Monday, April 15, 2013

"A Father to the fatherless...."

This is really just an excuse to link to this excellent article on day care in America, one that hits home because I knew the story of Jessica Tata and the fire in her day care long before I read this article.

The excuse?  Connect this problem, the problem of day care in America (read the article) with abortion.  You can do it two ways:

1)  the scandal du jour that the national media hasn't covered the case of Kermit Glosnell, because it shows the "ugly side" of abortion.  Bunkum, but if it is true, why wasn't the case of Jessica Tata major news that caused us all to re-examine the national shame of day care?  As the article sensibly points out:

Day care, in other words, has become a permanent reality, although the public conversation barely reflects that fact. The issue of child care is either neglected as a “women’s issue” or obsessed over in mommy-wars debates about the virtues of day care versus stay-at-home moms. Whether out of reluctance to acknowledge a fundamental change in the conception of parenthood—especially motherhood—or out of a fear of expanding the role of government in family life, we still haven’t come to terms with the shift of women from the home to the workplace.
Our national dialogue is dominated by the controversies swirling around abortion.  On the question of what to do with the kids we already have:  crickets.  We aren't squashing the scandal of an abortion butcher who should have been stopped by state authorities much earlier (he's a licensed MD, after all).  We're ignoring the entire question of how we value human beings, by national discussions dominated by ideas, not human beings.  The abortion debate doesn't focus on the children or the mothers; it focuses on the idea of abortion.  Until the same-sex marriage debate started focusing on human beings, on people, it was all about "marriage" and, tacitly, the "ick" factor of gay sex. Most of us have no experience with gay sex, and marriage is such a complex topic we probably never really think much about what it means to us, or our children, our families, our friends.  Far easier to argue the abstract issue than focus on the concrete one.

And that brings me to point no. 2 in why I bring this up:

2) The problem of abortion is, in large part, an economic problem.  From my limited experience, I suspect many women seek abortions because they literally can't afford the child care.  That sounds terribly mercenary unless you, too, have a job making $12 or less an hour (as some of the people who used Jessica Tata's childcare did).  Then it's a very real consideration.  If you can't find childcare, you can't work, and if you can't work, well....

So what do we do in this country to support childcare?  Again:  crickets.  We scream and yell about abortions, we picket clinics, we even kill doctors who perform the procedure.  But is even the Catholic church deeply invested in child care in America?

Honestly, I don't know any church that is.  Perhaps a local congregation offers a "Mother's Day Out," or provides infant care (one did in Austin, when my daughter was an infant).  But those are tiny, local concerns (and God bless them!).  Nationally, who speaks for child care?  Who speaks up for taking care of the children we have?  Who even mentions providing child care as a helpful alternative to abortion?

Crickets.  Noisy things, aren't they?

Read the article.  It really is that good.

1 comment:

  1. Our national dialogue is dominated by the controversies swirling around abortion. On the question of what to do with the kids we already have: crickets.

    Yes, the extremist "pro-life" folk, who are seemingly concerned only about the unborn and those who have reached the end of life, have a strangle-hold on policies on the issue. Once you're born and until you're dying - well - good luck. You're on your own. That's how we value human life in the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave.