(Opinionator Blog) Laurie Shrage—Is Forced Fatherhood Fair?

Posted by Kendall Harmon

If a man accidentally conceives a child with a woman, and does not want to raise the child with her, what are his choices? Surprisingly, he has few options in the United States. He can urge her to seek an abortion, but ultimately that decision is hers to make. Should she decide to continue the pregnancy and raise the child, and should she or our government attempt to establish him as the legal father, he can be stuck with years of child support payments.

Do men now have less reproductive autonomy than women? Should men have more control over when and how they become parents, as many women now do?

The political philosopher Elizabeth Brake has argued that our policies should give men who accidentally impregnate a woman more options, and that feminists should oppose policies that make fatherhood compulsory.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenLaw & Legal IssuesMarriage & FamilyMenSexuality* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in General

Posted July 15, 2013 at 4:36 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

1. sophy0075 wrote:

How could a man “accidentally” have sex with a woman? Erred concerning use of contraception, perhaps, but the act of coitus as being an accident…?

July 16, 12:19 am | [comment link]
2. Karen B. wrote:

feminists should oppose policies that make fatherhood compulsory.

Good grief.  As if this is yet another status one can fudge, like “gender status” is now being fudged by so many.  If a male helps conceive a child, he is a father.  Whether or not he accepts responsibility for that act and his child is one thing.  But one can not simply “wish away” the reality of fatherhood.


July 16, 6:57 am | [comment link]
3. Br. Michael wrote:

I agree with 1 and 2.  This is more leftest lunacy.  It is simply more of the trend in releasing anyone from any responsibility for their actions, no matter what they do, and letting others pick up the pieces.

July 16, 7:05 am | [comment link]
4. David Keller wrote:

There is a 150 year old invention which can be used to resolve this problem for both the left and the right. It’s called a zipper.

July 16, 8:10 am | [comment link]
5. Cennydd13 wrote:

There’s something else here, and that is the possibility that a man who has fathered a child and abandoned that child and its mother may seek to claim parental rights later in that child’s life.  In a case like this, it would be advisable for her to file for sole legal custody of her child.

July 16, 10:27 am | [comment link]
6. Sarah1 wrote:

I gotta say—I see the other side of this.

Note that women have the “right” to kill their babies in the womb without any permission from the father—and for such issues as “convenience” or “my career” or “too expensive”.  And if they do *not* choose to kill their baby, the father must then support the baby financially.

This is a catch-22 in a big way.  Either the father has say and responsibility over and for the baby . . . or he does not.

If he *does* then it should not be solely up to the mother to be able to choose to kill the baby.  That’s simply not right nor is there any justice in that.  You shouldn’t be responsible for something for which you have no authority at all.

July 16, 8:51 pm | [comment link]
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