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You men aren't the victims, you're deadbeat dads

Tim Simona said admitted he encouraged his then girlfriend Jaya Taki to have an abortion. Picture: Sam Ruttyn
Tim Simona said admitted he encouraged his then girlfriend Jaya Taki to have an abortion. Picture: Sam Ruttyn Sam Ruttyn, News Corp Australia

OPINION

I hate to break it to you fellas but if you get a girl pregnant you are responsible for looking after it.

You don't get to decide.

The law has already done that for you.

If the child is yours, you have to cough up. It's not only the right thing to do - it's compulsory.

It's called legislated child support.

While some of you may label yourselves as victims of unscrupulous women looking for a meal ticket, the rest of us call you deadbeat dads.

You see the thing is, no matter how many footy fixers and dodgy sports agents try to portray you as helpless prey there is no escaping the truth that this is all on you. ALL of it.

 

Simona told his ex-girlfriend Jaya Taki that if she didn’t have an abortion he wouldn’t be there to support them.
Simona told his ex-girlfriend Jaya Taki that if she didn’t have an abortion he wouldn’t be there to support them.

Whatever the motivation of the female in this equation, she can't get pregnant if you don't have sex with her in the first place.

And barring an accident, if you wear a condom it's unlikely she will fall pregnant either no matter how many times you drop your pants.

Parents have been starting to teach their 13 year old boys this pretty basic fact since the birds and the bees took on a less literal meaning.

It is equally true the female in the equation has her own obligations to herself, but ultimately this is all about choices.

Your own choices.

And your ability to confront and deal with the consequences of those choices in a mature, human and thoughtful way.

Oh, and of course, in a way that's not against the law.

 

Simona, pictured with his parents, was deregistered by the NRL after his ex-girlfriend blew the whistle on his illegal betting on NRL matches.
Simona, pictured with his parents, was deregistered by the NRL after his ex-girlfriend blew the whistle on his illegal betting on NRL matches. Sam Ruttyn, News Corp Australia

There was a time when pregnancy outside of marriage was a thing of unimaginable shame.

Polite society had a few ways of dealing with young women who were with child - and all of them unacceptable.

She was either sent away for - well about nine months - to have the baby hidden from the prying eyes of neighbours. She returned 'good as new' and the baby was adopted out or raised by someone else in the family.

Alternatively, the horny couple, who only wanted one night of passion and not really a life together behind a white picket fence, are forced to marry, adjust slightly the birth dates and either try to live happily ever after or at least try to look like they are.

There were some other options too but they are too unsavoury to even contemplate.

None of these scenarios should be endorsed as viable solutions but there is one common theme that is still relevant today.

The father in the equation was expected to take responsibility no matter the circumstances of the pregnancy.

And those men who didn't deliver on those obligations were ostracised for being weak.

It wasn't considered okay for a burly fixer to step in and take care of it for them. Of course, it did happen but it was still thought of as shameful to not man-up and do the right thing.

 

Penrith Panthers star Bryce Cartwright allegedly organised a fixer to pay his former girlfriend $50,000 to have an abortion.
Penrith Panthers star Bryce Cartwright allegedly organised a fixer to pay his former girlfriend $50,000 to have an abortion. Gregg Porteous, News Corp Australia

But what the headlines of recent weeks has uncovered is a notion that this practice of casting aside young women who fall pregnant because it's somehow their fault alone is okay.

It's not okay.

It's never okay.

It's not wrong or even unusual for a young man on the verge of a terrific sporting career to not want to have children yet.

Truth be told most women of that age aren't ready either, including those dismissed as groupies out to bag a superstar husband.

But if the blokes can't control their urges to practice safe sex and she falls pregnant, then I'm afraid what you did or didn't picture for your life matters squat.

As a couple you may decide to terminate the pregnancy and that is a private matter between the two of you.

But if she wants the baby ultimately that's her choice.

And when it comes to supporting that child financially, I'm sorry, you don't have a choice.

You waived that right the second you decided to have sex.

And the type of man you want to be will be determined by how well you handle the situation.

Here's a tip though, ignoring phone calls, refusing to attend doctors appointments, sending abusive text messages and getting a slightly balding car salesman who folds his paunch into a shiny silver double-breasted suit who used to know your dad to do your talking for you isn't the best option.

That really is one choice you will regret.

Topics:  fatherhood nrl opinion relationships

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