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#31 of 45 Old 10-28-2003, 05:08 PM
 
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Girls do not get themselves pregnant - very often, they have a boy's help!"
Seriously, I hear it's true! Between 22 and 100% of pregnancies involve male and female genetic stuff.

I was always confused whenever I'd go out with friends (female friends at that!) and my mom would call out "Don't get YOURSELF pregnant!"
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#32 of 45 Old 10-28-2003, 05:34 PM
 
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I don't believe for a moment that you need a man to get pregnant, because sincee I had my first son at 18, myy dad has always said my life would have been good if I hadn't went and got myself pregnant, and my dad doesn't lie!!
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#33 of 45 Old 10-28-2003, 09:55 PM - Thread Starter
 
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well.. I would rather see my tax money go to SAHMs than to warplanes.. but that is a whole 'nother thread!

But to tie this back in to the point of the thread... I do think that if we made parents.. particularly single mothers.. more economically secure in the long term.. it would reduce the number of abortions.

And.. if you got yourself pregnant.. you outta be doing the talk show circuit and making a bundle.
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#34 of 45 Old 10-29-2003, 01:13 AM
 
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I don't think people should receive an automatic check just because they are a SAHM, but I think that all parents should be provided for if they cannot meet their own needs. If people don't like the idea of cash, how about some kind of voucher similar to WIC? But for everything else - sheets, towels, shampoo, rent, heat, water, clothes, etc.

And I also think being a SAHM should count as a job for tax and retirement purposes. My mom is in that situation - because she was a SAHM and a farmer for much of her life, when she retires she won't even get enough money for the most god-awful nursing home. And no, she did not make that choice.

Another thing that could reduce the need for abortion - make it so pregnant women don't have to drop out of school or quit work. Allow them to take classes from home if they are too sick to come to school. Let them have plenty of extra breaks at work. Employers should go out of their way to make the workplace comfortable and enjoyable for pregnant employees instead of telling them they "chose" to be "disabled." You know, you can choose to be pregnant without choosing (or knowing) what it will do to your body.

With my first pregnancy I was so sick I had to drop out of school 3 weeks before finals. With this one, it looks like I'll be able to finish the term. You just never know.

I'd also like to see them invent an artificial womb, or a way to transfer embryos into a surrogate mother.
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#35 of 45 Old 10-29-2003, 04:28 AM
 
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I'd also like to see them invent an artificial womb, or a way to transfer embryos into a surrogate mother.
T

Whoa...greaseball...you have just knocked my brain so hard it's seeing stars!!!!!

You know, for all the times I've seen people who are pro-life (and honestly, I count myself in that category, for the most part) get all huffy about how pro-choice folks don't generally put their money towards supporting ALL choices or seem to be fixated on abortion...

...I just realized that the vast majority of pro-life organizations are composed of the same people who are resolutely against high level scientific interventions of this magnitude.

But really, IF we permitted science to find this answer, wouldn't that be the ideal? That way the women who don't want other women to get abortions could bear the children they don't want to be killed--and the women who don't want children at all don't have to be forced to birth them.

I am not sure that will happen anytime soon though...you'd have to do a lot of experimentation to get there, and I think the results would be quite stressful for the wanting-to-be-mamas.
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#36 of 45 Old 10-29-2003, 11:51 AM
 
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Originally posted by Potty Diva
sincee we can't afford to donate to charities outside of our taxes.
Ooooh....maybe we could afford to donate to the charities we felt passionate about, if our taxes weren't so high to keep funding govt. institutions that neither provide the best services nor use the money effeciently! But I guess that is another thread altogether...
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#37 of 45 Old 10-29-2003, 12:07 PM
 
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We can't possibly donate to US Charities, Mark's tax dollars are already being used to support Bush's crack habit ild
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#38 of 45 Old 10-29-2003, 03:10 PM
 
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Another thing that would help is if more (all) "fathers" paid child support. This could alleviate single-parent poverty and maybe even reduce the need for welfare payments.

Right now it's hard to go after a male parent-by-means-of-genetics when he doesn't pay. And if he skips a payment, it's not like the state makes it up to the mother in the meantime. That's what they should do - pay the mother anything she doesn't get from, you know, that guy, and then send the bill to him with a lot of interest fees and such tacked on. If he doesn't pay, it could come out of his taxes. He'd learn that it's much simpler to just pay the mother.

