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Irish-Americans for Hillary

Posted by pocochina on March 17, 2008

So it’s all-Hill, all the time around here.  I have the obligatory Spitzer post in the works (of course now that I’ve said that I’m sure I’ll accidentally delete it somehow) but the primary keeps catching my attention.  In this case, it’s the Irish-Americans for Hillary campaign on the website.  It’s politically relevant, both in that it sheds light on international political activities of HRC when she was the First Lady and in sordid horserace terms, but Northern Ireland is also personal for me.

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tough shit

Posted by pocochina on December 4, 2007

http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWCA/Civ/2007/1206.html

Clearly I am a sick woman.  All I do all day is read case law, and yet I am fascinated.

The case is about a young woman (it says 19 when she became pregnant, so either 19 or 20 now) wishes to give her child up for adoption without telling the father, who she says was a one-night-stand.  She did not tell her family, telling the court that they could not provide a home and she was on bad terms with all of them.  The child has been placed with a foster family.  The case was about whether she should be forced to disclose the child’s existence to the father, and the court ruled “no.”

Good.

I have no interest – none – in second-guessing women’s choices.  The usual interests of the state in keeping children out of foster care (I’m well aware that British law is different than American law on these points, but my best guess based on the case is that the general motivations are the same) are 1) not overburdening the state with unwanted children and 2) not taking the child away from a competent family.  1) is no concern because the child has been placed with a family, and 2) is moot because the mother gave the child up for adoption.

The question of paternal rights, no doubt thorny, cannot possibly be held to the same level of importance as maternal autonomy in this situation.  I realize that the genetic material of a child comes equally from both parents.

I.  Do.  Not.  Care.

The suggestion that a male orgasm is, and should be, the legal equivalent of the female burden of reproduction – nine months of pregnancy, labor, possible PPD, and all the physical, emotional, and economic costs of being a mother in a misogynist society – is at best willful ignorance and at worst blatant misogyny.  It both stems from and reinforces the idea that the clock starts on the Little Person on the very second that Daddy Has an Orgasm.

This isn’t to cast any aspersions on child support, which I not only believe is a positive good for society, but think should be further supported.  (The day child support becomes actual child support, you know, 50/50 costs and all, is the day I even think about maybe having any sympathy at all for the paternal rights argument.)  It is a tiny chip in the enormous social, financial, and physical inequality in the burdens of childbearing.  When your roommate owes you a thousand dollars for rent, and he gives you fifty cents, NO, he doesn’t get to eat your groceries, too.

I trust women to make reproductive choices, and that means trusting women here, too.

There are plenty of reasons women may not wish to disclose a child’s existence to the biological father.  Maybe he’s abusive, maybe she’s afraid he’ll become so.  Or maybe, just maybe, she just wants to be left the hell alone, as looks like is true in this case.  You know what?  If a woman survives an unwanted pregnancy, finds a family she is comfortable leaving the child with, and moves on with her life, fucking power to her. This has nothing to do with the cild, either, as the biofather’s name is on record, and if and when the child decides to find her biological parents, she will be able to do so.

Because it’s a short step from “it’s his genetic material so he should know about the BAAYBEE” to “it’s his genetic material so he gets veto power over the abortion.”  And from there?  “It’s his genetic material going to waste, so he gets to choose if there’s birth control.”  I mean,  if sperm have rights when one does become a baby, what’s to say they don’t have rights before then, too?  I mean, if you’re only working from the sex act which causes the pregnancy.  As soon as you mandate relations between a mother and father, you’re stepping into Gender Police, and because our society is so biased against women, and in particular mothers, this is a Bad Thing.

Maybe some day, we’ll live in a perfect world, one where pregancy will never be dangerous, partners will always be supportive, and mothers get paid exactly the same as everyone else for the same work.  (Plus, unicorns will dance in the purple sunset.) Then we’ll be able to consider paternal rights in a just, equitable way.

But until then, I think this ruling is not only good in this case, but a step in the right direction.

Because I trust women.

So tough shit.

Via:  http://www.amptoons.com/blog/archives/2007/12/03/british-court-rules-that-one-night-stand-fathers-have-no-rights/#comments, who is totally against this ruling.

Posted in abortion, europe, feminism, pregnancy | Leave a Comment »

back to ireland

Posted by pocochina on May 10, 2007

miss d is free to travel for her abortion.

sucks, that reproductive rights can’t be recognized on their own merits.

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