Audacity Magazine Nathasha Alvarez

Should People with Physical Disabilities Living On Government Assistance Procreate?

Audacity Magazine Nathasha Alvarez

This has not happened in a long time but it’s happening now. I am approached via email about a topic that has been brewing in my mind for a while. About two months ago or so, a fellow Facebook friend sends me a message. She wants to know if  I’d consider writing about a controversial topic for Audacity Magazine.

She wants to remain anonymous because she works for a governmental agency that helps people with physical disabilities and her views could get her in trouble. And because she says we have too many friends in common and she wants to keep her friends. Umm, does she think I don’t? But you know. Controversy? Disabled people? Why, that’s up my alley!

She lures me into this conversation with this question: How do you feel about people who despite living off of the government decide to have a baby?

I tell her I think it is wrong. I rant about how I get up every morning to go to work and I don’t like the idea of my tax money supporting people who can not afford to feed themselves yet feel they can have babies who must then need to be fed. I am outraged.  With today’s economy, I find it irresponsible.

Her second question takes me off guard: If you don’t think it’s ok for a non disabled person to get pregnant on purpose while living off the government, should a person with a disability be able to do this? Should a person with a disability be judged differently? On the one hand we want to be treated like everyone else but on the other hand, we want to special rights? Where do we draw the line? Where does society draw the line on us?

She throws one question at me after another. I am no stranger to controversy but I wonder why she is asking me these questions. She explains that this hypothetical situation is happening more and more often but no one really wants to say anything because the people are physically disabled and it’s a bit taboo to say something that might offend them.

Ask Three Other Women with Physical Disabilities

She thinks I might be brave and “audacious” enough to take this topic on with my readers.  I take her up on the challenge and immediately contact three other people with physical disabilities to see what they have to say about this.  I’m still waiting for one of the three to get back to me about it. I have a feeling she doesn’t want to discuss this because she and I have so many friends in common who might possibly fit the hypothetical situation.

Another person, Bobbi*, says that it doesn’t matter to her if the person is physically disabled or not. According to her, if a person can’t take care of herself, she should not be procreating on tax payers’ dollars! She says that she knew she couldn’t care for a child and herself so she didn’t have a baby. She says she could have adopted one or given birth to one but she didn’t feel it was morally right. She says that if we want the government to stay out of our personal lives then we need to be as independent from them as possible. To her, that means not having to rely on government assistance unless absolutely necessary. Bobbi says that she’s been working since she was 15 years old and will continue to work until she can’t anymore. She uses a wheelchair, runs her own company and considers herself to be very liberal.

The third person, Bobbi Jo*, says she doesn’t agree like this idea either but that her reason might be selfish. According to Bobbi Jo*, the government cut back on the help they give her to live independently because the funds need to go to the person with a disability who chose to have a baby. Bobbi Jo* has Muscular Dystrophy and has a personal care attendant who helps her bathe four times a week. She doesn’t like going to college on the days when she can’t bathe so now she chooses her classes based on her personal care attendant’s schedule. She feels that people who are physically disabled and get pregnant even though they live off of the government are depleting the funds that can go to help someone like her.

Questions to Think About

So there are many issues to take into consideration.

 

  1. If we want to be treated like everyone else, should we be held up to the same scrutiny? Society doesn’t like people who live off of the government and reproduce children. Does it make a difference if the person is physically disabled?
  2. With budget cuts left and right, is Bobbi Jo right in complaining about funds that are going to care for what society terms “welfare babies” instead of helping her get an education and later on become a hard working, tax paying citizen?

 

 

What do you think? Comment below. 

This topic is written in the hopes of intellectually discussing a topic that many people feel uncomfortable discussing on other platforms. Thank you, J* for contacting me about this topic. Please remember that Bobbie and Bobbie Jo are fictional names to allow these women to give their honest view on this subject.

  • It’s topics like this that scare me when I read them. How many books do we need to read and how many science fiction movies must be made to warn about the dangers of deciding which people are worthy enough to be allowed to live a life as normal as possible without someone threatening to sterilize or eliminate them? Because when all is said and done that’s what those who say “this shouldn’t be allowed” are advocating, or other measures that are just as onerous.

    The day the people or our government decides that a class of people, be they poor, disabled, illegal, the wrong race, the fact that they may like red shirts, isn’t worthy of making decisions for themselves, good or bad, if they have the capacity to do so because of what it costs is the day we all might as well give up our civil liberties and let the government tell us what to eat, what to wear, when to shower, and what music to listen to.

