Wednesday, March 15, 2006
The man behind 'Roe vs. Wade for Men'
When I walked up to a modest home in Saginaw, Michigan, yesterday morning and knocked on the door, I expected a loud and emotional greeting from the man inside. After all, he's launched a lawsuit that's grabbing headlines and could have national implications. As it turns out, I met a soft-spoken man, but what he has to say could impact how men are held accountable when they father a child.

Matt Dubay is 25 years old. He's single. And for now, he wants to keep it that way. But Dubay is also the father of an eight-month-old girl named Elisabeth. And that's the problem. Dubay is suing his ex-girlfriend, 20-year-old Lauren Wells, because he believes he shouldn't be forced to pay $560 a month in child support.

"During the time we were seeing each other, I made it very clear to her that I was not ready to be a father, and she made it very clear to me that she was incapable of becoming pregnant because of a condition," Dubay told me.

The ex-couple's battle here in Saginaw has become the centerpiece of a national campaign to allow men to reject the responsibilities of fatherhood. A rights group called The National Center for Men is backing the lawsuit, calling its legal crusade "Roe vs. Wade for Men," after the landmark Supreme Court decision that gives women the legal right to an abortion.

Dubay told me that he feels he was shut out. "She was given the right to have an abortion, keep the child, put the child up for adoption, and whatever she chooses, I have to go along with....Under our laws, our constitution, that doesn't seem right to me."

Women's rights groups insist men like Dubay are not being forced into parenthood. They say child support payments are a fair, and modest, alternative to the lifetime commitment of being a father. But when I met with Dubay's lawyer, Jeff Cojocar, at his office near Detroit, he insisted the lawsuit isn't trying to create an easy way out for men. He says it's about trying to extend to men the freedom of choice the Supreme Court decision gave to women.
Posted By Jonathan Freed, CNN Correspondent: 9:59 AM ET
He was intimate with her and is responsible. Can you imagine the financial impact of allowing men to avoid child support! It is already a problem. He needs to pay.
Posted By Anonymous Ted, Dallas, Texas : 10:18 AM ET
He says it's about trying to extend to men the freedom of choice the Supreme Court decision gave to women.

Really? What statement fails to realize is that women must deal with the situation because of biology. Hence, the choice to make a decision because they cannot walk away from this reality. When men have the ability to become pregnant then the same choices should be extended. If, men currently are extended the same choices then, it is assuming that they will have choices which will affect a women's body. Where is the equal justice in that?
Posted By Anonymous Margaret, Orlando : 10:19 AM ET
Freedom of choice? What freedom of choice does the child have?
Posted By Anonymous Will James, Portland, OR : 10:20 AM ET
While I feel for this man, birth control is as much a man's responsibility as it is a woman's. If he really did not want to be a parent, he should have used birth control, had a vasectomy or abstained - he shouldn't have relied on a flimsy promise from his partner. That's irresponsible. It's about time men stopped blaming women for children that result from sex when men are half of the equation.
Posted By Anonymous Amy, Niagara Falls NY : 10:20 AM ET
With some exceptions (rape, etc.), it seems to me that abortion (whether you consider it murder or not) is a way of not accepting responsibility for your actions. This also applies to the issue brought up by Dubay. It seems that so many people are looking for an easy out these days, and are unwilling to accept the consequences of what they choose to do.

That being said, Dubay raises an interesting point. If we are going to give women the choice to not accept their consequences, why not give men that choice? I don't have an answer for that. Although, for myself, if I knew that there was a person out there that was my creation and my flesh and blood, I think I'd want to help them out. But that's just me.
Posted By Anonymous Wendy P, Kentwood, MI : 10:25 AM ET
This is a moral choice. If this was me, I wouldn't need a court order to send money to my child no matter the circumstance that birthed him/her. I'm all for this guy winning though, because the less the government has their fingers in my affairs, the more this is really a free country. This guy obviously feels duped. He's going to seriously regret his decisions though.
Posted By Anonymous Az, Cupertino, CA : 10:41 AM ET
Has this boy never heard "do the crime, do the time"? Pretty sure the sperm donation was voluntary - just because the outcome wasn't what he wished, he feels he deserves a pass? Thereby endangering the support basis for millions of children?

Posted By Anonymous Andy, Staunton, VA : 10:43 AM ET
Why is it always the woman's fault when she gets pregnant. It takes two to people to conceive a child. When is the male population going to wake up and realize that they are part of this whole process. If they don't want to be a dad then don't have sex or at least use contraceptives.

Wake up guys! If you help bring a child into the world you share in the responsibility of raising the child. Elizabeth's mom isn't asking for anything for herself, just child support for their daughter.

True Roe v Wade is about choice, but "Hello" by sleeping with someone you made a choice and now you are as much responsible for this child as the woman who carried her for 9 months and gave birth to her.

