Opinion

Why don’t deadbeat dads get to kill their way out of responsibility?

When discussing abortion, terms like “body ownership” and “bodily autonomy” often come up. Recently, I heard someone cite them to explain why pre-born children have no right to support from their mothers. He said that if a woman “chooses to give her fetus six weeks of life inside her body, but not nine months, then it should be grateful for the six weeks, not trying to use them as a basis for demanding more.”

I asked if that meant a child should just be grateful for what she’s already received when her father stops paying child support. After all, the money was earned with his body, probably at a task he didn’t enjoy. Forcing him to support his child also limits his ability to quit or take another job that might be more fulfilling but offers less pay. Doesn’t that infringe on his bodily autonomy as well?

My opponent insisted it wasn’t comparable because child support requirements don’t put someone at risk of “trauma.” Rafael Solis’ family might be surprised to hear that. In February of 2009, Solis went to jail for failing to pay child support.

He didn’t come out.

Three days after entering custody in Webb County, Texas, Solis was beaten to death. He certainly wasn’t the first person to die behind bars; violence is rife within correctional facilities. Despite that, judges are willing to impose jail time when obligations aren’t met. And that threat exists for eighteen years, not nine months.

There can be additional consequences: some states will suspend your driver’s license or revoke other certifications.

Many claim abortion is about equality for women, but the fact is that men aren’t allowed to kill their way out of responsibility. Granted, the abortion industry does help those who do: there’s evidence that more than half of abortions are coerced and threats of violence are common. And when pro-lifers push tougher laws to protect women, groups like Planned Parenthood and NARAL stand in the way.

Not everyone is ready for the duties of raising a baby. In that case, talking to some of the many couples hoping to adopt is an option; killing your child shouldn’t be.

Fathers don’t have that right. Neither should anyone else.

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