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Men should face consequences of unwanted babies

Published 13/04/2016

I pledge that, if elected as an MLA for Belfast South on May 5, I will bring the following piece of legislation forward for consideration.

In the interests of equality, it's time to advocate a new law to reflect the current legislation which punishes women who access reproductive choices when faced with unwanted pregnancies.

It will apply exclusively to males and shall be known as "reckless conception" and will state: "Any male who impregnates a female knowing that any pregnancy that may result is unwanted, or being reckless as to whether any such pregnancy may result, and the woman chooses to seek to end the pregnancy, shall be guilty of felony and being convicted thereof shall be liable to be imprisoned for life (or to be fined, or both)."

This means that every time a woman faces prosecution or is prosecuted, the man can be charged and face the same penalty.

This law would embed the notion that men are: (1) also responsible for unwanted pregnancies and (2) will be liable for their reproductive choices, or lack of them - as women are.

CLARE BAILEY

Deputy leader, Green Party

Belfast Telegraph

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