Male reproductive rights

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

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  1. Cheveyo Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 29, 2001
    star 5
    Not arguing, but leading to the case. Note, I wrote: "What it looks like you are suggesting..." which he was. ;)

    The very significant difference between what you see as a woman shirking responsibility and a man shirking responsibility is that the carriage and birth involves the woman's body, and never the man's. For a man to dictate/regulate what she can or cannot do with her body (which the fetus is a part of until it can survive independently outside the womb) is a strict no-no in my book (and currently in the law, as well). Therefor, as I said before, my thoughts remain consistent because of this "unequal" factor.

    When dealing with the bottom line and the countless variables tied to it, it is the same and must be reviewed if you're going to take a serious look at backing the idea of opting out of financial support.
    EDIT: I would follow that line to say if a man could still opt out of financial support of a child after birth, then (to keep that "level playing field") so too could a mother who carried the child to term; thus leaving the child with the father. As I said before... there are dead-beat mom's out there too.

    Wow. Okay then.

    Thank you. I'm glad to see my speech and debate radar is still active. ;) It's also intellectually honest for you to recognize that your position is greatly and understandably influenced by your beliefs about abortion. I for one appreciate the candor. So, please see my above statements for the response to your questions.

    Edit: sorry... I want to add:

    I submit that because the legal system cannot (and does not) govern emotional and psychological "reasons" behind the question of "Why?" on such a mass, general scale, this question is moot. The "why" is not a part of the law, but rather a part of the social stigma.
  2. Darth_Smileyface Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 22, 2004
    star 2
    "For a man to dictate/regulate what she can or cannot do with her body (which the fetus is a part of until it can survive independently outside the womb) is a strict no-no in my book (and currently in the law, as well)."

    Cheveyo,

    I think I have been very clear and consistent in stating that I do not believe anyone should have the choice to abort a pregnancy other than the mother. I'm not sure how you got the idea that I proposed otherwise.

    "I would follow that line to say if a man could still opt out of financial support of a child after birth, then (to keep that "level playing field") so too could a mother who carried the child to term; thus leaving the child with the father. As I said before... there are dead-beat mom's out there too."

    Again, I am not proposing an alternative where a man can opt out AFTER birth, only BEFORE it, and significantly before it at that.

    So, in the interest of clarity I will review my position.

    I think that abortion is unfortunate. I don't like it, but I do agree that ultimately the choice to abort should be left to the woman, not the state, not the father, not anyone else. In this respect I suppose I am pro-choice. I think the act of unprotected sex is irresponsible. I think the act of not supporting your children, financially or otherwise, is repugnant. That being said, I can see that there is an inequity in the law when it comes to reproductive rights. Unlike the inequity in nature concerning reproduction, the legal inequity can, and in my view should, be remedied. I think men, like women, should be allowed to avoid an unwanted pregnancy. And to be very clear, the only reason I believe men should have such a right is because women already have it.

  3. Cheveyo Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 29, 2001
    star 5
    Cool your jets there, Guy Smiley. Your response that resulted in my quoted response was actually in regards to the previous posters question that had the [now confirmed] undertones of an opinion against abortion. Your opinion on the matter is duly noted, although your sudden indignation toward me is misguided, given that you re-asked Picnic's question of me. The question you put to me was: "How do you feel about a woman doing the same?" I responded with how I feel about the notion your post (and Picnic's) outlined. It had nothing to do with what you believe about abortion.

    I recognize that; however, you are copying/pasting text-bites out of my post and ignoring the other statement immediately before that which was quoted: "When dealing with the bottom line and the countless variables tied to it, it is the same and must be reviewed if you're going to take a serious look at backing the idea of opting out of financial support." This means that if you want to seriously advocate for such a legal right as that of a man to "opt out" of financial responsibility for a child of his own making, then you must also look at the other relevant scenarios where this same right would come into play, such as those stated previously. Unless, that is, you're just complaining about something and don't want to actually fix what you see as broken.

    A right such as that which many of you are proposing would not exist in a vacuum. It would have far-reaching repercussions involving the nature of parental responsibilities. To ignore these would create even deeper (and more destructive) levels of inequality between maternal and paternal parents.

    Actually, your position is the very definition of pro-choice.

