Men Mustn’t Pay For Pregnancies They Cause

2009-10-08-IMG_14331No fair! Men shouldn’t have to pay for women’s maternity care!

Oddly, that’s a recent GOP argument against the Affordable Care Act, a.k.a. Obamacare, which says insurance companies can’t charge women more than men.

It’s left extremist men complaining, “No babies will ever pop out between my legs, so why should I have to pay for someone else’s pregnancy?”

After all, men have nothing to do with getting women pregnant. Right?

Next, they’ll be whining that babies should have to pay for their own care!

Yet babies don’t ask to be born. 

And women don’t choose to be the ones to undergo (and spare men) the discomfort — and sometimes agony — of pregnancy and childbirth. If it were up to me, I would totally want guys be the pregnant ones.

But markets must be free, some insist.

Actually, markets only work when you have a choice, so that price dissuades you. But like I said, women can’t choose to make men be the ones who get pregnant.

Well, women could choose not to get pregnant.

But these same folks are also against birth control.

After all, they’re pro-life.

But don’t they know that babies are more likely to be born alive if their mothers get medical care?

Male babies need prenatal care, too!

Oh that’s right. These folks don’t really care about life. They care about controlling women and making their lives difficult.

In fact, these same folks complain on FOXNews when women make more money than men. So women should make less money but pay more for insurance?

Which gets back to my point that the real goal is controlling women and making our lives difficult.

Now, why aren’t these guys whining that women shouldn’t have to pay for Viagra?

Related Posts on BroadBlogs
Tampons Confiscated as Women Protest in Texas
Pro-Lifers Killing Kids
Markets Must Be Free; Women Must Be Constrained

About BroadBlogs

I have a Ph.D. from UCLA in sociology (emphasis: gender, social psych). I currently teach sociology and women's studies at Foothill College in Los Altos Hills, CA. I have also lectured at San Jose State. And I have blogged for Feminispire, Ms. Magazine, The Good Men Project and Daily Kos. Also been picked up by The Alternet.

Posted on November 22, 2013, in feminism, gender, men, politics/class inequality, reproductive rights, sexism, women and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 36 Comments.

  1. I enjoyed reading this article it was very blunt and in your face type of article. I don’t understand why the male sex would argue not to pay for the well being of another female carrying another life within her. I think both parties for the babies sake should take a 50/50 share of responsibility. And the fact that women are the ones that have to don the hard labor I don’t see what it would be an issue. Men do not need to control everything.

  2. This particular topic regarding men paying or not paying for women’s pregnancies strikes me because I will be 32 weeks pregnant tomorrow and am currently planning the hospital fees. I was given hospital registration papers recently to fill out and return to the hospital so they know who is responsible for the bill ahead of time. Since my boyfriend and I are not married, we have separate insurance plans and providers. Lucky for me, my insurance will cover anything medically necessary for my pregnancy, including the delivery. On the hospital registration form though, there is a spot to list a name of whoever is responsible for paying the hospital bill, if it is not the patient. If my insurance wasn’t going to cover the full bill, I would most definitely list my boyfriend’s name in that spot. Also lucky for me, he wouldn’t mind that as he is just as responsible for our son as I am.

    It seems kind of ridiculous that the argument of men not having to pay for women’s pregnancies even exists. Are some men that controlling towards women? Do they not realize that they also help create these babies? Just because they are not the ones giving birth doesn’t give them the right to walk away freely from all responsibilities. If anything, I feel they should be extra supportive and pay. Although I don’t believe they should be given 100% of all medical bills related to the girl’s pregnancy, I do think they should be responsible for at least half of the bill.

  3. I find it quite funny, in a sad way, that this is an issue in the U.S. of all countries. I once wrote a paper on parental leave for a class and well, suffice to say that the U.S. is severely behind the rest of the developed world (and much of the developing, I might add) on that regard. And for these protesters, even maternity care is up for debate?! How greedy and hateful towards human life must you be to argue against care that helps birth the next generation?
    If the Affordable Care Act has done anything here, is to eliminate the discrimination that women faced before. Why should we pay for higher insurance over something we have absolutely no say in? Because even these people must agree that we need to have babies, for society at least, right? The survival of the species and all that. And only women can do it, no argument about that!

