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Health
 

Hi Amy-

Regarding how little involvement men have in birth control or the spread of STDs, doesn't it seem plausible that a woman could sue a man who intentionally withholds knowledge of a disease and/or passively dismisses the usage of a contraception that therefore consequentially could cause a pregnancy? Think of how expensive it is to have GYN care (even if you have insurance) or how expensive it is to raise a child? Is a man required to pay for half of the cost of an abortion? No? Then we should sue him. Is a man required to pay for half of the prenatal care? No? Then we should sue him.

Personally, I have many times been engaged with men who have refused to use a condom while simultaneously asking "aren't you on the pill?". Like it's all my fault and all my destiny and NOT THEIRS??? If a man gets a woman pregnant and does not actively pursue contraception, or spreads a disease without informing the woman, shouldn't he (even if he decidedly washes his hands clean the next day of the situation (the luxury, huh?)), shouldn't he pay some or ALL of the consequences?

Shouldn't he be obligated by law to pay for all of the abortion, or to pay for all of the doctor's visits that deal with the STD? Men get off too easily in this game and should carry more of the burden. Since they can't carry the burden in their wombs, shouldn't they at least carry the burdens in their wallets?


   

Your note actually gave me inspiration to finish an article that I am many months overdue on.

I was asked to write a piece about men's sexual health, based on a suggestion that I once made that Planned Parenthood should sponsor "Take Your Boyfriend to the Clinic Night" so that men could begin to get educated about their sexual health the way that women do and one step in the direction of taking responsibility. It is certainly partly an individual male thing, but it is also a societal expectation -- we don't expect men to go to the doctors once a year like women and we don't even have adequate tests to test men and we indirectly put the pressure on women to be informed by 1.) linking it to our reproductive health and capacity and potential and 2.) only studying women the percentage of women who are infected or who are preventing, etc....

It certainly is an unfair responsibility and I echo your thoughts that men need to take more responsibility. I don't think that it could be put into law -- mostly because most men don't even know that they have a STI, so we can' hold them responsible for that, but we can back up one step and require that they get better informed. There have been some laws related to AIDS, but those have been few and yet very effective. I hope that helps and at a minimum perhaps you can start by starting a "take your boyfriend to the clinic night" in your area. Good luck -- and stay healthy.

-- Amy

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