A Missouri bill to require women seeking abortions to get the written, notarized consent of the father of the fetus is reviving a long-standing argument about men’s rights in abortions.
For years, men’s organizations have protested the legal double standard that women can unilaterally decide to abort a fetus — or bear the child and seek child support payments from the father.
In December, Missouri State Rep. Rick Brattin re-introduced a bill that would forbid a physician from performing an abortion “unless and until” the father of the unborn child provided written, notarized consent to the abortion.
Pregnancies that are the result of rape or incest are exempted, and if the father has died, the woman must sign a notarized affidavit attesting to that.
In an interview with Mother Jones, Mr. Brattin said he thought of the bill because he needed his wife’s written consent to get a vasectomy.
Mr. Brattin’s bill was promptly denounced by a leading pro-choice group.
“What?! Are you joking?” Ilyse Hogue, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, said in a recent email to supporters about the bill.
In addition to rejecting the idea of women needing a “permission slip for an abortion,” Ms. Hogue took umbrage at a comment Mr. Brattin made about the bill’s exemption for pregnancies conceived in rape.
According to Mother Jones, Mr. Brattin said, “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,” he told the left-leaning