Proposed Legislation In Ohio Would Require Women To Get A Man's Permission To Have An Abortion

New proposed legislation in Ohio would make it illegal for a woman to get an abortion without a man’s permission, according to the Record-Courier.

Not knowing who the father of the fetus is couldn’t be used as an excuse under the new law. Women would have to provide a list of potential fathers who would then be required to submit themselves to paternity testing until a father is found. It would also make it illegal for a man who isn’t the father to provide the permission.

What about rape or incest? A woman seeking an abortion would have to provide “reasonable cause” for the doctor to believe the rape of incest occurred, which, in our estimation, would probably mean police reports and charges filed.

Talk about the government getting all up in your private business. Proponents of the bill are saying it’s a “men’s rights” issue, but fail to mention a man’s right not to be subjected to random paternity tests. This is real life, not the effing Maury Povich show.

Between the forced paternity testing of a random list of men to the “permission slips” and police reports… thank goodness this unconsumer-friendly hunk of crap is unlikely to pass.

Abortion law would give fathers a say State legislators propose change; opponents blast bill as ‘extreme’ [Record-Courier] (Thanks, Melinda!)
Text of The Bill [Ohio State Legislature]


Edit Your Comment

  1. SOhp101 says:

    There’s no way this is going to pass. Even if it does, it’ll be declared unconstitutional in no time.

  2. Sherryness says:

    Never happen.

  3. Pelagius says:

    That’s it. I’m definitely never going abortion shopping in Ohio ever again.

  4. iMike says:

    It’s a tough balance. Posit the following: man impregnates woman. If the woman elects to have the baby, she binds the man to 18 years of child support payments, but if she elects an abortion, the man can’t stop her, though he may want to (independently) raise the baby with no further involvement from her.

    Fundamentally unfair. That said, the Ohio law is laughably clumsy.

  5. B says:

    Just to play the devil’s advocate for a second here, but doesn’t half the fetus’ DNA come from a man in the first place?

  6. Meg Marco says:

    @Pelagius: Indiana Welcomes You!

  7. gibsonic says:

    i was wondering why this was on the consumerist website and then i read the last line

    “thank goodness this unconsumer-friendly hunk of crap is unlikely to pass.”

    and it makes it all relevent somehow :rolleyes:

    interesting legislation and i’m sure deeply divided discussion from all sides, but is this really a consumerist issue?

  8. Sidecutter says:

    I can see where a man could have a say in the matter. If he is the known and proven father and wants to raise the child and take on the burden, then he should have a say, and the two of them TOGETHER must work out the situations. But in situations where he’s abesent or unknown, rape, incest, etc., and won’t take part in any way, screw it, he has no say, nor should any other man.

  9. SaveMeJeebus says:

    @Pelagius: Just buy a Mac and bank at a credit union.

    This is stupid. When will governments get it?

  10. Sidecutter says:

    Also, yeah, watch everyone just go to Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, etc. instead.

  11. Geekybiker says:

    Agreed. The implementation is flawed. Right now men have no rights surrounding babies beyond contraception. Even that isnt 100%. Women can make huge changes in a man’s life on a whim right now. Its only fair that men have some say in what happens to a baby before its born. I’m not sure the best way to accomplish that though.

  12. Sidecutter says:

    Also, yeah, watch everyone wanting an abortion just go over state lines to Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois, West Verginia, Pennsylvania…not like they don’t have options here.

  13. K-Bo says:

    One question: Does he have to agree to take sole custody of the child if he denys the woman the abortion, or can he say no you have to have the child then disappear into the sunset just to be mean?

  14. Sidecutter says:

    Whoops, sorry for the double!

  15. K-Bo says:

    @Geekybiker: I would think men would be more interested in forcing the woman to have an abortion to get out of child support than the other way around.

  16. pinkbunnyslippers says:

    If you men want rights concerning fetuses and child rearing, go figure out a way to conceive and then get back to me.

  17. raybury says:

    Change this law to require the husband have a say and I’ll support it.

  18. pinkbunnyslippers says:

    If you men want rights concerning abortions and fetuses, go find a way to conceive and then get back to me.

  19. sleze69 says:

    @iMike: I am in total agreement. Although this law is just silly in its implementation, it appears to be the first that I have seen that broaches the subject of father’s rights.

    If a Father can’t have a say in the abortion of his child, then he shouldn’t be legally obligated to support him by default(although if he were to opt-out, he shouldn’t have ANY rights to the child).

  20. QuirkyRachel says:

    But Ohio *is* the Maury Povich show…

    And what if the father is dead? Or comatose? Or fled the country? And if so, how would a woman prove that he’s not there?
    And also, if they’re insisting on identifying the father, does that also mean that if a woman wants to abort the fetus, but he won’t give permission, does he get sole custody and/or must pay full child support?

  21. AlteredBeast (blaming the OP one article at a time.) says:

    So….wait…this article is to warn those who are shopping for abortions?


  22. TechnoDestructo says:


    And then the woman has to pay child support.

    This is equality.

  23. mobbo says:

    …why is this on Consumerist?

  24. Meg Marco says:

    @mobbo: Privacy issue. Suggested by a reader.

  25. andrewsmash says:

    I hate how my fellow guys think they should have any say in a woman’s pregnancy. If you don’t want to risk having a child with a woman, don’t have sex with her. Simple, huh? Of course, that flies in the face of the “But I wanna!” ethic that seems to be predominate in this culture right now. We are turning into a nation of spoiled brats that doesn’t want to deal with results of our actions (our words can still be flung around without thinking cause, well, they’re words). No one should be forced to raise a child if they don’t want to. Taking a pregnancy to term is in itself risky, and forcing someone to raise a child that they don’t want leads to damage to both the adult and the child. And the adoption system in this country is such a mess that it no longer represents a viable alternative. This is legislation serves no purpose than to offer an end run to pro-lifers and to service the egos of men who wish they could still control their women like the good ol’ days.

