The state of Maine is currently in the middle of a debate over whether or not abortion services should be covered by MaineCare, and, as you might guess, passions are stirred on both sides of the issue. It's funny that in response to the story I linked to here, some of the strongest right wing fringe railings were not against the bill itself, but against the spokesperson for the pro-birth cause, a single mother named Katie Schmitt whose daughter is now two. What's remarkable in this case is that Katie, whom I'm sure the pro-birth crowd felt their people would rally around, quickly became the object of scorn not from the left because she chose to bear her child, but from the right because she is on welfare and chose to bear her child. It certainly plays up the Republican paradox that every "pre-born" child is a precious gift from God until they are post-born, at which point they become parasites on the public dole. Some of these responses, couched by the anonymity of the internet, are shocking in their viciousness. I'll post a couple here because they illustrate the depths of right wing hate-right here in my beautiful not-totally-blue state of Maine-more than any of my rantings possibly could...
Tim of Weld, ME Apr 28, 2007 9:39 AM
"Schmitt, 25, was unemployed, unmarried and suffering after a car accident when she learned that she was pregnant."..... apparently she could still spread her legs.
Responsible behavior? No, can't have that.... people need to be free to do whatever. It isn't fair to expect people living on the taxes of others to be responsible.....not in liberal Maine it isn't. "
VoiceO Reason of Portland, ME Apr 28, 2007 8:22 AM
"No personal responsibility for actions. That's the mantra of the liberals in this country. You can't tell me what to do or how to do it. When will you libs get off the "that's their lot in life" kick when speaking of those on the government welfare roles?
They are on welfare because they get welfare. If welfare were reduced or if it expired after a time, they would find work or their FAMILIES would take them in or help them. US Government estimates show that about 75% (73.4%) of all welfare recipients have family that can take care of them temporarily. The families don't, because the government will. Shame on those families (but then again, shame isn't a word in the liberal handbook).
Stop condemning all poor people to a lifetime of welfare. It's not fare and it is discrimination on your part.
Millions of Americans have come out of poverty through hard work and a belief in themselves. When you libs keep pounding them down and giving them money to make yourselves feel better and less guilty, it makes it that much more difficult. But then again, that's the liberal plan because poor people depending on the government for their life will tend to vote liberal every time. Works for poor people. Works for minorities. Works for illegal immigrants. Works for the Democraps."
Gail of Portland, ME Apr 27, 2007 11:38 PM
"I hate for my tax dollars to support abortions/killing of innocents. Contraceptives are easy to obtain and cheap. I would however support paying for VOLUNTARY sterilizations of those who are the public dole, continue to have children, and continue the ireesponsible [sic] culture of poverty."
It's enough to make one just throw in the towel on humankind, isn't it? However, all is not lost...before you decide humanity is completely on the skids, there's one more strong voice to be heard here:
demetri of Windham, ME Apr 28, 2007 10:06 AM
"I would be willing to bet most of the posters here that rail against welfare don't speak from experience, have never stood in a food line, never received food stamps, have never struggled to come up with next month's rent, or slept in their car or under a bridge being homeless. Yet they have such strong opinions on what the poor are thinking, experiencing, believe. To be sure the worst case welfare abusers they single out to be used as indicative of all recipients do exist, but labeling all as such is ill-informed at best, dishonest at worst. It is quite easy to sit at their computers and type away, ignorant or dispassionate of the circumstances that bring someone to the case of hardly having a roof over their heads, let alone a computer. It is just too much to imagine a system that favors the wealthy to such a degree could ever unfairly disadvantage someone to the degree they have to choose between food or rent, food or medicine. It is hard to fathom someone calling themselves a christian yet lacking the empathy to imagine such a case.
I would be willing to bet further that the women among them have never been single mothers, or experienced the difficulties that surround that case. Such strong opinions about the poor coming from so little experience of it. Whenever I hear the arguments against public assistance, the experience that is almost always front and center in their arguments is "You are taking from me to help others, and I hate that." No sense of community, of shared burden, of compassion... it is an argument based on "me" and "mine."
Poor women should have access to services that are currently legal as an equity issue. If the procedures are legal and necessary to the welfare or health of the women, there should be equal access. The white patriarchal christian mindset that ignores empathy, compassion is outmoded."
Thank you, demetri, whoever you are. Sometimes it takes just one little spark to keep us fighting the good fight, realize we're not all alone in our principles, and you gave that to me today!