So-called "pro-life" men should worry about loss of contraception and abortion rights as an economic issue if they cannot bring themselves to comprehend it as a critical women's rights issue.

About 40% of children now are born out of wedlock. Unwed noncustodial fathers are required to pay for the mother's medical costs and recovery as well as provide child support until the child turns 18. Paternity tests are now inexpensive and highly accurate. The amount of child support varies, but can typically be about 20-30% of the noncustodial parent's income.

More below the elegant burnt orange flourish...

Although details remain state-specific,  Bill Clinton pushed through a federal system of tracking down and extracting child support from deadbeat dads (UIFSA, the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act, and PRWORA, the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996). If the custodial parent is on TANF (Temporary Assistance to Needy Families), back-owed child support goes to reimburse the government and continuing enforcement of child support thenceforward promotes removal of the custodial parent from TANF. Thus, it is a major part of welfare reform.

Men's wages can be garnished by up to 50% of pre-tax income to pay child support arrears, tax refunds and other earnings can be seized, passports can be denied, and non-payers can be imprisoned. The economic burden on (primarily) men is very, very heavy indeed.

So one would think men would be vigorous champions of contraception and abortion, no? Especially in the Red States where out-of-wedlock childbirth is epidemic. Yet these sanctimonious mostly white GOP males waddle about, yowling about how women should be barefoot, pregnant, and in the kitchen. (Except when it's their mistress and they are a "family values" "pro-life" GOP legislator...)

Thus, it remains utterly mysterious to me that men are not clamoring for the widespread availability of contraception and abortion.

For me, however, abortion and contraception are not only a critical women's rights issue but a critical environmental one. We are already beyond red alert for biodiversity loss due to habitat loss and exploitation. This planet is not just for humans, and crowding out and eradicating all other species ensures our demise.

This global economic downturn signals, to me, a beginning of global ecological collapse due to overpopulation and the attendant ills of pollution, climate change, and resource depletion. The entire system is more fragile and susceptible to stupidity and greed.

Originally posted to eyeswideopen on Fri Oct 12, 2012 at 03:36 PM PDT.

Also republished by Pro Choice, Abortion, and Community Spotlight.

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