Canadian Court Rules Anonymity for Gamete Donors is Unconstitutional


A British Columbia judge has ruled that anonymity for gamete donors in the Canadian province is unconstitutional. The ruling referred to sections of the B.C. Adoption Act and Adoption Regulations that provide adopted children – but not donor offspring – the right to information about their biological parents. The judge also issued an injunction to prevent any donor records from being destroyed. Olivia Pratten, a Toronto journalist conceived using an anonymous sperm donor, brought the claim to B.C. courts, arguing that the law is discriminatory because it does not give donor children the ability to identify their biological parents.

The full impact of the ruling remains to be seen, however. In her opinion, Judge Elaine Adair gave the B.C. legislature 15 months to draft legislation, but stopped short of suggesting what it should say. Furthermore, the defense has not yet decided whether it will appeal the decision, which is only applicable to British Columbia. Nonetheless, the judgment makes British Columbia the first Canadian province to ban anonymity for gamete donors. Pratten has said that other donor offspring have contacted her, declaring that they too would like to pursue similar legal action in their respective areas. Ironically, Judge Adair has determined that the records for Pratten’s donor dad have already been destroyed, leaving Pratten without the means to identify her biological father.

The ruling is most significant however, in that it embodies the debates [1,2] occurring around gamete donation. Arguing for “open” egg and sperm donation, Pratten and others want access to details about their biological parents. Without knowing their family health history, they claim that their physical wellbeing and the health of their future children could be compromised. Other advocates add that donor offspring have a right to such information for purposes of self-identity and psychological well-being. Donor Unknown, a new documentary that follows a young American in search of her donor dad, highlights this desire to know one’s biological roots.

But those in favor of “closed” gamete donation assert that anonymity is provided to protect the privacy of the donors involved. Defendants in the British Columbia case argued that “there is no constitutional right for a person to know their origins or genetic heritage while there is a constitutionally protected right to privacy.” There is also concern about donor interference in the life of the intended parent(s) and child.

Ultimately, Justice Adair’s opinion put donor children’s rights first, writing that anonymous donation “is harmful to the child, and … not in the best interests of donor offspring.” A similar policy has been enacted in the United Kingdom, where children born through gamete donation are able to identify their genetic parents once they reach eighteen.

The B.C. case also highlights an ever-growing global conversation about the complex questions and profound implications of assisted reproductive technologies. If prospective parents go to such great measures to have biologically related children, should we be surprised when the children want to connect with their biological parents? What happens when donor-conceived children want to identify their biological parents? What happens when they want to meet them? Make them a part of their lives, in some way? What impact might this have for the donors? For the prospective parent(s)? For the kids?

Sites such as Donor Sibling Registry (DSR) and Confessions of a Cryokid, and films such as Donor Unknown, BioDad, and The Kids Are All Right are popping up to explore these issues. Journalists and policy-makers are beginning to pick up on the discussions, too [1,2]. And the B.C. case is further proof that this is one issue that’s not going away anytime soon.

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  • arekushieru

    YES! I so very badly want to become an egg donor.  And I so very badly want the resultant child to know who their biological parent is.  I hope this goes through in British Columbia, making it more likely that this will go through in my own province, Alberta. By the time I can become an egg donor, it is possible that this will happen.  Glad to know that it’s already in the works, at least!

  • equalist

    My only issue with this is vulnurability to child support suits against the biological/donor parents.  I’m sure most parents conceiving this way wouldn’t even dream of such a thing, but we all know if there’s a system out there, there’s at least one person out there willing to exploit it.  I’d be more comfortable with the idea as long as either a) the records were sealed until the child reaches the age where child support would no longer be an issue, or b) there was some protection written into the law, preventing custodial parents from suing donors for any form of child support.  I know child support here generally depends on DNA testing to prove paternity.  What would be preventing a woman, after conceiving a child through donor sperm, from utilizing the records to then have the donor charged for child support.  Additionally, in the case of a divorce, what would prevent the father of a child from using DNA testing in the case of a child conceived through donor sperm to avoid paying child support for a child he has claimed and raised since birth?  I suppose the reason this comes to mind is the current state of affairs, where a man is liable for child support even if he only met and had sex with the mother once, even if he did not know her name, if the child is born with his DNA, then he is automatically held responsible.  Even worse is that this is true in the case of woman on man rape.  A woman can rape a man, become pregnant, and then sue him for child support (yes it does happen, and there have been documented cases of this).  A large portion of what makes this so terrible is the fact that a man (or woman) who cannot afford to pay said child support can find their lives turned completely upside down, with penalties ranging from wage garnishment to removal of licenses (including work licenses) to jail time.  There really should be other means in place to change current child support regulations to a more fair system where children, as well as women and men are protected, particularly if we’re considering opening donors to these possibilities.

  • arekushieru

    But a woman IS liable, too….  And, if the male parent can use DNA testing to claim child support from the sperm donor, what’s to prevent the male sperm donor from using the male parent’s status as the father, as a way to avoid paying child support?

  • equalist

    I’m not sure about all locations, but here that isn’t an option.  The only parents liable for any form of child support are the biological parents, and the biological parents are liable for child support no matter the circumstances surrounding the conception of the child.

  • equalist

    Oral sex leads to child support case:

    http://mensnewsdaily.com/2011/02/27/man-receives-oral-sex-ordered-to-pay-child-support/

    14 year old boy molested by a woman who became pregnant ordered to pay child support:

    https://litigation-essentials.lexisnexis.com/webcd/app?action=DocumentDisplay&crawlid=1&srctype=smi&srcid=3B15&doctype=cite&docid=25+N.+Ill.+U.+L.+Rev.+515&key=774aa9c7581b0ce2c67f86d1adea04d4

    Victims of statutory rape forced to pay child support:

    http://www.ageofconsent.com/comments/numberthirtysix.htm

    More raped men forced to pay child support to their rapists:

    http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=128046143

    I find this more distasteful than the way female rape victims are treated in that generally female rape victims aren’t forced to provide financial support to their rapists under penalty of law for years after their rape.  If we’re going to fight against women being forced to bear the burdon of carrying a child for nine months after being raped, wouldn’t it be logical to also fight against men being subjected to ongoing mental trauma and reminders of their rape for 18+ years after the event?

  • carolyninthecity

    I don’t understand why medical records can’t remain open while still protecting the annonimity of the donor. 

    It should be up to the donor if they want their name kept confidential or not, but whatever medical history they made available at the time of the donation should be kept open for the family that used the sperm. 

  • carolyninthecity

    I don’t understand why medical records can’t remain open while still protecting the annonimity of the donor. 

    It should be up to the donor if they want their name kept confidential or not, but whatever medical history they made available at the time of the donation should be kept open for the family that used the sperm. 

  • me

    Child support issues do not apply – the law is for adults DC…adults cannot sue for child support.

     

    Carolyn in the City – I’m going to guess that you know who you come from – right? It isn’t about medical – it is primarily about knowing where you come from, who your ancestors were, who you inherited your traits from…it’s really hard for those who have always known to understand what it is like to live without knowing anything at all.

     

    If you donate you know the end result is intended to be the creation of another human being and their rights are just as valid as your rights – even more as they had no choice and you did.

     

  • arekushieru

    So, if you’re an adoptive parent and you and your partner decide to split, you can’t sue the non-custodial adoptive parent for support?  Or, if you used a sperm donor and you and the non-biological parent split, you can’t sue them for child support?  What about if one uses an egg donor, but gives birth to the child, are they still considered a biological parent? Can the non-biological parent still sue THEM for custody, then? If so, that’s seriously messed up.

  • arekushieru

    No, it wouldn’t.  Because financial burden does not equal a physical burden.  If women aren’t forced to provide financial support to their rapists for years after their rape resulting in a pregnancy AND child, that is what makes it equivalent.  But I have to wonder why they aren’t forced to?  Perhaps because the rape wasn’t prosecuted, the woman doesn’t want her rapist to know she has a child, etc….

  • equalist

    If you’re an adoptive parent, then the adoption papers would allow suit against your partner if they are listed on the adoption papers.    As for a sperm donor, here, child support agreements are based on the DNA testing of the child.  Using egg donors I’m not sure on, there’s not much information on suing mothers for child support, as generally the mother has custody of the child.  As for the sperm donor idea, that’s what concerns me.  Here paternity is established either by marriage at the time the child was born (if the mother was married at the time the child was born, her husband at the time is automatically assumed to be the father, and paternity tests are used to prove otherwise), or through paternity testing.  If a woman were to seek a sperm donor while not married to her partner, and the two did not marry until after the child was born, unless he requests to pay child support for the child, it is my understanding that no child support would be ordered from any source as he would not be the biological father of the child.  If she were married and sought a sperm donor, the husband could remove himself from responsibility towards child support by requesting DNA testing of the child, proving that he is not the biological father and preventing any child support order from being applied.  Assuming she has the money and legal backing, the mother could press the issue and likely get child support ordered from the partner based on his involvement in the child’s life, but the way the current laws are written, it is very nearly impossible if not completely impossible for a father who has raised a child not biologically his own to get any rights to the child after a split from the mother, either visitation rights, or being forced to pay child support.  In addition, this kind of thing could be used to prevent fathers from having access to their children, using this as an example.  The mother could have the child paternity tested, and then use the mismatch in DNA to deny the father that raised the child the right to visitation with the child, as (at least in this state) only biological or adoptive parents have any guaranteed rights to their children in case of a divorce.

  • equalist

    A rapist who fathers a child with his victim, assuming she would continue the pregnancy and retain custody of the child afterwards, is required by law to pay child support for that child.  The issue falls when the woman is the rapist and becomes pregnant and retains custody of the child, at that point, the victim (the man) is required to pay child support to her (the rapist), despite the fact that the child was conceived through actions that were without his consent.  That is the part I take issue with. 