    I’m on the board of an organization that works with disabled people to give them a chance to live independently in the community, to be like everyone else. Sure, sometimes people need government assistance; that’s called compassion. If the government takes that away, that’s their choice. But try being disabled for a day or two, recognize the ostracization, and then tell them they don’t have a right to do with their bodies whatever they want to do, if they can do it.

    There you go; my opinion. 🙂

  • admin

    Thanks so much for sharing your point of view. It’s dialogue like this that will keep our community well informed. I’m wondering if you understood that the message wasn’t whether they should or should not be allowed to procreate because they are disabled but whether they should procreate at the expense of tax payers. Did you see the example by the girl who said that the money could help her go to school and the other example from the woman who said that it shouldn’t be at the expense of tax payers? I think the idea of whether people with physical disabilities should procreate is entirely different than procreating while being financially supported by the government. So you think it’s ok for tax payers to financially support the children of people who are already being supported by the government?
    I’m asking because it seems that people are discussing the topic about whether the disabled should procreate rather than discussing who will financially support these children.
    I didn’t place my opinion in this article but I will say it here: I have no problem with anyone procreating if they can financially support the kids. I do have a problem having to support people’s children when the parents are already dependent on government assistance. I am a person with a physical disability and there was a time when I needed government assistance. I found a permanent position but I know there are many others who will need government assistance for the rest of their lives.

  • The thing is that the government is already doing it for able-bodied women so why not? See, this country has some major choices to make and the powers that be are conflicted. They don’t want to pay for abortions but they also don’t want to pay for women having children they can’t afford. They can’t stop the second so they castigate them, but in this day and time people don’t care what the government or anyone else thinks about their choices.

    So if the government wants to take money away fine, but then what do they do with the children? Will they suddenly build lots of orphanages and take the children away, which is more expensive? Will those whose mouths are the biggest against abortion and such adopt these children, backing up their tongues with action? See, it’s always a much bigger issue, way more complicated than it seems.

    BTW, one of the most amazing women I know has been supported by the government because she’s been disabled her entire life. She also has 4 children and gets some money for them, though her husband does work as well. Those are the rules of engagement in this country and no, I have no problem with it. Yeah, I know, the liberal in me… 😉

  • admin

    You have an entire list of questions. 🙂 Love it! Why have orphanages when the people are purposely having babies?
    Don’t buy into the whole “everyone else is doing it, so why not?” That’s a cop out. That’s like when a teen says, “But Mom, everyone is doing it”
    There’s nothing we can do to stop them from having children but perhaps there can be a limit as to how much we can give them.
    I know many people with physical disabilities just like mine who tell me that they were told there are no funds for them to get a car adapted even if they buy the car or they need help to bathe and were told the government has no funds for that and many more other things like therapy. There’s only so much money to go around. Let’s help those who are willing to help themselves.

  • Provocative question Nathasha; here’s a somewhat provocative answer:

    In a free country, every right has a corresponding responsibility. Of course some folks mess with the balance in the name of “fairness,” as if it’s unfair to be responsible for your own actions – or even to be responsible for raising your own children.

    I share Mitch’s concern about government telling people what they can and can’t do. On the other hand, “Bobbi” talks about people who give no thought to spending “other peoples’ money,” leading to grotesque examples such as “Octomom.” Clearly there needs to be some middle ground that applies to everyone, whether or not we are a member of a protected class.

  • There are a couple of problems here.

    First, your friend works with people where some of them are disturbing her; that’s scares me because now I worry that she’s going to treat some differently because of her hidden views.

    Second, I didn’t say “everyone else is doing it, so why not?” I said that the government already pays for able-bodied women who have children & aren’t working or still have financial difficulties; why wouldn’t you extend that to the disabled? Is there supposed to be a priority system based on “you’re already getting some?”

    Third, there are government limits now with able-bodied women & how many kids the government will pay for, and even though I don’t have a major problem with that I still always ask the question “what happens to the children if the mother can’t keep up with it all on what she’s getting”? The children are taken away and put into orphanages or foster care, both of which are more costly.

    Four, we allow the conversation of degrees of citizenship and personal rights: i.e., you already get this so you’re not entitled to anything else because you’re a bigger drain on the government resources than we want to deal with as opposed to the other person. Part of this issue is that the people making the decisions don’t have a dog in the hunt. Here in NY the state is cutting back on reimbursement for one of the services my organization provides, and suddenly there’s a conversation as to whether we continue to offer those services and how much of them. If we stop, there’s no one else offering them within over 100 miles; it’s not a fair decision to force us to make that comes from someone who has no clue of what the outcomes are, let alone has never met any of the people the program helps, and is only concerned with the financial aspects.

