Parental Rights

This one is for Mssc54, who can get a little cranky about it’s never being mentioned.

So a woman wants to abort.  Should the father of the child be able to control her decision?

Let’s start somewhere other than where people expect us to.  Let’s talk about a (somewhat) happily married couple.  They already have five children together and live in a small house in a small town.  She works from home part time while the older kids are in school, and he did own his own business until the bottom fell out of their town’s economy and their business was forced to close.  They are considering pulling up roots and moving closer to where her parents live- her parents have offered her employment, and he can find some kind of part-time work until they can start a new business or he figures out what he wants to do with his life.

Their savings account is nearing zero- they don’t have much time to figure things out.  That’s when she finds out she’s pregnant- despite being on the pill and being responsible.  He immediately wants to keep the child, discounting the fact that it will “make things hard” for them for a while.  He wants six kids, and they have four boys and one girl.  He’d like another girl.

She is horrified, thinking of how is she going to be able to work at all with an infant?  Right after a move?  How is all of this stress going to affect the pregnancy?  Her husband is a bit of an emotional wreck- the roller coaster they are going to be on until all the pieces fall back together is hard enough without adding an infant.  They already have five happy kids- they never even considered having another one until it just happened.

So- should the father be able to force the mother to keep the child?  Keep in mind that both parties do want to stick together and work things out in their marriage- but if he is able to legally compel her that would totally change the ball game.  And while they may be able to make everything work having this baby- at this point in her life the woman isn’t exactly young any more and it could be really, really hard.  Yes- they could have it and put it up for adoption, but the older kids would likely be very confused and hurt by that.  If they have the baby, they’re keeping it- but if they keep it it’s at the expense of their entire family- a family already indebted to relatives to just make it through.

You might tell me that story is ridiculous- but keep in mind a not small percentage of abortions are performed on women who already have more than one child and cannot afford another baby.

Now- let’s keep avoiding the point everyone expects and talk about teenage boys.  Let’s imagine seventeen year old Rick knocks up fourteen year old Tammy.  Tammy’s parents encourage her to have an abortion.  Tammy herself is terrified and nearly incapable of making her own decisions.  Tammy’s doctor says that she is still a little young to be carrying this child to term, that it may affect her body more severly than would be expected with a normal pregnancy.  So Tammy’s parents and Tammy’s doctor are both “pro-abortion”- Tammy is young and scared and unsure- but Rick, Rick wants this baby.  Let’s say for the sake of argument that Rick didn’t use protection and Tammy was naive.  So let’s say that Rick is, in fact, responsible for this pregnancy.

Does a young kid have the right to force an even younger one to have a baby?  If her parents and her doctor all agree that abortion is the most sensible course of action, should the father be able to force the girl to have the child?

Now, legally speaking- if it became possible for the father in one of these cases to get an injunction to force the mother to bear the child- whose responsibility would it be to pay for the paternity test to insure that he really is the father?  Whose responsibility would it be to pay for expenses relating to the pregnancy?  Whose responsibility would it be to pay for the delivery of the child?  For housing for the mother, if she is booted out of her house?

How would we go about insuring that the father’s rights have not been neglected?  Will women then have to have some sort of legal form indicating that the father was informed and supports the abortion?

And that leads us where we’re going, so to speak.  Let’s talk about the fact that while “forcible rape” may be the stated reason for less than one percent of rapes, it’s the unstated reason for more.  Let’s talk about abusive relationships in which the girl simply isn’t able to stand up for herself, where sex is forced on her in a way that is an awful lot like rape, where she trades her will and loses control.  Let’s talk about incest and rape by a relative- things so shameful that a girl would rather lie and say she had unprotected sex with another kid than admit that a brother, cousin, or father was raping her.

There is no legal recourse for the father of the unborn child not because of the majority of the time when his feelings have (hopefully) been considered by the mother- but for the minority of the time when having legal recourse for the father would further hurt those who are already being abused.

The same is true of parental notifications- they would simply inflame situations in which girls are at very high risk of abuse, neglect, or endangerment from their parents.  One might flippantly say “then why don’t those girls leave?” but to say that shows an incredible lack of insight into what life is like for the abused.  There are numerous books on the subject, all outlining the amazing power that an abuser has over the abused, even after they are free.  The amount of control placed over a person’s mind, the loss of will, the acceptance of abuse and even torture…

So should the father have legal rights to the unborn?