    I'm going to respond directly to your text, and try not to infer anything from it. First, because you said that you are against the idea of a man forcing a woman to abort the pregnancy, I must presume that this is not what you mean in the bold text, even though that's precisely how it sounds. The use of the word "avoid" in the context of equating it to the woman's ability to abort the pregnancy suggests to me that you believe there is a way for a man curtail the unwanted pregnancy, which is a little different than saying the father should have the right to choose not to support the child. Is there such a way for the father to "avoid" an unwanted pregnancy?



  4. urgent_jedi_picnic Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 14, 2003
    star 4
    I'm happy to be candid. :cool:

    I was more interested in your personal opinion on the question. While I agree with your intrepretation of the law, I don't believe the question itself is moot in light of the topic at hand.

    Before I continue, I just want to make sure I understand you correctly - your general stance seems to be that the inequity of parental rights under the law is acceptable, as it mirrors the inequity of parental rights biologically. Am I interpreting you correctly?
  5. Darth_Smileyface Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 22, 2004
    star 2
    Cheveyo,

    I used the word "avoid" so as not to be confused with abort. I think that by being able to opt out financially, men would be able to avoid unwanted pregnancies. To me the word "avoid" seems more passive than something like "curtail", which to me implies that the father would take matters into his own hands.

    Also, it strikes me as a little odd that you would mention social stigma on the one hand whereas you are very quick to throw around words like "deadbeat" on the other. Again, not that I don't think there are deadbeats out there, I just don't necessarily think that that term should be applied for all cases.

    *EDIT* You also mentioned "far-reaching repercussions". I assume that you mean in terms of paternity payments? What has been proposed is that a man have the opportunity to opt out before the birth. I would say only in the first trimester. Therefore, the idea of a mother or father abandoning a child after its birth really wouldn't be affected by this discussion.

    Picnic,

    I would tend to agree with Cheveyo that that particular question would be moot to the topic at hand. Why someone would want to abort a pregnancy (or absolve themselves of it as we are discussing here) is more of a philosopical question attached to the abortion debate itself.
  6. Valairy Scot Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 16, 2005
    star 5
    Would it perhaps be more accurate to characterize your position as: I think that by being able to opt out financially, men would be able to avoid the financial consequences of unwanted pregnancies?

    That is a bit repetitious, yes, but the pregnancy has to occur before the man can (or might be able to) opt out financially, so the man has to face and then accept or avoid the consequences of pregnancy.

    Nitpicky - perhaps so, but my intent is to clarify my understanding of your position.
  7. Darth_Smileyface Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 22, 2004
    star 2
    I suppose that would be a fair characterisation, very nitpicky though as I've already clarified my position regarding the biological consequences...
  8. urgent_jedi_picnic Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 14, 2003
    star 4
    I believe it is not moot because of the inherent differences between an abortion and a deadbeat dad.

    The action of being a deadbeat dad is a selfish one the vast majority of the time. You pretty much know "why" or can infer "why" in most situations, i.e., they are scared, they are jerks, they are lazy, they are broke, etc.

    With abortion on the other hand, it can be a complex psychological decision with a remarkably broad range of reasons depending on the situation, ranging from medical issues to selfish actions. It's not as cut and dry as the motives of a deadbeat dad.

    Now, if we are looking into whether or not equality can be established in the playing field of parental rights (i.e. - whether or not a parent can choose a selfish reason to opt out of their responsibilities) then "why" a woman gets an abortion is relevant. The fact is, the inequity as it exists, solely exists due to the fact that a woman can get an abortion for purely selfish reasons. If that weren't true, then the debate is over and the playing field is level.

  9. Cheveyo Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 29, 2001
    star 5
    My personal opinion on this subject is consistent with the rest of my posts: ultimately, the decision of everything having to do with a woman's body/biology are 100% up to her and her alone. I thought I said that before?

    If you so choose to place my philosophy into bullet point format, then I suppose that must suffice; although there is a difference between your interpretation of my term: "non-existent [inequity]", as being your term: "acceptable [inequity]".

    Cheveyo's Opinion
    In the case of a pregnancy between an unwed couple wherein the status of the father is not putative, the decision whether or not to keep the pregnancy is ultimately that of the mother's alone because the decision directly impacts her body. I maintain that the woman holds sole rights of governance over her own body.

    In the case where the unwed mother has elected to continue with the pregnancy and afterward keep the infant (rather than submit to adoption), then I am of the opinion that the mother has the right to seek child support from the biological father until such time as the child is adopted by a potential future husband/step-father, or until the child is 18 years of age.

