Missouri Republican Floor Leader Rick Brattin has introduced a bill that would allow a man to stop a woman from getting an abortion by withholding written permission. Brattin is under fire not only over the bill but his description of the condition of confirmation of a “legitimate rape” to secure and exception under the law — a decryption that reminded many of the controversy over the use of the same term by former Rep. Todd Akin (R-Mo.).
The requirement for consent of the male involved in a pregnancy includes an exception in cases of rape or incest. Otherwise, the bill says “No abortion shall be performed or induced unless and until the father of the unborn child provides written, notarized consent to the abortion.”
Brattin insisted that “Just like any rape, you have to report it, and you have to prove it. So you couldn’t just go and say, ‘Oh yeah, I was raped’ and get an abortion. It has to be a legitimate rape.”
There is only one abortion clinic in the state in St. Louis.
Brattin added to the bizarre aspect of this legislation by saying that, as a father of five, his recent vasectomy was the inspiration for this bill: “When a man goes in for that procedure—at least in the state of Missouri—you have to have a consent form from your spouse in order to have that procedure done. Here I was getting a normal procedure that has nothing to do with another human being’s life, and I needed to get a signed for . . . But on ending a life, you don’t. I think that’s pretty twisted.”
I am not an expect of Missouri law but I would be very surprised if there is any law requiring a man to get consent for a vasectomy.
Putting aside the statements, the bill itself appears facially unconstitutional given cases like Casey v. Planned Parenthood, where the Court struck down a requirement that a woman inform her husband if she haves an abortion. There is also the holding in Eisenstadt v. Baird where the Court ruled that “[i]f the right of privacy means anything, it is the right of the individual, married or single, to be free from unwarranted governmental intrusion into matters so fundamentally affecting a person as the decision whether to bear or beget a child.”
Brattin has previously attracted national attention and criticism over his campaign to compel the teaching of creationism in school.
For those who want to see additional challenges in the area, this bill is ill-conceived for those who want to challenge abortion rights. It is likely to amplify past rulings rather than chip away at current precedent. It will likely push those judges or justices on the margin to rally around the core principles of Roe, as the plurality stated in Casey:
The sum of the precedential enquiry to this point shows Roe’s underpinnings unweakened in any way affecting its central holding. While it has engendered disapproval, it has not been unworkable. An entire generation has come of age free to assume Roe’s concept of liberty in defining the capacity of women to act in society, and to make reproductive decisions; no erosion of principle going to liberty or personal autonomy has left Roe’s central holding a doctrinal remnant. Roe portends no developments at odds with other precedent for the analysis of personal liberty; and no changes of fact have rendered viability more or less appropriate as the point at which the balance of interests tips. Within the bounds of normal stare decisis analysis, then, and subject to the considerations on which it customarily turns, the stronger argument is for affirming Roe’s central holding, with whatever degree of personal reluctance any of us may have, not for overruling it.
136 thoughts on “Missouri Legislation Would Require Women To Get Consent Of Man For An Abortion”
Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, fabulous Kwanza, Happy New Year.
And to the atheists, I hope you have peace. Your lives are so full of angst, that I truly do hope our Christmas doesn’t upset you. And that you have peace.
Paul, I will have to reserve judgment on that until my 2 year old daughter has it done, when and if that happens. 🙂
Happy Kawanza everyone!!!!
“Well, if you think that letting your child have soda, and decaf coffee, is grounds to file a child abuse proceeding against someone and take their child away from them, then…”
Gary, review my post again. I said nothing of the sort, and certainly didn’t come close to saying that I think those are grounds to file a child abuse proceeding or take away someone’s child.
I know very little about your custody proceedings, and concede that cases fall through the cracks and injustices are done. Our civil justice system is far from perfect, as is our criminal justice system.
And to be clear, I fully support joint custodial rights, including equal parenting time, when that is in the child’s best interests. Of course, the latter standard is a vague one that is within the eye of the beholder, I get that. I also clearly don’t support it when one parent is not also fulfilling their duties in caring for that child. As my post above stated, I am one of the good guys out there fighting to buck the trend of dad’s not getting a fair shake in custody matters. Fortunately for my clients, I practice primarily in a jurisdiction in which this is not a problem, at least with the judges (some older lawyers are stuck in their ways of a “default” parenting plan that gives dad only one day a week and every other weekend). And I take pride in getting my dad’s their custody rights.
