Holy Hell Ohio: New Bill Requires Men’s Permission for Abortion

keep your laws off my bodyI guess it isn’t bad enough that hundreds of hurdles already exist to prevent women from accessing reproductive health care, sex education, or a healthy sexuality free from unrealistic standards of purity. Republican lawmaker John Adams is re-introducing a bill in the state of Ohio that would require women seeking an abortion to obtain consent from the biological father. Apparently abortion isn’t all that bad as long as the ‘man’ approves of it.

I’ve said this time and time again. If men were the ones that got pregnant and had to carry a child for 9 months, abortion procedures would be safe, legal, accessible, and fully funded. This bill simply goes to prove that sentiment. It is a slippery slope decision that seeks to deny women autonomy and control over their own bodies. And here’s the kicker: if you don’t know who the father is, you will be denied abortion services. Because you know, those slutty sex demons should be punished for their lack of purity with a forced pregnancy. This is just ridiculous. It’s yet another mechanism for demonizing and isolating women who have sex. The message here is pretty damn clear, if you have sex and don’t know the father, pregnancy is your punishment. Is it just me, or is using a baby to punish a woman flat out un-ethical?

Need I remind everyone that men are not the one’s left responsible for dealing with pregnancy. Yes, many of them do, and others are some times held financially responsible via child support (funny how they can wish away their problems with money); but for the most part, they have the option of walking away free of any responsibility for their decisions. Many advocates of this legislation state that “it is a measure that would finally give men choice.” Ya, at the expense of a woman’s choice. Thats what bothers me more than anything. Republican supporters of this legislation are all about “choice” as long as it is a man making the decision. It just drives home the notion that women are not intelligent and capable of making informed decisions, particularly one’s about their own lives. Not to mention the fact that WOMEN ARE THE ONE’S WHO HAVE TO CARRY THE CHILD FOR 9 MONTHS! It is her body and her life that goes through unyielding amounts of change, and it should be her, and her alone, that determines whether or not to have a child.

“This extreme bill shows just how far some of our state legislators are willing to go to rally a far-right base that is frustrated with the pro-choice gains made in the last election,” said NARAL Pro-choice Ohio executive director Kellie Copeland. “It is completely out of touch with Ohio’s mainstream values. This measure is a clear attack on a woman’s freedom and privacy.”

Just to add flame to the fire, the bill also would require survivors of rape to provide a police report in order to obtain an abortion. Can you say re-victimization? I must have forgotten that women are untrustworthy and lie about being raped. Ridiculous, I know. Newsflash, women who are survivors of rape face incredible amounts of psychological truama, and forcing them to seek out a police report after already showing up to a clinic is torturous, in my opinion.

Do your part and get involved. If you are as outraged as I am about this proposed legislation, contact Republican John Adams, and let him know how you feel. Regardless of whether or not you are able to change his mind, at least let him know what a giant douchebag he is.

About aj:
Andrew (AJ) is a vehement progressive, youth activist, and reproductive justice organizer. When he's not busy with the movement, you can usually find him dancing in the club or watching trashy reality tv.

Comments

  1. Very sassy and well said. Women should undoubtably always have the only say in what happens to their body. And the portion of that bill that punished women who don’t know who the father is is absolutely unethical.

  2. freewomyn says:

    OK, first of all, fuck off, Ohio.

    Second of all, you already mentioned the portion about rape victims having to provide a police report. But do these assholes know that rape is totally under-reported?

    The bill (as I understand it) makes no exception for domestic violence.

    And women shouldn’t have to name the sperm donor/father/rapist if they don’t want to. I know some states force a woman to name a father at birth so that the state can pursue the guy for child support. But honestly, if a woman doesn’t want to have a baby, she shouldn’t have to have a baby. With ot without a man’s consent.

    Fuck off!

  3. I really don’t have too much to say, AJ. You pretty much covered it all. Haha.

    “‘This is important because there are always two parents and fathers should have a say in the birth or the destruction of that child,’ said Adams.”