  26. K-Bo says:

    @TechnoDestructo: I agree. Both sides should be able to opt out of physical and monitary responsibility up to the same point. Problem is the woman still has to give birth, making it hard for her to bow out physically for the first 9 months.

  27. ThomFabian says:

    No one should be forced to raise a child if they don’t want to.
    Agreed, the father should have the right to take all parental custody of the child if the mother doesn’t want it

    We are turning into a nation of spoiled brats that doesn’t want to deal with results of our actions
    You mean like having an abortion after having sex against the wishes of the father?

    This law is deeply flawed, but do you not see how the father has *some* say in what happens to his child (or obviously in your viewpoint potential child)?

  28. toddkravos says:

    Ahh I just love it when the state I live in makes the news. This is so flippin’ wrong.

    While some think it may never pass, that’s what many people thought about the gay marriage rights ban here.

    Ahhh… “Ohio, the heart of it all.”

  29. B says:

    While I agree that the man should have a say in the pregnancy, this is the wrong way to go about it. If he wants to contest the abortion, he should have to prove he is the father.

  30. I’m sure this legislation is only meant to put another obstacle in the way of abortions, not a “men’s rights” issue.

    As a lifelong Ohio resident, I promise to all you consumerist readers that not all Ohioans are hyper-conservative nut jobs. Somehow the voting populace of the state keeps managing to get these ideas into the state legislature, as well as voting for a ban on gay marriage and conceal-and-carry laws… but it isn’t my ballot that’s doing it.


  31. watchmanseven says:

    I think the law isn’t very well planned or though out, but in my opinion, a step toward equallity that is long over due.

    Why shouldn’t the father have equal say? Somewhere being pregnant was equated to having all the rights. That’s rediculous.

    As a man, I’m really tired of the double standard. We’re expected to work it all out, pay child support, etc, but the woman wants all the benefits, and the final say on what and when everything and anything happens. Most, and I use the word most in a calculated way, divorced women, make it as hard as possible for the father, but can’t figure out for the life of them why he won’t “engage”. It’s because he’s tired of the kids being used to make him pay.

    Women need to stop thinking that they should be allowed to make men take some responsibilities and not others, according to what’s convenient for her in a given situation.

    It’s all or nothing ladies. All or nothing.

    And, no I’m not divorced or married. I’m single Thank you very much.

  32. Cowboys_fan says:

    There’s obviously some gaping holes here but they have the right idea. Some folks will argue you shouldn’t abort at all. Me not being a woman, do not feel I have the right to decide for you. However, I do feel it unfair for me to want an abortion, her to disagree and I have to pay support. People argue to “keep it in the pants then” but unfortunately, it takes 2. I think the fair way is for the woman to allow the man out of support payments in a situation like this, as obviously a man will never be able to force a woman to abort. Then the onus falls back on the woman. If I want an abortion, I should be absolved of payments and ALL parental rights if she keeps it.

  33. If a Father can’t have a say in the abortion of his child…

    @sleze69: He’s still 50% responsible for the fact that it exists.

    This is SO not the government’s business. How did the person who proposed this get into office?

  34. andrewsmash says:

    @ThomFabian: Women have been having abortions against the wishes of the father for decades. Now that we have the technology to determine the moment of conception and the actual identity of the father, suddenly his rights come into play? Sorry, no. Forcing a person to carry a child to term is an unjust punishment. And how do we know Daddy won’t change his mind when the time comes. When we have artificial wombs that an embryo can be transplanted into, only then do both genetic contributors get to have a say.

    And it isn’t spoiled to say: There is something going on in my body that I do not want to happen, I need to undergo a painful and difficult procedure to deal with it.

    It is spoiled to say: Hey, thanks for that moment of pleasure. Now you have to suffer for nine months so I can get something that only I want.

  35. CreativeLinks says:

    Opps sorry, thought this was the consumerist page..didn’t know I stumbled upon a political blog, must be something wrong with my browser…wait, huh, this is Consumerist?

  36. Beerad says:

    How bizarre. I love Ohio, my native state, but sometimes I want to cry for its fragmented sociopolitical beliefs. I think that the father should be allowed to prevent the abortion as soon as surgery is perfected to transfer the embryo to his body for gestation and birth. Don’t want to end up in a messed up relationship where the woman you impregnated doesn’t want to have your baby? Try not impregnating her! Better yet, if you really want a bunch of li’l yous running around, try discussing it with your partner before the big surprise and make sure she’s down with the idea!

    In theory, yes the father has rights too. But in practice those rights really are superceded by the biological facts of motherhood and the woman’s rights. If there’s some equitable way to balance that, I haven’t seen anything close to it, including this. This just screams potential for abuse, as in “Ha-ha, you won’t return my phone calls! Fine, you have to have the baby!” Yes, people really are that bad. Especially over relationships.

  37. B says:

    @Rectilinear Propagation: By running on a pro-life, anti gay marriage platform, same as every other Ohio politician.

  38. andrewsmash says:

    @Cowboys_fan: I would agree with you in a case where there was some kind of protection failure – if an effort was made by one or both parties to avoid pregnancy, then a child kept against the wishes of the father should not be his responsibility and he has no rights or responsibilities thereto. However, it is impossible to prove and will likely never, ever happen.

  39. @Cowboys_fan: Sounds like a sound enough idea, and I understand where you’re coming from, but it would open up all sorts of legal problems down the road. What if the man claims that he signed the agreement under duress, or under the influence? Or if the woman fails to raise the child properly, would the man have any recourse to take the child from the mother?

  40. Skyoodpov says:


    As long as we are making stupid, over the top statements, why don’t you get back in the kitchen and bake me a pie.

  41. Murph1908 says:


    Fine. Then eliminate the ability to sue the father for support. Don’t like it? Go find a way to conceive without sperm and get back to me.