    I wonder if these people know what the statistics are when women do not have any access to maternity care whatsoever. If they know that pregnancy and delivery is the most medically dangerous thing an average woman will experience in her lifetime (well, they probably don’t care anyway, since they obviously don’t care for human life and future generations). Sometimes I wish it would be mandatory for men to watch an actual birth when they turn 18 or something, so that they would understand what women, often even voluntarily, go through so that they can have children. “Pop out” you say, if only…
    I think you can tell a lot about a country in what they choose to invest in. A country that spends little to no money on maternity care and childcare clearly has no interest in creating general well-being for their citizens, has no interest to invest in the future. That is not the kind of country I would want to live in.

    • Thanks for your comment. It’s interesting to get a perspective from outside the US.

      And yes of course plenty of women choose to have babies. But they can’t choose to have their male partners be the ones to go through pregnancy and deliver the child, Right?

  4. What They Won’t Tell You at the ABORTION CLINIC

    This is a tough decision you have to make. This article was written by neither a militant, pro-life male, nor a 50-year-old grandmother who has never been faced with a problem pregnancy. It was written by a woman who was eighteen and pregnant once. A woman who was scared, like you are, and chose abortion. After nine years I know what the right choice was, and is, and I just want you to know —

    What They Didn’t Tell Me …

    • The link you added is ill-informed, so I deleted it. Not interested in spreading false info:

      For instance, abortion is actually safer than giving birth. And the most common emotion that women feel after having an abortion is relief. That’s probably because the women who wouldn’t feel relieved are less likely to get an abortion. Women who have difficulty after getting an abortion typically have had the choice made for them – Pressure from parents or boyfriend. And her comment that abortion exploits women makes no sense. Does she know the definition of exploitation?

    • A fetus can be born in 7 months and survive. They put in a “box” in a hospital and it lives. Is it still considered to be a non-real person? Does it have the right to live?
      It’s in the same exact condition as a 7 months fetus who hasn’t been born yet, but the one gets to live and nobody can “touch” it but the other has no saying if it lives or not. In both cases it’s the same exact fetus.
      What’s the ONLY difference? the location.
      So if it’s “out” it has every right to live but if it’s inside the womb it has no right to whether it lives or not. Nothing else has changed – it’s the same fetus in the exact same condition with the same internal organs and the same brain.
      I am not saying that I agree or I disagree, I am just trying to get this straight.

      and the other thing that abortion clinics don’t want you to know is that abortions can “fail” and the fetus make it to the world alive – yes that was a “failure”. So do they keep it alive or not? I mean they decided to have an abortion but it failed the first time, shouldn’t they try to correct that “mistake” and stick with their decision?

      Imagine how the survivors of “failed” abortions feel. Can we even comprehend how that would feel? but then again why should we even care.
      This is a society that has taught everyone to care only for themselves. We claim that we are “advanced” and “civilized” but half the world is starving.
      Nobody cares about the weak ones who can’t defend themselves.
      And who is more weak than a fetus? Nobody.

      • Controlling women’s bodies in reproduction has time and again been the first step to controlling a population — with women getting the brunt. Fetuses are not the same as people. And restricting abortion doesn’t stop it. It causes more women to die when they go to back ally abortionists, or try to do it themselves.

  5. It is like paying higher taxes for schools when you have no kids. Everyone needs to share. Everything’s connected. Healthy babies and educated children are our future. And on and on…

  6. I have heard this excuse and it is seriously so selfish and comes from entitled men. It’s ridiculous for them to claim they’re paying for women’s health care. Women pay taxes too and also pay for their insurance. So no men aren’t paying for women’s health care, women are. Also by their logic why didn’t these men care about fairness when men’s health care needs(that don’t effect women at all) were covered yet women had to pay for it.

    Also as citizens we pay for plenty of things that may not directly effect us but is good for the common welfare. I pay for public schools yet I don’t have children and don’t plan on ever having any either. I don’t complain about paying for someone else’s child to go to school. I’m also not complaining about paying for erectile dysfunction treatment, vasectomy or prostate exams.

