Men Will Be Fathers

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A federal appeals court has dismissed, as frivolous, the “Rowe v. Wade for Men” test case. It was:

… filed by a men’s rights group on behalf of a man who said he shouldn’t have to pay child support for his ex-girlfriend’s daughter. [Matthew] Dubay, 25, had said ex-girlfriend Lauren Wells knew he didn’t want to have a child and assured him repeatedly she couldn’t get pregnant because of a medical condition. He argued that if a pregnant woman can choose among abortion, adoption or raising a child, a man involved in an unintended pregnancy should have the choice of declining the financial responsibilities of fatherhood. U.S. District Judge David Lawson in Bay City disagreed, rejecting Dubay’s argument that Michigan’s paternity law violates the U.S. Constitution’s equal protection clause because it didn’t extend reproductive rights to men.

Isn’t “his ex-girlfriend’s daughter” also his daughter?

It’s indefensible that some woman get pregnant on the sly or are simply half-assed about birth control, but it’s also indefensible to make women solely responsible for birth control and the support of child, however planned or unplanned. If there was some way to make the laggard solely liable for the emotional and financial well being of the innocent child which results, fine. But there isn’t. I feel for men who become unintentional fathers or whose partners chose abortion over their objections. Among the many reasons I’m glad I’m a woman is the control I have, and fiercely exercise, over my reproductive life. Still, my concern for unwilling fathers is levened by the fact that they could have put as much energy into getting a condom and some foam involved as they do their penises. If you can’t pull off the former, but can the latter, go into it knowing you’re playing Russian Roulette. The court got this one right:

State courts have ruled in the past that any inequity experienced by men like Dubay is outweighed by society’s interest in ensuring that children get financial support from two parents.

Do we really have another alternative?

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FOLLOW THE MONEY

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And right now, a longtime friend of Mother Jones has pledged an incredibly generous gift to inspire—and double—giving from online readers. That's huge! Because you can see that our fall fundraising drive is well behind the $325,000 we need to raise. So if you agree that in-depth, fiercely independent journalism matters right now, please support our work and help us raise the money it takes to keep Mother Jones charging hard. Your gift, and all online donations up $94,000 total, will be matched and go twice as far—but only until the November 9 deadline.

$400,000 to go: Please help us pick up the pace!

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