    This topic came up in a college class of mine. I am in no way stating that a woman shouldn’t have the right to choose. But there is an incredible inequity in the laws, as IMIKE stated. If I don’t want it, and she does, I am on the hook for 18 years of support. If I want it and she doesn’t, I am effed.

    I am glad someone is looking into this, though Ohio’s bill strikes me as the wrong way to do it.

  42. @meghannmarco: Yeah, but it’s an abortion law so no one’s going to address the privacy part just whether men can opt out of the whole pregnancy thing.

  43. Murph1908 says:

    @ Andrewmash

    “It is spoiled to say: Hey, thanks for that moment of pleasure. Now you have to suffer for nine months so I can get something that only I want.”

    Well, is it not also spoiled to say,

    “Hey, for that moment of pleasure, you now have to pay me $800 per month for 18 years so I can keep something only I want.”

  44. Meg Marco says:

    Would it be possible for the thread to contain a discussion of the privacy issue at hand?

  45. sleze69 says:

    @Rectilinear Propagation: And yet he has NO say in whether his child lives or dies. That is not right.

  46. @meghannmarco: Nope. Abortion is too inflammatory an issue. The article could be about how NASA found flying robots living on one of Jupiter’s moons, accidentally add the word abortion at the end, and the thread would still end up like this.

  47. CaptainConsumer says:

    Why doesn’t Michigan float up to heaven?

    Because Ohio sucks SO MUCH

  48. Hoss says:

    @meghannmarco: Not possible. I’m amazed that this topic appears in a consumer blog

  49. pinkbunnyslippers says:

    @Skyoodpov: nice comeback
    @Murph1908: I agree. But one could argue that there existed “inequity in the laws” prior to the 1970s, hence the need for legalization of abortion. Right?

    Women had little to no rights in this country for the first 100 years of the United States existence, and you want to bring up “inequities in the law”? Good luck!

  50. dbeahn says:

    @gibsonic: Yeah, this would be relevant here if it were

    But it isn’t.


    What privacy issue? If the woman keeps the kid even if the man doesn’t want it, she names him, drags him to court, etc etc etc – even if the man wants to keep his privacy.

    How is a woman having to go to court to NOT have the kid more of a privacy problem than a man having to go when he doesn’t want the kid?

    Or are you telling me that if the WOMAN doesn’t want the kid, SHE is entitled to her privacy, but if the MAN doesn’t want the kid, HE isn’t entitled to his privacy.

    Seems like a clear cut case of what is good for the gander is good for the goose to me.

    So tell me Meghann, what do you see is the privacy issue?

  51. Indecision says:

    @Geekybiker: “Right now men have no rights surrounding babies beyond contraception. Even that isnt 100%. Women can make huge changes in a man’s life on a whim right now.”

    Sometimes I’m actually really, really glad that I’m gay.

  52. Mary says:

    I could have sworn that DNA tests before the child is born endanger the fetus…maybe science got away from me again.

    This is part of a much larger problem with women seeking certain medical care or procedures and being denied them based on another person’s morals or convictions. I have been considering this, in a way, a denial of service. I go to my doctor and ask for a procedure and they deny me, or the government denies me, isn’t that in a way bad service?

    At the request of the poster, thoughts about the privacy issue at hand (this is what I perceive as the issue): …who keeps this database? Because you know there will be a database. Who is in charge of finding the fathers, and how secure will the information be?

    This whole issue disturbs me greatly, on multiple levels.

  53. Peeved Guy says:

    @meghannmarco: Hi. Welcome to The Consumerist. You must be new here.

  54. Meg Marco says:

    @Peeved Guy: You’d certainly think so, wouldn’t you?

  55. mrmysterious says:

    Granted this site is someone else’s “front porch” but abortion topics do not have any place on this site unless it concerns people getting screwed over by large corporation ran abortion clinics.

  56. bluemeep says:

    Personally, if the woman I slept with had to provide a laundry list of Potential Fathers beyond just me, I’d be in the back scrubbing my nethers with steel wool.

    Then again, I’m the monogamous sort.

  57. Echodork says:

    thank goodness this unconsumer-friendly hunk of crap is unlikely to pass.

    This has nothing to do with consumer friendliness, and it’s pretty crappy that you guys are passing off a political issue as something relevant to this site’s content.

    Seriously, who’s the consumer here?

  58. dwarf74 says:

    Erm, why is this here? I think it’s a crappy law, don’t get me wrong, but it’s hardly the kind of article I look for when I’m reading Consumerist.

  59. burgundyyears says:

    Pffft, this will never get past Strickland. Heck, I don’t think even Taft would have gone for something like this.

  60. phrygian says:

    Believe it or not — like it or not — an abortion is a service. Just like getting your tires rotated or buying gum. It’s just a religiously/politically polarizing service.

  61. Mary says:

    @phrygian: Believe it or not — like it or not — an abortion is a service. Just like getting your tires rotated or buying gum. It’s just a religiously/politically polarizing service.

    EXACTLY. So is sterilization.

  62. Pelagius says:

    Up next we’ll discuss the ethical issues associated with the story “Israeli picks up Palestinian suicide bomber’s ID card, buys house.”

  63. lovelybones says:

    On the guy side: The one nice thing about the Ohio law is that on paper somewhere will be the names of the fathers who for one reason or another agreed to an adoption. Now that’s a privacy issue. It’s something guys haven’t had to worry about. Can you imagine being a politician with that in your background?

    As a woman: An abortion is a declaration that you’re sexually active. Under Ohio’s never to be law, it would list some if not all of your sexual partners. Ooh, that really sounds like fun. Until Ohio finds some way to label abortions (or the women who have them) a threat to public health, they do not need access to the info.

  64. Skyoodpov says:


    All in good fun :)

    Its a tough topic though. There are situations where I think a man should have a say in the abortion. Yeah its part of the mom for 9 months, but its as much his kid as hers for the other 75+ years of the kids life.