  • equalist

    As long as the records are only available once the child becomes an adult, and child support is no longer an issue, then I don’t see a problem with it other than the obvious right of the donor to privacy. 

  • equalist

    I’m not sure about the law regarding donors, but I do know that in the case of adoptions, a full medical history is taken for both biological parents and their families (at least what is known, obviously if the mother is unsure of the father, or has no access to him during this process, that can be difficult, but through no fault of the system) as part of the adoption process, so the child would have full access to medical histories of his/her biological parents and their family history.

  • equalist

    Looking over your comment again, it appears that you’re focusing on the assumption of the woman as the victim, but the circumstance I’m describing is the situation of the man as the victim.  When a woman conceives a child through rape where she is the victim, she has the choice (at least as much of one as legislation and finances allow) for plan b, the abortion pill, abortion at nearly any stage of the pregnancy, and adoption if the pregnancy is brought to term, or keep the child, all of which are her choice to make as it should be.  For a man who is raped and conceives a child with his rapist however, this is not the case.  He has no choice in how the pregnancy is handled, she (the rapist) is STILL in control and remains so throughout the pregnancy.  In most areas, the mother is given custody of the child barring her being declared unfit (which depending on the area can be extremely difficult).  Even if custody is removed from the mother, unless the father gains custody of the child or it is given up for adoption, and his rights terminated, he is still responsible for child support.  In addition, a noncustodial parent cannot request that his rights be terminated and thus escape a child support order this way, so regardless of his wishes or needs after the trauma of his rape, unless she relieves him of that responsibility and relinquishes her control over him on her own, he will always be held responsible for supporting the child conceived through her victimization of him.  I think the largest problem with this is that when a woman is raped, we feel outrage at her rapist, sadness for the victim, and a want to protect her.  When a man is raped, because of the light in which men are cast in our society, the view of men as sex crazed maniacs, the view is that a man who is raped is either making it up, he must have wanted it or it wouldn’t have happened, etc.  Aren’t these all the views that we fight against in the case of female rape victims?  My question is why do we allow this mentality to continue in the case of male rape victims?  Just because they are a smaller portion of the population (although actual numbers are not known, as men are far less likely to report sexual assault than women because of the stigma attached) does not make their victimization any less real or painful for them than a woman suffering similar circumstances.

  • arekushieru

    I don’t think the donor does have a right to privacy in this matter, unless they were given an expectation of privacy when they first agreed to the procedure.  In Canada, it is accepted that an adoptee has the right to know about their biological parents at the age of 12 and receive any information they request at the age of 14, I believe.  The adoptee can, of course, when he/she is an adult, request to meet the biological parent.  Child support should remain a separate issue between the actual parents and should not interfere with any final judgment made in this *particular* case.

  • arekushieru

    You’re still missing my point.  I was comparing two analogous situations.  Which would mean that a man who is forced to pay child support to his rapist is comparable only to a woman who is forced to pay child support to her rapist.  I was merely making suggestions for why this might not be so often true, in the latter case.   

    But I have difficulty in seeing a similar scenario presented, here.  The only things that would even come close to analogous, are not supported.  A woman’s biology should never be compared to what is made a man’s financial obligations.  Only hers and his.  Besides, child support requires considerably less effort on the non-custodial parent’s part, than the custodial parent’s, esPECially if you’re a woman.  That women are granted custody more often does not mean that women have a greater advantage, after all, even if this is the only area that’s examined.  It still comes down to the expectations of assigned gender roles being so much an inherent part of our patriarchal culture.  

    Are you saying that a man may be forced to pay child support to the adoptive parents, yet not the woman?  Or that, if a woman is the non-custodial parent, she may terminate child support at any time or have her own rights terminated, at any time, if custody is removed from the father?

    As regards the feelings towards a rapist, do we really feel those things towards them even if the victim is a woman?  And is there really less stigma attached to the rape of a woman?

    And, nowhere, I do believe, was I attempting to minimize the victimization of men through rape. 

  • arekushieru

    So, the woman is caught in a catch-22, it seems, again.  It is very difficult to require maternity testing, unless you are or are using a surrogate, because of the way the female anatomy is constructed.

    I think it less likely that a woman would have the money and legal backing to secure child support than her male counterpart would.

  • equalist

    I think it less likely that a woman would have the money and legal backing to secure child support than her male counterpart would.

     

    Surprisingly, it’s not.  Free legal aid services will assist a woman in obtaining or fighting child support, but will not assist a man at all in regards to child support.  And again, most courts will give a woman preference over a man in retaining custody of the children involved, and child support is awarded to the custodial parent, so her chances are higher there too.

  • arekushieru

    I think I already explained all this.  Plus, why would a woman need money if the legal services are free?

  • equalist

    It’s not the man’s financial obligations that is being comapred here.  It’s the fact that a man who is raped by a woman who becomes pregnant through the rape is reminded of the rape every time he gets a paycheck with a deduction taken out for that child support.  Every time he is called into court for dealings with it and has to confront her he will be reminded.  If he chooses to maintain a relationship with his child, he will be reminded of the rape each time he goes for visitation or court matters relating to the visitation.  That is where the difference lies.  The woman who is raped is not forced by the law to be reminded by outside sources each and every week or month of the events that transpired. 

    This isn’t about biology or financial obligations, it’s about time frame.  A woman who is pregnant through rape has a physical reminder for as long as she is pregnant and as long as she maintains a relationship with her child.  A man who is raped has that reminder each time he opens mail from the family courts involving his child support case, each time he opens a paycheck garnished for that support, or each time he writes a check to his rapist.  It’s a reminder he can’t escape without facing legal repercussions.

    In many cases of women raping men and becoming pregnant, the pregnancy was a goal of the rape (as in the cases of men who have had their sperm taken from condoms) and these children are rarely given for adoption.   If the woman gives the child for adoption, child support is not an issue, and the reminders would not be an issue.

    There is absolutely less stigma attached to the rape of a woman than to the rape of a man.  Women have more access to resources for help after a rape.  Raped men are frequently ridiculed in our society with the ideas that “How can it be rape if she was hot”, or “how can a man not fend off a woman”.  There is a mentality in our society that a man is expected to be strong and a woman weak, so for a man to admit that he was attacked and helpless at the hands of a woman is an admission that many men are too ashamed to make.  Statistics show that men are less likely to report abuse by a female partner and far less likely to report sexual abuse of any kind, especially by a woman.  How often do we see the current trend of school teachers having affairs with students, and hear the commentors laughing about how they’d like to be in the situation of the student, he shouldn’t have complained because the woman was attractive.  Rape is rape, whether the victim is male or female.  It is always traumatic regardless of gender.  The point of my comments have been to point out that while a raped woman has at least some control over a pregnancy that results from rape, a man who is raped has no such control over that or how it affects his life afterwards.

  • me

    How complete do you think the family health history is going to be in 30, 40, 50 years when adult onset hereditary conditions start? Can you state with certainty that none of the biological family has gotten sick and diagnosed with a hereditary disease since the family health history was taken? That no siblings have been born and found to have hereditary diseases? That info collected from a young individual will even be vaguely correct? That is why families are encouraged to update their family health history each year. Adoptees are magically exempt from needed updated information.

     

    Genetic tests are not covered by health insurance unless the disease is in your family health history.

     

    Other claims about using genetic tests fail as well. They only provide knowledge that you have a gene(s) known to be a risk for a specific disease – they cannot tell about hereditary diseases where the gene(s) haven’t been discovered. Genetic tests cannot tell you your actual risk because that risk is based on how many individuals in your family have the disease and how often it shows up in each generation.

     

    At the end of the day adoptees are left in the dust when personalized medicine is available to anyone not adopted.

  • equalist

    Again, it’s not about the money.  It’s about what rape victims are put through emotionally.  A female rape victim who keeps her rapists child has the choice to go after child support or not, thus the choice of whether to be confronted with her rapist and legal monitary reminders or not for years afterwards.  This if she even makes the choice to keep the child.  A male rape victim who impregnantes his rapist has no such choice in the matter.  It’s not his choice whether the pregnancy is continued or not, and he has no control over whether or not she confronts him afterwards for child support, and if she does, he’s faced with steady reminders for the next 18 years or more of what happened to him.  Name one such trauma that we put female rape victims through by constantly reminding them of their rapes and forcing them to enter a courtroom with their rapist OTHER than the actual prosecution of the rape itself? 

  • jillian-theil

    Hi all,

    As I mentioned in my piece, I believe that such issues raise profound questions that are not going to go away anytime soon, so I appreciate the thoughtful discussion around this issue. Thanks for your comments!

     

     

  • arekushieru

    so, please take the following with a grain of salt…. ><;

    It’s not the man’s financial obligations that is being comapred here.  It’s the fact that a man who is raped by a woman who becomes pregnant through the rape is reminded of the rape every time he gets a paycheck with a deduction taken out for that child support.  Every time he is called into court for dealings with it and has to confront her he will be reminded.  If he chooses to maintain a relationship with his child, he will be reminded of the rape each time he goes for visitation or court matters relating to the visitation.  That is where the difference lies.  The woman who is raped is not forced by the law to be reminded by outside sources each and every week or month of the events that transpired.

