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Shouldn't Men Have a Choice, Too?

Started by Brent, Dec 16, 2003, 09:52:08 AM

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Brent

Shouldn't Men Have a Choice, Too?
By Glenn Sacks
 
Jennifer was crushed when she was told that a baby was on the way. She wants to have children, but the right way--after she has found the right person and is married. But in Jennifer's country, she has no choice. "Jenn" cannot give the child up for adoption, and she cannot terminate the pregnancy.  It is her burden to bear, for the next two decades, like it or not.

What country is it which compels a person to have a child they don't want? Afghanistan? Saudi Arabia?

No, it's the United States--not for Jenn, but for Ken.

Ken Johnson, a 10 year veteran of the Seattle Fire Department, wanted to be a father, but with the right woman, and at the right time.  Three years ago he and his wife separated after six years of marriage, and each began to date. During this time, according to court documents filed in Snohomish County, Washington, Ken had a brief affair with "Cathy," which resulted in a pregnancy. Ken's legal complaint alleges that he begged Cathy to put the child up for adoption or to terminate the pregnancy, but Cathy refused.  Now Ken and his wife, who reconciled two and a half years ago, can't start a family of their own because almost half of Ken's net income from the Seattle Fire Department goes to support the child he didn't want to have. He says:

"People tell me that Cathy should have the choice whether to keep the child or not because it's her body so it's her choice.  I agree.  But what about my body? I make my living rushing into burning buildings.  I put my life and my safety on the line every time I go to work, and now I'm on the hook for 18 years.  With the child support demands on me, there's no way I'll ever be able to quit. What about my choice?"

Johnson is part of a growing movement of men who bristle at being "coerced fathers," and who have enlisted in a "Choice for Men" movement whose goals are every bit as legitimate as the goals of the women's reproductive rights movement.  They note that one million American women legally walk away from motherhood every year by either adoption, abortion, or abandonment, and demand that men, like women, be given reproductive options.

They point out that, unlike women, men have no reliable contraception available to them, since the failure rate of condoms is substantial, and vasectomies are generally only worthwhile for older men who have already married and had children. And they emphasize that, with long backlogs of stable, two-parent families looking for babies to adopt, there is no reason for any child born out of wedlock to a "coerced father" to be without a good home.

The Choice for Men movement seeks to give "coerced fathers" the right to relinquish their parental rights and responsibilities within a month of learning of a pregnancy, just as mothers do when they choose to give their children up for adoption.  These men would be obligated to provide legitimate financial compensation to cover natal medical expenses, the mother's loss of income during pregnancy, etc.  The right would only apply to pregnancies which occurred outside of marriage.

Some of those who fought for women's reproductive choices agree with choice for men. Karen DeCrow, former president of the National Organization for Women, writes:

"If a woman makes a unilateral decision to bring a pregnancy to term, and the biological father does not, and cannot, share in this decision, he should not be liable for 21 years of support ... autonomous women making independent decisions about their lives should not expect men to finance their choice."

To date, courts have refused to consider fathers' reproductive rights even in the most extreme cases, including: when child support is demanded from men who were as young as 12 when they were statutorily raped by older women; when women have taken the semen from a used condom and inserted it in themselves, including from condoms used only in oral sex; and when women concealed the pregnancy from the man (denying him the right to be a father) and then sued for back and current child support eight or ten years later.

"It doesn't make sense to me," Ken's wife Patti says. "The courts force my husband and I to support a child he never agreed to,  but make it financially impossible for him to have a child with the woman he loves and married."
 
http://www.glennsacks.com/shouldnt_men_have.htm

StPaulieGirl

They point out that, unlike women, men have no reliable contraception available to them, since the failure rate of condoms is substantial, and vasectomies are generally only worthwhile for older men who have already married and had children. And they emphasize that, with long backlogs of stable, two-parent families looking for babies to adopt, there is no reason for any child born out of wedlock to a "coerced father" to be without a good home.

[p]This was how it was done, until 30+ years ago.  If a girl got in trouble, and the boy wouldn't marry her, the baby was given up for adoption.  Of course something like this would severely cripple the welfare state.