  65. boandmichele says:

    @pinkbunnyslippers: “go find a way to conceive”?

    what are you asexually reproducing now? im fairly sure the process requires more than just one female, but then again maybe im doing it wrong.

  66. TimSPC says:

    Since this is the The Consumerist, let’s talk about our bad consumer experiences getting abortions. I remember one clinic I took a girl (as a friend, it wasn’t mine), and they kept giving her the runaround. First they said to come back, then they said all their doctors were busy, then they said their computers were down. Long story short, by the time they were ready to see her, it was too late and she had the baby.

  67. Crazytree says:

    Jeorg Busch Uber Alles!!!

  68. frowelishnu says:

    @Peeved Guy: Intentional or not. That was hilarious.

  69. hustler says:

    how about getting a man’s signature to not abort, which relinquish financial responsibility?

  70. muddgirl says:

    First of all, this is clearly a “position” bill meant to placate a small minority of donors, which will never ever pass.

    Secondly, this is totally a privacy issue. First of all, abortions, like other medical procedures, should be confidential. Is pregnancy an STD now, that we have to call all our previous partners and haul ’em down for testing?

    Thirdly, any person who thinks he or she should have a say in what goes into or comes out of my vagina is clearly misguided, unless that person is my partner or my doctor.

  71. bohemian says:

    Ok, since our powers that be insist that medical care is a consumer service, you know the free market medical system – gag.

    That makes this a consumer issue. Women are being denied access to services based on their gender, technically. This is before you dig into the whole medical, bodily integrity and moral questions on the issue.
    The privacy rights violation in this are excessive too. What other medical procedure or consumer service would require you to finger everyone you had sex with in the past few months? Then those people would be legally forced to submit to medical testing against their will like they were criminals. Thank the gods they have not slapped something like this onto getting a new cell phone plan!

    The biggest flaw in this legislation is the need for paternity testing to determine the father. You can’t do paternity testing until late term as a high cost and risk, or after birth. Both make it virtually impossible to solve the question, appease the law before the gestation limit for an abortion. So what the law does is ban abortion in all cases on a technicality.

    This is a really stupid attempt by the pro lifers in Ohio. But it does have larger consumer implications. This kind of thing could open the door for more forced medical testing by employers or as a stipulation in other situations. It also seems to violate some of the general thoughts on medical privacy and the rights to a proper defence and due process. It appears to make sex a crime, at least for men in Ohio. Otherwise how could the force you to submit to medical tests against your will?

    The whole thing is just mindbogglingly stupid.

  72. kaikhor says:

    Actually, being from Ohio originally, I have a feeling this will pass.

    That said, I’m of the belief that the man should have a say, but with strings attached. If a man prevents a woman from an abortion, he should be signing something stating that he will take custody of said child at birth unless another agreement (adoption or mother chooses to keep the child) is made before birth. You can’t say “Yes, you’re having a baby” and then ditch.

    For those saying “if he wants an abortion and she doesn’t, he shouldn’t pay child support” that won’t work. Why? Most women who choose to keep the child aren’t going to be going to the abortion clinic. The man won’t have a chance to say anything until after the baby is born and the mother takes him to court. He can say he never wanted the baby, but it’s too late then. I know it sucks.

    Oh, and for the genetic testing being safe, they do amnieocitis (not spelled right) which has a very small chance of harming the baby, but often done anyway. If a woman has some positive results for several disorders (down syndrome among them), they often do one. You can also check the baby’s gender this way and the paternity…

  73. SadSam says:

    Ugh! A man should have a say only when said man can magic the fetus out of the woman and carry it in his body. Until such muggle magic is developed a man gets no say in the matter except the right, and perhaps duty, to wear a condom.

  74. Cowboys_fan says:

    Here is where I take issue.
    “With the proposal, men would be guaranteed that voice under penalty of law. First time violators would by tried for abortion fraud, a first degree misdemeanor. The same would be the case for men who falsely claim to be fathers…”
    Define a false claim. If a woman lies and says she only slept w/ me, and I fight, I could go to jail? This already happened to me once and was not mine. How much punishment do you think she got for lying? NONE!
    Also I take offence to a woman providing a list of “candidates”. If she doesn’t know, then too bad for her IMO. If men have to keep it in the pants, then women should reduce their partners to 1/month.
    @meghannmarco: What surprises me is this did not turn into a HOT debate over abortion itself. Yes there’s a privacy issue, but there are sooo many other issues to mention.

  75. krom says:

    This is a legal/gender issue, not a consumer issue, and doesn’t belong here. It’s only going to attract flamewars.

  76. Cowboys_fan says:

    @SadSam: You sound exactly like PINKBUNNYSLIPPERS.@Skyoodpov: I think your comment also applies to SADSAM

  77. nelsonj1998 says:

    A woman’s body is her own.. but that child is also the father’s child. He should have some say. If she doesn’t want to be in the position where a man can have that kind of control over her decisions, then she needs to not have sex with him. Just like if a man doesn’t want to stand up and be responsible for raising a child, he shouldn’t be having sex.

    That said, the way they plan on going about this just seems like problems waiting to happen.

  78. mwdavis says:

    I have to agree with some other commenters here: I don’t understand what this has to do with consumer issues.

    Lacking a clear mission statement, boss?

  79. Skyoodpov says:


    Once you OK someone for the IN, they should have a say in the OUT. Its Dad’s kid too.


    Its a bum wrap for mom, but just because its inside your body doesn’t make it yours and yours alone. The kid has a dad, and its half his. You are just stuck carrying it.

    Why is it when the baby is inside the mom its “Its my body! Its part of me!” Then when it comes out “Wheres my child support check! Its your child too!”

    Sigh, I hate when I find myself arguing the way it SHOULD be and not the way it is.

  80. muddgirl says:

    @nelsonj1998: “He should have some say.”