    You have yet to cite any sources for this.  Although I have tried to find ways to suggest that that might be the appropriate course to take….  And you have completely ignored much of my text.  I have also suggested reasons for this disparity, that you just never seem to address, after all.  The fact that a woman intends to become pregnant through the rape is actually one of the driving forces *behind* those self-same reasons.  The fact that a woman gets pregnant whether or not she is the victim OR the rapist, *does* make the likelihood that child support will be sought, kinda proportionate to whether she is the one committing the crime or not, because it’s all based on intent.  Which means that women who are raped and become pregnant will most likely not inform their rapist that they ARE pregnant (this is not a comparison, btw.  It’s a pointed reminder that if a woman does keep and raise the child that was created as a result of force, the way she felt about the pregnancy will inform her decision on how she raises that child). So the numbers of men forcing the rape victims to pay child support to them as a custodial parent would *naturally* be reduced in comparison to men who are forced to pay child support to their rapist.  

    This isn’t about biology or financial obligations, it’s about time frame.  A woman who is pregnant through rape has a physical reminder for as long as she is pregnant and as long as she maintains a relationship with her child.  A man who is raped has that reminder each time he opens mail from the family courts involving his child support case, each time he opens a paycheck garnished for that support, or each time he writes a check to his rapist.  It’s a reminder he can’t escape without facing legal repercussions.

    I’d find the physical reminders the most egregious, the first being the nine-month pregnancy (yes, I am aware that this may seem like I am, again, the one making a comparison between men and women, but it’s not intended to be. I ONLY mention the nine-month pregnancy because it IS a physical reminder for women. However, when making a comparison the intent is to use only the parenting role as a physical reminder and the legal reminders for the rape victim), followed closely by the constant contact she would have if she decided to keep and raise the child, esPECially since a woman’s pregnant state and her role and actions as either a custodial OR non-custodial parent are more easily judged, stigmatized, shamed and controlled and directed than her male counterpart’s.

    In many cases of women raping men and becoming pregnant, the pregnancy was a goal of the rape (as in the cases of men who have had their sperm taken from condoms) and these children are rarely given for adoption.   If the woman gives the child for adoption, child support is not an issue, and the reminders would not be an issue.

     As I said, this helps prove, rather than disprove, the theory.  However, it would be really helpful if you could clarify how you probably think the two are unrelated.

    There is absolutely less stigma attached to the rape of a woman than to the rape of a man.  Women have more access to resources for help after a rape.  Raped men are frequently ridiculed in our society with the ideas that “How can it be rape if she was hot”, or “how can a man not fend off a woman”.  There is a mentality in our society that a man is expected to be strong and a woman weak, so for a man to admit that he was attacked and helpless at the hands of a woman is an admission that many men are too ashamed to make.  Statistics show that men are less likely to report abuse by a female partner and far less likely to report sexual abuse of any kind, especially by a woman.  How often do we see the current trend of school teachers having affairs with students, and hear the commentors laughing about how they’d like to be in the situation of the student, he shouldn’t have complained because the woman was attractive.  Rape is rape, whether the victim is male or female.  It is always traumatic regardless of gender.  The point of my comments have been to point out that while a raped woman has at least some control over a pregnancy that results from rape, a man who is raped has no such control over that or how it affects his life afterwards.

    The fact that women have more access is less likely due to the fact that there is less stigmatization and shame surrounding it, than to the fact that rape of women has been reported in higher numbers for a longer period of time.  Which might be due just to the fact that more women are raped than men.  

    If a woman is not stigmatized for being weak and helpless then why are there always detractors who say “Oh, she didn’t fight hard enough!”, “Why doesn’t she have any bruises if she was raped?!”, at the same time they say that “…a woman should just lie there and take it!”?  After all, that makes it stigmatization and reverse stigmatization for being weak and helpless, combined.

    I haven’t seen that trend.  In the case of a female teacher and a male student, often the male student is claimed to be a ‘stud’, while the woman is denigrated and demeaned as a ‘cougar’.  In the case of a female teacher and a male student, the female ‘aggressor’ is often convicted and given a prison sentence.  In the case of a male teacher and a female student, the female student is considered a ‘slut’ and the male teacher a ‘stud’.  In the case of a male teacher and a female student, the male teacher is often given a slap on the wrist.  None of those labels are positive, but downwards oppression is ALWAYS more stigmatizing and shaming than upwards oppression. 

    And, once again, I have never SAID that male rape should be minimized or trivialized.  Rape is rape.

    Could you stop resorting to a comparison that utilizes something that isn’t shared equally by men and women?  I find it insulting to women, especially since it is beyond their control.  

    Thanks for your response, Jennifer. Although, I am aware that I must apologize for my part in derailing the thread?  Please accept them…?

  • arekushieru

    You are the one who said if she had the money AND legal backing.  

    Rape kits.  Constant proving that the rape did happen, over and over.  Stigmatization and shame.  Constant judgment.   Constant fear/paranoia that she will be discovered by her rapist through the child.  Etc, etc….

    Again you are comparing two things without taking into account the unique circumstances, which makes us question whether a woman is really given a choice or not, when it comes right down to it, that I outlined in my just previous comment.   

  • crowepps

    Again you are comparing two things without taking into account the unique circumstances

    He’s also comparing two things without taking into account the relative numbers.  He’s arguing that if 100,000 women are raped a year, and 25,000 of those women become pregnant, then that’s EXACTLY THE SAME as the ONE incident of a teenage boy being ‘sexually abused’ by an older woman who got pregnant and ONE drunken man being ‘raped’ while unable to give consent.   and those poor victims were unable to reject fatherhood and got unfairly stuck with the heinous torture of child support

     

    Since ‘both women and men were sexually abused/raped’ and the (two) men involved were also victims, then the only way to make it fair is to either take away the option of abortion for half the 12,500 or decree the other 12,500 shouldn’t be entitled to child support, since, you know, it’s TOTALLY FAIR for the 25,000 to suffer so the two aren’t inconvenienced.

     

    With teh menz, the argumenation about fairness and morality and sexism is always strained and clunky because really, it’s about control and the money, but mostly about the money.   There is a long, LONG historical record of men being willing to abandon their children to starve in the ditch and, witness his arguments, things don’t seem to have changed a bit.

  • arekushieru

    Just something I wanted to clarify: Isn’t Equalist a long-time poster, here, Pro-Choice and female?  So, I don’t think she meant to imply what we thought she did, but, still, you’re right. Even if we’re simply discussing the seeming unfairness of the optics of a situation, they implicitly demand that some equitable arrangement be made, leading us to one such conclusion as yours.

  • crowepps

    Equalist may be a long-time poster here, but how would any of us know his/her gender?  Those who choose to post under a nym which allows them to remain anonymous have to tolerate the fact that people will take their claims about themselves with a grain of salt.  Most of us have been on the internet long enough to have had exchanges with a few ‘Navy SEAL Medal of Honor recipient brain surgeon jet pilots’.

     

    Personally, I don’t consider it a ProChoice position to argue ‘abortion can stay legal for women ONLY if women agree the children are ARE born are entirely their problem and that ALL men can flit around being careless with their sperm and impregnating whoever they want without any responsibility whatsoever’.   It’s a pretty unlikely position coming from a woman, as well.  And fundamentally unfair, since it assumes that all women AND CHILDREN should be financially ‘punished’ because of OTHER women’s actions.

     

    People do sometimes start their posts “I’m ProChoice” but when they follow that with “IF the woman involved really truly regrets it and throws herself in the river/finds Jesus/becomes a nun” or “IF the woman submits to snoopy questions/portrays herself as a ‘victim’ of the man involved/tolerates religious shaming and public harassment” then it’s not actually ProChoice, is it?  Certainly as a general rule the ‘after the kids are born let them starve in the gutter’ position tends to be ProLife.

  • colleen

    Just something I wanted to clarify: Isn’t Equalist a long-time poster, here, Pro-Choice and female?

    I’m not sure that his/her gender, occasional postings or tepid stance on abortion have anything to do with anything. In my universe there are many feminist men and some god awful females. That said:

    Seriously? You believe this person is a woman? I’m absolutely certain he meant to imply precisely what Crowepps said in her characteristically excellent analysis.

  • ack

    I’m working through this, so forgive me if this is jumbled.

     

    On one hand, you have the complications associated with incomplete medical histories. If there was a way to gather that information as it develops that didn’t infringe on donors’ privacy, we’d be fine. Could Canada somehow mandate updated familial medical information every 10 years?

     

    On the other, you have a donor who needs the money and doesn’t think that shots or jerking off into a cup are that big a deal and/or really wants to help someone have a kid. They’re doing this not to HAVE a kid, but to assist someone else. And unless we have some protections in place about confidentiality, we might wind up deterring people from donating. But would increasing mandates of disclosure of information deter people from donating? Countless people are assisted by both sperm and egg donations every year. Would a decrease in donations increase adoptions from foster care?

  • crowepps

    Considering that the vast majority of medical problems are associated with lifestyle and it’s only a minority that are genetically linked, I”m not sure how ‘tragic’ not having that family history is.  Instead of people using a family medical history to take precautions against things that supposedly run in the family on the CHANCE they’ve inherited that particular gene, wouldn’t it make more sense for them to have their own DNA tested and find out which disease markers they actually do have?  I don’t think this is about ‘family medical history’ at all, I think it is an attempt to find the fantasy perfect parent who will love shower the person with unconditional love and finally make them feel 100% secure and 100% happy.

  • arekushieru

    I think both you and crowepps missed my point, completely.  I wasn’t discussing Equalist’s specific stance on abortion but the fact that she has been involved in many of our conversations with antis and always come down firmly on the Pro-Choice side.  Plus, Equalist has often stated that she was female.  Until we are told or find out differently, shouldn’t the default assumption be what we WERE told? And, finally, the fact that she has been a respected poster, until now, apparently. I’m saying that the benefit of the doubt about how she presents her posts should be given her based on that knowledge.  What I am NOT saying is that we shouldn’t disagree with her, as both of you seem to be implying. 

