Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Trish Wilson

I have been intrigued by Trish Wilson for some time. She writes and covers many issues outside of child custody and there are times when I find her thoughts on political issues well founded and insightful. However, I remain confused about how someone who is obviously intelligent can be such a blind cheerleader for an unjust system of law.

The discrepancies in treatment of people by our family courts is not, to me at least, an issue of gender. I would be just as outraged if the courts consistently and systematically favored men in their custody determinations. To me this country was founded on equality and justice and we should expect nothing less from all three branches of government, though for this issue we primarily focus on the judiciary and legislative branches.

I often get slammed for having the opinions I do. Apparently being born a woman allows me to throw out common sense and reasonableness when discussing hot topic feminist issues.

I refuse to discount the fact that there are two people involved in the creation of a child. I do not believe that because my biology chooses that I am the one to carry said child that I have been endowed with superior rights to that child. I do not believe that I have the unilateral right to terminate a pregnancy.

This is not to say that I am pro-life, I am in fact pro-choice, I just simply do not believe only the woman has the choice. Here this gets a little tricky and I know abortion is a very heartfelt issue for many so I will try and lay out my position as specifically as possible.

I am pro-choice very simply because I believe there are people out there who just have no business having children. May they not have the financial or emotional resources to care for their children, may they be a substance abuser, may they be a teen who did not listen very well in sex ed... there are people who are simply not prepared or able to care for a child. I realize the first argument to this is adoption and I agree that it is a good alternative. It is my hope that all unwanted pregnancies would choose to have their children adopted but would care adequately for their baby until birth. However, I still feel that in the case of the addict who will continue to use during their pregnancy or the teen who will ignore all needed prenatal care, abortion should remain an option.

I firmly believe in extensive counseling prior to making that decision and only performing abortions in the first trimester. I do not believe in abortion as birth control and would quickly support legislation that allowed sterilization of any parents who attempted to use it as such. And yes, I did say parents. I believe if a woman is getting an abortion she should have to name the father and he should have to go through counseling as well. This serves three purposes; it solidifies for the father how serious of a decision this is, it mandates that all fathers be made aware they are in fact a father and gives them an opportunity to raise the child, it facilitates the creation of a list of people, both male and female, who are utilizing abortion. I would support some type of 3 strikes law, if you go for a third abortion, you will then be sterilized. I know this sounds crazy in our current PC environment, however, these people have demonstrated undeniably that not only are they not able to be responsible parents, but they are also not able to check their urges and master birth control. Therefore that option should be taken from them. (I know I am going to get so much hate mail for that, people aren't even for sterilization of sexual criminals, pedophiles. etc...)

All of this aside, I believe that if a father offers to raise a child, the mother should not be able to terminate the pregnancy. I do not believe in abortion when there is a parent willing to be a parent to their child. As much as the idea of immaculate conception might excite our feminist population, it still takes two people to create a baby and therefore both people should be afforded the same rights and responsibilities relative to that child.

The argument of biology seems so terribly convenient. Obviously one of the parties will carry the child and as witnessed through almost all of nature, generally this is the female. The argument that this biological absolute equates to the incontrovertible right to chose whether or not to have a baby and further to who should be awarded custody upon a divorce, is one of the most inequitable declarations I have heard. By this thinking, a woman who offered her womb as a surrogate in an in vitro scenario (where the surrogate would simply be the womb, the egg and sperm would come from the parents), would have more rights to the child than the biological parents. Even though the parents had contributed the DNA, the surrogate used her body to carry the child. This is how feminists treat fathers... even though it is half their DNA, they lack the "biological bond" therefore their rights are non-existent.

I find it terribly ironic that the feminist movement began as a plight for equal rights and it has largely evolved into an organization that asserts women's rights over those of men and children.

I am not a man or woman hater. I know there are lousy parents. However, I am able to admit that there are lousy mothers as well as lousy fathers. I believe our courts should be set up equitably and that means giving both parents as equal access to their children as possible. In some cases a 50/50 split just may not be feasible but the courts should try to come as close as possible. Obviously there will be cases in which one party is not asserting their right to parent their child, but in those cases where both parents want to be involved, there is no justifiable reason (biological, theological, legal, moral or otherwise) to not institute a joint arrangement.

I love both of my divorced parents and I will be the first to admit that I am who I am because of both, because of how they both raised me, what they both taught me, how they both loved me. It just seems so ridiculous. What good mother would want to keep her child from having a positive, meaningful and frequent relationship with their father? In my opinion, only a pretty sick one. Children need and deserve two parents. There is a reason women are not able to impregnate themselves.

If you want to see what started this you can visit Trish at: TRISH WILSON'S THE WOMEN'S NETWORK



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