The case for fatherhood

I’d like to make a case for fatherhood based on some facts that are frequently overlooked but that are relevant to the budget debate we’ve been having in Wisconsin lately.

This week as the state legislature debated the state budget, Democratic lawmakers berated the GOP for defunding Planned Parenthood  in the state General Purpose Revenue for “family planning services.”  They accused GOP legislators of being against poor women, of denying healthcare to underprivileged women and taking us back to the Stone Age, basically.

Aside from the many, compelling reasons that the state should not be funding an organization like Planned Parenthood, I would suggest that state-funded “family planning services” are really a short-term, short-sighted, dependence-creating solution to rising teen pregnancy and STD’s rates.  When you have a problem, particularly like spreading STD’s, you need to implement immediate solutions, but more importantly, you need long-term solutions.

So what’s one of the most important long-term solutions?  Fatherhood.  Involved fathers can make all the difference in the decisions young girls make–whether they participate in risky (read typically life-altering) behaviors or not.  Here are just a few examples:

Wow!  And those are just a few of the ways that involved fathers benefit their  daughters’ lives; there are many more, and many benefits for young boys as well.  You see, a father’s unique role in his daughter or son’s life provides, among other things, security, affirmation, affection, discipline, material provision and oversight.  Those are all incredibly positive value-adds that have been shown to discourage risky, anti-social or self-destructive behavior.
Stronger families and present, involved fathers are the long-term solution for a society of young women sold a bill of goods by the likes of Planned Parenthood.  How can the state promote families and fatherhood?  Well, it takes a little more work than funding family planning services, but here are a few policy items Wisconsin Family Action is working on or has plans for in the future–they’re all focused on strengthening the independence and integrity of the family:
  • Remove marriage penalties in the state’s welfare programs
  • Require a longer waiting period and extensive counseling for couples with minor children considering a divorce (in the absence of abuse, abandonment or adultery)
  • Build incentives for premarital counseling into marriage licensing provisions
It’s time for our state to invest in the long-term solution of fatherhood and intact families for our children–and particularly young women–instead of creating dependence on government and enabling harmful and sometimes criminal behavior.

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