Zippidy Doo Da

I'm not stupid, I'm from Texas!

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Chupacabra Report

There was a great letter in the Chronicle yesterday in response to a recent column by Kathleen Parker about measures requiring women seeking abortions to view a sonogram before having the procedure:

Give them the whole picture

In regard to Kathleen Parker's “Fetal ultrasound laws are one way to limit abortions” (Page B12, Sunday), to those who advocate forcing girls to see ultrasounds and photos of a fetus before they have a legal abortion, why not give them an entire picture album to shock them into life as a parent, too?

The album might include a picture of a father, with and without a child support check, a photo of the mother with and without her high school or college diploma, and the likely income potential of each of these scenarios, next to a bank statement showing the $180,000 estimated cost to raise a (healthy) child to age 18, times the number of children she may bear if she doesn't turn the page of the album to the list of birth control methods available.

The album could provide additional information for these overwhelmed pregnant teens, such as resources to ensure that boys and men take financial responsibility for the children they father, mental and physical health resources for exhausted and unprepared young mothers, and finally, a list of adoption agencies and foster care organizations (like Houston Achievement Place) that take care of children who are neglected and abused, often by those very mothers shamed into having children by people whose “right to life” support seems to stop as soon as the children are born.


-Elsewhere in the paper was an article about young Texans, “survivors of the foster care system,” taking advantage of free tuition offered at public colleges and universities to foster children. With the article was a sidebar of statistics about the outcomes the foster care system delivers. Shocking.


According to a study by Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago, by age 23, former foster children are more likely than their peers to be:
• Unemployed: More than half were out of work.
• Homeless: Almost 25 percent had lived on the street or in a shelter.
• Pregnant: More than 75 percent of young women had been pregnant.
• Convicted of a crime: Nearly 60 percent of young men had been convicted of a crime, and more than 80 percent had been arrested.
• Uneducated: Only 6 percent had an associate's or bachelor's degree.

- There are over thirty thousand Texas children in foster care, more than half a million nationwide.


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