A Reader Comment on My Thoughts on Forced Sterilization ~ Annapolis Capital Punishment

Thursday, May 8, 2008

A Reader Comment on My Thoughts on Forced Sterilization

A few days agao, CP pulled out a Police beat story about a pregnant woman whose three children were found wandering around by police on a school day. Somewhat seriously, CP suggested she made a good case for forced sterilization. (Original post at A Strong Case for Forced Sterilization.....Three and a half kids....more to come?)

Here is a response from Sandee Bruneman

This is the first time I've read your blog. I didn't have a strong reaction to anything until I read the police beat story about the "3 1/2 kids." Because you know how I formed my family, I imagine you would know why I reacted strongly to your suggestion about "affordable abortions." I am assuming the mother was either Black or Latina and without an involved father figure. I'm about to make a sweeping generalization, but I think I have enough experience with these cultures to do so: abortion is not an option most of these mothers would choose, even if readily available. The more children they have, the more money they get. The women in this situation I have encountered will tell you they are very devoted to their children, despite how they treat them and/or neglect them. They are unfortunately perpetuating the cycle in which they were raised. Unless Soc. Services removes the children from the home, the options available to them for relief - abortion, adoption, birth control, foster care, even day care - are culturally viewed as abominations.
As you may guess, I am vehemently against abortion, however, if the alternative is another abandoned, abused, neglected, and/or drug addicted soul wandering the streets, then it might be a better solution. I am all for "forced sterilization" of many of these women who are in the prison system because DSS finally got around to investigating their crimes and got law enforcement involved. But a better alternative would be a reform in the welfare system to cut off the funds for women who are "serial procreators" in order to support themselves. Sex for many of them is their only available form of payment for drugs and/or attention from the "desirable" men in their lives. Of course I'm biased as all my children had birth mothers who fall into this category.

Sandee: Thank you for your letter. It pains all of us to see people "perpetuating this cycle" and yes, social and governmental reforms are indeed in order. If a woman is indeed devoted to her children, how then can she neglect them or treat them in such a way? I don't have the answers, but I know there are many mis-perceptions and we don't really have a community conversation about this. However, if we boil it down to choices individuals make, and I believe that ultimately, that is what we must do in life and take responsibility for our own actions, than we must look at women in such situations and ask them, "How can you continue to let yourself become just a baby factory?" It sounds harsh and cruel and insensitive, but today, more than ever, there are options available for women in these situations.

Here we have one person who is neither responsible for herself, her children or our society and with three neglected children, she is having a fourth. And who will pay for all her medical care? And who will pay for so many other things these children will need? And who pays for all the additional social resources needed to educate and raise these children? And who pays when these kids misbehave and disrupt and bring down our schools? I do not ignore the many reasons why this sad situation has come about, and there is plenty of blame to go around, but in our culture of victimization and our movement toward becoming a "nanny society", we must never lose sight of the fact that ultimately, each of us has the power to make such decisions.

Tonight our educrats, many of whom are the beneficiaries of this "self perpetuating cycle" and "nanny system" are hosting a group of forums where I think they are going to tell us it is the school's fault that African American children are failing and falling behind in schools. Hmmm...guess they'll demand more privileges and more money. But I'll be there to speak out. I hope others will as well. It's not the school's fault. It's the fault of the larger society as well, but mainly it's the fault of the parents--such as the neglectful mother who has "3.5" kids.

Thank you and let's keep up the conversation. Paul Foer aka "CP"


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