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Roe vs. Wade's Dirty Little Secret

This coming January 22 will mark the 25th anniversary of the Supreme Court's landmark decision of "Roe vs. Wade", and undoubtedly there will be parades and other festivities planned to celebrate the occasion. However, just five prior to "Roe vs. Wade", the Supreme Court ruled on another case having to do with reproduction that rarely, if ever, receives any mention. This is the case of "Gomez vs. Perez". In this case the Supreme Court elected to rule contrary to the concept of "freedom of choice" by overturning existing state law and ruling that illegitimate children were entitled to child support from their biological fathers.

The spirit in which "Gomez vs. Perez" was decided was certainly justified, being that a man who maintains a definable relationship with a woman, even outside the institution of marriage, must be required to support children born within that relationship. The problem with "Gomez vs. Perez", the Supreme Court ruling that states use to enforce child support laws on unmarried men, is that the law has evolved from it's original intent into a vehicle that is sometimes used to reap a virtual cornucopia of social welfare entitlements or a guaranteed percentage of a man's personal income.

The "dirty little secret" is that it appears that the Supreme Court did a sidestep around the "equal protection clause" of the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution by deliberately manipulating the docket so as to comply to the politically correct definition of "freedom of choice".

A Supreme Court case consists of two phases, the argument and the decision. The case is first argued before the Court and the decision is usually rendered four to six weeks later. The general rule for Supreme Court cases in 1972-73 found the arguments and decisions falling in chronological order. The exception to the rule came in the cases of "Roe vs. Wade" and "Gomez vs. Perez". "Roe vs. Wade" was argued before the Court on Oct. 10, 1972 and decided on Jan. 22, 1973. "Gomez vs. Perez" was argued before the Court on Dec. 6, 1972 and decided on Jan. 17, 1973. While there does exist the occasional case that does not follow the rule of chronology, the close relativity between the two cases, and the unusual length of time between the argument and decision of "Roe vs. Wade", stretches the explanation of coincidence a bit thin. Were the Supreme Court to have followed the general rule of chronology, a problem would have existed for the court to have reached the same decision for "Gomez vs. Perez". How could the Supreme Court have rendered a decision that would deem a woman's pregnancy to be autonomous and affirm the concept of "freedom of choice" through the "right of privacy", and a week later render a decision that would deny the same "freedom of choice" to unmarried men? Obviously the answer was to delay the decision of "Roe vs. Wade" until after "Gomez vs. Perez".

Nowhere in the arena of political debate does the specter of hypocrisy rear it's ugly head more than with the issue of "freedom of choice".

A man cannot require the woman, with whom he is married, to bear his child to term, but a woman can require a man, with whom no relationship exists other than a casual sexual encounter, to support a child that she unilaterally chooses to have. The argument for the status-quo is; "It takes two to make a baby." That is just rhetoric designed to justify a means. The only thing that a man creates, as defined by the pro-choice movement itself, is an "unviable tissue mass". As a result of the "Roe vs. Wade" decision, it is solely the woman that makes the conscious and deliberate "choice" to cultivate that "tissue mass" into a living and breathing entity. If the woman has the right to excise that "tissue mass" from her reproductive system, without any regards for man involved, then the man should have the same right to disavow that "tissue mass".

Many unmarried men have been told by birthmothers that they don't want their help. Other men may be completely unaware that they are fathers. Sometimes, in a deliberate move designed to deny a man the opportunity of establishing a paternal bond with a child, a birthmother may wait for years before petitioning a court for the instatement of child support. When these cases come to trial, Domestic Court judges are prone to assign these so-called "deadbeat dads" retroactive child support payments. The argument for the status quo is; "Both parents have an obligation to provide support for a child." This premise is erroneous in two aspects:
First, whether a child is supported by it's biological parents is also arbitrarily decided by the "choice" of the birth-mother. Even after the birth of a child, the birthmother still has the option to decline her parental responsibilities through the adoption process. After a birthmother relinquishes her child through adoption, she is free of any further responsibilities to her child regardless of the future hardships that may befall that child.
Second, while both parents supposedly have an obligation to support a child, in many cases the State will provide the mother's part of the parental obligation with cash benefits, housing allowances, food stamps, Medicaid, etc. The State will then confiscate the biological father's income and sanctimoniously chastises him about a parental obligation.
This exposes the true intent of child support in the instances of illegitimacy. While being sold as a bill of goods described as "what is in the child's best interest", child support, coupled with welfare entitlements, offer young women, who have little or no education or job skills, an opportunity for a lifestyle they otherwise could not afford through the means of bringing a child into the world without the benefit of marriage.