    It’s called “wearing a condom”. It’s called a vasectomy, if men want to be even more safe. Look, we all know where babies come from. It’s not a complete mystery, that we have to wait till a woman is knocked up and then force her to carry it to term.

    I like the term “muggle magic”. If you men want some control over reproductive rights, then develop the technology to deal with the damned things yourself.

  81. North of 49 says:

    This entire issue misses the risks that a woman takes to bring a child to term and have a live birth. This includes but is not limited to: forced surgery, coercion, permanent disabilies, strokes, hysterectomy, blood loss, and more. Liz Notes had a huge list of what risks a woman takes in order to bring a child to term.

    From what I see, Ohio just wants to crippled, maim and kill women.

    Way to go Ohio!

  82. Skyoodpov says:


    The contraceptive responsibility works both ways. If a girl doesn’t want a kid, and lets someone have sex with her without a condom, and then isn’t on birth control, guess what, she just opted for the co-responsibility of having a kid. If she didn’t want to carry a baby to term, she shouldn’t have had unprotected sex.

    Most guys would gladly opt out of responsibility, but it shouldn’t just be assumed that he has no say in aborting HIS kid.

    Guh, I sound like some pro-life fundy. I feel like I need a shower.

    Pro choice, his and hers.

  83. Gopher bond says:


    Worth every penny. If they didn’t offer the surgery, I’d do it myself with an exacto.

  84. Peeved Guy says:

    @North of 49: “From what I see, Ohio just wants to crippled, maim and kill women.”

    You cracked the case. I’m now convinced the entire legislative body of Ohio are all misogynists, even the women.

  85. Skyoodpov says:

    @North of 49:

    All of those are such miniscule risks if you go have a normal birth at the hospital like a normal intelligent human being. If you want to go have some nutjob all natural scientology birth off in a cave somewhere, then yeah, maybe those are valid risks…

  86. As others have already said much prettier than me, I too have a certain amount of sympathy for men who a) want the child and don’t get a say in keeping it or b) get “tricked” and trapped into 18 years of child support. (Note to men: Don’t stick your penises in uteruses you don’t trust.)

    But …

    “Not knowing who the father of the fetus is couldn’t be used as an excuse under the new law. Women would have to provide a list of potential fathers who would then be required to submit themselves to paternity testing until a father is found.”


    And isn’t fetal paternity testing usually done with amniocentesis? Because that carries a small but significant risk of ABORTING THE FETUS, as well as a variety of risks to the mother.

  87. ReccaSquirrel says:

    Nothing like an abortion debate on the consumerist to make me wonder why I check this place. :)

    Oh, and on an unrelated subject, thanks to the consumerist, I was smart enough to cut away from myself with my knife to open up annoying packaging. Thanks Consumerist!

  88. Greasy Thumb Guzik says:

    A few problems with this stupid law.

    1. How do you force a man to have a paternity test while the woman is still pregnant?
    2. What if the woman got pregnant through a sperm bank & changed her mind?
    Let’s see them find the father!
    3. What happens when the man is out of state, out of country or dead?
    They’re not subject to Ohio law, especially if the conception took place outside of Ohio.

  89. Skyoodpov says:

    @Eyebrows McGee:

    Extremely valid points.

    This law seems backwards. Instead of preventing an abortion without consent. They should prevent an abortion when dad is around to contest.

  90. Cowboys_fan says:

    Right back at you. If women don’t want to share responsibility, then use the pill, or don’t spread your legs. Its a two-way street.

  91. queen_elvis says:

    @meghannmarco: You should probably delete this thread or you’re gonna be moderating an abortion debate all day.

    That said, this reminded me of something I saw about the ACLU successfully suing to strike down a kinda-similar law…, which required women seeking to give a baby up for adoption to run ads detailing their sexual histories in the newspaper. Not exactly the same thing, and Florida state court decisions don’t mean jack in Ohio, but it seems like the same legal principle at work. If this thing were to pass in Ohio, and the courts declined to overturn it, at least women who want abortions/privacy/basic dignity could move to Florida.

  92. overbysara says:


  93. cde says:

    Good Idea, immensely and irreproachably bad implementation. Men should have a say, in not only the abortion (Or lack there off) as well as child support if they dispute wanting it, as well of having a serious choice in the raising of the kid if child support is mandated.

  94. night_sky says:

    Guys, guys, guys! You’re all forgetting one critical piece of info here. If you don’t want a baby or don’t want to have to deal with child support, don’t have sex! Ever! Yes, never again. Or turn gay. Either way works. ;)

    And if you feel like you MUST have sex for some unforseen reason, A. Women, get your tubes tied or cut B. Men, get your vasectomy, C. Women, use spermicide and woman comdom D. Men, wear NEW condom (not old, heated condom from your wallet *heat makes it more likely that a condom will tear or break*) that is YOUR SIZE (you ain’t foolin’ no one so just be honest and get over your idiotic size pride), E. Before either one of you have any kind of sexual contact, make sure you both have already discussed and agreed to what will happen if a baby does come into play.

    Got that? Ok, now go off and have your gay sex, no sex, or extremely well protected sex, or your “We mutually agree to conceive” sex, k?

  95. Sherryness says:


    Take what you like and leave the rest.

  96. Transuranic says:

    @Pelagius: I’m definitely never going abortion shopping in Ohio ever again.

    *snork*, totally.

    Consumerist: how is this related to my consumer purchases? Does this have something to do with birth control availability?

  97. Geekybiker says:

    This isn’t a protection issue. Even with a vasectomy some people still get pregnant. It’s rare yes, but it happens. For the sake or arguement lets say both parties were responsible and the measures failed for whatever reason.

    In this case the woman has lots of choices
    1) Carry the baby to term and keep it (with out with dad)
    2) Carry the baby to term and give it up for adoption.
    3) Abort the baby (with or without dad’s consent)

    The man only has no choice. He gets to sit around and pay for it if reguardless of if he wants to keep it. He doesnt even have a say if it aborted.

