Men have all the Responsibilities in Reproduction and Women have all the Rights

Just think about it: A women can decide to abort or abandon a baby at any fire station without any questions asked,
yet a man (without these choices) must pay child support for between 18 and 23 years or go to JAIL.
Who has the rights and who has the responsibilities.
In any free and equal society these rights and responsibilities would go hand in hand and exist for BOTH sexes.

To director@truthout.org, Glenn Sacks <glenn@glennsacks.com>,

 
Dear Editor,
 
Kai Ma wants to know why are 10 million single mothers in the United States living with children under the age of 18? My guess is discrimination against dads.
 
I want to ask Ms Ma, why are 10 million single fathers in the United States living without their children? Are each of these 10 million dads unfit to be a parent?
 
Prejudice against men in family courts outweighs anything Ms Ma can offer.
 
"A man does have choices," according to Ms Ma. "He can choose not to be part of his child's life. But he shouldn't be able to choose to abandon that child in the lurch."
 
Ms Ma needs to be reminded a potential mother can opt out of her child's life through adoption, abortion, or abandonment. It is legal in many states for a mother to leave a newborn at a fire station or hospital; as easy and quick as returning a book to the library.
 
Men do not have that option.
 
Don Mathis, Editor
The Fourteen Percenter, A Newsletter for Noncustodial Parents
 
p.s. Thank you, Truthout, for bringing this debate to your forum. In the interest of fairness, please post the rebuttal http://alternet.org/rights/39716/ as did your source.
 
 
from http://alternet.org/rights/39420/ and http://www.truthout.org/issues_06/080106WB.shtml 
 

POINT: The Difference Between a Womb and a Wallet

By Kai Ma, AlterNet
Posted on July 26, 2006, Printed on August 1, 2006
http://www.alternet.org/story/39420/
Millions of men are forced to financially support children they never wanted. Matthew Dubay, a 25-year-old computer technician in Michigan, decided that he shouldn't have to do that.
Dubay didn't want to pay child support for the daughter he conceived with Lauren Wells, his 20-year-old ex-girlfriend. During their three-month relationship, Dubay allegedly told Wells he wasn't ready to have children, and she replied that she was infertile but using birth control anyway. After they had unprotected sex, she got pregnant and chose to raise the child. Dubay promptly received a court order to pay $500 a month in child support.
On his behalf, the National Center for Men filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Michigan last March, contending that if a woman has the legal right to abort, give up for adoption, or raise a child from an unintended pregnancy, a man should be able to choose to decline the financial responsibilities of fatherhood. The case, nicknamed "Roe v. Wade for men," equates a woman's decision about her body to a man's right to decide whether he wants children. Last week, U.S. District Court Judge David M. Lawson dismissed the lawsuit, writing in his decision, "[Dubay] had difficulty accepting the financial consequences of his conduct so the state came to his assistance." Still, the NCRM, which plans to appeal, has managed to provoke a national conversation about "reproductive rights for men."
From the beginning, the case was a longshot. The courts have never sided with men like Dubay, believing that a child's interest in receiving financial support from two parents outweighs a father's claim of being duped into financial responsibilities for which he was unprepared. Matthew Dubay has sparked debate over whether men can claim the right to terminate all parental responsibility, based essentially on the verbal equivalent of an informal prenuptial agreement.
Glenn Sacks, a commentator on father's issues who supports Dubay, recently wrote, "When it comes to reproduction, in America today women have rights and men merely have responsibilities."
But if men are the ones who have reproductive responsibilities, why are 10 million single mothers in the United States living with children under the age of 18? Sure, women have choices, but only at a price for which there's no male equivalent. We can choose whether we want to be mothers, but we have no control over how the experience of motherhood will physically alter our bodies, nor how it may limit our mobility or careers.
During a planned pregnancy, a man doesn't have to struggle with the fact that his body and life will change drastically. He will not have to endure physical pain; he will not have to decide whether to breastfeed for more than a year. If he decides to avoid a pregnancy, he will not have to take daily doses of estrogen and progestin, and so endure the side effects of nausea, bloating and headaches. He will not inject himself with Depo Provera, or afix to his skin the hormone-infused Patch, a contraceptive thinner than the warning label it comes with.
There are women out there who claim to be on birth control when they are not, who promise to have an abortion if they get pregnant, and then change their minds. There are even women who poke holes in their diaphragms or, perhaps like Dubay's partner, claim to be infertile when they are not.
But for every woman of that sort, there are men who, in different ways, lie, deceive, break their promises, or pull a 180. There are men who agree to marry but don't, or refuse to pay child support and are deadbeat dads. Dubay claims that he has been trapped into financially supporting a child for 18 years. What about the millions of women who find themselves trapped into single motherhood for life with, often, next to no recourse?
Dubay's suit was always more of a provocation, than a case. In the court of public opinion, he has attempted to expand the concept of reproductive rights by replacing the pro-choice motto, "My body, my choice," with "my wallet, my choice."
I wish my womb were as simple as his wallet. A woman's decision to terminate a pregnancy is not the equivalent of a man's choice to financially opt out of fatherhood.
A man does have choices. He can choose not to be part of his child's life. But he shouldn't be able to choose to abandon that child in the lurch. Financial support is necessary to sustain a healthy existence. Compared to raising a child alone, forking over a few hundred dollars a month is a small price to pay.
Kai Ma's writing has appeared in Jane, Newsday, and the San Francisco Chronicle.
2006 Independent Media Institute. All rights reserved.
View this story online at: http://www.alternet.org/story/39420/
from http://alternet.org/rights/39716/

