I wish we could also discuss the fate of (and our responsibility for and to) those children born to parents who don't want them (in mild and in extreme forms), can't care for them decently (for economic or psychological reasons) or even hate them and end up torturing and killing them. For example, people convicted of violent crimes are not allowed to vote but no restriction is placed on their right to parent. Prospective parents aren't examined for undiagnosed mental illness. Episodes of post-partum mental illness dangerous to the child are not adequately treated. Anytime I read one of those stories in the news about some poor child tortured and murdered by its parents, I feel responsible for not protecting that child. Surely I'm not the only one who has that feeling. Yet there seems no way for me, for any of us, to protect those children adequately or at least none that works. I also think this kind of abuse is passed on to the victims who become abusers of the next generations and that aspects of our violent aggressive authoritarian culture stem from that "heritage." When I hear people gloat about those they imagine being thrown into eternal torture or see we all ignore those we are torturing right now, I suspect this inability to feel for another's suffering results from an abused childhood, manifests itself in the belief in the rightness of a cruel punishing authority (God, father, president) that must be venerated and obeyed; I think our behavior as a nation is being corrupted by that abuse, by the kind of twisted emotional thinking it perpetuates--in a sad ironic way--in its victims. My concern is that while we focus on what happens to the child at one stage of life, we don't look at (or take responsibility for) what happens in the next stages. I would like to see us talking more about reducing ALL forms of cruelty to children, including abortion as one but not the only and sometimes perhaps the least cruel of them.
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