A Nation of Bastards
During last month’s GOP presidential debate, Rick Santorum mentioned a report indicating that for women under 30, two-thirds of births occur outside of marriage. Mr. Santorum took the opportunity to state that those children born out-of-wedlock are more likely to be raised in poverty. But he failed to offer any policy prescriptions, other than his distain for birth control.
Policymakers know that this problem has long afflicted black and poor communities, but is gaining wider attentionnow that it has gone viral in the white working class community.
Ironically, this discussion comes at a time when politicians are tussling over requiring Catholic nonprofits to provide health insurance coverage for contraception. The recent House congressional hearing on female contraception was rightly and roundly criticized for its panel of male experts leading off the hearing.
Feminists accused GOP men of trying to control women's bodies and choices.
Polls, however, indicate that women overwhelmingly favor government-mandated insurance coverage for birth control.
Apparently, someone forgot to inform poor women of their right to contraception. Although a majority of all out-of-wedlock births were unintended, abortion was not the solution to these unplanned pregnancies. [This it seems would satisfy Rick Santorum -- no contraception, no abortion and no income support.]
Same-sex marriage, no-fault divorce, out-of-wedlock births, female-headed households and economic stagnation, not female contraceptives, are creating a new social paradigm.
Traditional marriage no longer seems to be our socioeconomic glue. And that says Charles Murray is the crux of the problem because traditional marriages are increasingly rare outside of the “elite” classes.
While a segment of elite women may not need marriage to provide financial security, they are nonetheless getting married at higher rate. Unmarried mothers with a high school education or less, however, are doing without marriage despite its economic disadvantage.
It is a fact that children do better in a low-conflict family with two biological parents. Children are also less likely to be poor when in a two-parent family.
Divorce and parental abandonment experiences are likely responsible for the decline in marriage rates among Americans under 35. Contributing this decline are men who are shirking responsibility for the women they claim to love, the children they have fathered and their roles as head of household.
When men disappear from family life, social dysfunction follows.
It's not a matter of the genie being let out of the bottle and being careful about you wish for. Widely available contraception is a reality. Women in the workplace are a reality. Yet despite welfare reforms, women are still encouraged to raise children without fathers.
Barefoot, pregnant, and without options is not the state of modern womanhood. Nor should being poor, husbandless, and raising children alone be the state of modern womanhood.
The nation needs a healthy economy that enables men and women to become equal contributing partners. A stronger economy that enables men to become relevant – both materially and spiritually – to families will strengthen traditional marriage and lift children out of poverty.
Instead of arguing over religious liberty and insurance coverage for birth control, our political leaders should be advocating policies that promote marriage, family stability and economic opportunity, while ending childhood poverty. Supporting healthy, intact income-earning two-parent households should be the focus of pro-family, anti-poverty initiatives.
As a nation, we must forthrightly address the current state of the American family. Or get used to this unsettling new paradigm.
All of this political posturing about abortion, contraception and gay marriage is irrelevant when the real issues are the economy, marriage and heterosexual relations.
We must choose to restore traditional marriage and break the cycle of poverty, insecurity and distrust that plagues us.
Post new comment