On Father’s Abortion Rights

Disclaimer: Please note this post contains some graphic content

I.

“Not only would women, including mothers be subject to the draft, but the military would be compelled to place them in combat units alongside of men in some cases it could relieve the fathers of the primary responsibility for the support of even infant children, as well as the support of the mothers of such children”…U.S. House Judiciary Committee Report (No.92-359, July 14, 1971).

Let’s get down to business shall we? I will just come right out and say that, as our laws stand right now, I do not support fathers having a say in an abortion. The reason for this is that men are not held to their rightful responsibilities as men and a woman is guaranteed absolutely no security in childbearing. She has no assurance she will be protected while pregnant or after she gives birth. She is given no assurance that she will be taken care of and not have the rightful obligations of the father forced onto her back. She can be forced to carry all the burdens that traditionally fell upon men and, with no-fault divorces, even a married woman can be divorced while she is pregnant with her husband’s child without him so much as having to provide any compensation to her. There is no law that is going to force him to support her and provide for all of her basic needs for the rest of her life. Quite the contrary. With today’s laws, she could even be forced to support him. If that isn’t backwards then I don’t know what is. It’s a feminist bastardization of the old laws requiring that a man financially support his wife. Especially with the 1979 Supreme Court case of Orr v. Orr (with Mr. Orr, the plaintiff, being represented by feminist lawyers. In fact the case was part of the ACLU’s “Women’s Rights Project”), all laws that forced the obligation of support onto the husband were declared “Unconstitutional” and gender-neutralized forcing the mother and wife to be equally responsible for support of husband and child and court dues. It was also largely responsible for wiping out mother’s protections in child custody cases as a downward spiral into joint-custody and mother’s flat out losing custody started gaining from that point on.

Alimony and child support are not new things, nor- contrary to Men’s Rights propaganda- are they feminist inventions. Men can, however, thank feminists for gender-neutralizing alimony and making it some kind of temporary thing (as opposed to lifetime support of a faithful wife) that few women actually collect. Alimony laws are ancient, going back thousands of years. Interesting enough, places such as Ancient Rome and Babylon had divorce laws strikingly similar to traditional English and American divorce law. A husband would pay alimony to an ex-wife (as long as she was not at fault) and she would remain in the home with the children. When the paterfamilias system of Ancient Rome fell, we see that no-fault divorce was implemented and men were given the obligation to support both legitimate and illegitimate children alike. Nobody- male or female- was ever denied a divorce under this system.

II.

“…When a child is born to an unmarried woman, Illinois recognizes the readily identifiable mother, but makes no presumption as to the identity of the biological father. It does, however, provide two ways, one voluntary and one involuntary, in which that father may be identified. First, he may marry the mother and acknowledge the child as his own; this has the legal effect of legitimating the child and gaining for the father full recognition as a parent. Ill. Rev. Stat., c. 3, 12-8. Second, a man may be found to be the biological father of the child pursuant to a paternity suit initiated by the mother; in this case, the child remains illegitimate, but the adjudicated father is made liable for the support of the child until the latter attains age 18 or is legally adopted by another. Ill. Rev. Stat., c. 106 3/4, 52…” [1]

Another problem that we have is the failure to distinguish between legitimate births and illegitimate ones. What are we to do about the unwed father? What are we to do about the married man who is unfaithful to his wife and impregnates another woman while he is still married to her? As our laws stand right now, very few- almost no- distinctions are made between a father’s rights and obligations to a legitimate child as to an illegitimate one. By giving fathers abortion rights we step into very dangerous territory and open up all kinds of possibilities to allow immoral and irresponsible men to hurt women. I mean, after all, does the unwed father get the abortion rights equal to those of a married father even if he doesn’t have to married and support the mother? Should he be allowed to force her to bear his child when she has no rights to force him to marry her? When she can’t even count on financial support and a home to live in to raise the child she is forced to bear? I should think not. Should the married father get the same rights over the womb of a woman he is not married to and not supporting just the same as his wife? I should think not.

“A man doesn’t get a say in abortion. But if the woman choses to have the baby he has to support it.”

