County Line Publisher Emerita

Not long ago, a friend I have known for decades revealed to me that as a child she had been sexually assaulted by an immediate family member. At least I think that was the case — I was so shocked I failed to pry, as opposed to my usual nature. Who committed this incest, and what did it entail? I don’t know, but what came next was equally as shocking. Only in her old age did she share this with her sisters, who also had been assaulted. Until that point in time, she had been too humiliated to bring it up.

 “I thought it was normal when I was a kid,” she noted, and as an adult, she believed somehow it was her fault. 

We sometimes forget as adults that when we were small children, our life experience and view of the world came almost exclusively from our parents. I am not a fan of liver and onions, and neither are my daughters. Have they ever tried it? No, they learned it from me. Kids are not born racists; they learn it at home. 

Probably there is no more harrowing example of this than Netflix’s new documentary, “Keep Sweet: Pray and Obey.” It is the inside story of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (FLDS), an offshoot of Mormonism, in a truly distressing tale about its polygamist practices, pedophilia and its disgraced leader, Warren Jeffs.

The sex-trafficking and rape of young girls in the name of religion is ghastly. Even more ghastly is that state and local law enforcement did nothing until the local media raised a stir. And, in fact, it was The El Dorado Success, a family-owned weekly newspaper whose relentless coverage of what was going on at the Zion Ranch outside of town, that contributed to Jeffs appearing on the FBI most-wanted list, and now he will sit in prison until he is 84, making a lot of girls safe. 

Now, if we could just protect girls and women from the Supreme Court. I found it interesting that all three Republican candidates for Wisconsin’s governor claim they would support paid family leave for parents so that “that moms and dads have time to bond with their babies.”

Really? Like every pregnant woman is surrounded by a loving family in an adorable suburban split-level. I am just sure that policy will help the 10-year-old child who is not old enough to even work. 

In my view, abortion is a lousy method of birth control. But this current crop of Republican candidates would not allow it under any circumstance.

I certainly would not want to be the one to tell a child she must carry through a pregnancy. Think it doesn’t happen? According to the CDC, the number of births to females from ages 10–14 was a record low in 2016, dropping to 2,253 from 8,519 in 2000. That, of course, does not account for the number of miscarriages and abortions in that age group. States that do not allow abortion under any circumstance will see those rates rise again, along with maternal mortality. If you have any interest in what pregnancy does to a child’s body, I suggest you read

I advise you not to read it on full tummy.

That single mom living in her car with a couple of kids will appreciate the paid time off these Republican candidates will give them. As will the mom who discovers her infant is so deformed that it likely will not live beyond birth. It will give her more time to plan the funeral. 

Supporting paid time off for new parents got the Republican candidates headlines last week. But I kept waiting for one of them to suggest free birth control or a solution to the 12 million children estimated to be food insecure in this country. 

Why is it that saving the unborn is front and center, while preventing their conception in the first place or feeding the children we already have are relegated to the back row?

Banning abortion under all circumstances may satisfy the religiously fervent among us, but a large percent of the American public is not buying it. What we have now said is that all of our concern is for the life of the fetus and none for the mother.