    Ahh… the “destruction” of that child. Can’t let a single sentence go without making sure the world knows how evil and terrible abortion truly is, can we?

    “‘I’m really pleased that this has been proposed for one reason – it draws attention to the fact that many men are concerned and care for their unborn children,’ said Denise Mackura, the director of the Ohio Right to Life Society. ‘You have no idea how many men call telling me about their girlfriends who plan to abort, asking what they can do to help her. They do want to help and they should have a voice.’”

    Uhh… they can support their girlfriends’ decisions? Like, how is preventing a womyn from doing what she wants helping her? And when did “supporting a womyn” turn into “making decisions for her?” It doesn’t matter how you try to spin it – that makes no sense at all. Oh, and I love how it’s only men calling about their girlfriends. Because, you know, abortions don’t exist within wedlock. No no no, it’s those premarital-sex sluts craving “pleasure” that fuck everything up and end up needing abortions. Because sex is for making babies, and making babies comes after marriage! Always! Amen!

    “Currently, even in a marriage situation, a man has no right to even be informed of an abortion. But if a woman doesn’t have an abortion, men sure have a lot of responsibility then. It’s really not fair.”

    Yeah… re-read that one more time. It sounds like it makes sense, but the level of logic actually hovers around 0%. For the time being, let’s ignore how fucked up everything she’s saying really is and focus on her inability to make a coherent point: she’s basically saying that men should be able to decide if a womyn should (not shouldn’t) have an abortion. (Having a child is a lot of responsibility, so the man should be able to decide to abort it if he so wishes.) This bill gives men the power to decide if a womyn shouldn’t have an abortion. (If the womyn wants an abortion, the man can stop her… meaning a child will be born.) So tell me one more time, Miss Ohio Right to Life Society, how this abortion-restricting bill helps reduce the responsibilities of fatherhood on men?

    Conclusion: John Adams is an asshole, and Miss Ohio Right to Life Society is a fucking bimbo. The end.

  4. Mrs. Mastro says:

    As someone who was forced to have an abortion by an abusive boyfriend, I can say for sure that having the consent of the sperm contributor means exactly nothing. Thankfully, I didn’t end up with a biological and legal tie to the jerk for the rest of what would have been my short life!

    I think it is good that they proposed this bill, though. Honestly. It exposes them for what they are: zealots who have no interest in the welfare of women and are only concerned with protecting the interests of men. So we choicers can use it to our full advantage.

    The other good part is that this bill has been defeated before and will be again. And if it does *somehow* manage to pass, it will never pass muster in the courts and it will be thrown out faster than you can say “go pound sand, religious right.”

  5. Even as I write this I’m haunted by so many horrible thoughts about what this bill could mean for women. I don’t agree with this bill in any shape or form, but I’d like to know if it has any kind of avenue for women in abusive relationships or other potentially dangerous situation, not just rape victims.

  6. Glad to see this and that NARAL provided a link, but please, can you provide a link describing the Bill from some other source than a two-year-old article from the Record-Courier? Look at the anti-choice sideline ads! Read the extremist commentary! I’m outraged enough – I don’t need to lose the lunch I just ate. As stated, the bill will most likely be defeated, but ultimately it’s another good reason to just stay on that Route 80/90 and never take an exit when you have the misfortune to drive through Ohio….

  7. I would propose a major amendment to this bill. The ‘fathers’ should be permitted to opt out of any financial/legal responsibility, but that includes ALL rights to the fetus/child. But this has to be agreed on by the woman too.

    And The woman should have 100% say on if they wish to keep the fetus or not. PERIOD.

  8. You can pass that bill if-and-only-if: Men will must require under LAW, to ask permission to women to masturbate. After all those little buggers are potentially a baby. Arent they?

    Stay the hell away from my body, my rights!

    I feel abortion its an horrible act, but sometimes might necessary but the clue to all this its not a stupid patriarchal law. Its education.