  7. How dare anyone male or female suggest that men shouldn’t be responsible for the maternity part of a pregnancy. How about it be a pre-written agreement before you ever date anyone that they sign a form stating that in the event of a pregnancy, he will assume responsibility for the maternity costs. After all sex was only made for reproduction, and if the male wants an heir he would have to consent to the agreement before any touching or kissing would commence. Because we all know that if kissing or touching were to take place, the inevitable might happen, and hence a baby is made. I believe that this would work if females would go to the adult store and find “toys” to satisfy themselves, or pray for strength if that is what your into. As far as men are concerned, a great portion of the men that don’t want to pay today, will probably sign the agreement.

  8. Sure men and women should be equally responsible for the pregnancy but that brings another question.
    Why when the couples divorce, almost always the mother gets the children but not the father?

    • Best interests of the child. Determined by who the primary caretaker is. In this society it’s much more common for women to be the primary caretakers because of the roles men and women have. Compare the number of stay-at-home moms with stay-at-home dads.

      I am perfectly happy with having roles fit personalities instead of gender, which would leave more children going to the father in divorce. (Of course, roles affect personalities, but if we allowed more trading of roles, men would be more free to develop their nurturing side.)

      • Ok, another question regarding the equality in the pregnancy.

        It’s always the woman’s decision -and only hers- if she will keep the child or make an abortion?

        What if they disagree?
        Let’s say that the woman wants to keep the child but the father wants to make an abortion.
        Let’s say that the woman wants to make an abortion but the father wants to keep the child.

      • While she can be open to listening to him, the choice should always be hers because her body is the only one that’s affected.

        As I said, it’s not fair that women have the burden of pregnancy, and that results in it not being fair that he basically has no say in what she does with her body. But since her body’s affected and his isn’t, she’s the only one whose opinion matters.

      • “… because her body is the only one that’s affected”

        and the unborn child

      • A fetus or embryo is not the same as a person.

        My brother in law was against abortion until his wife ended up in the hospital and he was told he might have to make a choice between her and the fetus. He chose his wife.

        Or, I once heard Christopher Reeve pose the following question: if you were in a research lab with a two-year-old and a fire broke out, would you save the child, or would you leave her to die so that you could save thousands of embryos/stem cells (people?)

        I suspect most of us would save the actual child.

      • not all abortions are made early on the pregnancy, some are made later on

        how about a fetus/embryo that’s on -9 months minus 1 day- pregnancy ?
        still not a real person?

      • When my bro-in-law had to make a choice, his wife was a few weeks away from giving birth. He still chose her life over the fetus. A person is an actual person. A fetus is not yet an actual person.

        And, pro-lifers really only seem to care about controlling women’s bodies, anyway:

        Are You Pro Life, Or Do You Just Want To Control Women?

        Pro-Lifers Killing Kids

        And here’s a piece discussing how dictatorial regimes work to limit women’s reproductive rights:

        Markets Must Be Free; Women Must Be Constrained

        And here’s one on
        What Abusers and “Pro-Family” Conservatives Have in Common“pro-family”-men-and-the-“pro-family”-political-agenda/

      • some say that even a newborn isn’t an actual person
        who decides where we draw the line?
        should we even draw a line?

      • Fyi, this so-called Journal of Medical Ethics link, which I removed, has cookies. Doesn’t seem like an official site. I’m not aware of anyone who thinks that a baby that’s been born isn’t the moral equivalent of a human being. If someone were in a situation where she could save thousands of babies versus one child my guess is she would save thousands of babies.

        That said, I know a lot of “pro-lifers” who are okay with actual children being denied food and healthcare. See my link above.

  9. Anyone who doesn’t respect women, doesn’t see the greater picture. Sometimes I wonder, what 2060 will look like….

  10. ‘I know this doesn’t relate to this article, but it looks like another story brewing now. It’s in the sports world again, but serious again. First the bullyway thing with Incognito and Martin and now Florida State quarterback Jamie Winston alleged sexual assault case and that going on now. I know you’ve written about this stuff before, but I wonder if you saw it as this is national news. I think it’s ridiculous for florida state to have winston play this saturday while this is going on. Even if he’s innocent, doing so, seems to shrug off the seriousness of this or the seriousness this should be.

