Men Will Be Fathers

Let our journalists help you make sense of the noise: Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter and get a recap of news that matters.

A federal appeals court has dismissed, as frivolous, the “Rowe v. Wade for Men” test case. It was:

… filed by a men’s rights group on behalf of a man who said he shouldn’t have to pay child support for his ex-girlfriend’s daughter. [Matthew] Dubay, 25, had said ex-girlfriend Lauren Wells knew he didn’t want to have a child and assured him repeatedly she couldn’t get pregnant because of a medical condition. He argued that if a pregnant woman can choose among abortion, adoption or raising a child, a man involved in an unintended pregnancy should have the choice of declining the financial responsibilities of fatherhood. U.S. District Judge David Lawson in Bay City disagreed, rejecting Dubay’s argument that Michigan’s paternity law violates the U.S. Constitution’s equal protection clause because it didn’t extend reproductive rights to men.

Isn’t “his ex-girlfriend’s daughter” also his daughter?

It’s indefensible that some woman get pregnant on the sly or are simply half-assed about birth control, but it’s also indefensible to make women solely responsible for birth control and the support of child, however planned or unplanned. If there was some way to make the laggard solely liable for the emotional and financial well being of the innocent child which results, fine. But there isn’t. I feel for men who become unintentional fathers or whose partners chose abortion over their objections. Among the many reasons I’m glad I’m a woman is the control I have, and fiercely exercise, over my reproductive life. Still, my concern for unwilling fathers is levened by the fact that they could have put as much energy into getting a condom and some foam involved as they do their penises. If you can’t pull off the former, but can the latter, go into it knowing you’re playing Russian Roulette. The court got this one right:

State courts have ruled in the past that any inequity experienced by men like Dubay is outweighed by society’s interest in ensuring that children get financial support from two parents.

Do we really have another alternative?


Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

payment methods

We Recommend