    My stance is that the would-be-father does not have the right to force the mother into action regarding the pregnancy (whether toward abortion, keeping, or adopting out), and that should the child be born and kept by the mother, the father and mother alike are responsible for financial support of the child so that it may be given the care and essentials all human children require in a society derived from capitalism where socialized health care and child support is vilified to the point of practical non-existence.

    I see the woman's rights of self biological governance and the parents' responsibilities of financial support of a born child as two entirely different subjects. There is no perception of equality because the subjects themselves are not equal. The first deals with the right of a person to choose how to proceed with her body, and the second deals with the responsibilities of the actions taken by both parties in the initial act of coitus.

    To this extent, there is no "male reproductive right" to be had, except of course the initial right To or Not to engage in coitus, and To or Not to take contraceptive measures to reduce the chance of pregnancy.

  10. urgent_jedi_picnic Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 14, 2003
    star 4
    I gotta admit Cheveyo, that's a pretty concise and well thought out stance. From a purely legal standpoint, I must say I agree completely.
  11. Darth_Smileyface Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 22, 2004
    star 2
    "Cheveyo's Opinion
    In the case of a pregnancy between an unwed couple wherein the status of the father is not putative, the decision whether or not to keep the pregnancy is ultimately that of the mother's alone because the decision directly impacts her body. I maintain that the woman holds sole rights of governance over her own body."

    Agreed.

    "My stance is that the would-be-father does not have the right to force the mother into action regarding the pregnancy (whether toward abortion, keeping, or adopting out), and that should the child be born and kept by the mother, the father and mother alike are responsible for financial support of the child so that it may be given the care and essentials all human children require in a society derived from capitalism where socialized health care and child support is vilified to the point of practical non-existence."

    Also agreed, except for the little rant about capitalism at the end.

    "I see the woman's rights of self biological governance and the parents' responsibilities of financial support of a born child as two entirely different subjects. There is no perception of equality because the subjects themselves are not equal. The first deals with the right of a person to choose how to proceed with her body, and the second deals with the responsibilities of the actions taken by both parties in the initial act of coitus.

    To this extent, there is no "male reproductive right" to be had, except of course the initial right To or Not to engage in coitus, and To or Not to take contraceptive measures to reduce the chance of pregnancy."

    I agree that this is the current legal view of the situation. I disagree that it should be.

    "In the case where the unwed mother has elected to continue with the pregnancy and afterward keep the infant (rather than submit to adoption), then I am of the opinion that the mother has the right to seek child support from the biological father until such time as the child is adopted by a potential future husband/step-father, or until the child is 18 years of age."

    I've quoted this part out of sequence because this is the part I take issue with. My issue is that I find holding a person absolutely responsible for a decision in which he has no say to be entirely unjust. Just as we would argue that a woman consenting to sex does not equal her consenting to become pregnant, we must also hold that when a man consents to sex he is not consenting to be a father. He must be given an opportunity to absolve himself of such a result before the child is born.
  12. LostOnHoth Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 15, 2000
    star 5
    I agree 100% with this. Sometimes the law gets it right.

  13. urgent_jedi_picnic Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 14, 2003
    star 4
    An interesting thought has occurred to me. We all seem to agree that the law as it stands does not consider the sexes equal in this issue. Ignoring the question of whether or not that is right for the time being, I ponder the ramifications legally of accepting that men and women are, in fact, not equal.

    By that, I mean the law over the past century has focused on equality between the sexes. The equality of men and women has been trumpeted, from women's rights to vote, to their prominence in the work place, etc. The vast majority of laws regarding rights between the sexes have been an attempt to provide equality.

    What then, does it say about the sexes, to have laws trumpeting their inequality, such as abortion and "reproductive rights?" Is there an inherent hypocracy in such? I'm not really sure there is - I just find it an interesting question. The fact of the matter is that there are things women can do man can't, and vice versa. We are not technically equals.

    Perhaps this entire discussion is a red herring from our various upbringings over the past few decades. Perhaps we have been brought up to believe in the "equality" of the sexes to such a degree that we're off base of the reality.
  14. Valairy Scot Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 16, 2005
    star 5
    Interesting side-subject, but biologically, men and women are inherently different, not necessarily unequal.

