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 Post subject: Reproductive rights for men?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2012 3:04 pm 
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I've always been under the opinion that women should have the right to choose, 100%, whether or not they have a child.

I've also always had the opinion that if a man gets a woman pregnant, he should be responsible for helping out with the child, at least financially.

But now, my opinion on the second part is starting to change. I've heard a lot of men complaining that they don't get reproductive rights and this makes feminists hypocritical.

Of course, what happens to a woman's body is HER BODY. No one should decide for another person if they are going to have surgery or change their body permanently. I can't stand it when men say that since it is their child too they should have the right to help decide what a woman does with her body.

However, there is another part the woman gets to decide besides what she does with her body, whether she wants to raise a child for the rest of her life or not. Men don't get that choice. For me, saying that they have the right to have the baby that is theirs that a woman doesn't want isn't their right because she has to bear the child. But on the other hand, if a man DOESN'T want a child, and the woman does, he still is legally forced to raise the child. He doesn't get to decide if the child goes up for adoption or if he wants to completely distance himself from the responsibility.

Additionally, the woman has several chances to decide about whether she has a child. She can take birth control beforehand, she can decide before sex whether to use a condom, she can decide after sex whether to have a morning after pill, she can decide after she becomes pregnant if she wants to have an abortion, and she can decide after the birth if she wants to put the child up for adoption. Men get to decide whether to use a condom or not. Period.

This part does seem contradictory to me.

Imagine, women, that we had the technology to remove a fetus from a woman's body through teleportation, and it could be "carried to term" artifically. Now, men have the right to decide if they want a child too, because the woman doesn't have to take on the risk and damage of carrying and delivering the child. What if the man decided he wanted a child, the woman did not, but she was STILL responsible for paying half the costs of raising the child into adulthood.

So now I feel like the law should be different. Men should be able to choose before a baby is born if he wants to be in the child's life, just like a woman does, though he should still have no right to decide what she wants to do with her body.

Tell me what you think.


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 Post subject: Re: Reproductive rights for men?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2012 3:11 pm 
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I do think men should choose to not have to support a child they don't want, at least in theory, but it gets more complicated that than. What if the woman can't get an abortion and wants one, and is then forced to pay for a child she does not want either, it's something of an easy escape for men.


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 Post subject: Re: Reproductive rights for men?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2012 3:15 pm 
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Child support is not for the mother. It's for the child. If every guy that wanted to get out of paying child support just got to say "well I never wanted it" the problem would be ten times worse than it is.

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 Post subject: Re: Reproductive rights for men?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2012 3:16 pm 
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Men can decide whether or not to have sex in the first place and that is the most important decision. If you absolutely do not want the responsibility of having a child (financial responsibility included), DO NOT HAVE SEX with someone of the "opposite" sex. End of story. That goes for people of all sexes and genders.

If you can find a way to remove a fetus from my body, leaving me with no further decision making power and possible financial responsibility, I guess I'll just have to stop quietly playing chess with men and relying on the morning after pill and abortions to keep me from having children.


Last edited by joyfulgirl on Thu Jan 05, 2012 3:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Reproductive rights for men?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2012 3:17 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: Reproductive rights for men?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2012 3:27 pm 
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GuiltyofBeingSprite wrote:
I do think men should choose to not have to support a child they don't want, at least in theory, but it gets more complicated that than. What if the woman can't get an abortion and wants one, and is then forced to pay for a child she does not want either, it's something of an easy escape for men.


But a woman can put up a child for adoption if she chooses to. The man doesn't get to make that decision either.


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 Post subject: Re: Reproductive rights for men?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2012 3:33 pm 
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Fee wrote:
Child support is not for the mother. It's for the child. If every guy that wanted to get out of paying child support just got to say "well I never wanted it" the problem would be ten times worse than it is.


Of course it is for the child, but I'm not talking about some deadbeat dad who helps out with the child for a few years and then gets bored. Women can also not decide to just go ahead and give up their 5 year old child for adoption just because "they feel like it".

I'm talking about before the birth, when the woman is also making her decision whether or not she wants to be responsible for raising a child for the rest of her life, shouldn't a man get to make that decision too? I could understand the viewpoint at least if someone says for both of them: "They should have thought about that beforehand, now they both HAVE to have the child and take care of it forever or go to jail", but saying "The man should have thought about that beforehand, now its up to the woman to decide if he has to have a child and take care of it forever", seems contradictory from the same people who want to make sure that women have as much choice as possible about their future when faced with reproductive options.


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 Post subject: Re: Reproductive rights for men?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2012 3:39 pm 
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sourceoflight wrote:
But a woman can put up a child for adoption if she chooses to. The man doesn't get to make that decision either.


