Tag Archives: father’s responsibility in pregnancy

Life is Sacred, Until It Leaves the Womb

Daily Show Shreds Alabama’s Ridiculous New Abortion Law

This has just gotten so insane. Yes, unborn life is precious but these nut-job republicans today are crazed. So what happens when the girl is forced to give birth to that life these “fetus lawyers” so well care about? Will they care about that life then or how it is raised or do they only care about it before it’s born then afterwards “who cares your on your own?” Of course, it’s not like this law serves any purpose other than to “run out the clock.”

Instead of others testifying against the young woman, whose life is probably already torn to shreds and out of sorts due to an unwanted pregnancy, how about her parents and the fetal father be put on trial for failing to protect her and the unborn and abandoning their obligations? Or is it only mothers who should be put on trial for abandoning their children or abusing them? If a mother walks away from her child then wants to show up later she is regarded as the worst kind of scum imaginable but men do it every day and not only are they not looked down upon for it, they are regarded as heroes and “good guys.”

How about the young woman be allowed to testify against the father and force him either into marriage or to give up his rights? Republicans care about children until they are born, at which point they are no better than anyone else with divorce, failure to protect the sanctity of marriage and general who cares about children and let’s treat the sexes the same (except where they can hurt women and get away with it) BS.

100 years ago the fetal father could even be put in PRISON if something happened to the mother or child but now apparently he can testify against the woman he has impregnated, keep her from obtaining an abortion and still have full legal status as a father without ever having to take on any kind of real responsibility.

What the hell kind of nation have we become?

My previous posts on this issue:

The Traditional Family is the Solution to Abortion

The Problem With Republicans

Coverture and the Criminalization of Pregnancy

Coverture and the Criminalization of Pregnancy

“…You might think it would be hard to find someone who falls into the “pro-criminalizing pregnant women” camp. Sadly, you’d be wrong. A dangerous bill​ has wormed its way through the Tennessee legislature that would allow prosecutors to bring criminal assault charges against women who use drugs during pregnancy.

In all seriousness, it’s encouraging to see Cosmo publish a thorough take-down of this bill. It’s a sign that deep misgivings about the needless expansion of our criminal justice system are now so widely held that they’ve reached pop culture salience. For decades, this country has ratcheted up the number of crimes on the books and the length of time we lock people up, pushing the number of people under correctional control to about 7 million. Many of these people would be better served outside of the criminal justice system entirely.” (1)

“In the first legislative victory of its kind, the Tennessee Senate and House have now passed a measure that would allow criminal assault charges to be brought against Tennessee women who use drugs during their pregnancy. Now the legislation heads to Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam (R) for either his signature or his veto.

The bill allows women to avoid prosecution if they enroll in a rehab program and complete it, but critics say it could actually keep drug-addicted pregnant women from seeking the treatment they want and need. The law, if passed, would be the first of its kind in the nation.

“Women who are addicted will no longer go to their prenatal health appointments or if they do go, they won’t be honest with their doctors because they’re afraid to end up in jail,” Glass told Cosmopolitan.com. She also noted that the medical community has rejected this bill.

The American College of Obstetricians Gynecologists (ACOG) notes that criminalization has proved to be ineffective and it urges physicians to oppose legislation that punishes women for substance abuse during pregnancy. ACOG also decisively states that drug enforcement policies that deter women from seeking prenatal care are “contrary to the welfare of the mother and the fetus.”

This bill says nothing of fathers’ responsibility for fetal health, as this bill would only allow for punishment of the pregnant woman. The legal blame for NAS falls solely on the pregnant woman.” (2)

April 29: Tennessee governor sings SB 1391 despite widespread calls for a veto and objections from doctors.

It is an obvious fact of life that only women can get pregnant and everything the mother does and the environment she is in affects the fetus. The nine months spent in the womb affect us across our entire lifespans. Some women have problems and addictions that affect their pregnancy and unborn babies and now our government seeks to lay criminal penalties on the mother-and only the mother- for the result of her pregnancy.( And this is not the only case like this I have seen in the past few years such as punishing women for miscarriages if they act “irresponsible.”) Addiction during pregnancy is bad enough by itself but what I want to know is where is the father’s responsibility for fetal health if he wishes rights to the child the same as the mother? I believe we have a real and true problem of male irresponsibility in society today. In the past men were expected to be married to the mother in order to be legally recognized as the father of the child. As well, they were the guardians of their wives. This lessened after coverture was officially ended in the late 19th century but married women had many protections up until the 1970s and many aspects of coverture remained in law even holding the husband responsible for his wife’s actions to a certain extent.

