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The Press Release

The following is the text of NCM’s original press release announcing “Roe vs. Wade for Men” in March of 2006.

Men’s Center files pro-choice lawsuit in federal court
Distributes men’s “reproductive rights affidavit”

On March 9, 2006 The National Center For Men will file suit in a United States district court in Michigan on behalf of a man’s right to make reproductive choice, to decline fatherhood in the event of an unintended pregnancy. We will call our lawsuit Roe vs. Wade for Men. TM

More than three decades ago Roe vs. Wade gave women control of their reproductive lives but nothing in the law changed for men. Women can now have sexual intimacy without sacrificing reproductive choice. Women now have the freedom and security to enjoy lovemaking without the fear of forced procreation. Women now have control of their lives after an unplanned conception. But men are routinely forced to give up control, forced to be financially responsible for choices only women are permitted to make, forced to relinquish reproductive choice as the price of intimacy.

Kingsley Morse was NCM Reproductive Rights director in 2006. His leadership made possible “Roe for Men.”

We will ask a United States district court judge to apply the principles of reproductive choice, as articulated in Roe vs. Wade, to men. We will ask that men be granted equal protection of the laws which safeguard the right of women to make family planning decisions after sex. We will argue that, at a time of reproductive freedom for women, fatherhood must be more than a matter of DNA: A man must choose to be a father in the same way that a woman chooses to be a mother.

We will ask that women be required to share reproductive freedom with men.

Our lawsuit will be filed on behalf of Matt Dubay, 25, a computer technician from Saginaw, Michigan. The state of Michigan is seeking to force Matt to pay child support for a child he never intended to bring into the world. Matt insists that the child’s mother repeatedly assured him she could not get pregnant and, also, Matt says that she knew he did not want to have a child with her. Matt is asking for the reproductive choice he would have had if he were “Matilda.”

Immediately upon the filing of Roe vs. Wade for Men, The National Center For Men will begin distribution of its Reproductive Rights Affidavit, intended to be filed in court by a man and designed to give men legal rights in matters of procreation. We think it will encourage men and women to make family planning decisions together, as equal partners, by giving a man a voice but without interfering with a woman’s right to choose. It reads, in part:

“I will not recognize the moral authority of a court to strip me of my constitutional right to reproductive choice. I will challenge any court order that seeks to impose a parental obligation upon me against my will by asserting my right to equal protection of the law.”

Arguing in the court of public opinion: making the case to Anderson Cooper’s viewers on CNN …The judge was dismissive of our case but the public seemed eager to hear our point of view.

This lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court in Michigan on March 9, 2006. The judge summarily dismissed the case in July of 2006 but not before he ordered Dubay to pay the legal fees of all the other parties, including the state of Michigan.

The case was then appealed to the sixth circuit, U.S. Court of Appeals. In October of 2007, the Appeals Court upheld the decision of the District Court but denied the state’s request that Dubay be required to pay further legal fees in connection with the appeal.

When the U.S. Court of Appeals ruled against Dubay, Matt and Mel went on MSNBC’s “Live with Dan Abrams” to discuss the case. Mel told Dan, “We were asking the Court to decide whether the right to separate sexual intimacy from forced procreation was a fundamental human right or a right to be enjoyed only by people with internal reproductive systems.”

Abrams was sympathetic to the idea that a man should not be forced into fatherhood if he was the victim of fraud or deceit. In fact, even when the press has been hostile to men’s rights issues in general, it has usually referred to “Roe for Men” with at least a neutral curiosity. As an example, take a look at the February 12, 2008 issue of The Nation, which characterizes our position as giving a man the opportunity to relinquish, through the courts, the rights and responsibilities of parenthood just as a woman has the opportunity to end her potential parenthood through abortion. They got it right.

To read our response to the district court’s decision, dismissing the first case, click here.
To read the press release announcing the appeal of the Matt Dubay case, click here.
For information on the NCM Reproductive Rights Affidavit,click here.

To donate to the cause of men’s equal reproductive rights, click here.
Among the gifts we offer to our contributors is a DVD compilation of our television work on “Roe vs. Wade for Men.” It represents the public record of this historic case.
Request the “Roe for Men” DVD when making your donation.