    This law speaks to me like: Me male, you female, you under my feet, you under my control. *Then a troglodyte scream while I rolls eyes*

  9. Its not about the “men” approving it or not. Women cant conceive themselves alone , can they? Its pretty basic and simple, it is both men and women that is needed to make a new human being.
    If both participated, I dont see why should we ignore one of the parts.
    If it was the ther way around, men having abortions without notifying women, we would be all crying about why are we ignored? cause we are women? What a whole load of crap.
    Im a woman, but I believe sometimes feminist take things to extremes, it is not about “having our rights heard” anymore, it has turned into “what can we cry about now? how can we complain? how can we feel little and unheard now”
    Want to protect someone little and unheard? maybe think of your own child that you are thinking about killing!
    Its not as simple as deciding about your body anymore. Since when the human body has 2 heart beats??? please, people, grow up!

  10. While I absolutely agree with it coming down to the woman’s decision, I do think there needs to be avenues and ways for men to be more involved. As much as men can do awful things to women, women can also do the same, sometimes using babies and pregnancies as a bargaining chip or leverage. I think if a man has a child out there, he should at least have a way to be told that, a legal way to secure full information, and to seek parental rights through the proper legal channels. If he is unfit, the court should see this. If not, then it IS his child and he has rights too. Men should be encouraged to be much more involved and to *want* to know what is going on. While I wholeheartedly disagree with this bill, I also agree with the sentiment of the last comment above me. In such a feminized culture, it is coming to a point where we are treating men like stupid children (how many sitcoms and commercials do you see with the smart-sassy-hot-wife and the fat-dumpy-lazy-stupid-husband? it is insulting and damaging to both men and women, and the cosmo culture promotes relationships as a game). Men are not properly addressed in society, which is largely a result of the scale tipping fully the other way after the last century of women’s rights movements, but now we need to balance it out a little.

  11. Jenna, I have to disagree with you completely. I have a couple concerns with your claim that because women and men conceive together…they should have equal say in what happens to a woman’s body. First, that does not take into consideration the fact that survivors of rape don’t consent to it, and they shouldn’t be victimized by a law that would require records to prove she was raped. Women should absolutely not be subject to such tremendous dehumanization.

    I think your depiction of feminists, particularly women, as crie babies, is extremely problematic. It plays into a really bad sexist stereotype that women are overly emotional and incapable of “rational” thinking. Women have a right to be complaining; for real. Being complacent with the way women are valued in the status quo, is just unacceptable.

    I don’t think your going to get anywhere in convincing people by calling them whiny, immature, murderers. And depicting them as childish and having no credible argument for why women’s choices and autonomy should matter, is further proof of the undeniable misogyny barried in the anti-choice argument. Not to mention the blatant contradictions. Republicans who are staunch anti-choice advocates suddenly make an exception for men who make the decision to terminate a pregnancy.

  12. This is disgusting. How can you be a feminist, but act like women have no brains of their own? Is every woman that decides to terminate her pregnancy sleeping with a man that is a deadbeat? Do we really feel women are that heartless that they can’t tell the difference between a rapist and a innocent child? We are not that stupid, please stop acting as if every time a women gets and unwanted pregnancy some loser coaxed her into it. If we want equal rights, then we want equal rights. Period. No one should be forced to be a parent. If a man wants to be a single father, let him! The truth is pregnancy as a result of rape is very uncommon. Most often two consenting adults, aware of the consequences made a conscious decision to forgo protection or it was an accident. We all know that it will be our bodies that will be used for nine months so we need to be smarter about our actions. Feminist should empower women not paint them as some poor, unintelligent pushovers. We will never find equality by being biased. If women don’t want to be forced into parenthood then why the hell should men? Stop wasting time b*tching.

  13. There is a Supreme Court decision, I believe from 1976, that overturns provisions in laws that require a man’s consent for an abortion. The proposed Ohio law is an outrage, but it would be nice if bloggers posting on the issue would educate themselves about its legal ramifications. I would really like to know what has been said by the Supremes about this in their decisions since Roe. Anybody know?