Today there are no such protections. A sex-blind society is the rule today. But the only problem is that it is unrealistic. Men and women are not on equal terms no matter what crazy gender-neutralized laws we as a society can think up of. Now we are going to throw pregnant women in jail for being on drugs and giving birth to babies with NAS (neonatal abstinence syndrome). The responsibility for the outcome of a pregnancy falls entirely onto the woman as she is the only one who can become pregnant. Men may not get a say in abortion but they still get rights to the resulting children when they are born, even if illegitimate they are granted the same legal rights as the mother (a major historical shift of the past 40 years). (I would consider married men getting veto power in abortion if the marriage placed the wife under coverture where the husband was responsible for her as in the past). I can just see this now. Father isn’t in the picture, mother is drug-addicted. She gives birth and gets thrown in jail then daddy comes walking up playing dad of the year and takes full custody of the child while mom takes all the blame. And of course the GOP is right there saying “there’s no war on women.” But there is a war on women that’s been going on since coverture was repealed.

Something is wrong here. A drug-addicted pregnant woman needs help. It should be the father’s responsibility to make sure that she gets the help that she needs and the woman’s responsibility to submit to being taken care of and taking care of her child. Since obviously men cannot get pregnant traditionally in order to be responsible for fetal health the father is held responsible for the well-being of the mother. Take care of the mother and you take care of the child as women and children are inseparable through the entire reproductive process. This also makes sure she can nurse the child as well. But today women must “stand on their own two feet” take all the responsibilities of citizenship and be treated as equal to men in our feminist and egalitarian world. It’s a nice fantasy but one that never quite pans out in reality. Men are not required to take appropriate responsibility for women and children and can leave them completely on their own with no concern for what conditions they are living in or if the mother even has food to eat or medical care.

Another thing is women who have their children taken from them at birth because they were drug addicted. Most are required to get off the drugs and to get a job to prove they are responsible. But how about get treatment, be married and stay home to care for the child? That seems like a much better and more logical solution but nobody cares about mothers actually caring for their children or ensuring their children are legitimate and look at the damage around us as a result. If she doesn’t marry the father he won’t grow up and learn responsibility. She and her child will probably never be stable and secure or ever get out of poverty or unsafe living conditions. Marriage must matter to us as a society and coverture is an important and long-forgotten aspect of it that places women under guardianship.

Another thing that bothers me is pregnant women in jail. If she is not violent and/or dangerous then where is the father to take responsibility for her? Dating back thousands of years and in numerous civilizations marriage erased a woman’s previous debts and obligations and she became the responsibility of her husband (but, of course, she was required to accept guardianship and her husband’s authority and sexual regulation). Women are not men and have special circumstances in life. Men’s duties must be to protect women. Women are becoming more masculine and more violent and aggressive and it showcases the need of men to intervene and be authoritative once again so that women must act appropriate as ladies and accept male guardianship to protect them and their families.

Related: “When Women Act Bad”

The Traditional Family is the Solution to Abortion

I was looking at abortion statistics (source) from 2013 yesterday and this is what I found:

Financial reasons came first (40%) as a reason why women had abortions. After that came relationship problems and then issues like it not “being the right time” to have a baby because a woman wanted to focus on a career or college.

“A 21-year old pointed to a number of reasons why she felt the timing of her pregnancy was wrong “Mainly I didn’t feel like I was ready yet – didn’t feel financially, emotionally ready. Due date was at the same time as my externship at school. Entering the workforce with a newborn would be difficult – I just wasn’t ready yet.” A small proportion of women described not having enough time or feeling too busy to have a baby (2%).”

And as for the relationship issues:

“Nearly one third (31%) of respondents gave partner- related reasons for seeking an abortion. Six percent mentioned partners as their only reason for seeking abortion. Partner related reasons included not having a “good” or stable relationship with the father of the baby (9%), wanting to be married first (8%), not having a supportive partner (8%), being with the “wrong guy” (6%), having a partner who does not want the baby (3%), and having an abusive partner (3%).”