I'm sure this will not go over well, but I think child support payments should start while the woman is pregnant, since it is, after all, a child with real needs. He could pay for the extra food and a birth attendant of the woman's choice.

Men who don't pay support are often looked at with sympathy, while women who support their children with govt funds are seen as people who ought to be shot.

It would also help if mothers got half of the father's income. (If there is more than one mother, as is often the case with man-types, divide it among them.) I think that's what is needed to adequately support a child. My father made $15,000 a year and was only ordered to pay $25 a month for two kids. He sent $200 a month, which although not enough was at least a nice gesture. Men, unlike women, seem to have more of a choice in whether to have sexual intercourse or not, and they should suffer for their choices when they harm women.
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#39 of 45 Old 10-29-2003, 04:50 PM
 
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Originally posted by Greaseball
Another thing that would help is if more (all) "fathers" paid child support. This could alleviate single-parent poverty and maybe even reduce the need for welfare payments.

Right now it's hard to go after a male parent-by-means-of-genetics when he doesn't pay. And if he skips a payment, it's not like the state makes it up to the mother in the meantime. That's what they should do - pay the mother anything she doesn't get from, you know, that guy, and then send the bill to him with a lot of interest fees and such tacked on. If he doesn't pay, it could come out of his taxes. He'd learn that it's much simpler to just pay the mother.

I'm sure this will not go over well, but I think child support payments should start while the woman is pregnant, since it is, after all, a child with real needs. He could pay for the extra food and a birth attendant of the woman's choice.

Men who don't pay support are often looked at with sympathy, while women who support their children with govt funds are seen as people who ought to be shot.

It would also help if mothers got half of the father's income. (If there is more than one mother, as is often the case with man-types, divide it among them.) I think that's what is needed to adequately support a child. My father made $15,000 a year and was only ordered to pay $25 a month for two kids. He sent $200 a month, which although not enough was at least a nice gesture. Men, unlike women, seem to have more of a choice in whether to have sexual intercourse or not, and they should suffer for their choices when they harm women.
If you look at the statistics, WOMEN that are ordered to pay child support vs. men that are ordered to pay child support, 71% of women DO NOT PAY and you do not see a nationwide DEADBEAT MOMS campaign. There are only about 15% of dads that do not pay ordered support.

The money thing makes the wholesituation complicated. I have seen men ordered to pay more in support than they actually make in a year at the job they currently have. How is a male supposed to survive to pay his support? If you want to male bash, that's fine, just recognize it as such.

The "average" working male cannot make, and does not make, enough money to pay support at the "ordered" amunt and pay his own bills to survive. I can understand people in the position to actually pay a "fair" amount having to, but for lower income people that just is not a reality.

MNS
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#40 of 45 Old 10-29-2003, 05:16 PM
 
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thank you so much for posting such an important question that has led to some great discussion.... I apologize in advance for the long post...

On the topic of how to reduce unwanted pregnancies...

My hope for all children and the focus in parenting my little ones is for them to receive the love and support of family and friends that affirm their worth as individuals... that children will be given the nurturing and guidance to believe in their abilities and to value/respect themselves (self-validation rather than other-validation).

I want my own children and all children to understand through their own early life experiences that there is a time for everything and that childhood, adolescence, and young adulthood is a time for learning, developing/discovering themselves and creating a life for themselves prior to embarking on the life journey with a chosen partner.

I feel strongly that children who are given the nurturing and opportunity to figure out who they are, what they believe about the world and their place in the world, who/what they will become, may be less likely to engage in sexual activity that could result in procreation or disease. I know this may be a controversial idea....

I believe an age-appropriate reading list should be developed and instituted in the public school system as a mandatory requirement for graduation from each level of school (elementary to middle and middle to high school) that focuses in a meaningful way on self-esteem issues.... and mental health professionals should be made available to all students on a routine basis, not just to children who outwardly display symptoms of serious problems. All children deserve to have this support on a preventative basis. Anyone have any contacts at the US Dept. of Education????

On support for mothers caring for young children....

