Friday, March 10, 2006

Personal Responsibility

Yesterday at Running Scared, Jazz posted about a man who's making news in a child support case. See, there's this guy who didn't want to have kids, and his girlfriend said that she didn't want to have kids, and yet, there's a kid, and now he's upset about having to pay child support.

Today, Jazz posted about the brouhaha that this sort of thing can cause.

Now, I'm all about a woman's reproductive rights, and the fact that everyone should be able to get to choose what happens to their own bodies. Do not think for one minute that I'm not pro-choice. I am, however, also pro-personal responsibility. This case is being touted as an example of the necessity of a "Roe v. Wade" type law for men, and I think that's getting silly. At some point people have to accept that some things are their own responsibility on their own. Making laws about individual cases can cause way more trouble than it's worth. Yes, yes, people need guidelines, but they need their own damn moral compasses, too, at some point. I wrote a comment over at Running Scared that when I was done, it looked an awful lot like a post to me, so I figured I'd put it up over here:

Newsflash: EVERY SINGLE CASE IS DIFFERENT. We cannot make a sweeping generalization of law to solve everyone's problems. Try a little personal responsibility, for a change.

These people didn't think the woman could conceive. The man said he didn't want children. The woman agreed - until she got pregnant.

When you're in a consensual relationship with someone and you agree not to procreate, you can't try and hold someone responsible for an accident. This case is clear, and no other case in the world is exactly the same.

If I was in this situation and found that I wanted to raise the child, I'd *hope* that the man involved would want to help support the child, but I wouldn't expect it., and I certainly wouldn't sue. If things were less clear, I'd have different expectations. Why must people lump categorize everything?

Feel free to vilify me in the comments, but the drop-dead truth is that even safe sex isn't 100% safe. It's the ultimate truth that the only sure-fire way to prevent pregnancy is to not have man-woman sex, and that's just too hard a truth for most people to face.

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