Some more women cited health reasons, some cited that they already had to take care of other children and didn’t want more. Still, even more cited that having a baby would interfere with future “opportunities” (read: career). Some of their explanations are as follows:

“One in five women (20%) reported that they chose abortion because they felt a baby at this time would interfere with their future goals and opportunities in general (5%) or, more specifically, with school (14%) or career plans (7%). Usually the reasons were related to the perceived difficulty of continuing to advance educational or career goals while raising a baby: “I didn’t think I’d be able to support a baby and go to college and have a job.” states an 18-year old respondent in high school. A 21-year-old woman in college with no children explains that she “Still want[s] to be able to do things like have a good job, finish school, and be stable.” Similarly, a 26-year old desiring to go back to college explains “I wanted to finish school. I’d been waiting a while to get into the bachelor’s program and I finally got it.” Another woman explains “I feel like I need to put myself first and get through college and support myself.” As a 21-one-year old seeking a college degree points out, “I’m trying to graduate from college and I’m going to cooking school in August and I have a lot of things going for me and I can’t take care of a kid by myself.” Others spoke to the inability to take time off work to raise the child.” A 21-one-year old holding two part-time jobs and raising two children states: “I wouldn’t be able to take the time off work. My work doesn’t offer maternity leave and I have to work [to afford to live] here. If I took time off I would lose my job so there’s just no way.”’

More cited things such as not being “prepared” to have a baby. Still others cited other issues that didn’t fit into the category like not wanting kids at all or legal issues.

It seems to me that the problems of a career, not being able to support a child or take off of work and other financial issues (as well as legal issues if we had coverture) would be solved by having a strong belief that fathers should be breadwinners. It also seems that the relationship issues could be solved by a strong legitimacy principle (that women shouldn’t have babies out of wedlock and should marry if pregnant, even if not the biological father) and a sexual double standard.

Feminist responses to these issues are more abortions (or subsidized ones by the state), paid maternity leave and anti-sex discrimination laws. Conservatives’ answers are to do away with welfare and tell women to keep their legs closed and pay for their own birth control already. Neither of these solutions are likely to help women in the slightest. Now that the feminist movement is over every one sees that Ok, women have equality now so let’s forget about the women. If anything let’s make everything more “fair” to men now since apparently things have gone too far to favor women. Yet the main theme is still egalitarian. It’s still leaving women on their own to fend for themselves. You don’t see conservatives advocating changing existing marriage and divorce laws to reflect traditional rights and responsibilities between the sexes. The only groups out there looking to protect marriage or change divorce laws are still operating in egalitarian mode (even antifeminist groups).

Furthermore, if conservatives take away women’s right to abortion we are going to have even greater problems as now what will these women do? In the past a man could even be made to support his closely related female relatives beyond just his wife and daughters and women even had such protections that an unwed woman coming to a hospital suffering from an illegal abortion would be questioned about the father and he could even be arrested and thrown in jail (1) (I’m sure feminists left out that little piece of history when exclaiming how society looked down on and slut-shamed single mothers- which they did of course). Now women have no protections in the slightest as they are treated and held to the same responsibilities as men, even though women are not men and don’t even understand half of the time the reality of the current legal climate.

Women had all kinds of protections to force men to be responsible for their actions towards women and children and women could count on support one way or another even if it was just marrying for convenience. But now what will women have? If conservatives wanted to protect unborn babies they could start by protecting the mother and teaching young women that a career should not be number one in their lives but prepare them to be caretakers of their children and homemakers and as well teach men they must man up and accept responsibility for women and children.

Is it any wonder that statistics show that stay at home mothers are more likely to be independent and not lean either liberal or conservative? (2) Could it be that a lot of traditional women like myself are sick of today’s conservatives? I personally think the only thing worse than a Democrat is a Republican. The traditional family solves the issues of a woman not being able to financially provide for a baby, or not being able to stay home or not being ‘ready’ because she wants to focus on a career or she doesn’t feel mature enough. Patriarchy tells a woman her child cannot be a bastard. It is harsh, yes, (but then again isn’t life always harsh for those who don’t follow what society deems proper?) but if we look back through history we see that very few babies were born out of wedlock when there was high stigma on illegitimacy and even then those mothers may have married shortly thereafter. Patriarchy puts the obligation to provide on the father. With him as unquestionable provider and authority the woman’s worries of financial support go away. Her problems of not being able to stay home go away. Her worries of not being mature enough or ready go away.

