As Roe v. Wade is celebrated again, one part of the issue doesn’t seem to be discussed — what about the rights of the father? Simple answer — he has none.
But why? If the issue is “reproductive rights”, why can’t the father control his? If the woman wants an abortion, he can’t stop it. If she wants to keep the baby and force him to pay, he can do nothing but pay. Why deny men reproductive rights? Is there not an equal protection argument here? Attorney Tommy De Seno notes the problem.
A father can’t stop an abortion if he wants his child, nor can he insist upon an abortion if he doesn’t want his child.
This situation should trouble everyone, not from a religious point of view, not from a personal choice point of view, but rather from an Equal Rights point of view.
Two weeks ago I tried an experiment in anticipation of writing this column. I wrote a column about gun control and posited that only men should vote on the issue of guns. The logic (rather illogic) used by me was that men buy guns the most, men are called upon to use them most (when a burglar enters our home) and we get shot the most. Why shouldn’t men have the only voice on the issue?
I wanted to gauge people’s reactions to the thought that in America we would ever give more weight to one person’s view than another’s because that person can show the issue affects him more.
As I walked around my city during these past two weeks, I was accosted by people who wanted to take me to task for suggesting that women lose their right to vote on an issue just because they may be affected by it less than men. Some pointed out, quite rightly, that even if there was an issue that didn’t affect women at all, as equal members of society, they should still have a voice in all decisions America makes.
An interesting perspective, and demonstrates just how bizarre the abortion issue has become. So extreme Obama voted to deny care to babies surviving a botched abortion, and a recent Texas court ruled a woman can’t be charged with murder if she wants to kill her baby. And now, an attorney notes current abortion case law creates an equal protection contradiction.
Where are the rational arguments? Abortion is (and will always remain) a major controversy for two reasons:
- The courts “found” a right in the Constitution which never existed, creating law instead of Congress. If Congress legislated instead of the courts, perhaps some of the nastiness would go away. As it stands, every time a judge needs to be confirmed, the question pops up “how will they judge on abortion” as a litmus test for or against otherwise qualified candidates. If Congress actually legislated, the problem disappears
- No compromise can be found. One side wants to terminate babies, the other doesn’t. What compromise can be found? Only half-terminate? Abortion simply can’t have a compromise — it’s a binary operation — either a baby lives or doesn’t.
Thus the abortion issue will forever remain unsolved, but for the time being, what about a father’s rights? Here’s a novel proposal.
I propose a “father’s abortion.” Let a father petition the Court to terminate his own parental rights to his child before or after the child’s birth. He would be rid of his obligations to that child in favor of his mental health and finances, the same as a woman does when she aborts.
As Justice Ginsburg said in the quote that appears at the top of this FOX Forum post, the emphasis is not abortion, rather an individual’s right to control his own reproduction. If we protect such a right for women, can we constitutionally deny it to men?
I propose this not because it would be in any way good. I propose it because constitutional Equal Protection demands it, and to show the danger created when judges destroy democracy by making up laws that don’t exist.
This of course has no chance of actually happening, because abortion has nothing to do with “reproductive rights” (and may or may not actually be a good idea, but that’s beside the point — what about equal protection?). But the equal protection problem adds more bizarre legal contradictions created by abortion, where by it’s nature abortion attempts to justify something society generally frowns upon — terminating a life.
Should men have reproductive rights? Or just women? We’re sure the idea generates strong feelings on both sides, but since the abortion question itself fails to have a compromise, perhaps other areas of abortion law could at least be discussed.