“A Common Enemy”: Why Is It That Only Women Need Informing On Reproductive Health?
Legislators from Arizona to Virginia want women to undergo often invasive procedures before having a legal abortion, since the lawmakers are convinced that the women don’t really understand what they are doing. And leaders in the Catholic Church, which opposes contraception, are fighting Obama administration rules requiring employers (including those affiliated with the church, although not the church itself) to include birth control in their healthcare plans. The battles—which many of us thought had been fought and resolved decades ago—have caused dissension over religious freedom versus religious dictate, and on the role of government in people’s lives.
Sometimes it takes a common enemy to unite people otherwise diametrically opposed on such an emotional issue. And for that, we have Desmond Hatchett.
Hatchett is the 33-year-old Tennessee man who has fathered 30 children with 11 different women. He has a minimum wage job, and is asking a judge for a break on his child support. Under the law, half of his earnings must go to support the children, and because his earnings are so low, according to local news reports, some of the women receive as little as $1.49 a month in child support. Hatchett told an interviewer who wondered how he managed to help conceive so many children that he had had four kids in one year—”twice,” he added.
Really, legislators and church elders. Do you really think it’s women whose sexuality and sexual behavior needs to be controlled?
There’s surely some sort of medical or psychological term for people who have children for their own sake, with little regard for the health and welfare of the children (not to mention the taxpayers who well might end up supporting them). It’s a special kind of narcissism, the desire for notoriety combined with the self-centered drive to keep replicating your gene pool all over the place. The judgment of the women who got pregnant by this man is also in question (or maybe their healthcare plans don’t cover birth control?), but Hatchett is a special case. At least the women are limited by basic biology to the number of children they can bear in a particular time frame.
So, legislators and radio talk show hosts: The next time you want to wring your hands over the women you consider (or call) misguided, uninformed about their own bodies, or even just plan sluts and prostitutes, have a sit-down with Hatchett. Perhaps he might have benefited from a precarnal video explaining the consequences of his actions.
By: Susan Milligan, U. S. News and World Report, May 24, 2012