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A Three-Sided Debate on Abortion

Reported by Judy - March 10, 2006

Even with all the legitimate business news breaking concerning the collapse of the Dubai Ports World take-over of six American ports, Neil Cavuto managed on Thursday (March 9, 2006) to squeeze in a story about sex -- a debate on one aspect of abortion rights that included three sides, including Cavuto's own.

Cavuto featured Mel Feit, of the National Center for Men, for a discussion on an efforts by the center to make it possible for a man to father a child and then not have to support it on the grounds that he didn't want it. In other words, an effort to go back to the way things always were before the federal government decided to try to collect support payments to offset welfare to single mothers.

Feit's center apparently filed a lawsuit somewhere, but Cavuto skipped the details about when and where it was filed, who the plaintiff was, and so on. (Information on the story is available here.) Instead, Cavuto brought in Lynn Hecht Schafran of Legal Momentum to debate Feit.

"I want men to have what women have had since Roe vs. Wade, "Feit said. "That is, the right to have love and intimacy and warmth and comfort and a connection with another human soul without sacrificing reproductive choice. Women have been able to choose if they want to, to have intimacy without the fear of forced procreation, and I want men to have exactly that right."

Feit argued that if a man tells a woman before having sex that he does not want to be a father, then he should be exempt from having to support it should the woman get pregnant and decide to carry the pregnancy to term.

Schafran argued that men who do not want to be fathers should be responsible for using contraception to make sure a pregnancy does not occur.

Cavuto interrupted his guests on two occasions to try to steer the discussion in anoather direction. What if the woman does not want the child, but the man does, he asked.

That was not the issue either person was there to talk about, but it was the one Cavuto wanted to talk about -- a pre-lifer talking point that is designed to undermine a woman's right to choose whether to carry her pregnancy to term. By interrupting his guests and bringing up this extraneous issue, Cavuto managed to muddy the waters badly.

Feit ended his argument by complaining that "things have gotten so one-sided" on the matter of reproductive rights, apparently meaning women have more rights in the area than men do.

I beg to differ. Things are still one-sided in the same way they always have been -- women still are the only ones who get pregnant. When men start getting pregnant and having the babies, then I'll start worrying about men's rights in all of this.

In the meantime, any men who don't want to be fathers need to find their way to a vasectomy clinic and to recognize that if a pregnancy still results (which it can, no matter what birth control measures are taken), matters are beyond their control. Men have two choices: zip up or pay up.

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