Feud wrote:Granting an individual exclusive rights based solely upon gender is generally accepted as a violation of the equal protection clause. Further, I think that the government does have the right to require people to take responsibility for their actions, and I think that they have the duty to protect the rights of individuals from the encroachment of others.
Let's start with the first bit. This is not granting rights based solely on gender. This is basing rights on the fact that the woman is *carrying the child*. You carry a child, you run the risk of dying because of it, you are absolutely welcome to decide what happens to your body. I'm carrying the child, I run the risk of dying (yes, actually, I do, with O- blood, so don't blast that bit), I can say whether or not I'm going to carry the child. The father gets input, as far as I'm concerned, but the father of the fetus does not get to dictate whether or not I will risk my life so he can have a baby.
Feud wrote:Further, I think that the government does have the right to require people to take responsibility for their actions, and I think that they have the duty to protect the rights of individuals from the encroachment of others.
You think the government has the right to make people take responsibility for their actions? That's nice. That's why we have the legal system in place. I'm not sure which individual you think is encroaching on the others, though - the woman encroaching on the "right to life" of the fetus or the woman encroaching on the right of the man to have a child carry on his bloodline? Or, perhaps, the woman encroaching on the right of the man to decide he doesn't feel like wearing a condom? Somehow, however, giving a man the right to force a woman to carry a fetus is not encroaching on her rights? Sounds rather lopsided from my point of view. Oh, wait, I'm female. I'm supposed to allow a man to have *as much say* over what happens to my body as I do.
Feud wrote:The "it's a woman's body" argument brings a nice emotional response, but it ignores that the woman and man chose to create the child by choosing to behave in a certain way. For every right, such as the right to freely associate, there lies a responsibility for the consequence of the exercise of that right.
If I choose to take the morning after pill, if I choose to terminate a pregnancy, I am
taking responsibility for my actions. In my opinion, my responsibility is not just to carry the fetus to term, but also to be able and willing to raise the child in a reasonable, stable household. I could not have done that in the past. I have not had an abortion, but, quite honestly, if I had become pregnant at any time since I was 19 years old (I'm 32 now) I would have considered it a responsible choice to terminate a fetus. You may throw in adoption, but I could not have held the jobs I did during those times while I was pregnant. It would have done me damage to carry a child to term, more than I would have been damaged from deciding, responsibly, to terminate a pregnancy.
Feud wrote: By allowing her to have the sole decision you are infringing on the father's legal right to that child, and denying his right to equal protection under the law.
The father can give up legal rights to his offspring before it is born. The mother can't. He can walk away; she can't. This is infringing on the mother's right to not have a parasite for 9 months that completely screws with her body. The father doesn't have rights until the fetus is actually born for the simple reason that you can't really detach the fetus from the mother. The fetus is, for those 9 months, a part of the mother's body. If you extend your argument, the father should be able to decide what the mother eats, how she exercises, and everything about the pregnancy because it is his kid, too. That sounds a lot like slavery to me, but you are headed that way. His legal rights start when the mother is no longer required for the survival of the fetus. He doesn't have equal protection because, whatever your stand on when life starts, what happens to the mother happens to the fetus and vice versa
, and the father can stand back and watch. He has no physical connection to the fetus. The mother does. Deal with it. Again, once you can carry the fetus, you can do what you damn well please, but until then women should be able to decide what happens to their bodies.
Feud wrote: Further, an abortion can be a very traumatic event.
Given. No argument there.
Feud wrote: If the father is not allowed to decide, you are forcing him to endure potential pain and anguish due to the actions of others, yet rejecting any opportunity he has to defend himself from such an attack.
Anguish I get. Pain, though? What, you're going to beat your head against a wall? You don't have to deal with pain. It isn't your body. Also, if the father is allowed to reject a termination, wouldn't it follow that he should also be able to force one? Is that acceptable in your world? You are talking about forcing a woman to do something that seriously affects her health, and your argument for the other side is that it is going to hurt your feelings if you don't have a say in the result of your sperm. Emotional anguish I'll give you - it is a hard decision. The person making the decision should be the person most affected, and that is not the man. Won't be, either, barring leaps in science.
Feud wrote:The child, though inside the woman, is a co-creation of the man, and he should have just as much right to say it should live as anyone.
The important part is that the fetus is inside the woman, not inside the man, and he is not dealing with anything other than emotional bits. The woman is rather more intimately involved. If the fetus dies inside the woman (yes, it happens, it happened to a friend) it can eventually kill the woman. A fetus dies inside the woman, the man goes on, maybe feeling sad. Woman can die. Man is depressed. Major difference there.
Feud wrote:In the United States a man does have both legal responsibilities, as well as rights to their children. These rights can only be removed by order of the courts, due to some action taken by father to disqualify as a proper parent. So, with that in mind, my argument is based upon the current system.
The father can give up legal rights to a child, which you seem to be missing. People do it pretty regularly. Parents who want to give up their child for adoption relinquish parental rights, and the man can do that by himself at any time. Fathers should have a right to the child. Fathers should not, ever, have a right to a fetus unless he is carrying the thing.