  • prochoiceferret

    I don’t think this is about ‘family medical history’ at all, I think it is an attempt to find the fantasy perfect parent who will love shower the person with unconditional love and finally make them feel 100% secure and 100% happy.

     

    Heck, if that’s all it is, they could just send the person a copy of The Kids are All Right on DVD….

  • colleen

    Until we are told or find out differently, shouldn’t the default assumption be what we WERE told?

    no. I feel no sense of obligation arrive at a ‘default assumption’ you agree with anymore than I find it necessary to waste my time trying to reason with someone making the ‘arguments’ he/she is making in this thread.

    What I am NOT saying is that we shouldn’t disagree with her, as both of you seem to be implying. 

    I was not implying this .

  • crowepps

    People’s past positions on other areas of the issue, or their gender, or what they have said about themselves are all really kind of irrelevant, aren’t they?  I can’t remember all of Equalist’s posts or all the positions in them, but that isn’t as important as the fact that this is a board to discuss issues.  It doesn’t make sense to me to let what I see as grievous errors in a particular post slide by because that person generally agrees with me.  It definitely doesn’t seem right to harshly criticize a male ProLifer for taking a dumb position and then let a similiar comment by a female ProChoice advocate slide.

     

    If I do have a lot of respect for the person, it seems to me it would be even more important to rescue them from falling into the illogical traps contained in the cut and pasted ‘men’s rights/child support is evil/women are all succubi intent on enslaving men by stealing their sperm’ nonsense.  It’s when someone rational and intelligent seems to be derailing that you make the greatest efforts to deprogram them.

     

    I have had allies here point out to me that my position was flawed because I was missing something, and although I may have occasionally whined or fumed about being corrected, when I finally got their point I appreciated their being willing to take the time and the risk.  If people keep educating me out of my errors, eventually I won’t make any more.

  • equalist

    First of all, I’m a “she”, not a “he”.  Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, I’m not saying larger numbers of women being raped is the same as smaller numbers of men being raped.  What I’m saying is, is a male rape victim any less a rape victim than a female rape victim, or any less deserving fairness, and compassion?  To say that because his rapist became pregnant, his emotional needs are outweighed by the financial needs of the child she produces is a stretch.  On this board we constantly stand up and fight against those who say that a woman who produces a child against her will (through rape or failed birth control or any other means where she didn’t intend to be pregnant) shoudl be able to abort the fetus and thus attempt to return her life to normality.  By denying male rape victims and men who have had their condoms sabotaged or their sperm utilized without their permission after the act the option to terminate their own parental rights to a child they never intended to produce, aren’t we in essence saying that while it isn’t okay to force women into parenthood, it’s perfectly fine to force men into the same?

  • equalist

    I never said that men should have the right to impregnate women without care for the children after they are born, but I do feel that it’s unfair that while we allow women the option of aborting a fetus that was conceived without her concent (through rape, birth control sabotage, or birth control failure) we don’t allow men an escape in the same manner.  It’s not just about the woman’s body being hijacked for nine months by a fetus she doesn’t want, the support of a child she can’t afford is taken into account when women consider abortion, but a man in the same situation (unintended pregnancy, not by lack of protection, but by accident, force, or manipulation) has no such option.  My point is that under current circumstances, while women’s reproductive choices are currently being attacked, the fact is that they are the ones who have all the choices to begin with.  A man cannot legally force a woman to abort a fetus he didn’t intend to create, and he cannot (or at least should not be able to) force a woman to carry a fetus he did intend to create.  He has no reproductive choice if the woman he impregnates chooses differently than he does.  In some regards this is fair as it is her body that carries the fetus for nine months, but in other regards this is completely unfair since, as we fight against in the case of women, the man has no choice in the matter of whether or not the pregnancy is carried to term.  He is completely at the will of the woman in this case, and his needs are never considered.  I’m not saying that we should by any means force women to bow down to the needs and wants of men, but when the woman makes a choice to become pregnant against the will of her partner (because remember, consent to sex does not equal consent to parenthood) we should at least take his wants and needs into strong consideration.

  • equalist

    Although it may not be the case to anyone, I’ve always felt my stance on choice has been at least mostly clear.  I feel that a woman who makes her own choice has the ability to feel secure in that choice and comfortable with her decision, no matter what the choice is, while taking any option out of the equation (either abortion, adoption, or parenting) leaves her feeling trapped and forced, making the outcome uncomfortable and distressing for her, again, no matter what the choice is.  My point here though is that while we advocate choice for women, we remove choice from men.  In some cases, this is perfectly acceptable, such as when both partners agree on the outcome (thus giving them both the choice), the pregnancy was forced on the woman in the first place, if the man has no intention of carrying the responsibilities of parenthood regardless of the outcome, or if the woman (read: potential custodial parent) is simple in a position where she feels she is unable to provide for the child created under her current circumstances, even if the father were to contribute.  However, in cases where the man was given no choice as to the conception (again, cases of rape, birth control sabotage, or utilizing his sperm from used condoms without his permission) I equate this to similar circumstances in women (rape, hiding or destroying her pills, purposefully breaking or damaging condoms in order to force an unwanted pregnancy) and just as choice should be removed from a man performing these actions and returned to the woman, in cases where a woman performs the listed actions, choice should be given to the man.  To not treat both circumstances equally is to not treat the victims of both circumstances equally.

  • equalist

    Crowepps:  I do want to make it clear that I am not arguing that child support in all cases should be put under scrutiny, as there are plenty of men out there who go about impregnating as many women as possible and collecting “baby mama’s” like trophies.  These men should absolutely be responsible for the children they create.  The point that I was trying to make is that there ARE men out there who have impregnated women through no fault of their own through cases of rape, sabotage, and manipulation.  The important part here isn’t that we make the assumption that men shouldn’t have to be responsible for the children they create because that child MIGHT have been created through no fault or attempt of his own, but that when it is proven that a woman has forced a pregnancy without the consent of the man (holes in condoms, retrieving sperm from used condoms, and rape, as I do believe that “she said she was on the pill” isn’t a valid excuse since he does have the option of using a condom) that he should have at least some options available to him.  In those cases, she was the one that made the decision to risk pregnancy without his consent, and in cases where he was using condoms at least, he had reason to believe that he was protected.  The issue becomes more gray in the case of true birth control failure, and in that case I would press for agreement between both parties on how the pregnancy and possible resulting child is handled as neither of them was actually intending for her to become pregnant.

  • crowepps

    This particular meme is so contaminated at this point that frankly I don’t want to waste much time considering the horrible plight and need for compassion of the one male victim per year to whom this might credibly have happened.

     

    Isn’t the whole point of this argument when raised by men’s rights and father’s rights organization that ALL MEN should be able to screw around all over town and then say ‘she tricked me’ or ‘I don’t feel like having a kid right now’ and get out of paying child support?  Or alternatively that the man should be able to use the woman as a uterine replicator and force her to get an abortion/force her to give birth/dole his money out bit by bit when she ‘makes him happy’ and withhold it if she’s ‘being bitchy’?  Since as in every single other issue men contemplate there isn’t any concern at all about the kid but instead it’s ALL ABOUT HIM?

     

    Isn’t the whole point of this argument as used by the ProLife activitists to use the threat of withholding support from children who are born to shift the blame and guilt trip women who do get abortions by claiming it’s THEIR responsibility the hostage was shot, that if only they hadn’t insist on their ‘selfish’ right to end a pregnancy without male permission, then all those men wouldn’t be off the hook and those kiddies wouldn’t have starved?  Because women are obligated to give up everything they need to fix EVERYTHING for EVERYBODY else first?

     

    Personally, I wouldn’t have any problem at all with abolishing child support altogether and putting a 7% ‘raising the children’ surcharge on EVERYBODY’S taxes to raise a reasonable amount of money to distribute enough so every single male or female parent actually doing the hands-on work of raising kids could shelter, clothe and feed them, married or not, no shame, no blame.  It could be means tested so those with a high income wouldn’t take advantage, but it should be pretty generous, because after all, we all agree the really important thing is the children, right? Women who didn’t want to continue pregnancies could end them and other women could continue pregnancies if they wished to do so with confidence the resulting child would be safe and healthy.

     

    Get that all set up, and then we’ll let the men off the hook, because frankly, at the present time the options to make things ‘fair’ are the options of forced pregnancy for women (50-50 chance any support will ever show up) or letting the children who are born starve.  I find it kind of weird that you can’t grasp that’s where your theoretical argument always ends up — the men wander off to try for a poke at some other woman as the rest of us choose between killing women or letting kids die.

  • crowepps

    To not treat both circumstances equally is to not treat the victims of both circumstances equally.

    They’re not in the same circumstances.  The couple has sex under whatever circumstances.  Now their circumstances are very different.

    The woman is pregnant, a physical condition which imposes a metabolic load, inevitably affects her employment and ability to do physical things, has known complications which can become serious, and which may leave her with permanent disabilities or kill her.  The financial obligation for the pregnancy is entirely hers and there isn’t anyone who has a legal obligation to help pay for ‘her’ healthcare.

    The man is not pregnant, has no change in his physical condition, no effect on his employment or ability to do things, and no possibility of physical complications, disabilities or death.  He does not have to bear the cost of the health care related to the pregnancy.

    The women chooses, for whatever reason, to have an abortion and end the pregnancy, returning her physical condition to its prepregnancy state.

    The man’s physical status never changed at all.

    Your argument is that it is ‘unfair’ that the woman’s choice to return to her prepregnancy state ALSO includes a choice about parenthood and that in order to make things ‘fair’ the man should have the entirely different option of having a living child that he is not obligated to support and whom someone else will bring up.

