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Abortion and parental rights

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JP
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50 posted 06-17-2003 03:13 AM       View Profile for JP   Email JP   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit JP's Home Page   View IP for JP

I think the original question is well worth investing time in considering and answering.  If a couple gets pregnant (by accident let us say, defective condoms, a little leakage, something inadvertant), if the conception were not a result of negligence, and the couple does not agree on the outcome of the pregnancy (she decides to keep it, he doesn't want it), how is it fair that the man cannot abort his legal obligation to the baby he does not, did not, and will not want?

Yes it takes two to cause the pregnancy but that is hardly sufficient reason to force someone to pay for something for 18+ years is it?  When the decision to end or endure the pregancy is made (by the woman, without consideration of the wishes of the man) then the legal responsiblities of the man should end.  

The act that concieved the child was consensual, two were invovled, two were responsible. After that the man has no rights in determining the path of the pregnancy.  At that point the man should no longer be held responsible for the rest of the 'situation'.

Yesterday is ash, tomorrow is smoke; only today does the fire burn.
Nil Desperandum, Fata viem invenient

Ron
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51 posted 06-17-2003 11:21 AM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
Given that we, as human organisms, require a beginning  (with conception being the naturally given, and traditionally accepted line of recognition), it would make much more scientific, philosophical, moral, and legal sense to ascribe intrinsic human value according to what we are in essence and nature, rather than what properties we might come to develop.

The "naturally given and traditionally accepted line of recognition," Stephen, is still the birthday. We don't celebrate Washington's or Lincoln's conception day, do we? And I won't even ask when you might want to celebrate Christmas?

I understand, of course, that in YOUR mind the line has already been drawn. You see no reason to push your line backwards and very compelling reasons to not move it forwards. What I'm hoping to accomplish, Stephen, is to show you that your truths are neither self-evident nor inescapable. They are based as much on faith and belief as on logic and reason, and while there's certainly nothing wrong with that, you should realize that YOUR faith and YOUR belief are unlikely to be as compelling to others as they are to you.

quote:
Yes it takes two to cause the pregnancy but that is hardly sufficient reason to force someone to pay for something for 18+ years is it?

In my opinion? It's more than sufficient reason.

Actions beget responsibilities. And while there are many, many circumstances outside the man's control that may later absolve him of those responsibilities, there is nothing that will ever negate those responsibilities. In the vernacular, "You play, you pay."
Local Rebel
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52 posted 06-17-2003 01:49 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

Tim,

What you speak of (and Ron) are both indicators of the cultural divide.  

What is the dillema of the teenage pregnant daughter of Jerry Falwell as compared to Gerry Ford, Jerry Seinfeld, Geraldine Ferraro, or Jerry Garcia?
jbouder
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53 posted 06-17-2003 02:58 PM       View Profile for jbouder   Email jbouder   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for jbouder

Tim:

quote:
Yes it takes two to cause the pregnancy but that is hardly sufficient reason to force someone to pay for something for 18+ years is it?


Fatherhood certainly does involve sacrifice.  Sometimes far more than you expect.  But I think the return you stand to gain from your investment in the 18+ years of that child's life far exceeds the investment, even under the most difficult of circumstances (and the circumstances can get very difficult sometimes).

But as LR pointed out, we find ourselves in the "cultural divide."  Maybe I'm just "old-fashioned" like Ron, but I'm with him on this one, though.

Jim
Jason Lyle
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54 posted 06-17-2003 04:48 PM       View Profile for Jason Lyle   Email Jason Lyle   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Jason Lyle

Quote:
"In my opinion? It's more than sufficient reason.

Actions beget responsibilities. And while there are many, many circumstances outside the man's control that may later absolve him of those responsibilities, there is nothing that will ever negate those responsibilities. In the vernacular, "You play, you pay."

I agree Ron, but how is this argument any differant for the male, than it is for the female?
Stephanos
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55 posted 06-17-2003 07:54 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Ron,  

So we don't celebrate formally someone's "conception day".  So?

