Monday, January 16, 2006

Blogging for Choice

Recently, a co-worker and I were discussing choice. His main argument was that there are no unwanted children. That except for extreme situations, a woman should not have an abortion, because there is always someone who would want a child.

This reasoning is common among anti-choice people. But it isn't true. If it were true, then why are there over 1,200 children that no one wants, in Pennsylvania? 1,200 kids who need a permanent home. 1,200 kids who are waiting to be adopted. And that is just Pennsylvania.

You can view some of them at the SWAN website. These kids are listed as "Special Needs". If you go through the photo album (a very sad catalog), you'll see that the number one issue that makes these kids "Special" is that they are over 5 years old.

"That's crazy talk!" You say. "Everyone knows that it is near impossible to adopt a child these days. Plus it costs a fortune to adopt."

Wrong. It is near impossible to adopt a white, healthy infant (preferably male). As for cost, these kids are eligible for adoption assistance. Not only will the state cover all the costs of adoption, they are also eligible for a monthly stipend, basically what a foster parent would get to support the child. And this aid has nothing to do with the financial situation of the adopting family. It is based on the needs of the adoptive child.

And it gets worse. These children are living in foster homes, until an adoptive family is identified. But foster homes are supposed to be for children whose permanency placement is not resolved. It is a sad fact, but in most states, children can not be placed in foster care until there is a foster family available. Everyday, children remain in dangerous and abusive households because there isn't any room for them anywhere. They remain in peril because children who are adoptable are in the foster homes.

What kills me is that I hear so often that foster parents "are in it for the money." I was a foster parent, and you want to know what I got paid? .80 an hour. That's not a typo. 80 cents an hour.

Many people could not be foster parents because they could not tolerate the idea of having a child in their home and they having the state remove the child, possibly sending him/her back to the abusive parents. I can understand that.

But adoption is forever. Adoption is permanent. Adoption is for keeps. Go to the photo album of adoptable kids. These little lambs just want a family to call their own.

Now I know what you are saying: "oops, Julia's ADD has kicked in again. This was supposed to be a blog about choice."

Well it is. I am sick to death of hearing about how there aren't any unwanted children. This is just an excuse of the anti-choice crowd. This is a quick sound bite, that is hard to argue against. But it's just a distraction. A diversion. And like a magician, the anti-choice folks use this subterfuge as a way to divert attention from what is really on their minds.

They don't care about children.

They are concerned about sexually active women being in control of their bodies. They don't give a damn about kids, or they would do something about all the kids without homes.

This may sound harsh. It is. I don't care if it makes people uncomfortable. My little darling, who I often blog about, came into my life when she was 6, and I adopted her when she was 10.

Many of you may disagree with me. You're worried about children? Go adopt one, or become a foster parent. But if you aren't willing to do that, don't you dare say you are against choice because of the children. Because I'm not listening.


SuperFiancee said...

You go, Julia!! I couldn't agree more.

People who blindly believe that there is no problem with unwanted children in this country may (and I said MAY) be fooling themselves, but they're not fooling me either.

You've inspired me to rant over at my place today, too.

Claire said...

Great post. You're absolutely right.

walldon said...

An exceedingly well written and persuasive post.

Biting Beaver said...

Yes, yes and yes again. In fact, I fully advocate that all the 'pro-life' idiots out there hand in their home addresses and phone numbers. That way, if they succeed in getting Roe overturned, we can see just how much they want to 'save children' when hordes of infants are dropped off onto their porches.

Hell, I'd be happy to see the pro-lifers get capped with a 'one dropoff per household' limit.

Of course, ask any of these people to do just that and you get the sort of blank stares that the congressmen gave on Fareinheight 911. Amusing, but nonetheless quite telling.

Hippoclites said...

Hi Julia:

Excellent post. So much of the anti-choice movement is political posturing that it's easy to overlook those with sincere reservations about abortion.

Kudos for exposing one of the specious arguments the hacks use to forward their case.

As to the other anti-choice people:I respectfully (and sometimes disrespectfully) disagree with their opinion vis a vis a woman's right to make decisions about her own body, but I still have an appreciation for their angle that life--even potential life--is a precious thing.

Just a guy's perspective, for what it's worth...