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The Male "Rowe v. Wade" Case - God Forbid Men Should Actually Have Equal Rights


Your article ignores the fact that child support is around 40% of a man's take-home income for up to 23 years in Massachusetts. This is often many times the actual cost of raising the child and creates a "mommy welfare" system on the back of men only. It sends most men into poverty or bankruptcy (#3 reason for bankruptcy). A man earning $50,000 per year is left with about $357 per month to live on in Massachusetts after a bogus restraining order is issued as a strategy for winning a divorce by claiming domestic violence! 

The decision of the women to have the child effectively means 23 years of slavery for the man, because judges also illegally forced college costs on unmarried fathers in Mass. at the threat of jail unconstitutionally (since married fathers do not have to pay college costs this is class discrimination against the 14th amendment). 

Women want all the rights and none of the responsibilities. A powerful women’s lobby and no corresponding men’s lobby have influenced the courts and politicians for decades. The pendulum has swung so far in the other direction that today men (divorced and even in casual relationships) are immediately converted into slaves by a women's decision they have no part in. This is not only unfair but also totally outrageous.

Outrageous child support awards, which often have nothing to do with the man’s actual income but “imputed” income the judge chooses to use means many fathers have orders which are illegal by federal garnishment laws. I personally was under an order to pay 300% of my monthly income for the benefit of my wife for 11 months, even though I had a prenup requiring her to share living expenses and she had more income and savings than me! The sexism in family courts can be cut with a knife and judges act totally unconstitutionally every day. I can point out a violation of the law about every 5-10 minutes when sitting in family court. They have made themselves legally immune from prosecution and they act that way, doing whatever they want. "Power corrupts and absolute power corrupt absolutely".

Not many people know yet that it has been proven scientifically, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that shared parenting (with both sexes involved 50%) is by far better for children. Not 20% or 50% better but 20 times better by several measures!  This has been known for over a decade now but lawyers make too much money instigating custody battles for the status quo to change without a serious revolution by the men.  Men have had enough of being disposable fathers and simply money machines for their ex-wives and girl friends. The next year will expose the corruption in family courts detailed in Kevin Thompson's book (band by a judge in it with a conflict of interest) "Exposing the Corruption in Massachusetts Family Courts" and "Reason for Revolution" a book by John Flaherty who was illegal jailed for over six months for non-payment of an arbitrary child support order that was overturned on appeal.

The media has been brainwashed by the feminist lobby, which exaggerates real statistics by a factor of 100 sometimes.  People think every father is a "deadbeat dad" and/or an abuser. Nothing could be further from the truth. The facts show otherwise to anyone that pays attention and does their homework. Obviously you did not before writing this opinion piece. It is fraught with logical errors and bias. Right now the domestic violence tail is wagging the divorce dog and all men are instantly stripped of their rights with unconstitutional restraining orders (issued without them there) as soon as a woman says the word "fear" (LITERALLY). Most lawyers admit most of these are unwarranted.  On top of that it is common to through them out on the street and garnish 90% of their income. YES LITERALLY 90% as they are ordered to continue to pay for the house they were thrown out of (50% of take-home pay typically) AND on top of that ordered to pay 40% of take-home (26% of gross) for "child support". This is not a deadbeat dad but a beat dead dad who has no way to survive. Try living on 10% of your income sometime. This is just manufacturing "deadbeat dads" who can not possibly survive under this tyranny. Did you know that about 300 men per month commit suicide as a result of divorce! This is ten times the number of women! This certainly does not indicate a system that is fair, or even marginally works. It is in fact just a truly evil machine for lawyers to make money. All of the statistic I am quoting can be proven, unlike the feminist lobby that manufactures statistics as they please without being challenged by the media.

I have studied the family courts now half time for about 17 months and believe me the family court judges are actually the most prolific criminals I have ever seen or could imagine.

The bottom line is this system has been so distorted by money and women's rights that men are now an abused class with little to no rights. It is time we had truly equal rights back that we gave women many decades ago.