Once again, I don’t argue whether abortion should be legal or not because of the ethical and medical considerations involved. My focus is on the realities of life and gender issues. If society wanted to help families and unborn babies, they would focus on separate rights and responsibilities between the sexes instead of just saying we’re all equal now and everyone fend for themselves and fight each other when they think one party has a 1% greater chance of being a victim of something or not getting something they want.

Men are Self-Made Victims

The MRA mantra: “My flight from male responsibility has come back around to bite me in the a**”

It’s a common theme among MRAs and men today to complain about women not taking “responsibility” (ie, not taking on men’s responsibilities) yet also to complain about divorce, promiscuity and child support. Apparently, men are even complaining about women not paying for dates these days. (1) They want women to be independent and take on their traditional responsibilities, yet they complain when these same independent women divorce them and cheat on them.

Now how am I supposed to feel sorry for these men? Simply put, I don’t feel sorry for them. They wouldn’t be having these problems if they accepted traditional male responsibilities for providing for and protecting women in the first place. But, since they reject these responsibilities and instead want women to share in them they now have to pay the price for it- and they don’t like it one bit.

Study after study has shown that independent women are more likely to cheat and initiate divorce. It’s not even debatable anymore. The more independent the wife, the more likely she is to do her husband wrong. Yet, men today, while complaining about the sour deal they’ve apparently gotten from feminism, still refuse to accept traditional responsibilities. The truth of the matter is that they are responsible for feminism. It was- and still is- a movement that promised them they would no longer have to carry the traditional male burdens alone but that instead women would share in them. Their movement today is about nothing more than complaining about the price they have to pay for supporting feminism, female promiscuity and breadwinner wives.

Women’s willingness to engage in casual sex with them without commitment is fun- until, of course, the men have to pay for the illegitimate children and don’t get a say in abortion. Then, all of a sudden they are “victims.” Claiming rights to illegitimate children is fun for them because they don’t have to take responsibility to have these rights. But, of course, it always comes back around to bite them in the backside when another man can intrude himself into his household when he has a family of his own. (2)

Women’s willingness to carry half of the financial burden is fun- until, of course, men can only stand by and watch when their wives file for divorce and take the kids. Then, of course, the men, once happy with women sharing in their burdens, are “victims.” But, hey, their wives don’t *need* them anymore so what is to stop them from filing for divorce? You men wanted them independent and now they are. If you don’t like this turn of events there’s only one way to stop it… (3)

Maybe by now you get my point. Men today are certainly facing injustices, but they are, in fact, self-made victims. Women today are self-made victims as well. They complain about irresponsible men but women are the ones who have made men that way. If men get what they want outside of marriage (sex, paternal rights) then women can’t have security in marriage nor can they expect men will be too overly willing to be breadwinners. Women can’t claim independent status then expect men to protect them. Of course women today don’t always want protection from men nor support and it does in the end come back around to hurt them. Feminists in the name of “all women” sold women out. MRAs, in the name of “all men” have sold men out.

Men wanted to be free from financial responsibilities for women and the traditional duties of men such as the draft. Women wanted to be independent and sexually “free.” Now both sexes pay the price for it.

Somebody asked me once if I was against “men’s rights.” The simple answer is that I am for men’s rights, but only when attached to it comes men’s responsibility. I am wholly against the MRA version of men’s rights because they want both the goods of feminism and the goods of tradition. Men today want (and increasingly have) rights without responsibility. But not all of the rights they once had, of course. They can’t expect to get a say over their wives bodies’ when they don’t have to support her for life or can instead demand support from her. I am in favor of husbands (not boyfriends or sexual partners) having a say in birth control and abortion but only when attached to it comes the responsibility to forever support their wives. If the wife carries his burdens then, in my opinion, the husband does not deserve such rights. The original deal for men sharing in the reproductive life of a woman was that they offer up financial support. Men have broken that deal thus what is their argument for getting a say in reproduction?

