I think that abortion opponents have been going about their desire to end abortions in entirely the wrong way. The real core of the problem of unwanted pregnancy is not that women are getting pregnant when they don't want to be, it's that men are getting women pregnant when they don't want to be fathers. As such, I would like to propose a new abortion law that will get at the heart of this problem: mandatory vasectomies for the male parents of aborted fetuses.
The way this works is simple, when a woman has an abortion she will be asked to disclose the identity of the father. This disclosure will then be submitted to a judge who shall issue a warrant for the civil arrest of the man. The warrant will then be transmitted to local law enforcement and to the family and employer of the young man informing them that he has fathered an unwanted pregnancy and is subject to mandatory sterilization. Upon his arrest, a civil hearing shall be held to determine whether the man should be ordered to undergo a vasectomy. The burden of proof shall be on the state to show that he did in fact impregnate the woman and that she did not wish to have a child. Acceptable evidence to show this fact shall be the testimony of the doctor who performed the procedure. Upon such a showing, the man shall have an opportunity to demonstrate that he was not irresponsible in fathering the child. Acceptable evidence to make this showing would be: a.) a marriage certificate showing that he is married to the mother of the child b.) used pregnancy prophylactic devices dating from the approximate time in which the fetus was conceived or testimony of the woman confirming that she told the man she was using birth control of some kind or evidence of a previous unsuccessful sterilization procedure, and c.) testimony of the mother that she voluntarily engaged in a sexual relationship with her husband. The absence of any of these factors shall result in the failure of a claim of sexual responsibility. Additionally, the husband shall be allowed to make an affirmative defense of mental infirmity under the relevant laws regarding competence of the state.
Absent such a showing, the man will be under a court order to have a vasectomy performed. He will need to submit to the court evidence that he has had the procedure within 90 days of the court ruling. If he fails to do so he shall be found in contempt of court and incarcerated until he voluntarily undergoes the procedure in a prison clinic. Under no circumstances shall the government subsidize the procedure in any way, and should the procedure be performed by government workers in a prison facility, the man shall be billed all the costs.
I think such a measure is prudent, fair, and reasonable. I also think it has a reasonable chance of passing constitutional muster given the restrictions on medical procedures like this that are currently allowed under Casey and Gonzales. The end result, I think, will be that abortions will become increasingly rare and only occur in such cases where men have irresponsibly impregnated wedlock, in which case a one and done rule will be the de facto effect. Every man will only be able to create one unwanted pregnancy at which point it is a legitimate state interest to remove from him the option of creating another. In time, as more and more men realize the consequences of their actions and take responsibility for them, abortions will only need to be performed out of medical necessity. And that, I think, is an end result that all of us, pro-life or pro-choice, can support.