  14. As far as i’m concerned the Roe v. Wade makes this bill a complete violation of women’s constitutional rights to an abortion. With that being said, it’s rather naive to assume that a Supreme Court ruling provides overarching protection of legal abortion and accessibility in every individual state.

    Roe v. Wade sheds light on how unconstitutional this debacle is, however; it doesn’t mean that anti-choice legislators lack the ability to push through this kind of policy initiative.

  15. Oh MY GOD> I had no idea about this bill! How backward can we go? Is it the middle ages now?

    SO ANGRY!

  16. Justin L says:

    i’m a man, i respect women, i think women are intellectually equal and deserve equal rights, and i find that so obvious that i can’t believe it would be in question anywhere, by anyone

    i also think that government prohibition of abortion only causes tragedy, though i believe the same about drugs

    but i do think that abortion is a despicable act of ending an innocent life, and i hold that value separate from whatever cause there may be to allow and perform abortions. that is, i won’t lie about my feelings about ending a fetal life simply because i see a need to decriminalize the act

    also, as a man, if a woman and i accidentally start a pregnancy, that pregnancy is then out of my hands, and i can be held financially accountable, paying hundreds of thousands of dollars in my lifetime for it

    so i can sympathize with women who say that one small, impulsive, natural act can ruin their life

    and i can understand wanting the power to reverse it, i wish i had the assurance that a simple mistake can never affect my future in serious ways (though i would never want to abort)

    but that’s why i never do have unprotected sex, and i recognize that in a vast majority of unplanned pregnancies, someone has decided to do something irresponsible. i’ve considered this thoroughly because of the risks in my own life, which i can’t control beyond exercising self control in the first place, because i’m a man

    if anything, it would be “fair” if fathers could force an abortion, but obviously that would be brutal and invasive, not a reasonable solution

    i believe that men shouldn’t be required to pay child support by default, though

    it is the woman’s body, it’s a physical fact that government intervention is only going to do harm, and therefore we have no choice but to let the woman decide

    but therefore, i think we need to leave parental responsibility up to the woman, unless the man agrees on paper to provide support

    this way no one has to worry about a simple sexual mistake having profound consequences

    that is, where pregnancy is concerned. any man or woman risking unplanned pregnancies may also be risking contracting a fatal STD

  17. Seriously the super fem move has to go. Both sexes are on equal footing and pulling the feminist thing does nothing but set your cause back. Men have no choice in anything now option A. if the man does not want the child and the woman decides she does; He has to pay child support, many men have been trapped into pregnancies (im on the pill or holes poked in condoms. Option B the man wants to keep the child but the woman wants to terminate, Is it fair for anyone to live a life wondering what could have (should have) been. I am all about womens rights and respect for women but when it comes down to an action BOTH parties participated in both parties should have a say in the pregnancy. So I guess what im saying is your body my sperm we went 50/50 on the deal.

  18. First I want to say that women should have the option of having an abortion with the possible exception of her having raped the father. I haven’t figured that out yet, but I’m leaning toward it being his decision. That being said, I disagree with several points in your article. Your statement that “If men were the ones that got pregnant and had to carry a child for 9 months, abortion procedures would be safe, legal, accessible, and fully funded.” is completely unfounded. Currently men have no say in whether a woman has an abortion. It is as it should be and should remain so, but I say that by way of pointing out that the law does not always favor men. Men and only men can be conscripted, which allows the government the use of their bodies for potentially longer than 9 months. Look at the disparity in founding for breast cancer research as opposed to testicular or prostate cancer research or the lack of shelters for men. Society expects men to take care of themselves and not complain. It is entirely possible that if men were the ones to be pregnant than abortion would be illegal and women would not be required to financially support the child.
    You go on to say,” at the expense of a woman’s choice. Thats what bothers me more than anything. Republican supporters of this legislation are all about “choice” as long as it is a man making the decision.” That doesn’t stop a man from saying go ahead and have the abortion. I don’t think it’s about men’s decisions as much as it’s another obstacle to place in front of women to minimize the number of abortions performed. Not everything is a gender war.

