ERIC Number: ED344676
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1992-Feb-5
Reference Count: N/A
Primary Prevention vs. Intervention.
Harris, Irving B.
This address was delivered at a conference held at the Columbia University (New York City) Graduate School of Journalism. The decision about abortion, it was stated, involves more than the particular woman who is pregnant with an unwanted fetus. Because of the impact of unwanted children on education, crime and violence, and public costs, the society at large has a stake in the issue. The nation's ability to educate all children is being jeopardized by the large number of unwanted children whose parents fail to prepare them for school or provide them with proper and caring guidance. These children frequently display anti-social behavior and are likely to become juvenile delinquents and criminal adults. A disproportionate share of problem students, juvenile and adult offenders, and welfare recipients come from the ranks of unwanted children whose parents failed them from the start. The taxpayer must cover the high and increasing costs of public schools, prisons, and welfare. In 1988, the Michigan State legislature enacted a policy refusing access to abortion for women who were unable to pay. The number of abortions performed in the state dropped by 10,300 between 1988 and 1989, saving the state as much as $3 million. However, the costs associated with the increased numbers of babies with congenital anomalies, of babies born to teenage mothers, or of babies with low birthweight could cost the state over $400 million. Efforts that would prevent poverty and family dysfunction include: (1) ensuring that every woman, regardless of income, has access to family planning services and abortion; (2) providing intensive counseling and media-supported advocacy of responsible sexual behavior; and (3) providing the money and training needed to improve early childhood education. (AC)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Michigan; Unwanted Children
Note: Address presented at the "Focus on Children: The Beat of the Future" Conference (New York, NY, February 5, 1992).