To some of the male population - You made a choice now own up to your responibilty.
Posted By Anonymous Marcia, Warren MI : 10:46 AM ET
Awww, the poor babies don't wanna take responsibility for their actions and pay for their illegitimate children? Guess they shoulda thought about that BEFORE they hopped in the sack.
Posted By Anonymous Courtney, Chagrin Falls, OH : 10:54 AM ET
Men DO have freedom of choice that gives them 98-99% assurance of not having a child. It's called a condom. No amount of whining or blaming changes its effectiveness. And it is far less inconvenient than dealing with an unplanned pregnancy, or having a child.

Dubay is no different than the deadbeat dad who fled to Mexico rather than take care of his child by giving him his promised kidney. But this guy thinks he can manipulate the system by working within it rather than by escaping it.

Men who want to control women by controlling our bodies would feel far less out of control if they would simply take responsibility for their own actions. Anderson's interview with the NY Times ethicist underscored this very basic, fundamental principle of life.

And here's a question: where are all the Anti-Choice/Anti-Abortion (supposedly pro-life/pro-family) groups? Why aren't they screaming to enforce fatherhood responsibilities? Do they only attempt to impose their parenthood beliefs on women?

How long would it be before these kinds of men would legally mandate abortion under certain circumstances if this ridiculously immature, irresponsible attitude is taken seriously? ~N~
Posted By Anonymous -Nioshii- NYC/ATL : 11:00 AM ET
Just as a prenup provides legal notice of the financial agreement regarding the assets of both parties entering into a relationship, a similar document should be drafted and signed if one or both parties entering into an intimate relationship do not want responsibility for the possible outcome of that intimacy. If you don't want to use the protection of the latex then you better have the advance protection of the pen and paper.
Posted By Anonymous Steve Hubbard, Palm Springs, CA : 11:01 AM ET
I can't believe this guy is actually serious. Does he have nothing else to do with his time? It's not like he got duped or anything, so he must therefore shoulder some of the responsibility. It takes two, people! What kind of (bleep) would deny his own flesh and blood anyway? This little girl is better off growing up without him. One day many years from now he'll realize what he gave up and will be sorry.
Posted By Anonymous AM, Piscataway, NJ : 11:13 AM ET
I'm pretty sure this guy hasn't a leg to stand on. There was a case where a man had to pay child support when a nurse who...err..."serviced" him in the hospital instead injected the sperm and became pregnant - the donation was voluntary, even if the consequences were not what he had wished.

But this guy obviously wants to go back to the "good ol' days," when men could spread their oats far and wide and the only ones to pay the consequences were the women, who may or may not have had a voice in the process (remember when taking birth control was grounds for beatings and/or arrest?). God forbid children be decently provided for. This would be an excellent case for both the pro-life and pro-choice folks to get behind.

Note: It's a good lesson for boys. "Son, abstinence is your best bet, unless you like paying child support, because YOU NEVER KNOW. YOU NEVER KNOW."

Poor daughter. I hope this guy grows up and realizes exactly whom he's hurting with this.
Posted By Anonymous Will, Richmond, VA : 11:19 AM ET
I understand where he is coming from. I know several friends who were 'trapped' by lovers, things that were agreed to be causal relationships that turned into lifelong commitments because of thing the girl neglected to tell the guy. BUT, the bottom line is that if you play, be prepared to pay. A man should NEVER enter into a sexual relationship with any woman unless he is willing to loan up to ALL potential responsibilities arising from the act. That includes caring for a child.
Posted By Anonymous BCROY, Royal Oak, MI : 11:19 AM ET
It's about time. When I became pregnant, it took me 18 months to get the "donor" to receive the paperwork that was explaining that I didn't want a dime from him. I only wanted him to relinquish his parental rights. He paid nothing, but I had to pay $9,000 in attorney and court fees to make sure my child stayed only my child.
Posted By Anonymous Mary College Station, TX : 11:21 AM ET
It's a sad commentary on our society that any fraction of it's members believe we have an inalienable right to fornicate and then "choose" whether to accept the consequences. Whether it's murder by a mother and physician or neglect by a father, both positions are wrong.
Posted By Anonymous Dustin, Indianapolis, Indiana : 11:22 AM ET
I can't believe this issue is being taken seriously. As long as our someone approaches sex as a recreational activity, the right protective equipment needs to be worn as in any other sport! Want to play baseball without a glove?
Posted By Anonymous Jan, Fort Worth, TX : 11:22 AM ET
Men DO have a choice. They can choose not to have sex, if they don't want to be a father.
Posted By Anonymous Pam Whitney, Mesa, AZ : 11:22 AM ET
I think I have reached the end of my patience when it comes to another man complaining about being forced to pay child support for a child that they did not want. Does this young man not understand what causes this problem? Has he not yet figured out that to rely on the statements from the other party as to whether or not they can get pregnant is absurd? I mean really, how many times have I heard, "don't worry, I don't need a condom, I'm sterile", from a guy. I just don't play with that fire. This young man is probably also a believer in marrying a virgin yet does not think to leave any around. What an idiot.
Posted By Anonymous Sandy, Dallas, Texas : 11:23 AM ET
Matt Dubay says he wants to have a choice. He had his chance. His choice was to have sexual relations with Lauren Wells. He wasn't duped into fatherhood. Whether he likes it or not, he is now the father of a beautiful daughter, Elizabeth. His efforts to abandon his responsibility makes him a dead beat dad of the worst kind.
Posted By Anonymous Joseph Kowalski, North Huntingdon, PA : 11:24 AM ET
I think he trying to make a point that there is a double standard in this country in regards to child bearing. I applaud the lawsuit as it gives people something to think about.
Posted By Anonymous Armand, Rocky Hill, CT : 11:24 AM ET
The main question is whether or not the man has a right any say in the outcome. What if the woman wanted an abortion and the man wanted the child, would the man have a say in that circumstance? Or would the woman have all the choices without any regard to the wishes of the man?
Posted By Anonymous Frank, Columbus OH : 11:26 AM ET
It seems like he has an interesting point. I mean, think about it - how many men would skip using a condom if they'd been given a promise that it wasn't needed and they believed that promise?

