Originally created 11/17/06

Rights and responsibilities

Do men even have reproductive rights?

If so, what are they?

Isn't it odd that in 2006, we still don't know?

It may be an interesting intellectual exercise for most, but for young men like Rashad Head, it's very real.

The 17-year-old high school senior from Lawrenceville is fighting for custody of his 5-month-old son who is being put up for adoption by the mother. His pastor, Rep. Ron Sailor, D-Decatur, has introduced "Rashad's Law" to give fathers the right to parent their children even if the mothers have chosen adoption.

Adoption is certainly infinitely preferable to abortion, and isn't utilized hardly enough. There are so many young couples who cannot have their own children - or, even if they do, they would love the chance to open their homes to unwanted children. Scott and Renee Dean of Harlem, for example, have two precious boys of their own, but are in the process of adopting five siblings from Guatemala.

Yet, it seems only right that both parents should have to sign off on an adoption. Unless Rashad's law passes, reproductive rights will remain the woman's domain in Georgia.

Having said that, if men have few or no reproductive rights, they might want to concentrate first on their reproductive responsibilities.

Women, too.

The first of those responsibilities is not to put oneself at risk of an unintended, out-of-wedlock pregnancy.

So often in this country we focus solely on our rights - neglecting the fact that if we would simply live up to our responsibilities, we wouldn't be put in a position to press our rights.


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