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Is “Forced Fatherhood” Actually Forced?

If there’s one thing that liberals seem uncomfortable with above all else, it’s the importance of personal responsibility. With many issues that divide the right and the left, most come down to conservatives’ understanding that a need exists for individuals to be accountable for their own actions. As conservatives, we believe it is important to plan and provide for our own health care, retirement and finances, and families. Liberals, however, believe that this responsibility rests also with the government and fellow citizens, hence their promotion of ObamaCare, Social Security, welfare, food stamps, and public housing in place of private and charitable solutions to genuine poverty.

In yesterday’s New York Times we witnessed a jaw-dropping example of this phenomenon as Laurie Shrage, a professor of “gender studies” argues that just because a man impregnates a woman doesn’t mean he should be legally considered his child’s father. Shrage contends that only when a man chooses to take on that mantle should he be legally and socially required to take on the responsibilities of fatherhood, especially as it pertains to financial obligations like child support. 

It should go without saying, but it appears it’s necessary to address: there is no such thing as forced fatherhood. Biologically, men are in a unique position to choose, far more than woman are, when and where sexual intercourse takes place. If a male partner is uninterested in becoming a parent, the choice is simple: don’t engage in sexual intercourse. Despite this simple and indisputable scientific fact, Shrage seems determined to set back feminism back 30 years, leaving women as the sole responsible parties for the children that they brought into the world with an act that biologically takes two to perform.

There is an undeniable and tragic correlation between poverty and households headed by single mothers. It’s a commentary on just how far liberalism has fallen when a woman takes to the pages of the Times to advocate a position that does nothing but set back her fellow women, families and America’s poor. If fractured American families have any hope of reversing this heartbreaking trend, women of all political stripes need to send the message to men that fatherhood is a virtue, a blessing, and that it is a choice that is made before their partner gets pregnant, not after. For the sake of our society, it’s time for men to take more responsibility, not less, for their reproductive choices. 


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