An Ohio bill addresses one long-ignored injustice intrinsic to current abortion law, reproductive inequality.
Legislation in the Ohio House of Representatives (House Bill 252)
requires written consent from the father of an unborn child in order to
perform an abortion. The bill will put to test the “it’s my body, it’s
my right” notion of pro-choice activists by adding the rights of the
father of the unborn child into the equation. Ideally, the decision of
abortion should be a consensus between both parents, with both parties
being involved in any decisions regarding the child.
This is a significant legal and social issue where parental rights
are heavily unbalanced due to the fact that a father plays no role in a
matter as critical as his unborn child’s life. If a woman decides to
keep her child, the father is required to pay child support regardless
of whether he wanted to keep the child or not, or face future jail time.
A father currently has no say. Alternatively he cannot opt-out of
parenthood, but a woman can: She can do so by abortion.
Under the Ohio Bill, a woman must have written consent from the
father; if a woman is claiming rape, she must file a police report,
provide other court documents or an official complaint of the incident.
If the woman chooses to undergo an abortion in this case, the physician
must have “reasonable cause” to believe the woman’s claim of rape and
thus, perform an abortion. In cases where the father may be unknown, a
list of all potential fathers must be submitted to a physician. They
will all be contacted and summoned to a paternity test. If the father
is not found, no abortion can be performed. The bill would turn
abortion without a father’s permission or naming a “false biological
father” into a first-degree misdemeanor with a maximum $1,000 fine. A
second occasion of providing false information would be considered a
fifth degree felony.
I’d vastly prefer to see abortion banned and prosecuted as manslaughter, but this is a realistic and not-unreasonable step in the right direction. After all, his DNA, his choice. A woman should no more be permitted to unilaterally choose abortion than a man should be permitted to force a woman to get one.