Men, of course, were the ones who made feminism possible because they have always held the majority of political and economic power. They supported feminism because it was a good deal for them- until it all blew up in their faces.

Plain and simple- men’s rights must come with men’s responsibility. And if you men have come so far in rejecting responsibility for women that you can’t even pay for a simple date then what does that say about you? You’ve already shown the woman from the beginning that you have no intention of taking care of her, providing for her, or treating her any different than you would your guy friends, so why should she respect you or give up anything for you?

And, girls, a man’s willingness (or not) to pay for dates is a good indicator of what kind of a husband he will be. If he won’t pay for the date, dump him. Plain and simple. After all, what happens if you do marry him or get pregnant (even if you aren’t planning on having kids)? Dating a man gives you an opportunity to see his true character. Putting him to the test (does he pay for dates? Will he leave if I turn him down for sex?) will tell you whether or not you should continue seeing him. Be true to your own morals and remember that being sexually faithful (in marriage!) is the woman’s responsibility.

Responding to the Rationale of Father Custody under Coverture

A while back, when former TWRA supporter ‘Edita Munoz’ decided to leave our group, she criticized every angle of our ideology and along with that being the endorsement of mother custody in the younger years as stripping away the father’s authority. It seems here we TWRAs have come full circle in having disagreements regarding the proper placement of custodial rights.

Over time I have become more knowledgeable and learned many things since I first started putting my thoughts, opinions and research out for the entire world about a year and a half ago. In the earliest drafts of the TWRA position I state that the Tender Years Doctrine, or presumption of child custody in the favor of mothers when the children are very young, should be brought back. My main reasoning behind this was to try to put a stop to what our laws are allowing the unwed father to do and to allowing the divorced father to escape his responsibilities of financial support or, even worse, allowing him to place his rightful burdens on the mother at divorce and using the children as a weapon to do so.

As part of my collaboration with Jesse Powell* on the cultural core beliefs of what a TWRA is, some minor changes have occurred in our ideology. First, in the issue of fatherhood, TWRAs do not recognize the unmarried man’s paternity as legitimate. In our ideology we state:

“Have fatherhood be only legally recognized when it arises from legal marriage to the natural mother or from adoption proceedings, unless said father should legally marry the mother and be responsible for all bills and necessities from pregnancy/birth and be liable to support the mother and child as a husband is entitled from that point on.”

This is because, in a patriarchal society, distinctions are always made between illegitimate and legitimate births. Not only is this good for women but it is good for children as well. The unmarried father does not have a valid contract of marriage with the mother and thus does not have patriarchal authority over, nor responsibility for, the mother and the children she bears. For instance, I remember reading a news report a few months ago about a mother, apparently suffering some sort of mental derangement after giving birth, who had allegedly claimed she found a newborn on a Hawaiian beach but, come to find out, it was her own child. The reports said they would “look” for the father of the child to see if he wanted rights and to be responsible for the child.

The entire time I was thinking they are going to “look” for the father? Obviously if they have to search for him he wasn’t around when all this was going on and wan’t married to the mother. If he was married to the mother then he would already be the legal father and they would know exactly who he was. On the rationale that the unwed father is not the head of any household and does not hold authority and responsibility for the actions and well-being of the mother and child, we exclude the unwed father from our discussions of fatherhood.

In the coverture that TWRAs endorse the husband is the head of the family. He has the authority, as we state,to decide where the family will live. That means his wife’s legal address and that of his children’s is wherever he lives. We also state that marriage is to be a permanent and legal binding of a man and a woman, “only to be legally severed in cases of severe abuse, infidelity or abandonment.”

Jesse Powell states:

“It should be kept in mind, when father custody prevailed that did not mean children always lived with their fathers away from their mothers, what it meant is that the father would decide where the children lived… The likely rationale for father custody after divorce was probably that marriage and family was considered to be the man’s project and the man’s responsibility and that therefore the man should decide how best to execute his family mission and family purpose, the care and upbringing of children being part of his family mission. So basically when a man married a woman the idea was that the man was choosing the woman to be the bearer and caretaker of his children. The man then was to become responsible for the welfare of his wife and his children both. This meant if at some point in the future the man and wife split up the man was still responsible for the children of the marriage as the man was always responsible for the well being of the children from the beginning. So the father would have custody of the children after a divorce because it was always the man’s responsibility to provide for the children and it continued to be the man’s responsibility to provide for the children whether he was still married to the children’s mother or not.”

