pregnancy is conceived, it is the woman's body involved until birth, not the man's. A man or a government should not dictate what is in the best interest of the woman. It is (and has been since legalization of abortion) ultimately the woman's choice. If she wants to have an abortion, but he doesn't, does he have the right to enforce his wants or beliefs upon her body?

    As I recall, this wasn't about whether or not abortions should be allowed, but rather if a man should be held financially responsible for the child she keeps. You're question to me is evidence that the undertone deals with the former after all. What it looks like you are suggesting, though I'm sure I must be wrong, is that these solutions would "even the playing field":
    a) A woman should not be allowed by law to terminate a pregnancy without the express written legal consent of the father (if even at all), and;
    b) A woman should not be allowed to carry a pregnancy to term without the express written legal consent of the father, or a written legal agreement that he will forever be absolved of financial liability.

    Question, what happens if a husband and wife get pregnant; the husband doesn't want kids and the wife wants to keep it?
  24. Darth_Smileyface Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 22, 2004
    star 2
    "As I recall, this wasn't about whether or not abortions should be allowed, but rather if a man should be held financially responsible for the child she keeps. You're question to me is evidence that the undertone deals with the former after all. What it looks like you are suggesting, though I'm sure I must be wrong, is that these solutions would "even the playing field":
    a) A woman should not be allowed by law to terminate a pregnancy without the express written legal consent of the father (if even at all), and;
    b) A woman should not be allowed to carry a pregnancy to term without the express written legal consent of the father, or a written legal agreement that he will forever be absolved of financial liability."

    Cheveyo,

    No one is arguing this in this thread. Everyone here who has posted in favour of the father's reproductive rights has been a supporter of a woman's choice. The specific question put to you by the previous poster was whether or not you felt that an abortion by convenience was shirking one's responsibility. You seem very critical of the idea that men should be able to absolve themselves of responsibilty. How do you feel about a woman doing the same?

    "Oh, and here' a news flash for you: the vast majority of claims of dereliction of child support come not from fathers who abandoned the mom pre-birth, but rather from dads who divorce the mom well after the child(ren) is born. And guess what. Moms do this divorce and run thing, too."

    This is true, but not at all what this thread is about. No one is a proponent of men who leave their children high and dry. This thread is about whether or not a man should be able to opt out of the financial responsibility BEFORE the child is born. I know that it seems to be the same thing, but there is an important distinction between a child and a fetus that has yet to be born. We allow women to make this distinction all the time.

    "Question, what happens if a husband and wife get pregnant; the husband doesn't want kids and the wife wants to keep it"

    This is a very good question. Honestly, I hadn't considered this angle before. But I would have to maintain that the father should still have the right to absolve himself if he chooses, just as a married woman has the choice to abort even if her husband wants the baby. In this case though, I would expect that such a decision should also mandate a divorce.
  25. urgent_jedi_picnic Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 14, 2003
    star 4
    Actually, I haven't suggested anything so far. I've just been asking questions. I would not support either of those items you list. :cool:

    But that aside, you are correct. My personal stance comes from being generally pro-life. I believe abortion should be restricted to medical emergencies & rape scenarios. That stance alone "evens the playing field" as the term has been thrown about in here with regard to parental responsibilities and the law. I've been avoiding coming out and saying that though, as the author of this thread is hoping this won't simply become another debate about abortion.

    In answer to your question, I think that she should have the baby, and I think they both have an obligation to support it. If you don't want to tango, don't hang out on the dance floor. I don't think equality on this issue in the eyes of the law comes from allowing either parent to opt out. I think just the opposite - it is achieved by allowing neither parent to opt out (again, barring medical emergency & rape scenarios), with the exception of adoption.

    .....and i'm still not sure how to debate that without debating abortion. [face_peace]
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