I believe firmly in people taking responsibility for their actions. Does that mean that the girl should do some sort of penance for breaking a promise? Seems to me there isn't anything cut and dry about this situation, at least this specific one, espcially since I know very little about it.
Posted By Anonymous Suzy, Glendale Heights, IL : 11:27 AM ET
He had a choice. He played. Sorry but you must live up to that. It is sad to see that over 2000 years later women are still tricking men as eve did in the garden. Wake up man, you should have taken responsibility for your own birth control. You said that you did not want to be a parent. She said that she could not have children. She did not say that she did not want them. You were listening with the wrong head.

Now there is a child out there who has publicly mad an ass of him self and his daughter has to live with that. Can the child now file suit and ask that her father be aborted????
Posted By Anonymous JJH Oklahoma City, OK : 11:27 AM ET
Bumper sticker:

"Don't have sex with pro-lifers"

The messages is, if you have sex, you take the risk, regardless of any protection or promises you are operating under. If you take the risk, you own the outcome.
Posted By Anonymous Ian Harding, Tacoma Washington : 11:28 AM ET
I have to say that a fair amount of comments here miss this guy's point:
some of you have articulated that he chose to have sex and presumably chose not to use contraception (maybe he did use a condom and it failed?)...and therefore you argue that he has to accept the responsibility of being a father.
Flip that around now.
This guy's point is that women can choose to have sex, choose not to use contraception and still choose not to be mothers...whether through adoption or abortion. Speaking as an attorney, I've been expecting this argument for is a logical equal protection argument.
Posted By Anonymous Nathan, New York, New York : 11:29 AM ET
I'd like to know if the woman really had a "condition". If so, that's the breaks and he should pay. If not and he was duped as a sperm donor, then he shouldn't have to pay as he was made a father by deceit.

"You pays your money, you takes your chances".
Posted By Anonymous Johnny, Seattle, WA : 11:29 AM ET
Haha, if only we have that pre-intimacy disclosure/agreement, eh? Then STD's would stop spreading too. The guy should face the truth that people lie about stuff (not being able to get pregnant, std's, etc), and done his share of the protection.
Posted By Anonymous Jen, NYC, NY : 11:30 AM ET
I think we are missing the other half of this lawsuit. What if the man wanted to keep the child and the woman did not. Where are his rights in this matter?
Posted By Anonymous Brent, Knoxville, TN : 11:30 AM ET
One of the previous postings read:
"When is the male population going to wake up and realize that they are part of this whole process. If they don't want to be a dad then don't have sex or at least use contraceptives."

Doesn't this same logic then apply to women? If women do not want to be mothers, the should not be having sex or using contraception; they should not be relying on abortion as an option.

If this truly is to be an equal society, and women have the choice to have an abortion to avoid becoming a mother, by that logic shouldn't a man have the ability to force an abortion of a fetus conceived by his act to avoid fatherhood?

We cannot talk about parenting and abortion in the same sentence. Every feminist in this nation wants men to be more active in parenting, but expecting them to become more active in the parenting also opens the door to them being more active before the child is born.
Posted By Anonymous Jerome, St. Paul, MN : 11:31 AM ET
I think there does need some balance...what about a man who wants a child but his pregnant wife/gf decides to have an abortion? A man has no legal right in a situation like that - it all rests with the woman. If a woman has a right to choose, why not the same right for a man?
Posted By Anonymous Juan, Sante Fe, NM : 11:31 AM ET
If women are not forced to become mothers than why are men forced to become fathers?? If it is unplanned and the woman doesn't want the child but the man does is she forced to carry it?? It should work both ways....
Posted By Anonymous DeVy Breckenridge MN : 11:32 AM ET
How many women have heard...if you get pregnant I'll be there for you and then the men skip town? Get with the program you little did should be responsible....grow up and be a man...not a sniveling little sissy boy. This is a child you should practice safer sex if you don't want that "potential" responsibility.
Posted By Anonymous Tina, Las Vegas, Nevada : 11:33 AM ET
This is really a matter of "equal justice under law" and needs to be sent to the Supreme Court.