    I think the father should have a right to contest an abortion. Women think he should be responsible once they stick there thing in there. So should women. We’re on the hook to pay for it if you keep it, so you’re on the hook to carry it if we want it keep it too. Not to mention the child support.

    Every arguement I’ve ever heard about “men should just be responsible” can be used equally well in reverse in support of denying the abortion.

  98. pestie says:

    Ohio is insane. Anyway, if this were to pass, I’d hope that some prostitute decided to name a bunch of politicians and rich guys as “potential fathers.” I think you’d see this get repealed in a hurry.

  99. Landru says:


    Sorry Meghann, big fan here, but you sound like Ben when he was trying to control the discussion of the bible’s financial wisdom. What were you thinking when you posted this? Haven’t you been on the internets before?

  100. Meg Marco says:

    @Landru: I was concerned about the inherent privacy issues that come with a sloppily written law that allows women to name a list of men who would then be compelled to submit DNA samples and that places a burden of proof on women to establish “reasonable cause” that they were raped or the victim of incest before being allowed access to a legal (even if you don’t agree with it) service, and I posted it at the suggestion of a reader.

  101. bubbaprog says:

    The co-sponsor of this bill, Lynn Wachtmann, also voted against criminalizing spammers and people who violated the Do-Not-Call list for telemarketers. He’s famous for slapping a 15-year-old-girl in the face whom he thought was his daughter, but wasn’t.

    This blog post has some good details on the dude’s anti-consumer career.

  102. veronykah says:

    WATCHMANSEVEN–“We’re expected to work it all out, pay child support, etc, but the woman wants all the benefits, and the final say on what and when everything and anything happens.”

    I am wondering exactly what “all the benefits” of being the one to carry and raise a child are?
    Everyone on here crying about men paying child support seem to forget that the woman is DOING ALL THE WORK and also most likely contributing a significant amount of HER income to raising the child as well.
    The whole “I have to pay for a kid I didn’t want” argument to me is moot.
    1. wear a condom
    2. don’t have sex
    3. only have sex with women that you agree with and have a plan for the what if of an unplanned pregnancy

    Is it that hard?
    If you are with someone looking to “trap” you and get you to pay child support perhaps you should think twice about sleeping with her again…

  103. Chicago7 says:

    This will never pass.

  104. mrmysterious says:

    @meghannmarco: “…I posted it at the suggestion of a reader.”

    Heck, I’ve sent in real “consumer” issues before and those didn’t get posted.

  105. cindel says:

    Most victims do not report rape and under this law they are force to carry an unwanted child. Fuck that shit!

    If I don’t want to have a baby, why should I make a list in order to get an abortion? It’s nobody’s business.

  106. If I were a woman facing this law, I’d register to have an abortion, and name the entire state legislature of Ohio as potential fathers.

    I think the law would be amended rather quickly.

  107. lestat730 says:

    This makes me sick. What is Ohio thinking? Planned Parenthood is going to have a field day over this

  108. Men shouldn’t be responsible for the children they create. Women should be responsible for getting abortions if they don’t want a pregnancy. If they want to keep the pregnancy, the man has no obligation or rights unless he’s married to the mother.

    There. I’ve pissed off both sides. I win!

  109. North of 49 says:

    Actually, those were the “normal risks” associated with having a birth in a hospital. Every woman who steps through the doors of a hospital has a 20-30% chance of having a cesarean if not more. A cesarean scar can have future fertility problems like the scar rupturing during a future birth, placenta previa, placeta acreta, placenta percreta and abruptio placenta. In order – the placenta implants too low, implants too deep, burrows through the uterus and into other organs and tears away from the uterus. All of them are life threatenening and the reisk for all increase exponentially after a cesarean or any uterine surgery.

    Handing out drugs that are being used off label to “speed up labour” simply because the little white pill is pennies a pill vs more expensive iv drugs which can also cause uterine ruptures or even maternal or for that matter fetal death.

    Episiotomies were the norm and are still performed.

    Repeat cesareans. “Fetal Distress.” “Large for dates babies” that are actually small for dates when born. Babies diagnosed with IUGR but are born “normal” sized.

    Reactions to anesthesia, including death.

    And the newest fear – Group B Strep. We know of at least one pennicillin allergic woman who was nearly killed because the doctor did not read her file and she was GBS+ when she was tested, probably because she had a cold that same week. The doctor ordered penicilling and it was only her quick thinking husband who saved her.

    [] What women are “at risk” for complications?
    ALL of them. Every minute of every day, somewhere in the world, most often in a developing nation, a woman dies from complications related to pregnancy or childbirth.

  110. pinkbunnyslippers says:

    @Skyoodpov: lol – well received!

    I’ve been thinking about this all day, and it’s a sensitive subject, obviously. It should be a half and half decision. Privacy of both the mother and the father are completely being thrown to the wolves here. We’re allowing our government to intervene with our birthing processes. What’s next? Telling us what time of the day we’re all allowed to have sex? Please.

    But unfortunately, if a man thinks he’s ready to rear a child, and the woman doesn’t want to go through 9 months of misery just to give him that opportunity, then I guess maybe the both of them should’ve thought about that before they whipped off their pants in ecstacy. It’s not fair to either side in a situation like this.

    It all boils down to a “woman’s choice”, because for so many years, we never had one. Now our choices are being threatened to be taken away, or infringed upon by people who have little to no right to decide how my vagina should or should not perform.

    Maybe men might not be so cavalier about “a man’s choice” if the government was telling them what to do with their testicles.

    And Meghann – thanks for inspiring a great debate around here. It’s always good for some intellectual cultivation. :)

  111. cde says:

    @pinkbunnyslippers: No, we just have to deal with being forced to go to war and get shot at/nuked/suffer bio-chemo weapons without a say in it.

