Monday, October 01, 2007

A Conundrum

What does everyone think of this:

Recently a Judge banned a homeless, drug-addicted couple from having any more children until they get their lives sorted out, and get their three other children back from social services.

The mother appealed this ruling and it was overturned. Human rights and all that.

Well, a few days ago I posted on how I believe that government and law has no place in our private lives, especially where basic human rights are involved…and it doesn’t get more basic that the ability to have children.

However, this new story made me do a complete 180. Let’s just say that this case is the exception that proves the rule.

On the one hand, I’m kinda glad that the ruling was successfully appealed, because the State saying when people can and can’t have kids is one hell of a precedent to set. The idea that our government could decide when and if we were allowed to have children sounds like an Orwellian nightmare to me.

On the other hand, I’m absolutely astounded that these people had the balls to appeal this ruling. From a legal standpoint, they’re 100 percent right, but from a moral standpoint?

This is the part where I do my absolute best to not be a hypocrite. After writing a post about how laws shouldn’t be used to force one group’s sense of morality on another…but then saying that I think this is wrong, that’s actually me saying that law should be used to force my morals on this couple.

I suppose my only defense is that this is an extreme case. Let me explain:

First of all, this couple already has three children that are being raised at the State’s expense (IE, our tax dollars). The fact that they’re homeless and still on crack shows they have no intention of being actual parents, and if they have a child, it’s going to be instantly taken by social services anyway.

Basically, if they have another child, it’s a child that’s probably going to spend its first 18 years in foster care. Viewed from that point of view, this woman appealed her right to have the State take care of a child she’s probably never going to see anyway.

Then we come to the real moral sticking point. Her three other children were born addicted to crack. She obviously has no intention of putting away the pipe, so we’re talking about the creation of a human being that is going to have the worst start in life, and nothing but hard times ahead.

I have to admit I’m a little torn on this one. On the one hand, I hate the idea of government having that level of control over someone’s personal life…on the other, while morality has lots of gray areas, giving birth to a fourth crack-addicted baby who’s going to spend the first part of its life moving from one foster home to another is pretty much as black and white as it gets.

Here we have a catch 22 situation. On the one hand, Government has no right to tell this woman she can’t have a child, on the other hand, from a basic human point of view, this is essentially child-abuse through child birth.

Basically, both parties are wrong and right at the same time. The couple has the legal right to have a child, but absolutely shouldn’t. The Judge is wrong to make a ruling that this woman shouldn’t have any more babies, but is right in every other way.

What do you think?


OzzyC said...

Maybe they'll overdose before they can have any more kids, making the point moot.

Barring that though, this is an instance where I am forced to live with the consequences of my beliefs. As much as I am personally repulsed by the idea, they should be allowed to have kids.

MC Etcher said...

In an instance like the one you described, I would put the mom in prison, without conjugal visit privileges. Problem solves itself.

amanda said...

I feel like this is not for restricting her, but looking out for the safety of another possible child. The judge was not trying to take her rights away, but simply to keep the rights of another possible living being.

OzzyC said...

I don't agree with Amanda. You can't protect the rights of a person who is not yet conceived. And if you could, Amanda's point of view is still counterintuitive. The judge prohibited the woman from getting pregnant, which in and of itself would prevent this possible life from occurring... certainly not in the best interest of the potential child.