Look at it this way, if a woman becomes pregnant she has the following options open to her:

(1) Abort; or,
(2) Rear child; or,
(3) Place for adoption

The man, in the case of pregnancy has the following options:

(1) Pay support; or,
(2) Marriage and support; or, if this lawsuit is successful,
(3) Flee or otherwise refuse

As it stands now, the only options open to men are #1 and #2; and #3 is right-out illgal in most places. What this lawsuit does is open up equity for men in this matter--since men cannot become pregnant themselves, this gives the man a similar "opt-out" option that the woman currently has.

Regardless of personal morals, this is an intensely important issue, and may well drive legal doctrine in this country for decades.
Posted By Anonymous Phil, Waterloo, Iowa : 11:34 AM ET
What's good for the goose should be good for the gander. Why is it that a woman's right outweighs a man's in the court of law. As a father who has dealt with divorce and child support and limited visitation it amazes me that some women think a man should not have a say in these matters. Men and women are equal under the court of laws and a man should have a right to have a say.
Posted By Anonymous Mike, Indianaolis : 11:35 AM ET
This guy is being incredibly immature. If he didn't want to have a child, HE should have taken responsibility to go out and get himself a condom (they're cheap!) or gotten himself a vasectomy. I don't get why preventing pregnancy is always seen as the woman's responsibility. Better yet, he should have let her know BEFORE he slept with her that he didn't want to be a father, and if she couldn't accept that, they shouldn't have done the deed. Proper communication could have gone a long way toward preventing this situation from ever happening.
Posted By Anonymous Linnea, Bloomington, MN : 11:35 AM ET
Everyone has made very interesting comments. Personal feelings of pro-life/pro-choice aside, the underlying issue still remains --- shouldn't he have a choice as she does? She had an option he was not afforded. Fair?
Posted By Anonymous Margaret, Phoenix, Arizona : 11:35 AM ET
I think it is great that this case challenges our current views on children. If a man has no say on whether or not a woman can abort their child, then he should be allowed to opt out of payment if the pregancy was unplanned.
Posted By Anonymous David Wayne, PA : 11:35 AM ET
It seems to me that some of you are missing the point of his arguement. He's not saying he didn't father the child, he's saying the mother had all the options (abortion, adoption, birth) and that he had none. Certainly he had the choice not to sleep with her, but so did she. After that he loses all control and choice in the matter and she does not. It would appear that this is the inequity he seeks to address. I don't see an easy solution to this but you must admit the inequity of the situation.
Posted By Anonymous Pete, Hinton, TX : 11:42 AM ET
If Dubay were to become pregnant, he could legally obtain an abortion (unless he lives in South Dakota). If, on the other hand, he chooses to continue his pregancy and keep the child, then his lover would have to pay him child support. That's only fair.

What's NOT fair is to force the one who keeps the child to pay for everything. He has the option to sue for full custody and have the mom pay child support to him.
Posted By Anonymous Alys Anderson, OKC ,OK : 11:43 AM ET
Randy Cohen (the ethicist Anderson interviewed on this last night) said it well. Once you have sex there is always the risk that there might be a child and you have obligations to that child.That is why sex is intended for marriage and not outside of it.
Matt did have choices here- he just made the wrong ones.
Posted By Anonymous Jennifer, Durham NC : 11:43 AM ET
I think that Matt has a point in that men should be given a choice in the matter. However, the choice needs to be made prior to "making the baby". If he is so adimant about not being a father, for the time being, he should have taken that responsibility a step further and made sure that there was no way that he could get somebody pregnant. Also, from the sounds of it, he was not in a committed relationship with this woman. Honestly, his irresponsibility should not fall solely on the shoulders of the mother. The mistake was made by both of them, therefore, they both should share the burden.
Posted By Anonymous Amy, Carmichael, Ca. : 11:43 AM ET
Dubay's stand is commendable. He made his CHOICE known to his partner, his partner lied about her ability to become pregnant, and now, it is deemed that he has NO CHOICE but to pay the support. The government uses a B&W model to come up with this support figure, as if everyone's lifestyle is the same. The issue is not so much about deceit, as it is about the government's unfariness in taking a linear approach to the solution.
Posted By Anonymous Andy, Houston, Texas : 11:44 AM ET
He needs to step up and accept responsiblity... period!

However, this brings up another point. When a woman decides to have an abortion the man has no say in the matter. Why can't men accept reponsibility and absolve the birth mother of all responsibilities.
Posted By Anonymous Randy, Vallejo, ca : 11:44 AM ET
I fully support Matt Dubay.

