The American Bar Association is a special-interest group like any other association representing its members. The Chamber of Commerce represents corporate interests, such as seeking cheap labor to keep the cost of wages low, and the National Education Association represents the education industry's interests, such as seeking more public funding to create more school jobs.
The ABA represents lawyers who seek to win their cases, especially if they are profitable and result in verdicts that order transfers of money. We can therefore assume that ABA publications are not disinterested research, but are meant to promote the litigating and financial interests of lawyers.
A good example of a special-interest publication is called "10 Myths About Custody and Domestic Violence and How to Counter Them," which was produced "for use in litigation" by an ABA subgroup called the Commission on Domestic Violence. "10 Myths" is designed to teach lawyers how to win money verdicts against fathers by using false or misleading arguments masquerading as objective research.
The same techniques can theoretically be used against mothers, but fathers are the chief targets because they more frequently have greater financial resources than mothers. Litigation is often stimulated by the search for deep pockets.
The commission's Web site notes this disclaimer: "The ABA Commission on Domestic Violence does not engage in research, and cannot vouch for the quality or accuracy of any of the data excerpted here." Too bad the "10 Myths" flier doesn't include this disclaimer, too, because most of it lacks both quality and accuracy.
A nonprofit research and education organization called Respecting Accuracy in Domestic Abuse Reporting has just published a detailed analysis of "10 Myths." The association's report - which can be found online at www.eagleforum.org/sources - proves that "10 Myths" uses bogus statistics and is "profoundly and systematically biased ... unworthy to be used as a foundation for legal practice or public policy."
"10 Myths" denies the big problem that false allegations of domestic violence and child abuse are frequently used by women to win child custody, and that children can be coached to betray their fathers. "10 Myths" ignores the problem that family courts regularly deny custody and issue restraining orders against men based on a woman's unsubstantiated say-so and without giving the man fundamental due process rights.
RADAR shows that "10 Myths" sells the feminist falsehoods that only fathers engage in domestic violence and child abuse. "10 Myths" consistently selects language to portray fathers negatively.
Dr. Stephen Baskerville's landmark 2007 book, "Taken into Custody: The War Against Fathers, Marriage, and the Family" (Cumberland House), poignantly describes how attorneys advise divorced wives seeking child custody to accuse the father of abuse and obtain a restraining order barring him from the family home, knowing that she will never be punished for false accusations.
Senator Joe Biden, D-Del., has rushed to the aid of women who want free lawyers to help them make domestic violence accusations, and of lawyers seeking income from those cases. He is the lead sponsor of an extravagant new boondoggle called the National Domestic Violence Volunteer Attorney Network Act (S.1515).
Biden's bill would give $2 million a year to the ABA commission that wrote "10 Myths" in order to create a national domestic violence volunteer attorney network referral project. Biden wants the taxpayers to pay the lawyers' student loans.
Biden's bill will channel an estimated $55.5 million of taxpayer money to lawyers and the special-interest ABA commission will be in the catbird seat. The bill will authorize federal funding to create and maintain an electronic network, provide mentoring, training and other assistance, and set up a legal coordinator's office in each state to match lawyers to victims.
Biden's bill will give a half-million dollars to the National Domestic Violence Hotline to train feminists in coordination with the ABA project. The Biden bill will establish a domestic violence legal advisory task force and a national institute of justice to study legal services available to "battered" women.
The Biden bill will give a $75,000 grant to each of five states to create a pilot program to implement the network in coordination with the ABA commission. After the five states get into operation, the bill will roll out the program nationally with annual appropriations of $8 million.
Biden's bill passed the Senator Judiciary Committee last month despite Republican objections. To nobody's surprise, the bill is enthusiastically supported by the ABA and a long list of feminist organizations.
Feminist ideology has constructed the myths that men are naturally batterers, that women are naturally victims of an oppressive patriarchal society, and that women's accusations should be believed regardless of evidence. Courts should have learned the lesson from the infamous Duke lacrosse rape case that accusations without evidence should not be allowed to destroy innocent men's lives.
It's time for real men to stand up against this sexist nonsense and, for the sake of children, provide fathers their rights of fatherhood and of due process.
Phyllis Schlafly is a national leader of the pro-family movement, a nationally syndicated columnist and author of Feminist Fantasies.
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