Evan Evans, a retired OB/GYN from Utah, has proposed a bill that he thinks will obviate abortion. His idea is to force all unmarried fathers to fork over $50,000 to their babymommas. Leaving aside the fact that most unmarried fathers don’t have $50,000 lying around – and probably never will – the idea that lots of women will not be able to somehow convince some man to sleep with them is hilarious. All this bill will ensure is that the dumbest men with the least self-control will inseminate the majority of single mothers. It is such a stupid idea that it should be read aloud in congress as a joke (although I don’t know how many would get it).
Since Evans began practicing medicine in the 1950s, I’m guessing he’s well into his 80s. Although I don’t know for certain whether men really thought these kinds of plans might work back then, it’s possible, and that might explain how some of the godawful law around child support and divorce came into being.
As people live longer and the ratio of older to younger people has grown, the influence of old-fashioned ideas may actually be stronger than it used to be. This is counterintuitive, because we are frequently told that we are in a “new, progressive, era,” but just look how much influence 1960s style radicalism – a half-century old by now – still exerts on society. Both academia and the media sometimes seem stuck in Vietnam and the various “movements” of the time, because those were the formative years of senior managers and editorialists. PBS is possibly the most glaring example of this, with fuddy-duddies like Garrison Keillor still very popular amongst the geriatric progressive crowd.
This also brings up an interesting question. Are liberal, progressive youngsters now the reactionary, goody-two-shoes squares?