How does that illustrate in any way that Conception is not a traditional point of recognition?  Even today, ultrasounds are shown with parental pride, and recieved with joy by friends and family ... never thought of as merely showing off uterine tissue.  Sorry Ron, though I will concede that we respond to the recognition of different points with varying amounts of celebration, this does not mean that the knowledge of pregnancy is not traditionally a point of recognizing that a human life is already begun in the womb.  If we do not retain this traditionally accepted view of pregnancy, then we must create our own line ... where do we stop it Ron?  How come embryology text books know where individual human life starts, but we want to pontificate about why philosophically we should be able to arbitrate when human life begins?  You may say that even those who define embryology are making arbitrary judgements, but this is your usual attempt to render all judgements of equal value, and so none can be right or wrong.  If it happens so naturally in the scientific realm, why can't we have the same clarity in the moral and legislative realm?  I think we can.  But we want to establish our own code and path for what is moral and immoral, based upon our convenience and desires.  Is it more immoral to kill a late term fetus, than to kill a week old infant?  If yes, then why?  If no, you are in a quandary.


Stephen  
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56 posted 06-17-2003 07:58 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

"You play, you pay."

Yes, I too would like to know why this does not apply to women who desire abortions.  Because once the "tissue" is removed, there can be no more responsibility about it.  It is counter-intuitive to the argument of responsibility.  


Stephen.
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57 posted 06-17-2003 08:09 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

"What I'm hoping to accomplish, Stephen, is to show you that your truths are neither self-evident nor inescapable. They are based as much on faith and belief as on logic and reason, and while there's certainly nothing wrong with that, you should realize that YOUR faith and YOUR belief are unlikely to be as compelling to others as they are to you."

Follow the path of your view to it's full implications.  Do you believe it is "self evident" that you should be able to walk out in your front yard without being severely flogged?  Neither is this written with indelible ink across the brows of all men.  But I would think that you might still argue that it should be pretty much universally accepted.  What I am getting at, and what I am trying to get you to see, is that by your apparant standards there is NOTHING in life which is self evident.  This is a great supposition that all totalitarian governments and many despots have quite enjoyed acting on as well.  


Stephen

[This message has been edited by Stephanos (06-17-2003 08:13 PM).]

Ron
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58 posted 06-17-2003 09:50 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
I agree Ron, but how is this argument any differant for the male, than it is for the female?

In my opinion, it's not any different, Jason. Both mother and father assume a responsibility for the child.

quote:
Is it more immoral to kill a late term fetus, than to kill a week old infant?  If yes, then why?  If no, you are in a quandary.

Whose morality would you like me to cite, Stephan? Mine? Yours? The conscientious objector who would go to prison or even die at the hands of an enemy rather than take a human life? The vegan who prizes all life so dearly she will neither eat the meat nor wear the skin of any animal? Whose morality would you like deciding how you must live your life tomorrow?

Morality, if it is to have weight, is something someone believes. Not something legislatively shoved down their throat.

Now, if you will allow me to change your question to address legality and social practicality, I'll try to answer as best I can. Is there ever a legitimate reason to terminate a late-term fetus? Sadly, yea, there is. If the life of the mother is judged to be in serious jeopardy, her life will take precedence over that of the unborn child. Is there ever a legitimate reason to terminate a week-old infant? I don't know how legitimate it is, but it very tragically happens every single day. When there isn't enough food to feed all the children in a family, parents make some very hard choices, which even more tragically are predicated on the choices of governments.

All of which is completely irrelevant. No one in society is advocating abortion of a late-term fetus or a week-old infant. No one denies that a child deserves the protection of the law.

quote:
What I am getting at, and what I am trying to get you to see, is that by your apparant standards there is NOTHING in life which is self evident.

Then I'm obviously not making my standards clear, Stephen. I believe there are many, many things which are self-evident truths. Your definition of when life begins just isn't one of them.

And please realize that is not the same as saying your definition can't BE a truth. It may well be so. But it's not a self-evident one that can be accepted on your faith or your belief. If you are to convince a woman that the two ounces of undifferentiated cells growing in her womb is precious, I honestly think you have to come up with something better than "because I say so."
Kamala
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59 posted 06-18-2003 01:38 PM       View Profile for Kamala   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Kamala

I have a friend who is deeply christian and was ALWAYS anti-abortion... naturally.  well, she was in a relationship with a guy who didn't treat her all that well, and just a few weeks before their break up they had sex and she became pregnant.

She called him, they met up, and she told him in person about her pregnancy.  He responded by saying that he would be there for her whatever she decided, that he would support her decision, etc. etc. etc.  All of the stuff that sounds good. Four days later, she caught him with another woman. He proceeded to not make good on ANYTHING he had told her, and she became a nuisance to him.

