Abortion

Legal Abortion Would Require Man's Permission Under New Missouri Bill

|

whatwhat/Flickr

A Missouri state lawmaker has filed a bill that would give men final say in whether a woman can get an abortion. Under House Bill 131, introduced by Republican Rep. Rick Brattin for the legislative session beginning in January, a woman would have to obtain written permission from a man who impregnated her before the procedure was permitted. Exceptions would be allowed for victims of incest or "legitimate rape". 

Brattin told Mother Jones the legislation was inspired by his recent vasectomy, for which the state required his spouse's consent in order to get the procedure. "Here I was getting a normal procedure … and I needed to get a signed form," Brattin complained.

There is not actually any law on the books in Missouri that requires a spouse's consent before vasectomies.

Since Mother Jones noted Brattin's proposal this morning, the story has been circulating quickly, with all the scorn such shenanigans deserve. But before anyone goes getting too outraged, take heed: Brattin is basically just trolling. He introduced similar legislation last legislative session; it never received so much as a hearing.

Other bills sponsored or co-sponsored by Brattin would prohibit Missouri courts from using Sharia law, add firing squad to the state's death penalty options, require the equal teaching of evolution and intelligent design in public schools, increase fines on businesses who employ unathorized immigrant workers, and ban tobacco from state prisons. Ironically, he also co-sponsored a bill proposing a constitutional amendment to say "that each citizen has an inherent liberty that includes being able to make decisions regarding lawful health care related services or products." 

NEXT: Jesse Walker on Elinor Ostrom, Local Government, and How Not to Fix the Ferguson Police

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. I salute his discussion to get a vasectomy.

    1. “Cut me!”

      /Rocky

  2. There is not actually any law on the books in Missouri that requires a spouse’s consent before vasectomies.

    Wonder what she was actually signing.

    1. She didn’t sign anything. He’s just a liar. Did anyone bother to check to see if he even has a wife?

      1. A wife? Did anyone bother to check and see if he even has a dick?

      2. Actually, some physicians will, indeed, not perform a vasectomy without spousal consent. While there is no legal requirement to obtain spousal consent, it is encouraged as an ethical practice.

        http://goodmenproject.com/news…..vasectomy/

        1. dear god, what kind of fucked up ethics are they teaching doctors. Its their patients own fucking bodies and they can make their own damn adult decisions. Its not the doctor’s job to prevent marital conflict. Also, if doctors have been sued by patients that said they weren’t properly “advised”, I suggest we string those patients up by the balls until they learn to take some personal fucking responsibility.

    2. I’m guessing the clinic required spousal consent as a policy.

      Not sure why they would have this policy, but when asked, the front desk clerk said “We gotta. Its the law.” Probably because that response brings most questions that the clerk can’t answer to a close.

      1. I had my V done in the mid 80s. I needed my wife’s signature. I assume it had something to do with the liability of the doctor, not a formal law.

        1. I don’t see any liability exposure for the doc. I just don’t. He’s getting the only informed consent he needs to do any procedure (that of the patient). With that in hand, he has no liability except for malpractice if he botches the procedure.

      2. So in effect there is a law. Just not one on the books.

      3. I expect a woman successfully sued after her husband got one for essentially violating the marriage contract. Like it or not, a spouse does have a contractual onterest their partners baby making equipment.

  3. How about this? At some point in the first two trimesters, the father has to sign something saying he accepts parental responsibility. If he doesn’t, he has no financial or parental obligation to the child. Gives mom time to abort if she decides she can’t do it alone. Now that’s a law no one will get behind. 🙂

    1. Sounds like a good law, on first glance anyway. If a woman can get out of being responsible for a kid by offing it, why can’t a man do so in a less morally ambiguous manner?

  4. I’ll never understand why people invest so much energy in legislation that has no legs.

    1. Signalling. Just like how every sorority girl has the same damn pair of Uggs.

      He fought the brave and good fight, so let’s continue to vote for him even though he has the IQ of a melted Crayon.

  5. I’ve booked an appointment for a consultation, but the doctor has asked me to bring my wife – why?

    The reasoning behind this is unfortunately never clearly explained. It clearly applies only to couples, and not single men. In a couple, the decision to have a vasectomy affects both partners, so logically both should be involved with the discussion. Satisfaction with vasectomy research clearly shows that where men who have had good counselling, and the couple have been involved with the decision, regret and requests for reversal later are much rarer. Unfortunately, this is not explained, and tends to come across as “You can’t have a vasectomy without your wife’s signature” – which isn’t the case!

    Joint counselling isn’t a legal requirement anywhere to my knowledge, but many doctors prefer joint counselling for the reasons above.

    It should be made clear that to my knowledge no laws exist anywhere requiring a wife’s consent for the husbands vasectomy. What can happen, is that there is one form to acknowledge both receipt of counselling, and consent for the operation that both are asked to sign. It would be better in my opinion to have one form for the counselling signed by both, and a separate one for the procedure signed only by the man.