    In the past, these differences were used to justify unequal treatment where there seemed to be no justification (same work, lesser salary because women weren't "supporting families like men were," etc.)

    Justification has often been the tried and true: cultural practices, tradition, that's the way it's always been and thosejustifications have been largely challenged within our society.

    Can there be justification for unequal treatment in other circumstances [face_thinking] - let the debate begin! ;)
  15. Cheveyo Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 29, 2001
    star 5
    Is there a part of that "rant" that is not true? Is it not true that a child requires basic essentials in life that must be bought? Do we not live in an economically capitalist society? Do we not vilify social services such as health care and welfare? Or do you just not like to see these social truths from that perspective? ;)

    And that is certainly your right.

    He is not defined as "absolutely" responsible. He is partially responsible, and the degrees of financial support reflect this. Both parents are financially responsible for the upbringing of the child. The mother in this case carries the added burden/blessing of actually raising the child.

    There is a minutiae of detail that makes this argument vastly different than my argument. The overarching argument is that of a woman's right to self biological governance. It includes every element and function of her body. Pregnancy is but one piece of the grander puzzle. I don't see you arguing the case for taking away this right, so I won't go there. Ultimately, this comes down to the financial responsibility of both parents toward the care of the child.

    I second Valairy's statement, and add that men and women are equal under the law in that each individual holds sole rights of governance over his/her own body. Biologically different does not equate to legally unequal, although it does mean specific situations would apply only to one gender and not to another. A man, for example, has the right to donate his sperm to a sperm bank, but he cannot be legally forced to do it. A sorry example that pales in comparison to the right to choose for or against keeping a pregnancy, but the fact is that men do not have the capacity to carry symbiotic life within them. That's not our biological job. We ARE different (any anyone who disagrees with that probably isn't involved in the whole discussion of reproductive rights to begin with ;) ). Our human rights under the eyes of the law, though, remain equal under due process.
  16. Kimball_Kinnison Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2001
    star 6
    In this context, then would you agree or disagree that it is possible for a person to weaken or surrender their rights through their actions and/or choices?

    I ask this because here you appear to be arguing that by choosing to "engage in coitus", the man is effectively surrendering his right to property (or right to control of his property) concerning those portions of his income that would be defined as "child support". Would you agree or disagree with that? If you disagree, then please clarify your statements.

    If you agree then, if it is possible for the man to weaken or surrender his rights through your choices or actions (namely by engaging in coitus), does it not logically follow that it is possible for the woman to similarly weaken or surrender her rights through the same choice or action? (If not, please explain and clarify how that is not a double standard.)

    If we have established the principle that you can weaken or surrender your rights though your choice or actions (such as engaging in coitus), then what is the logical basis for not applying that same principle to a person's right to control their own body? Both the right to property and the right to control your body are considered fundamental rights (as are other rights like free speech), and yet if you can weaken or surrender the right to property or the right to free speech, then why not also the right to control your body?

    It just strikes me that your argument that the man's right to property is weakened by the choice whether or not to have sex logically justifies the argument that a woman's right to control her own body can similarly be weakened by the choice to have sex.

    And no, the argument about the child's right to child support doesn't change that. Why? Because if you were to follow Lowbacca's proposal and allow the father to legally divorce himself from financial responsibility during the pregnancy (during the same time period where a woman can have a legal abortion), then the child has no legal rights that are being denied at that time. You are only conceivably violating the potential future rights of a potential future child. If you take that argument, then would it not also be logical to argue that abortion violates the potential future rights of a potential future child?

    It really seems to me like you are trying to have it both ways, and bending yourself into logical knots in order to do it.

    Kimball Kinnison
  17. Cheveyo Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 29, 2001
    star 5
    To argue this is to argue that parental responsibility is a concept that is in direct conflict with an individual's right to property. This goes well beyond the scope of just this single argument, but rather branches into the case of whether or not either parent should be held responsible (financially or otherwise) for any offspring he or she helps create, regardless of family dynamic.

    In essence, your question is a non sequitur because the only two responses (agree or disagree) are based on the false statement that that a parent's (regardless of gender) rights to property is directly related to his or her right to or not to financially support any biological offspring; therefor, either response would validate the claim of the erroneous statement.



  18. Vaderize03 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Oct 25, 1999
    star 5
    In other reproductive rights' news, check this out.