    There is a fundamental difference between these two scenarios.

    She has TWO issues, changing her physical state back to its original, hopefully undamaged status, and ALSO deciding not to complete gestation so that is no child born.

    He has ONE issue, because if a abortion happens his life continues unchanged, but IF a child is born he wants the option of actually being a biological parent and at the same time holding onto his cash because he figures since it wasn’t his plan, others should pay to raise his kid(s).

    It’s also not FAIR that she has two issues to cope with and he only has one.  Figure out to shift all of the physical, social and economic burden of pregnancy off her shoulders and I’ll be more sympathic to his pain over his money.

  • equalist

    You ask for citations, as a woman who has carried a child created through rape to term and maintained custody of that child (and her sister who was conceived before the relationship became physically and sexually abusive), and has currently been forced to persue child support from their father due to my own financial circumstances, I am reminded of the circumstances surrounding my youngest daughter’s conception each time I receive new information from child support enforcement, and each and every time I have to face him in a courtroom for a new hearing to negotiate terms of the child support agreement I find it terrifying and have nighmares for weeks beforehand.  I can only assume that any woman maintaining custody of a child conceived through rape, and any man who is raped by a woman who becomes pregnant through the rape would have the same or at least similar experiences.  At least, this is what I hear from other rape victims or even women imagineing how they would react in similar circumstances.  The thought process is that men are not immune to these experiences and fears, so shouldn’t they be addressed in all rape victims, and not just women who are raped?

    I will concede that the man does not have the nine months of physical reminders of the rape to contend with, and yes the physical reminder for a woman is terrible, but the fact is that she is not forced into continuing that reminder if she chooses.  Currently low income health care programs (such as medicaid) allow exceptions for rape when it comes to funding for abortions, as well as many insurance providers.  A woman who is raped and becomes pregnant has the choice of emergency contraception to prevent pregnancy from the rape, or abortion to end the pregnancy, and thus end the physical reminder.  Where the unfairness comes in is that after the pregnancy is completed, the woman has the choice of whether or not to persue child support and the legal reminder of the rape, regardless of whether she is the victim or the rapist.  In cases where she is the victim, this return of power to her can be healing and uplifting.  In cases where she is the rapist however, this is merely a maintaining of power over the victim for years after his rape, and yes, she is the one in control as long as she retains custody of the child.  It is up to her, as the custodial parent, to instigate the child support or not to, as she chooses (I refused to persue child support in my own case for three years until I felt I was ready to face him again) while in the case of a male rape victim, it is his rapist who decides when he will have to confront her or if he does at all.  That is the problem with this situation is the issue of control, as rape in and of itself is a crime of control, and has nothing to do with sex or reproduction.

    Regardless of the issue or what side anyone is on, there will always be dissenters.  there will always be those who blame the victim, but the blame the victim mentality in men is less one of “If he hadn’t done x, it wouldn’t have happened” and more of “Why are you complaining, you got sex, and isn’t that all you wanted anyway?” which I find more degrading.  It’s similar to women who are raped by professional athletes or celebrities and are given the line of “it can’t have been rape because it was such and such person that everyone wants.”  It’s terrible when it happens to women, and it’s just as terrible when it happens to men.  Please let me make this clear, I’m not arguing for men, or against women, I’m arguing for rape victims and their needs.

    As for female teachers and male students vs male teachers and female students, yes, the male student is seen as a stud but does that make him any less a victim of molestation?  As for the male teachers and female students, I have not seen the male teachers given a slap on the wrist.  Instead, I’ve seen them jailed as pedophiles while female teachers are given lighter sentances, although this is a hard distinction to make, I would almost say impossible, since most male teachers having relations with female students have multiple victims, while female teachers having relations with male students only have one or at most a handful.

    The whole point of the argument is that male and female rape victims, while sharing the experience of rape, do not share the experiences afterwards.  Women have more options for control after a rape than men do (deciding what to do should a pregnancy arise, whether or not to retain custody of the child if the pregnancy is brought to term and whether or not to persue child support if the pregnancy is brought to term and custody of the child is retained), and that is the inequality I am arguing against.  Not that women should have less control after being victimized, but that men in the same situation should be given more control than they are.

  • equalist

    Let me try to clarify.  Yes, she has two issues, while he has one.  But unlike him, she is enitrely in control of BOTH issues, while he is in control of none.  She is allowed the choice of whether or not to continue the pregnancy, In the case of a man who intentionally impregnates a woman, or does so without care for the consequences, this is how it should be.  But in the case of a man who has been victimized, this victimizes him again by removing any option for choice.  Again, i’m not arguing that all men should have this option, but in the case of a man who has been raped or otherwise impregnated a woman against his will (and once again, “she said she was on the pill” and birth control failure would not fall under these stipulations, I’m referring to cases where the woman has made a conscious effort to become pregnant by either an unconsenting partner, or a partner who took all steps to protect himself from impregnating her and had those attempts sabotaged) I believe that he should have the option to terminate his parental rights at his discretion, just as we allow female rape victims the right to terminate their pregnancies at their discretion.  A woman does not “get herself pregnant” EXCEPT in the case of sabotaging a man’s condoms, utilizing his sperm without his consent or knowledge, or in the case of rape.  In these cases, yes, she got herself pregnant by using his sperm against his will, just as a rapist gets his victim pregnant by utilizing her eggs against her will. 

  • crowepps

    Leaving aside the extremely rare cases where there was a genuine trick, cases so rare that in my opinion they are mostly urban myth, the problem with ‘neither of them was actually intending for her to beome pregnant’ and the two of them coming to an agreement is that unless the agreement is to expose the baby on a hillside somewhere and see what the gods decide, the person who is going to be most impacted by the decision doesn’t get a voice in making the agreement at all and certainly the taxpayers who might eventually have to be a financial substitute aren’t consulted.  Society requiring child support, which I would note society feels is owed by BOTH PARENTS, is society’s attempt to make sure the CHILD’S rights are protected.

     

    There is a lot of case law on this, which I am too tired to track down tonight, but here’s one explanation I found:

    One of the principal sources of post-mediation litigation is the parties’ failure to understand that the obligation to support children arises by operation of law, not contract. It exists not because parents agree on it, but because the state, in its role as parens patriae (protector of children) has an overriding interest in ensuring adequate support for children. The state also has an interest in reducing the size of its welfare rolls. Thus, even though a married couple can enter into a binding contract concerning how their property and debts are going to be divvied up, the portions of the agreement concerning child support are not completely within their ability to control. A judge can choose to enforce or not to enforce a child support agreement, even if it is part of a voluntary, bargained-for exchange between two intelligent, well-informed adults.

    This doesn’t mean that child support can never be part of an enforceable negotiated divorce settlement. It only means that the parties must be prepared to explain to the court how their proposal serves the child’s best interests, and they should be aware that an inadequate child support provision in a negotiated agreement might not be enforced even if the remainder of the agreement is.
    One important corollary to this is that the right to receive child support cannot be waived. To put it another way, a waiver of child support is not enforceable, even if it is part of a negotiated property settlement or a court order. This is an extremely important thing to keep in mind when negotiating a divorce settlement.

    http://www.proactivechange.com/responsibledivorce/legal/child-support.htm

  • equalist

    Once again, you seem to be assuming I’m referring to all men and all pregnancies.  This isn’t the case.  The kinds of situations I’m referring to are similar to the ones I’ve already posted as examples.  Underage boys molested by women who became pregnant.  Men who have proven that they were raped.  Men who have proven that their sperm was used against their will.  Under this idea, a man cannot simply state “I didn’t want it, so I shouldn’t be responsible”, but a 14 year old boy who has been molested by an adult woman who then becomes pregnant as a result of the molestation should not be forced to be financially responsible for a child he could not consent to the creation of in the first place and especially at a time when he is unable to even be financially responsible for himself.  A man who experiences the trauma of rape should not be forced to confront his rapist repeatedly in a forum where she is put in power over him again (as in a child support case, where we have been so accustomed to hearing about deadbeat dads impregnating large numbers of “baby mamas” that the assumption is often that any man who tries to assert that the circumstances under which the child was conceived wasn’t his choice is simply trying to shirk responsibility).  A man who impregnates a woman who admits that the pregnancy occurred because she utilized his sperm against his will (as in the cases of retrieving sperm from used condoms or purposefully puncturing condoms before use to cause them to fail) should have the option of terminating his own parental rights as like it or not, a pregnancy conceived in any of these manners is not the fault of the man.  While few, there are documented cases of these kinds of incidents, and unfortunately for the men who find themselves in these circumstances, there are no protections for them.  Just because these circumstances are rare, does not mean that they don’t exist at all and doesn’t mean that the victims shouldn’t be protected.  Again, let me emphasize, I’m not pushing for these stipulations for all men, only those who can be shown to have been victimized by the woman they impregnated, and only in the case of the pregnancy that was conceived through their victimization, not any previous or subsequent pregnancies they may create.  We argue against the pro lifers who claim that the child shouldn’t be punished in cases where women are raped, and here you’re making the same argument in reference to cases where men are raped.  Yes, the child deserves support, but shouldn’t the woman who forces a man to impregnate her against his will take the responsibility for that child?  She was the one who chose to impregnate herself with her partner’s sperm without his consent, knowing that a child would be the result of such action and knowing that the child would require support.  He on the other hand, was the victim of her actions and should not be penalized for the actions taken against him.