    You say ,” Need I remind everyone that men are not the one’s left responsible for dealing with pregnancy. Yes, many of them do, and others are some times held financially responsible via child support (funny how they can wish away their problems with money); but for the most part, they have the option of walking away free of any responsibility for their decisions.” What about adoption. Don’t women have the option of walking away from their decisions? Women don’t need to name a father during an adoption so the de facto have the ability to deprive a father of his rights. How many women would require a woman name and inform the father of an adoption proceeding or pay child support to the adoptive parents of the father is not named? They could wish away their responsibilities with just money after all.

    I support abortion rights for women based on bodiliy autonomy. How many feminists would support a man’s right to custody of his child rather than the mother putting it up for adoption? How man feminists would support a male rape victim’s reproductive rights? I’m guessing few to none.

  19. “First I want to say that women should have the option of having an abortion with the possible exception of her having raped the father. I haven’t figured that out yet, but I’m leaning toward it being his decision.”

    No. A woman should be legally culpable for rape.

    That doesn’t require that she sacrifice her bodily autonomy by being forced to gestate or abort.

    We don’t cut off the penises of male rapists, you know. We don’t cut off the hands of thieves. Forcing someone to have an abortion or continue a pregnancy is just as barbaric a violation.

    “Men and only men can be conscripted, which allows the government the use of their bodies for potentially longer than 9 months. Look at the disparity in founding for breast cancer research as opposed to testicular or prostate cancer research or the lack of shelters for men. Society expects men to take care of themselves and not complain.”

    Yes. Indeed. Sexism hurts everyone. Gender essentialist bullshit is harmful.

    Are you bringing this up as something that’s the fault of women? Or even feminists? Because if you look close? No.

    Or are you bringing it up because it’s something that feminists aren’t fighting against? Because, again, if you look close, a large part of feminism is about deconstructing and destroying gendered roles.

    At the same time, one group can’t be expected to solve all the ills for another – that’s where ally status comes in. You bring up domestic violence shelters…think about all the work women (and male allies) had to put into that in the very beginning. Domestic violence shelters didn’t used to exist. They were created and managed by a grass roots effort. It wasn’t something that was just handed to women.

    “What about adoption. Don’t women have the option of walking away from their decisions? ”

    Adoption may not generally something a woman can just *do.* Granted, the details vary by state, but generally if the father is known and involved then he has a legal stake.

    If the father is unknown, cannot be found, or is uninvolved, he may not have a legal horse in the race, though a judge can mandate that he be informed.

    In general, both parents have to cede their parental rights.

    “How man feminists would support a male rape victim’s reproductive rights?”

    If you’re referring to your earlier comment about a woman raping a man and becoming pregnant, let me reiterate: That’s a huge violation of the man and his autonomy. But your *reproductive right* ends with your reproductive system. Forcing her to have or not have an abortion is a severe violation of *her* bodily autonomy.

    Criminals, too, have bodily autonomy; that’s as it should be. We don’t use them for medical experimentation or body farms. And bodily autonomy still applies when the criminal is pregnant.

  20. “So I guess what im saying is your body my sperm we went 50/50 on the deal.”

    Yes, but the actual work of the pregnancy is 100% on the one with the uterus. It occurs in that person’s body, affecting that person’s physical health, day-to-day existence, and ability to go about their normal routine.

    Pregnancy’s a medical condition endured by one person and one person alone, therefore that person gets to make the decisions.

Trackbacks

  1. [...] freedom and privacy.” AJ at Feminists For Choice says the bill is “another mechanism for demonizing and isolating women who have sex.” (HT: Pam’s House [...]

  2. [...] and privacy.” AJ at Feminists For Choice says the bill is “another mechanism for demonizing and isolating women who have sex.” (HT: Pam’s House Blend) Posted in politics • • Top Of [...]

  3. [...] links: Ohio Bill Would Require Permission from the Farther for an Abortion [...]

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