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In America, the recent ban on most abortions by the state of South Dakota has been predicted as the toughest test yet for Roe vs Wade - the landmark ruling by the US Supreme Court that gave women the right to choose when it comes to abortions.

 

The South Dakota law - approved by its governor - makes it a crime for doctors to perform terminations.  Exceptions will be made if a woman's life is at risk, but not in cases of rape or incest.

 

By Rev. Rahelio Soleil

 

 

Though most Americans are moderates on most issues, abortion is one of those topics that send the extreme Right and Left to separate corners where they can craft messages and carefully select facts used to shout each other down.

One side proclaims that it's about a woman's reproductive rights and the freedom to control her body.

The other side counters that it is about a human life, one that equally has a right to the freedoms established by the Constitution.

 

I've said it before and it still remains true: Liberals hate babies until they are born, conservatives love babies until they are born but after that they're on their own.

 

Because the battle is framed in a way that a woman's body becomes the theoretical and literal territory for social war, the rights of men are sidelined.

 

We are not considered because (apparently) we have no biological responsibility for bearing a child - we only have a resulting financial obligation.

 

The reason for not advocating reproductive rights for men goes beyond the conventional understanding of the argument.

 

For the Left, including men's rights in the constitution means adding a layer of responsibility to a woman's choice and removing the unfunded mandate it imposes. Rights come with responsibilities, except in the case of a woman determining whether or not she will pay for her decision.

 

For the Right, it means the possibility that many men may choose not to be parents - as they already do - and the state will have to pick up the tab for women who are not capable of paying the price for their "rights."

 

With so much talk about a fatherless America, this would not be the direction conservatives would want to go, even if it is fair.

 

Both sides are trying to have things two ways, and this common hypocrisy unites them into silence about men's rights and women's irresponsibility.

 

When child support issues are discussed men are told "you should have kept it in your pants."

 

Meanwhile, in welfare offices woman aren't told "you should have kept your legs closed," they are simply asked to provide the name, social security number, and last known address of the "father."

 

There is a very basic framework for understanding the simple equality involved in considering reproductive rights for men:

 

A woman faced with an unwanted pregnancy has three options: She can get an abortion, she can put the baby up for adoption, or she can raise the child anyway.

 

The man's decision, however, is entirely dictated by the woman's. Either he becomes a father or he doesn't. (A fourth option is on the horizon for women only: If she has sex without contraception, she can take a morning-after pill, or several birth control pills which have the same effect when combined. A fifth future option is RU-486, the early abortion pill.)

 

The dynamic of sexual politics set up by the current framing of the issue suggests that the point of equality between men and women ends the moment after ejaculation. From there on there are many variables of what can happen, but all of them exist within the woman's authority.

Will she get pregnant? If so, will she carry it to term, and if born will she secretly give the child up for adoption? During the "choice" period the man is a waiting stooge and the woman is master of his universe.

What does a woman consider during the period of her "choice"?

It will likely be questions concerning whether or not she is ready, whether a baby will adversely affect her career or educational attainment, and if her life will be interrupted in some injurous way.

 

All of these points of consideration are for her only, a man has no such right to self-efficacy.


The water is muddied even more when you speak of woman as the victims of rape, incest, or sexual coercion. In these cases the Left sees itself as having the upperhand. What cruel person would think a woman should carry the child of her rapist?

But, again, this only exposes the double standard employed by gender politics.

Consider the following:

Colleen Hermesmann routinely provided care for Shane Seyer as a baby sitter or day care provider during 1987 and 1988. The two began a sexual relationship at a time when Colleen was 16 years old and Shane was only 12. The relationship continued over a period of several months and the parties engaged in sexual intercourse on an average of a couple of times a week. As a result, a daughter, Melanie, was born to Colleen on May 30, 1989. At the time of the conception of the child, Shane was 13 years old and Colleen was 17. Colleen applied for and received financial assistance through the Aid to Families with Dependent Children program (ADC) from SRS. - State of Kansas vs. Shane Seyer

 

The State of Kansas has a statutory rape law and if the rape is committed by a male perpetrator you can expect aggressive enforcement, with resulting punishment, as well as an expectation of financial obligation.