  • crowepps

    I don’t think it’s true that the experience of rape a woman who is intimidated or overpowered has is that similar to the experience of a boy who is emotionally manipulated by a teacher or a man who is fine with the sex but not with the pregnancy.   I think perhaps you might be projecting a little there.  Having your body invaded by that of another when you were afraid and unwilling is an entirely different circumstance than having a girlfriend or even a casual boink say ‘I’m pregnant’ when you can’t remember the condom leaking.

     

    And how are we going to determine men are in that situation?  With an underage teen and a teacher it would be fairly easy.  So how many cases like that have there been?  Half a dozen?

     

    The men who claim that they always every single time used a condom and she must have stolen his sperm in an effort to rip him off?  Just how are we going to adjudicate that?  Are we going to assume the man wouldn’t lie and the woman would?  Or assume the woman wouldn’t lie and the man would?  And how often do you really think that happens as opposed to how often CLAIM that it must have happened because they don’t want to take responsibility?

     

    If the law is changed so that men get to argue it must have been a trick, they were ‘raped’ of their sperm and shouldn’t have to support their kids, don’t you think there are going to be a thousand men claiming they were tricked for every one to whom it actually happened?  

  • equalist

    I’m not sure about the situatin regarding closed adoptions or donors, but in the open adoption of my son, I have complete contact with him and his adoptive family.  In fact, about a year ago when I located and contacted my own biological father, I was able to receive a complete and current family medical history from his side of the family with which to update my son’s adoptive family.  I was also able to update them when my mother contracted breast cancer and make them aware of that change to the medical history.  Couldn’t something similar be set up for donors and closed adoptions?  Perhaps not direct contact with the adoptive families, but at least third party contact through the adoption agency who arranged the adoption to ensure that updates to the health records of the biological parents are forwarded along?

  • crowepps

    Realistically, how often do you think this really happens?

     

    Realistically, how does allowing a man a choice about whether to contribute money change the fact that he now has a live child in the world and the fact that he has to deal with that reality and the emotions arising from it?  How does allowing a man to say ‘I don’t consider myself a father’ change the fact that there is going to be a child walking around who looks like him?  How are his other earlier or later children going to feel knowing that good old dad rejected and walked away from another child?  How are his employers and friends going to react?  I certainly don’t see how such a thing could be kept a secret.

     

    If my son failed to support his child, no matter what the circumstances of the conception were and no matter what the mother was like, I would still assert my right to be that child’s grandmother.  I would still assert my right to provide support to that child, out of my son’s potential inheritance if necessary.  The bell cannot be unrung without restoring the ‘choice’ by giving him the option to kill the child at birth.

  • equalist

    In all three cases there are elements that can be used to prove the man is not at fault, and barring those, he should be held responsible.  In the case of molestation, it’s fairly simple.  An underage boy who fathers a child with a woman who has reached the age of majority is a victim of statutory rape.  We can all agree on that, and there is your proof in that circumstance.  In the case of a woman who pierces the condom, or otherwise utilizes the sperm of a man against his will, it is decidedly more difficult to obtain proof, but I would suggest that evidence should be allowed in the child support case as well.  If he can find evidence of her admitting to the act, those she has admitted to it to who are willing to testify at the child support hearing, or those who witnessed her during the act who are willing to testify in his behalf, I would say that should be taken into consideration.  I never said it should be an easy thing to prove.  In the case of rape victims, if it was reported, then there is a police report, investigation, and possible criminal charges that can be admitted into evidence.  If it wasn’t reported, again, he would have to rely on witness testemony, which would hold less ground than physical evidence, but again, I never said it should be easy.  The point isn’t to give all men a way out of child support and responsibility, but to give those who can prove that the pregnancy was intentionally brought about by the woman without his consent and/or knowledge an option and some protection under the law.  As for the ones who claim it happened to them but didn’t, do they invalidate the victimization of the men who were taken advantage of in this manner somehow?  Does their existence somehow make the experiences of those who are telling the truth and have the evidence to back it up any less valid?  That’s like saying that because some women claim rape when they weren’t actually raped, all women who claim rape should be subjected to ridicule and assumed to be lying, and didn’t we see exactly that argument fairly recently when the rape exception for abortion was brought up?  The fact is, proving rape is difficult for either a woman or a man.  If proof of nonconsent is given, a woman may obtain an abortion funded by medicaid or other government funds.  Shouldn’t a man who has proven his rape have the option of terminating his parental rights as the raped woman has the option of terminating her pregnancy?

  • equalist

    It’s not about how often it happens.  If it only happens once, there is still a man being victimized and who’s rights need to be protected.  We shouldn’t throw him under the bus just because his circumstances are rare.  That’s like saying that because only 1% of abortions are terminated due to life threatening complications for the mother, women in those circumstances shouldn’t have that right because it’s rare (again, not comparing the severity of the outcome here, but the frequency of the event.  Just because the circumstances are rare, doesn’t mean we should abandon the victims of those circumstances).  As for your right to be that child’s grandmother, that’s your right, unless the mother chooses to terminate the pregnancy.  But your son should have the right not to be victimized.  If it was your daughter who became pregnant because of rape or her partner tampering with her birth control, would you argue against her right to terminate the pregnancy and thus terminate her parental rights simply because the father of the child wanted her to continue the pregnancy so that he could aquire custody?  Your arguments against choice for men who are victims of rape are hauntingly similar to the anti choice arguments against the choice of abortion for women who are victims of the same crime.  The primary difference being that in the case of a woman who is raped, she can (at least currently) legally terminate the pregnancy and thus terminate her own parental rights and responsibilities, while a man who is raped has no legal option to terminate anything and is left at the mercy of his rapist and her decisions on how to handle the pregnancy and resulting child.  I would hope you wouldn’t subject a daughter’s pregnancy to the whim of the rapist who impregnated her, why the double standard regarding a son who is raped and impregnates his rapist?

  • crowepps

    I don’t think any rapist should have custody of a child, because in my opinion, the egocentric, obsessed with power and control mental makeup of a rapist precludes any possibility of their being a good parent.  If a man actually proved he was raped by a woman, I think that women should be put in jail and all of that woman’s children should be removed from her custody and given extensive therapy and never see her again.

    I think the exact same thing should be done so far as male rapists and contact with their children.  I don’t think rapists should be around children at all.  I don’t think people who are abusive should have ocntact with children either.

     

    Since the trauma of the rape of his sperm has left the man unable to cope emotionally with the child and the horrible reminder of his pain and terror at possibly having some of his money WRESTED from him, I suppose the child should be shipped off to a nice Catholic orphanage where he/she can be taught to do laundry.  That should adequately punish the child for daring to exist when she/he isn’t convenient.

  • crowepps

    I could agree with you that underage boys shouldn’t have to pay child support to adult women who take advantage of them and then get pregnant.

     

    The reason I would treat my son and daughter’s situations differently is that my son would NOT be pregnant and my daughter WOULD be pregnant.  My daughter would be making a decision about a pregnancy and whether to complete gestation.  My son could not get in a time machine and go back and erase his victimization, which happened at the time the conception happened, but instead would be making a far less taxing decision balancing his desire to hang onto his money and the physical and emotional needs of a living biological child who wouldn’t disappear just because his father walked away from him.

     

    I beginning to get weirded out by all the concepts you’re jamming into the word ‘rape’.  Both men and women can have their bodies raped.  Finding out someone has had sex with your body while you’re unconscious or being forced to have sex when you were not willing to do so is traumatic.  Being threatened or coerced or harassed into sex you don’t want to participate in is traumatic.  I don’t consider it ‘rape’ to have sex willingly with somebody when the person isn’t at all unhappy about doing so until weeks later when they find out that conception has occurred.  Rape can’t be retroactive depending on what your sperm ended up doing.  Finding out the birth control failed or the condom leaked may be upsetting because of the loss of control or even traumatic because the universe has played a dirty trick, but it isn’t ‘rape’.

     

    I agree with you that rare circumstances shouldn’t be discounted, but I recognize the reality that while failing to change the law to meet one unique and particular circumstance may be unfair to the person involved, it is sometimes necessary when changing the law to redress that unfairness will cause huge problems for millions of other people.  I have spent many years working in the law, and I can tell you right now that if ‘theft of sperm’ was made an acceptable excuse to get out of paying child support, instead of the 3 million people who fail to pay the support for their children now, I’d estimate there’d quickly be a minimum of at least 7 million kids who wouldn’t be receiving any support.

     

    Yes, that means the people who were actually harmed in those rare circumstances, all couple score or more of them, aren’t being treated fairly.  Things like this happening is why ‘life isn’t fair’ is a cliche.  The whole point of civilization is to attempt to make it more fair, but we’re never going to reach perfection.  If a hundred men, even a thousand have to live with the trauma of unfairly paying for biological children they feel they were tricked into creating, they’re just going to have to take the bullet for the 4 million kids who will get hotdogs in their mac ‘n cheese because of that suffering.

  • julie-watkins

     I have spent many years working in the law, and I can tell you right now that if ‘theft of sperm’ was made an acceptable excuse to get out of paying child support, instead of the 3 million people who fail to pay the support for their children now, I’d estimate there’d quickly be a minimum of at least 7 million kids who wouldn’t be receiving any support.

    This is the same sort of reasoning I use when I reply to complaints of “If she can choose abortion than he should be able to choose to give up no parental rights & not pay child support. Historically, when men have had this option it’s horrid. Any kind of “fairness” option to help teen and early tween boys will get snatched up by rich men & 30s 40s men to throw away inconvient girlfriends & mistresses.

    The only real way to address the “life isn’t fair” situation is to stop the class war and insist that government be “for the people” not about “protecting property of the rich”, and making profits for companies that make campaign donations. The safety nets that do exist have so many hoops to jump through & opportunities for discrimination against undesirables that it isn’t so much a safety net as it’s a means to protect the property of the servants of the rich so they can remain good servants and isn’t a protection of the poorest of the poor.