Do you really think that a woman can just unilaterally put a kid up for adoption without the father's consent? Any man recognized as the father has to give up paternal rights as well before the child can be put up for adoption. You need to watch more Parenthood ;)

And as Fee said, child support was enacted so that the burden of caring for these children didn't fall on the state. It is not an entitlement that belongs to the woman. If a man could choose to say I never want this kid, and so I do not have any responsibility for it, its not like the child ceases to exist. Someone has to pay for it, and its either the mother and father or the state. I do not think you are suggesting that fathers have a right to order an abortion of their unborn fetus, right?

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Last edited by Tofulish on Thu Jan 05, 2012 3:45 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Reproductive rights for men?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2012 3:42 pm 
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Fee wrote:
Child support is not for the mother. It's for the child. If every guy that wanted to get out of paying child support just got to say "well I never wanted it" the problem would be ten times worse than it is.

Exactly.

I know sometimes we would like to think sex is just some super fun time hobby, but crepe does happen and it does have consequences, at which point you either have to step up or move to a different state and change your name. If you're not prepared to support a child don't have sex. That totally sucks and is unfair, etc. but it's reality.

Dont have sex with women who wouldnt take plan b or have an abortion? It's no gaurantee, but maybe add it to your discussion on STDs and protection at the beginning of a relationship.

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 Post subject: Re: Reproductive rights for men?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2012 3:49 pm 
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joyfulgirl wrote:
Men can decide whether or not to have sex in the first place and that is the most important decision. If you absolutely do not want the responsibility of having a child (financial responsibility included), DO NOT HAVE SEX with someone of the "opposite" sex. End of story. That goes for people of all sexes and genders.

Absolutely.
sourceoflight wrote:
But a woman can put up a child for adoption if she chooses to. The man doesn't get to make that decision either.

He does get to make that decision. If the woman delivers the child and if she wants to keep it then she keeps it, if she wants to put it up for adoption then she can, if the father decides he wants it then he can, if neither of them wants it then they can both put it up for adoption. I'm not sure how many women give (or even can) a child up for adoption when the father wants to keep the child and has the right to keep the child. I can only think of circumstances where the mother and father would continue a relationship with each other but it would still be a decision that they would have to make together. Am I forgetting/missing something?

Plan B, birth control, condoms, etc are not full proof, not always available and all of the weight is pushed onto the woman. If I'm following the line of thinking in the original post, if a woman cannot afford birth control and the condom breaks and she gets pregnant then it would be her fault? That's not right. Condoms are about $5 for 3 (or many times, free). It's a lot more expensive and harder for women to get methods of birth control and it's a lot more harmful/riskier for her than a simple condom.

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 Post subject: Re: Reproductive rights for men?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2012 4:01 pm 
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Giving up paternal rights doesn't free a man from financial responsibility.

Also, it varies by state, but most states have laws where the woman not only doesn't have to get permission from the father before putting a child up for adoption, but doesn't even have to let him know that she is pregnant and going to put the child up for adoption.

I somehow doubt that just the physical part of giving birth to a child is why most women who get abortions choose to do so, otherwise women wouldn't choose to put their children up for adoption.

I respect the opinion of those who say that both men and women should take the responsibility for the child if pregnancy happens, end of story. I am a single mother with a child of my own. I'm not some promiscuous and irresponsible man who wants an "easy way out". We just have different opinions because I think that plenty of responsible people who use birth control, even multiple means of birth control, have unwanted pregnancies happen and I don't think that should mean that they are legally and financially responsible for another person for 18+ years if that is not what they want. For me, that comes largely through the fact that I don't think the children will have a good life being raised by people who don't want them.

But my real question here is for the people here who believe that women should have the right to choose whether to be responsible for a child or not, but men don't get that choice. Why? How are those two beliefs reconciled? Because I'm realizing that is how I used to feel, but now I find it contradictory.


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 Post subject: Re: Reproductive rights for men?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2012 4:01 pm 
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I think there are some powerful assumptions about the rights of women who have children without being legally married to the baby's father. In order to add a father's name on to a birth certificate he has to sign a form to claim paternity. In order to prove paternity in a court of law there have to be blood tests etc. As already stated if a woman wants to give a child up for adoption and there is a man acknowledged as the father he has to terminate his parental rights as well. It is not as if a woman can petition for child support willynilly and all these poor guys are blind sided.

That being said do some men get screwed so to speak..sure. I have seen a myriad of custody cases where judges routinely order parenting classes for fathers but not for mothers who may need them as much or more. I have seen individuals saddled with child support payments they can no longer afford when they become disabled and frequently that money is actually going to pay back the public assistance the mother and child received rather than going to the child directly. And I am sure others can think of cases...but the reality is the greater burden and life change in childbirth and childrearing falls on the mother. Even in the case of divorce the vast majority of men become single and women become single mothers. So while I agree there should be consideration for men's feelings and rights..I don't think feminists discriminate against men/fathers in this situation. As previously stated by many others...if you don't want to pay you don't have to play.