Matt's scenario reflects an all-too-common situation where a woman who wants to simply father a child will lie about various circumstances in order to trick a man into getting her pregnant. Its clear Matt and Lauren had a verbal understanding that a baby between the two was not only not desired, but not even a remote possibility.

If they were being careless and this was all just a huge accident that would be one thing. But some women get pregnant to trap men, and some women get pregnant just because they want the experience of being a mother. In either of these situations if the woman purposefully and willfully misleads the boyfriend I don't see any possible way anyone could hold the man responsible.

Now if Matt is simply arguing for the right to be able to willfully decline childsupport in any situation I don't think that would be good. But in situations where the woman misleads the man and gets pregnant, if both individuals had previously agreed that a child is not an option or possibility, the man shouldn't have to pay if the woman proceeds to keep the child.
Posted By Anonymous Adam, Tempe AZ : 11:45 AM ET
It's really simple, a woman can make a "choice" at two points one during the act and one after conception. If abortion is really about a woman deciding not to want the responsibility of parenthood, why shouldn't that same choice be extended to the other parent?
Posted By Anonymous Mark, Cranston, RI : 11:45 AM ET
It's a shame if the woman actually did lie to the guy about being able to have children. However, that does not change the fact that they did have sex, this did result in a child, and the woman chose to have that child. The decision is hers because her biology dictates that she is the one who will carry the child. It really is that simple!

The ramifications of allowing this man off the hook would be terrible.
Posted By Anonymous Ed, Philadelphia PA : 11:45 AM ET
I love how women are twisting this case into men trying to gain power over women. What this case is about is equal right ... plain and simple. The very arguements I hear in all these blog sound very much like the Texas defense in Rode v Wade. I stand by this guy in principle, what everyone seem to forget is the legal standard to be a parent doest always involve DNA. I have many friend who's wives cheated on them got pregnant and they still have to pay child support.
Look how hypocritical these women's group are ... equal rights, pay , and respect. But when it come to an equal say in parenting .....suddenly thing shouldn't be equal.
Posted By Anonymous Mark-Anthony Canty, Gainesville, FL : 11:46 AM ET
While I feel the child is the only one to suffer in this situation I feel BOTH parents are at fault and neither should complain about the outcome of their "night of passion". This father is irresponsible but there are also those fathers who are responsible. What happens when they want to keep the child but the mothers option is abortion because SHE doesn't want the finanical responsibility for 18 years+? This situation can be argued from many points. But the end result is that as a man and woman (parents of a child) you are BOTH responsible. BOTH of you agreed to a moment of passion to conceive this child. Love your child and move on!
Posted By Anonymous J.O. Minneapolis, MN : 11:46 AM ET
This very interesting situation and suit will most likely cause opinions and tempers to flare as it rolls along its course.

Admittedly surprised at myself, I can see and somewhat agree with the Plaintiff's point of view - there is a law in existence that guarantees women (for the time being) the right to choose to be intimate, and still be assured she has complete control over the consequences. Men, on the other hand, are entirely subservient to whatever choice the woman ultimately makes, regardless of any discussions by the pair prior to pregnancy. On paper, it seems to me like a very cut & dry issue of inequality.

However, life is not so simple. One would hope to think, after seeing and meeting with one's own flesh & blood child, that nothing else would take precedence, and one would WANT to ensure his child had the best future possible, hence, at the very least, paying support.

Its going to be interesting to see how this suit plays out; what's next? Legal "pre-nups" for dating relationships?
Posted By Anonymous Mae, Montclair, NJ : 11:46 AM ET
The most interesting aspect of Matt Dubay's position is lost in the opinion communicated in the prior posts of the "moral majority." That aspect is the lack-of-voice men have been afforded in the discussion once the sex act occurs.

For a moment, consider if the roles were reversed -- Matt claimed he couldn't produce living sperm, and Lauren claimed she wasn't ready to have children. Would Marcia, from Warren, MI write "You made a choice now own up to your responibilty?"

The simple fact is that there IS a decision made by both a man and a woman prior to having sex (with some obvious exceptions).

While I don't support Matt's decision to fight supporting his child, and I don't support an unfettered right to abortion in most instances, I most definitely support commencing a conversation about why men have no recognizable rights between conception and birth.
Posted By Anonymous Ryan, Indiana PA : 11:47 AM ET
I wonder how anyone could be pro-choice and not support some form of similar right for men. If the woman does not want to care for a child she can get an abortion even if the father wanted to take care of the child. If she wants to have the child she has made the choice for herself and the father and he will have to pay. They both participated in the act, but only one side has a say whether or not to pay the consequences.