To date, courts have refused to consider fathers' reproductive rights even in the most extreme cases, including: when child support is demanded from men who were as young as 12 when they were statutorily raped by older women; when women have taken the semen from a used condom and inserted it in themselves, including from condoms used only in oral sex; and when women concealed the pregnancy from the man (denying him the right to be a father) and then sued for back and current child support eight or ten years later.

[p]Completely disgusting.

Indigo Mom

No man should EVER sign over his rights unless he's had BIG TIME counselling.

I do, however, believe there should be "something" they're both forced to sign saying mom will never go after the father for child support.

I'm in this situation.  My son has a biological father.  We'll call him 'J'.  J and I had a one night stand and we got pregnant.  When I told him, he said "bubye".  I went "bubye".  We went our separate ways.  I took ALL responsibility for this child that I was carrying.  

I didn't make enough money at work to pay for health insurance, so I applied for that pregnancy medicaid.  On the forms, when it asked for father, I simply wrote his first name.  When I was "interviewed" by the medicaid lady, she kept asking me questions about the father...but I played dumb.  I made myself look like a whore by saying that I met him at a bar, we had sex, and I didn't even know his full name.  Yes, I frauded the state, but I did it for a reason...I knew the state would come after him.  They couldn't go after "J".  

I never filed for child support, never filed for custody.  Even at my worst with the whole monster mess, I "protected" J.  I didn't want him involved until HE wanted to be.

It took him 6 years, but he came around.  He was excited about being a father and spent a year with lil dude.  Then he bailed.

I can't really do anything about it, just tolerate what he does, because he never wanted to be a dad to begin with.  With "J" nothing will be forced.

Had he signed away his rights, he wouldn't have been able to spend that year with lil dude.  And that was a kick ass year.  Even though it ended, I know, deep in my heart that one day J will wake up, smell the coffee, and be dad to lil dude.

That's why I don't think any man should sign away his rights.  Cause one day, he may want to be a dad.  (or might not...but you get my drift)


MKx2

but dammit-all-anyway!  I feel for this guy - truly!  But guess what kids?

We all know that when the zipper comes down and the sheets are laid back there is ALWAYS a possibility of this type of outcome.  

Again I will say ... responsibility and accountability.  

Doesn't make it any easier for this guy, and I really do have a tremendous amount of empathy for him and  his wife.  It's a helluva price to pay for a fling.  And the woman he slept with is a low-down pig.  It is SO sad that some women are so self-absorbed as to use this type of thing to gain a "paycheck."

The whole thing makes me ill.

nosonew

I am all for this.  It takes two to tango, so BOTH should have a decision regarding keeping, adoption, etc.  If mom wants out, she can have an abortion, regardless of what father wants.  If father wants out, he can do absolutely NOTHING.  Not fair.  

Given situations in which many women out there who choose to become pregnant just to "get the guy", the biggest victim is the child, with the dad coming in a close second.  I really hope this goes thru!!!


Brent


>We all know that when the zipper comes down and the sheets are
>laid back there is ALWAYS a possibility of this type of
>outcome.  

So if we go to bed and you get pregnant, should I be able to FORCE you to carry that child to term, no matter what YOU want?

MKx2

that is NOT what I meant :O)

IF ya wanna get down to the basics of the dang issue Brent - there should be accountability and responsibility for what COULD occur.  

That is the whole damn problem with all these unwanted pregnancies, women who use men for a paycheck, women who "trick" men into an unwanted pregnancy, blah blah blah ...

THERE IS NO ACCOUNTABILITY FOR SOME MEN OR WOMEN.

I think you and I are talking about 2 different issues here Brent - I ain't talkin' abortion.  I'm talkin' about BEFORE the pregnancy occurs ... if two people, preferably a male and a female, take their clothes off and crawl under the blankies and do the do, BOTH of them better be damn sure that IF a pregnancy occurs that BOTH of them want it, or BOTH of them agree to termination.

This is what is basically wrong with our society right now Brent ... it's the lack of an ability to look ahead to what might happen from a single act.

Now, I can't debate abortion with you - for me, abortion is not a choice I could make for myself.  Not backing off on it ... just very personal reasons why I cannot debate the issue.

