Originally posted by Shawn
The fundamental issue here is that a woman has the sole authority to abort during her pregnancy. She has a limited time frame to do so, limited by both a delayed recognition of her pregnancy and the third trimester restrictions placed by the states. A man has no authority in these matters, as it is a woman's body and subsequently a woman's choice that matters. This biological difference between the sexes gives disproportionate authority to women, who may decide whether to have that child with a husband and/or significant other, to have that child and collect child support payments from the baby's biological but estranged father, or finally to not have that child. A man is sidelined by these biological differences that have also granted disproportionate (but parallel) legal rights to women.
Lots of words, little time addressing the issue. Additionally you forget the history that gets us here today.
Biology does not give disproportionate advantage to a woman. It gives her a distinct disadvantage. Science, and society have turned this disadvantage into a protection. In the past if a woman got pregnant there were no support laws and also no abortion. Thus society used social coercion in an attempt to keep women out of a bad spot. (names like bastard son, etc.) The bad spot was 15 minutes of sex could guarantee a woman 18 years of raising a child alone with no assistance from a man.
Women, of course objected to this. Why should men be able to have sex without recourse (with no support laws it was without recourse) and women not be able to do so? So they mobilized and worked with the assistance of some men as well, to pass laws, bring about lawsuits etc that legalized abortion nationwide and also brought about a means of collecting money from the fathers of the children.
At this point their biology, because of the twin ability to demand both equality and societal protection in the same breath, has become an advantage. Our society loves to believe women innocent of all wrong doing. So if she aborts it is her choice. If she wants give it up for adoption, she can refuse to name the father and deny him his rights. His rights typically terminate within 6 months after the baby is given up for adoption. Likewise she can abandon the child and the state will not prosecute her for abandoning her parental role. In all these scenarios the man's rights can simply be ignored by her not naming him. The state gives a claiming timeframe, but they do not have to notify the father. In otherwords if she wishes not to be a parent, they will help her terminate both her and his rights.
The differences again are not caused by biology. That is a false premise. Biology has given the mother a disadvantage which she has sought, through societal protection to turn into an advantage. The man is not sidelined. He is ignored until the woman decides what she wishes to do. If she decides to not name him, he could pursue the matter with his own money. Regardless of what she decides, the government will pay for her to be given her rights.
Tell me something Shawn, how can something be a right if there is an entry bar of cost associated with that right? You don't have to pay to keep soldiers out of your home, nor to have free speech. A man must pay to establish his parenting rights. What happens if he cannot pay? He loses them. Likewise many states put the onus on the father and simply declare him to have abandoned the child and his rights if he has not established paternity by the time the child is born. Most states treat a child from an unmarried mother as if it has only one parent and thus only need one persons consent.
Here is an excerpt from an article on the issue.
Rights of Unwed Fathers
The identity of the father of a child born out of wedlock is not always certain. A man may claim to be a child's father or is alleged to be by others. Historically, unless fatherhood was legally established in a paternity action, such "putative" or unwed fathers had few rights with respect to their children. But, since 1972, and following a series of U.S. Supreme Court cases, State laws have changed. Today, unwed fathers may have full rights to have custody of their children and may consent to or veto their adoption. Unlike other fathers, however, they must earn these rights. State laws set
forth what actions an unwed father must take. The most common steps are as follows:
Submit one's name to a registry of putative fathers or State registry of vital statistics
Acknowledge the child by signing the birth certificate or by some other act
Act, or attempt to act, like a father, by providing care and support and by communicating with the child
Obtain a court order establishing paternity.
These steps usually must take place prior to the petition for adoption. It is usually too late to seek or exert parental rights once the adoption effort is under way.
In recent years, a number of highly publicized adoption cases involving the late emergence of unwed fathers have captured the attention of the public. Typically, these cases involved an unwed father who, pleading ignorance of the child's birth, seeks to set aside or prevent an adoption. Several States have responded by limiting putative fathers' rights through changes in consent provisions. Others have enacted more sweeping changes. In 1995, for example, Utah enacted a new state law that presumes a father is on notice that a child may be born and an adoption may occur simply if he had a sexual relationship with a woman. Thereafter, actual notice of an adoption proceeding is limited to fathers who take affirmative steps, such as initiating a paternity action.
Then we move on to this part...
Some suggest that it is unfair for men to have consensual safe sex with a woman, have contraception fail, subsequently impregnate his partner, and have the woman decide to give birth to the child (which he is then liable for child support payments). The imbalance here, of course, is that women can use abortion as a form of post-contraception, whereas men can only hope for low failure rates of contraception and the exercising of a woman's right to choose (should he impregnate his partner). By no means can I say that this is fair. As a man who relishes the idea of nonreproductive safe sex, I am at financial risk every time I have sex. Whatever the circumstances may be, I could be liable for 18 years of payments based on one night and a broken condom.
The imbalance is not in contraception. It is in the family court and societal view that men parent by giving a paycheck. The notion that women nuture and parent while men provide is the most antiquated aspect of this entire debate. It shows the twin trails that feminism has followed. Equality, but with new protections that force men even more rigidly into a narrow gender role. Within a marriage both adults parent and both provide financially as they are able. A wife would never be allowed to declare a husband a bad father because one week he brough home a $1000 paycheck and the next week he was only able to muster up $400.
Child support has is established using formulas dreamed up by a governmental agency and declared "what a man is able to pay." You can find them on websites and see that as the woman choses to earn less, the man must pay more. Even when the custody time remains the same. You can of course declare that the reverse is true, but you would also have to show statistically that men are is likely to receive joint or full custody which is simply untrue. A formula can work both ways, but not if a court will only rule one way.
Likewise this is shown by courts that will given men absolutely no custody at all, often based on nothing more than a woman's word that the man could be menacing, abusive, etc. When this happens she has effectively denied his parental rights. She can move away and not allow him to see his child. If a man does it, it is kidnapping, if a woman does it, it is an unauthorized custody issue which must be resolved in the family courts. Amazingly enough the woman can often use these actions as signs of abandonment, actions she took can be used as abandonment signs by him and she can get the court to order that he have no custody of his own child.
So as you can see the unfairness goes well beyond conception.