Under coverture, the above story regarding the beach would not have happened. The woman would have been pressured to marry when she discovered she was pregnant (if not the biological father, then another man who would accept her and the child as his own) or her child would have been outcasted as a “bastard” and she would be shunned from civilized society. In childbearing strange things can happen to women. The coverture would have been a way to protect her and the child because the husband would have been responsible for her actions and well being and he would oversee everything that was going on. The pressure would be on him to control his wife’s behavior and provide her with the things she needed. If she was suffering psychologically after birth she and the child would still have been safe and taken care of because of his responsibilities to look out for them. In this way, coverture is guardianship of women and the guardianship of children necessarily.

Child labor was indeed common in the earliest days of American history and I do applaud the early feminists for their efforts to protect women and children from exploitation in factories. The rationale that the father had a right to the children’s labor I believe was a part of why father’s were given custody of their children but there is a much larger issue here to consider. Another reason, as Jesse Powell notes, was the large investment the husband made in the children.

Under coverture, the husband was responsible for everything. If the children or his wife had needs, he was responsible to provide them. A woman had a right to buy necessities for herself and the children on the husband’s credit. All she needed to do was prove that the goods or services were necessaries and prove that she was currently legally married to the man who’s credit the goods were being charged to. Part of his responsibility was for the wife’s actions. If she had committed some kind of criminal act or misdeed he was responsible for it and he was responsible for dealing with her behavior. His wife and his children’s behavior directly reflected upon him. This made men to make a large investment in the family. It entailed high sacrifice on his behalf, but also the high reward of having a wife and family to carry on his name and his own legacy. The intention of patriarchal societies is to get fathers to make a high investment in women and children and build civilization through their hard work of providing for families.

I do not not believe that there is actually a current “bias” against fathers in our courts today as MRAs claim, but whether there is a “bias” or not does not matter in regards to what TWRAs believe in and advocate for. Complaining about a “bias” says that one wishes or campaigns for things to be “equal.” TWRAs do not seek “equality” under the law. We believe that the father should be fully responsible for the support of his wife and children. We do not believe that support or alimony should be a two-way street. It goes one way. The father is to support the children and to support his wife. Now, if she’s done wrong and been unfaithful he should not have to pay her alimony. She should simply be on her own. However, he is still to support himself and provide all the essentials for his children and no obligation should be imposed upon the ex-wife for the support of her husband. He is a man and he is to be liable to support himself despite his wife’s actions.

Divorce was rare in coverture days so, in most cases, child custody was never an issue. Most men realized that young children needed to be nurtured by mothers. In the TWRA beliefs we do not say anything of the Tender Years Doctrine as we once did. We simply say that young children need to stay with their mothers. However, the husband has the authority and sole responsibility and should decide where the children live. He should never be allowed to impose the responsibility of support on the mother but he should be allowed to decide where they will live. Whether the children live with him or not he should still be solely responsible for the support and still have authority to make decisions regarding their lives and well-being.

This is what’s it’s about. I do believe in father custody (as in his authority to make decisions regarding the children’s lives and well-being and where they live) as long as his responsibilities remain. This ultimately does protect women as well as children. Women should have the right to expect support and guardianship from their husbands but should never be allowed to overturn the decisions he makes unless it is an extreme situation. Women having authority over men and men being allowed to evade responsibility causes society to degenerate into the mess we have now.

It is the right of the traditional woman to have guardianship and have security. Feminists told women there was no such thing as security and they should just go out and imitate male promiscuity and refuse to marry. Yet, somehow, study after study has shown that in the last 50 years women have become increasingly unhappy. Women supposedly “have it all” yet somehow are more miserable and suffer from more physical and mental illnesses than ever before. Apparently, “freedom” wasn’t quite so free after all.

TWRAs want our privileges back and we want our security. We just want men to be men again. If men would lead, women would start to follow.

* TWRAs are not longer collaborated with Jesse Powell. However, this article still remains relevant to the cause.