Wednesday, August 01, 2007

In Ohio, if you poke it, you own it.

Via Feministe we get word of one stunning piece of legislation being formed in the State of Ohio.

Remember the Putative Father Registry issue in Virginia? Well, sure enough, Ohio has one too, and its supposed purpose is identical to that of Virginia's. (Emphasis mine)
The Putative Father Registry has been established to determine the identity and location of an undisclosed putative father who may have conceived a child for whom an adoption petition has been or may be filed in order to provide notice of the adoption to the putative father.
Adoption. Get that? It's all about adoption.

Now, you'll remember, back in that post about Virginia's Putative Father Registry, I raised the ugly specter that this may well be about more than adoption, as in perhaps to skirt the privacy precedent established in Roe v. Wade and make it about abortion.
And, if you try to secure an abortion, we already know who you are!
But, that's just me. I'm a suspicious person. Except that when it comes to Ohio, I was right.
Led by Rep. John Adams, a group of state legislators have submitted a bill that would give fathers of unborn children a final say in whether or not an abortion can take place.
Because if anyone needs their rights protected when it comes to a pregnancy, it the father! It gets, shall we say, worse.
As written, the bill would ban women from seeking an abortion without written consent from the father of the fetus. In cases where the identity of the father is unknown, women would be required to submit a list of possible fathers. The physician would be forced to conduct a paternity test from the provided list and then seek paternal permission to abort.

Claiming to not know the father's identity is not a viable excuse, according to the proposed legislation. Simply put: no father means no abortion.

Bad... wot? No, don't get all enraged yet. We're not done, and there is more coming.

In addition, women would be required to present a police report in order to prove a pregnancy is the result of rape or incest.
So... at least a woman would not be required to get the permission of her attacker to abort a rape induced pregnancy. How civil. She needs the permission and concurrence of the police!

Let's sort through this a little. This proposed legislation requires the father to grant permission for the woman, whom he claims to have impregnated, to have an abortion. If he disagrees with her desire to terminate the pregnancy, she would have no say. If she disagrees with his position, she still has no say. The man's decision trumps the decision of the woman.

How is that fair? Well, because he's a man; she's just a slut. He gets to decide; she gets what's coming to her. And don't forget: he's registered!

This proposed legislation also lends itself to unbelievable potential abuse. As EF at Feministe points out:

It’s not encouraging choices, it’s encouraging either (a) nothing at all because people in healthy relationships already talk about unplanned pregnancies or (b) abuse and manipulation. Let’s guess which is more likely.
Because, if after discussing whether the pregnancy should continue, there is no resolution, the prospective father does not just have a "say" in the matter; he has absolute dominion over the woman and a state ordained veto.

It will be interesting to see how far this proposed legislation goes. Ohio has recently elected a liberal-leaning legislature and has a liberal Democratic governor.

In the meantime, Ohio State Representative John Adams and his eight co-sponsors should really consider that hobby I was talking about in an earlier post.

More from Melissa, Scott and Echidne

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