Well, contrary to popular belief this is not anything new at all. This is another one of these areas (much like mother’s custodial rights), where the mainstream never reports the truth. After the 1972 United States Supreme Court ruling of Stanley v. Illinois, this headline appeared all over the news: “Supreme Court affirms that illegitimate children have the same right to support as legitimate children.” Once again, this is more mainstream propaganda intended to sway public opinion the way those in power want people to believe. It’s also good propaganda to make women everywhere believe that the feminist movement has actually helped them or made life better for them in some way (once again, going back to what those in power want everyone to believe). This Supreme Court ruling did not give men any obligations to illegitimate children that they didn’t already have. This Case wasn’t even about child support in the slightest. All this ruling did was grant unconditionally to unwed fathers all the rights of a married father. Nobody really cares to make much mention of this, however. I used to hear all the time that unwed fathers were given some kind of “pass” and didn’t have to support the children they fathered out of marriage. However, this is not true. As the dissenting justices pointed out, a man could already be made to support an illegitimate child if the mother chose to pursue him. The unwed father, however, had no such rights to pursue the mother in court for rights to the child. His only option to gain rights was to legitimate the child through marriage and accept his rightful responsibilities as a man.

Now, given the stigma against illegitimacy, most unwed mothers either married or gave the child to another to raise in a two-parent home. Both parties (not just the woman) knew there was a lot at stake in raising an illegitimate child, not just the stigma the child would face but also the stigma that the parents would. Our ancestors were not saints. Many babies were conceived out of wedlock but, because marriage and legitimacy was expected, most babies were at least born to married parents. It was very common for children to be born 7 or 8 months after the marriage.

III.

I am not necessarily in favor of forcing a man to support an illegitimate child. This isn’t because I think it’s just sooooo unfair to make a man actually support the children he fathers. This isn’t because I think we should be punishing women for having babies out of wedlock. No, I hold this opinion because I realize what the facts of this life are and what human nature is. Instead of punishing the woman and child this is actually a way to protect them. Whatever little bit of support the mother might manage to get out of the father can never compensate for what most mothers and their children today endure as a result of getting the unwed father involved in the child’s life. Equal rights fanatics and Men’s Rights groups (along with gender-neutralized feminists) use so much coercion to force the unwed father to be recognized as equal to the unwed mother. If, after all, the unwed mother is automatically matched up with her child at birth then the unwed father must be too. How dare us think otherwise? Any distinctions based on sex in our laws have become intolerable, no matter how much common sense they make. After all, we are a civilization that sends 18 year old girls off to their deaths at the hands of foreign enemies just so we don’t have to face the reality that there are indeed real and undeniable differences between men and women. In today’s world, you can’t even walk into your local health department without their being signs posted telling mothers they can help them find their child’s father. But does anyone ever ask what the consequences are to women and children? Indeed not.

The best protection to the mother and child is to force the mother and father into marriage. The best protection is not to get the unwed father to pay a little bit of support, but instead for him to make a home with the mother and child and assume personal responsibility for their support, protection and well-being. This is the best protection that society can offer an unwed mother and her child. Child support and welfare will not protect her. After all, if statistics are any indication, most unwed fathers aren’t going to pay anyways. The only thing that will end up happening in most cases is him and his family will come down on the woman and drag her in and out of court for years on end. How this is supposed to be good for children I’ll never know. In today’s world, nobody is going to force him to be responsible- truly responsible. If his family and the mother’s family were scandalized, however, they would insist on marriage to the ultimate benefit of mother, child and society.

IV.

If men want abortion rights then they need to take on their responsibilities. Men have, and have always had, the same rights as a woman to use the birth control that is available to their sex. This is not even an issue. I have said before that I most certainly would never consider that an unwed father should have any say at all in an abortion. I would be on board with a married father getting a say (only to children fathered legitimately with his wife) if he took on his rightful obligations to fully support his wife for a lifetime and carry the sole burden of support. If he is liable to provide for all of the basic needs of his wife, as much as he provides for himself, and takes a personal responsibility for her actions then he should be granted all of the traditional rights that a husband once had.

If, however, men feel this is just too much responsibility for them then let them continue to be victims. I’m not going to cry for nor defend a man who refuses to accept his rightful responsibilities. You can’t have your cake and eat it too. A few months back I was reading some man’s sob story about how his girlfriend aborted his child and he had no choice because she didn’t want to be a mother. Now I have no way of validating this particular Joe’s story to be true or not, but, nevertheless this kind of thing happens everyday. Notice he said his girlfriend, not his wife. If he would have said “wife” I might have been more sympathetic. It’s possible that he had every intention of instantly putting a ring on her finger and providing a home for her to live in. But, in today’s world, I’m not going out on a very shaky limb for the guy. I told him that was just the price men paid for not taking on their rightful responsibilities for women and children. And indeed it is so.

The modern man will impregnate a woman out of wedlock and leave her and the modern woman will abort his child in the womb and somehow we’ll all just live happily ever after in the egalitarian utopia we’ve created for ourselves.

References:

1. STANLEY v. ILLINOIS, 405 U.S. 645 (1972) 405 U.S. 645

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