Let's hear from the male members of VB - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 11-21-2011, 12:06 AM
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Perusing the latest of the long line of abortion threads, I noticed a repeated refrain: that it's simply unfair that women get to make the decision whether to carry a pregnancy to term or to have an abortion. I think I even saw HappyHippy claim that men really regret not being able to experience firsthand the joys of pregnancy and childbirth.

So, guys, let's hear from you, since the ability to make a decision about carrying a pregnancy to term or to have an abortion doesn't occur in a vacuum - it comes with quite a bit of baggage. Do you really want the following:

4 decades, give or take, of menstrual cycles, with the attendant cramps, bloating, diarrhea, mood swings, headaches, mess, etc.

morning sickness, aching back, swollen ankles and feet, varicose veins, sore breasts, stretch marks, labor pains, weight gain, decreased capacity for sexual pleasure, not insignificant risks to health and life associated with pregnancy and childbirth

menopause and its attendant hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings, memory loss, bone loss, decrease in sexual pleasure, etc.

Are you willing to pay that price in order to be the one to decide whether to carry a pregnancy to term or to have an abortion?
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#2 Old 11-21-2011, 12:13 AM
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I'm glad you brought this up. And I'm looking forward to reading the responses.

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#3 Old 11-21-2011, 12:21 AM
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You misunderstood. Intentionaly no doubt.

The decision to abort or carry remaining with the woman was never opposed.

That can't be opposed it has to be the woman who makes the final decision on that.

What was put forward was simply that during the period that the woman has the option to opt out of parenthood that the man should have the option to opt out too.

The woman may then decide if she wants carry to term or not.

The woman does lose one choice though ...

The choice to force parenthood upon an unwilling man.
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#4 Old 11-21-2011, 12:39 AM
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You misunderstood. Intentionaly no doubt.

The decision to abort or carry remaining with the woman was never opposed.

That can't be opposed it has to be the woman who makes the final decision on that.

What was put forward was simply that during the period that the woman has the option to opt out of parenthood that the man should have the option to opt out too.

The woman may then decide if she wants carry to term or not.

The woman does lose one choice though ...

The choice to force parenthood upon an unwilling man.

I'm so sorry - I completely forgot that you have no interest at all in the best interests of the child, once it's born. You'll have to forgive me - it's difficult to remember that some people don't actually care about children, just whether one sex has an unfair advantage over the other sex.

So, let's go ahead and say that the welfare of children is completely irrelevant and posit that you're right - that since women have the ability to decide to have an abortion, men should have the right to opt out of parenthood. That still leaves almost an entire lifetime of reproduction-related unfairness hanging on women (see the list in my opening post). How are you going to remedy that? I got my first period at age 11, my mother lived to age 89 and my grandmother to age 94. Splitting the difference, I'm going to have about 80 years of unfairness that needs to be remedied. I'm post menopausal, and I have just had my second broken wrist/arm in 2 1/2 years(this time, three broken bones and three dislocations, requiring surgery, a permanent metal plate and six screws - I haven't gotten all the bills yet, but the simple fracture I had 2 1/2 years ago, which require a simple cast, cost me more than $3,000).

Simple fairness requires that I, and all other women, be compensated. After all, we're forced to deal with all of this, whether or not we ever wanted children. It's just not fair!
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#5 Old 11-21-2011, 12:46 AM
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BTW, CG, I gather that your answer to my opening question is a resounding "NO!!!!!!!"

ETA: Oh, and let's also be clear - you're not actually talking about parenthood, are you, since no one can be forced to parent - you're talking about child support. After all, money is what really matters, at least to you.
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#6 Old 11-21-2011, 02:24 AM
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Simple answer, no. Though there were times during my girlfriend's pregnancy that I wished I could have taken some of her pain and discomfort, it is an impossibility and not worth dwelling on.

