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Archive for November 16th, 2018

Coincidentally, this article about “financial abortion” came to my attention just the day before yesterday’s reader question did, but they both touch on the same subject:  the oppressive “family court” and mandated-child support system.  The article points out that while a pregnant woman has the right to “opt out” of the burden of unwanted motherhood by choosing abortion, the man who got her pregnant has no similar right; if she chooses to have the baby he’s on the hook financially for over two decades, even if she told him she was using contraception and he strenuously objects to fatherhood.  Some MRAs, anti-abortion nuts and politicians have proposed that a man should have veto power over a woman he has impregnated, but this is obviously an abomination; every person owns their own body, and absolutely nobody else (and certainly not the state) has the right to control what that person does with their body.  At the same time, it seems reasonable for a man to have some recourse against consent violation, so some have proposed that a man could legally sever all ties during the pregnancy, dodging his financial responsibilities by voluntarily surrendering his parental rights.

I’m not going to waste my time or energy in a fruitless Mars/Venus emotional discussion about men’s inability to keep their dicks in their pants, the responsibility for contraception, the “unfairness” of Nature, “But the children!” or any other insoluble malarkey.  Nor do I believe for one second that a government which claims every citizen as property of the state and uses violent threats in an insane attempt to micromanage every aspect of its citizens’ lives, to the point where it is willing to lock people in cages to keep them from experiencing pleasure in a way it doesn’t approve of, or literally force unwilling women to endure the dangers and burdens of pregnancy and childbirth against their wills, would ever agree to let men out of a convenient noose and women out of a trap where they’re forced to rely on Big Brother and be tied to a useless man for two decades.  Puritanical US “authorities” want sex to be as dangerous and consequence-laden as they can make it, which is why prostitution is criminalized, abortions & birth control are the subjects of so many ban attempts, and “family court” is a nightmare for everyone but the lawyers and bean-counters.  The only thing I want to do here is to propose (not debate, sorry) a framework which a hypothetical free society (in which the rights to contraception and abortion were unquestioned) might use to resolve this dilemma.

The principle of self-ownership demands that the government stay completely out of the lives of individuals who have not committed violence against others, and that includes their reproductive lives.  Therefore, the only just and ethical way of dealing with the situation is to simply recognize reality: the child is the chattel, sole responsibility and sole right of the mother.  Up until the advent of DNA testing just a few years ago, there was no sure way to determine the male parent of a child anyway, so the whole concept of “legitimate fatherhood” hasn’t any more tangible connection to reality than angels dancing on pinheads (as any loving adoptive father or stepfather will tell you).  Fatherhood in the social sense has absolutely nothing to do with DNA and everything to do with emotional and economic investment in the child, and the idea that someone can be compelled to love by court order is as vile as it is absurd.  If the biological parents of a child want DNA tests, in other words if biological parentage matters to them, well and fine and may Hera bless them.  But the outcome of such a test should have absolutely no legal weight; it should confer neither paternal rights nor paternal obligations.  If a man wants the former, he can offer the mother the latter; if a mother wants the latter, she can offer any man (not necessarily the biological father) the former.  If they both agree on the terms, a lawyer makes a contract and they’re done; disputes are settled in ordinary civil courts under ordinary contract law, with no special “family” mumbo-jumbo involved.  No more custody battles; no more bureaucrats making intimate decisions for mothers.  Just the recognition of biological reality and the removal of one of government’s most effective means of controlling the individual.

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