On with the Witch Hunt – On, Wisconsin!
The war against women continues, gathering legislation, money and white males, trending now against single “parents”, a choice or circumstance affecting mostly mothers.
If SB507 passes into law, the people of Wisconsin will be taught in a “statewide educational and public awareness campaign” that single parents are guilty of contributing to child abuse and neglect.
Senator Glenn Grothman, a Republican and socially conservative lawmaker, is the bill’s sponsor. According to a paper(pdf) he co-authored in 2011, Grothman sites a conspiracy to encourage single motherhood in order to grow the government. “The Left and the social welfare establishment want children born out of wedlock because they are far more likely to be dependent on the government.”
- A third of Wisconsin’s parents are single.
- According to the Census Bureau, in 2009 there were 13.7 million single parents across the U.S.
- Child abuse and neglect are criminal charges.
To promote the criminalization of single parenthood, the proposed law is worded as follows:
Section 1. 48.982 (2) (g) 2. of the statutes is amended to read:
48.982 (2) (g) 2. Promote statewide educational and public awareness campaigns and materials for the purpose of developing public awareness of the problems of child abuse and neglect. In promoting those campaigns and materials, the board shall emphasize nonmarital parenthood as a contributing factor to child abuse and neglect.
Section 2. 48.982 (2) (g) 4. of the statutes is amended to read:
48.982 (2) (g) 4. Disseminate information about the problems of and methods of preventing child abuse and neglect to the public and to organizations concerned with those problems. In disseminating that information, the board shall emphasize nonmarital parenthood as a contributing factor to child abuse and neglect.
In all the discussion from both sides of the raging debate over reproductive justice and the attacks on women’s rights, someone recently posted this picture that made me consider the slippery slope they’re on – these supporters of legislation that demeans women and curtails their freedom to choose what’s best for themselves.
I called it “a hornet’s sting”, because I’m acutely aware of the secrecy, and now the utter hypocrisy being shown by some who “doth protest too much” against abortion, and I’m not alone. So get off your high horses – you’re not fooling us; we were there. The safe and legal medical procedure to terminate an unwanted pregnancy was not designed just for you and your family, your daughters, your nieces …. Considering yourselves as secret exceptions above the laws you demand for others (and why, because you’re not poor, because you’re educated, because it was an accident?) is reprehensible. You’re secret’s safe with me, but those you have told and the sheer number of people, including friends, volunteers, family members and neighbors who have worked to help women through that difficult process will increase your chances of being outed as this debate heats up once again. Get over yourselves.
Back to SB507, the legislation condemning single parents – that one seems particularly slippery, more slippery than jelly, I guess you could say. The divorce rate in America is the highest in the civilized world – and for the most part, caused by something a spouse has no control over. Infidelity ranks first as the reason given for irreconcilable differences.
No one gets married and has a child, or has a child and gets married with an assurance that divorce will not follow – not a legal assurance, anyway. It just happens, and all the legislation this side of the Taliban won’t stop it.
So, consider the source. We’re human beings, not marionettes being fingered by legislators who pray that “someday soon, these will be the good old days”.
Those days are best watched and laughed at ….
On the rally in Virginia:
Saturday, March 3rd 2012, over a thousand people protested at the Capitol in Richmond against the continuing assault on women’s reproductive rights. Speakers from NOW Virginia, Women’s Strike Force PAC and Alliance for Progressive Values spoke before a well-behaved and attentive crowd that included mothers with children, students and many women from the generation that fought for and won many of our fundamental reproductive rights. Ostensibly, the rally was in opposition to HB462, which mandates an unnecessary and medically useless ultrasound for a woman seeking an abortion. APV has worked hard against this poorly contrived piece of legislation that claims to provide women with more information about their pregnancy while in fact acting only to place further barriers between Virginia women and their right to choose. APV’s position on HB462 is spelled out in our petition to the Governor (here), which we urge you to sign, but in fact this rally was about the ongoing war on birth control and abortion that has been waged throughout the 2012 session here in Richmond. Numerous bills that would make abortion illegal, make birth control illegal, potentially require police investigations of miscarriages, and end funding for women on Medicaid who’s pregnancies have gone terribly wrong and most be terminated, have come through the legislature, and we have been successful in defeating almost all of them. But the struggle continues. This year we have seen a full court press against the most fundamental of human rights, the right to control one’s own body. Today, as the session winds down, APV members once again stood alongside our brothers and sisters from across the state to implore our elected officials to come to their senses and stop this head long slide back into the “dark ages” to paraphrase pro-choice Senator Janet Howell. We are deeply gratified at the large turn out to this peaceful protest and we want to thank the organizers, some of whom are APV members, for their hard work. However the Governor decides to deal with HB462, we want you to know that we will not go away. We are pledged to stand up against those who would try to turn back the clock on reproductive rights, this year, next year and always. Thank you everyone who came out and everyone who was there in spirit.
APV Public Policy Director,
At the rate we’re going we’ll reach out goal of 5,000 signatures sometime near the end of the week. But for this to happen we all have to spread the word! Please sign and share our petition!