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 Post subject: Re: Reproductive rights for men?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2012 4:03 pm 
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sourceoflight wrote:
Giving up paternal rights doesn't free a man from financial responsibility.



Actually that is precisely what that does.

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 Post subject: Re: Reproductive rights for men?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2012 4:18 pm 
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Biology isn't that fair I guess, but when children are brought into this world someone has to take care of them. I'm more concerned about the fairness of a child not having access to say, food and clothes and shelter, than I am the fairness of a man choosing to have sex and then being responsible for a child.

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 Post subject: Re: Reproductive rights for men?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2012 4:23 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: Reproductive rights for men?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2012 4:24 pm 
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sourceoflight wrote:
Giving up paternal rights doesn't free a man from financial responsibility.

Yes it does.

sourceoflight wrote:
Also, it varies by state, but most states have laws where the woman not only doesn't have to get permission from the father before putting a child up for adoption, but doesn't even have to let him know that she is pregnant and going to put the child up for adoption.

Really? So if I want to put my daughter up for adoption, I can do so just with my consent, even if my husband is the acknowledged father? Again, you should watch more Parenthood ;) And name one state that would let me.

sourceoflight wrote:
I somehow doubt that just the physical part of giving birth to a child is why most women who get abortions choose to do so, otherwise women wouldn't choose to put their children up for adoption.

As someone who just gave birth, carrying a child for nine months is exhausting and really expensive. My hospital birth cost about $17,000, and had I not had insurance it would have been about 50% more to me personally. And I had a vaginal delivery with no complications. Had I been uninsured and had a c-section which is very common, I would be looking at $50,000 easy without considering lost wages etc. And that isn't counting the emotional costs of being pregnant.

Personally, I would feel uncomfortable carrying a baby to term and giving it up for adoption. I wouldnt be sure where it was going, and as a woman of color I an not sure that my kid would be adoptable. I'd feel better having an abortion.

Quote:
I think that plenty of responsible people who use birth control, even multiple means of birth control, have unwanted pregnancies happen and I don't think that should mean that they are legally and financially responsible for another person for 18+ years if that is not what they want. For me, that comes largely through the fact that I don't think the children will have a good life being raised by people who don't want them.

So who should bear the costs? And who should raise the children who are unwanted? Not all babies are easy to adopt out to these mythical amazing dream families eager to take them.

Quote:
But my real question here is for the people here who believe that women should have the right to choose whether to be responsible for a child or not, but men don't get that choice. Why? How are those two beliefs reconciled? Because I'm realizing that is how I used to feel, but now I find it contradictory.


Because if a woman has an abortion the fetus ceases to exist and there are no associated costs. If a man doesn't want the child, the child continues to exist and someone has to pay for it. Either the parents or the state.

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 Post subject: Re: Reproductive rights for men?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2012 4:39 pm 
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sourceoflight wrote:
Men get to decide whether to use a condom or not. Period.


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 Post subject: Re: Reproductive rights for men?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2012 4:45 pm 
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Bun wrote:
sourceoflight wrote:
Men get to decide whether to use a condom or not. Period.


Image

Yes. And this is reversible. I believe it's much more dangerous for a woman to have her tubes tied.

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 Post subject: Re: Reproductive rights for men?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2012 4:50 pm 
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Are there any options for male birth control? I've heard drug companies developed some but abandoned them for various reasons, but don't know if that's an urban legend. Obviously there is a vasectomy, but that is (mostly) permanent.


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 Post subject: Re: Reproductive rights for men?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2012 4:56 pm 
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Mr. Shankly wrote:
Bun wrote:
sourceoflight wrote:
Men get to decide whether to use a condom or not. Period.


Image

Yes. And this is reversible. I believe it's much more dangerous for a woman to have her tubes tied.


that's the reason my spouse had a vasectomy - because it would have been more risky for me to have tubal ligation. also, the failure rate of a vasectomy is considerably less (1 in 2000, where tubal ligation is 1 in 200/300).


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 Post subject: Re: Reproductive rights for men?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2012 4:59 pm 
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Its not accurate to say that vasectomies are reversible. Its a pretty expensive surgery and in many cases the scar tissue to the vas makes it impossible to restore fertility, but it is certainly a cheap and very safe bc option.

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 Post subject: Re: Reproductive rights for men?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2012 5:00 pm 
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I feel like there are a few different issues here.

First, one of the most important (and oft ignored) reproductive rights for people of all genders is the right to comprehensive and accurate sexual information and access to contraceptives. If we had this across the board the number of unwanted pregnancies would plummet.

Second, biology (as strawberry rock said) isn't fair. However, the vast, vast, vast majority of the burden falls upon women.

