I’m trying to get some support for this idea.
First of all, I’m a gurl, (and a sterile one at that) so it’s certainly not self-serving.
I think the laws regarding reproductive freedom in this country are grossly unfair. Men are stripped of any choice except the choice not to have sex at all, which isn’t reasonable.
Think about it: why should men be totally at the mercy of a woman’s choices for herself?
If a woman becomes pregnant, she can choose to avoid pregnancy and motherhood via abortion. (I believe in a woman’s right to choose, absolutely. No one, be it the state or the father, should be able to tell a woman what she can and cannot do with her own body.) This is right and good. But the father cannot stop her if he wants to become a father. This is also right and good.
But what if she chooses to keep the baby? Can the father force her to abort it if he doesn’t want it? No, and he shouldn’t be able to. Yet SHE is able to force HIM to be a father even if he doesn’t want it. If nothing else, she can force him to be financially responsible. And I think that blows.
The biological differences prevent perfect parity here, but I do believe we can get closer than we are now via a simple change in the law. Men should be permitted to legally reject fatherhood by making a declaration. Very simple. It would work the same way it does for women: they would have to make the declaration in say, the first 5 months of her preganancy. After that, it must be assumed that they are willingly taking on the obligations of paternity.
Furthermore, to prevent women from manipulating men by failing to inform him that she is pregnant until it is too late, the burden of proof would be on her if she claims he knew and failed to do anything about it.
Very simple, and as close to fair as is possible.
I believe that such a system would have a noticable impact on the number of single mothers. IF women understood that having a man’s baby would NOT legally tie him to her forever, perhaps they would think twice about going forward with their pregnancies, or even allowing themselves to get pregnant in the first place. It wouldn’t eliminate it, certainly, but I think it would help.
And why men haven’t bitched about the inequity of this system up to now is beyond me. If I was a guy I’d be screaming bloody murder.