  112. bnissan97 says:

    I feel that both participated in baby making, so both should participate in the decision.

    Don’t know how this will work. Like if the female feels that the man will say no, all she has to do is get a male friend to act like he is the father to say yes.

  113. synergy says:

    What the F is going on in Ohio?? And Texas gets a bad rap??!

  114. synergy says:

    @cde: Sorry I missed the reinstatement of the draft.

  115. mconfoy says:

    You have the right to keep your penis in your pants. Should you decide not to, then you have the right to make sure said penis is not capable of impregnating females. If not, tough luck, keep your penis in your pants next time. Those are your male rights.

  116. nardo218 says:

    @Indecision: :D Me too. See what happens when the boys and the girls play together? Stick with your own kind, yo.

  117. North of 49 says:


    we should sell that as a t-shirt!

  118. Dramaturge says:

    To everyone who thinks they are so “evoled” in their thinking… Tell me how I’m supposed to deal with this:

    I am a single father of a beautiful 5 year old daughter. I love her more than anything and always have… even before the day she was born.

    My daughter was conceived and born in wedlock. We were then divorced when she was under a year old and I have taken care of her ever since.

    I found out after my divorce that my ex-wife had had an abortion while we were married… I wasn’t asked what I wanted. I wasn’t given the choice to keep or kill my unborn child. She stole that from me, took away a life that would have grown to be loved and would have loved me as much as her older sister loves me now.

    I have lain awake at night wishing I would have known so I could have done something about it. I would have taken her. She didn’t need to betray her own family and blood.

    Tell me it was her right.

  119. strathmeyer says:

    But… but… I thought anti-abortionists weren’t crazy!

  120. sncreducer says:

    To all the idiots whining about “father’s rights”:

    Your options are simple.

    DON’T want to have a baby?

    A) Don’t have sex.

    DO want to have sex, but DON’T want to have a baby?

    B) Use a condom.

    DO want to have sex, DON’T want to have a baby, and DON’T trust birth control?

    If you choose to have sex anyway, you have accepted an inherent risk. Your partner is not obligated to make choices about her body according to your wishes when SHE is the one who bears the burden of your risk-taking. Pissed off that you have to pay child support? You accepted that risk by choosing to have sex when you knew that your birth control might fail. Again, if you are violently opposed to supporting a child that YOU fathered, on purpose or not, DON’T. HAVE. SEX.

    DO want to have sex, DON’T want to have a baby on purpose, but DON’T want an unplanned pregnancy that you fathered to be aborted?

    d) Discuss the possibility with your partner BEFORE you have sex. If she doesn’t agree, DON’T HAVE SEX. Again, if you fail to do this, you have accepted the risk the your partner will become pregnant, and therefore you have ceded your right of control.

    The bottom line is this: As long as men have the right to choose NOT to have sex, no man has ever been deprived of his “rights” by a woman’s choice about an unplanned pregnancy.

    You want to talk about the “rights” you “deserve” as a man?

    Start acting like one.

  121. gibbersome says:

    Ok people, we all know this is about men’s rights. Not only a man’s right to have a child, but his right not to have one.

    Is a woman is pregnant and if she wants to have and abortion, she should. However, if she wants the child and the man does not, then he should not be forced to pay child support. Simple, everybody happy?

  122. gibbersome says:

    SNCREDUCER, what is it to act like a man? Please enlighten the rest of us. And don’t give me the chivalry rhetoric, it’s long dead.
    To be a man in this modern world is simply to survive, and men like women and animals need to have their rights protected.

  123. gibbersome says:

    For MEN who don’t want to have a baby but want sex this is the option, either:
    1. don’t have sex
    2. if you’re going to have sex, use a condom
    3. if condom doesn’t work, pay child support for 18 years.

    For WOMEN who don’t want to have a baby but want sex this is the option, either:
    1. don’t have sex
    2. if you’re going to have sex, use birth control pill
    3. if pill fails, you can always go have an abortion

  124. myls says:

    So the logic I’m hearing from about half the commenters on the board can be summed up as:

    Because a man doesn’t have a choice whether or not to raise/pay for a kid if a woman gets pregnant and keeps said fetus, a woman should therefore have to get a man’s permission to *not* keep said fetus? I suppose if you look at this sideways, it makes some kind of sense, but only after about 3 or 4 drinks.

    I suppose to make the situation totally equal a man should then be able to force a woman to have an abortion if *he* doesn’t want the kid, if a woman can choose an abortion if she doesn’t want the kid. Or no one could have abortions at all, and everyone gets kids they don’t want. I guess if you take away the woman’s choice completely, it all works out for the men.

    I’m glad I don’t live in Ohio.

  125. Skyoodpov says:


    I don’t think anyone is agreeing with needing the dad’s permission, but rather giving the father the ability to veto somehow. That ability of course waived in absentia. Its his kid too after all, she just has the bum luck of carrying it.

    If you put my car title in your vagina, it doesn’t mean you own the ride.

  126. acambras says:


    If you put my car title in your vagina, it doesn’t mean you own the ride.

    I nominate that for the “Most Bizarre Statement in the Thread” award.

  127. Musician78 says:

    Any man’s permission?

    *Girl walks up to random man on the street
    *Girl asks, “Can I please get an abortion?”
    *Man grimly shakes his head, no
    *Girl walks away pouting and annoyed

  128. cde says:

    @synergy: Sorry, you forgot about the Selective Service, forced registration, threat of jail for failing to register, lack of support if you fail to register, and the ever present draft bills (which admittily never make it out of committee,)

  129. Raanne says:

    good lord – i’ve seen so many of these flamewars, and its always the same arguments.

