A Republican lawmaker in Ohio has re-introduced a bill that would give a man the final choice on whether the woman he got pregnant could have an abortion.
Dubbed the “father’s right bill,” it would give the man the right to stand up and say he doesn’t want the fetus he contributed DNA to to be aborted. But it says nothing about then forcing him to be a good father or provide financial stability.
So yeah, way to go Ohio, if this bill makes it through to law, you won’t just be pulling a woman’s right to choose what happens to her own body (be it having to go through pregnancy or not), but you’ll be sticking a mother with everything that comes with pregnancy and putting none of it on the guy. Woohoo – score another one for progress.
OK, sarcasm done with.
I’m sure this will be met with a fair amount of “Oh, but now she can give the child up for adoption, so why should the guy be held responsible?”
Because that’s not actually what’s behind the bill (again, a bill, not a law). Its sponsor, Rep. John Adams (who has reintroduced a bill first put forth in 2007), has stated publicly that this is an attempt to “keep the two people who have created that child together.” In other words – he’s trying to force a family unit out of pregnancy rather than the other way around. He’s not aiming for adoption, he’s aiming for one big happy.
And realistically, that isn’t the way the world works. If it did – how do we account for all of the divorced parents out there? According to most studies, children don’t keep people together (the most oft-repeated stat figures half of all of America’s children will see their parents divorce at least once).
Throw in the fact that Adams’ plan would prohibit an abortion in cases where mothers don’t know the identity of the father (and bringing forth a fake would carry jail time), and I’m still trying to see how this could possibly be anything but punishment for the women involved. There’s a clear message here of “you made your bed, now lie in it.” But it’s focused solely on the woman, who has a federally protected right to make a brand new bed, and again lets men off scot free.
This isn’t about babies or fetuses, folks. It’s about a return to the patriarchal order where men are handed the right to dictate the way a woman can live her life, and she’s stuck with it.