Attack of the unmarried mothers!
recent government report , babies born to unmarried mothers now account for 39.7 percent of all births in the country, up 3-5 percent from 2006 to 2007.
This is, as far as U.S. News and World Report is concerned, the most important news in a report filled of interesting information. "Unmarried Childbirths in U.S. Reach Record Levels " the article's title proclaims, with record highs in births by Cesarean section coming in as a subtitle. Halfway through the short article, a few of the other findings of the study are briefly mentioned, including an increase in the number of births, the first decrease in the percentage of low birth-weight babies since 1984 (albeit a very slight decrease), a decrease in the rate of preterm births, and an increase in the number of babies born to teenage mothers for the second year in a row after a long decline.
While I think the U.S. News and World Report is sensationalized, implying that unmarried mothers of all stripes are THE problem with births in the U.S. today and deliberately playing into the "the fabric of American social order is unraveling!" fears of many citizens, the comments are where the real fun begins. Not unexpectedly, commentators discuss only the increased number of unmarried mothers. And by discuss, I mean blither sexist and racist comments as fast as they possibly can whilst bemoaning their hard-earned money being sucked away from them by taxes. (I should say that a few commentators very rightly attempt to point out that unmarried doesn't necessarily mean single OR "bad parent" and that apparently abstinence-only education isn't working out so well, but their voices are largely overwhelmed.)
Comments ([sic] on everything) offer pithy insights on the causes of the uptick of unmarried women giving birth, including, "Clearly, it's all the fault of the illegal aliens," and "Loose women + horny men = babies." "[I]f some of these fast gurls keep their panties up and legs closed, this wouldn't be happening," a commenter tut-tuts. Yeah, those fast gurls who keep getting each other pregnant! One poses what he seems to think are evocative rhetorical questions: "Wonder what percentage of these births are by UNMARRIED BLACK females?....Also, the number of births to ILLEGAL aliens in our country?" One comment, which was deleted, generously informed those blaming the whole thing on Black and Hispanic women that unmarried mothers don't come just from the Black and Hispanic communities, they come from all "trashy parts of society". Another explains from whence come these "child birth criminals": "Desperate women in their 30's to early 40's in the US society falling in the feminist agenda, wake up thinking [does he mean realizing?] they can't be like men. Thus desperate cougars looking for a husband overnight, they don't find him and they CRUCIFY any MALE in their path by sleeping with him unprotected on purpose; and later going to Child Support criminals asking for money." Look out for those crucifying cougars, boys.
Whether commentators think the increase in the number of unmarried mothers is do to illegal immigrants, black people, cougars, or just plain old sluts, they are sure What Will Come Of This. TAXES TAXES TAXES.
The "crucifying of males" guy, for instance, explains that "these child birth criminals, they are hand in hand with corupted lawyers, sucking taxpayers money." Another tells us "All a woman ha to do is pop out an illigitimate kid (they're still called bastards) and Joe Taxpayer is on the financial hook for 18 years......." Yet another howls, "PEOPLE are having babies out of wedlock in order to REAP THE BENEFITS of welfare and tax credits ect......Due to POLITICAL CORRECTEDNESS, we have become a NATION OF TRASH."
DAMN that political correctedness!
Finally, the commenters offer solutions to this ever so dire situation. Most involve shaming the unmarried mothers and their children and a few encourage parents to keep their daughters in check and/or educating them, but some are more creative.
There's the Sharia law option: "Instead of banning abortion - ban pre-marital sex."
There's the sterilize those whores but dear god don't teach them things solution: "Education can only go so far. Need to snip snap up all those girls making babies by the butt load."
There's the tax women those bitches route: "If we are to have a Nation of Fatherless Children we need to tax the women [...]Men already pay non-tax deductible Child support. It is time Women pay their share of the burden for supplying Bad Public Education and Government Handouts."
Finally, a solution I cannot resist quoting in full, the find yourself a domestic servant/marital rape victim route which also manages to condemn all American women for our Elizabeth Hasselbeck aspirations and lack of toast-making ability:
Take it from someone who KNOWS, guys. He is not kidding around.
So...how about those Cesarean sections?
For a more serious discussion of the report, the Reuters article on it was quite good, highlighting the most significant findings -- teenage birthrate, premature births, and Cesarean sections -- and giving short explanations of why they are important and some possible causes and solutions. To me, the increases in births to teenage mothers is particularly troubling and worthy of discussion.
As far as unmarried mothers are concerned, neither article mentioned that the largest increase in births to unmarried women came in the 25-39 year old mother bracket, a statistic I think is important. The report itself did not distinguish between unmarried mothers who were single and unmarried mothers in committed relationships, and while it did break down births by age and race it did not break them down by income level. In my opinion, those changes would allow the report to be a better tool in discussing and addressing problems in prenatal and natal care, public education, government assistance to low-income mothers, child health care, and so on.
Or we could just focus on how babies are being born to unmarried mothers and how it's unraveling the fabric of society.