It was *extremely* difficult for my friend to make the decision to have an abortion (as you might imagine).  It went against EVERYTHING she believed in.  But this was clearly a situation of this guy not really valuing the child he had conceived and "aborting" his responsibility for it.  So, she got the operation and has had to live with all of the physical, emotional, and religious turmoil that has ensued for her.

And the fact of the matter is that this is the scenario in an overwhelming majority of cases.  The fact is, men have been aborting their responsibilities/obligations to the children they conceive for YEARS.  Just compare the number of single moms to the number of single dads.  Child support laws and such have been put into place to try and prevent women from being ****ed out in the cold over and over again.  Even still, men continue to abort their responsibilities to the babies they conceive.

So, I find this argument pretty annoying and a lot of the views rather ignorant of the way these situations normally work.

Stephanos is talking as if every guy would WANT the baby and should have the right to make a woman have it for him.  And quite frankly, no man -- as has been pointed out -- can POSSIBLY understand what it is to be pregnant and what it is to have a child OR what the intricacies of individual situations may be.

To me, Toad seems to me to be on the right track here.  And there are plenty of demographics to support this all around us.  Women assume or are left with or must take the overwhelming responsibility for any child they bring into this world (even when they are in loving partnerships with supportive husbands).  Thus, women should be the ones making the choice.  Because -- maybe not physically, but -- men have been making the choice to "abort" as defined by this discussion for a long, long time.  And they haven't needed a law to tell them whether or not they can do it.

Kamala
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60 posted 06-18-2003 01:53 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

Amen sister.  

Unfortunately, you are correct.
Ringo
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61 posted 06-18-2003 02:35 PM       View Profile for Ringo   Email Ringo   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Ringo

I have been purposely staying out of this discussion due to the fact that I am too close to it at this moment.
I am currently in the situation that Jason described as far as (possibly) having kids and not having any rights.
I ended up with a one nighter with the friend of a friend(stupid, I know) and a few months later, I get that dreaded phone call. She knew my thoughts on the subject (I wasn't looking for anything past that night), and she got my number from my friend, and my cell number, and she called them both numerous times a day (even before the "guess what" call). Fast forward: I find out she was taking fertility drugs to attempt to get pregnant, and would sleep with one guy every month. I also found out that the birth control pills she showed me were not being taken, and were being used to convince her "victim" that she was safe.
Now she is insisting that we are getting married, and moving in together, and the whole bit.
If they are my kids (We are waiting for the DNA results now... which I had to threaten legal action to get)I am willing to be there for the kids financially... however, with this girl actually having done everything that she was, and acting as psychotically as she is, and tricking me into the situation and attempting to trap me like this, I have absolutely ZERO rights except to pay child support, and deal with her (this according to my lawyer).
Getting back to Jason's question: Should I be forced to even be a part of this situation that I had no desire and no intention to get into. As everyone on here knows, I have 2 kids and would do ANYTHING for tham, and am in a custody fight over them, so I don't want to hear about the "accepting fatherhood" argument. Should I be legally forced to sacrifice a substancial portion of my paycheck to a woman who lied to me to have kids, and to get a husband??? Should I be allowed to tell her (legally) to hose off???
I think so, actually. However, that is just me.

Day after day I'm more confused,
So I look for the light through the pouring rain...

Jason Lyle
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62 posted 06-18-2003 03:52 PM       View Profile for Jason Lyle   Email Jason Lyle   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Jason Lyle

Kamala,
Sadly, you speak much the truth about alot of these "situations".I agree with most it.
Many of us are also good fathers.Despite what you have said, you have not invalidated the question.You have only stated that because alot of men are louts, they have no rights in the matter.thats the same kind of argument as...

"more men speed, only women should drive"

"men tend to be more violent, only women
should own guns"

"women are not as physically strong, only men should be in the military"

All true statements, that do not logically justify the conclusion.


Ringo,
That is one of those rare situations that led to the question.I feel for you and wish you the best.Most of all, I feel for the child, should she deliver it.
What a psycho
Good luck

Jason
Stephanos
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63 posted 06-18-2003 05:02 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

"Morality, if it is to have weight, is something someone believes. Not something legislatively shoved down their throat."

