As we approach Father's Day, I am moved to share some thoughts about "fathers" in relation to the public discussion about "pro-choice" vs. "pro-life."
Let me begin by asserting that a father or a "dad" is someone who is much more than an impregnator. For that reason we don't have on our calendars a holiday called "Impregnator Day." No kids dropping by, no presents. Nothing.
Similarly, we don't have a day dedicated to "male abandonees" or to "male shirkers of personal, financial, and social responsibility."
Fortunately, too, we do not have a social pattern for congratulating a man for his part in causing a conception following a rape or incestuous act.
Poor guys. They get no positive reinforcement.
On the other hand, neither do they usually receive any negative consequences for their nocturnal gymnastics. (Well, not always nocturnal, of course). To be clear, if sexual intercourse resulting in pregnancy turns out to have been consensual, perhaps such consequences for such male participation should be different from those due those who force, manipulate, or use violence to "have their way."
I offer no specific suggestions for what those differences might be, deferring to those more knowledgeable than I in matters pertaining to morality and to the law.
I do have some questions, however.
Why, among the several states submitting bills supporting anti-abortion laws, including specific requirements for women or girls to carry the unwanted fetus to term, and prison sentences for doctors performing abortions—I repeat—why is there absolutely no mention of penalties or even accountability for the impregnators?
An assumption (or even a declaration) is being made in those states that "human life" begins at conception. If that is the case, why no mention of men's moral or financial responsibilities regarding the new life? Should not, then, the impregnator be required to pay for 50 percent of the medical bills incurred during pregnancy?
If there is a difficult pregnancy for the mother/victim, should there not be a law requiring his financial support during that time? If he abandons the fetus will he spend any time in prison or — at the very least — have to pay a substantial fine?
If a doctor is subject to prison time, and if women and/or girls have to suffer humiliation and punishment, why do impregnators get off scot free? I cannot help but wonder why men involved in such criminal behavior are somehow not included under the patriotic phrase, "justice for all..."