Our beloved country (and I am very patriotic despite how this sounds) needs to get a clue and realize it needs to do more to support children, parents, and families. The government's response might be that we are the only remaining superpower so that means we are the strongest and most powerful nation on earth. Yet the govt. is soooo lacking in the value it places on raising the next generation of Americans.

Working Mother magazine does an annual survey of "family friendy" companies to work for (companies that make it easier to balance the need to work and care for your family)... and in the last edition of the survey it highlighted what other countries do to support new families.... many European countries offer paid time off for new parents (MEANINGFUL time off, as in MONTHS not days or weeks), guaranteed job security for the birthing mother for up to a year of paid time off after a birth, etc... etc... I was ready to pack my bags and move to Europe...

I am a full time working, nursing mother. I have moved heaven and earth to continue to attachment parent my little ones despite the financial need to be employed during my childbearing/raising years. I work for the federal govt and a very male-dominated agency within the govt so I had NO support for balancing the need to work AND take care of my family. So I habitually face an uphill battle when trying to construct my work life in a way that does not violate my commitment to attachment parenting and allows me to meet my children's needs.

As an employer, the federal govt. does not offer paid maternity leave (other than sick/vacation time you may have accrued).

After my son was born in 1999, I quit my job, moved back to the west coast (near my family), and took 2 years off from full time paid employment. It was the best decision I ever made and was fully supported by my partner. I was able to continue nursing until my son was ready to wean at age 2 and I only worked sporadically, part time hours as a post partum doula.

When I went back to work full time again, my son was between 2 1/2 and 3 years and I was pregnant again. This time I was in a job position that allowed me to better advocate for my family's needs and I asked to telecommute at the end of my pregnancy. I was able to continue doing this when I went back to work after my daughter's birth. My daughter is now a 15 month old nursing toddler and I am still working from home except for 2 mornings a week. I am hoping to make this a permanent arrangement and also decrease my work hours at some point.

It has been quite a challenge to buck up against the Old Boy Network and ask to be allowed to creatively problem solve the work-family balance. But it has been so worth it. My children are happy and thriving.

Now, another big hurdle... how to get the corporate world (my husband's employer) to be more supportive of male partners seeking family-friendly flexibility in their work arrangements!! But one mountain at a time I guess....
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#41 of 45 Old 10-29-2003, 05:25 PM
 
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MNS.. can you link to those stats by any chance? Because I suspect that the 71% is still a far lower number than the 15%... and that there are far more children living in poverty because of non-paying dads than non-paying moms. If I am mistaken I would like to know. If I am right then I don't see that it is male bashing to discuss that. I know that you are correct when you say that some men are ordered to pay more than they make and that paying child support is a huge financial burden but I am not convinced that enough people of either gender put paying for their non-custodial children ahead of their own needs.
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#42 of 45 Old 10-29-2003, 06:01 PM
 
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This is a fascinating thread..

I am very much pro-choice, mostly because I can't afford to adopt unwanted children. If I could solve the problem, I'd probably be pro-life.

Greaseball: Girls do not get pregnant on their own, but it's not always the boy who initiates sex. Teenaged girls frequently initiate sex because they want something small and cute to dress in fancy outfits and to love them unconditionally. You could argue that it's a self-esteem issue; I'd probably even agree with you, but you can't say that young teenaged girls never deliberately get pregnant. It's just not true.

The high school I went to had a (free) day care center (only) for students that was very nice. It was run by the YWCA and had a very long waiting list. Before the day care center, they sent pregnant girls to a separate school once they started to show; someone realized that a lot of girls went to the school only to drop out after the baby was born, and thus the day care program was begun.

I've also seen commercials on TV where a young man promises his girlfriend that he will "respect you as a human being and never pressure you to do anything you're not ready to do, especially when it comes to sex." There are "girl" ones too, but I can't remember what she says.

At the library, I noticed a sign and some pamphlets about National Adoption Month and picked up one of everything. I learned that you don't actually need a lot of money to adopt domestically; in many cases, fees for the home study, court costs, and other fees may be reimbursed, sometimes in their entirety.

The Pennsylvania Fatherhood initiative runs commercials and classes for young men & teenaged boys teaching them about contraception, what rape and statutory rape are, and what it means to be more than a sperm donor. They talk about how important it is for all men to be active in their children's lives, and why they should not only pay child support but be a physical presence and never demean their children's mothers in any way, especially not in front of their children.

