Should+Men+Have+the+Right+to+a+Financial+Abortion - Should...

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Should Men Have the Right to a "Financial Abortion"? A Biological Father Cries Sex Discrimination When Forced to Pay Child Support for an Unwanted Baby By SHERRY F. COLB Tuesday, Mar. 21, 2006 In Michigan, Matt Dubay was recently ordered to pay child support in the amount of $500 a month to his ex-girlfriend, Lauren Wells, for their biological daughter, Elisabeth. When the couple was together, Dubay claims, Wells assured him that she was physically incapable of becoming pregnant. After the two had split up, however, she gave birth to a baby girl and sought support from him. What makes this case special is that rather than pay the child support (or fail to pay, as often occurs), Dubay, represented by the National Center for Men, has filed a lawsuit in federal court. Dubay claims that he has a right under the Equal Protection Clause of the United States Constitution, to cut off all ties to his unwanted biological child. This suit reflects a growing sentiment among self-described members of the fathers' rights movement and ought to be taken seriously, even if it is unlikely to prevail in the near future. Men's Anger: Why Should Women Have All the Control? Many men are quite angry about how little control they currently exercise over their reproductive lives. When a man decides to have consensual sexual intercourse with a woman, he risks unwanted fatherhood: If the woman conceives, it is she, and she alone, who decides whether to terminate her pregnancy. And that is true even if the woman falsely claimed that she was using birth control, that she had been told by a doctor that she could not conceive, or that if she did conceive, she intended to get an abortion. In short, the argument goes, a woman has the ability forcibly to place her unwitting partner or ex-partner in a position he never wanted to occupy - that of a father - with all of the financial and emotional baggage that the status carries. Should Men Have the Ability to Force Abortion? An Unpopular View Some fathers' rights advocates feel so strongly about this reproductive inequity that they maintain that if either a man or a woman wants to terminate a pregnancy, against the wishes of the other partner, he or she should be able to do so. According to the New York Times magazine, Michael Newdow, for example, railed against "the imbalance in reproductive rights - women can choose to end a pregnancy but men can't…." Newdow then cut himself off, in order, he said, not to "alienate" the interviewer. (As readers may recall, Newdow is the man who unsuccessfully sued to stop his biological daughter's school from having the children recite the Pledge of Allegiance. Possibly confirming Newdow's sense of how little control he exercises as a father, the Supreme Court denied
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Newdow standing to pursue the lawsuit, because of his status as the noncustodial parent, coupled with the Court's deference to California domestic law). It appears, however, that the belief in a man's right to compel a woman to have an abortion is not
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This note was uploaded on 11/10/2011 for the course POLI SCI 790:395 taught by Professor Daniels during the Spring '11 term at Rutgers.

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Should+Men+Have+the+Right+to+a+Financial+Abortion - Should...

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