Brent

Shouldn't Men Have a Choice, Too?
By Glenn Sacks
 
Jennifer was crushed when she was told that a baby was on the way. She wants to have children, but the right way--after she has found the right person and is married. But in Jennifer's country, she has no choice. "Jenn" cannot give the child up for adoption, and she cannot terminate the pregnancy.  It is her burden to bear, for the next two decades, like it or not.

What country is it which compels a person to have a child they don't want? Afghanistan? Saudi Arabia?

No, it's the United States--not for Jenn, but for Ken.

Ken Johnson, a 10 year veteran of the Seattle Fire Department, wanted to be a father, but with the right woman, and at the right time.  Three years ago he and his wife separated after six years of marriage, and each began to date. During this time, according to court documents filed in Snohomish County, Washington, Ken had a brief affair with "Cathy," which resulted in a pregnancy. Ken's legal complaint alleges that he begged Cathy to put the child up for adoption or to terminate the pregnancy, but Cathy refused.  Now Ken and his wife, who reconciled two and a half years ago, can't start a family of their own because almost half of Ken's net income from the Seattle Fire Department goes to support the child he didn't want to have. He says:

"People tell me that Cathy should have the choice whether to keep the child or not because it's her body so it's her choice.  I agree.  But what about my body? I make my living rushing into burning buildings.  I put my life and my safety on the line every time I go to work, and now I'm on the hook for 18 years.  With the child support demands on me, there's no way I'll ever be able to quit. What about my choice?"

Johnson is part of a growing movement of men who bristle at being "coerced fathers," and who have enlisted in a "Choice for Men" movement whose goals are every bit as legitimate as the goals of the women's reproductive rights movement.  They note that one million American women legally walk away from motherhood every year by either adoption, abortion, or abandonment, and demand that men, like women, be given reproductive options.

They point out that, unlike women, men have no reliable contraception available to them, since the failure rate of condoms is substantial, and vasectomies are generally only worthwhile for older men who have already married and had children. And they emphasize that, with long backlogs of stable, two-parent families looking for babies to adopt, there is no reason for any child born out of wedlock to a "coerced father" to be without a good home.

The Choice for Men movement seeks to give "coerced fathers" the right to relinquish their parental rights and responsibilities within a month of learning of a pregnancy, just as mothers do when they choose to give their children up for adoption.  These men would be obligated to provide legitimate financial compensation to cover natal medical expenses, the mother's loss of income during pregnancy, etc.  The right would only apply to pregnancies which occurred outside of marriage.

Some of those who fought for women's reproductive choices agree with choice for men. Karen DeCrow, former president of the National Organization for Women, writes:

"If a woman makes a unilateral decision to bring a pregnancy to term, and the biological father does not, and cannot, share in this decision, he should not be liable for 21 years of support ... autonomous women making independent decisions about their lives should not expect men to finance their choice."

To date, courts have refused to consider fathers' reproductive rights even in the most extreme cases, including: when child support is demanded from men who were as young as 12 when they were statutorily raped by older women; when women have taken the semen from a used condom and inserted it in themselves, including from condoms used only in oral sex; and when women concealed the pregnancy from the man (denying him the right to be a father) and then sued for back and current child support eight or ten years later.

"It doesn't make sense to me," Ken's wife Patti says. "The courts force my husband and I to support a child he never agreed to,  but make it financially impossible for him to have a child with the woman he loves and married."
 
http://www.glennsacks.com/shouldnt_men_have.htm

StPaulieGirl

They point out that, unlike women, men have no reliable contraception available to them, since the failure rate of condoms is substantial, and vasectomies are generally only worthwhile for older men who have already married and had children. And they emphasize that, with long backlogs of stable, two-parent families looking for babies to adopt, there is no reason for any child born out of wedlock to a "coerced father" to be without a good home.

[p]This was how it was done, until 30+ years ago.  If a girl got in trouble, and the boy wouldn't marry her, the baby was given up for adoption.  Of course something like this would severely cripple the welfare state.

To date, courts have refused to consider fathers' reproductive rights even in the most extreme cases, including: when child support is demanded from men who were as young as 12 when they were statutorily raped by older women; when women have taken the semen from a used condom and inserted it in themselves, including from condoms used only in oral sex; and when women concealed the pregnancy from the man (denying him the right to be a father) and then sued for back and current child support eight or ten years later.

