Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Men and Family Law Injustice

Here's where the feminists will call me a misogynist. They're wrong, of course, but it's easier to call names than to address the subject at hand.

I've addressed the topic before. If a woman gets pregnant and wants to have the child, she gets to have the child, the man has no say, and he pays child support. If the woman doesn't want the child but the man does, she can have an abortion, the man has no say, and he just has to deal with it. There's lots of talk about "choice", but in each case it's the woman who gets to make the choice.

The (woman) author of this piece has one take on the situation. I'll go her a stop further. I didn't come up with this idea entirely on my own, but I've adopted it as my own. You probably know I'm not a big fan of abortion--but if I were tasked with making the laws, this is about as close to "fair" and just, however we define those words, as I could come.

If both parents want to abort the child, I'd allow it. I wouldn't agree with it or like it, but I'd allow them to make that medical decision within the confines of their own religious dictates.

Now here's where it gets fun.

If the mother wants to have the child but the father doesn't, then I'd allow him to sign away any privileges and responsibilities of fatherhood. If the woman chooses to have the child, then she chooses to raise the child. This way, both parents have a choice in the matter.

If the father wants the child but the mother doesn't--and don't tell me this never happens, as I know it does--then the mother can still choose to have an abortion, but she must compensate the father for his emotional loss. And don't tell me it's not an emotional loss, as I know that it is. If she doesn't want to compensate the father, she can choose to bear the child for him--but he must compensate her for her 9 months of inconvenience.

In these ways, both parents get a choice. It seems more just to me than what we have now. I wonder if the author of the linked piece above would agree.

2 comments:

Ellen K said...

It would certainly change the social acceptance of unwed pregnancy wouldn't it? In some circles, that is the norm. And in many of those same circles, this sort of decision goes hand in hand with poverty. Yesterday our newspaper came out with a story telling how African Americans still lag behind Anglos in terms of income. How much of that is due to single parent families and lack of emphasis on education? This is what Bill Cosby has been discussing with people in his many public appearances of late. And he's right. It's a message that all groups need to hear. I know teen girls who think that having a baby and using that to manipulate a guy is acceptable behavior. They see it every day on TV-from "Sex And The City" to "Desperate Housewives" and the various teen shows, women are now allowed as part of their vaunted "freedom" to have kids without benefit of fathers because society will be there to kick in with legal force. Without that situation, it just makes it look like the woman made a decision and is stuck with it.

ns said...

I think this is a great idea. But... what if bearing the child, there is risk to the woman's life... but not so much as a high risk? What to do then?

Pregnancy is risky, and some more than others. And it's all relative, so who gets to decide? And doctors don't always agree - and you can always get some quack doctor to agree to anything you say.