We are discussing legislation by the way.  And don't merely tell me your philosophical opinion how law is never based on morality.  If there were no universal concept of right and wrong among humans, law would never have arisen.  Am I suggesting that the ultimate enforcement of morality should be legislative?  Of course not.  So don't go there.  

It is illegal to kill 1 week old infants no matter if we believe in infanticide or not.  It is "shoved down our throat", as the law is enforced, regardless of beliefs.  Your use of the phrase "shoved" is nothing more than an attempt to make those who believe abortion should be illegal look tyrannous somehow.  But really anyone who feels strongly and pushes for legislation of anything is open to like criticism.  It is hollow criticism.


"Is there ever a legitimate reason to terminate a late-term fetus? Sadly, yea, there is. If the life of the mother is judged to be in serious jeopardy, her life will take precedence over that of the unborn child."

How common is this?  Really?  Tell me from a medical standpoint, how often a late term fetus causes a mother's life to be in serious jeopardy.  


"No one in society is advocating abortion of a late-term fetus or a week-old infant"

Your just plain wrong here.  Read the news about how different groups are reacting to Partial Birth Abortion (D&X) being banned.  There are many advocating this very thing.  I'm not saying that you are advocating abortion of late-term fetuses, but it is mistaken to say that there is no one in society pushing for this right.


"If you are to convince a woman that the two ounces of undifferentiated cells growing in her womb is precious, I honestly think you have to come up with something better than "because I say so.""

I have never just based what I say, upon "I said so".  I have stated that the universally accepted  scientific line of where the individual human organism begins is conception.  Undifferentiated cells?  Ron either you are ignorant of this biology, or you are being the obscurantist again.  This just isn't true.  Immediately after fertilization, the zygote is profoundly different from any other cell in the female's body.  In fact it is the only one which will develop into an infant from it's own set of code, rather than the mother's.  The speed of differentiation (for organ systems etc... is extrememly fast).  Remember this clump of cells has a 4 chambered beating heart in 3 weeks, and often has a different blood type than the mother.

I could talk a lot about how this should be deemed precious.  But mere value in the eyes of the parent  is not, and has never been what I am arguing in this thread.  Many parents do not value their 10 year old children.  But that does not make them non-human.  And the law should protect them regardless of the parental estimation.  The law should protect them because they are human.

So I could with equal weight mirror your own words and say:  If you are going to convince anyone that the fetus is essentially non-human because of some unacquired quality of your choosing, you have to come up with something better than "because I say so".


"And quite frankly, no man -- as has been pointed out -- can POSSIBLY understand what it is to be pregnant and what it is to have a child OR what the intricacies of individual situations may be."


This is philosphy class, and no argument can be discounted merely because of the gender of the arguer.  It is the arguments themselves that must be considered.  Because there are many females who are pro-life also, who would give the same reasons.  If arguments are discredited because they come from males, then a large part of the arguments are discounted here on this thread, even the ones different than my own.  The problem is, that many who do understand the intricacies of pregancy and of individual situations (women) view this quite differently.  So the question remains: which view is best?  


Stephen.

[This message has been edited by Stephanos (06-18-2003 05:23 PM).]

Ringo
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64 posted 06-18-2003 08:54 PM       View Profile for Ringo   Email Ringo   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Ringo

Jason- In a word... Twins.
(3 months early)

Day after day I'm more confused,
So I look for the light through the pouring rain...

Jason Lyle
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65 posted 06-19-2003 03:27 PM       View Profile for Jason Lyle   Email Jason Lyle   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Jason Lyle

Ringo,
If congratulations are in order, congratulations.
And best wishes for the children, 3 months early! I pray for thier health.

Jason

[This message has been edited by Jason Lyle (06-19-2003 03:31 PM).]

Kamala
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66 posted 06-19-2003 09:09 PM       View Profile for Kamala   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Kamala

Ringo -- I am extremely sorry for your situation.  It is reprehensible that a woman would do such a thing to "trap" a man, and I have no respect for that kind of behavior.  I hope that you are able to reach some sort of compromise with her about the situation.  I have a friend who was put in a similar situation when he found his psycho ex poking holes through a condom with a needle.  He was only 20 at the time.  She carried the child to term and they decided to place it up for adoption, and they found a great home for the baby.  Although it may be a different end, I hope your child (if it is yours) finds an equally happy one.