COUNTERPOINT: Respect a Man's Choice, Too

By Glenn Sacks and Jeffery M. Leving, AlterNet
Posted on August 1, 2006, Printed on August 1, 2006
http://www.alternet.org/story/39716/
Editor's Note: In her July 26 AlterNet article, "The Difference Between a Womb and a Wallet," writer Kai Ma agreed with the recent court dismissal of the "Roe v. Wade for men" case, in which Matthew Dubay fought for his self-perceived right not to financially support an unplanned pregnancy. Below, men's rights advocates Glenn Sacks and Jeffery M. Levin offer a very different view of men's financial responsibility toward unwanted offspring.
Kai Ma's recent AlterNet article "The Difference Between a Womb and a Wallet" applauds a U.S. District Court judge's quick, contemptuous dismissal of Matthew Dubay's "Roe v. Wade for Men" lawsuit. Dubay sought to wipe out the child support payments he is obligated to make to an ex-girlfriend who, he says, used a fallacious claim of infertility to deceive him into getting her pregnant.
In opposing "choice for men," Ma asserts that a "woman's decision to terminate a pregnancy is not the equivalent of a man's choice to financially opt out of fatherhood." She cites the pain and discomfort of pregnancy, and the way motherhood "may limit our mobility or careers."
These problems are very real; however, so are the problems created when men are saddled with child support obligations. According to Men's Health magazine, 100,000 men each year are jailed for alleged nonpayment of child support. Federal Office of Child Support Enforcement data reveal that 70 percent of those behind on payments earn poverty level wages. The "Most Wanted Deadbeat Dad" lists put out by most states are used both for police actions and to hunt and shame "deadbeats" through newspaper ads and publicity campaigns. These lists are largely comprised of uneducated African-American and Latino men with occupation descriptions like "laborer," "maintenance man" and "roofer."
Ma dismisses the burden of child support as being "a few hundred dollars a month." However, in California, a noncustodial father of two earning a modest $3,800 a month in net income pays $1,300 a month in child support. The money -- almost $300,000 over 18 years -- is tax-free to the custodial mother. One can reasonably debate whether this sum is appropriate or excessive. One cannot reasonably dismiss it as being insignificant. Ma portrays children as a mother's albatross, forgetting that parenting is also the greatest joy a person can experience in life. Yes, in single mother homes, the mother bears the burden of most of the childrearing, but the mothers also experience the lion's share of the joys and benefits of having children. Noncustodial fathers are not so fortunate -- they're usually permitted only a few days a month to spend with their kids. Once mom finds a new man, they're often pushed out entirely in favor of the child's "new dad."
Ma condemns men who "lie, deceive, break their promises, or pull a 180 who agree to marry but don't," and laments that "millions of women" have been "trapped into single motherhood for life with, often, next to no recourse." Yet according to a randomized study of 46,000 divorce cases published in the American Law and Economics Review, two-thirds of all divorces involving couples with children are initiated by mothers, not fathers, and in only 6 percent of cases did the women claim to be divorcing cruel or abusive husbands.
The out-of-wedlock birth rate in the United States hovers around 33 percent -- given the wide variety of contraceptive and reproductive choices women enjoy, this can hardly be blamed primarily on men. Yes, in some of these cases the mother and father shared a relationship that the mother (and the father) may have expected would become a marriage. Yet these relationships fail for many reasons besides male perfidy. These include: youth, economic pressure and the lack of living wage jobs (how many couples fight over money?), and the mothers' post-partum depression and mood-swings. It's doubtful that many men really wake up in the morning and say to themselves, "My child loves me and needs me, my girlfriend loves me and needs me -- I'm outta here."
Ma says men "shouldn't be able to choose to abandon that child in the lurch." Yet 1.5 million American women legally walk away from motherhood every year through adoption, abortion or abandonment. In over 40 states mothers can completely opt out of motherhood by returning unwanted babies to the hospital shortly after birth. If men like Dubay are deadbeats and deserters, what are these women?
Whenever a child is born outside of the context of a loving, two-parent family, there are no good solutions. Ma overstates her case, but she is correct that "Choice for Men" is a flawed solution. However, the current regime, which provides women with a variety of choices and men with none, is also flawed.
Matthew Dubay's conduct is not particularly admirable, and he's certainly not a candidate for father of the year; however, he does have a point. Over the past four decades, women's advocates have successfully made the case that it is wrong to force a pregnancy on an unwilling mother. Despite the backlash against Dubay, hopefully his lawsuit will result in a greater societal awareness that it is also wrong to force a pregnancy on an unwilling father.
Glenn Sacks is a men's and fathers' issues columnist, commentator, and radio talk show host. Jeffery M. Leving is a family law attorney and author of "Fathers' Rights: Hard-hitting and Fair Advice for Every Father Involved in a Custody Dispute."
2006 Independent Media Institute. All rights reserved.
View this story online at: http://www.alternet.org/story/39716/

 


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