    And five, having said all that, there is the acknowledgement that there’s not enough money for the government to cover everything, every extreme, for every case, able-bodied or not, women or men, minorities or illegal aliens. Tough decisions have to be made and truthfully, I’m glad not to be someone who has to make all of them. However, if nothing else it’s probably up to us to, instead of saying what should or shouldn’t be allowed (especially if it can’t be stopped), to try to help come up with solutions that we can present, fair solutions that aren’t meant as penalties and such but offer long term solutions to many of the issues our citizens face that state and federal governments have to help with.

    Whew, a mouthful; I should have written my own blog post about it. lol

  • admin

    Steve, today I found out that a woman with three children is pregnant again. She is considered developmentally challenged. She has a house covered by the government’s assistance and now a van. She has medical care and food stamps. Day care is offered to her so her children can be taken care of while she works. She doesn’t want a job. She says she would rather stay home with the kids. I think to myself, how much is this costing the tax payers? Could this money have gone toward helping someone else who wants to get a job and get off of government assistance? This is not to say that everyone who is on government assistance wants to remain on it because there are many who want the help to move on. Where do we draw the line as tax payers? I’m bringing up a topic that many people who are not disabled have on their mind but are hesitant to openly discuss because people will bad mouth them. Yes, it happens.

  • admin

    Mitch, you should write a post on this. In fact, I invite you to write it as my guest blogger for Audacity. I’d be honored.
    I’m going to tackle your #4 first. I’m glad you point out another angle on this situation. I don’t think a set dollar amount is necessary but let me ask you how do you propose we fix this scenario:
    A woman who has a genetic disability lives in a low income housing building where she pays less than $100 for her apartment becomes pregnant and now her child is disabled. Tax payers are already paying for her medical, housing, and food along with her government check. Now with a newborn, she will need more money and help to care for the baby. So we do it. Then she wants another one. Another one.
    Are you saying that as a society we should continue to support their choices?
    Why? Moral reasons or legal standing?
    What do you suggest we do? You said we should look for answers. Do you have any suggestions?

  • Corey

    I also believe it’s a slippery slope to tell people that they cannot procreate. Forced sterilization is the only way to enforce it and I just don’t think that’s anything that should ever be considered.

  • admin

    Corey, what about setting limits as to how many kids the government can help per family? I’m throwing ideas out because I have a feeling the government is thinking of its own solutions and we might not like them at all.

  • Kara Ayers

    The very title of the article suggests quite a tilt to this piece…which is also confirmed in comments. As journalists, we’ll always have our opinions on issues and it’s difficult to remain objective. Just as I’m reading a political piece that leans in a certain direction though, it’s important to recognize when we might be taking in information that doesn’t truly represent all sides in an objective manner. Imagine how this article might have started differently if the title read “Should people with disabilities who use Medicaid have children?” Who uses the term “procreate” unless you are obviously intended to distance/sterilize the reality of parenthood….Medicaid is at least partially government-funded so you’re also grouping a large number of people who DO work or at least work part-time but still qualify for benefits and may be unable to get insurance another way. The term “living on the government” also isn’t very representative of a society that has an SSI payment less than the average price of a one bedroom apt. There will always be people-with AND without disabilities who could work but do not. When information is presented in such a biased way, it truly hurts all of us. As always-glad you opened up a dialogue….just wish it was done in a more objective/less judgemental manner.

  • admin

    Kara, thanks so much for leaving a comment. I didn’t pick that title to distance/sterilize the reality of parenthood. I chose that title because it’s the question that still hasn’t been answered by anyone. Should people with disabilities who live on government assistance procreate?

