Today in Not Actually Helping

Look, I'm as much a fan as anyone of the making-a-point "lol let's propose bills restricting men's reproductive rights to see how y'all like it" legislative shenanigans that have become semi-popular lately.  Attempting to require invasive ultrasounds before prescribing ED pills, declaring the existence of "sperm persons" and making murder of said spermsons illegal, that sort of thing.  It's funny in a dark sort of way, it makes a good point about the ridiculous invasiveness of the legislation the right-wing is pushing across the country.

But it can be taken too far.  Just because we know damn well that the pushback bills won't actually be passed, doesn't mean we can do absolutely anything we want.  (Okay, yes, we *can* - but everyone knows that just because you can, doesn't mean you should.)  Some bills are funny but inappropriate, as a mockery of equally-inappropriate bills that they actually intend seriously.  Today, I ran across one that, to me at least, crosses that line.

In Utah, a doctor wrote and submitted a bill that would institute heavy penalties against any man who impregnated a woman:
  • Restrict elective abortion to the first 16 weeks.
  • Require DNA testing to determine paternity of all out-of-wedlock children, even aborted.
  • Require the father to establish a $50,000 trust fund to care for any out-of-wedlock child, even if adopted. If the child is aborted, the fund is used for sex education.
  • If the father can’t pay, he joins the military and uses his enlistment bonus and salary to pay.
  • No man can avoid paternity claiming “she seduced me,” or that she claimed she was on the pill, had her tubes tied, whatever.
  • Man under 18? His parents are responsible.
It would be funny, in an over-the-top sort of way, except for numbers 1 and 4 there.  The first one, for obvious reasons - I don't think any of us would see a 16-week restriction as a fair trade for penalties against impregnators to try to discourage them.  And the fourth one, because compulsory military service is a really fucked-up idea.

And then there's the fact that, despite what RH Reality Check may think of the bill's aims, I don't actually think the bill's author is intending this as a joke or mockery.  He calls it a way to eradicate abortion, and I think he means it, for all that he knows it would never even get passed, much less pass constitutional muster before the courts if someone challenged it.

Oh, and when you have a doctor claiming it would scare men into using 3 condoms as an entry in the "pros" column for his bill, considering that using multiple condoms is actually less safe than using a single condom...I'm kind of disinclined to think it's a good idea on any level, from the silly nonsense down to no-I-really-mean-it.  And I would like to see a little - or a lot - more discernment from such a big, generally reputable source on reproductive health issues as RHRC before they slap the "not gonna happen but funny anyway" sticker on something like this.

The man who wrote this bill is not on our side.  Let's not gloss over that and lol at it like he's in on the joke, okay?

No comments:


Related Posts with Thumbnails