Thank you to an old friend – Dylan, for alerting me to the debate currently happening on the northern echo online about single mothers. Here’s the letter which has sparked off the debate, and my reply below:
I’m very concerned about Merv (and others) for suggesting that we SHOULDN’T look after the ‘young girls’ in this country who find themselves expecting a baby. Their ‘indiscretion’ involved two people but nature leaves the female one with the responsibility for the child.
I don’t think that young girls have a passport to easy council accommodation and state benefits and I don’t think that it was a rosy picture when Merv was younger either. Backstreet/illegal abortions, mothers being ‘sent away’ and children being literally taken from them for adoption, plus newborn babies left to die as newborn mothers abandoned them, in fear of being found out.
True, the UK teenage pregnancy rates are shocking but this is a very very complicated issue, many girls today feel undervalued so being a mother gives them some ‘value’ in the eyes of society.
I spent my first years in Newton Aycliffe, being cared for by my wonderful great grandmother while my (single parent) mother went out to work and grandparents provide about £4billion worth of child care each year in this country today.
However, many families are disconnected today, and the extended family networks are no-where as strong as they once were. You can’t just turn around after 30 years and simply withdraw support from these young mothers, our own young mothers.
There needs to be a HUGE family planning education strategy and programmes to empower young girls to ‘break the cycle’ of their own mothers and grandmothers. If you are looking for a party who will support the development of our society in a fair and responsible way – try the Green Party. They are a refreshing change.