    Interesting that the Right to Life spokesperson quoted makes mention of the fact that she doesn't want women who seek abortions "punished at all", a decision that I fundamentally disagree with when linking abortion with the term "murder".

    If a pregnant women who wants but is unable to obtain an abortion asks the father to try and induce a miscarriage, she shouldn't be held responsible? Since we have spent a lot of time in this thread addressing double standards, I have to wonder what people here think of this?

    Comments?

    Peace,

    V-03
  19. urgent_jedi_picnic Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 14, 2003
    star 4
    Except that this is not true. While compairing abortion and child support is like compairing apples to.... well, bowling balls, that doesn't mean that the two cannot create a contradictory situation with regard to equal rights between the sexes. The fact of the matter is that one of these "human rights" that women apparently have under the law is the chance to opt out of their parental responsibilites, fiscally or otherwise, post sexual encounter, prior to child birth. A man has no such "human right." Whether or not they should is the question, but clearly there is an inequity there legally.

    Vaderize:

    I can see how one could argue that as a double standard. However, at the same time and from a legal standpoint, the situation indicated in that article leads to a host of other issues that cloud it, so i'm not sure it can be compaired to abortion so easily. There are issues of assault, battery, other possible domestic charges, etc. Not on the fetus - but on the mother. I don't think the fact that it is illegal to try to beat a woman into a miscarriage is a good argument for why abortion should be illegal.
  20. Kimball_Kinnison Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2001
    star 6
    I'm sorry, but how do you define "parental responsibility" as a legal term? That's a very ambiguous and moral term, not a legal one. I thought this was more of a legal discussion, isn't it?

    The usual legal justification for requiring child support is that the child (not the mother) has a right to be provided for. However, that concern is not existent in the time frame that Lowbacca's proposal would cover, as at that time there is no child (according to the logic used to justify abortion being legal). There is only a potential child, and therefore no violation of rights when the legal divorce from responsibility occurs.

    Logically, if allowing the man to legally divorce himself from parental responsibilities is a violation of the rights of the potential child, then how is abortion not also a violation of the rights of the potential child? If anything, I would think that abortion (ending the life of a potential child) would be a far worse violation of rights than the lack of financial support. After all, we consider murder (ending the life of another person) to be a worse violation of rights than stealing, right?

    Kimball Kinnison
  21. Valairy Scot Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 16, 2005
    star 5
    KK, I understand the points you raise, but if a man is allowed to absolve himself of financial responsibility to a potential child - what then when the child is born and is not longer potential?

    Would not that child now have a claim?
  22. Kimball_Kinnison Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2001
    star 6
    From a legal standpoint, that child would have no more claim than a child given up for adoption.

    In Illinois, for example, they have a law that allows women to abandon a baby 30 days old or younger with no legal consequences or ramifications. Children so abandoned have no legal claim upon the mother who abandons them. Why would it have to work any different for a legal abandonment of an unborn baby by the father?

    Kimball Kinnison
  23. Cheveyo Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 29, 2001
    star 5
    Actually, when discussing the legal side alone, there are many state and federal rights/responsibilities afforded to parents of children. You can find information on these by a quick Google search for child neglect or parental child abuse laws by state and fed.

    In the case of "paternal opt-out" vs "maternal abortion", the latter refers to the choice a woman has regarding her personal body at that moment, whereas the former refers to the liability of the man as a parent after birth.
  24. Cheveyo Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 29, 2001
    star 5
    Question:

    An unwed man and woman engage in coitus, resulting in pregnancy. The man wants to have/raise the child, but the woman does not. Assume that abortion is not an option for the mother. Does or should she have the right to refuse her maternal responsibility up front, thereby freeing her from financial support claims on the part of the father after the child is born? Or does the very nature of her carrying the child to term mean that she is accepting responsibility for the child post birth?

    Follow-up question: The woman wants to adopt the baby out, but the man does not. Should she be allowed to?
  25. Darth_Smileyface Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 22, 2004
    star 2
    Does she have the right? No. Should she? I believe she should, assuming that the father is willing to raise the child. Should the father be unwilling, then the mother could adopt the child out. I don't think a woman should ever be allowed to adopt a child out if the father is willing to raise it alone. I don't know what the law's view on this is, but I would hope that to be the case.

    BTW, Cheveyo I referred to it a rant on capaitalism specifically because I DON'T live in a country which villifies social health care and child support payments. Quite the opposite actually.
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