To do so would give him legal control of the mother, perhaps even to the point that he could control what doctor she saw, where and what she ate, if she was allowed to have coffee or take her depression meds…  in this case the “slippery slope” argument makes sense to me, and I don’t like where it’s sliding.  As a woman I like to have control of my own body and uterus.  Woe be it to the man who tries to take that away from me!

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37 thoughts on “Parental Rights

  1. I think the father should have a say, but not THE say. His feelings should be considered, of course, but I don’t think it’s appropriate for his decision to be the final answer.

    I agree with all the reasons you mentioned, but I’d add two more scenarios.

    The first is that if it’s okay for him to decide that the woman carry the baby to term regardless of her feelings, it must be okay for him to decide that she get an abortion, regardless of her feelings. You can’t have it both ways, you know?

    And the second is this. Let’s say in the case of Tammy and Rick that Tammy decides to keep the baby because that’s what Rick wants and she loves him and doesn’t want to lose him. We’ll say that she doesn’t get kicked out of the house, but that her parents are very, VERY disappointed in her. Fast forward to the next summer. She’s still in high school and Rick is about to head off to college. Not surprisingly, Rick wants to break up (because most high school relationships don’t last, I don’t think this is outside the realm of possibility). So now she has a baby that her parents and doctor didn’t want her to have and there are no guarantees that the baby’s dad (the one who insisted she have the baby) will be part of its life.

    Also, getting back to my first point, I’m going to estimate that most men are probably not going to respond “Absolutely, let’s have this unplanned baby.”

    Some will, of course, but most will probably be like, “Let’s go to the clinic tomorrow.”

    Ultimately, I just think that the person whose body will be taken over for nine months by the physical demands of growing a whole other person inside them and who then will get to go through hours of pain to bring the kid into the world should get the final say.

  2. The father should have a say, but the ultimate decision is the mother’s.

    You first scenario, with the husband & wife, for some reason brought to mind lessons from law school related to rape. In the “old days” we’re talking 30 – 40 years ago, it was actually impossible as a matter of law for a husband to rape his wife. His marital rights exceeded the wife’s and in fact placed a de facto immunity from prosecution in a rape case involving his wife. Thank God this is no longer the law of the land. Sound barbaric, well a husband making his wife absorb the physical pain and damage associate with child birth against her wishes, sounds a little barbaric as well. Don’t you think?

  3. “One might flippantly say “then why don’t those girls leave?”

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Excuse me while I wipe tears from my face…

    The answer is simply, because there is no place to go. Or, as in my case, an Aunt WILL take you in but only wants you to live there so you can watch her children and clean the house. I picked my abuser over her. If I am going to play Cinderella, at least I was going to do it in a house where I was actually loved. Warped, abusive love yes, but love nonetheless.

    I would also just like to add that, though we live in a pretty modern age where men are more involved than ever, child rearing is still typically the province of the mother.

  4. Kelly: That is a great point, and one that pro-life advocates probably overlook.

    PolitiP: Oh, man, that had somehow slipped my mind… But I remember reading a book in which the husband did angrily demand “how could I have raped you, you’re my wife!” An unpleasant attitude- and I must admit that I do find it equally unpleasant when people lobby for control of a woman’s body without realizing the violations that could lead to.

    Hayden: I’ve heard a lot of girls say “better the demon you know” when asked why they don’t leave. Why throw yourself on the mercy of the foster system or relatives who could be equally as bad, just in different ways? I can remember one girl telling me, “I know I can live through this, I’ve been doing it for ten years. But if I leave, I don’t know if I could live through that.”

    I wish more people could understand.

  5. If all the father is going to be is a sperm donor then the rights should be with the mother, she has to give birth to the human and look after it. If he is going to pull his weight then definitely the shared decision. Tough one, I think humans need licenses to have children full stop.

  6. Okay then….

    First of all I didn’t even bother to read any of the situational ethic stories.

    I figure the adults already knew when they had sex that there was at least some chance that a pregnancy would occur.