I personally think that neither should have a choice about it (except in extreme cases), and both parties should own up to the consequences of their actions.
Posted By Anonymous Doug, Yorktown, VA : 12:12 PM ET
First I am a single mother of 4 who does not get any child support. With that said, I agree with the man. Women have a choice to do with the baby as she wishes and it is LEGAL. There are 2 parents involved with making a child. If the courts make it legal for one to not raise it or have an abortion, then how can we "make" the second parent do what is not expected of the first? To make it fair, we have to end abortion AND make the father support the child. It will be equal. People will use more protection and think about who they are sleeping with, because they will HAVE to live with the consequence. The only choice will be the first one. Which is the initial act which lead to our precious children.
Posted By Anonymous Tammy, Ridgeway VA : 12:48 PM ET
It is great to see this issue being brought forth in court. There is clearly a Constitutional question here regarding different standards for different genders. During law school I was constantly stunned at how anti-male laws are with regards to family law issues, particularly child support.

Men have no rights when it comes to pregnancy. If a woman wants an abortion, a man cannot force her to have a child. The woman is in total control. Everyone says "it takes two to tango" and "he had a choice, he slept with her". If you want to use those lines, then "it takes two to tango, and it should take two to decide what to do if a woman is pregnant", likewise "he had a choice, he slept with her, and he STILL has a choice if he wants to have a child".

Why is everyone focusing on a man's choice before sex? Why not focus on what choices a man in entitled to after sex? If this woman, or any woman, has a child with a man who either clearly stated he did not want children or whom she knew did not want to have children, SHE should take EVERY precaution to prevent pregnancy. If a man does not wear a condom, don't just blame him, when you, as a female, could easily take a pill or utilize any other form of birth control. If it takes two to tango, it takes TWO to prevent unwanted pregnancy.
Posted By Anonymous LJP, Alexandria, VA : 12:52 PM ET
This is a fascinating lawsuit. As a former family law attorney, I applaud this man's courage to bring this issue to the surface. When two people jointly decide to become parents, then they should both share in the responsibility. However, in this man's situation, he should not be forced to support this child.
Posted By Anonymous Ben, Dallas, Texas : 12:55 PM ET
For those people that still ignorantly write, "do the crime, do the time". That isn't the point. Stop writing that shallow argument (we got it, you have a moral issue is sex) and get back to the real question of equality. As Margaret from PHX put it, "she had an option he was not afforded"
By the way, I get a kick out of the "If they waited until marriage they wouldn't have this problem argument." I guess ignorance is bliss. . .
Posted By Anonymous Ron, Boston, MA : 12:55 PM ET
This is an interesting case. I do feel that men have a right to involve themselves in the birth of thier child but I also agree that women are forced into it because of biology and therefore have an interseting position in the entire matter. Personally, I believe that it was his responsibility to ensure adequate protection even though she claimed the inability to get pregant (sometimes people lie or just make stupid mistakes). I would imagine that a better policy would not be to engage in sexual activity without being able to assume responsibility towards your actions. Isn't that what we teach children when they are growing up.
Posted By Anonymous Aaron, Akron Ohio : 1:23 PM ET
If Mr Dubay did not want to become a father, he should have kept his pants on or else taken some responsibility for birth control himself. Last I heard it still takes two to make a baby and men must take responsibility for their own actions as well. Next thing you know, a law will be passed that the guy can make the woman murder her child or do without any child support. Can't wait to see the burden this will put on our already over taxed welfare system.
Posted By Anonymous dot price Linwood, Ne : 5:12 PM ET
I know I'm in the minority, but I don't feel a man should have to shoulder the responsibility of a child if he made it clear at the beginning of the relationship that he didn't want one. But I guess something like a pre-sex contract kind of kills the mood... On the other hand, why would you leave it up to someone else to have such control over your life? Contraception is everyone's responsibility. Every woman has heard the one where the guy says, "'s okay, I had a vasectomy", so why did he her take her word for it when she said she couldn't have children? If I don't want a child, I will take the necessary measures not to have one!
Posted By Anonymous Laura, Knoxville, Tennessee : 5:13 PM ET
Its very easy for people to say that the man needs to step up and accept responsibility. But the reality is that both parties are responsible for the birth of a child. If the man has clearly indicated in the course of a relationship that he is not interested in having children with the woman, and in spite of their best efforts she "somehow" manages to get pregnant, why should the man have to pay ? After all, the woman has the choice of whether to keep the baby, abort or give it up for adoption. How come the father doesn't get any choices?
Posted By Anonymous Vincent, Cincinnati OH : 5:16 PM ET
She lied, he believed, but still had sex. Seems to me there was a responsibility of both parts. But, I don't think the guy needs to pay financially and ruin his life. The woman wanted the child; she should pick up the tab.
Posted By Anonymous Linda, Las Vegas, NV : 5:20 PM ET
If he wins, pregnant girls everwhere will be lining up for abortions b/c ALL of the burden for rearing the child will fall on their shoulders. Their "choice" will be made for them. He should pay.
Posted By Anonymous Tracy, Chesapeake, OH : 5:21 PM ET
Those who support this on the basis of equality are really missing something here. This is one case where actual equality is biologically impossible. A man cannot get pregnant and carry a child for 9 months, period. This is one situation where the different genders are not and cannot be made truly equal in their choices. There are enough problems with deadbeat dads, lets not give them any more excuses.
Posted By Anonymous Adrian New York, NY : 5:23 PM ET
Let's be fair about this case. If a woman has the right to choose whether she wants the baby or not, the man should also have the same opportunity. Women have equality, why can't the men?

