I suppose... I guess it would depend on whether the woman wants to be having more babies or not -- not forever, just in the immediate. I was thinking that, like tigerchild mentioned, there are often issues that prevent women from dealing with birth control, but if it were free, and if there were an incentive for them to actually come in and deal with it, a lot of women might take advantage of it. Up until my last post, I honestly hadn't considered that some of them are probably quite happy to be pregnant and having babies, despite the fact that their babies will often have very difficult lives, and they won't get to see them beyond a few days in the hospital. So for those women, no, it might not be fair to use cash to control their reproduction, but they might not want the high they get from being a giver-of-life as much as they want the high that the $100 would get them, and since they are routinely choosing drugs and alcohol over their offspring, I'm not sure I can say that I would feel entirely uncomfortable with offering them that choice... not permanent sterilization by any means, just "come in every 3 months for your depo shot and we'll give you $100 and all the counseling you could want!"
I absolutely have total empathy for addicted mothers, but the reality of the situation is that their kids often have an incredibly difficult life. of course I'm sure that the people who are parenting these kids are thankful that their kids are alive and surviving, even if it is a struggle, but it feels like "the system" is bursting at the seams with these kids, and preventing future alcohol and drug affected babies whenever possible seems like a no-brainer... not at the expense of the woman's reproductive rights, but I'm not sure that cash incentive removes those rights... it's still her choice. yes, I'm aware that an addict will almost always choose the addiction, but that's the problem in the first place...
Mommy to THREE sweet boys & ONE sweet girl + a newb due in February!
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I need a nap.
I don't know if this is everyone's take on it, but people aren't cats and dogs for us to manage/control. No matter how much you disagree with someone's fertility decisions, it's not your place to make a choice about their reproduction. Talking about sterilizing someone is a very, VERY degrogatory way for one human being to talk about another human being. Assuming you have the right to step in and do that to a person puts you at one level and the person at more of an animal level.
As for empathy, I think it's hard for many people to imagine the heartbreak and sadness of someone living a life so difficult, so challenged, that they have children repeatedly taken from them. Many of the people have struggled with things you or I can hardly imagine--extreme poverty, addiction, abuse... some adults live "messed up" lives simply because of the horrors they've faced since childhood and infancy. One can say "well, adults are adults and should be responsible for their choices"...and that's true, for the most part...but I have a hard time judging someone harshly when they've never (or rarely) had a good role model, a consistent home, or lived a portion of their life without fear of violence, sexual abuse, etc. It's awfully hard to grow up to be responsible under those circumstances.
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Unassisted birthing, atheist, poly, bi WOHM to 4 wonderful, smart homeschooling kids Wes (14) Seth (7) Pandora Moonlilly (2) and Nevermore Stargazer (11/2012) Married to awesome SAH DH.
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they all amount to someone else - someone with more power- deciding who is worthy to reproduce, which is a form of eugenics.
Cash incentives not only are not really practical, but they amount to a form of coersion when dealing with highly impoverished individuals. Cash and food incentives have been used in developing countries targeted at "unworthy" women, sometimes based on disability, poverty, criminal background, and sometimes based on race/ethnicity. They are actually banned in many countries, due to their coercive nature.
What does work? Education, economic opportunity, better access to birth control, and more empowerment. All of which take a lot longer but do more lasting good than a one off shot or sterilization program.
There is a big difference in the state deciding who is worthy to parent an existing child, because that child needs an advocate and deserves to be protected by the state, and the state deciding who gets to reproduce.
I believe the right to reproduce is a basic human right. However, there is no right to parent - there is a right to BE parented well.
The big grey area is harmful practices during pregnancy that have life long impacts on the child. But the solution should not be the restriction of reproductive rights of the mother...
and I don't buy the 'slippery slope' line of reasoning. just because one thing happens, does not mean another thing will inevitably happen.
I get that it's impractical, and has potentially unethical edges. thanks to everyone who shared.
We're Tiffani , Mark , Lucy (9/99) , Dexter (8/01) ,and Zachary Marvin (3/07) and Naomi Rose (6/09), home 11/10, by way of Ugandan adoption.
I agree with everything Tiffani is saying, I also disagree with forced sterilization or anything like it but I feel this is a GREAT alternative. I wonder if this has ever been attempted or looked into?
And on a small scale, like what Tiffani mentioned (offering payments along with free "temporary" BC to addicts) yes, that has been tried. It gets shut down quite frequently by the groups that typically protest abortifacient birth control (because it is hormonal) and also the people you'd think would take advantage of it by and large do not, for a variety of reasons, some of which are discussed upthread.
Personally, I will state again that I think ALL children and ALL women would be served if we simply offered free birth control *of choice* to any woman who wanted it. Surgery, hormonal, barrier, whatever. However, that is not politically possible right now.
But even if it were...there are always going to be addicts and ill people and "regular people" who get knocked up when they do not want to be or can't cope with it. Unless you force everyone to have contraception and it can only be lifted if you apply--and even then, there are always going to be oopses. Even if you had a box of free condoms and pills and shots and patches on every streetcorner everywhere--there are still people who aren't going to use it. Even if they got a free cash card every time they got scanned to detect if they were using it and they could get one every month.
And to some degree, the women who have 10 kids all TPRed at birth because of pervasive problems on the mom's side...those folks are going to fit into that category. It is a really grim reality that I think most people are not willing to look in the face. I wish though that we did offer free or low cost contraception to any woman though. The number of people in the extremes who probably wouldn't take up on the offer is low, but so many other people could really benefit.
Yeah I understand what the OP feels. For me, it's not even about their lack of empathy or their desire to control women's fertility. For me, I just wish people would focus more on the positive. I have enough drama and negativity in my life... I don't need strangers feeling sorry for my foster kid or acquaintances feeling angry at his birth mom. I'd rather they delight in him - his adorable smile, his sweet giggle, his bright eyes.
But after repeated "heartbreaking" decisions where the children are suffering because of a womans inability to control herself, I feel that SOMEONE should speak on the unborns behalf. .
It may be abhorrent to take away someone's decisions about their fertility.
It is more abhorrent to sentence thousands of newborns to lives within "the system," where they are very likely to end up as badly off as their birth mothers.
Mother to R- 2/09, & C- 5/11