However, in the case above the woman rapist not only escaped serious punishment, she was also granted financial support from her victim.

Are most age rapists woman?

 

No, I use this simply to illustrate the gender differences under the law. That said, we should not pretend this one incident is isolated, and we should not take solace in the fact that the age difference between the rapist and the victim was 4 years.

Consider the following string of items hitting the news:

 

Sarah Suzanne Bench-Salorio, 28, of Orange, was charged with 20 counts of lewd acts on a child under 14 years old. The suspect, who taught for two years at Santiago Charter Middle School, was arrested Tuesday, a day after one of the boys told his parents about the alleged contact with his former teacher, Sgt.Dave Hill said.

 

Pamela Rogers, the Warren County elementary school teacher and coach, admitted guilt recently on four counts of sexual battery by an authority figure for having a sexual affair with a 13-year-old star athlete student.

 

Meet Debra Lafave. The 23-year-old Florida teacher is facing a host of felony charges for allegedly having sex with a 14-year-old male student. According to investigators, Lafave met the boy at Greco Middle School--where she taught reading--and had sex with him in her classroom, Isuzu SUV, and Tampa-area home.

Prosecutors say 39-year-old Christine Duda had sex with a 16-year-old student at the Positive Alternative Center in the Normandy School District. Duda allegedly had sex with the student at her home.

Nicole Long, a former Ohio teacher charged with having sex with a 17-year-old student, pleaded guilty yesterday.

Margaret De Barraicua, 30, is accused of having an ongoing sexual relationship with the boy who is a student in her class.

Boca Raton resident Carol Flannigan, a music teacher at a Boynton Beach public school, not only slept with an 11-year-old former student, but also had a sexual relationship with the boy's father at the same time, according to a deposition filed this week in Palm Beach County Circuit Court.

 

If a pregnancy were to occur in any of these cases the victim would be on the hook for a lifetime of care to a child made of their victimization.

 

Can anyone argue the fairness of that?

 

If your male child were molested, would you as a parent consider him responsible a pregnancy?

 

If a pregnancy were to occur in any of these cases the victim would be on the hook for a lifetime of care to a child made of their victimization. Can anyone argue the fairness of that? If your male child were molested, would you as a parent consider him responsible a pregnancy?

Look at the highly publicized case of Mary Letourneau, the 34 year old school teacher who raped a 13 year old student, had a baby by him, and now - years later - is together with him. Questions about sexism were raised because it seemed to many that she was generating sympathy inside and outside the legal system that would not be afforded to a male.

Of course there was a legitimate reason for the double standard:

Another vital, biologically imposed distinction lies in the construction of male and female genitalia and how that is expressed in the act of sexual intercourse.

 

The female does not have to be aroused in order to engage in sexual intercourse; the male does. California's statutory rape law defines the crime as "an act of sexual intercourse accomplished with a female not the wife of the perpetrator, where the female is under the age of 18 years ."

 

The constitutionality of the statue was challenged on grounds of gender discrimination in the case of Michael M. v. Sonoma Superior Court, 450 U.S. 464 (1981). The Superior Court, then California's state Supreme Court, and finally the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the statute as constitutional.

 

The latter ruled that, because "one of the purposes" of the law is to "protect women from sexual intercourse and pregnancy at an age when the physical, emotional, and psychological consequences are particularly severe" and men do not get pregnant the "gender classification is not invidious, but rather realistically reflects the fact that the sexes are not similarly situated in certain circumstances." - CNN


Cases of rape aside, at the end of the day sex and pregnancy resulting from consenting unions should hold the same expectations of the participants. Two equally adult individuals would have similar obligations in a society that expects social equality and equity.

Yes, our parts are different - boys have pp's and girls have tt's - but feminist education has programmed us to believe that tt's and pp's have no bearing on intelligence, self-determination, and protection under the law.

Using the longstanding logic that possesion of a vagina should not be an obstacle to a person's rights, should we not assume that it should not grant a person lesser responsibility for execution of those rights

 

Rev Soleil is a writer and political commentator on today's America. He Blogs at AmericanHotSausage

 

 

America: The Politics of Abortion

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