Change is coming, justice is coming. Before you write another article on men being forced to pay child support you might want to understand the system you are writing about. Obviously you have no clue as to the facts, just an uninformed personal bias. The Globe is no place to distribute sexist propaganda if you want to have any journalist integrity. This system is so broken it would require an hour with many diagrams to explain in how many ways.

From: The Fatherhood Coalition [mailto:FATHERS-L@HOME.EASE.LSOFT.COM] On Behalf Of George Mason
Sent: Friday, March 24, 2006 8:08 AM
Subject: Opinion by Jacoby on Dubay and the old code


The obligation of unwanted fatherhood
Mar 23, 2006
by Jeff Jacoby ( bio | archive | contact )
Real men -- good men -- take responsibility for the children they father. If they get a woman pregnant, they do the right thing: They stand by her. They support their child. They don't try to weasel out of a situation they co-authored. They shoulder the obligations of fatherhood, even if they hadn't planned on becoming a father.
     Once upon a time, men confronted with news of an unintended pregnancy knew what was expected of them. More often than not, they married the woman who was carrying their child; for those tempted to behave irresponsibly, society devised the shotgun wedding. Women, too, knew what was expected of them. They tended to be very careful about sex. If they didn't always wait until they were married, they waited for a relationship that seemed to be marriage-bound.
     It wasn't a perfect system and it didn't guarantee perfect happiness, but on the whole it was realistic: It recognized that sex has consequences. It bound men to the women they impregnated and made sure that children had dads as well as moms.
     But the old code was swept away by the Sexual Revolution. With the Pill and easy abortion came the illusion of sex without consequences. Pregnancy could be avoided or readily undone. Men didn't have to marry women they impregnated; women didn't have to reserve themselves for men who were committed or whose intentions were honorable. With the devaluation of sex came the devaluation of fatherhood. Men got used to the idea of sex without strings. So did women, many of whom also grew accustomed to the idea of motherhood without husbands. Government got involved, too, mandating welfare benefits for unmarried moms, and child-support checks from "deadbeat dads." With the incentives for marriage weaker than ever, more and more children were born out of wedlock. In 1950, just 4 percent of births were to unmarried mothers. By 1980, the rate was more than 18 percent. It stands today at nearly 36 percent.
     All this is bad enough. Comes now Matt Dubay with a proposal to make things worse.
     A 25-year-old computer programmer in Michigan, Dubay wants to know why it is only women who have "reproductive rights." He is upset about having to pay child support for a baby he never wanted. Not only did his former girlfriend know he didn't want children, says Dubay, she had told him she was infertile. When she got pregnant nonetheless, he asked her to get an abortion or place the baby for adoption. She decided instead to keep her child, and secured a court order requiring him to pay $500 a month in support.
     Not fair, Dubay complains. His ex-girlfriend chose to become a mother. It was her choice not to have an abortion, her choice to carry the baby to term, her choice not to have the child adopted. She even had the option, under the "baby safe haven" laws most states have enacted, to simply leave her newborn at a hospital or police station. Roe v. Wade gives her and all women the right -- the Constitutional right! -- to avoid parenthood and its responsibilities. Dubay argues that he should have the same right, and has filed a federal lawsuit that his supporters are calling "Roe v. Wade for men." Drafted by the National Center for Men, it contends that as a matter of equal rights, men who don't want a child should be permitted, early in pregnancy, to get "a financial abortion" releasing them from any future responsibility to the baby.
     Does Dubay have a point? Sure. Contemporary American society does send very mixed messages about sex and the sexes. For women, the decision to have sex is the first of a series of choices, including the choice to abort a pregnancy -- or, if she prefers, to give birth and then collect child support from the father. For men, legal choices end with the decision to have sex. If conception takes place, a man can be forced to accept the abortion of a baby he wants -- or to spend at least the next 18 years turning over a chunk of his income to support a child he didn't want.
     All true. But it is also true that predatory males have done enormous damage to American society, and the last thing our culture needs is one more way for men to escape accountability for the children they father. Dubay wants more than the freedom to be sexually reckless -- he wants that freedom to be constitutionally guaranteed. Truly he is a child of his time, passionate on the subject of rights and eager to duck responsibility.