  • julie-watkins

    Personally, I wouldn’t have any problem at all with abolishing child support altogether and putting a 7% ‘raising the children’ surcharge on EVERYBODY’S taxes to raise a reasonable amount of money to distribute enough so every single male or female parent actually doing the hands-on work of raising kids could shelter, clothe and feed them, married or not, no shame, no blame.  It could be means tested so those with a high income wouldn’t take advantage, but it should be pretty generous, because after all, we all agree the really important thing is the children, right?

    I would much rather my tax money went to this than to corporate welfare cheat,  forever wars, more police, more prisons & more militarization of borders.

  • lauraj400

    where you live ,but where I live the fastest way to end up in jail is for a male teacher to have sex with a student.

  • prochoiceferret

    I could agree with you that underage boys shouldn’t have to pay child support to adult women who take advantage of them and then get pregnant.

     

    I think that much would be reasonable, if any changes were to be made to the law. It fits in with the general inability of minors to take on legal/financial obligations (I remember my Contract Law course discussing the minor who buys a car, then wrecks it, and asks for a refund), the way we treat delinquent minors differently in the justice system, and just the general repugnance of someone doing this to a person who is legally still a child, while still not opening the floodgates to every deadbeat dad in the country.

     

    The real issue here, in my opinion, boils down to a lack of good contraceptive options for males. “Hot for teacher” scenarios aside, the whole “sperm stealer” problem would be moot if e.g. RISUG were available. Given the pitfalls of releasing men from child-support obligations, which this whole thread-tangent has covered very well, I think it would be better to focus on that approach.

  • crowepps

    20 and 30 years ago they didn’t GET family medical records.  Instead they used a general questionnaire about ‘does your familiy have a history of: [long list of diseases]‘ and then EXCLUDED all the donors who said yes to those believed at that time to have a heritable component.

     

    The presumptions were that anything that wasn’t included on the list wasn’t important, that the donors would tell the truth even though doing so meant they would also be excluded from being paid, and that by excluding those donors the ones who remained all had a clean slate and it wasn’t necessary to keep track of ‘no problems’.

  • crowepps

    At the end of the day adoptees are left in the dust when personalized medicine is available to anyone not adopted.

    Like a great many other self-employed people I don’t have any insurance.  I go to a sliding scale public clinic.  My medical care, and that of millions of other people, is about as far from being ‘personalized’ as anybody could possibly imagine.

  • equalist

    My question is how can we advocate against forced parenthood for women and not do the same for men?  We fight against a man being able to decide how a woman handles her pregnancy and if she does continue the pregnancy, whether she parents the child or gives it up for adoption, while at the same time, advocating for forced parenthood for men, who have no choice in the matter.  Ulimately it is her decision whether to continue the pregnancy, and if she decides to maintain custody of the child, he has no choice as to his part of the parenting of that child.  Currently I’m on both sides of the child support debate.  My ex, and the father of my two girls has been ordered to begin child support payments in August, and my fiance was ordered to pay child support on his daughters three years ago.  My issue isn’t with the support of the children, children should be supported by both of their parents, but I’ve seen how my mother used child support for her own gain with no real benefit to me as a child (the child support my father paid to her bought her a new hot tub, furniture, and expensive clothes, she got the house and the car paid off in the divorce, and I was forced to find my own funding for college, pay my own medical bills at the age of 16, at 17 I was buying my own groceries and paying rent to her along with some of the utilities, and at 18 I was kicked out of the house before I graduated high school.  During that time, my mother collected over $24,000 in child support, and none of it went to any bills that were particularly mine).  I see the same thing happening with my fiance’s child support, when we went for a visit with his children and were shown the massive flat screen tv and entertainment center his ex had bought for her bedroom with his child suppot checks, while his children’s clothes were filled with holes and stains and just to be able to pay those checks we had been forced to give up the few luxuries we had (cable tv and internet, two vehicles instead of one) and sell off many posessions (the second vehicle, the few electronics and tools she’d let him take with him when she kicked him out, and many electronics and items I’d had for years before we got together).  I’ve seen the women that come into the gas station where I work to cash their child support checks on beer and cigarettes.  I’ve seen the good side of child support in coworkers who set every dime of the money aside for their children’s futures, or used it to pay needed medical or household expenses that couldn’t have been paid any other way, but for each of these parents, I’ve seen so many who squander the money on themselves without regard to the children.  I admit that society seems to feel the need for punishing women for having sex in its attacks on women’s reproductive rights and social programs that would help women raise the children they bear.  But I also see a sense of need to punish men as well.  Since we can’t punish them by using their bodies against them, instead we punish them legally and financially.  As an example of this, I see many of the same arguments against allowing victimized men release from parental responsibilities as anti choicers give against allowing raped and molested women and girls release from pregnancy.  “It’s such a small percentage of the population it doesn’t really matter” (compared to the argument of “abortions for rape and incest are only 3% of all performed, so we shouldn’t allow it as an exception because it wouldn’t affect a large enough percentage of the population to matter”), “It would be abused by men just trying to get out of child support.” (compared to “What’s to keep a woman from claiming she was raped just so she can get an abortion?”).  “Men should be held responsible for the children they create” (“Women should be held responsible for the lives they carry”).  “He should have kept it in his pants if he didn’t want to have to pay child support” (“She should have kept her legs closed if she didn’t want to be pregnant”).  I see outrage at the abusive partners of domestic violence victims when they sabotage their victims birth control through tampering or outright destruction and theft in order to control their victims farther, but I see no outrage aimed at the women who lie about being on birth control or punch holes in condoms in order to “keep” a man.  How can we fight against the arguments for one, and yet claim the same arguments for the other?  It’s a huge double standard, and don’t we as advocates for choice fight against these kinds of double standards?  We fight for choice for women, but fight against choice for a small segment of the male population.  Currently the only forms of birth control that lie exclusively in the control of men are condoms and vascetomy.  If women were limited to exclusively condoms or sterilization to prevent pregnancy, there would be an uproar, but why is there no outcry for more options for men to control their own reproduction as well?  We give them a choice of either a perminant method, or a less effective barrier method that is easily tampered with, and then while we enjoy the option of plan b and abortion in case of not only victimization, but birth control failure as well, we have no problem denying men anything comparible in the case of their victimization. 

    Again, let me insist, as many of you have been apparently missing this part, I don’t argue for a free pass from responsibility for men.  I expect that if anything like this were even thought of as a possility, that there would be an expectation of evidence equal to or surpassing the current expectation of evidence required for women seeking abortion for rape or molestation.  But I don’t think it’s too much to ask that victimized men be allowed the same or similar protections and resources that victimized women have available to them.

  • equalist

    Again, you’re trying to make it all about the money while disregarding the fact that rape is rape, regardless of the gender of the victim, and the taking of any bodily substance without the owner’s permission is out and out wrong.  Particularly when that particular bodily substance can be used to trap the owner into a financial obligation he did not consent to for 18+ years of his life, with few to no options to fight against it, and severe legal repercussions if for whatever reason he is unable to pay it.

    Yet again, why is it perfectly okay to force men into parenthood when we fight so hard against women being forced into the same? 

  • equalist

    I agree completely.

  • equalist

    Just caught the part regarding a rapist having custody of a child, and I agree, a rapist should not be allowed to have custody of a child.  The fact is though that most states will give strong preference to the mother when it comes to custody arrangements, and it is incredibly difficult to remove a child from the custody of its mother, even when criminal charges are brought against her.  Even if the child is removed from her custody due to criminal action, a mother is more likely to regain custody, and will regain custody quicker than her male counterpart would.  Unless she is put on a sex offender list, her contact with children would not be limited by the law and she would still retain parental rights in regards to her own children.

  • crowepps

    Seriously, you need to find a few websites for information that aren’t totally misinformed.  I have never seen such a collection of wrong.

     

    I work in the law  While it used to be true, it is no longer true that most states “give strong preference to the mother”.  There has been an enormous change and cases being decided right now are far more far more likely to end in joint custody.  You can’t just look at the stats that include all the cases from the last 20 years to see what the current climate is.  First, most custody arrangements aren’t even established by “the state” but instead by the parents themselves, and most men don’t ASK FOR custody.  In cases where the custody decision is contested (where both parties want custody) and where the decision is IMPOSED BY the court, and where only ONE parent gets full custody, women get full custody half the time and men get full custody half the time.

     

    It is not “incredibly difficult” to remove a child from its mother’s custody and it happens all the time, whether by social services taking custody, by custody being placed with the father, the grandmother or another relative, or by parental rights being severed altogether and the child being made available for adoption.  It is true that there are attempts to keep children out of foster care and to reunite families, but women who commit the ‘crimes’ of smoking dope or being poor or being suspected of prostitution do lose their kids, quite often for no good reason, and can have a really hard time getting them back, especially if they are healthy infants that the social worker feels would be ‘better off’ being adopted by ‘a good Christian home’.

  • colleen

    Where do you come up with this stuff?

    His/her cites were from:

     

    http://mensnewsdaily.com

    a no longer functional link from http://www.ageofconsent.com

    http://forum.bodybuilding.com …which linked to a ‘source’ at http://www.avoiceformen.com.

     

    Oh, and a partial brief at lexis/nexis.

     





  • crowepps

    So we have one bunch of well financed fanatics putting out reams and reams of misogynist propaganda about how every conception has a right to live and women are all evil selfish sluts who want to murder babies and ANOTHER bunch of well financed fanatics putting out reams and reams of misogynist propaganda about how women are all evil, lazy sinks of depravity who use sex to lure in and ‘rape’ men of their sperm to have children as levers to ENSLAVE men financially.

