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Fine, Would-Be Deadbeat Dads. Here’s A Suggestion For You.

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You will get none of this if you get a “paper abortion”.

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For fuck’s sake, I can’t believe the NY Times gave space to the tedious argument that because women have been graciously granted their right to reproductive autonomy (actually, it’s not even remotely gracious), it’s time to deal with the largely imaginary plague of “forced fatherhood”, i.e. women getting pregnant and carrying pregnancies to term against the father’s wishes, and then suing him for child support. This happens occasionally, though compared to men trying to force women to get pregnant against their wills, it’s so rare that it’s comparable to shark attacks in its frequency. My main problem with floating the argument that men should be able to get what “men’s rights” activists (scare quotes because it’s a phrase akin to “white pride” in its purpose and paranoia) call a “paper abortion” is that it’s actually a stalking horse for what they really want, which is to be able to terminate child support but maintain their rights as a father to have a role in their children’s lives. Focusing on “paper abortions” is a way to soften up an audience to the demands of men who want to foist all the responsibilities of child-rearing onto their exes while still getting to float in periodically to be the big hero who takes the kids to Disneyland once in awhile. If you actually go to “father’s rights” forums and websites, you’ll find lots of paranoia about sperm-stealing, but the men who are on the forum almost all are divorced and are bitter about writing child support checks while not getting the sexual and house-cleaning benefits of having a wife.

But you know what? I’m sick of this argument, so I propose that feminists go ahead and embrace this “paper abortion” bullshit, even though, unlike real abortion, it’s not about bodily autonomy. I believe men should be able to terminate the responsibilities of fatherhood if they meet the following conditions:

  • He has to sign away all rights before the baby is born.  He does not get his name on the birth certificate. The child’s father will be registered as “unknown”. If someone else—say his ex’s new husband—wishes to adopt and coparent the child, he cannot interfere.
  • The only exception to this is if the mother did not alert the father to the pregnancy beforehand. He should be able to provide witnesses to testify that he hadn’t seen her in at least six months prior to the birth.
  • He never contacts the child. As far as his child knows, he’s a ghost. No visits, no toys, no pictures, nothing. He should also not be allowed to contact the mother. If he reaches out to the mother, she has full rights to sue him for child support, using that as evidence that he actually does want a relationship with his ex and his biological child.
  • This is for life. If you contact the child on her 18th birthday, you owe 18 years of back child support. If you contact the child when she’s 30, same thing: All 18 years of child support, with interest.
  • If the court determines you were abusive to your ex, all the above is invalidated and you will pay child support with no visitation rights if the judge so determines.
  • While we’re at it, let’s say children who don’t have child support get a special stipend from the government, much like the Social Security payments they’d get if you were dead.

You cannot get this if you have met the child, if you willingly let your name be put on the birth certificate, or you tried to visit the child. All those actions will be taken as evidence that you want the benefits of fatherhood without the responsibilities, and if you do that, you get slapped with a child support order.

I suspect 2-3 men will take this offer a year if it becomes law. Maybe even a dozen! I think I can live with that! It’s certainly worth taking this hypothetical out of the arsenal of “men’s rights” activists who are just floating this hypothetical to establish their real argument, which is that child support is a ripoff and they shouldn’t have to pay it to their ex-wives and the kids they deliberately brought into this world.

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Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.



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Pandagon

Ch-ch-changes…..

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After many years and many server changes and finally landing here at Raw Story, which has taken very good care of us, it's time to say goodbye to Pandagon. I've been blogging under this banner for ten years, after Jesse Taylor asked me to join. He, in turn, had been running this joint since he was in college. A lot has changed since then. I became a journalist, moved from Austin to New York and learned to play Dungeons & Dragons. Jesse became a lawyer and, just this past weekend, a married man.

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Pandagon

Carly Fiorina defends her lie with a whole bunch of lies

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I do like it when Republican candidates sport a resume full of corporate executive work, because it really shows the public how many fools and idiots coast into that position not on merit but on their bullshitting abilities. Donald Trump, Herman Cain, and now we have Carly Fiorina, who just can't understand why her perceived underlings (voters, journalists) won't scurry away, pretending to accept her bullshit like former employees of hers had to do, lest they lost their jobs.

And so it goes that Fiorina, who could make this entire Planned Parenthood controversy go away by saying something like, "I may have misremembered the video, but I still think abortion is wrong," instead is doubling and tripling down. And every time she does, she lies more and more. She was on Meet the Press and, so enamored of the idea that she is perfect and could never do anything wrong, just went to town with the defensive posturing.

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Pandagon

Marco Rubio has an astoundingly low opinion of women’s intelligence

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At RH Reality Check, I covered this story that I wish was getting more press, about how Marco Rubio goes back and forth between suggesting that women who get abortions are greedy monsters who get pregnant for cash:

I just think you’ve created an industry now … a situation where very much, you’ve created an incentive for people not just to look forward to having more abortions, but being able to sell that fetal tissue for purposes—these centers—for purposes of making a profit off it, as you’ve seen in some of these Planned Parenthood affiliates.

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