Should they have thought about using contraceptives before hand, absolutely, but the fact is they didn't. Just because the womam chooses she wants to birth the child shouldn't mean the man is forced to pay for the support. If a woman wants the sole option to choose whether or not she keeps the baby, then she should face the consequences on their own.

If you want to argue that it takes 2 to make a baby, then it should be 2 for life, and 2 for an abortion. Either give men the right to keep their baby, or don't make them pay support if the woman wants to keep the child and their against it. Why is the man taking out of the decision process once a woman becomes pregnant? It's THEIR child, it took the 2 of them to make it, and both should have a say in what happens after the birth.
Posted By Anonymous Kyle, Long Island NY : 5:26 PM ET
As a single woman with no children, who is pro-choice, I think since men can't have babies, women ultimately need to look out for themselves, so if you get pregnant, don't "expect" anything, sad but true. And men need to take precautions on their end, because why put your fate in someone else's hands?! I'm sure both sides wanted to have sex, but if women want a choice, then men should have one too.
Posted By Anonymous Abey, Los Angeles, CA : 5:27 PM ET
The sole basis for a woman's exclusive right to decide whether or not to carry a fetus to term is that it is her body that is affected by giving birth or having an abortion. Were this not the case, a woman would and should not have sole power to decide.

Whether a father pays child support has nothing to do with the woman's body. A man who does not want a child should have every right to request termination of the pregnancy. If the woman declines, the man should not be obligated to pay, provided the request was made within a reasonably short period of time of his being informed of the pregnancy.

To those who say "you play, you pay", please think what would happen in our society if we could never rely on promises or contracts. Generally it benefits society that people can make agreements with each other in order to engage in risky behavior. A woman should not have carte blanche to betray an agreed trust, and yet even compel financial responsibility from her partner, just because she is a woman.
Posted By Anonymous Josh, Brooklyn NY : 5:34 PM ET
I'm appalled, after reading all the messages here, that people can use a "moral equivalency" argument like this: women can abort, but men can't, so a man can withhold financial support.

Men can't have abortions. There. I said it. Men can't carry a child to term. Once born, men can't suckle the child. Nothing in there has to do with "equal rights." And above all, it is not equal protection if a man exercises his "right" by attacking the child he is partly responsible for putting on this earth.

This is all about attacking abortion rights. Well, these men seem to be saying, if I can't decide she MUST have my child, and I can't decide that she MUST NOT have my child, I'll make it as difficult as I can for the CHILD.
Posted By Anonymous Jim, Glendale, CA : 5:40 PM ET
If men want to be able to deposit their genetic code, then they have a responsibility for the outcome of that. If they get to choose not to become fathers after the fact, then maybe they should have to pay a hefty fine for their irresponsibility in creating a human being without following through. Or maybe they should wake up and realize they had a choice but gave it away.
Posted By Anonymous Nora, St. Louis, MO : 5:43 PM ET
Why hasn't the mother of Matt's child made a statement on the case?
Posted By Anonymous Bill Houston, TX : 5:46 PM ET
We are the only "animals" who have sex for more than the purpose of procreation. Let's be real the only reason for sex is to create another human being. When two people lay down they should know that there certain situations that could come into play. Does this guy live under a rock? How many woman have thought that they couldn't have a baby and came up pregnant. Regardless of what a man thinks or what the woman says if you don't want a child take the necessary measures that are provided to not have one. If a pregnancy does occur step up and be a man. A real man would take care his child regardless. If more men would step up and take responsibilty this wouldn't even be a issue. I don't think the government should have to pick up the tab for his "mistake".
Posted By Anonymous Miesha Turner, Monroe,LA : 5:51 PM ET
This is sick we are talking about whether or not the man or the women has the right to terminate a life or not! Give me a break, how presumptuous of us to sit around and argue over the life of a child as if it were some inconvenience a simple procedure could remedy. You both made the mistake or "accident" well guess what that is the miracle of life and also living with the choices we make. Suck it up
Posted By Anonymous Damon Webb -- Seattle, WA : 5:52 PM ET
I'm speaking for this case, specifically. The guy says REPEATEDLY that he doesn't want a child. The gal gets pregnant and decides that she's changed her mind and does now want a child. Awesome for her. But why force the guy to participate in a situation he has clearly stated he doesn't want to participate in. Why on earth would you want to put yourself through that. It's not like he said he wanted to have a child and then backed out. It's simple really. You made the decision knowing full well your boyfriend's stance and, in that circumstance, you shouldn't have (nor want!) anything from him. I say move on and nurture your new motherhood.
Posted By Anonymous Lynn, Los Angeles California : 5:54 PM ET
Although I believe this man should accept responsibility for his actions it does highlight the unfairness to men. When a man walks away from his child he's irresponsible. When a woman has an abortion it's 'choice'.
Posted By Anonymous Brian Lovgren, New Braunfels TX : 5:57 PM ET
No way, nohow, uh-uh. It takes two to make a baby; two are responsible for supporting that baby once it's made. Any man who feels it's his right to have a good time, then waltz off free and clear of any responsibilities toward a child he's sired is no man. Too bad if the guy got duped--that happens. But no one forced him to have sex. That was a choice he made, one with all kinds of possible ramifications, including the limitation of the choices and can and should have in the future. Ducking his responsibilities isn't one of them.