The culture used to send a clear message to men in Dubay's position: Marry the mother and be a father to your child. Today it tells him: Just write a monthly check. Soon -- if this lawsuit succeeds -- it won't say even that. The result will not be a fairer, more equal society. It will be a society with even more abortion, even more exploitation of women, even more of the destructiveness and instability caused by fatherlessness. 
     And, in some ways saddest of all, even more people like Matt Dubay: a boy who never learned how to be a real man.
Jeff Jacoby is an Op-Ed writer for the Boston Globe, a radio political commentator, and a contributing columnist for Townhall.com.
Copyright © 2006 Boston Globe

A man's right to choose

This is Joe's sperm. It contains his genetic material. When joined with an egg, it can produce offspring--as well as certain legal responsibilities. Does Joe have any say in all this?

Howard Johnston, after the European Court of Human Rights ruled that his former fiancee, Natallie Evans, did not have the right to use frozen embryos to have a baby without Johnston's permission.   Howard Johnston, after the European Court of Human Rights ruled that   his former fiancee, Natallie Evans, did not have the right to use frozen   embryos to have a baby without Johnston's permission. (AP Photo) 

By Drake Bennett  | 

March 26, 2006 EARLIER THIS MONTH, a 25-year-old Michigan computer programmer named Matthew Dubay sued in federal court to avoid paying child support for his 7-month-old daughter. The girl's mother, he alleges, had claimed to be both infertile and on birth control, and he had made it clear all along that he didn't want children. The resulting pregnancy, as he saw it, was simply not his fault, and the child not in any way his responsibility.

It's a common enough situation, but the National Center for Men, a New York-based advocacy group that is coordinating and paying for the lawsuit, claims to have waited years for a plaintiff as compelling as Dubay. The Center has labeled (and, incidentally, trademarked) the case ''Roe v. Wade for Men."

Around the same time, the European Court of Human Rights unanimously ruled that a woman could not implant embryos created in a course of in vitro fertilization if the man involved did not want her to. The painful particulars of the case have made it front-page news in England, where the couple is from. The plaintiff, a young woman named Natallie Evans, had undergone IVF with her fiance before being rendered infertile by treatment for ovarian cancer, and if she isn't able to reverse the court's decision by October, the embryos will expire and she will lose her last chance to have biological children.

Discussions of reproductive rights tend to focus on the woman, and in particular the availability of abortion and contraception. While it's too early to tell whether these cases represent the first stirrings of a movement, a few so-called men's rights activists are trying to expand the meaning of reproductive rights. All of which raises the question of what, exactly, those rights are. Is a man's right to, in effect, disown a biological child comparable to a woman's right to have an abortion? What does equality mean when it involves pregnancy and childbirth, processes in which the woman's role still outweighs the man's? Most broadly, 33 years after Roe v. Wade, is this a step forward for gender equality, or a step back?

According to John Robertson, a University of Texas law professor and reproductive rights specialist, the idea that men have certain rights is hardly controversial. ''Clearly," he says, ''a man has reproductive rights. He can't be forced to reproduce. He can't be sterilized." But those rights are limited, and sharply, by the fact that most of the reproductive process takes place in a woman's body.

When conception is removed from the woman's body-as is the case with in vitro fertilization-courts have found that men and women have equal status in reproductive decisions. The Evans case in England is only the most recent example. In the US, according to Susan Crockin, a Newton-based lawyer who specializes in reproductive technology cases, courts dealing with frozen embryo disputes ''have repeatedly favored the right of the former partner who does not want to procreate over the other partner's right to procreate," siding with the parent-in most cases the father-who doesn't want to implant the embryo. The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court provided one of the country's more influential decisions on this score. In a 2000 case called AZ v. BZ, the court ruled that a man who had signed seven agreements granting his wife control over their frozen embryos in the event of a divorce could nonetheless change his mind and prevent her from implanting them. To decide otherwise, the court found, would be ''forced procreation."

