Why is Wisconsin Trying to Pass a Bill that Equates Single Parenthood with Child Abuse?

Is single parenthood child abuse?Is single parenthood child abuse?Wisconsin - the state best known for its bountiful cheeses - may soon be known as the first state to officially declare single parenthood a cause of child neglect and abuse.

You think I'm kidding, right? Sadly, NO.

Senate Bill 507, introduced by Republican Senator Glenn Grothman, would require the Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Board to classify non marital parenthood is a contributing factor to child abuse and neglect. Let it be noted: fully a third of all Wisconsin parents are single parents. Guess they'd all better find someone to hold bail for them now!

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The proposed law states:

Section 1. 48.982 (2) (g) 2. of the statutes is amended to read: 48.982 (2) (g) 2. Promote statewide educational and public awareness campaigns and materials for the purpose of developing public awareness of the problems of child abuse and neglect. In promoting those campaigns and materials, the board shall emphasize nonmarital parenthood as a contributing factor to child abuse and neglect.

Section 2. 48.982 (2) (g) 4. of the statutes is amended to read: 48.982 (2) (g) 4. Disseminate information about the problems of and methods of preventing child abuse and neglect to the public and to organizations concerned with those problems. In disseminating that information, the board shall emphasize nonmarital parenthood as a contributing factor to child abuse and neglect.


The law's terminology - particularly its deploying of "nonmarital parenthood" - makes this law applicable to non-married couples and same-sex couples, too. Infidels, all! SEIZE THEM!!!!

Related: Is it a good idea to champion single motherhood?

On the one hand, sure, it's easy to laugh off such a proposal as ludicrous tinfoil battery at its finest. But on the other hand, let's face facts: these aren't the words of some random nut job on the fringe - Grothman is the assistant majority leader and a well-connected ally of Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker. He's an in-power insider who is helping to shape state and national law as we speak. And he's a man who says - and more importantly believes - things like, "The Left and the social welfare establishment want children born out of wedlock because they are far more likely to be dependent on the government." Yeeeah. Because that totally makes sense, right? As a member of the vast Left-wing single parent welfare conspiracy myself, I can vouch that I want nothing more than to have as many people as possible on welfare. Because that… umm… suits my fiendish evil scheme to… umm… pay a lot of taxes? Because… uhhh… HELP I'M TRAPPED IN A LOGIC PUZZLE AND CAN'T GET OUT.

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Though Grothman's bill may have a snowball's chance in hell of actually passing, the creepy and disturbing implications easily drawn from the mere fact of its existence shouldn't be dismissed: that there are plenty of people out there who actually believe that single parenthood isn't just a less-than-ideal circumstance, but that it's outright morally and ethically wrong - abusive to children-type wrong. And they believe this so strongly they want legislation in place to criminalize it. And, in some cases, it just so happens they sit in seats of power where they can actively try to do just that. *shudder*

Has anyone ever told you that being a single parent is, well, child abuse? Or anything even close to that? What's the worst, most shaming thing someone's said to you about being a single mom or dad? I've encountered people in writing this column who've rallied for parents staying together for the sake of the kids at all costs and the like, but I've never heard the child abuse angle before. Yay for humanity - still surprising me with its capacity for degradation and hysteria after all these years! *head-desk*

- By Tracey Gaughran-Perez

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SweetneySweetneyTracey Gaughran-Perez aka Sweetney, is a single mom, PhD dropout, prototypical Gen-Xer, and professional writer/editor. Tracey lives with her evil genius 8-year-old daughter (think the girl from "Little Miss Sunshine" meets Dr. Horrible) and several insane pets in the concrete wilds of beautiful Baltimore, Maryland, where she struggles to balance life, work, and motherhood - with varying degrees of success.