If all that you say is true, it is indeed a complete injustice, and I sincerely hope that you get time back with your daughter as soon as possible.
Juris – I think piercing the ears of underage (18) children is child abuse, but that is just me.
Paul C., pierced ears are a cultural thing. Mexicans do it day one. Some other cultures may their traditions. I chose to have mine pierced at 24. One f my granddaughters quit wearing them because of soccer. Good decision. When she gets older she can have them pierced again.
Sandi – I spent a significant amount of time yesterday looking at pierced earrings for my grandniece. 🙂 She wanted ‘owl’ earrings. I finally asked a nice lady if I could borrow her daughters for advice on my choice. 😉
Paul C., I bet they were thrilled. Did you find the owls?
Sandi – the oldest offered her opinion and the youngest just pointed at the oldest, like “what she said.” I found some nice owls with spread wings.
Paul C., now let’s see if she likes them. Wow, little girls agreeing, rare.
Sandi – their mother was giggling the whole time. 🙂
“Juris is simply ignorant.” Comes from the guy who thinks waterboarding does not violate “any” laws.
Sandi Hemming – I am sorry – that’s not fair – you probably would have made a wonderful mother and I am afraid I was not a wonderful mother but at least I admit it. I was not abusive or anything but I was not cut out for it and was taken advantage of at a young age right after my Mother passed away. My Children went to the Husband in a custody battle and he lied about it to the and to this day they think I deserted them…… Thus my earlier comment to Gary.
Happypappies, just keep trying to communicate, that’s what’s important!
Vladislav, in the US women are fanatics about any legal issues. Abortion, custody, money, they better make the right call or there’ll be hell to pay.
Paul C., and all men on this site, replace your condoms. Paul C. tells me they get old and are no longer safe. So, new year, new condoms!
Gary T, I’ve been in custody problems with my parents, there are mothers who use their children to get back at the man. It’s sad. My heart goes out to your daughter.
Sandy – that works both ways
happypappies, I was always responsible. I learned late in life I never could have gotten pregnant, so a lot of money for no reason!
This is a cornerstone of the fraud, called family/matrimonial law, materialized in thoroughly corrupt matrimonial/family courts, which has been perpetrated on our society for many years: “Someone has to make the very difficult decision to determine what is in that child’s best interest and that is the judge.”
The judges decide primarily what is in the best interest of the judges and of their cronies, who include litigation attorneys, support collections, CPS, and those concerns, unfortunately, trump all the interest of the children affected, whether best interestes or merely next to best interests. And the results are often in these children’s worst interests, for examples see DivorceCorp documentary or read Stephen Baskerville’s books and articles.
As Charles Dickens had observed, more than 150 years ago, “The one great principle of the English law is, to make business for itself. There is no other principle distinctly, certainly, and consistently maintained through all its narrow turnings”
Sometimes they favor the Father when there is Family pressure and money involved. That happened to me. Thus my comment above. But mostly you are correct. It is important he keeps the information so his daughter knows he was there for him.
Gary keep all that information to show your daughter when she grows up so she believes you tried to get custody of her….
Gary T: I skimmed over your links and watched some of the video above. As to the latter, I don’t see the “rogue agents of the state” perception that you do. The agents are addressing what I perceive to be legitimate concerns (e.g., providing soda and coffee to a 7 year old?). While the former provide your perspective, they do not provide what the court’s findings of facts were (bases) in denying your custody rights. However, I don’t think this is the appropriate forum to discuss those. Suffice it to say that Court’s must make extremely difficult decisions with respect to custody issues, often involving giving one parent more “rights” than the other with respect to physical custody of the child and legal decisions involving that child. Often times, that doesn’t make one parent more right than the other, but it is the reality of what judges must do. When parents cannot agree with respect to important legal decisions (e.g., medical care) of a child, court’s must reconcile that, and typically that means having to designate one parent the decisionmaker. Judges don’t have much of an alternative. Of course, the non-decisionmaker parent feels wronged, but what is the judge’s alternative? Someone has to make the very difficult decision to determine what is in that child’s best interest and that is the judge.