    So now that a pregnancy has occurred who has what responsibility?

    First the mother has the responsibility to: first notify the father of THEIR pregnancy and to discuss the options they each would like to take.

    I won’t even address the abortion issue. Let’s assume that both the mother and father want to take full advantage of their pro choice stance. Okay, then that’s settled. A few hundred dollars and a couple of days off of work and the inconvience is gone.

    Now let’s say the mother wants to keep the baby but the father doesn’t. This happens all the time and of course the father is (at the very least) financially responsible for that baby for the next 18 years. Period. But let’s hope that the father changes his mind and decides to be a daddy instead of a sperm donor. If not I would hope the the mother would let his parents (the grandparents) be involved in their grandchild’s life, if they want too.

    Now for the more controversial side of this love affair. Let’s say the father wants the baby but the mother doesn’t. Say what you will but in a situation where a couple is in some form of a relationship (even if they are just minor acquaintances) the only excuse the mother would have for not carrying the baby to full term is CONVENIENCE. “I don’t want to get fat. It’s bad timing. I will get sick. I don’w want to give up a year of my life right now.” It’s all convenience. She should have been more responsible in the first place. If there is some medical condition that puts her at risk… have your dog-gone tubes tied! Holding an aspirin between her knees would have eliminated the chance of getting pregnant in the first place.

    So the father wants the baby. The father should then hire an attorney to draw up legal papers having the mother relinquish her parental rights, have the mother (under court order if necessary) make routine appointments to her OBGYN. That way in less than a year the mother can get on with her selfish life and the father can raise his child around a loving family. Now the father should also allow the inconvenienced mother’s parents to be involved in their grandchild’s life.

    So vote for me for the Supreme Court and I will do my part! 🙂

  7. Mssc54: Am I then to understand that you didn’t actually read my post?

    If you didn’t, I honestly have little to say to you. It’s not “situational ethics”- it’s ethics, period- and when it comes to making laws you have to consider not only the ideal situation (which you aptly outlined) but the less than ideal (which is what my post was about.)

  8. A new a couple who were in a situation like this. They were on again-off again. They were about to be permantly off, but she found out she was pregnant and did the responsible thing of letting him know. (or stupid) Since she was alone, just out of college with no job, no support what’s so ever, she was leaning towards abortion. He begged her to keep it, promised to marry her, promised to go to counseling. The whole thing. Only by the time she had the baby, all she had gotten from him was to move to the town she was from to be near her family. When the baby was four months old, he cheated on her and left, not even calling to see how she or the baby was, didn’t care to see the baby (I know he was living at us at the time, against my wishes.). When they tried to get together again, he got drunk and raped her. He went to jail, called his rich daddy, who tried to make her drop the charges or he’d get a judge to claim her as unfit and take the baby.

    Yup, there are evil people out there. So I think the woman has the ultimate decision. Most men, if they’re smart, say nothing but try to be encouraging.

  9. Lindsey ~ You have, once again, given voice to my thoughts. Thanks so much for that.

    Mssc54 ~ Admitting you didn’t read the post and then expecting to have people respect your response… how in the name of all that is holy did you expect that to work. You obviously don’t want dialog, simply monologue. Sad. Really. If you have a dictionary, look up the word empathy. Then try it out.

    Matty

  10. Lindsay, if you must know the truth. I did force myself to read the sad, sad stories. The stories I might ad that each person got themselves in to.

    With the exception of rape each person made a personal decision to gamble on a pregnancy. The pill is not 100%. Condoms are not 100%.

    I really liked this part:

    “So should the father have legal rights to the unborn?

    To do so would give him legal control of the mother,…”

    The mother willingly gave control of her body to the father when she …. well you know. The unexpected pregnancy merely extends her permission to willingly give the purveyor of pleasure further control.

    Just because the ride makes you sick doesn’t mean you can change your mind after you’ve already enjoyed it.

  11. Mssc54: Well, I’m grateful at least that you read the post, but I honestly must admit that your attitude about it irks me a little bit. These “sad sad stories” are stories that can and do happen, and the people inside these situations are faced with very, very difficult choices.

