Much is made of women's reproductive rights, but what about men's? This article, by a (female) professor of philosophy, takes up this issue:
"Women’s rights advocates have long struggled for motherhood to be a voluntary condition, and not one imposed by nature or culture. ... If a man accidentally conceives a child with a woman, and does not want to raise the child with her, what are his choices? ... He can urge her to seek an abortion, but ultimately that decision is hers to make. Should she decide to continue the pregnancy and raise the child, and should she or our government attempt to establish him as the legal father, he can be stuck with years of child support payments. Do men now have less reproductive autonomy than women? Should men have more control over when and how they become parents, as many women now do? ... Feminists have long held that women should not be penalized for being sexually active by taking away their options when an accidental pregnancy occurs. Do our policies now aim to punish and shame men for their sexual promiscuity? Many of my male students (in Miami where I teach), who come from low-income immigrant communities, believe that our punitive paternity policies are aimed at controlling their sexual behavior. ...
"Court-ordered child support does make sense, say, in the case of a divorce, when a man who is already raising a child separates from the child’s mother, and when the child’s mother retains custody of the child. ... However, just as court-ordered child support does not make sense when a woman goes to a sperm bank and obtains sperm from a donor who has not agreed to father the resulting child, it does not make sense when a woman is impregnated (accidentally or possibly by her choice) from sex with a partner who has not agreed to father a child with her. In consenting to sex, neither a man nor a woman gives consent to become a parent, just as in consenting to any activity, one does not consent to yield to all the accidental outcomes that might flow from that activity."
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