The argument that men should have no fiscal responsibility for children they don’t want if the mother refuses to abort the fetus is back in the news.
Greg Bruell and his girlfriend of a year and a half, Sandra Hedrick, had a pact. “We agreed that if we got pregnant, we’d terminate because we were not in a stable family unit,” Hedrick says. Or as Bruell more starkly puts it, “I resumed sexual relations with her on the condition that were birth control to fail, she’d abort without waffling.”
“Resumed,” because nine months earlier Hedrick had conceived a child with Bruell and the couple decided to end that pregnancy. Or rather, he decided, and she went along. Their relationship was too rocky—a series of breakups followed by passionate reunions—for them to become parents together, Bruell argued. Plus, both were still in the process of finalizing divorces, and he was a newly single father struggling to balance his needs against those of his eight-year-old daughter and seven-year-old son. Bruell wanted to steady their destabilized worlds before jumping into fatherhood anew.
This is no less ridiculous than when I first wrote about it four years ago. As I wrote then, “it should be clear that sex can lead to children. Anyone who doesn’t know this shouldn’t be engaging in sex.” And, in the story in this article, it’s as clear as two paragraphs can demonstrate that an unstable, on-off relationship may not be the best place to trust that a partner’s word means much. Engage in sex at your own risk, and accept the consequences of misplaced trust.
Via reason’s Hit & Run.
Near the end of the article, there’s a resolution and a speculation (emphasis added):
This spring, Bruell informed [Mel] Feit that he didn’t want to headline a lawsuit, after all. He could no longer countenance being pitted against Hedrick and his daughter, and he couldn’t figure out a way to proceed in the courts that wasn’t adversarial. There are any number of lessons that can be learned from Bruell’s withdrawal, one of which is that Libertarians probably don’t make the best activists. “[My lawsuit] would have been a speculative jab at the legal system with low probabilities of success that would have only helped others,” he says. “And given that I’m not an altruist, that was not a sufficient motivation to throw myself on the sword.”
The italicized fragment is preposterous, since one case is anecdotal, and there’s no proof here that libertarianism has anything to do with Mr. Bruell’s decision not to pursue legal theories. This strikes me as the author’s bias creeping into the article.