It is not uncommon for Domestic Court Judges, as a stipulation of child support, to assign all medical and dental expenses a child may incur to the noncustodial "father", despite the fact that the health and welfare of a child is in direct correlation with the lifestyle and supervisory skills of the custodial parent.

Probably the most unjust and punitive aspect of child support law is the tax code. When using the "earned income tax credit", which is nothing more than an additional government stipend offered to the "working poor" in the guise of a tax refund, a custodial parent can work part time, pay no federal income tax throughout the year, but yet receive a "tax refund" of a thousand dollars or more. On the other hand, an unmarried, noncustodial father, who is required to forfeit up to 25% of his income for child support purposes, receives NO dependant tax deduction.

While rape, incest, and the mother's health are the most publicly touted justifications for legalized abortion, the fact of the matter is that the vast majority of abortions are used as a remedy for a "mistake", a failure of birth control, or just as a matter of convenience. The Supreme Court's decision in Roe vs. Wade essentially enacted legislation, through litigation, which provided women with a remedy to their "mistakes". Single, never married men are not afforded "equal protection of the law" with respect to "freedom of choice". Instead, unmarried men are vilified and forced, under the threat of incarceration, to be fully accountable for their mistakes.

Approximately 1.75 million conceptions occur annually due to contraceptive failure. Abortion rights activists insist that abortion remain a safe and legal procedure because a young woman should not have to suffer the consequences of having her life interrupted with an unplanned pregnancy. Should a failure of birth control or a "mistake" occur, the young woman should have the option to terminate her pregnancy for any reason. She may wish to continue her education, enter the job market or concentrate on her career. She may wish to travel, purchase a home or automobile, or just avoid the responsibilities of parenthood if she should so desire. However, the true agenda of the "pro-choice" movement is exposed when those who gallantly rush to the defense of a young lady facing an unplanned pregnancy, idly stand by while the same legislative and judicial systems, that recognize a constitutionally protected "right to choose", violate the concept of "equal protection of the laws" by forcing an unmarried man into an eighteen to twenty-one year parental obligation.

Regardless of one's personal opinion of "Roe vs. Wade", it has to be acknowledged that a Supreme Court ruling has certain legal ramifications. As a result of the "Roe vs. Wade" decision, a woman's pregnancy was determined to be autonomous and protected by a constitutional "right to privacy". The Supreme Court ruled that it is solely a woman's conscious and deliberate "choice" to either bring a child into the world, or to terminate a pregnancy, without any regards for the wishes of the man involved. Therefore, for child support laws to be consistent with the application of law that our system of jurisprudence demands, a certain relationship must exist between a birthmother and a biological father. If the birthmother has the legal means of a "contract" of marriage or an "implied contract" of a definable relationship with the biological father of her child, only then should the law be applied to require that man to provide support for that child. If a birthmother does not have the obligatory "contract" with the biological father, then that man should not be required to support a child that the birthmother unilaterally chooses to bring into the world. The only other scenario that would justify the application of child support law is if an adult male impregnates a girl under the age of consent. In that situation, the laws of alimony may also come into effect.

For the State to require an individual, not bound by contract, to be financially responsible for a "private" matter of a second party, the very essence of freedom, liberty, and justice, that America stands for, is violated.

David Allan Roberts