As someone who has actually given birth to two children (with the father of my choice), I have to agree with Veks. Unless parental rights are voluntarily signed away or they are removed by the court system, a man has right of access to his child, no different than a woman. Yes, morally it is reprehensible. But legally, there isn't much question.
I wasn't debating the letter of the law. In the context I saw, Veks' answer came across to me as a claim that people should do something on principle rather than on the merits of the situation. Lots of things are "legal" -- and lots of local laws are left over from heaven knows when that make no sense, too. Just because someone hasn't gotten around to enacting a better regulation that deals with more the culture we have now, doesn't mean that people should go out of their way to actively
adhere to the letter
of a law that doesn't fit the situation.
This isn't the same sort of "failure of presumed innocence" as say, NYC police searching protestor backpacks with no reason beyond slogans on a t-shirt. I don't have evidence that women falsely report rapes with great frequency. Moreover, arguments above suggest to me that where there are false reports, those are particularly
likely to originate in areas where other laws and policies make rape and abuse relatively likely/deniable. So deal with that.
It is the price we pay for acknowledging that fathers are important and can be capable and responsible parents, rather than simply reducing them to the status of sperm donor, also an antiquated/19th century idea. By diminishing a father's importance in the child rearing process, it would be very easy to declare his mere presence unnecessary for a variety of reasons, legal or not.
People "can" be capable (optimistically)... For that matter the rightists might wish to say any set of man and woman, rapist or otherwise, "will" do better than a single parent or two of either sex. Or, kids can
be traumatized by having parents in a confrontation, in a case where someone wants to challenge the other formally or informally on and on. Personally, I think it's more
likely that many of these scenarios will go badly for the woman and/or the kids, than that women in general will use rape as a false excuse to displace fathers out of the blue. How likely is it that so many women are going to mount false charges.... And for those who might, why
would they do so? I think that makes a huge difference.
I'm not only
trying to escape the 19th century. I'm trying to deal a bit with the present one, which by contrast does have certain principles of consent enshrined. It sounds to me like you're saying we take some guy's claims of fatherhood to be a given or provable merely through a DNA test, but for allegations of rape we requiring women to produce funds, face, and attorneys to prove rape and meanwhile the guy has visitation rights by default. That's a grossly unequal situation too. He can prove bio parenthood in a jiffy, while she needs huge resources and a great deal of time and social scrutiny, all with him hovering around, to deal with rape.
In my point of view, the problem is not so much that just anyone "could" or "does" make a spurious rape charge, but that some women in certain areas might have an incentive to when they are denied other options. If we deal with the denial of other options -- and this shoots back to discarding ridiculous claims such as "legitimate" rapes do not impregnate -- then a lot of your problem (where it does exist, which I imagine are a small minority of cases) might disappear. There might still be occasional false claims, but many fewer. And given that men on the whole
seem to be able to shrug off parenting with few penalties -- it's more often men than women disappearing if I'm not mistaken -- I think maybe it's less disruptive overall to risk fewer innocent men having to mount a defense -- than to risk harming many
actual rape victims in order to protect men in the abstract from a scant few
women who might wish to make a false claim in court and have the social and financial standing to manage that.