Monday, April 2, 2007

How is it Working in Germany? [Serge]

I have always believed that the sentiment expressed by this bumper sticker (available at the NOW website) is one of the most gruesome thoughts that humans have expressed. It assumes that human value should hinge on the feelings that one human being has for another, specifically whether or not the child in question is "wanted". The assumption is that if we could just rid ourselves of those children that suffer from the disease of being "unwanted", we would show great value to the children that survived the purge. It is horrific, gruesome, and simply wrong.

The lessons that we can learn from Germany did not end in 1945. Germany has liberal positions on sex education, contraceptive access, and abortion. In fact, this is what advocates for youth (a liberal organization pushing more sex ed) had to say about the policies in Germany regarding sexuality:

The German government regulates insurance, and 90 percent of households have compulsory health insurance. Private insurance is available for the remaining ten percent of households with very high incomes. Even though patients must meet co-payment fees, these fees remain substantially lower than those in the United States. In addition to subsidizing health care for almost all of its residents, the German government provides generous support for sexuality education, family planning, and contraceptive services.33 Most Germans believe that sexual expression is a basic need and a normal, healthy part of personality development. Germans believe that sexuality is to be handled responsibly. German residents enjoy access to condoms and contraception with few barriers.

Oral contraceptive pills, IUDs, barrier methods, and sterilization are covered by insurance and are free of charge to women ages 20 and under.34 Adolescents need not visit a physician to get contraception.23 Germans view contraceptive use as indispensable to sexual intercourse,34 and many German adolescents effectively use contraceptive methods. Some 63 percent of German teens use oral contraceptives and 57 percent use condoms.4 Condoms are widely available in pharmacies, grocery stores, restaurants, clubs, and in vending machines in most public rest rooms. In general, Germans view contraceptive use as the way to avoid abortion.35 Parents, schools, and communities support teens' use of protection when they become sexually active.

In 1996, Germany legalized abortion within the first trimester and with "proper counseling" which emphasizes the life of the fetus but leaves the final decision to the woman. Second trimester abortion is not permitted unless pregnancy endangers the mother's life. Abortion is also covered by the national health plan and counseling is required three days prior to the procedure.36 German law requires parental consent for abortions in women under age 18, but doctors may perform abortions for women as young as 14 who fully understand the ramifications of the procedure.35

In other words, Germany provides most everything that pro-abortion choice groups believe will increase the "wantedness" of children.

How about social benefits for mothers who wish to work and still raise children? In response to declining birth rates, the German government has implemented a plan so generous that some mothers were trying to avoid labor at all costs in order to have their children in 2007 in order to qualify. The government pays for maternity leave for over a year!

You would believe that children in Germany would be the most "wanted" than most any other country. There is also a very strong pro-family component in Germany. My son and I frequently play "German-style" boardgames that are extremely popular in that country to bring families together. It seems all is well, except for that little infanticide problem...

Desperate mothers are being urged to drop their unwanted babies through hatches at hospitals in Germany in an effort to halt a spate of infanticides that has shocked the country.

At least 23 babies have been killed so far this year, many of them beaten to death or strangled by their mothers before being dumped on wasteland and in dustbins.

Police investigating the murders are at a loss to explain the sudden surge in such cases, which have involved mothers of all ages all over the country.

Clearly, they have not found the answer.

The problem is not that children are unwanted. None of us had any control over the circumstances of our conception, and I believe many reading these words were initially "unwanted" by their parents. What has changed in the meantime is the notion of human value. We no longer recognize that human beings are valuable regardless of whether they are wanted or not. When human beings are seen as mere instruments of another's pleasure, or the means by which more benefits can be gained, they cease being viewed as valuable intrinsically. When we turn our eyes at their destruction in the name of women's rights, there is a price to pay. We are already far down that slippery slope. Paying off mothers and special drop-boxes will not fix the problem.

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