And regarding the right to be part of the decision making process, I'd say I made that choice the day conception occurred. This choice comes in the form of making sure you are willing to raise a child with someone before sleeping with them, even if pregnancy isn't necessarily the goal. But I guess the other choice we all must make is about the importance of a few minutes of pleasure that can and does have long lasting consequences, and whether or not it's really worth it.

I tend to be more goal oriented and less prone to pleasure seeking, so for me the choice is obvious. My father was the opposite and, for a long time, I hated him for that to the point that it played a significant role in how I turned out and the detachment I assume when making decisions.

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#7 Old 11-21-2011, 04:20 AM
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Shouldn't this stuff about male members belong to the perv thread?

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#8 Old 11-21-2011, 07:59 AM
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I, personally, do not think that the way in which we administer parental rights in the US are equitable. I do not think that both mother and father have equal rights when it comes to the child. As a child of someone who was granted custody for the simple fact that she was the mother despite all indications being that I would have been much better cared for, looked after, and provided for by my father, I do feel some type of personal investment in this inequity. Though, I recognize my experience is anecdotal and therefore worth little but it's important to contextualize my opinion.

I sympathize and agree that a woman should be able to make the decision of what to do with her own body. If she does not want to bring a fetus to term, that's her choice. I sympathize, understand, and even agree that she should not need anyone's permission to do something with her body. If a women does not want to be a mother, she has the right to choose not to be a mother. However, I think the inequity lies in the fact that men are not granted the same choice.

If a woman doesn't want to be a mother and the father does, she can terminate the pregnancy without consent from the father.
If a man doesn't want to father but the woman does, she can, via our courts, force him to be a father for the next 18 years.

I think that there needs to be an equitable solution here. If one party can choose not to be a parent, then both parties should be able to choose not to be a parent.

If a woman wants to be a mother and a father does not, there should be some provision that allows him to waive all parental rights and responsibilities. Otherwise, it is not fair that a man cannot force a woman to be a mother but a woman can force a man to be a father.

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#9 Old 11-21-2011, 08:40 AM
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Agreeing with some of the other posters above that the OP has misunderstood the problem.

There is an inequality at work that goes beyond simple biology. And its an inequality that plays upon outdated, sexist stereotypes that women are weak creatures who are unable to provide the same consent to sexual intercourse that men are.

In addition, once the child is born, and the issue of pregnancy is out of the picture, the there is still a de facto, and often a de jure bias in the law when it comes to the rights of fathers and grandparents.
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#10 Old 11-21-2011, 09:01 AM
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I'd be interested in hearing an explanation of why some people equate paying child support with "being a father." I think that the financial obligations towards one's offspring are a very, very minimal part of what it means to be a parent. Frankly, it surprises me that some of you think that's the only thing that being a parent entails.


Leaving aside the interests of the child (which are paramount in my opinion, but which apparently are of no account to some of you), how would this opt out for men work? During any point in the pregnancy, a man could sign a paper relinquishing his parental rights and opting out of his responsibilities, no matter how wealthy he is? Then it's up to the woman to be the sole financial support for the child, or to have an abortion, quite possibly immediately before she goes into labor, should the man make his decision at that point? Nice. Very nice. Way to go, if you want to increase the number of abortions, especially late term abortions of healthy fetuses, which almost never occur at present.

It's a really nice arrangement for men, allowing them to have their cake and eat it too. There's absolutely no incentive for a man not to opt out. If he ends up wanting to spend time with the child, to be an actual parent, he can still do it, without any financial responsibility, as long as the woman is a decent mother. Because any decent mother would see the benefit to the child of having the father be involved in the child's life, even if he's abdicated financial responsibility. Again, nice. Very nice.

Way to go, to increase the numbers of children living in poverty. (Because the children of single mothers make up a disproportionate share of the children living in poverty, even under our present system, where men can't, at least in theory, walk away from their financial obligations to the children they sire.)

Speaking of which - I gather we can all agree that the financial public resources available to help children living in poverty are finite? That means resources will be stretched even thinner, to take care of not only the children already in need, but all of those children sired by men who can get rid of responsibility with a quick signature.