[p]Completely disgusting.

Indigo Mom

No man should EVER sign over his rights unless he's had BIG TIME counselling.

I do, however, believe there should be "something" they're both forced to sign saying mom will never go after the father for child support.

I'm in this situation.  My son has a biological father.  We'll call him 'J'.  J and I had a one night stand and we got pregnant.  When I told him, he said "bubye".  I went "bubye".  We went our separate ways.  I took ALL responsibility for this child that I was carrying.  

I didn't make enough money at work to pay for health insurance, so I applied for that pregnancy medicaid.  On the forms, when it asked for father, I simply wrote his first name.  When I was "interviewed" by the medicaid lady, she kept asking me questions about the father...but I played dumb.  I made myself look like a whore by saying that I met him at a bar, we had sex, and I didn't even know his full name.  Yes, I frauded the state, but I did it for a reason...I knew the state would come after him.  They couldn't go after "J".  

I never filed for child support, never filed for custody.  Even at my worst with the whole monster mess, I "protected" J.  I didn't want him involved until HE wanted to be.

It took him 6 years, but he came around.  He was excited about being a father and spent a year with lil dude.  Then he bailed.

I can't really do anything about it, just tolerate what he does, because he never wanted to be a dad to begin with.  With "J" nothing will be forced.

Had he signed away his rights, he wouldn't have been able to spend that year with lil dude.  And that was a kick ass year.  Even though it ended, I know, deep in my heart that one day J will wake up, smell the coffee, and be dad to lil dude.

That's why I don't think any man should sign away his rights.  Cause one day, he may want to be a dad.  (or might not...but you get my drift)


MKx2

but dammit-all-anyway!  I feel for this guy - truly!  But guess what kids?

We all know that when the zipper comes down and the sheets are laid back there is ALWAYS a possibility of this type of outcome.  

Again I will say ... responsibility and accountability.  

Doesn't make it any easier for this guy, and I really do have a tremendous amount of empathy for him and  his wife.  It's a helluva price to pay for a fling.  And the woman he slept with is a low-down pig.  It is SO sad that some women are so self-absorbed as to use this type of thing to gain a "paycheck."

The whole thing makes me ill.

nosonew

I am all for this.  It takes two to tango, so BOTH should have a decision regarding keeping, adoption, etc.  If mom wants out, she can have an abortion, regardless of what father wants.  If father wants out, he can do absolutely NOTHING.  Not fair.  

Given situations in which many women out there who choose to become pregnant just to "get the guy", the biggest victim is the child, with the dad coming in a close second.  I really hope this goes thru!!!


Brent


>We all know that when the zipper comes down and the sheets are
>laid back there is ALWAYS a possibility of this type of
>outcome.  

So if we go to bed and you get pregnant, should I be able to FORCE you to carry that child to term, no matter what YOU want?

MKx2

that is NOT what I meant :O)

IF ya wanna get down to the basics of the dang issue Brent - there should be accountability and responsibility for what COULD occur.  

That is the whole damn problem with all these unwanted pregnancies, women who use men for a paycheck, women who "trick" men into an unwanted pregnancy, blah blah blah ...

THERE IS NO ACCOUNTABILITY FOR SOME MEN OR WOMEN.

I think you and I are talking about 2 different issues here Brent - I ain't talkin' abortion.  I'm talkin' about BEFORE the pregnancy occurs ... if two people, preferably a male and a female, take their clothes off and crawl under the blankies and do the do, BOTH of them better be damn sure that IF a pregnancy occurs that BOTH of them want it, or BOTH of them agree to termination.

This is what is basically wrong with our society right now Brent ... it's the lack of an ability to look ahead to what might happen from a single act.

Now, I can't debate abortion with you - for me, abortion is not a choice I could make for myself.  Not backing off on it ... just very personal reasons why I cannot debate the issue.

Brent

>that is NOT what I meant :O)

Yes, I know that. That's why I asked.


>IF ya wanna get down to the basics of the dang issue Brent -
>there should be accountability and responsibility for what
>COULD occur.  