    It’s a conspiracy by the Matriarchy. He can always go get one of those back alley coathanger vasectomies.

    1. No pregnant wife wants to be surprised to learn that her husband had a vasectomy three years ago.

      1. And this right here wins the internets today.

        /thread

      2. Impressive. Most impressive.

    2. In a couple, the decision to have a vasectomy affects both partners, so logically both should be involved with the discussion.

      Do they require the husband’s consent for the wife to be sterilized? If not, and I suspect not, then this entire argument is so much eyewash.

      1. And if they do, what travesty is this. A woman’s desire to not get pregnant is as much her decision as it is entirely a man’s decision NOT to impregnate her. None of either of these things is a doctor’s concern.

  6. Has the state of Missouri considered the likely consequences of passing a law that says you can only have an abortion if you accuse the father of having raped you?

    1. Probably not since, as the article indicated, this proposal is not likely to even receive a hearing in the legislature. God bless Tipper Gore for inventing the internet, though.

      1. If you were married to Mr. “release my chakra”, you’d probably want him to have an unlimited source of porn, too.

        And that is why Tipper Gore invented the internet.

  7. You have my permission.

    Ok, can we move on now?

  8. My proposal, guaranteed to get not one single vote:

    At any time before the third trimester, the putative father can tender payment in full for an abortion. If this offer is not accepted, the putative father has no parental rights or obligations.

    Seems fair to me.

    1. I’d vote for it.

    2. Re: R C Dean,

      At any time before the third trimester, the putative father can tender payment in full for an abortion.

      Can I tender payment in full to have someone killed? No? Then neither can the putative father.

      If the putative father impregnated the woman, then a father he’s going to be. Period. If the woman insists on committing murder (or “abortion”), the father can sue her to have the custody of the child once he or she is born so a court can stop the woman from committing murder. In the case of rape, the man cannot sue for custody, so the woman is free to give the baby up for adoption.

      None of this violates the N.A.P.

    3. I like the reasoning behind it. The main problem I see is for the guys who didn’t know they had a kid until years later and are then on the hook.

    4. My proposal would be that the man has no right to either forbid an abortion or to insist on one, and no obligation to pay for one, either.

      Further:

      If the woman carries to term and puts the kid up for adoption, the father gets first right of refusal to take custody of the kid. If he does, he gets the full parental rights and obligations. If he doesn’t, he’s free of both.

      If the woman decides to keep the kid, the father can claim joint custody, assuming parental obligations by doing so. If he doesn’t, he again is free of both parental obligations and rights.

  9. I love that exception for rape. Let’s consider it from the anti-abortion angle. It’s basically punishing the embryo/fetus/child/human for the sins of the father. And it has to be done quickly, before the rapist is convicted, or even found some times.

    So what happens if the rape charge turns out to have been false? Murder 1 for the mother!

    What happens if the accused rapist is found innocent? Murder 1 for the mother!

    Since it’s apparently ok to murder the human child for the sins of the father before birth, what if the father is convicted of some heinous crime a year after birth? Is it still required to kill the child?

    1. I think the rape exception comes more from a consent/assumption of the risk angle, something like this:

      If you consent to have sex, you are responsible for the risk of getting pregnant. Your choice about whether you want to have a kid or not is exercised when you decide to have sex.

      That argument for not allowing abortion doesn’t apply in cases of rape.

      1. I think his point is the question of why one would be against abortion if not because of a belief it’s a life? If you believe it’s a life, then how can you justify killing a person because he or she the product of non-consensual sexual intercourse? It’s a cop out for pro-life/anti-abortion politicians.

        1. Re: Fist of Etiquette,

          I think his point is the question of why one would be against abortion if not because of a belief it’s a life?

          It’s not a belief.

          then how can you justify killing a person because he or she the product of non-consensual sexual intercourse?

          You can’t justify it. You can simply dismiss the objections if you wish, but that does not confer validity to the justification.

    2. It’s not a child.

      1. Even a year after birth?

        1. Oh no, Cyto the psycho has already repeatedly argued that people should be able to murder toddlers.

      2. Re: Cytotoxic,

        It’s not a child.

        You’re not a person.

      3. Whoosh!

        Or maybe I should say WHOOOOOOSH!

  10. I googled consent for sterilization, and there is a federal form for it. No idea why or when it would be needed.

    It contains no mention of spousal consent.

    It also has a second page which is entirely consumed with a Paperwork Reduction Act notice, which I found amusing.

  11. A Missouri state lawmaker has filed a bill that would give men final say in whether a woman can get an abortion

    We all agree and the science is settled that women reproduce by parthenogenesis, right?

  12. Why shouldn’t a man have a choice in the birth of a child? If he wants the child and the woman doesn’t then he should get all paternal rights and deal with the consequences.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.