The irony of it is, this guy will very likely want to be involved in his child's life to some degree at least. He'll want the privileges without paying the dues. Grow up, son, and develop a character to match your libido.
Posted By Anonymous R. Hartig, Grand Rapids, MI : 5:58 PM ET
This is a highly unfortunate situation. It is a good test case though. I would really be interested in the outcome. I have no doubt the man will lose, but he shouldn't.

This case isn't about the man failing to prevent them from getting pregnant. It's about the fact that the woman has several choices on how to handle this situation. 1. Abort 2. Adopt 3. Raise the child.

The man has one choice, wait and see what the woman decides to do. I think to make it fair, the man should be able to "opt out", that doesn't force the woman to abort the baby, it would just make her decide based on the financial considerations what she thinks she needs to do. Adoption doesn't burden the state either (I heard that argument strewn around here.) AND there are a lot of people who are looking to adopt children in this country.

If women want true "equality" then they would support this man. I feel that a lot of women are acting as hypocrits though on this board. They want to have the baby and they expect to receive money for 18 years for this child. They can even reasonably expect to kick the man out of the house and make sure he only gets weekend visitation rights. It's time to level the field.
Posted By Anonymous Steve, Griggstown NJ : 11:16 PM ET
Matt, who I will refer to as the pattsy for the group that will benefit from this entire fiasco(attorneys and leaders looking for some press and career making opportunities) you do not have the slightest notion of what you are embarking on. (much like when you CHOSE to have consensual, unprotected sex).

Let's also refer to you as the male counter part of Norma McCorvey(Jane Roe). You may wish to reasearch her and see what she has to say about Roe V Wade today. You might learn something.

ARE YOU KIDDING ME? This is the reality, it is not just the woman's responsibility for becoming pregnant. It is not uncommon for modern medicine and contraception to go awry. Why is it that men like yourself feel that when things do not go as planned, the woman should take full responsibility for your poor judgment as well as her own poor judgment? If I am not mistaken, she was not alone when conception occured.

It is time for men and women alike to take some resposibility for their bodies and for the NATURAL consequences that occur due to the choices they make while engaging in activities that have been PROVEN to cause pregnancy. If you supply the DNA, you run the risk and you are responsible for the outcome! How dare you tell someone to clean up your mess while you walk free. You don't want a baby? Dont supply DNA that will cause one.

In the event that you are not aware, there is a simple surgical procedure for men that can prevent unwanted babies, and it is reversible should you decide that you do want one in the future. Pretty simple as I see it. Grow up.

In addition, you may want to look at what Norma McCorvey has to say about her part in Roe V Wade. Of course, she never had an abortion. You may wish to seriously consider the ramifications of the ridiculous choices you are making now as the front man for a cause that you most likely do not fully understand.

You have proven to be quite immature, and irresponsible at the age of 25, and this is who we have to front legislation??? Pretty scary for the future of our nation, our children and those to come. A poor choice was made and now you are continuing to make poor choices to avoid the consequences. More poor choices will just bring more serious consequences. Is that what you want?

Joanne Pittman
Birth Mom
Newport Beach
Posted By Anonymous Anonymous : 11:35 PM ET
I came up with this very same argument about eight years ago at a debating tournament while attending law school. I called it "BYOB: Bankroll Your Own Baby".

I happen to be against the idea of men opting out of child support obligations, but it is logically consistent with our abortion laws (which in Canada means no law whatsoever).

The fact that only women can get pregnant has led a number of judges to conclude that laws that discriminate against pregnant persons discriminate against women and are therefore unconstitutional. The corallary is that you can't use arguments that start "if a man got pregnant then...". It's discrimination against men plain and simple.

It is said that two wrongs don't make a right. This case shows that two rights - unrestricted abortion and an opt-out for paternal child support - can be rather wrong.
Posted By Anonymous Clark Browning, Maple Ridge, BC, Canada : 5:50 PM ET
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