     

    Wonderful.

     

    Years of listening to these floods of misogyny will not only convince children to despise their mothers, and men to despise women, but I’m sure will get it through to the girls themselves that they are SUPPOSED to loathe and resent their children and hate and attempt to rip off men.  I’m sure Equalist agrees that as a woman, just like ALL THE OTHER WOMEN in her references, she should be PRESUMED to be evil, selfish, promiscuous, lazy and depraved, and that her rights should depend on whether or not her male monitor will vouch for behavior.  Because it isn’t really about ‘society has to provide for fairness in the one or two cases a year of terrible injustice’ at all, instead it’s about ‘Men have value BECAUSE women don’t.’

  • equalist

    Where I came up with that stuff was a simple google search.  Could I probably have done more in depth reasearch?  Probably.  But it was late, I was tired, and unable to find the exact stories I remembered seeing in the past and was looking for, I grabbed what I could find.  Rest assured, I’ve learned my lesson and will only take information from “approved” sites from here forward.

  • crowepps

    Sorry if I sounded unduly snotty.  I’ve been stuck by websites a few times myself.  For me, the red flags are statements about how one side is always wrong and the other side is always right, theories about conspiracies and how ‘the XXX industry’ is just in it for the money, stuff over on the side like blog links and titles to other site articles that are extremist and sound over the top, but most importantly, claims that directly contradict what I see around me.

     

    I mean, seriously, do you know some single parents or some parents who are divorced?  Does the information that you found describe you, or those people, or anybody else that you know personally?  I do know one self-centered, selfish woman who I can fully believe would ‘steal sperm’ or lie about birth control in order to live off child support.  ONE woman.  All the other single mothers or divorced mothers that I know are working and doing their best to take care of their kids and personally sacrificing and just scraping by and want most for their kids to be happy.  I know that personal anecdote isn’t data, but it’s a good idea to be skeptical about purported ‘facts’ that are enormously different than your own experience.

  • crowepps
    Strongly suggest reading the whole thing, but found this interesting –
    Robert Hughes, Jr.
    How Does the Public View Conflict in Custody Decisions?

    “When the cases were presented in which one parent was described as the cause of the conflict, then participants recommended that the parent causing the conflict should get less parenting time. The participants did not differ in their judgments about mothers and fathers. Regardless of whether it was the mother or the father was the source of the conflict, participants thought they should get less time with the child if they were angry, fighting and causing conflict. “

     

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-hughes/how-does-the-public-view-_b_877174.html

  • equalist

    The problem we’ve seen is this kind of thing backfiring in the case of abused women leaving their abusers.  The abuser often twists the act of leaving and taking the children with her to protect them against her by making her appear to be the cause of the conflict by forcing her into situations where she appears to be the aggressor when the steps she’s taking to protect herself and her children are taken out of context.  The problem here being that this is a common issue for all abuse victims, whether they are male or female.  These laws when used correctly and with all the information available for the decision making, can be a help to abuse victims, but with the ability of abusers to cover their actions, there are many cases where this kind of thing causes more harm than good.

  • equalist

    Honestly, I know several women who have used the “oops, my pill must have failed” excuse on more than one occasion to try and “save” a failing relationship.  My fiance, his brother and his sister were all results of that kind of decision made by their mother, as well as both of his children with his ex wife.  I dare say we’ve all seen women and girls thinking they can “fix” a broken relationship simply by conceiving a child, and we’ve all felt real pity for these girls and wonder that their self esteem should be so low that they would rather go to such lengths to keep a man who doesn’t value them rather than learn to love themselves and find someone truly worthy of them.  Then there is a logical aspect to this.  We talk all the time of abusive men who sabotage women’s birth control in order to force a pregnancy and keep their victims under their control.  Is it not logical to say that as there are (though much more rarely) women who are abusive to their male partners, that those women would also be likely to employ the same methods to keep their victims under their control?  When two people conceive a child and the pregnancy is carried to term, those two people are bound together through legalities for the next 18 years or more in the form of child support and custody and visitation arrangements, even if the romantic relationship doesn’t last.  It’s an ideal situation for an abuser of either sex because he, or she, now has the means to force contact with his victim for years.  Without the ability to relinquish paternal rights, the victim has no other option than to succumb to the will of the courts and abide by the requirements set forth by the law.  I don’t say all women are out to use children against their fathers, in fact, I’m confident in saying that most are not.  The issue is that there are a small number who are not above such actions, and the men who father children with them have a right to be protected just as women who give birth to children fathered by abusive men have a right to be protected.

  • equalist

    Years of listening to these floods of misogyny will not only convince children to despise their mothers, and men to despise women, but I’m sure will get it through to the girls themselves that they are SUPPOSED to loathe and resent their children and hate and attempt to rip off men.  I’m sure Equalist agrees that as a woman, just like ALL THE OTHER WOMEN in her references, she should be PRESUMED to be evil, selfish, promiscuous, lazy and depraved, and that her rights should depend on whether or not her male monitor will vouch for behavior.  Because it isn’t really about ‘society has to provide for fairness in the one or two cases a year of terrible injustice’ at all, instead it’s about ‘Men have value BECAUSE women don’t.’

    I have never once in this conversation, or any other, stated that all women are evil, selfish, promiscuous, lazy, or depraved, nor have I ever stated that women’s rights should depend on men to give them.  That’s putting words into my mouth that were never said, and it’s not appreciated.  My point is, and has always been, that gender should not be an issue in our reaction to victimization.  A victim is a victim, and regardless of gender, age, race, or any other factor should be viewed and protected as such.  If I was stating that female rape victims should have the right to terminate pregnancies resulting from their victimization as a means of healing and moving forward with their lives and away from their rapists, I would dare say there is not a single poster here who would disagree with me.  However, when I switch the gender and state that men should have the right to terminate their parental rights in the case of pregnancies that result from their victimization, again as a means of healing and moving forward with their lives and away from their rapists, suddenly I become a misogynist and it’s assumed that I’m somehow anti-woman simply because I feel that a rape victim is still a rape victim regardless of the gender.  Isn’t it just as hateful towards men to say that because they are men, they don’t deserve equal protection from the results of their victimization as women do, as it is to say that women who are victimized don’t deserve protection from the results of their victimizations?  You are the one turning this into a gender issue, making it about the gender of the victim and not the fact that she or he is a victim at all.  I have never said and will never say that anyone has more value than anyone else simply because of gender, or any other factors.  People (living, breathing born people) all have value as human beings and should all be respected as human beings.  It is possible to hold value for men without taking it from women, and vice versa.  In addition, to say that calling for justice for a handful of victims simply because they are victims and deserve justice is to take away value from an entire segment of the population is quite a massive stretch, and takes an insane amount of mental gymnastics to even contemplate.  It doesn’t take away the value of men to allow rape victims to terminate pregnancies created by their rape, why would it take away the value of women to allow male rape victims to terminate ther parental rights in the case of pregnancies created by their rapes?  How does this even make sense?

  • colleen

    If I was stating that female rape victims should have the right to terminate pregnancies resulting from their victimization as a means of healing and moving forward with their lives and away from their rapists, I would dare say there is not a single poster here who would disagree with me.  However, when I switch the gender and state that men should have the right to terminate their parental rights in the case of pregnancies that result from their victimization, again as a means of healing and moving forward with their lives and away from their rapists, suddenly I become a misogynist and it’s assumed that I’m somehow anti-woman simply because I feel that a rape victim is still a rape victim regardless of the gender.

     

    Is this really what you think has happened in this thread?

  • crowepps

    Women who are having abortions are deciding that they will not DONATE their physical services to complete the process of CREATING a child.  They get to make that decision because they are pregnant.  Men who are pregnant have an equal right to make the decision about what to do with THEIR bodies.

     

    This has nothing to do with ‘choosing whether to be a parent’ or ‘punishing’ any potential child for being created through rape, because just like every other person who is entitled to bodily autonomy, women don’t OWE AN OBLIGATION OF THE USE OF THEIR BODY to anyone, either the rapist OR the unwanted zygote/embryo.  The rapist forced her to participate in the beginning of the reproductive process by using her body without her consent.  If society, which is making minimal efforts to prevent rapes or to remove rapists from the population, decrees that she is not entitled to Plan B because a zygote has a right to be created tomorrow, or that after the zygote has implanted it has the right to convert her body to its own purposes and use it without her consent, society needs to be clear that it is forcing her to submit to a continuation of the rape because her life, emotions and rights\ are less important than even the POSSIBILITY of a zygote.

     

    Once a child has been created BOTH PARENTS have exactly the same responsibility of support.

     

    I challenge you to write a law that is ‘fair’ to that one man in 4 million who actually was really ‘raped’ of his sperm without allowing 100,000, maybe as many as a million men who are cheap, abusive or irresponsible to claim they were ‘tricked’ and leave their children to starve.  Do some research on the traditional intent determination, which was a sharp dividing line between ‘fathers responsible for children of legal marriage’ and ‘tens of thousands of bastards created as a byproduct of men’s fornication and adultery owed NO support by those men, go to the foundling home to die, starve in the gutter or live marginal lives’.  Keep in mind that since ‘rape of sperm’ would be a crime, each case would have to meet the legal standard of “beyond a reasonable doubt” before the child could punished for his father being unwilling.

     

    Perhaps I’m too cynical about the number of fathers who would prefer to hold onto their money instead of their children.  Or perhaps my skepticism isn’t that unreasonable –  this was in the news this morning.

    http://www.theblaze.com/stories/texas-man-dumps-4-year-old-son-on-highway-docs-remove-500-cactus-spines/