Keeping Private Affairs Private

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Florida's so-called scarlet letter law, requiring women to publish sexual histories before giving up their babies for adoption, was struck down in the Fourth District Court of Appeal yesterday.

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  1. Seems like the the better alternative would have been to legally severe all paternity claims by convicted rapists (the reason cited for the law’s existence in the CNN story). Indeed, there seems to be any number of better ways to deal with this problem than publishing the sexual history of the mother in the paper. Yeesh.

  2. …must…resist…urge…to bash…Florida…

  3. This law sounds stupid. It would be much more useful to require the women to publish their sexual histories before getting pregnant. Maybe they could tack a list on their forehead. It would give potential couples something to talk about on their first date.

  4. Sir Real

    In cadence,
    Take a deep breath… Release…
    Count to ten…

    Florida… supplanting Texas as the __________…

    Feel free to fill in the blank!

  5. Sounds like the alternate approach, with the registry for potential fathers, might work while still protecting women’s privacy (after all, if the woman in question and the man applying slept together, then they already know this. Of course it could be embarrasing for the women if ten guys sign up thinking they fathered the same child. Maybe identities of potential fathers (or even their existence) should be kept secret since really only one person’s DNA will match up with the child. Only that person would be told, “yes this is your kid” and all others would just be told “no, it’s not your child”.

    I had never heard of this before; if I didn’t follow the link to find out the reasoning I guess I would have assumed it was some crap dreamed up by morally conservative older voters in Florida to punish loose women. Surprising no one thought of this before they passed it in the first place.

  6. I think Cathy Young did a story on this a while back. Is she still with REASON or what? She never posts to Hit & Run.

  7. I agree that some measures may be necessary to ensure the rights of the rare father in such circumstances that wants to play a part in his child’s life. This law purports to do that, but simply isn’t pragmatic, to say the least. How many Man-sluts peruse their local Daily Shopper, catching up on local news and clipping coupons, etc? If they sincerely want their children, they all know where to look, and it isn’t the last page of the local fishwrap.

  8. Too bad this law didn’t get overthrown in time to save Clinton.

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