    Now, I CHOSE to have my son despite the fact that me and my husband were out of work and practically homeless at the time he was conceived. I CHOSE to have him despite the fact that we at that time were still paying bills from having my daughter and are still (at this point) paying the bills from having my son. I chose to have him because not because I loved him (because at first I was just really, really, really angry- I was trying to avoid a pregnancy, but as you so rightly pointed out nothing is 100%) but because, at first, I felt a moral obligation.

    I could not ask the same of someone who does NOT feel that obligation- and I wouldn’t want to give legal control of any woman’s body to any man. You are wrong in that a woman gives control of her body to a man- legally speaking no man ever has that power over a woman, even if they are married.

    I would hate to have our society land in a position where a man could prick a hole in his condom to get his girlfriend pregnant just to give himself power over her. And if you don’t think that there are men who would do that, for once I’d be happy to say that between the two of us I’m not the one being naive.

  12. Ok, Here is the unspoken flaw with all of this (I’m saying it as one who pretty much agrees with everything here):
    The problem is that the future of both the man and the woman are at stake. Is it fair to say that because the woman has the uterus, that she gets both the ‘get out of jail free’ card and the ‘you’re paying child support for the next 18 years’ card? I know this is a gross over simplification, but I’m struggling with the fact that it takes two to get relational, but one gets the bigger say in what happens. And what happens if the Mother is in a position to be able to raise a child and the Father is not? I know this is not a black and white answer, but a place with lots of gray areas, which makes it more difficult to come up a compassionate answer for all involved. Especially since it is potentially life changing for both the man and the woman. Is there a solution where both get adequate consideration over something that will alter the course of their lives. What if the father would want to raise the child, and commit to that? It’s not an easy subject and I don’t really have an answer, I just am not completely satisfied with the one you gave. It just seems to me that if a man is going to be held accountable for an action after a baby is born, that somehow he should be involved in the decision to have the child. The gap between being able to choose to have sex, and being responsible, legally, financially, spiritually, and emotionally for a child is an awfully huge one.

  13. Bekki: Well, assuming that the man knew the woman did not want to have kids, he also knew that any potential fruit of the relationship might get aborted.

    I just worry about the idea of giving the control of someone’s body to someone else- as Kelly pointed out- what if the woman wants the baby but the man doesn’t? Can he then get an injunction to force her to abort?

    In most situations where the man really wants the baby and is willing to raise the baby, I would think that most women would happily have it. I don’t know anyone who would think, “but I just really want to have an abortion.”

  14. About control, ethics, etc.: if we lived in a perfect world, we wouldn’t have to worry about these issues – especially the all-too-real scenario of people attempting to control one another.

    But (as Lindsey has pointed out in her post), we don’t live in Utopia, so someone’s got to wrestle with the hard questions.

    and M54, I’m honestly surprised that you’d refer to the examples above as “situational ethics.” I know you to be a guy who really does think things through, so I hope you’ll just keep doing that re. what Lindsey has written here. But I do KWYM re. feeling that it’s hard to read certain things (not necessarily Lindsey’s blog, or this post), because I tend to react pretty intensely to many things that I read, both on the internet and off. (I think all of us, do, really. ;))

  15. OK, here is a story from my own life. My own mother had an abortion. My father left her in debt up to her eyeballs, she had 3 tiny children, and she had zero idea he was having an affair with his secretary. He left her and she found herself to be pregnant. She was 3,000 miles from her family, couldn’t support the children she had, and he left her with zero! She knew no one. She was alone and scared. She felt she had no other option but to give the resources that she had to the children that she already had. She could not afford to be out of work to care for a baby. Her income alone was it to support herself and her 3 children.

    You cannot judge ANYONE. NO ONE. No one can judge you. Ever. That is God’s job. GODs. Read your bible. GODs job. period.

  16. Bekki–pregnancy is potentially life-changing for a man and life-changing for a woman.

    And I don’t think (huge generalization, I’m sorry) that men think about the reality of having children the way that women do. (Which is not to say that women are totally prepared for what it’s like to have kids, either.)

  17. If having kids depended on us (women and men alike) feeling “prepared,” I doubt anyone would knowingly reproduce. 😉 (Just kidding! But – as someone who has never had kids – I cannot imagine how people who *do* are able to get through the hard times.)

