I’ve recently had an argument with an otherwise reasonable and very caring person.
She believes strongly that the unborn (including zygotes) should have rights that one and two year old children don’t have (and that one and two year old children should not have – according to her religion).
For me, who for many years, has witnessed the toxic homes and terrible abuse of fifty children (as a volunteer Hennepin County CASA guardian ad-Litem) it is incomprehensible that anyone would not want babies and very young children to have basic healthcare once they are born.
Think what you might about the unborn, it seems only fair that a living breathing baby should have the right to basic health care (if only to continue breathing).
It is terrifically expensive to treat the chronic illness and behavioral problems that blossom out of children born into toxic and unhealthy circumstances where mom’s without parenting skills, or coping skills, eat poorly, drink excessively and often have serious mental health issues. Many of the moms I’ve known from child protection were the fourth or fifth generation of abused girls having their own families of abused children. Without help from the community, their children never break out of toxic birth home environments and never learn the skills they need to live a productive life.
Crisis nurseries and subsidized quality daycare make up for some of the problems these children live with in the home. Coping skills are not delivered by the stork but they can be gleaned from other care providers (if the community reaches out).
In my lengthy Protestant upbringing, I can only remember a Jesus that wanted to provide for the weakest and most vulnerable among us – especially children.
In my research for this short piece I have delved deeply in the search for a major religion that abandons the needs of children, but have not been able to find one.
If you know of one, would you make me aware of it? And to pose the question I think should be asked of this otherwise fine person, just what would Jesus do?
I’m betting that he would error on the side of providing more and not fewer services to both the born and the unborn, and that he would not politicize children’s well-being.