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Want an abortion in Ohio? Ask your man.

Well, it's just a proposed law, not a passed one, but still:
http://feministing.com/archives/007480.html#comments

Got it from ginmar. A comment says it was illegal in West Virginia in 1992 for a woman to get an abortion or tubal ligation without the husband's permission, though the abortion thing seems to me to conflict with Roe vs. Wade. (Second or third trimester, maybe?)

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( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
lyceum_arabica
Aug. 7th, 2007 04:43 pm (UTC)
i dunno... honestly it seems unfair for the woman to have complete control over the life of the child. I don't know that something as simple as getting the husbands permission is the way to go... but it really seems like the father ought to be involved, at the very least notified. and maybe given some recourse, if he's willing to accept full responsibility for the child after it's born.
mindstalk
Aug. 7th, 2007 05:14 pm (UTC)
It's not the man who has to be pregnant and go through birth. Why should he get such a say in what happens to her body?
mlc23
Aug. 7th, 2007 11:38 pm (UTC)
Yes! As someone who was pregnant for 9 months and had unexpected complications with an emergency C-section, and who also has a friend who almost died in child birth, the idea that someone else should have control over a pregnant woman's body is absurd to me. Yeah it's unfair and its unequal that a father is not involved in the decision but its also unfair and unequal that a woman accepts 100% of the discomfort and risk of carrying a baby to term. At least for the moment, we are limited by biology.
mindstalk
Aug. 8th, 2007 12:08 am (UTC)
If I were going to get the man involved, it'd be in the other direction: "if the father doesn't consent to giving child support, then get an abortion or expect to do without." This wouldn't be popular in ginmar's community, where getting an 18 year obligation for one drunken night is approved of for men. "Besides, the child shouldn't have to suffer." Of course, if the father *died* the child would suffer; life isn't fair, we try to pick a point at which to make it fairer, and asking that a child be born with two willing parents doesn't seem a big leap for me.
kateorman
Aug. 8th, 2007 01:05 am (UTC)
If the mother isn't able to pay for everything the child needs - shoes, penicillin, schoolbooks, breakfast - doesn't that leave the taxpayer covering the cost of those essentials, if daddy isn't willing to pay? You know what most taxpayers would say to that: should've kept it in your pants, daddy. :-)
lyceum_arabica
Aug. 8th, 2007 10:43 pm (UTC)
I just can't imagine creating a child with someone and then having to beg them not to kill it. Clearly more is involved here than the woman's body... there's that long part afterwards where your daughter or son goes to school, grows up, falls in love... that's 30-60 years or longer of shared life, compared to 9 months of pregnancy.

And besides, of course we don't have full legal control over our bodies. Suicide is a crime. We can't do drugs (even on occasion when those drugs might help, and on many occasions when they'd do no real harm). There's all sorts of things we can't climb on, jump off of, fly in, have sex with... Not to mention things we can't say and actions we can't take. Yes... of course I think it would be alarming to give the government control over pregnancy, but it's far from absurd.

At any rate... I really do feel like the father (not husband) should have some recourse. At the *very* least, he should be notified... can you possibly argue against that? And if there's a disagreement as to whether the child should live, I think there should be counseling before the final decision is made (under the assumption that if the mother has the unwanted child the father is able to and must take full custody, just as in an adoption). Let the mother have the final vote after that, it is her body after all. And of course recommend abortion if having the child is likely to endanger her life, or if the child was the product of violence. But if two people in a consenual relationship conceive a child that could be brought to term and raised as a healthy individual... let father have the chance to have his say, before the mother chooses to do away with the kid.

And I am female. But I have many friends who are guys. And for every poor girl who's been hurt and abused in a relationship with a psycho guy, there's a guy out there who's had his life ruined by a pyscho girl. Only there are protections set up for the first, and *none* for the second. So many times I've heard of custody battles where the child was awarded to the mother out of course, when she was a truly evil, neglectful person... and the father had to battle desperately against the system just to try to ensure the safety of his kid.

(laughs) the funny thing is, this is degrading to women. If we're looking for equality, why force a system where we're always seen as the victims? Both men and women can be abusive, both men and women are vulnerable, and both deserve protection in bad circumstances. That includes at least giving a father a fair chance to plead for his child's life
mlc23
Aug. 9th, 2007 12:20 am (UTC)
there's that long part afterwards where your daughter or son goes to school, grows up, falls in love... that's 30-60 years or longer of shared life, compared to 9 months of pregnancy.

Pregnancy and childbirth are sometimes life threatening and very often health threatening, while seeing your child take the school bus the first time really isn't. BTW, I'm all for everyone having full control over their bodies - including suicide and drug use.

Notification without legal recourse sounds pointless to me and potentially creates more problems than it solves. What if the bio father is not the husband, and a great 20 year marriage is destroyed because a woman makes a single mistake and has a one night stand? I also see all kinds of scenarios where a woman could also be bullied or harassed by a father/husband or other family members (once the father is notified he can tell whoever he wants). Or perhaps he promises to take care of the baby after birth, but then changes his mind about wanting the baby after its too late for a woman to do anything about it.

So I think notification with recourse is perhaps the only real option. I oppose that not only on philosophical grounds but on practical grounds as well. A woman has a pretty narrow window in which to have an easy, safe, guilt-free, abortion. Notification and counseling and arbitration and tidy legal paperwork for the man to take full responsibility sounds nice, but in reality it will be messy and prolonged and will narrow the window of choices for a woman quite a bit.

Sometimes there just isn't a solution where everything can be equal and fair.

kateorman
Aug. 8th, 2007 01:06 am (UTC)
A friend and I have started a campaign of email, letters, and postcards to oppose this Bill - you can get the details here.
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )

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