Over this past weekend, a pro-choice demonstration was held in Fargo. I was pleased to see several young men participating and speaking up for women. One young man voiced that "you can't force someone to be a mother."
That stimulated all kinds of images and memories. Legislatures around the nation and at the national level are passing laws to force preganant women to give birth. They force women to give birth, but giving birth does not a mother make.
These mostly male cpntrol freaks in legislatures have shown their ignorance about rape, about fetal development, about birth and motherhood. They make no exceptions for rape, incest, the physical, emotional or financial health of the woman, the health---or lack of--- the fetus, the age of the female, the financial circumstances of the family, the ability to care for a child---emotionally, financially, intellectually. And all of those situations should be considered before birth.
Every child deserves to be wanted. Every child deserves to live in a loving family, to be sheltered, fed, protected. There are 17,000,000 hungry kids in America. World wide, a child dies of hunger every 5 seconds! One third of Americans are in or near poverty and 2/3 of them are women. Of the women who come to the Red River Women's Clinic, 66% already have a child. What kind of person has the right to tell these families that they must have a child?
How often does the news report a child has been killed by a parent, or the mother's boyfriend? One out of thirty three homicides in the US is a child under 18. Each year in the US, 250-300 children are killed by a parent. Homocide is the leading cause of death of kids ages 5-14. I remember reading that the most dangerous person in a child's llife is mother's boyfriend. North Dakota is not immune from these horrors.
Aaron Schauffenhausen was recenlty found guilty of killing his three daughters to take revenge on their mother from whom he is divorcedl In Bismarck, a 4 month old was brought to the hospital with a fractured skull and broken bones.A four month old! Fort Totten has tragically lost three children recently. Just a few years ago, a child was killed in Webster.
In St Paul, in 1999, six children were strangled "to spare them the misery of life." In 2010 Randal Richardson of Eden Prairie, killed a seven month old boy.
InTexas, in 2001, Andrea Yates, an over worked, overwhelmed home schooler affiliated with a fundamentalist church, a mother of five, drowned her children one at a time in the bathtub in their trailer.
In Florida, pretty Susan Smith let her car roll into a lake and let her two little boys drown. They were safely held in the back seat in their car seats. Later, we learned that those pretty little boys were inconvenient to the relationship with her boyfriend.
In addition to parents who kill their children, the statistics on sexual abuse of kids are horrifying. One in four girls is sexually abused before age six. One is six boys is sexualy abused before he reaches 18. The abuser is not always a parent, but usually is a relative or some other "trusted" adult.
The laws attempt to force births. But laws cannot create mature, responsible, stable parents. Laws cannot force love.
During the 2013 legislature in ND, the Republicans refused to provide milk for poor children until constiutents forced them to rethink that. In Washington D.C. the House has gone home for a 5 weeks without funding Food Stamps. I saw on TV that Fargo is feeding kids in a park at noon as school is not in session for hot lunch. Maybe those who feel they have the right to protect fetuses, would be wiser to feed and protect the children who are already alive---and too often suffering. Yes, even in prosperous, red, religious North Dakota,