Follow these points:

  1. Klamath has the highest teen pregnancy in the country.
  2. Klamath has no Planned Parenthood.
  3. Klamath consistently elects ultra-conservatives to public office.
  4. The Republican establishment is against birth control.
  5. Republican’s are against most social service expenditures.
  6. Republicans support war and massive military spending.

FYI…there’s no love for democrats here, but does anyone see the contradictions in the conservative agenda?

Here’s some help…how can you be against birth control, but also against supporting those born into poverty and dire situations?
Another…how can you be for saving lives while heavily funding a war machine?

Why is it better to force a life that will be destined to suffer and perhaps die after much suffering, taking out its hatred for the world on innocent people (perhaps your child) along the way? And don’t say religion says so. People made up religion. The religions with the policies forcing unwanted births are also historically guilty of mass murder and torture, so in that context, nothing stands up. Set that aside and look at this issue with logic and compassion.

What you don’t know hurts everyone.

There is an informal group in Klamath comprised of those who are caretakers for children who won’t live past the age of 15. Most are not the biological parents of the kids. They volunteered to take on the daunting and sad task of custody in place of parents who were dead, dying, or whacked out from abusing alcohol and drugs.

This is largely a result of a lack of support for intervention and treatment programs, in addition to affordable and direct access to birth control services. If a person is aware of their problem, they won’t get any serious help in Klamath unless they become violent and assault someone. The substance abuse problems are a result–according to much research by the Oregon Progress Board into the causes and effects of poverty–of economic distress. (See all the other blogs on barriers and business to understand how Klamath perpetuates a bad economy).

Beyond the teens who don’t abuse, but become pregnant and give birth because they don’t have access to a Planned Parenthood, a large portion of pregnancies involve drug or alcohol addicts. For the conservatives, the churches are the caretakers of the downtrodden, but by their own mandate, the churches urge these women to have the babies.

Even tobacco smoked during pregnancy has been proven to contribute to birth defects. As most of the messed up and pregnant know, when you are near rock bottom and have alienated everyone who loves you, the best way to receive attention, free health care (for a few months) and some other forms of assistance is to get pregnant. A mother receives attention and sympathy no matter what.

The offspring become costly social problems. Alcoholic women that drink during pregnancy create Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) in their babies. FAS is brain damage with distinctive facial features in extreme cases. FAS children are unable to function independently as they grow up, and Klamath churns these babies out like cordwood, creating generations of malfunctioning drains on the economy (the irony of conservative politics). But FAS is not the main factor among the death row children the caretakers in Klamath deal with. They are living with the birth defects and cancers stemming from substance abuse.

One evening, sixteen children were enjoying pizza and games at a Mia’s and Pia’s restaurant.

“This is what we are trying to raise funds for,”  the organizer said. “We spend so much of our own money shuttling these kids to Portland for treatments twice a month, there’s no money left to let them have any enjoyment in their lives. The kids require so much care, we can’t hold full-time jobs and although the state helps with food, medical, and a little bit toward housing, we have to find ways to cover everything else without any means of doing so.”

A gaunt six-year-old girl approaches the organizer to beg a quarter for a game. He drops a few coins in her palm and she bounds off.

“That girl was born without 70% of her intestines. Her mother abandoned the child with a relative and hasn’t been seen since. Her disabled aunt is her caretaker. Doctors say she won’t live past the age of nine due to complications from her condition.”

A person can’t hear this without flashing a look of shock and sadness across the face. “Do all these children have problems like that?”

“Yes,” he replied, “but vastly different in some ways. Mikey over there is ten. He has cancer throughout his lymph nodes. Doctors don’t expect him to be around longer than two years.”

Every seemingly happy child there had a back story of parental neglect and pain and suffering from defects, cancer and the treatments and surgeries they received. Many of the older children are aware they may die. The despair in the faces of the caretakers can’t be disguised, no matter how much they try to maintain the appearance of a positive attitude for the children. Deep down, they all know their task is a futile one and they will ultimately lose the young life they protected and loved so much.

The organizer said, “We’re trying to raise money to take them on a field trip to the animal safari in Roseburg. Since we don’t have any zoos or anything much for kids down here, the few things we can do for them tend to cost more. Right after treatment, they are usually too tired or hurt to do activities in Portland. Besides, scheduling doesn’t allow for all the kids to ever be in Portland at the same time. It seems to help them to hang out and play with the other kids who are in similar situations, so we do what we can, like this little pizza outing.”

That group faded away as children passed on, never getting enough traction to become formalized. There are dozens of children like this in Klamath right now, and more on the way, born less from the mistakes of abusers than by the confluence of the dysfunctional liberal machine and the cruel, blind, and illogical righteousness of conservative agendas.