But then, who actually cares about the children? They're negligible after all, compared to men's financial interests.
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#11 Old 11-21-2011, 09:17 AM
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Originally Posted by das_nut View Post

Agreeing with some of the other posters above that the OP has misunderstood the problem.

There is an inequality at work that goes beyond simple biology. And its an inequality that plays upon outdated, sexist stereotypes that women are weak creatures who are unable to provide the same consent to sexual intercourse that men are.

In addition, once the child is born, and the issue of pregnancy is out of the picture, the there is still a de facto, and often a de jure bias in the law when it comes to the rights of fathers and grandparents.

Oh, I understand the problem quite well - the law is too little interested in protecting men's financial interests and too much interested in protecting the financial interests of the children. That's what it comes down to.

BTW, grandparents don't have any legal rights, except in some states in which they have extremely limited rights if their child who is the parent is dead. OTOH, they also have zero financial responsibility (even in those extremely limited circumstances where they have rights), which is after all what you're advocating for men.

There is no de jure advantage to women in the law (although there used to be a definite de jure advantage to men with respect to *ownership* of children). As a atter of fact, the financial guidelines with respect to child support obligations are calculated based on formulas that have nothing at all to do with gender. There may be a de facto bias among some individual judges with respect to child custody, but it's much rarer than you think - those decisions are generally based on who has been the primary caregiver to date. There are other de facto biases - it's not unheard of for a mother who has been the primary caregiver to lose custody to the father, if he's a devout churchgoer and she's an atheist, for example. I think those de facto biases need to be addressed. I don't think that allowing men to sign away their financial responsibilities is the way to do it, but perhaps you could enlighten me as to how that would work?
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#12 Old 11-21-2011, 09:19 AM
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It's a really nice arrangement for men, allowing them to have their cake and eat it too. There's absolutely no incentive for a man not to opt out.

It is this statement which has made me realize that you have absolutely no interest in actually having a discussion but probably just want a soapbox. The fact that you believe, regardless of circumstance or individual, that men are, by nature, more apt to relinquish their rights as fathers carelessly and gleefully indicates that there can be no real discussion of value with you on the topic.

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#13 Old 11-21-2011, 09:28 AM
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my answer is no. I do think it would be terrible if the guy wanted to keep the child and the woman wanted to abort. I support her right, but that would be a tough situation.
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#14 Old 11-21-2011, 09:30 AM
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It is this statement which has made me realize that you have absolutely no interest in actually having a discussion but probably just want a soapbox. The fact that you believe, regardless of circumstance or individual, that men are, by nature, more apt to relinquish their rights as fathers carelessly and gleefully indicates that there can be no real discussion of value with you on the topic.

Not at all - I think that if women could sign away their legal responsibilities but maintain their parental role otherwise, probably the same percentage would do it as men would do it. A significant portion of the human species sucks.

So please, explain to me how all this would work without affecting the children detrimentally. Or do the children really not matter?
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#15 Old 11-21-2011, 09:37 AM
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Agreeing with some of the other posters above that the OP has misunderstood the problem.

Misunderstanding stuff is necessary sometimes.

Kudos to anyone who can clear up the OP's 'misunderstanding' that an aborted child needs supporting by anyone whatsoever.
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#16 Old 11-21-2011, 09:39 AM
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Misunderstanding stuff is necessary sometimes.

Kudos to anyone who can clear up the OP's 'misunderstanding' that an aborted child needs supporting.

Me thinks it might be you who is misunderstanding.

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#17 Old 11-21-2011, 09:40 AM
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Not at all - I think that if women could sign away their legal responsibilities but maintain their parental role otherwise, probably the same percentage would do it as men would do it. A significant portion of the human species sucks.

Okay, then, my apologies; I stand corrected.

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So please, explain to me how all this would work without affecting the children detrimentally. Or do the children really not matter?

