|Answer: False. See FeedingAmerica.org.|
We have a growing crisis among the nation’s children, yet our policies ignore that reality at best and exacerbate it at worst.One might legitimately retort that it's not sex per se being punished but unprotected sex. But such a retort misses the bigger points, which are that the drive to punish (women) is itself both misguided and unfair, and that the children of unintended pregnancies ultimately suffer more.
According to a report issued this week by the Guttmacher Institute, the unintended pregnancy rate among poor women has jumped 50 percent since 1994, yet a July report from the institute points out that politicians are setting records passing laws to restrict abortion. It said: “The 80 abortion restrictions enacted this year are more than double the previous record of 34 abortion restrictions enacted in 2005--and more than triple the 23 enacted in 2010.” Add to this the assault by conservatives on Planned Parenthood, and what are we saying?
This is what we’re saying: actions have consequences. If you didn’t want a child, you shouldn’t have had sex. You must be punished by becoming a parent even if you know that you are not willing or able to be one.
This is insane.
Even if you follow a primitive religious concept of punishment for sex, as many on the right seem to do, you must at some point acknowledge that it is the child, not the parent, who will be punished most by our current policies that increasingly advocate for “unborn children” but fall silent for those outside the womb.
This is not how a rational society operates.
The entire article has plenty of substance worth reading and considering. Let me offer one more bit of it:
Now is when we need government to step up and be smart.I agree completely with Mr. Blow. The federal budget is a serious matter. As an American taxpayer, I am concerned about what the government does with the money it collects. I want taxes to go toward investing in the US, which is to say investing in its people, which is to say people in the poor and lower middle classes.
This is exactly the wrong time to do what the Republicans would have us do. In their 2012 budget, they propose cutting nutrition programs as part of austerity measures so that we don’t leave our children saddled with debt. Meanwhile, they completely ignore the fact that those cuts could leave even more children saddled with physical or developmental problems.
They want to hold the line on tax breaks for the wealthy, not paying attention to the fact that our growing income inequality, which could be reversed, continues to foster developmental inequality, which is almost impossible to reverse.
We have to start this conversation from a different point. We must ask: “What kind of society do we want to build, and what kinds of workers, soldiers and citizens should populate that society?” If we want that society to be prosperous and safe and filled with healthy, well-educated and well-adjusted people, then the policy directions become clear.
They are almost the exact opposite of what we are doing.
How do we invest in people? By providing them opportunities for food, medicine, education, and work when no other opportunities are available.
Yet, investing in the poor doesn't even seem to be on the negotiating table in today's political climate. Our current policy direction is not one of investment but rather feeble pretense to authority, as if piling on abortion restrictions demonstrates that the good ol' Bible-based patriarchy is still working.
American policies increasingly look like what they really are: policing them. Containing them. Barricading them so that the rest of us can move on--even as more of us become them.
Such policies will not work in the long-term, as reggae man Bob Marley knew:
Them belly full but we hungry.
A hungry mob is an angry mob.
A rain a-fall but the dirt it tough.
A pot a-cook but the food not 'nough.