Choice Schmoice

Of course women are infants—so we definitely need to give men the right to control abortions.

A group of legislators in Ohio are pushing a bill that would give men a say in whether or not a woman can have an abortion.

"This is important because there are always two parents and fathers should have a say in the birth or the destruction of that child," said [Rep. John] Adams, a Republican from Sidney. "I didn't bring it up to draw attention to myself or to be controversial. In most cases, when a child is born the father has financial responsibility for that child, so he should have a say."

As written, the bill would ban women from seeking an abortion without written consent from the father of the fetus. In cases where the identity of the father is unknown, women would be required to submit a list of possible fathers. The physician would be forced to conduct a paternity test from the provided list and then seek paternal permission to abort.
Written notes? Submitting a list of potential fathers? Sometimes I think that anti-choice folks forget that women are, you know, adults.

But seriously here's the best part of the bill:

Claiming to not know the father's identity is not a viable excuse, according to the proposed legislation. Simply put: no father means no abortion.
Fuck. You.

But wait, it gets even better. Women would be required to present a police report if they want to "prove" that the pregnancy was a result of rape of incest. Because women can't be trusted, obviously.

I would just note in response to Rep. Adams that requiring a father's signature for an abortion is more than giving him "a say." It means giving him veto power. If he doesn't want to consent to an abortion, he can simply refuse—and that's that. There is no provision in the bill for this eventuality.

Leave it to me to state the obvious, but that would result in the exact situation which Adams asserts he is trying to avoid, except instead of a father charged with financial responsibility he doesn't want, there's a mother charged with financial responsibility she doesn't want—with the additional burden of a pregnancy and delivery, and all the health risks, costs, and personal inconvenience (to put it lightly) such entails, including the very real possibility of missing work for an extended period or losing her job altogether. I'd love to find out what Adams' justification is for this legislation, were some enterprising reporter to point out to him that his current rationale is blatantly misogynistic.

As I've noted before, men already have plenty of “say” over this decision—but much of it happens before the pregnancy. They have “say” over the women with whom they choose to have sex. They have “say” over whether they choose to discuss in depth with a partner what they would do in the case of an unintended pregnancy—and what their partners would do. They have “say” over whether they put a condom on. Once a woman is pregnant, men’s legal “say” ends (though it's only fair to note that the vast majority of women give their partners' opinions due consideration). Men don’t have the right to demand abortion, and they don’t have the right to demand carrying the fetus to term, because conferring those rights would allow them to exact control over another human’s body, which is simply an untenable position.

And guys who don’t like that need to take it up with the Almighty, or the Intelligent Designer, or Mother Nature, or whatever, which in its infinite wisdom decided that only one sex should have the ability to get pregnant.

LeMew has more. So does Echidne.

Shakesville is run as a safe space. First-time commenters: Please read Shakesville's Commenting Policy and Feminism 101 Section before commenting. We also do lots of in-thread moderation, so we ask that everyone read the entirety of any thread before commenting, to ensure compliance with any in-thread moderation. Thank you.

blog comments powered by Disqus