    We already know that most of society doesn’t like the idea of people who live off of government programs having babies which then become a burden on society in financial terms. But how do people feel if the people on government assistance have babies when they are disabled which means they will need even more help than an able bodied person? Which is a greater strain on the tax payers.
    As for Medicaid, I didn’t make it that specific because the reality is that Medicaid isn’t the only service that is used in this topic. People have low income housing, food stamps, and more.
    Kara, this article was meant to get a rise out of people. I find it interesting that no one has yet answered the question. Should these people do this?
    Would anyone like to answer that? 🙂

  • I’ll take the bait. No, people with disabilities who are unable to financially care for themselves and are thus “living off the government” should not procreate. And no, people WITHOUT disabilities who are unable to financially care for themselves and are thus “living off the government” should not procreate. But that can’t really be your question, because it’s tantamount to asking, “Should milk ever go bad?” or “Should people be raped?” or “Should Coke be terrible for me?” or “Should a lack of exercise lead to my fat-assed-ness?” or “Should unicorns be real?” … We could engage in this silly “should” type of questioning all day, and that would get us nowhere.

    “Should people be selfish jackasses who abuse the system?” Um. Duh. I think we all agree the question is a resounding *NO*. You might SAY that’s what you’re asking, but you’re smarter than that. What you really want to know is, “Should we do something ABOUT the selfish jackasses who abuse the system?” And the answer, sadly, is NO, we should not. At least, not beyond making it difficult enough to deter many cheaters, while still making it simple enough for non-cheaters to qualify.

    Because we are the “good guys”. We play fair. We give the downtrodden a chance. What does it mean for us that we stick to the rules? It means we might in fact be shooting ourselves in the foot. But we can sleep well at night knowing that we played the game according to the rules and didn’t cheat at Monopoly.

    Here’s the thing — per logic, we should NOT allow ANY disabled to “procreate” because it means breeding weak cells back into the gene pool. This means people with diabetes should be “put down” as lame dogs. Foils with AIDS? No go. MS is right out as well. History of cancer is a definite “Do not pass GO.” Mentally incompetent, autistic, retarded, deaf, blind, dumb… None shall pass. Because logically it’s stupid to keep “allowing” these unhealthy individuals to add one single broken baby to the fold.

    But the truth is, we aren’t logical. We are a FEELING nation which takes care of its broken. And thank goodness for that — my 8yo nephew has Type 2 Diabetes, and Breast Cancer runs strong in both sides of my family, and mental illness is a big factor in my own home. So when I speak of people who are “unwell”, I’m not talking trash about others; I’m referring to my own family, and many of my family’s friends.

    Something else to consider: The system is seriously broken for those who want to get off welfare. Take it from me, a former divorcee and financial aid recipient. It is sometimes more cost effective for a mother to stay on the dole than to find a job. Because here’s the part that welfare DOESN’T help with: getting a second vehicle or additional country bus route so I can get back-n-forth; getting an appropriate office wardrobe; setting up childcare for the first several weeks BEFORE I receive my first paycheck; paying for childcare that extended beyond 9-5, because if a job is 9-5, that’s great, but transportation back-n-forth is actually 8-6, which childcare either doesn’t cover, or else charges extra for. That’s just the crap I remember trying to deal with off the top of my head. I ACTUALLY HAD TO BORROW ABOUT $2000 IN ORDER TO GET A JOB. All because I got a divorce. I can’t imagine how difficult a physical disability would have been, on top of all that nonsense.

    Consider this, too: My sister and I are both married, stay-at-home moms. We don’t work outside the home, we don’t work INSIDE the home, and we don’t volunteer anywhere, home or otherwise. We are strictly blogging, writing, arts-n-crafts doing, fat, lazy mommies who enjoy spending time with our kids. The force allowing this turd-like existence is good marriage. So what I’m hearing in your question is that the ONLY option a disabled person has, if she wishes to “procreate” is to marry well. If you can’t snag a good husband, then sorry baby, you are SCREWED. I kind of resent that on their behalf.

    So yeah, because I’m a good guy, and because America is supposed to be the good guy, and because good guys finish last… EVERYONE should be “allowed” to procreate, regardless of medical or financial situation. Because once you start bossing around who can and can’t have babies, it’s all over. Does it suck that people will take advantage of the situation? Absolutely! But you can’t just put away the board game because of some cheaters. And you can’t punish the ones who are actually decent people just trying to get through the day because of the indecent cretins out to grab their fistfuls of gold.

    The government (represented by the people) can decide not to grant tax dollars to individuals after a certain number of children… but the government (represented by the people) can NOT decide to actually, physically STOP people from having those children. Because at that point, the government is no longer representing ALL its peoples, and has in fact become an aristocratic tyranny.

  • I can’t decide whether to vomit or flee after reading this.

    We’re talking about Eugenics and Genocide here. Not only have any and all prejudices against differently abled persons’ ability to parent been exposed as either baseless or falsified; but the source and end state for employing them is for one group of the population to control, mutilate and kill another.

