In Child Custody Issues, Child Support, Strategy Issues on September 8, 2008 at 8:40 pm

My mother used to say that “rich people have property, poor people have children.” Many a pundit on the right will speak of the “richness of love” that children bring, particularly in the heat of an argument about the abortion rights. This line of argument tends to bring more heat than light, and serves merely to ramp the rancor to such a degree that both sides end up heavily fortified in their respective positions completely disclaiming anything that the other side has to offer of value.

No matter where you stand on the abortion rights spectrum, and it is certainly a spectrum, not matter how much both sides try to portray it as a simple, either or proposition, the issues that are being dealt with, are life changing for all involved. Which is why I am so disappointed at the intellectual dishonesty that occurs on both sides of the debate.

On the Pro-Choice side, I believe it is intellectually dishonest to say that the only life that is effected by an abortion is that of the mother. Patently that is false. It takes at least two to make a baby, and certainly the father has some rights in this debate, since he clearly will have responsibilities should the pregnancy go full term. Since we will require of him 18 years worth of child support, it seems to me, that he has an interest in this pregnancy.

On the Pro-Life side, it is equally as dishonest to say that every life counts, but we shouldn’t be teaching how that life comes to be, or providing the means to prevent it from accidentally occurring. If one truly believes that every life should be saved, then we should be making sure that every life is a wanted life, coming into this world with a set of parents that are at least desirous of the child, if not prepared.

If the Pro-Life lobby wants to make the argument that a society is civilized to the degree that it protects the least amongst it, well then they should start by becoming vegetarians. We kill everyday for our own well-being and comfort, and to act as if we don’t is just rubbish. We have millions of cows, pigs and chickens slaughtered each day for our food, only we don’t have to see the gore, the food comes to us neatly packaged in little plastic trays.

Whenever I am in court downtown I see the same level of dishonesty, but this time it comes from the unintended consequences of the Pro-Choice lobby. They’ve made it all about the woman’s right to choose, and ignored the men involved.  They’ve empowered women to such a point that they stop seeing the man as a father, but rather as donor who now has only responsibilities and no rights, which leads to increased anger and resentment on everyone’s part.

It is a sad story, but it is replayed day in and day out, he was good enough to bed down with, and he needs to be made to pay for his kid, but he’s not good enough to be a father.

As I sit in courtroom after courtroom, watching the system extract the “child’s right to support” from the fathers of children who were ignorant of the costs they were taking on, by fathering a child, I can’t help but marvel at the lack of awareness that so many men display when confronted with the responsibilities of parenthood.

By reducing the role that men play we have diminished them, and then blamed them for not being the men they were supposed to be.

There is not enough information out there informing men that once they get a woman pregnant they are out of the decision tree, until the child is born, and even then, they will have very little to do with the raising of the child, but to pay for it.

The Pro-Life lobby forgets to inform the fathers that this tiny life, will have a huge impact on their future, their ability to improve their lot in life is severely hampered by having a child, it will cost them thousands of dollars and lost opportunities.

The Pro-Choice lobby forgets to inform the fathers that their choice comes beforehand, in whether or not to use contraception, or even have sex.

We need to have an organization that informs men, that “Their Choice” is the more important one, the choice to have protected sex or not. 

  1. This is a really good and well-planned post. Thank you for linking to it.

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