Why should the onus of this be on a man, who maintained that he did not, was not ready to be, did not feel fit for fatherhood from the beginning and during a time when the mother had enough time to decide, herself, with that information whether or not to keep it?

If a man were to inform his pregnant partner that he does not want children and does not want to be responsible for a child in any way yet she chooses to continue the pregnancy regardless of his input, why is not the onus of thinking about the welfare of the potential child on the mother? Shouldn't your question be more applicable to a woman who chooses to bring a child into the world without the support of the father, emotionally or financially? Why does this question only become relevant after the child has been born?

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#18 Old 11-21-2011, 09:41 AM
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Misunderstanding stuff is necessary sometimes.

Kudos to anyone who can clear up the OP's 'misunderstanding' that an aborted child needs supporting.

"
'Lo, Clueless. You're such a silly billy. Of course, I'm talking about children, not aborted fetuses. You're really reaching, but then, I gather that's all you have - reach, no grasp.

ETA: I don't think I'm quite right for the folksy guru role. My apologies, CG - I'll leave that to you - you play it so much better.
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#19 Old 11-21-2011, 09:56 AM
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Okay, then, my apologies; I stand corrected.



Why should the onus of this be on a man, who maintained that he did not, was not ready to be, did not feel fit for fatherhood from the beginning and during a time when the mother had enough time to decide, herself, with that information whether or not to keep it?

If a man were to inform his pregnant partner that he does not want children and does not want to be responsible for a child in any way yet she chooses to continue the pregnancy regardless of his input, why is not the onus of thinking about the welfare of the potential child on the mother? Shouldn't your question be more applicable to a woman who chooses to bring a child into the world without the support of the father, emotionally or financially? Why does this question only become relevant after the child has been born?



I think that, once a child is born, its rights trump the wishes of both the egg donor and the sperm donor. A child is helpless for much of the early part of its life, and had absolutely no role in being brought into the world. Financial support is the very least of what both the egg donor and the sperm donor owe to the child.

Perhaps we could institute a law that requires people, before they engage in sexual intercourse, to visit an official registry where they mark appropriate boxes indicating whether, if a pregnancy results from intercourse, they would choose abortion. If one partner does, and the other doesn't, further appropriate boxes can be marked. Then, if one party reneges, s/he could be jailed for fraud and her/his property could be forfeited to either the wronged party or the child, as applicable. That would work.
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#20 Old 11-21-2011, 09:59 AM
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Then it's up to the woman to be the sole financial support for the child, or to have an abortion, quite possibly immediately before she goes into labor, should the man make his decision at that point? Nice.

In 49 states, a mother can drop off a child at a safe point under infant safe haven laws.

Here's a summary.

The summary also states that only five of those states allows the father to petition for custody of the child.

So basically, if we use the logic of some posters here, 49 states are willing to allow mothers to have no responsibility for raising their children.

Further following the logic of some posters here, this means that women will have a lot of unprotected sex, since there is no repercussions, and just abandon their babies causing the rest of us, through the state, to pay to raise them.
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#21 Old 11-21-2011, 10:04 AM
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Of course, I'm talking about children, not aborted fetuses.

When a woman uses the opt out available to her there are no children, only aborted fetuses.

Aborted fetus = no support required from either mother or father or anyone.

You appear to be opposed to the idea that women are perfectly bright enough to realise this.
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#22 Old 11-21-2011, 10:09 AM
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I think that, once a child is born, its rights trump the wishes of both the egg donor and the sperm donor. A child is helpless for much of the early part of its life, and had absolutely no role in being brought into the world. Financial support is the very least of what both the egg donor and the sperm donor owe to the child.

You're skipping ahead and completely ignored the question.

Your questions above imply that the hypothetical men in the scenario are more concerned about their financial interests than the welfare of the child.

I'm suggesting that if the welfare of the child were really at the crux of your argument, then you should start with the choice to bring a child into the world--made either by the mother or father or both--and not the end-result for the choice, itself, is as important, if not more, than the choices made thereafter.