  11. This posts brings a few thoughts to mind

    a) I once heard the argument that this whole family planning debate is about men wanting to control who gets to pass on their genetics. The argument was that, back in the day, women were only supposed to marry, and therefore only have sex with, men approved of by her father and/or the church. This is an offshoot of wanting to have that level of control over women.

    b) I know people who think you should only have sex if you want to conceive children. Therefore, if you don’t want to have kids now, then you shouldn’t be having sex now. Those who wish to impose this on others don’t see why limited access to things like birth control are a problem when they think a responsible person would just not have sex.

    c) I’ve had discussions with my boyfriend surrounding pregnancy and abortions. He’s made the argument that the man should have some kind of say in whether or not the woman has an abortion. (This was a discussion about the issue, not a demand)

    Thinking about these three ideas, I think it’s obvious all this talk about women’s bodies and reproductive systems is how people who used to have power over others are trying to keep it. They use religion and out-dated scientific data to support their otherwise selfish need for power. That being said, I find this relates to the third point as well. How much should men be involved in a pregnancy and all decisions involved? Should he be involved only if he wants to be? Are there some areas in which he doesn’t get a say even though his genetics helped convince that pregnancy?

    I would argue that there should be a minimum involvement, perhaps set by law through things like child support, of men who get women pregnant. While it would be up to the woman, I think in a committed relationship, the two should be able to openly discuss all options but leave the decision up to the woman. To that end, I expect that, if I wanted to terminate a pregnancy, give the child up for adoption or keep the child, that the man should be there to help me along. Even this starts to get foggy, though. Let’s say the woman wants to terminate the pregnancy but the man wants his child to be born. How much of a say should each biological parent have in the fate of their fetus?

    Sorry for the long comment… I’m only speculating. I’m hoping there were be a day where we can grow a fetus, from conception to birth, in some kind of lab environment. Then, if the woman doesn’t want it, but the man does, she can give up her maternal rights and not have to deal with the pregnancy. The man can still see his child to full term and raise it if he wants. Theoretically, a happy ending.

    • Interesting comment, so thanks.

      Yes, given that women have the full bodily burden of pregnancy — which isn’t fair — she should have more say in abortion — which may not be completely fair either but is based on the biological unfairness.

      When I first heard the notion that “prolife” was really about controlling women, and not life, it made no sense to me. But as I look around, these folks do seem to be much more concerned with controlling women than making sure babies are born alive. Or stay alive after birth.

      • If I saw the majority of “Pro-life” supporters adopting children, making donations to help single mothers and promoting policies that make it easier for women to have both a career and children, then I would have more respect for their opinion (I still wouldn’t agree). All I ever see is shame. Shame on you for having sex, now you must carry – literally – the mark of your sin. And you and you child will probably live hard lives with little income as punishment for your sins. They never say it so plainly, but that is sometimes what I hear in their arguments.

      • Yes. And then they vote against — or try to cut — food stamps and health insurance. Even as they vote to support subsidies for corporations, and against minimum wage and union organizing that helps people to to both work and survive.

    • TK,

      ” Let’s say the woman wants to terminate the pregnancy but the man wants his child to be born. How much of a say should each biological parent have in the fate of their fetus?”

      I would say the man can express his feelings about it but that’s it. Allowing him any more rights than that in this situation would be allowing him to have control over the woman’s body. It is the woman, not the man who has to carry out the pregnancy and risk her health and life and possibly her job and social life, not to mention experience changes in her body that will never be the same as before her pregnancy. If the man really want’s a baby then he can find a woman who is willing to carry his child to term and he can have a baby with her, but he can’t force a woman to carry a pregnancy to term.

      • I always wonder what would happen if men could carry children. Would he be so against termination if it was his body changing and his pain to endure.

        I agree with all of you, I just think it’s an interesting concept. I like the way BroadBlogs put it in terms of biological unfairness.

  12. Well written, dripping with sarcasm, effective

  13. I haven’t read up fully on Obamacare, but this sounds alright. It wouldn’t affect me very much…I’ve not had health insurance in a little over a decade, nor do I ever want to have children/get pregnant. However, if this new plan means that employers don’t have to pay more insurance out for their female employees, I’m for it!

    I was shocked when I learned that my boss has to pay X amount of insurance on my male coworkers, but X+Y on me…just because of the *possibility* I can get pregnant! Not only that, but there’s *no* way for either of us to opt out of these greater costs, no contract I can sign saying I won’t get pregnant, etc. I find this to be extremely unfair to my employer, so if Obamacare is going to fix this situation I’m all for it!

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