What Does the Law Say About the Father’s Rights on Abortion?

Abortion is one of the most controversial issues in American politics. The appropriate role that the father has in the abortion decision, if any, is just one of many heated debates on the topic. Though in some cultures throughout history, and even in 2010, men have a significant or even dominant role in abortion decisions, American father¡¯s have essentially no legal right. The context in which this concern has been most litigated in the U.S. is with regard to the rights of married men whose wives seek to have an abortion.
In 1992, a groundbreaking case regarding father¡¯s rights was decided in Tennessee. A divorced couple had been unsuccessful in having children and had created fertilized embryos that were frozen for future implantation. After the couple divorced, the woman wanted to go ahead with the implantation. Though the trial court ruled in her favor, saying it was in the best interests of the embryos to be implanted and be born, the appellate court held that the man had a constitutional right to not be made a father without his consent. The decision was affirmed by the Tennessee Supreme Court, but not reviewed by the U.S. Supreme Court.
That same year, the Supreme Court issued its own landmark decision on father¡¯s rights. A Pennsylvania statute authorizing abortion required, among other things, spousal notification of the procedure. The law had been invalidated at the federal appellate level as unconstitutional, and a sharply divided Supreme Court upheld the ruling. The decision was based on prior cases in which the Court had found the right to decide whether or not to have a child is a fundamental aspect of individual privacy protected against intrusion from state laws by the Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment.
More than a decade after the decision in Planned Parent v. Casey, the controversy was again in the headlines. In 2005, then-president Bush nominated Samuel Alito, Jr. to the high court. Alito had sat on the three-judge panel that decided Casey at the appellate level. Though that court had struck down the parental notification requirement, Alito had been the lone dissenter. Alito was eventually approved by the Senate and ascended to the high Court, where as of 2010 he currently sits alongside Justice Antonin Scalia, who also dissented in Casey on the issue of spousal notification.
The possibility that the Supreme Court will explicitly overturn Planned Parenthood v. Casey is low, but there is a chance a conservative-leaning Court could issue a ruling that gives states some leverage to require spousal notification before an abortion. A 2003 Gallup poll on the subject found public opinion had remained fairly steady in the decade since Casey, and that it was largely in favor of spousal notification. Seventy-two percent of respondents favored parental notification, with 67 percent of women agreeing that a woman should notify her husband before getting an abortion. Over time, the Supreme Court does tend to come in line with public opinion, and some believe the reasoning in Davis v. Davis could be a way to bridge the gap.
As the sperm donor for a fertilized embryo, you have the legal right to prevent becoming a father against your will. But with regard to a fetus developing inside a women, you have no legal say over whether an abortion occurs or not. A variety of public interest advocacy groups have been formed to argue in favor of giving men a right in the abortion decision. The law is one-sided, they say, because a man can be forced to accept the legal obligations of paternity, but can’t prevent a woman from aborting a baby when he wants it to be born. The law can change, and the debate rages on, with states like Ohio considering legislation that could potentially sidestep the Casey decision.

Detox Foot Patches Side Effects

Manufacturers of detox foot pads claim that if you stick one pad per day on the bottom of your foot for 30 consecutive nights, the ingredients the pads will draw toxins out of your body while you sleep. But it is questionable if detox foot pads really work, and there are warnings to heed.
Detox foot pads typically contain natural ingredients such as vinegar, plants and herbs. Dr. Gibson explains the theory that these natural ingredients give off infrared energy to improve cell function and that the targeted toxins are ones found in our environment, such as lead and arsenic. The foot pad manufacturers claim that the discoloration found on the pad in the morning is evidence that it has done its job of removing such toxins. While no scientific evidence exists that the pads are not safe, all of the leading manufacturers of the detox foot pad provide warnings related to use of their foot pads. “No scientific studies have been published showing that detox foot pads do what they claim they’ll do,” writes Dr. Lawrence E. Gibson, a Mayo Clinic dermatologist, on the Mayo Clinic website’s Consumer health section.
In discussing detox foot pads made by Takara (a large manufacturer of the product) a distributing website, Defotto.com, warns against using the pad over other areas of the body, especially open wounds, mucous membranes, or the eye area. It’s unclear whether doing so might cause infection or irritation.
Acupeds, a manufacturer of the detox foot pad, provides a FAQs section on its website. When one of their customers asked why she felt tired, Acupeds answered that users may require more sleep as their body begins to cleanse and release toxins.
Another FAQ indicated that a consumer of the Acupeds detox foot pads experienced joint pain when using the product. Acupeds replied that he may be experiencing a form of “healing crisis” from a chronic situation, but that reflex points will help his body heal and that the discomfort would disappear within a day or two.
You should be concerned about using the detox foot pads if you are allergic to shellfish, based on research by Jamie Fritch who wrote a Vanderbilt University research paper entitled, “Chitosan”. Chitosan is a fibrous ingredient derived from shellfish and one of the ingredients in the detox foot pad. Fritch states,”due to its composition, anyone allergic to seafood and pregnant women should not take chitosan.”
Pregnant women are advised by Takara not to use detox foot pads until their third trimester, but they do not explain why it is safe at that point in pregnancy. It may be advisable to err on the safe side due to the Chitosan, and avoid the detox pads altogether.
There is little scientific documentation available regarding the benefits of detox foot pads, or any possible side effects of their use. And even though the composition of these detox food pads are primarily natural and appear to be harmless overall, it is wise to become an informed consumer; review the ingredient list, discuss with your physician, and then proceed with caution.