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Last Updated: Thursday, 9 March 2006, 12:14 GMT
US men fight child support laws
Father with baby (generic)
Fathers are legally obliged to pay for bringing up their children
Men's rights activists in the US are to argue in court that fathers do not have an obligation to pay money towards raising a child they did not want.

The National Center for Men is fighting the case on a behalf of a man who says his ex-girlfriend had his child after telling him she could not get pregnant.

Activists say men should have the same rights as women in dealing with the consequences of unintended pregnancy.

Women's and children's groups have criticised the planned legal challenge.

Leslie Sorkhe, of the Association for Children for Enforcement of Support, said a child "needs the emotional and financial support of both parents".

"The child is entitled to his or her equal protection under the law," the website of The Detroit News quotes her as saying.

I'm trying to find a way for a man also to have some say over decisions that affect his life profoundly
Mel Feit
National Center for Men

Matt Dubay, the man at the centre of the case, said he did not expect the court to rule in his favour.

"What I expect to hear is that the way things are is not really fair, but that's the way it is," he told the Associated Press news agency.

"Just to create awareness would be enough to at least get a debate started."

'Roe v Wade for men'

Mr Dubay says that his former girlfriend became pregnant with his child after assuring him she had a physical condition that prevented her from conceiving.

He says she went on have the baby, despite knowing that he did not want to have a child with her.

Matt Dubay
Mr Dubay says his constitutional rights are being violated

He now wants the court to free him from his obligation to pay $500 (287) in child support every month.

The National Center for Men is filing a case on behalf of Mr Dubay at a court in the US city of Detroit.

The centre's director, Mel Feit, told the Associated Press news agency: "There's such a spectrum of choice that women have - it's her body, her pregnancy and she has the ultimate right to make decisions.

"I'm trying to find a way for a man also to have some say over decisions that affect his life profoundly," he said.

The centre has dubbed the case "Roe v Wade for men" - after the landmark US Supreme Court ruling that gave women the right to have abortions.

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