Thursday, March 9, 2006

I Ain't Paying for What I Didn't Want

I'm sitting here at home watching the 10 o'clock news on KTLA. It's the usual fare-- Dubai ports deal tanked, local kidnappings, police officer charged with shooting some dude-- except for one little nugget of info. Some jackass named Matt Dubay of Saginaw, Michigan has brought a lawsuit contending that he has the right not to pay child support. Apparently, an ex-girlfriend of Dubay's had his baby and Dubay has been ordered by a court to pay $500 a month in child support. He says that his ex knew he didn't want to have a baby with her and she said, repeatedly, that she was physically unable to get pregnant. Lo and behold, he's now a father and he doesn't think he should have to pay child support.
"The suit addresses the issue of male reproductive rights, contending that lack of such rights violates the U.S. Constitution's equal protection clause.

The gist of the argument: If a pregnant woman can choose among abortion, adoption or raising a child, a man involved in an unintended pregnancy should have the choice of declining the financial responsibilities of fatherhood. The activists involved hope to spark discussion even if they lose.

"There's such a spectrum of choice that women have — it's her body, her pregnancy and she has the ultimate right to make decisions," said Mel Feit, director of [The National Center for Men]. "I'm trying to find a way for a man also to have some say over decisions that affect his life profoundly."

Feit's organization has been trying since the early 1990s to pursue such a lawsuit, and finally found a suitable plaintiff in Matt Dubay of Saginaw, Mich...

The president of the National Organization for Women, Kim Gandy, acknowledged that disputes over unintended pregnancies can be complex and bitter.

"None of these are easy questions," said Gandy, a former prosecutor. "But most courts say it's not about what he did or didn't do or what she did or didn't do. It's about the rights of the child.""
More here and here.

Man, this guy pisses me off. On the one hand, I guess I can understand not wanting to pay for something you didn't want (as a general matter), but it's different when the thing is a kid (even if you were duped). The kid's there and you gotta deal. Kid's gotta eat and have clothes and diapers and toys and go to school. Tough cookies for you, absent dad. The least you can do is send some money.

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