As to physical custody, suffice it say that the only cases I have seen when a parent is denied any time with the child, it is when that parent is not fit (e.g., drug dependency issues, can’t provide a stable living environment for child), is a possible danger to the child, and/or simply won’t abide by existing court orders regarding that parent’s rights with the child.
As to the more general issues you raise, I respectfully disagree with you on your conclusions of my views, on what the law is, and how it applies to parental custodial rights.
To get back on topic, this bill is still a very bad idea.
Well, if you think that letting your child have soda, and decaf coffee, is grounds to file a child abuse proceeding against someone and take their child away from them, then I would also have to respectfully disagree with you on your conclusions as to what constitutes neglect and abuse.
And again, this and your view of appropriateness of those CPS workers, merely confirms what I thought about your worldview on these things.
“[s]uffice it say that the only cases I have seen when a parent is denied any time with the child, it is when that parent is not fit (e.g., drug dependency issues, can’t provide a stable living environment for child), is a possible danger to the child, and/or simply won’t abide by existing court orders regarding that parent’s rights with the child.”
Well then you should expand your repertory a bit, as my case is not unusual.
For two years now, during a custody trial that hasn’t yet ended, the judge refuses to issue any visitation order to my ex-wife, even though asked 13 times in court. He doesn’t make any findings, or conclusions. I am a fit parent, with no findings of abuse or neglect, family offenses, and no restraining orders.
Yet here I am, without contact with daughter for two years, because the judge allows this parental alienation to occur.
I raised my child from her birth until 7.5, when these custody proceedings started. And that was the last I was with her for more than an hour at a time.
You can believe me or not, but I have published all the transcripts of my trial so far online. See if you can find what I have done wrong. The judge apparently cannot, but he denies my child a father anyway.
You explain to me how this system is fair to a father just wanting to be with his child.
You cannot. Nobody can. It is just a fickle, discriminatory system.
Gary, your case is not at all unusual. Juris is simply ignorant. I am so sorry you have gone through all this. Unless someone can prove to the court that the mother is dangerous to the child, the courts seem to always favor the mother and are negligent to recognize the rights of the father. Eventually you might get visitation, but the courts will so empower your ex-wife that she will probably always make it difficult for you.
There isn’t much to discuss with you on these points, as your base perspective is unyieldingly feminist; despite your superficial protestations to contrary, the scenarios you have framed clearly show your worldview on the matter are gender biased, and that is part of the problem, not the solution.
You state that having the BIOTC standard as the primary judicial goal and guiding force is correct and should continue.
Yet almost all studies on the matter show that the best interests of the child are presumptively served when they are provided with as much contact, association and parentage with both parents as possible.
Yet under the system we have, sole custody goes the mother 93% of the time, and the children’s contact with the father is severely limited, and legally severed.
The disconnect with your stated goal, and the likely outcome is obvious. For whatever reason giving judges the discretion to choose custody from their own personal measures of equity yields in the discriminatory result of a father getting custody only 1 out of 10 instances.
The solution is just as obvious and consistent with the BIOTC goal, presume that the child’s BIOTC is to continue to have equal association with both parents, unless proven otherwise. To oppose such equality is gender biased in situ.
And yes, since I disclosed, I can tell you more than you would want to know about what basis the court refuses to issue a visitation order to the mother, as I have publicly written about it, filed civil rights lawsuits about it, published our trial online, and availed all judicial options available all the way to the Supreme Court, twice; even when all federal rights, state appellate precedent and state law demand that such visitation be provided, the judge is just as gender biased as you are, and denies issuing visitation without reason or findings, just because he can, for almost two years now.
Complete procedural and substantive due process denial, due to gender discrimination, a father’s removal against the child’s best interests, because the judge is given the instant discretion to do so.
Read about it, if you really care to do so:
And see what happens when the rogue agents of the state are given the discretion to preemptively remove a child from a parent without substantive or legal basis:
Gary, my heart just aches for you. Thank you for your transparency. The system is stacked against fathers. I have seen cases like yours far too much.
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