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And the verdict is...?
Thursday, March 23, 2006
Leah and I were talking about this case last night at dinner. I'd love to read your opinions, thoughts, arguments, etc.

Man sues for right to refuse to support unintended pregnancy
By Judith Graham
CHICAGO TRIBUNE

CHICAGO - They had sex. She got pregnant. She sued for child support. Now, he's suing back, claiming that men have a constitutional right to "avoid procreation."

With the suit, 25-year-old Matthew Dubay of Saginaw, Mich., becomes the public face of a "men's rights" movement that claims men should have the same ability as women to decide whether or not to have children. Supporters of the movement are calling the case "Roe vs. Wade for men" -- a precedent-setting case that could define a man's right to choose parenthood.

The case is the first to assert a constitutional freedom to "choose not to be a father" under the equal protection clause, said Dubay's attorney, Jeffery Cojocar.
Child support isn't the only issue at stake: Dubay doesn't want any of the other legal or emotional responsibilities that come with parenthood, Cojocar explained.

The National Center for Men had been planning this kind of legal challenge for more than a dozen years and recruited Dubay as the plaintiff. "There's such a spectrum of choice that women have -- it's her body, her pregnancy," Mel Feit, the group's director, said. "I'm trying to find a way for a man also to have some say over decisions that affect his life profoundly."

Legal experts said they don't think the case, filed yesterday in U.S. District Court, has a prayer of success. "It's a lost cause," said Charles Kindregan Jr., a professor at Suffolk University Law School in Boston. Having sex is an inherently risky enterprise, and the only way to enforce a man's right not to father a child after conception would be to compel the woman to have an abortion, Kindregan explained. "The courts are not going to buy that," he said. "That's her choice, not his."

The facts of Dubay's case are common to many romances that don't turn out the way people hoped.

In the fall of 2004, he had a discussion with his then-girlfriend. Dubay told her he wasn't ready to have kids, according to the legal complaint. That's fine; I'm infertile and I'm using birth control just in case, she allegedly responded.
When the woman found herself with child, she was unwilling to terminate the pregnancy. She gave birth to a baby girl and then obtained a court order requiring Dubay to pay $500 a month in child support.

Dubay thus joined the ranks of men who argue they were duped into having children they never wanted and then forced to assume financial responsibilities for which they were unprepared.

It's an old story, and one the courts have been very clear on, said Bruce Boyer, director of the child law clinic at Loyola University Chicago School of Law. The child's interest in receiving support, he said, overrides any interests the father may have. "I can understand why people might be sympathetic to Mr. Dubay if he was duped into becoming a father," Boyer said. But if the child is his -- as is the case -- "this shouldn't be about him and his rights; it should be about this child and the child's needs."
posted by pimplomat @ 3:08 PM  
9 Comments:
  • At Thursday, 23 March, 2006, Blogger swirly girl said…

    "This shouldn't be about him and his rights; it should be about this child and the child's needs."

    WTF? Then that lady should have probably considered that before having sex with this moron. They're from Saginaw! Not a bunch of brain trusts there.

    Everyone is responsible for themselves. And I've always been in the camp that thinks that hey...you have to carry around a baby after an unprotected dalliance, so you'd better be responsible enough address the birth control issue.

    And, please! What's with that bullcrap, "Dubay told her he wasn't ready to have kids, according to the legal complaint. That's fine; I'm infertile and I'm using birth control just in case, she allegedly responded."

    I have a feeling that she already knew he wasn't going to be responsible! I hate stories like this. Because all it looks like is a way for this girl to make her ex feel as bad as she does--and she's doing it with a baby in tow!

    If this were a guy suing a girl because she wanted to abort because she "wasn't ready" everyone would be freaking out!

    And what's with the waiting to sue? Like she didn't know she was pregnant until hours before?? There are plenty of other women who have gone through this and not sued and survived. It's called self-reliance, asshat.

    If he doesn't want to be a father, terminate his parental rights. You can't force someone into parenting. And even if you do, there is no guarantee that you'd actually want them around your kid anyway.

    This is exactly why I hate being a girl sometimes.

    I hope this kid finds a nice adoptive family that aren’t idiots. But you know that won't happen.

     
  • At Thursday, 23 March, 2006, Blogger swirly girl said…

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

     
  • At Thursday, 23 March, 2006, Blogger swirly girl said…

    Sorry, I forgot one more thing...

    Just because you can get litigious on someone doesn't mean you should.

    And this is about the time I would use the word "fucktard" or something equally as crass.

     
  • At Thursday, 23 March, 2006, Blogger Eric Grubbs said…

    I think Dr. Phil should settle this dispute.

     
  • At Friday, 24 March, 2006, Blogger Long_Division said…

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

     
  • At Friday, 24 March, 2006, Blogger Long_Division said…

    I was going to add to my previous comment, but it's gone, so I'll just second the Dr. Phil motion.

     
  • At Friday, 24 March, 2006, Blogger goodaudra said…

    "Having sex is an inherently risky enterprise" - I love this quote. It immediately created imagery of that war strategy game Risk. Men's Lib! Right on!!!, (I'm pumping my fist in the air at the moment).

     
  • At Friday, 24 March, 2006, Blogger Ondine said…

    Why is contraception always the women's responsibility? Sure, that woman sounds like a jerk, but no one forced the guy to fuck her without a condom, right?

     
  • At Sunday, 23 April, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    You take a risk when you choose to sleep w/ someone. If you aren't man enough to support a child then you shouldn't have sex. Plain and simple...that's life.

     
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