by Steven Ertelt
September 10, 2007
Cincinnati, OH (LifeNews.com) — A man who doesn’t want to pay child support for his ex-girlfriend’s baby is taking his case to a federal appeals court today. The man filing the suit says men should have the same rights as women do under Roe v. Wade to exempt themselves from responsibilities for a child they don’t want.
Matthew Dubay, a 26 year-old computer programmer from Michigan, says that if women have the right to have an abortion and end their responsibility for an unborn child, men should have the same right.
Dubay says his former girlfriend, Lauren Wells, did not want have children and told him during their relationship that she couldn’t get pregnant.
However, in July 2006, U.S. District Judge David Lawson ruled the lawsuit was frivolous and threw it out. He also ordered Dubay to pay attorney’s fees to the state.
Attorneys for Dubay appeared at the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in Cincinnati on Monday to argue an appeal in the case.
Lawyer Jeffery Cojocar told the Saginaw News that he plans to take the case to the Supreme Court if the appeals court sides with Judge Lawson.
Lawson disagreed with Dubay’s argument that Michigan’s paternity laws violate the Constitution’s equal protection clause. He said the law is unconstitutional because it requires fathers to pay child support "even if he did not want the child to be born."
"The fundamental flaw in Dubay’s claim is that he fails to see that the state played no role in the conception or birth of the child in this case, or in the decisions that resulted in the birth of the child," Lawson wrote.
"I heard that the way the judge dismissed the case was sarcastic," Dubay said at the time in response to the decision. "I’m disappointed in the system for not taking it seriously."
"I feel it’s a fair argument and I’d like to see it argued in court. I’m disappointed we didn’t get that opportunity," he added.
Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox eventually intervened in the case and argued for its dismissal.
State courts have previously ruled that any inequity men face is outweighed by the need to provide adequate support for children as they grow up. However, the New York-based National Center for Men is siding with Dubay and is calling the case "the Roe vs. Wade for Men."
Wells currently lives in Saginaw Township and is raising the couple’s 2-year-old daughter, Elisabeth. Dubay was ordered to pay $500 per month for the child’s welfare.