I can't say that I've ever really thought of Lancaster Pennsylvania as being a very progressive place, but I suppose that in this regard it really is. The number of abortions, children in the foster care system, and unwed teenaged parents have all been dropping steadily in the area for about 10 years. I guess someone's doing something right.

What would I like to see? Parenting classes offered to younger students and to teens who are not already pregnant or parenting. We had parenting classes at my high school, but you had to be pregnant or parenting (boys took the classes too.) From what I understand, most places don't even have that. I think that if kids knew what they were getting themselves into, they'd be more inclined to listen when people talk about birth control and respecting their bodies.

Sex ed needs to happen earlier in schools. Girls are getting pregnant in 5th and 6th grade, and many of them have no idea how it happened. Myths like "you can't get pregnant the first time" and "if you stand up right away, you can't get pregnant" abound, and they are frequently believed by young girls. In my senior year sex ed class (and this was just my class of 35 kids) there were *four* pregnant or parenting girls, and two boys whose girlfriends were expecting (their) babies. And that's only the ones who sat near enough for me to talk to them or overhear their conversations. This business of closing the barn door after the horse is gone is totally not helpful.

I'd like for WIC to run cooking classes, and to continue to support breastfeeding mothers after 12 months. I'd also like to be able to buy reduced fat peanut butter and soy milk on WIC, but I could start a whole new thread on that! Teenaged girls can give birth to huge, full-term babies, but they need to know how to eat, and why. Telling them to drink milk every day doesn't do much alone; showing them pictures of babies whose mothers ate well and babies whose mothers did not will. Teaching them how to prepare a nutritious meal for themselves and their children would go a long way towards making them feel more competent as parents.

I'd like to emphasize again that I think the most important way to reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies/children is education, and at a much younger age. A story to illustrate: Last year, my niece was in Kindergarten. One afternoon on the playground, a kindergarten boy and a first grade boy held her arms while another kindergarten boy kicked her repeatedly in the shins. She did not tell her teacher, the principal, or the playground monitor. She did not tell her mother or her grandmother when she got home. She went upstairs and changed into playclothes, and that's when my mother saw her legs. "Oh", she said "some boys kicked me at school" and out came the whole story.

Now, girls don't get pregnant by being kicked in the shins, but my points are thus:

1. Boys are being taught that violence, against girls in particular, is necessary/appropriate.
2. Girls are taught that their pain is unimportant.
3. Girls agree that when boys perpetrate violent acts against them, they should just keep their mouths shut.

Does this have something to do with her mother being 15 when she was born? Not exactly, but her mother's never had great self esteem either. My niece watches her parents fight, berate, and cheat on one another constantly; they refuse to actually let go of their relationship. Even though they're not "together", it's still damaging to hear about your mother's boyfriends or your father's girlfriends. That can't be teaching her anything good about relationships.

For the record, my niece does not have particularly low self-esteem; she is bubbly and outgoing, and has many friends. (Though I'm not sure how long that will continue). It just never occurred to her that it was wrong for little boys to use her this way. I can easily see how these attitudes grow up into "Well, I didn't actually say "no", so he didn't rape me."

Rynna, Mama to Bean (8), Boobah (6), Bella (4) and Bear (2)
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#43 of 45 Old 10-29-2003, 06:39 PM
 
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MNS.. can you link to those stats by any chance? Because I suspect that the 71% is still a far lower number than the 15%... and that there are far more children living in poverty because of non-paying dads than non-paying moms. If I am mistaken I would like to know. If I am right then I don't see that it is male bashing to discuss that. I know that you are correct when you say that some men are ordered to pay more than they make and that paying child support is a huge financial burden but I am not convinced that enough people of either gender put paying for their non-custodial children ahead of their own needs.
I do not remember where I read those stats but I did a quick search and found some links.

Of xourse the actual number is lower because women usually automatically get custody. The only right most fathers have is that of paying when it comes to divorce and children. For a father to get custody of children usually reuires that a mother be proved "unfit" for some reason or another.

Why should parents of either gender put paying for child support ahead of actual needs? I am not talking luxury vacations, I am talking about not living in your car and having food to eat. When it took both partners working to support one household, supporting two households just is not happening.

Here are some links...