---------------------

Having said that... I do want to point out that men in such situations could avoid the whole thing by NOT leaving the responsibility of protection up to the woman.  Especially a one-nighter.  And this is something else that upsets me about sexual relations.  SO MUCH of the responsibility is placed on women to protect themselves.  The overwhelming buffet of protective devices all relate to and/or alter the female body.  And frankly, that sucks.  Because it can take such a toll.  Just last week, for instance, I was in the ER because of complications related to the BCP.  And I just don't think it's fair that I should have to be the one to think about it all the time.  I think that if guys DO NOT want to be in this situation, they should put on a condom.  It's so much easier and less complicated for them than so many methods are for women.  And if a one-night-stander says she's on the pill... why not say, "Well, but I insist."  ESPECIALLY if you don't know the person that well.  You know?  And I'm not saying this to make Ringo, specifically, feel bad.  And obviously, she is also indubitably in the wrong.  But I hope you all understand what I'm getting at.

-------------------

Jason, i think you somewhat missed my point.  my whole point was that as far as the initial question goes (Should men be allowed to legally "abort" their responsibility for a child?)... men ALREADY do that and have BEEN doing it for many, many years.  The whole notion of making men legally take responsibility for the children they conceive is a pretty friggin new one.  And thus, I basically find the original question sexist and uninformed.

That being said, I DO think that women who abuse those new laws -- as in my friend's ex's case or the psycho in Ringo's case -- should be held accountable or prosecuted in some way.  But as I said above (at least in Ringo's case), the situation could've been prevented by his taking responsibility for protecting himself and not relying on her/trusting her to do it.  In a situation like my friend's, where he WAS taking responsibility for protecting himself and wearing a condom but the woman was sabotaging it, there's no excuse.  I think by all means, he should've been allowed to say -- "This was a cruel and devious deception, I do not want to take responsibility for this child."  And there should've been some legal action there that he could take.

So basically... I DON'T think that my views are as simple as "men are louts, only women should decide."  I was merely pointing out that men have been "aborting" responsibility without the need for laws for a long long time.

And as far as who should be held responsible and who should be allowed to make decisions... I do still think that women should more often than not be the primary decision bearers re: their own bodies and offspring.  But in cases where men are victimized -- as in my friend's case -- I'm not completely black and white about it.  In Ringo's case, I don't think that he should be allowed to tell her to "hose off" simply because he made the mistake of trusting someone he hardly knew and not protecting HIMSELF.  Still, that doesn't make her any less psycho and I in no way support/condone her actions.

I'll stop there.

Kamala
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67 posted 06-19-2003 09:27 PM       View Profile for Jason Lyle   Email Jason Lyle   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Jason Lyle

No,I got your point.You missed mine.I do not think anyone here has stated that men have not been doing exactly what you have stated for a long time.
What you misunderstood, was that this statement did not justify your argument.
It would be just as easy to argue with this logic, that abortion should not be legal at all.You screwed up, live with it.I do not believe that, but that is the kind of logic you have employed with your reply.
Ron
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68 posted 06-19-2003 09:54 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
... men ALREADY do that and have BEEN doing it for many, many years.  The whole notion of making men legally take responsibility for the children they conceive is a pretty friggin new one.  And thus, I basically find the original question sexist and uninformed.

Your response, Kamala, seems far more sexist than the question. People have been abrogating that responsibility for many, many years. Men. And women. The difference that was posited in the original question is whether it's fair that one is sometimes legal and the other is usually not.

While I'm certainly sympathetic to anyone who makes mistakes, because heaven know we all do, it seems exceedingly foolish to me for someone to risk pregnancy (and there is always a risk) based on the promises of someone else. Especially someone who already treats them badly or they don't even know. I'm not trying to throw rocks, but let's face it, guys, bad judgement too often carries a high price. Hell, good judgement does, too. Even if the promises are sincere, even if the trust level is high, you're still gambling that someone will be alive next year to keep those promises. And what is it being gambled? The life of a child against a few minutes of feeling good? Russian roulette makes more sense than that.

The bottom line, for me, is that everyone, male and female, needs to take responsibility for their own actions and stop blaming the results of those actions on others. Sex equals babies, and if you want the one, you better have contingency plans to care for the other. Leaving that up to someone else, or even just depending on someone else, is na´ve and irresponsible.
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69 posted 06-19-2003 10:14 PM       View Profile for Jason Lyle   Email Jason Lyle   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Jason Lyle

And that,Ron, is the best answer yet.

