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Abortion Rights

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:

  1. 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
  2. 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.

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2 Comments

  1. helen says:

    A man and a woman both give time and money to the birth of a child but only the woman has to suffer through the physical birthing of the child. The man does not have to carry it in his belly and push it out, he doesn’t have to face the possability of death, he doesn’t have to have an operation to have something physically removed from him to end it… As a woman that is the scary part for me. If I got prego… and it was (lets say) my exboyfriends, who has gotten together with another woman… I would rather hang myself than carry it for 9 months, birth it and have to share it with him and his soon to be wife. The thought of my body being forever changed, of risking my very life (my grandpa was an OBGYN), of my tail bone breaking, taint being cut, shitting myself screaming on an operating table, stomach being stretched, and tits being chewed on (all things my close friends and family have been through) just to have the ungreatful man treat me like a tramp and try to take away my child for which I had risked my own body and life, would be more than enough to send me screaming into a couple handfulls of xanax and a gun, unborn child in tow, were I forced to not have an abortion. It has scared me into celibacy in fact.

    It is our physical burden… it is very scary for some of us and no woman should be forced into that if there is another option. I’m sorry that there isn’t a way for the man to have his say without it being at the physical risk of the woman… I can see his side and it is sad…. but this is the way we are… and the toll on the woman is just much, much highier.

    It seems sad to me that motherhood has lost so much respect… I think pregnant women are beautiful and brave. The disrespect I’ve seen from most of the males in my life has me never wanting to have children. Birth is amazing… and horrifying and we seem to have lost our wonder for it and our caring for the women that brought us into the world.

    • Scott says:

      “It is our physical burden…” and in using this as case argument you are still holding on the ideology that this gives you sole discretion in deciding to birth, or not to birth, a child. The other side of that argument is that women may labor for hours in pain to bring a child into the world, in this I agree; however, men are forced into enduring the pain and consequence of a woman’s “right” to choose for a term no shorter than 18 YEARS. You cannot have it both ways anymore, and there is significant buzz rising to fight for men’s equal rights under Roe vs Wade. This is the decision you fought for–you wanted the right to choose–only it is becoming more obvious that in fighting for your right to choose, you have done everything possible to deny taking any responsibility for the choices you make. Science is now showing that forcing men into what can be construed as “endutured slavery” to a woman based on “her” choice, is resulting into failing mental health among men, productivity in society, and a decline in the desire for prosperity among males under 40 (due to the reality they can work as hard as they can to get ahead, but are often crippled by having to give large portions of the salaries to women they did not want to be with who are the mothers of children they didn’t want). To decry women should have the sole right to choose, but then hold another accountable for the choice they make is not only oxymoronic, it is hipocratic to the core of that your very belief. Mark my words, in the gender wars that have been urged to fruition in this country, there is a backlash lurking just around the corner now, and you may be suprised how regretable a decision this may end up being–on both sides of this argument.

      At the end of the day, no matter which way your ideology flows, you can’t have it both ways. Equal protection under the law is in our constitution for a reason, and this logic will prevail as soon as someone decides to make the case and carry all the way to the Supreme Court. If women want to claim it is their right alone to make that choice, then woman up, and be responsible for the decision you make, instead of forcing someone else to be responsible for you. With other women’s rights issues now gaining traction (and this does bare upon the first issue), such as equal pay and employment–of which I am completely for–the days of women needing support by men to survive is also coming to a close. There are plenty of single parents raising children in this country now who do so without a dime of support or government aide, and it shows it can be done. If it is a woman’s right to choose, then stop forcing that decision upon the gender who has no rights at all in this issue, and if you can’t afford to financially support that decision on your own–then, well, you did fight for abortion to be legal didn’t you? Exercise your well won rights and go do that very thing.

      The biggest ridiculous argument I have heard on this is that: well, now that have abortion rights, we may not want to have abortions because of our religious views, or for visceral reasons, or others. There again, you probably should have thought about the consequences of this BEFORE you started touting that the decision should be yours alone. I am conceding that point to you. Own it. Make it yours. But for goodness sake…stop wanting sole control over your right to choose while trying to make someone else be held accountable for the decision you make.

      Abstinence really was the best way to go. You know, way back when, at that time in history when having sex was meant for making babies–before it became nothing more than a recreational sport. Think about it.

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