    If the woman choses to ahve the child, she is not trapping the man. when two people have sex, it is an agreement that a child *could* be the outcome. period. If the woman decides to ahve the child, she is not asking the man to do anythign that she herself is not willing to do. (anyone who thinks that the cost of raising a child is covered 100% by the child support is crazy – there are costs like having a larger car, larger house, and lost time that the woman is incuring if she has custody)

    That being said – looking at this only as a legal standpoint, and not a moral one, the fetus is made up of 100% of cells from the womans body, and grown within her.

    I’m not trying to get into the moral issues of abortion – its just one of those things in life where there isn’t a “fair” outcome. Even if the woman choses to have the child based on her moral grounds, she probably feels as trapped as the guy does.

  130. nidolke says:

    My brain hurts, this is beyond stupid.

  131. cde says:

    @Raanne: /That being said – looking at this only as a legal standpoint, and not a moral one, the fetus is made up of 100% of cells from the womans body, and grown within her./

    Lets look at it from another stand point, 50% of the dna blueprinit is his, so she’s commiting copyright infringement?

  132. rockergal says:

    Ok I am willing to put money on the fact that whoever came up with this stupid idea was a male with control issues.

  133. Cowboys_fan says:

    I say lets ban abortions, and children of mothers who don’t want them will be forced to carry to term and forced upon pro-lifers, at pro-lifers expense. Women’s rights are violated by no abortion, men’s rights are violated by not getting a say, and pro-lifers rights will be violated by forced parenthood. Then there is no privacy issue as pro-lifers tend not to hide their opinions.

  134. Dramaturge says:

    So no one wants to answer my question because they would rather argue about unplanned pregnancy. I’m talking about one that was PLANNED,in a MARRAIGE…. big words, I know. How does all the logic about “keeping it in you pants” apply in a marriage? How does the logic of responsibilty apply if the Father actually WANTS the baby. Your logic only applies to situations you are familiar with. It takes about three brain cells to realize that there are more situations than what you want to argue about.

  135. Dramaturge says:

    @Geekybiker: this is most since anyone has made on this thread.

  136. dorsia says:

    TIMSPC AT 08/02/07 04:35 PM – reposting, because this IS a consumer issue:

    “Since this is the The Consumerist, let’s talk about our bad consumer experiences getting abortions. I remember one clinic I took a girl (as a friend, it wasn’t mine), and they kept giving her the runaround. First they said to come back, then they said all their doctors were busy, then they said their computers were down. Long story short, by the time they were ready to see her, it was too late and she had the baby.”

    That was a fake clinic or “crisis pregnancy center.” They advertise in the phone book under abortion services and claim to be serving the needs of women – they offer pregnancy tests, have doctors on staff, etc.. Really, they are run by anti-abortion zealots whose main goal is to do just what happened to your friend. It’s super fucked-up.

  137. Skyoodpov says:


    Mission accomplished!

  138. tz says:

    (The consumerist shows it is a commie-liberal rag, or is this a mistake?).

    Limit child support to the prevailing cost of an abortion and there would be no need to worry.

    Is the baby community property or not? If it is, the woman cannot destroy it unilaterally no more than she should be able to burn down a common home without recourse (or worse, force the man to pay the mortgage for the smoldering crater).

    You cannot rationally have abortion exclusively a woman’s choice yet have men pay 18 years based on her choice (and I’m personally pro-life).

  139. floofy says:

    It’s bullshit. I basically have full custody of my son, and I PAY child support bcuz my loser ex husband wasnt working full time at the time of our divorce and I made more money. I don’t even want to hear it guys. There are far more women paying for kids, taking care of them, and TAKING CARE OF YOU than we get credit for. This world would fall apart with out women.

  140. Catsmack says:

    You know what’s a bigger pain in the ass than having to pay child support for 18 years? Looking after a child you never wanted in the first place for 18 years.
    Pro-tip: It costs a whole lot more to care for a child than that monthly payment your forking out.
    Also, the government could care less if you actually pay child support. Sure, the mother could take you to court, but what lower to middle class single working mother has the time or money to do that?
    Working full time while taking care of a child by yourself for 18 years, only to find out that once your child moves out you’re too old or financially unstable to do what you’d actually planned to do with your life? Not the best feeling in the world.
    If you want the child, you plead your case to the child’s mother. Not the government. This is between you and her. We’re all adults here. Unless you’re a 12 year old girl who was raped of course.

    Also, yes this is a consumer issue. Because in the United States you have to pay for an abortion. An exchange of money = consumerism. Tada!

  141. girlfromsouth says:

    In brief: Ohio is crazy.

    At length: the thing that bugs the heck out of me is that probably a majority of the peole arguing “The man should have a say!” are really saying “The man should get to decide.” Because that’s the example, really – if the woman wants an abortion but the man doesn’t, the man’s desires should be priveleged and respected. Why? It sounds like another misogynistic double standard dressed up as “father’s rights.”

    I’m assuming this particular bit of nuttery (and gross privacy invasion, no, actually, the state does not get to have a legal briefing on the state of a woman’s sex life, thanks) has no chance at passing but every time I say that there seems to be some new insanity popping up somewhere so I guess you never know.

  142. a_m_m_b says:

    @andrewsmash:good comment. i quite agree.

    men’s rights’ my a**.

  143. deverbative says:

    The Supreme Court struck already down this kind of law in Casey v Planned Parenthood. women cannot be required to tell the father. Casey screwed up a lot of things, but it did stop this kind of crap.

  144. EtherealStrife says:

    I think there’s a simple solution.

    If one of the two genetic donors decides they want an abortion, the other has the choice of accepting 100% responsibility for the child (legally, financially, etc) or going forward with the abortion. If the woman doesn’t want the kid but the man does, that woman’s getting stretch marks. Cost of fking irresponsibly.

    If a woman wants an abortion and the father is unknown, the woman shall submit a list of possibilities for notification and testing. Those on the list can opt out of the test. If the abortion is carried out and the male donor was not notified, the woman can be brought up on charges of murder (at the male’s discretion).

    Feel free to utilize my genius, Ohio!