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#23 Old 11-21-2011, 10:09 AM
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Way to go, if you want to increase the number of abortions, especially late term abortions of healthy fetuses, which almost never occur at present.

The only reasons I can see for someone opting out at such a late date would be:
1) the couple hasn't discussed the very fundamental issue of financial support at all, and bring it up near the end of pregnancy for the first time, which is when the man reveals he doesn't want to support the kid
2) the man first says he's willing to support the kid, but then at the last moment backs down

The latter situation seems more plausible but could be settled by requiring the man to sign a form volunteering financial support, which contract he couldn't back down from later. Also, wouldn't a man changing his mind like that be as likely as a woman changing her mind about a kid that late in the pregnancy? And you state yourself that those kind of abortions are rare.

Quote:
It's a really nice arrangement for men, allowing them to have their cake and eat it too. There's absolutely no incentive for a man not to opt out. If he ends up wanting to spend time with the child, to be an actual parent, he can still do it, without any financial responsibility, as long as the woman is a decent mother. Because any decent mother would see the benefit to the child of having the father be involved in the child's life, even if he's abdicated financial responsibility. Again, nice. Very nice.

Incentive for man not to opt out: desire to live with the mother in an emotionally healthy, normal, loving family situation. If the father wants to hang out with the kid but has no interest in supporting the child-raising in any financial way, that will most likely cause a lot of psychological problems in his relationship with the mother. If the father is emotionally attached to the mother, he will see financial support of child-raising as natural and not something which to opt out of. Just like, if there's no child in the picture, many couples support each other financially even without the government forcing them to.

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#24 Old 11-21-2011, 10:11 AM
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Perhaps we could institute a law that requires people, before they engage in sexual intercourse, to visit an official registry where they mark appropriate boxes indicating whether, if a pregnancy results from intercourse, they would choose abortion. If one partner does, and the other doesn't, further appropriate boxes can be marked. Then, if one party reneges, s/he could be jailed for fraud and her/his property could be forfeited to either the wronged party or the child, as applicable. That would work.

More complicated than simply allowing both parents an opt out within the legal time frame for abortion.

Otherwise that is actualy very fair and equitable.
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#25 Old 11-21-2011, 10:20 AM
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In 49 states, a mother can drop off a child at a safe point under infant safe haven laws.

Here's a summary.

The summary also states that only five of those states allows the father to petition for custody of the child.

So basically, if we use the logic of some posters here, 49 states are willing to allow mothers to have no responsibility for raising their children.

Further following the logic of some posters here, this means that women will have a lot of unprotected sex, since there is no repercussions, and just abandon their babies causing the rest of us, through the state, to pay to raise them.


In the interest of accuracy, from the article you cited:

In most States with safe haven laws, either parent may surrender his or her baby to a safe haven. In four States, only the mother may relinquish her infant.5 Idaho specifies that only a custodial parent may surrender an infant. In approximately 11 States, an agent of the paret (someone who has the parent's approval) may take a baby to a safe haven for a parent.6 In California and Kansas, if the person relinquishing the infant is someone other than a parent, he or she must have legal custody of the child. Seven States do not specify the person who may relinquish an infant.7

In the further interests of accuracy (pesky thing, accurcy), while only five of these safe haven laws specifically provide that the father may petition for custody of a child abandoned by the mother, the fact is that a father can, at any time prior to formal termination of his parental rights by a court, petition for custody of his child, whether or not the child has been abandoned by the mother. Parental rights carry a lot of weight under established law - it's why so many kids are stuck endlessly in foster care - it's not easy to terminate parental rights without consent of the parent. Saying that fathers can't petition for custody because a safe haven law doesn't make express provision for it is like saying that we're all going to be subject to Sharia law unless we enact a specific statute saying that Sharia law can't be applied by our courts, the Constitution notwithstanding.

BTW, please point me to the posters in this thread who've made claims about unprotected sex, etc., as you claim. I've been gone for a while, so I must have missed it.
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#26 Old 11-21-2011, 10:24 AM
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When a woman uses the opt out available to her there are no children, only aborted fetuses.

