There is a nation-wide movement to overturn Roe vs. Wade, the Supreme Court Case that allows women to have abortions if they choose. This is not news to anyone who can read.
Legislators say the laws were necessary to protect the lives of unborn children.
Abortion as a means of birth control is abhorrent to most women. While many women are opposed to abortion, they are still concerned about the precedent of government interference in medical choices they make for their own bodies.
All the new laws are being contested in court and the Supreme Court will have the final say once again.
Biology teaches us that it takes two to create a baby. Yet no legislation addresses the male role or puts any restrictions on his reproductive rights.
One representative from Alabama made headlines last week for introducing a bill that addressed that very issue.
Alabama State representative Rolanda Hollis from Birmingham introduced HB 238. It is being called the “Vasectomy Bill.”
The bill would mandate every Alabama man undergo a vasectomy within one month of his 50th birthday or after the birth of his third biological child, depending on which comes first. The men would be required to pay for the procedure themselves.
Hollis says the bill would help prevent pregnancy as well as abortions of unwanted children by making men as accountable as women.
Under existing laws, there are no restrictions on the reproductive rights of men.
It was interesting to learn there was a proposed addendum to the Alabama abortion ban making undergoing a vasectomy a felony, but that measure failed in the committee.
Hollis’s proposed bill was quickly dismissed as a stunt.
She knew what the reaction to such a bill would be and knew it would not have a chance of becoming law. Hollis said the bill was a form of protest to the new abortion restrictions passed by the state last year.
The Supreme Court has already ruled that forced sterilization is unconstitutional.
Opponents of the bill say it is an “outrageous overstep.” The bill has been referred to the House Judiciary Committee, where it will die a quick death.
Hollis is not the only one who has attempted to draw attention to lack of male accountability in reproduction laws.
Last year a representative from Georgia proposed a “Testicular Bill of Rights.” This bill would make it a crime to have relations without a condom. It would also require DNA testing at six weeks into the pregnancy to establish paternity and require men to begin paying child support. This bill died also.
A South Carolina representative introduced the “Pro Birth Accountability Act.” This bill would enjoin the state to compensate people forced to carry unwanted pregnancies to term.
A Kentucky lawmaker proposed a bill to limit Viagra access to only married men with a note from their spouse and make him swear on a Bible that he would only use the medication when having relations with his spouse.
Laws that address men’s reproductive freedom are viewed as overstepping and unreasonable.
Clearly none of these bills will ever see the light of day but they are a way to highlight the hypocrisy of current legislation.
Men who take no responsibility for birth control measures should not be given a free pass to avoid the consequences of their actions.
Some ideas that have been proposed are mandatory DNA testing to determine paternity so the father can help support the woman during pregnancy. Wage garnishments to force support of the woman and child during pregnancy if she has no insurance would help. Another proposal involves an automatic custody transfer to the biological father if the woman doesn’t want to raise the child.
The best outcome would involve two people equally raising a child who deserves a chance to live and be loved. That usually only happens in the movies. Real -world cases involve two people who recklessly conceive a child that neither is ready to accept responsibility for raising.
It is time for men and women to step up and take pregnancy prevention and accountability seriously. There would be no need for legislation of any kind if both showed a little more restraint and respect instead of thinking about their own selfish needs.
In their attempts to roll back the Affordable Care Act’s contraception coverage mandate, current administration officials have publicly stated that women should be taught “sexual refusal skills rather than being provided contraception and abortion access.”
Since the Alabama ban allows no exceptions for victims of rape and incest, the archaic argument of a woman’s consent making it her problem won’t stand up here. So, if lessons are what we need, then we demand the classes include the boys.