Press Release


Men's reproductive rights case, dismissed by District Court judge,
now brought to sixth circuit U.S. Court of Appeals



In March of 2006, Matt Dubay, 26, a computer programmer from Saginaw Michigan, filed suit in a United States district court in Michigan, demanding the right of reproductive choice, to right to decline fatherhood in the event of an unintended pregnancy. The National Center For Men backed Dubay and dubbed his lawsuit, Roe vs. Wade for MenTM.

The state of Michigan had forced Dubay to pay support for a child he never intended to bring into the world. Dubay had insisted that the child’s mother assured him she could not get pregnant and, also, that she knew he did not want to have a child with her. Mr. Dubay asked U.S. District Court judge, David M. Lawson, to apply the principles Roe vs. Wade, to men. Dubay argued that he should not have been forced to relinquish reproductive choice as the price of intimacy, since no woman could have been forced to pay that price. In the Brief we made this argument for him:

The practical intent and effect of Roe vs. Wade was to permit a woman to engage in intimate sexual activity while, at the same time, choosing not to be a parent, even in the event of a contraceptive failure… that is the fundamental right created by "Roe." The Supreme Court specifically rejected the argument, as put forth by Wade, that a woman could make a procreative choice by abstaining from sex. Clearly, the Court intended for a woman to have a private, intimate life, without sacrificing the right to procreative choice. By its very nature, this is a fundamental right that must apply regardless of biology. It cannot survive both as a fundamental right and as a limited right, limited only to people with internal reproductive systems.

Last July, Judge Lawson summarily dismissed Dubay's suit. In a decision that reeked of unnecessary and inappropriate sarcasm, Lawson wrote, "[Dubay] had difficulty accepting the financial consequences of his conduct so the state came to his assistance." Very funny. In our view, the judge's sarcasm revealed a sexist bias.

Had the judge conducted a full and thoughtful hearing and then decided against Matt Dubay, that would have been discouraging for us, but that didn't happen here. Judge Lawson figuratively slammed the courthouse door in Dubay's face and then shamefully ordered him to pay the state's legal fees. The judge's decision will likely have a chilling effect on any citizen who wants to fight for his or her civil rights in a federal court.

On May 14, 2007, Matt Dubay's lawyer filed an appeal with the sixth circuit United States Court of Appeals in Cincinnati, asking that Matt be given his day in court. Oral arguments will be made to the Court on September 10, 2007 at 1:00 pm.

Roe vs. Wade (for women only) needs 21st century renovation. The issues raised by Dubay warrant thorough and careful analysis on the merits, not a flippant and summary dismissal.

NCM advocates and Matt Dubay and his attorney will be available for press interviews.

In October of 2007, the Court of Appeals upheld the decision of the District Court but denied the state's request that Dubay be required to pay legal fees in connection with the appeal. For more information on this case, call The National Center For Men at 631-476-2115.

To read the original press release annoucing this case, click here.
To read our response to the disctrict court's decision, click here.