Jason
Tim
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70 posted 06-20-2003 12:06 AM       View Profile for Tim   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Tim

Is it safe to assume that along with responsibility comes equal rights and that once the child is born that the father should be given equal preference as being designated the custodial parent and have equal authority to make parenting decisions?
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71 posted 06-20-2003 12:11 AM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

Ringo, Ringo, Ringo..... you're lucky all you caught were twins!

Get a new lawyer (preferably a woman) and go for full custody (on the grounds that the mother is a loon.)  Then let her pay you child support.  Do you feel comfortable with your children being raised by her?
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72 posted 06-20-2003 01:45 AM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

Tim asked:
quote:
Is it safe to assume that along with responsibility comes equal rights and that once the child is born that the father should be given equal preference as being designated the custodial parent and have equal authority to make parenting decisions?

In my opinion, Tim? Absolutely.

With the proviso that each case is unique and the ultimate decision should be based on merit. I have to add that because, even though I think each father should be given equal consideration, my personal experience has been that mothers generally make better single parents than do fathers. They multitask better, I think? But generally definitely isn't always, and it should not be the "given" that we all too frequently see in many (not all) courts. I also think the extended family should be a consideration.

The ideal goal, of course, is to avoid single parent families entirely. 'Cause no one can ever really multitask well enough to replace the missing parent.
Ringo
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73 posted 06-20-2003 07:07 PM       View Profile for Ringo   Email Ringo   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Ringo

Kamala- There was no offense taken at your reply, and in fact, there is much wisdom in your words. I am actually more upset at myself than at her. She is, in my opinion,  a complete and total psychopath, yet the whole sordid affair (did I actually say that word???? lol) is severely sad to think of. SHe is THAT unhappy within herself and her life that she must resort to these tactics to find love for herself.
I didn't post the event to bring responses to my particular situation, and to my own screw up, but only to add to the original discussion at hand about father's rights.
LR- Don't think I don't realize my "luck" in this (lol).

Once in a dream, far beyond these castle walls...

Kamala
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74 posted 06-22-2003 12:53 PM       View Profile for Kamala   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Kamala

What you misunderstood, was that this statement did not justify your argument.

Argh.  But my observation about what men have been doing was not related to any argument regarding the question.  It was simply an observation that what you're questioning has already been going on without laws.  But Ron is right.  In reality, *people* have been doing this.  It is both men and women, although I think that prevailing demographics most certainly show that more men than women do it.  Nevertheless, I do not mean to say that it's only men and I apologize for coming off that sexist myself.

As far as an argument regarding the question, I think I said in my previous post that I am in agreement with Toad's argument.  Because women make more of an investment -- in terms of body, health, labor, caretaking, etc. -- I think they should be primary decision makers regarding their pregnancies.  But -- also as I said above -- I believe their should be recourse for men who find themselves victimized by women abusing pregnancy or trying to use it as some sort of entrapment tactic.  I am not blind to that and find it just as appalling as men who take no responsibility for the children they conceive.  Both are jacked up ways of behaving.

With the proviso that each case is unique and the ultimate decision should be based on merit. I have to add that because, even though I think each father should be given equal consideration, my personal experience has been that mothers generally make better single parents than do fathers. They multitask better, I think? But generally definitely isn't always, and it should not be the "given" that we all too frequently see in many (not all) courts.

Now THAT I am in complete agreement with.  I feel the same way about the initial question.  Generally, women should be the ones to make the decision and I am in agreement with that, but generally isn't definitely.  

I know a gay couple that recently went through hell and back to adopt their now daughter.  Here's a situation where neither of them was responsible for the pregnancy and couldn't claim any blood rights.  But their mother was a former (possibly still) crack addict.  So, even though my gay friends had raised this girl FROM BIRTH (because they were her foster parents), her mother still put up a hell of a fight to gain custody of her and take her away from the only loving home she had known.  This woman was erratic about taking medications, a former drug addict, and (it seems to me) really wasn't considering the overall welfare of her child.  In that kind of a situation... clearly I DON'T think the mom should've had as much a say -- based on the merit point that Ron raised above.  I am glad, however, that it worked out and that the little girl now has a loving home with two supportive and able parents.

Kamala
 
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