  18. Well at the risk of alienating some people even further.

    Let’s take a huge step back. Let’s leave the teenagers out of the equation and only look at those 18 years old and older. The legally responsible ones…. both men and women.

    Let’s first look at a married couple. They have just gotten married and the world is bliss. So far so good. At some point they have one child and their marriage is still on good terms. Since their marriage is on such good terms they decide to have another child. But at some point after that, let’s just say the husband has gradually become emphatuated with another woman. So now he is just a dog, having sex with his wife and his girlfriend. But the wife is clueless. Now the wife is 6 weeks late for her Aunt Flow to visit when she finds out that her husband is in fact a cheating bastard. She kicks him out, decides to keep the baby and makes him pay child support. And rightly so.

    Now let’s reverse those roles. The wife is the one slutting around behind her husbands back. Having sex with her boy friend and her husband. She becomes pregnant, isn’t sure who the father is and decides regardless of who the father is she is going to have the baby. Her husband finds out she is slutting around and leaves her. He tells her to get an abortion because he doesn’t care who’s child it is he doesn’t want anything to do with it.

    I guess, to bad for him. He doesn’t get any say. Sucker, just pay up and keep the checks coming.

    Okay now everybody calm down. Here is the real point I’m trying to make.

    Regardless of what the situation is; lost a job, spouse is a dirt bag, you are homeless or you don’t have health insurance… you are the adult. You did not lose your job over night. Your spouse did not become a dirt bag over night. You did not become homeless over night. You should have bought minimal health insurance instead of the beer and cigarettes. You, Mr. and Mrs. adult are responsible for the situation you find your self in. Not anyone else. You made one decision after another that landed you where you are today.

    The father wants the baby and you say so what it’s my body not his. Well again I say you gave that father access to your body so you could in the least have a good time or in the best you were madly in love. Now that you find yourself pregnant you want to jusk kick him to the curb and use that ole “You can’t tell me what to do with my body thing?!” You madam are dispicable. To take a man’s baby away from him because you have whatever reason you think is good enough makes you a dispicable woman… in my humble opinion.

    Now some of you have tried to use God as you defense in that God is the only One who can judge. No, no that’s not true. Read a bit more closely. God doesn’t say that He is the only One who can judge. God says the He will judge souls. But God also says that with what ever measure we judge others we shall be judged by that same measure. We are absolutely supposed to judge behavior.

    So you mean it’s okay to judge that murder is bad? That stealing some one’s car is bad. It’s okay to judge that rape is a dispicable behavior. But don’t judge the woman who chooses to abort the baby that her lover/husband wants so desperately to have?

    As usual, you women are very clear on what you want and everyone else be damned.

    Screw the daddy once then screw him again. Now honestly does that seem like the right thing to do?

    That kind of blows the “well if Christians want us to stop having abortions then tell them to adopt all the potentially aborted bavies” arguement out the window doesn’t it?

    I know it will be hard to do but please don’t take this personal… any of you. It is not meant as a personal attack.

    Everyone seems to want to stand up for the woman.

    When in the world are the daddies going to get a break? 😦

  19. This may be a hard pill for men to swallow, but I’m going to say it anyway.

    Males are only sperm donars.

    Before some of the readers go crazy (and justly so), please consider what I’ll say next.

    A woman cannot create a child on her own, but she does cary it, birth it, breast feed it and is directly responsible for its life after birth. My mother often said to me ‘after you were born, I have never known a moment without fear’.

    Now, a male becomes a father if he chooses to stick by the females side and help rear the child. Though a man is just as capable of loving the child as fiercely as the mother, he is also far more capable of walking away.

    The situation that faemom mentioned is the exact reason why a man will never and should never be able to dictate an issue like this to a woman. I’m not saying that all men will walk away, in fact most won’t. But this chance is what keeps the decision in the woman’s hands ultimately. She will be bound to this bundle for the rest of her life, he simply will not. He may be forced financially to do so, but how can this compare to the utter life changing event of bringing a human being up?

    Now some will bring up the point that women sometimes leave their babies. This is true, however it is far more rare than a man leaving a woman and child.