This is all well and good, but the fact is that only the male half of the equation is held responsible. And we both know it. It's easy to say there should be accountability and responsibility, but as soon as it begins to impinge on a woman's right to do whtever the hell she wants, it stops on the spot.


>the pregnancy occurs ... if two people, preferably a male and
>a female, take their clothes off and crawl under the blankies
>and do the do, BOTH of them better be damn sure that IF a
>pregnancy occurs that BOTH of them want it, or BOTH of them
>agree to termination.

Yes, but women have been known to lie or change their minds. What then? It happens, and it will never change.

It comes back to the same old story: the father is blamed, shamed, penalized, and hit with child support orders, with no say in any of it.



>
>This is what is basically wrong with our society right now
>Brent ... it's the lack of an ability to look ahead to what
>might happen from a single act.

This to me is like blaming someone for having an auto accident simply because they drove their car.

Every time you drive, you might have an accident, but you don't intend to. Every time people go to bed there could be a baby made, but again, you don't intend to. If there is an accident, only one person is "at fault" and penalized- the father. The mom is free to do or not do whatever she wants, and she can change her mind as often as she likes.

Sorry, but I don't see the argument that "there's always the possibility of an accident" as being valid. If you're having sex with the express intention of NOT having a baby, you shouldn't have to be forced into having one. And men shouldn't be forced into becoming parents against their will.


MKx2

this is gonna turn into a pissing contest, Brent.  I NEVER said that men should be forced into becoming parents against their will.  

I think there may be a generation gap in thinking between you and I.  See, I grew up at a time when if you got pregnant out of wedlock, and the father didn't want the baby or the responsibility, it was up to the "mother" of this unborn child to do one of two things:  have the child and be totally responsible - financially and emotionally; OR put the child up for adoption/hand the child over to some relative to raise as their own.  There was always the "illegal" abortion, IF you knew someone who knew someone who might have a name, IF you had cash.  The issue of [em]forcing[/em] a man to support a child he neither wanted or intended to create was not a consideration.  You were either a proper and moral female OR if you weren't there "could" be the above consequences.

End of story.  Yep - we had covered wagons back then too.

Brent - I'm not going to apologize for not being able to comprehend the issue the way you do.  For me this situation just never would have happened.  

Is it so hard for you to understand that for EVERY story you read like that there are probably 100 or more that DON'T turn out that way?

I understand that men get burned - and I don't think it's fair either.  But for you to dog me about it because I got to the "not fair" via a different path than yours is merely you wearing blinders.

And by the way, every time I get in a car I [em]DO[/em] drive as though there "could be an accident" - it's called defensive driving.  I know what I'm doing when I drive, but I sure as hell don't know what anyone else is doing.

Accountability and responsibility.  Until people can understand these and not live by practiced stupidity we will continue to have these issues.

An aside here ... I think NOW is about the WORST thing that could ever have happened to our society.  Those who advocate NOW and may read this, flame away.  I could care less.

Indigo Mom

----------Every time you drive, you might have an accident, but you don't intend to. Every time people go to bed there could be a baby made, but again, you don't intend to.----------

Ok.  You have a few options to prevent the accident/unwanted pregnancy.

#1 don't drive/don't have sex

#2 wear a seatbelt/condom to "minimize damage"



Kitty C.

Help me to understand this one, Brent.........

'Every time you drive, you might have an accident, but you don't intend to. Every time people go to bed there could be a baby made, but again, you don't intend to.'

That's not how I was taught.  Intercourse IS intended for ONLY two things: procreation and pleasure.  That's the way the good Lord made us.  Cars were NOT made to slam into things or each other, they were made to get from one place to another.

In my book, if I have sex, it IS my intention to make a baby, UNLESS I and/or my partner take steps to make sure it DOESN'T happen.  
Handle every stressful situation like a dog........if you can't play with it or eat it, pee on it and walk away.......

ShelbyDelin

I was telling my husband about this.

he happens to have an 8yo son whom he's never met but has paid CS to BM since birth. When she told him she was pregnant (one night stand in high school-turned nightmare!) he said he wouldn't marry her and she went postal and said he or his parents would never see this child. And they haven't.

Anyway, i was telling him about this article and he said it would never happen; all men are scumbags!

No offense to anyone, just his humble opinion!!