Male Reproductive Rights?

I know this is going to be touchy ground to tread lightly upon, and I typically avoid such heavy topics here, but I’ve been pondering this for a few days and thought opening it up to commenting might prove interesting. Or stupid. We’ll see which. I haven’t come to any solid conclusions yet, so I’m basically full of questions and half-thoughts right now.

According to most American law, a woman who becomes pregnant can choose between raising the child, adoption, or abortion. The father of the child doesn’t have much of a say, but Matt Dubay might change that (or at least get some public discourse going.)

The story goes something like this: Dubay got his ex-girlfriend pregnant despite making it clear that he didn’t want a child and her repeated assurances that she couldn’t get pregnant due to a medical condition. She, of course, did. And now Dubay has been ordered by a court to pay $500 a month in child support. 

Now The National Center for Men, a group dedicated to the advocacy of men’s equal rights, has filed a suit on Dubay’s behalf. NCM’s director says, “Roe [v. Wade] says a woman can choose to have intimacy and still have control over subsequent consequences, [but] no one has ever asked a federal court if that means men should have some similar say.” He goes on to state that, “The public is still dealing with the pre-Roe ethic when it comes to men, that if a man fathers a child, he should accept responsibility.”

According to Roe vs. Wade, a woman has the right to choose and that right is hers alone. No one can intrude on her decision to continue or abort a pregnancy. In matters of consensual sex, it is her decision to deal with the consequences of her actions in the way she sees fit. However, according to most courts, the financial means to raise that child are apparently NOT her sole responsibility. According to most popular opinion/tradition, men should bear some (if not most/all) of the financial responsibility for children they father.

But is that system unbalanced? Does the biological father have any rights? Should he have any rights?

I don’t think anyone is happy about the idea of men rampantly impregnating women and then abdicating any responsibility (“What? Me? I didn’t want a kid! I ain’t payin’ for nothin’.”) but I have to wonder if the current solutions are a bit skewed.

(This isn’t a pro-choice/pro-life debate. That’s off-topic and I’ll delete at will. But I am curious about any of your thoughts pertaining directly to the case, the idea of men’s rights in such situations, who should bear the responsibility for our actions, etc.)

1, 2, 3, go.