  20. Mssc54: Some people DO lose their jobs overnight, through no fault of their own. I’ve been there three times (well, technically my husband has and I’ve been there by proxy). The RV industry is cruel mistress.

    One point I think you are missing- REALLY missing- is that people are also responsible for who they get into relationships with. What is a man whose dream in life is being a loving father doing impregnating a woman who in your words is “simply too selfish” to want to carry a child to term? In your example of the woman who sleazes around on her husband- he could have married someone else.

    If you want to be coldly judgmental and assume the worst of people, I can do that to. And I can say that the men carry as much responsibility as the women do when it comes to who they choose to have sex with and what they choose to do with the results of that. Men know, just as women know, that a child is a possible side effect of sexual activity. And if men know that they are pro-life and would want to keep any possible bundles of joy that might occur, they should only put their penises in women who share that sentiment.

    Yes, I’m going to stick up for the women. I didn’t say that women shouldn’t take the father’s feelings into consideration- and, honestly- if the father is a man who passionately wants to keep and care for the baby, most women wouldn’t say screw you I don’t want to. Your earlier example of the woman not having the baby because she didn’t want stretch marks is nearly impossible for me to imagine, because I don’t know any women that selfish.

    goldnsilver: thank you. Thank you so much.

  21. mcc54 my only statement is that in your example of the woman screwing around and getting pregnant and her poor husband being finacially responsible really isn’t accurate. Paternity test woiuld prove if it was his, then he should pay, and if not then he can walk away.

  22. Lindsey; Three times? Maybe choose a different industry after the second time. Remember the definition of insanity?

    Your second and third paragraphs are points I was trying to make. Both parties are responsible for being in healthy relationships.

    You mean you have NEVER heard a woman say she won’t have a baby because she doesn’t want stretch marks? Good, keep hanging around those same crowds. They are our there.

    Hill; Sorry, paternity was implied and in this state the father can’t walk away if he wants too. Which I am 100% in support of. Even if he moves to another state the govermant blood hounds will track him down and garnish his wages. haha too bad for him!

  23. Never heard anyone get an abortion because of stretch marks. Thats a new one for me and Im from California! I live amongst and socialize with the most image and body focused women there are.

    Women might say something like that… but I doubt it is the truth. Honestly. And how utterly sad and pathetic if it is.

  24. goldnsilver;

    Let me just put this in plain english. You are just full of dooky.

    What makes a woman less capable of walking than a man? Some inward maternal nurturing gizzmo?

    Perhaps you have been hanging around the wrong group of guys! I say bring me the kids, when the house fills up we’ll figure something else out.

    How dare you say that men are more capable of walking away from their child. Like women have this halo glowing all about their perfect little heads. Give me a friggn break.

    Your superior attitude is exactly the kind of thing that has made daddies second rate citizens in the courts today.

    BIGGOT!

  25. I’ve heard plenty of women say that their main goal for the future is having children. I have not heard one guy, not one, said that their main future aspiration is having children.

    And also, Mssc54, a lot of men get away without paying child support.

    Do you think it’s okay, then, for the man to demand that the woman get an abortion if she doesn’t want one? Seeing as how it’s his choice and not hers?

  26. mssc4, Okay partenity was implied so the cheated on husband was the father. So why shouldn’t he pay child support? Irregardless if the woman is a slut and whore. It is still his child he carries and he should support it. And I for one am thankful your state goes after dead beat dads. I’m not saying the the word of the woman should be enough for him to pay. But take the parternity test and if it is his, then he should pay.

    “Now let’s reverse those roles. The wife is the one slutting around behind her husbands back. Having sex with her boy friend and her husband. She becomes pregnant, isn’t sure who the father is and decides regardless of who the father is she is going to have the baby. Her husband finds out she is slutting around and leaves her. He tells her to get an abortion because he doesn’t care who’s child it is he doesn’t want anything to do with it.

    I guess, to bad for him. He doesn’t get any say. Sucker, just pay up and keep the checks coming.”

    From this paragraph I got the distinct feeling you were saying that if the wife doesn’t have the abortion he wanted, then too bad for her. Poor sucker had to pay for a child he didn’t want.