Third, men not only get to decide if they're going to wear a condom, they get to decide with whom and when they will have sex. In the same way I would never sleep with a dude is anti-choice and make it very clear what would happen if I were to get accidently pregnant, it is incumbent upon men to know what their partner (thinks they) would do if they got pregnant and what steps they take to avoid it.

Fourth, sex is not a risk-free activity. I go into it knowing that (certain kinds) can result in pregnancy. And I go in knowing how I would act if faced with it. As do my partners.

Fifth, and most germane to this discussion, men can (as many people have said) give up their parental rights, thus severing their responsibilities to the child. Whether it is a moral decision relies on a great many factors and is, I'm sure, situationally specific. And women cannot just "give their baby up" without consent once paternity has been established. But given that this is the case I'm really not sure what you're arguing for here.

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 Post subject: Re: Reproductive rights for men?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2012 5:24 pm 
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Men do have the same reproductive rights as women. They just have a (much) smaller window during which they can unilaterally exercise those rights. It's a consequence of bodily autonomy as applied to biology. Women get (practically speaking) a few months during which to make the decision. Men get from commencement of sexy times until vaginal penetration to decide where they want to put their cocksnot.

I'd be happy to offload the support of children onto the state, since it would presumably create a much more equitable situation for children, but it would introduce some perverse incentive structures and reinforce some socially destructive behavior. Maybe a progressive tax on absentee parents would make the most sense--not that that would stop anyone from complaining.

Anyway, this question has already literally been laughed out of court. As a practical legal matter, men have no right to unilaterally terminate support for children--and neither do women.

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 Post subject: Re: Reproductive rights for men?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2012 5:26 pm 
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geekywhitegirljoan wrote:
sourceoflight wrote:
Giving up paternal rights doesn't free a man from financial responsibility.



Actually that is precisely what that does.


not here. if you're the biological father of a child here, you will always be responsible for paying child support, even if you give up your parental rights. you will have to prove through a blood test that you are not the father to get out of the responsibility.

i don't fully agree with any of you, but i would like to say that there is a big difference between being a woman in The States and a woman in Denmark (i use this as an example because i know the rules here). birth control is easy to get, cheap and you can get free condoms tons of places here if you don't want hormonal birth control. abortion is free, and you can get an abortion even if you're 12 years old and your parents don't agree. abortion is not something which is frowned upon or made into an ethical question here.

you will get help from the state if you are a single mom here. you will get the double amount of money on welfare or school support, you will get free daycare if you don't have a lot of money (but you don't have to be poor), help with rent etc. you will be able to carry the pregnancy and give birth for free. your child will get free health care, education (even dentists are free until you are 18). you will get reimbursed up to 80% of your salary for 9 months. you will be reimbursed for a certain # of sick days if your kid is sick.

so i don't think men should be forced to pay child support for kids they never wanted in the first place here. i can see the issue in places where getting a child is hard financially, but here..? no. having a child on your own is quite financially doable, and i don't think men should be forced into having children anymore than i think women should.

i know the consequences of having sex can be pregnancy, but pregnancies can be terminated and i would have no issue with having a million abortions if that meant i didn't get a child. i don't want a child. but if i did decide to have a child and the sperm came from a man who didn't want a child, i would not want to force it on him, financially or emotionally. sex is sex and making babies is making babies. these are two very different things in my book.


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 Post subject: Re: Reproductive rights for men?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2012 6:08 pm 
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chiveggie wrote:
Are there any options for male birth control? I've heard drug companies developed some but abandoned them for various reasons, but don't know if that's an urban legend. Obviously there is a vasectomy, but that is (mostly) permanent.

yep. RISUG/vasalgel. they're starting clinical trials in the US with possible distribution starting as early as 2015. it's been around in india for 18 years, and they've proven that it's fully reversible in chimps. (i don't think any of the human subjects want to test the reversibility. i wish they would. they could just get another injection and be good for another 15 years.)

http://www.newmalecontraception.org/risug.htm
http://www.fathersandfamilies.org/?p=21770
http://www.gizmag.com/risug-male-contraception/18824/
https://www.facebook.com/groups/2258949611/?ref=ts

it's an electrically charged gel that's injected into the vas and unlike a vasectomy, semen can pass through (therefore not backing up/causing complications in the testes) and when it passes through the force field, the sperms are then unable to be attracted to the egg. science at it's finest. i seriously can't wait! unclegramps was thinking of getting a vasectomy. i hope once the trials are though, they're able to secure a producer/distributor. (i'd hate to wait 3 years and then have the project stalled because it's a one-and-done thing as opposed to the monthly dole they get from female birth control. i hope they do the right thing. maybe there's one company that doesn't already have their hands in the pot, and would love to yank profits from their competitors. here's hoping.)

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