The ex-wife (referred to in court papers as BZ) argued that, since the stakes and cost to her in creating an embryo, even an in vitro embryo, were much higher than for her ex-husband, her desires should count for more. Providing sperm, her lawyers pointed out, is one of the more straightforward medical procedures imaginable, while extracting an egg is a difficult, occasionally painful process involving extended hormone and drug treatments. And more important, she argued, women have a much shorter reproductive life span than men: BZ was 45, and in losing the case she, like Natallie Evans, lost her last chance at biological motherhood.

Nevertheless, the court rejected these arguments and decided that, as long as the embryo is still outside the woman's body, men's reproductive rights carry the same weight as women's. The Dubay lawsuit is after something similar but far broader. ''Reproductive choice should be a fundamental human right, not just a woman's right," says Mel Feit, executive director of the National Center for Men. Right now, he points out, a man who gets a woman pregnant must not only accede to the woman's choice, but subsidize it if she wants the child. Men, as he sees it, are reduced to reproductive beasts of burden, helpless in the face of feminine caprice. ''There's a huge disparity," he says. ''All the choices will be hers, and all the responsibility will be his."

Of course, the Dubay lawsuit deals with an actual pregnancy (and an actual child) rather than an in vitro embryo. As a result, the man's right not to have children (or, for that matter, his desire to have them) runs up against a woman's constitutionally protected right to determine what happens in her body. Dubay, though, is not arguing that he should have been able to force his girlfriend to get an abortion. The choice he wants is primarily financial and semantic. He wants, in effect, to pretend he doesn't have a child, and live his life accordingly.

The problem, most legal experts respond-the reason that Dubay is almost certain to lose his case-is that the courts see disputes like his as not between a mother and father but between a father and his child. As Leonard Glantz, a lawyer and public health professor at Boston University, puts it, Dubay ''may wish to sue the mother, but she can't relieve him of his paternal obligation to the child." In abortion, women have the legal option, which men lack, of freeing themselves of the consequences of sexual behavior. Family law experts don't see any reasonable way of rectifying that imbalance without giving men veto power over a woman's right to choose, or without threatening the well-being of the child. Legal experts, along with the courts, tend to see the child's best interests being served by having, in the words of University of Wisconsin law professor Alta Charo, ''as many solvent adults [as possible] available to help the child through the world."

While the law may encourage the involvement of two solvent parents in child-rearing, it also, however, maintains an important loophole: Mothers are afforded a basic right not to inform the father of a child's existence at all. Again, it's an inequality stemming from nature, since a woman doesn't need to be informed that she has become a parent. (It's not a universal right, however: Single mothers who apply for welfare are required to identify the father and pursue child support.)

No doubt it's a right that Matthew Dubay wishes his ex-girlfriend had exercised. But there are other fathers who find this to be the most problematic reproductive inequity of all. The issue has been sharply raised in the context of abortion and the sort of spousal notification laws the Supreme Court declared unconstitutional in 1992. Today, though, similar questions of how much a father is entitled to know are arising around adoption.

In the most recent of several cases nationwide, a Florida man named Jeremiah Clayton Jones is suing to block the adoption of his son, claiming that he hadn't even known about the child until the adoption lawyer called him. Florida, like about 30 other states, has a ''putative father registry" where fathers can sign up to claim fatherhood rights, but, according to the lawsuits, such registries are often obscure and difficult to find information about. And they leave a father with no recourse if his child is adopted in another state.

According to the University of Texas's Robertson, the adoption rights issue is ''the real issue" for men's reproductive rights. ''The Supreme Court has made clear that an unwed father has a right to rear his child," he says. ''There's a series of cases saying that men who immediately after the birth of a child show an interest and try to be involved in the rearing of a child have a right to be a custodial parent as well." Senator Mary Landrieu of Louisiana plans to introduce a bill proposing a nationwide father registry later this year.

In other words, it's the fathers fighting to claim their children, not to disavow them, who may have hit on the most promising idea of ''men's rights." Unlike the right to avoid parental responsibilities, the right to assert them may in fact have the blessing of the Founding Fathers.

Drake Bennett is the staff writer for Ideas. E-mail drbennett@globe.com.