by Steven Ertelt
November 6, 2007
Lansing, MI (LifeNews.com) — A federal appeals court has upheld a lower court’s decision making a Michigan man pay child support for his ex-girlfriend’s baby. Matthew Dubay, a 26 year-old computer programmer, 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.
The 6th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals issued its decision on Tuesday and sided with U.S. District Judge David Lawson, who rejected the lawsuit as frivolous.
The appeals court gave Dubay a limited victory by also rejected the state’s bid to have him pay the cost of attorneys fees for their work in the appeal. Judge Lawson had ordered Dubay to pay the fees.
Dubay 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.
He says his former girlfriend, Lauren Wells, did not want have children and told him during their relationship that she couldn’t get pregnant.
Dubay attorney Jeffery Cojocar previously said he would take the case to the Supreme Court if the appeals court sided with the lower court’s decision.
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.