If you’re not yet convinced that our current cultural climate includes a very vocal faction of diehards out to severely limit the rights of women and punish us simply for our biology, you have not been paying attention.

The latest in this litany of misguided nonsense is a law proposed by Republican Senator Glenn Grothman in the state of Wisconsin. Senate Bill 507 would require that the state’s Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Board formally consider single parenthood a form of child neglect. Of course, most single parents are women.

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.

The less-disturbing interpretation of this law is that anti-neglect campaigns would target potentially absent parents and convince them to stick around by promoting the warm-fuzziness of family. But even that seemingly positive concept assumes that the best family always has two married parents, which of course is not always the case. It’s also unfair that an unmarried mother must bear the social — and if this bill is passed, legal — stigma of being unmarried with a child when that may not have been her choice. A focus on fatherhood makes sense, the demonization of single mothers does not.

*hat tip to Jezebel.com

What do you think?


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  • kathy

    This is just wrong. We are a free nation , Not a dictator . People have the right to live any way the choose. unless they are beating or being mean to there kids. It is not of the states buisness.

  • PirateWench

    The number of single-mother families increased from three million in 1970 to 10 million in 2003, while the number of single-father families grew from less than 500,000 to 2 million. There are now 3.1 million black single mothers compared to 6.4 million white single mothers and 1.8 million single Hispanic mothers.

    I was a single WHITE woman parent. My “baby daddy” was useless, he took off when the baby was two, and moved into the hills with a woman he had just met.

    I worked full time, sometimes TWO jobs to keep my kids fed and clothed. I had a huge family and we all worked together to care for each others kids when necessary.

    This racial profiling crap is just that – crap. Single parent families are not the devil here, the devil here is the insistence that woman cannot choose for themselves what their families should look like.

    I should also add that this whole notion of “marriage” is crazy – I don’t recall reading in the bible where someone showed up to have a lovely ceremony for Adam and Eve.

  • Greg

    “Recently, the State of Utah adopted House Bill 308 that is designed to safeguard unwed paternal rights in regards to children six months or younger from being adopted. This law would require unwed fathers to be issued official notification of the mother’s intention to give their infant child up for adoption in certain circumstances. Once received, the father would then have 30 days to assert his rights as a parent and petition the court for custody. This closes a loophole which had allowed mothers to circumvent notifying the biological father and thus committing the ultimate act of parental alienation – terminating the father-child relationship forever. Common sense and fair play would argue that if an unwed mother decides to give up her rights to a child, then the biological father would automatically be given the opportunity to take custody of his child. Instead, a stranger can ”


  • natalie


    What hypocrisy!

    I have been a twenty year CHOICE advocate but my beliefs have evolved to be more consistent with KarenDecrow

    “Justice therefore dictates that if a woman makes a unilateral decision to bring pregnancy to term, and the biological father does not, and cannot, share in this decision, he should not be liable for 21 years of support. Or, put another way, autonomous women making independent decisions about their lives should not expect men to finance their choice.” —

    Karen DeCrow, former NOW President ( National Organisation for Women, U.S.A.)