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,59963,00.html

http://www.supportingoursons.org/art...m?articleid=53

http://www.dadsdivorce.com/mag/essay...1Deadbeat.html

http://www.geocities.com/Paris/Bistr...ats.html#begin

In my opinion, it is male bashing. The fact is the percentage is higher. Just because there aree way more fathers ordered to pay support in the first place is not relevant.

MNS
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#44 of 45 Old 10-29-2003, 07:43 PM
 
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Okay... there are a lot of conflicting stats in those links but none of them claims the numbers you did. Mixing and matching to try to make sense I see:

In 1995,
single MOM households 12.2 million
single DAD households 3.2 million

you say
Quote:
71% of women DO NOT PAY and you do not see a nationwide DEADBEAT MOMS campaign. There are only about 15% of dads that do not pay ordered support.
The census, as quoted in fox says
Quote:
Census figures show only 57 percent of moms required to pay child support -- 385,000 women out of a total of 674,000 -- give up some or all of the money they owe.
That compares with 68 percent of dads who pay up, according to the figures.
There is a big difference between the barely more than a million moms described by the census and the 3.2 million mentioned above, from your first link, which also claims to be using Census numbers. *sigh*

So... we are likely looking at, among other things an inequity in who is awarded support payments in the first place. But lets put that aside for a moment and just look at the numbers.
Deadbeat moms: 1.2 - 2.1 million
Deadbeat dads: 1.8 - 3.6 million
(I did the math in my head so it is not great... feel free to fix it if you want... but I am in the ballpark.)
I think the ACTUAL number of kids not being provided for is relevent.

You mention that many non-custodial parents simply can't afford to pay what the court has ordered. True
Quote:
But more moms that don’t have the kids simply can’t afford to pay child support since they are poorer, said Geraldine Jensen, president of the Association for Children for Enforcement of Support. Studies show the average income for non-custodial moms is only $15,000 a year, whereas non-custodial dads average about $40,000 a year.
and that burden also falls more heavily on the women.

Male bashing is in the eye of the beholder, I guess. In any case... we are getting really off topic. If we want to discuss this further we should start a new thread. The topic here is what can we all agree on that is likely to reduce the number of abortions. I can imagine that a woman facing the decision of how to deal with an unplanned pregnancy might give some thought to how much financial assistance she will get to help with the inevitable finacial hardship she will face. Knowing that support from the father would be forthcoming, that the courts, etc would help her... not by handing down a useless ruling but by actually making sure she got the money.... might really affect her decision. I don't expect at that point she is thinking about... 'well, if I have the baby and later just give him or her to the dad... how much will that cost me a year and will I really have to pay it?
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#45 of 45 Old 10-29-2003, 10:24 PM
 
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How is a male supposed to survive to pay his support?
I guess the little slut should have thought of that before having a child, right? Isn't that what the moms are told? Why tell the dads any different? And yes, girls often initiate sex, but the boy would say no if he wasn't a complete whore. Or is that just for girls? A boy could also use a condom if he had any self-respect. He could also refuse to have sex with girls who didn't want him to use a condom. But I guess we just don't expect males to take any sexual responsibility at all.

Regarding family friendly companies...often the only positions that are family friendly are the upper level executive ones, not the minimum wage ones. I have seen McDonald's on that list. No McDonald's counter people have the right to pump milk at work. McDonald's does not provide quality daycare, paid maternity leave, extra breaks for pregnant employees, etc. They could, but they won't.

And what about women who are already unemployed when they become pregnant? Not only are they not likely to get hired if they are showing, they will be too late for any benefits. You have to be employed for a certain time to get even an unpaid leave. Family friendly means only a few things, according to Ms Magazine - sick leave (to be used only for a sick employee, not a sick child), vacation time, up to 12 weeks unpaid parental leave, and unpaid maternity leave. Many parents cannot afford to take these leaves.

I think a "dad" (or mom, if noncustodial) should pay exactly half of the child's needs. Isn't that what's fair? Custodial parents pay a lot more than half of the child's needs. Why is that fair? Should they have to give their child to the unfit parent to get a break? Two parents, one child...simple math here says that each parent should pay half. If both parents absolutely cannot support the child, the government should kick in the rest. We're talking about the best interest of the child here.
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