Liz. 21. Smith College. Lesbian. Big nerd. Feminist.
If wizards just had cellphones Sirius would never have to fucking die!
Harry could have just shot him a text like
“Yo Sirius, where u at?”
“Just at home eatin some pasta”
“K good cuz I had a rly weird dream that u were wit voldemort.”
“Nah bro just chillin with kreacher”
CRISIS FUCKING AVERTED
this is real
A man in California (identified only as “S B M” in court coduments) sued a woman (“Sara McK”) for “kidnapping” his unborn child. He was not married to her — in fact, he had broken off their relationship after Ms. McK became pregnant, and married another woman before the child was born. Ms. McK, realizing she was going to be a single mother, decided to quit her dangerous job as a firefighter and make use of her GI benefits to go back to school. She chose Columbia University in New York because it had a particularly good record of helping veterans to succeed.
She was seven months pregnant when she moved from California to New York. When the baby boy was born, she invited the father to come to New York to see him. Mr. B M declined. Three days later, Ms. McK filed for sole custody of her son in New York. S B M countersued in California for paternity of “an unborn child” and custody of the child, claiming that by relocating while pregnant, Ms. McK had kidnapped his child.
What is truly terrifying is that in May of this year the New York Family Court issued an order agreeing with Mr. B M’s allegation that Ms. McK had, by changing her state of residence while pregnant, “absconded with a child”. In other words, according to a New York Family Court referee, a woman who becomes pregnant is effectively under the control of the father of the unborn child, even if he shows no interest in her or the child. She has no right to control her own right, because his “rights” to the child trump her rights to decide where to live and what to do for a living. He can retroactively accuse her of a crime if he doesn’t like her choices.
Fortunately, Ms. McK appealed this ruling, and a number of organizations including New York ACLU, NOW, Planned Parenthood New York and especially the National Advocates for Pregnant Women filed an amicus brief on Ms. McK’s behalf. Last Thursday the appelate court reversed the Family Court’s decision. Ms. McK will be allowed to stay in New York with her son.
Last week’s decision is significant for a number of reasons. To begin with, it reaffirmed that, as a general rule, courts cannot hear custody matters that are filed prior to birth, since a developing fetus should not be considered a child for custody determinations. More specifically, in this case, the court went further to underscore that the mother’s relocation should not have been relevant to New York‘s jurisdiction over the custody dispute in the first place. To make that move relevant, the court reasoned, men claiming to be fathers could limit the movement of pregnant women, and “[p]utative fathers have neither the right nor the ability to restrict a pregnant woman from her constitutionally-protected liberty.” Finally, the decision is a strong affirmation that a person does not give up their rights once they become pregnant, and that reproductive autonomy extends well beyond the initial decision to terminate or continue a pregnancy.
This case illustrates the dangerous extent of erosion of the rights of pregnant women. Yes, New York has made the correct decision. But they made the wrong decision first. And New York is one of the more liberal jurisdictions in this country. If Ms. McK had chosen a school in the South, for example, might Mr. B M’s arguments have prevailed at the appelate level?
Theon Greyjoy [to Ramsay Bolton], A Dance with Dragons (via incorrectgotquotes)