Having been raised on prison property, I watched the warden, also my father, spend his life trying to put himself out of a job. He thanked each man sent to his yard for putting shoes on my feet, a roof over my head, paying for my prom dresses and for making summer vacations possible. He taught each man that would listen how to do those things for his own children. Many of them had been “raised” as one among many siblings poverty shackled in single mother homes. They never had a chance, prison bound at birth, textbook statistics. My father’s philosophy was simple – change one man at a time. He will change his family. That will change one block in one neighborhood, subsequently the community - ultimately the world. It is a philosophy easily put into action and it applies likewise to the single mother whose womb is never vacant. Even more if you believe that the "hand that rocks the cradle rules the world."
The vehement opposition to Louisiana State Representative John LaBruzzo’s suggestion of birth control for the poor could be interpreted as covertly racist as easily as the suggestion has been decried as racist on its face. Perhaps those opponents understand the detrimental effect a decrease in generational poverty would have on our economy, in much the same way as would actually winning the “war on drugs." Decreasing generational poverty would consequently eliminate the need for massive numbers of social services and criminal justice employees as well as substantially diminishing the need for collateral services and those employed therewith. What logicial reason would there be for insisting upon the preservation of a status quo that incarcerates minorities in numbers far disproportionate to their numbers per capita if not racisim? Before throwing a “David Duke” at LaBruzzo, we should do as he advises and “start talking about it.” The representative does have some explaining to do with regards to his ill chosen words in much the same way as Nebraska lawmakers are ruing their choice of the word “children” over the more appropriate and intended “infants” in their well publicized disaster of a “safe haven” law. Politicians like human beings are in fact human beings who make mistakes.
There is a tendency of some to castigate citizens who believe LaBruzzo’s plan merits further discussion as “eugenics promoting” devils incarnate – no better than Margaret Sanger and Hitler. Sanger advanced the reproductive rights of women at the same time she advocated eugenics. Planned Parenthood, her life's mission, does a magnificent amount of good work though Sanger's memory is forever tainted by the dark side of her ideals. Aristotle believed women to be a deformity of nature and that that singular deformity left them fit for only one purpose which was to bear children. I hope to meet Aristotle someday and am certain he will not hold my singular deformity against me as I do not hold his singular, albeit colossal, idiotic notion against him. Likewise, the men who founded this country held certain beliefs which are wholly unacceptable today and yet they wrote them into the Constitution. I would not refuse their company. As for Eve? I have plenty to say to her.
Strictly as a women’s issue - sans eugenics, Margaret Sanger, religion, politics, philosophy, population control, Hitler, the environment, the depletion of resources, global warming, melting ice, racially motivated subversive activity, conspiracy theories which run equally rampant to the left and to the right, capitalist versus socialist agendas, Republican versus Democrat, feminism, Malthusian catastrophes, tyranny, obscurantism, Eve’s disobedience, paternalism, economics, the weakness of Adam, sealing the Guf and every other opinion political, religious and otherwise which goes unmentioned herein and upon which we are never bound to collective agreement - If a woman wants birth control and she can not afford it the state should make sure she gets it. It is sound public policy to do so. Preventing unwanted conception is the sole issue. As a nation we should have learned well by now that government campaigns of “just say no” are failures. American tax dollars support birth control and education for women in other countries and it is time to do the same for women here at home.
Sadly, when LaBruzzo realizes that if his proposal ever comes to fruition, it will cost his state much more in jobs and lost revenue than what is spent now on supporting the poverty stricken young mother and her brood. Louisiana incarcerates many, many people. He might very well remove his proposal from any further study and discussion, it won't be talked about, the status quo will be preserved and we can focus our concentration on the dignity of plants as living things as have done the Swiss.