Sixteen years ago I had one of those boyfriends no one could stand. And like most relationships of this type everyone else was right and I was wrong. After some tumultuous months I was pregnant. I thought it would bring him around and treat me better. I thought he would step up and be a father once I had the child. I really wasn’t thinking at all except about my options. I support pro-choice and my choice was to have the baby.
I never asked him if he wanted the child. I never considered it to be his decision because my mind was made up. If he wanted to be part of it great, if he didn’t well that was just fine too. I wasn’t going to be a slave to him over any of it. I wasn’t going to tell him he had to pay for a child he didn’t want and never intended to see. I figured if I had the right to choose to have the baby he had the right to choose not to support me doing so.
To be honest it also never crossed my mind that I might not want the baby but he would. And what exactly happens in that situation anyway? Do you see a lot of unwed teenage father’s suing dead-beat mothers? I’ve never seen it on Oprah, Montel, or Maury so it mustn’t be a big problem. It would be a lot cheaper than the shows with the nine paternity tests per child; it’s kind of hard not to know who the mother is. Considerations would obviously need to be adjusted. Exactly how much is nine months of carrying and caring for another life worth? Suppose the woman didn’t want to be pregnant and was being forced by the man to carry the child to term. What’s to stop her from smoking, drinking, and pursuing other detrimental things that could compromise the well being of the child? What are the ramifications of that kind of behavior? Could they put her in protective custody until delivery? Who would be financially responsible for that?
Like all things in our country there are going to be bills in congress hoping to become laws that will attempt to control man’s inhumanity to man in what should be private and personal situations. It’s happening in Ohio where Rep. John Adams has introduced a bill that will give fathers veto power over abortion. It seems the high tide of feminism that has allowed women to be the end-all be-all in charge of their bodies may be ebbing. As the current bill proposes women will need to provide written consent from the father before an abortion can be performed. What about those Maury Povitch shows in the making? The ones when the woman has a list as long as her arm of potential fathers? Rather than providing Maury with the list she will be required to provide it to the doctor who will then have to perform paternity tests.
Anyone with half a brain can see the problems here. For one what is to prevent a woman from lying and saying her best friend Bob is the father of the child and he sure does give his consent. Will there be a paternity test on every one? On the flip side if the woman isn’t quick enough to think of this and provides the doctor with a list of names who is going to pay for all those paternity tests? Most women contemplating abortion are not going around bragging and looking for the approval of others even if it is from the potential father. Time is of the essence when dealing with abortion, women will need to move quickly if they are going to do multiple paternity tests and obtain a letter of consent before gaining 20 lbs or moving into a second or third trimester procedure which is decidedly more complicated. No woman planning to have an abortion is planning to walk around pregnant (and all that implies) for a few months while some government agency sorts the whole thing out. I don’t know any women who will be excited about having per-abortive procedures with risks that might impair their ability to bear children at a later date.
Perhaps what politicians are actually trying to do with this kind of bill is re-instill the concepts of abstinence until marriage, and monogamy. Perhaps making it difficult but legal to have an abortion will make the general public put more consideration into their sexual activities. How bad could it be? Perhaps sexually transmitted diseases will decline. Maybe there will be fewer unwed and teenaged mothers. Perhaps the companies that mass-produce prophylactics will show record sales.
The thing of it is this, like most laws proposed by the seemingly moral majority in an attempt to control the immoral majority, it’s virtually impossible to effectively and financially enforce. Violations of privacy, doctor client privilege, and personal freedoms come into the line of fire.