Wintery Knight

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

Melanie Phillips: the Left’s war on the family has left us with millions of lonely people

Dina has been really wonderful lately, calming me down after Tuesday’s election loss. I’m trying not to write about politics for a little while. For me the biggest impact of the election will be on the children. The children who will be aborted by their mothers, the children who will be raised without their fathers, the children who will be raised with no mother or no father in same-sex “marriages” and the children who will be saddled with over $200,000 of public debt the day they are born. Truly, leftism is a philosophy that makes war on children.

Dina sent me this related article from Melanie Phillips, a well-known Jewish conservative based in the UK. It’s a really good article.

Excerpt:

Britain appears to be turning into a disunited kingdom of solitary and lonely people.

Recent figures have shown that ever-increasing numbers of middle-aged men and women are living alone.

According to the Office of National Statistics, almost 2.5 million people aged between 45 and 64 have their own home but no spouse, partner or children to live with them. Since the mid-Nineties, their number has grown by more than 50 per cent.

[...]A devastating study published last week revealed that, by the time they are 15, little more than half of British children are still living with both their natural parents. That means nearly half of 15-year-olds are not.

First the broken links between parents and children:

[I]f a parent disappears from his or her children’s lives, those children are far less likely to want to look after that parent when he or she becomes old and frail.

Nor will children want to look after a step-parent who, even if not actively resented, will not command the same bonds of love and duty as someone’s natural father or mother.

And the broken links in romantic relationships:

[O]ur post-religious, post-modern, post-moral society prizes above all else independence, which is seen as essential to fulfilling one’s potential without any constraints or interference by anyone else.

This fact more than anything else helps explain the rise and rise of cohabitation, and the reason why so many now prefer it to marriage.

The key point about marriage is that it is not a partnership or a relationship but a union in which two people bind themselves to each other for ever in solemn obligation.

By contrast, those who choose to cohabit regard their relationship as a partnership of independent individuals — in which they reserve for themselves the right to opt out, with no binding obligation on either side.

[...]Nor is it surprising that a principal reason why cohabitations collapse is the arrival of a baby. For a child demands unconditional obligation to another human being. And that’s what cohabitants don’t want.

And children who grow up without both of their biological parents:

Of course, there are lone parents who do a heroic job in bringing up their children against all the odds, but in general children in fragmented families suffer in every aspect of their lives.

They do worse at school and are less likely to get a job, are more prone to drugs, teenage pregnancy and crime, suffer more from depression and other mental disorders and are more vulnerable to physical and sexual abuse.

Worse still, they go on disproportionately to replicate in their adult lives the very same disordered or broken family patterns that did them so much damage.

For in fractured families, where one spouse has betrayed or abandoned another and where partners may come and go, the children grow up without any understanding of what it takes to overcome difficulties in a relationship, or what things such as trust, loyalty — and yes, real love — actually mean.

[...]From easier divorce to the abolition of laws covering illegitimacy; from the promotion of unmarried motherhood to the feminist demonisation of men; from the doctrine of non-judgmentalism, which gave a free pass to the abandonment of children, to the loading of the tax and welfare dice against marriage and in favour of lone parenthood — the wrecking ball of the Left has succeeded in smashing the traditional family to bits.

I love Melanie Phillips! And, like Dina and I, she also likes Conservative MP Iain Duncan Smith – the best MP in the UK.

Now everybody click here and go read the whole thing.

Filed under: Commentary, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Does legalized abortion reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies?

Here’s economist John R. Lott to explain.

First he points out what happened around the time that abortion was legalized:

  • A sharp increase in pre-marital sex.
  • A sharp rise in out-of-wedlock births.
  • A drop in the number of children placed for adoption.
  • A decline in marriages that occur after the woman is pregnant.

Then he writes this: (links removed)

Many of these changes might seem contradictory. Why would both the number of abortions and out-of-wedlock births go up? If there were more illegitimate births, why were fewer children available for adoption?

For the first puzzle, part of the answer lies in attitudes toward premarital sex. With abortion seen as a backup, women as well as men became less careful in using contraceptives as well as more likely to have premarital sex.

There were more unplanned pregnancies. But legal abortion did not mean every unplanned pregnancy led to abortion. After all, just because abortion is legal does not mean that the decision is an easy one.

Academic studies have found that legalized abortion, by encouraging premarital sex, increased the number of unplanned births, even outweighing the reduction in unplanned births due to abortion.

In the United States from the early 1970s, when abortion was liberalized, through the late 1980s, there was a tremendous increase in the rate of out-of-wedlock births, rising from an average of 5 percent of all births from 1965 to 1969 to more than 16 percent two decades later (1985 to 1989).

For blacks, the numbers soared from 35 percent to 62 percent. While not all of this rise can be attributed to liberalized abortion rules, it was a key contributing factor, nevertheless.

With legalization and a woman not forced to go through with an unplanned pregnancy, a man might well expect his partner to have an abortion if a sexual encounter were to result in an unplanned pregnancy.

But what happens if the woman refuses — say, she is morally opposed or, perhaps, she thought she could have an abortion but upon becoming pregnant decides she can’t go through with it?

Many men, feeling tricked into unwanted fatherhood, likely will wash their hands of the affair altogether, thinking, “I never wanted a baby. It’s her choice, so let her raise the baby herself.”

What is expected of men in this position has changed dramatically in the last four decades. Evidence shows that the greater availability of abortion largely ended “shotgun” marriages, where men felt obligated to marrying the women.

What has happened to these babies of reluctant fathers?

The mothers often raise the children on their own. Even as abortion has led to more out-of-wedlock births it has dramatically reduced adoptions of children born in America by two-parent families.

Before Roe, when abortion was much more difficult, women who would have chosen an abortion but were unable to get one turned to adoption as their backup. After Roe, women who turned down an abortion also were the type who wanted to keep the child.

But all these changes — rising out-of-wedlock births, plummeting adoption rates and the end of shotgun marriages — meant one thing: more single-parent families. With work and other demands on their time, single parents, no matter how “wanted” their child may be, tend to devote less attention to their children than do married couples; after all, it’s difficult for one person to spend as much time with a child as two people can.

From the beginning of the abortion debate, those favoring abortion have pointed to the social costs of “unwanted” children who simply won’t get the attention of “wanted” ones. But there is a trade-off that has long been neglected. Abortion may eliminate “unwanted” children, but it increases out-of-wedlock births and single parenthood. Unfortunately, the social consequences of illegitimacy dominated.

Children born after liberalized abortion rules have suffered a series of problems from difficulties at school to more crime. The saddest fact is that it is the most vulnerable in society, poor blacks, who have suffered the most from these changes.

[...]Liberalized abortion undoubtedly has made life easier for many, but like sex itself sometimes, it has had many unintended consequences.

You can read more about it in Dr. Lott’s book “Freedomnomics“, which is a response to the popular leftist book Freakonomics.

Filed under: News, , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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