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Balanced Fare: We Report, You Deride

Friday, August 16, 2002

With Thunder From the Left, Pandagon Thought This Law Was Crazy

Check this flame:

"Sex and What City?

Laws that make sane people wonder if the legislators were smoking something funny when they dreamed them up aren't all that uncommon. Still, we'd have to go far to find anything matching the weirdness of Florida's new law, ostensibly aimed at giving fathers a chance to have a say before their child is put up for adoption.

The rules of this grand social endeavor require that mothers wishing to give a child up for adoption, and who can't find or identify the father, must publish notices in newspapers. These must supply her full name, and complete physical details, such as weight, height and coloring. Also to be included is a list, complete with physical description, of all the male partners who could possibly have fathered the child.

The thoroughness of this search mechanism could put our airport security to shame. The mother's notice must also include the dates and locations of all the sexual encounters that could have led to the pregnancy. That notice must furthermore be published every week for four weeks everywhere (not just in Florida) those sexual encounters took place. There is no exception for minors or for victims of rape or incest.

The harm in this legislation couldn't be more obvious. Pregnant single women or girls confronting Florida's requirements are more likely to choose abortion or single-parenting rather than publish their sexual histories in newspaper advertisements for all the world to see. This is the 21st century's version of the Scarlet Letter...."

Ooops, sorry, that was from the Wall Street Journal, which, being subscription, is evidently not on Pandagon's regular reading list. But believe me, Pandagon didn't like this law either.

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