Senator Wants Law to Make Single Parenthood a Form of Child Abuse

March 2, 2012  |  

When are republicans going to stay out of women’s wombs long enough to actually take care of things that need to be done?

Republican Senator Glenn Grothman of West Bend, WI, has sponsored a bill that would formally consider single parenthood a contributing factor to child abuse. Section 1. 48.982 (2) (g) 2. of Senate Bill 507 is amended to read:

Promote statewide educational and public awareness campaigns and materials for the purpose of developing public awareness of the problems of child abuse and neglect. In promoting those campaigns and materials, the board shall emphasize nonmarital parenthood as a contributing factor to child abuse and neglect.

Section 2. 48.982 (2) (g) 4. of the statute is also amended to read:
48.982 (2) (g) 4. Disseminate information about the problems of and methods of preventing child abuse and neglect to the public and to organizations concerned with those problems. In disseminating that information, the board shall emphasize nonmarital parenthood as a contributing factor to child abuse and neglect.

From reports on this outrageous law it’s not clear whether the Senator actually has any data to back up this claim, but my guess is no. As is often the case with outlandish legislation such as this, Sen. Grothman has a history of declaring a war on single parenthood. Last year, he proposed a conspiracy theory that single parenthood is all apart of a Democratic ploy for bigger government. He wrote that the:”Left and the social welfare establishment want children born out of wedlock because they are far more likely to be dependent on the government.”

While I’m no advocate for single parenthood, you can’t make that lifestyle a right or wrong issue. It’s about responsibility in some ways and for others evidence of a change in societal attitudes toward two-parent homes. Although according to Grothman, “the rise in single motherhood has been driven by all the great financial benefits single, low-income mothers receive.” So what should women do, have an abortion? Oh wait, you don’t want us to do that either.

This alleged link between child abuse and single parenthood is a slap in the face of single mothers (and fathers) everywhere who are handling their parental responsibilities. There are far better ways to discourage being a single parent.

Do you think this law has a chance of getting passed?

Brande Victorian is a blogger and culture writer in New York City. Follower her on Twitter at @be_vic.

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