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Missing Piece of OH Abortion Bill

Lately, Ohio House Bill 252 has been making news.  This is the bill, if passed and upheld by the courts, that would prohibit a woman from having an abortion unless she has the written consent of the biological father. The consent requirement is waived in cases of rape or incest.

In principle, I’m sympathetic to this idea. While the mother does the all the work of carrying the child and bringing it to birth, a baby is not possible without both a mother and father.

But I think the bill is missing a vital element. Without it I can’t support the bill and I hope the Ohio legislature votes it down.

This element is one of paternal responsibility. The bill as introduced gives a father veto power over an abortion but assigns no responsibility. It also gives him the power to blackmail the mother for his consent. He can say “no” risk free.

To ensure that this is a pro-life, pro-family bill as opposed to a simple anti-abortion bill, I think that the right of veto should come with responsibility for the father.

Specifically, I would like a provision stating that fathers who withhold their consent for an abortion must agree to take custody of the child for 18 years. If they voluntarily surrender their child’s custody to anyone but the birth mother, they should go to prison for five years.

If they aren’t willing to accept responsibility for their child, then they shouldn’t be allowed to force that responsibility onto the mother. I don’t think I’m asking too much. Being pro-life is in part being willing to take responsibility for your own decisions and not pushing them off on to others.

I realize the entry above would be more appropriate for the “Ohio Librarian” rather than the Alaskan Librarian, but you never know what will catch on.

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One Response

  1. Excellent point.

    The principles of “responsibility” and “accountability” apply to so many actions, both personal and political.

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