Aborted fetus = no support required from either mother or father or anyone.

You appear to be opposed to the idea that women are perfectly bright enough to realise this.


You continue to be confused, CG. I'm talking about the interests of children. You do know what a child is, don't you? They're little humans who start off having to be fed and burped, have their diapers changed, be clothed and housed, eventually educated. And they need love and attention and nurturing if they're not to grow up to be sociopaths.

Surely you've encountered a child or two - after all you're middle aged, aren't you?
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#27 Old 11-21-2011, 10:28 AM
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MLP -- In most of those states, the mother does not have the responsibility to tell the father that she's even pregnant, or inform the party she's abandoning the child to who the father is.

It's hard to take responsibility for a child that you're unaware of.

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BTW, please point me to the posters in this thread who've made claims about unprotected sex, etc., as you claim. I've been gone for a while, so I must have missed it.

I said "some posters".

But hey, why don't you tell us what you think? Do laws that allow a parent to dodge the responsibility of raising a child result in people having more unprotected sex?
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#28 Old 11-21-2011, 10:55 AM
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You do know what a child is, don't you?

Are they what results when women don't excercise their hard won choice to have abortions?
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#29 Old 11-21-2011, 11:00 AM
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You're skipping ahead and completely ignored the question.

Your questions above imply that the hypothetical men in the scenario are more concerned about their financial interests than the welfare of the child.

I'm suggesting that if the welfare of the child were really at the crux of your argument, then you should start with the choice to bring a child into the world--made either by the mother or father or both--and not the end-result for the choice, itself, is as important, if not more, than the choices made thereafter.


Well, you're making the rather simplistic assumption that the decision whether or not to have an abortion is simply a financial one and that nonfinancial factors have no bearing on whether someone is willing/emotionally able to have an abortion.

That's so patently not the case (financial issues had absolutely nothing to do with my decision or the decision of any woman I know) that it's impossible for me to even address the assumption.

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MLP -- In most of those states, the mother does not have the responsibility to tell the father that she's even pregnant, or inform the party she's abandoning the child to who the father is.

It's hard to take responsibility for a child that you're unaware of.



I said "some posters".

But hey, why don't you tell us what you think? Do laws that allow a parent to dodge the responsibility of raising a child result in people having more unprotected sex?

Well, in order to terminate his parental rights, the father needs to be identified and his consent must either be obtained or he must be given the opportunity to contest termination proceedings. Likewise, in order for a woman to qualify for public assistance for her child, she has to identify the father/potential fathers, so that the state agency can collect child support from them if their financial circumstances permit. Otherwise, you're right - there's no legal obligation for a woman to notify a man that she's pregnant, although if he finds out, the courts will be likely to find that she's intentionally interfered with his parental rights, and be much more inclined to grant him custody, should he see it.

Still interested in the identity of "some posters" that are relevant to this thread.

I think people have unprotected sex because they don't think of the consequences, no matter what they are, or because they don't like how condoms feel, or because of the side effects of much of women's birth control, or because they simply don't believe *just this once* will make a difference, or they are too *romantic* to think ahead, or because it makes them feel potent to think they may be impregnating someone/getting pregnant, or because they just don't give a flying f***.
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#30 Old 11-21-2011, 11:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clueless Git View Post

Are they what results when women don't excercise their hard won choice to have abortions?

They're what results when Sperm A fertilizes Egg B, the fertilized egg manages to attach successfully to the uterine wall and stay there for the duration, no spontaneous or elective abortion occurs, the fetus survives until delivery and manages to be born alive and survive for some length of time after birth.

Really, CG, you should take a basic human biology class - you're remarkably naive about the whole process for a man of your age. Reminds me of a woman I knew, just a bit older than you, who was unaware that intercourse could result in pregnancy until she found herself pregnant after she was married. Some people just have very sheltered upbringings.
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