    But isn’t that what you are asking a woman to do? Pay for a child she doesn’t want? Pay financially, physically, emotionally?

    Not trying to attack but asking for clarification on your position.

  27. If men could become pregnant, I seriously doubt that we’d be having this discussion. I’m being slightly snarky here, but… there’s a lot of truth to this kind of “throwaway” remark.

    As for that stretch marks comment, I agree with the other commenters who’ve already addressed it.

  28. Mssc54,

    Lindsey; Three times? Maybe choose a different industry after the second time. Remember the definition of insanity?

    Let me just put this in plain english. You are just full of dooky.

    Your superior attitude is exactly the kind of thing that has made daddies second rate citizens in the courts today.

    BIGGOT!

    Wow, very harsh. If this is an example of the god you follow, I don’t think that is a journey I want to take. I am not attacking you position or beliefs, just the venom with which you are stating them. Love others as yourself includes, speak to others as you would want to be spoken to. Or play nice in the sandbox.

  29. If men could become pregnant, I seriously doubt that we’d be having this discussion. I’m being slightly snarky here, but… there’s a lot of truth to this kind of “throwaway” remark.

    Could you clarrify your position/theory a little? Sorry, just not getting the inuendo.

    mssc4…

    What makes a woman less capable of walking than a man? Some inward maternal nurturing gizzmo?

    Yes, its called maternal instincts, which women usually have a great deal of. Men do as well, but in less higher concentration across the general populace.

    Perhaps you have been hanging around the wrong group of guys! I say bring me the kids, when the house fills up we’ll figure something else out.

    Actually, I don’t. My boyfriend is a christian and none of my friends or their families are single parents. But really, even if I did hang around heaps of kids that came from ‘broken’ families, what difference would that make to the points I’ve made?

    How dare you say that men are more capable of walking away from their child. Like women have this halo glowing all about their perfect little heads. Give me a friggn break.

    Are you’re eyes painted on? I didn’t say women are perfect, or that some don’t leave children. I said its more likely a man will leave.

    Approximately 84% of custodial parents are mothers, and
    16% of custodial parents are fathers

    Do you even wonder why that exists?

    Found that from this link:

    http://singleparents.about.com/od/legalissues/p/portrait.htm

    Your superior attitude is exactly the kind of thing that has made daddies second rate citizens in the courts today.

    BIGGOT!

    My attitude has nothing to do with that. Personally, I think that men should be awarded more rights for children their children when they have fathered them (note my previous definition of a ‘father’).

    Your attitude on the other hand shows me that you might have to ‘man up’ and argue my points directly, instead of decending into an insult-fest.

  30. goldnsilver, what I meant was this: if men had the ability to get pregnant, I seriously doubt anyone would be debating about whether abortion should be legal, in certain cases, at least. I meant to be a bit humorous (as I’ve often heard the “if men could get pregnant” line used by other women jokingly, to indicate that there’s much that they don’t understand, simply because they’re *not* able to step into a pregnant woman’s shoes).

    My apologies for not being a bit more explicit – I was trying to lighten things up a little, but it seems I might have done the opposite!

  31. e2tc, I got it and was glad you tried. Unfortunately these topics can cause a lot of heated discussion. But on the other hand, maybe it is good. We all know these positions exist out there, maybe it is good for us to put a human face on them.

    What was it you said to me one time….”If we agreed on everything it would be boring.” How true. But we can disagree whole heartedly and still be civil.

    So seeing the positions and thoughts attached to humans is a good thing and maybe trying to be civil while disagreeing is a good thing.

    Oh and Lindsey, I figure you are shaking your head and wondering why you do this. Discussion is good and disagreement is good. You are putting a human face to the rhetoric (on both sides of the issue). And that is a great thing. Continue on girl.

  32. e2tc – no worries, I wasn’t trying to be like ‘bitch, answer me now!’. I was just interested in what you meant.

    So, when you say that you seriously debate whether abortion would be legal, do you mean that it would definately be legal or illegal?

  33. Okay this will be the last comment on the subject from me.

    First of all I would like to apologise for calling goldnsilver a BIGGOT.

    goldnsilver uses statistical data that shows the percentage of custodial mothers as opposed to custodial fathers.

