The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

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The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

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A man’s right to choose?

 A mans right to choose?
A man’s right to choose?

A man’s right to choose?

There is a case being considered in the U.S. District Court in Michigan that involves what is being called “male reproductive rights.” The National Center for Men is preparing a lawsuit on behalf of a 25-year-old computer programmer from Saginaw, Mich., named Matt Dubay who refuses to pay child support for his almost one-year-old daughter. He says that his former girlfriend knew that he did not want a child, and she assured him regularly that she was physically unable to become pregnant.

What the National Center for Men hopes comes out of this suit is a ruling that says if a woman has the option of choosing abortion or adoption in an unwanted pregnancy, men should have the right to decline paying child support for the child born out of an unwanted pregnancy.

The actual thought of the court actually ruling in favor of this organization would be a joke. It is not a man’s ultimate and final choice to decide the fate of their partner’s child-to-be. In trying to exert pressure on the woman, it would be tantamount to one person forcing another into coercive behavior which is clearly illegal.

Equal rights can be tricky in many instances when it comes to the issue of gender. Title IX of the Civil Rights Act says that public schools provide equal sporting opportunities for both genders, but at the same time, women are not battling in court for each high school in America to have girl’s football team. Another instance of this is seen in the Selective Service Program in which only men are required to register for, should another military draft be needed. As with these issues, a woman’s right to reproduction is something that is regarded as only being in the sphere of a woman.

Regardless of how a child might come into the world, the bottom line is that it is in the interest of the child, not the financial-based complaints from the father that takes precedence in legal matters. What else could a hypothetical ruling lead to down the road – parents having the right to not take care of their children anymore because they realized that they made a mistake in having them?

There are many things that we do in society that we do not have a full choice over. When we support state universities through our tax dollars, it does not generally entail that the taxpayer or any of their close relatives will attend the institution. The necessity to fund the institution comes out of a perceived public good that will ultimately help society overall.

A father not paying financial support to their children would be equivalent to this scenario, since in the long run the kids would not have the same means to develop into more responsible adults. This sounds like an abortion too, albeit a slower, more prolonged one.

To say that men have reproductive rights would be as funny as having a law making the death penalty a punishment for attempted suicide. The men have the same power as women already when it comes to reproductive rights: taking precautions and exerting responsibility so that such a situation can never arise. Until men are physically able to have children, this issue should never be raised again in a courtroom.

 

Shaun Wyche is a senior political science major. He may be reached at [email protected].

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