The Cold Hard Truth on Equalizing Reproductive Rights

by Featured Guest on March 8, 2012

By Taank

Ah, reproduction, and the rights of men and women regarding it. Seems like folks these days just can’t get enough of wrangling about it, with every side shouting so loud they’ll never hear what anyone else has to say. I started thinking about it pretty much at random the other day, and it occurred to me that I’ve never seen or heard anyone dispassionately lay out the current state of affairs regarding reproductive rights, as well as the various potential fixes available.

Fear not, gentle reader, for today that changes.

Presented for your reading pleasure today, shockingly enough, is a dispassionate summary of the current state of affairs regarding reproductive rights, as well as the various potential fixes available. In the spirit of dispassionitivity (not a real word – I hope), I’m not advocating any of these; I leave that to the comments section (which, I suppose, reveals my blindingly optimistic opinion of human nature in general).

Without further ado, I give you Reproductive Rights: the Gender-Based Overview.

Reproductive Rights Before Pregnancy:
-Women: Choose Not To Have Sex; Use Birth Control
-Men: Choose Not To Have Sex; Use Birth Control

Reproductive Rights Rights During Pregnancy:
-Women: Abort Fetus
-Men: None

Reproductive Rights After Childbirth:
-Women: Surrender child to be supported by state taxpayers via Safe Haven laws (Typically up to 30 days after birth; varies by state)
-Men: None

Based on this brutally simple breakdown, the following simple fixes suggest themselves. Note that the only consideration in this analysis is making the reproductive rights of men and women the same at all stages of the process, regardless of any other considerations. This is not to minimize or discard those other considerations, but rather to illustrate these solutions in the simplest possible terms.

Obviously, reproductive rights before pregnancy are already equal.

To Equalize Rights During Pregnancy:*
Option 1: Require father’s consent to abort a pregnancy
Option 2: Allow fathers to mandate abortion against the mother’s wishes (!)

To Equalize Rights After Childbirth:
Option 1: Eliminate Safe Haven Laws
Option 2: Allow Fathers to surrender parental rights (yes, avoiding child support) within Safe Haven timeframe

That’s it. A simple overview of the current imbalance in reproductive rights, by gender, and the possible ways to fix them. I would greatly admire the testicular fortitude of anyone brave enough to actually suggest any of these fixes in a public forum; I can only imagine the raging shitstorm that would erupt if anyone suggested that fathers should be able to force mothers to abort, even though logically it is one way to give men and women equal rights in that particular area. But anyway, there it is.

Discuss. Or not, as you prefer.

*(It’s also worth noting here that there’s a potential Option 3 for equalizing rights during pregnancy. If we interpret a mother’s right to abort an unwanted pregnancy as the ability to surrender her parental rights and reponsibilities, rather than the literal interpretation of “surgically remove the fetus,” then the third option would allow the father to opt out of fatherhood during pregnancy, surrendering his parental rights and responsibilities. This would allow mothers who were so inclined to keep the baby, although they would know by doing so that they would be solely responsible for providing for that child. Realistically, I don’t think anyone would suggest that option 2 would ever make a viable real world solution, even though logically it does provide men and women with equal rights.)

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