    My point is that you CAN NOT look at statistics (alone). You have to consider the advantages the mothers have in family court simply because they are women.

    Since you all seem to like personal stories…

    My brother in law’s wife started screwing around with her boss. They have three children. He ended up having to leave their home and move back in with my mother-in-law. While waiting for the divorce (one year) he had to pay ALL of the wife’s and children’s expenses plus his own. SHE was the one committing adultry but yet the father is the one that got screwed.

    Statistically speaking she is a good woman. Right.

    The next thing you will be telling me is that since (statistically speaking) the number one cause of death of black males between 18-25 years of age is murder that statistically speaking MOST black men in that age group are murderors.

    That’s it for me.

  34. WOW! Apparently all I have to do to get half a million comments is go to sleep!

    Okay, so:
    Mssc54: I realize that this topic is sensitive to you, but that really doesn’t justify sinking to the level of making rude personal remarks. Yes, my husband has stayed in an industry that is less than loyal, but he’s done so because it’s the only industry in this area that pays so well, and we both want me to be able to be a stay at home mom. So don’t act like it’s “insane”, yes, it can be nerve wracking at times, but seeing as he stayed on unemployment for six months trying to find a job outside the industry only for the best available job to be for eight dollars an hour, I think we’ve made the right choice.

    Now, for EVERYONE:

    Yes, there IS an “internal mothering drive”, it’s called Oxytocin, it’s a hormone, and it’s released in droves during natural delivery and breastfeeding, as well as skin-to-skin contact and scent. It’s the reason why “that baby smell” drives women crazy, it causes their brains to secrete this hormone that literally makes them want to hold and nurture babies. Oxytocin is the reason most women describe the first moments with their child as being “surreal”, because they are literally high from holding that little kid. Oxytocin causes a very deep bonding, one that some doctors claim makes it emotionally distressing to hear a baby cry or to be away from physical contact with a child a woman is breastfeeding. Men will never be able to understand what life is like for a young breastfeeding mother simply because they do not have this extremely powerful hormone to contend with.

    It’s not released as strongly in induced labors or c-sections, and some doctors link the lack of it in those cases to post-partum depression.

    My mother (an OB/GYN) is considering writing a paper on the subject.

    So, Mssc54, no, women don’t have halos. But they do have a deep-seated biological imperative to bear and care for their young which starts about 6 weeks into the pregnancy (not ironically when most women start to suspect they are pregnant). This has been medically proven. There are numerous books and scholarly articles on the drive to nurture. And these hormones and their sudden departure after an abortion have been purported to cause something called “post-abortion syndrome” which although not proven I would think is no laughing matter.

    These hormones are also part of what make me suspect that no one would have an abortion flippantly. I hated the fact that I was pregnant with my son- but the drive to nurture and protect was still there, still very real, and sometimes kind of frightening.

    No halo. Just the way God made it work.

    And I agree with everyone that was tossing around the “If men could be…”

    Honestly, guys, it’s NOT fair. It’s not fair that a woman can choose to (or not to) have an abortion, and the man has no say. It’s not fair that the man has to pay child support for a child he doesn’t want or can’t raise a child he does.

    But is the answer making it just as bad for women? Making it so a man can demand a child SHE doesn’t want? Is it right to force her to carry that child for nine months? The entire time resenting it? If it is true that a woman’s emotions affect the course of the pregnancy (another things that isn’t medically proven, but commonly believed) imagine what it would be like to be birthed by a mother who doesn’t want you.

    Ouch.

    And I think at this point I’m going to stop replying to already established comment threads unless something new surfaces- no need to chase our tails hoping that people change their minds. We’ve all got a right to our own opinions.

  35. This is a very hot topic, and one that I deal with on a daily basis as a Father’s Rights attorney. I’ve written on the fact that BOTH sides of the abortion debate ignore the father’s role, AND RESPONSIBILITIES.

    It is very often ignored, forgotten or minimized that men have a choice also, and if that message were often stressed, that MEN CAN CHOOSE CONTRACEPTION also, it might reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies also.

    I discuss this further at http://mensfamilylaw.wordpress.com/2008/09/08/the-most-important-choice-for-men/.

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