    Eugenics
    Genocide

    On a side and very predictable note, the conversation for saving taxpayer money so often comes from able bodied white men with money, bibles and guns who show no hesitation for spending tax dollars to send weapons overseas, kiling unarmed brown and non-christian bodies in pursuit of mineral rights – that it’s beyond predictable.

    How’s about saving money by defunding the bloated military, ending the prison-industrial complex, defunding subsidies to tobacco and oil, making white male CEO’s pay taxes as well as religions…and after all that economic privilege, oppression, waste, fraud and burden on the taxpayer is resolved, revisit this topic so that you can devote the time to learning just how ghastly it is.

  • Louisa

    I am physically disabled and I am disgusted that such a breach of human rights is being considered.
    Do we honestly believe that because someone isn’t disabled that this automatically makes them a good parent? Do you know ANYTHING about the amount of children who go into state care everyday because they’re abused or neglected by perfectly ‘able’ parents? What about the amount of disabled children abandoned?
    Where do we draw the line here? Shall we screen every single breathing person to make sure they don’t reproduce and ‘cost the tax payer’? The whole idea of restricting the reproduction of disabled people is ableist because we’re far more likely to need long term state help than those without disabilities. Does this seriously mean that we should be penalised from making our own choices and attempting to lead a normal life? Just how much are you wanting to erase disabled people from society, exactly?
    I personally don’t want children, but becoming a parent when you’re disabled takes more careful planning and long term consideration than people who averagely have children. For people to honestly think that disabled people are rolling over and reproducing at the same rate as non-disabled people is ridiculous and just not true. When you have a long term health condition there’s consequences, ones that as individuals we are acutely aware of.

    When concern over economics starts to breach people’s body autonomy and human rights, we have a neo fascist problem. I do NOT EVER want to be part of a society that supports this, also because it’s a slippery slop. What’s next? Gay people, black people? No.

  • Nathasha Alvarez

    Perhaps you misunderstood. It’s not about people with disabilities having children. It’s about people with disabilities who are already unable to care for themselves taking on the responsibility of having a child. If they can’t care for themselves financially then how will they care for a baby?

  • Nathasha Alvarez

    Not exactly. If people with physical disabilities can’t care for themselves and live off of the tax payers’ money then how can they care for a child? It’s not a matter of whether a person with a physical disability should have kids or not. I am all for it. Adopt them like my friend Jenny Arnold and Kara Ayers have done or give birth to them. It’s great! I am happy for them. The part that I’m asking is if it’s ok for them to add more of a financial burden to the tax payers when the wanna be parents are living off of the government assistance programs.

  • Bob Forrest

    Mitch is right. The issue is not whether disabled people should or should not have kids, regardless of government assistance. The issue is the government should have no place in denying anyone the chance to procreate. If someone says, “yes, but it’s different with disabled people.”

    That’s exactly the mindset that we’ve been battling against so hard, yet even within our own ranks, it seems we’re biased against disabled people. Look, if the government decided that entitlements can’t be grandfathered in when new children are born, across the board, then I’d agree that anyone knowingly bringing a child onto permanent government assistance is breaking the rules.

    But if an able bodied women is given more and more money to care for kids to multiple fathers, then she has incentive to have kids on the government dole. Yet there is a double standard here against people with disabilities.

    We have to break the issue down into its parts. Does it make sense for a dependent person to have “dependents?” Maybe not in a common sense world. But when it comes to common sense and entitlements, why start now? Until the system of entitlements is run according to this logic, then those with disabilities should not be penalized on the basis that they have disabilities. In the grand scheme, the collective total of people with disabilities having kids is far smaller than able-bodied people with no incentive to find work and break free of government dependency.

  • Nathasha Alvarez

    Bob, actually I don’t think it’s right if the woman is disabled or not. If a person is living off the government, she shouldn’t have kids. Regardless of their ability or disability. Therefore, the article is merely pointing out that we can’t have our cake and eat it too. We should be criticized for doing wrong the same way people would criticize an able bodied person for doing this. That is the point of the article. But I’m reading many comments of people supporting these actions because able bodied people are doing it. So basically, people are saying that two wrongs make a right? I think both wrongs are wrong. PS Thanks for sharing your views.

  • kacy christopher

    I think its wrong that you can pay into social security for 30 or 40 years , then when you get sick, they only take the last ten years you payed into soicial security, thats why the payment is so low. I dont live off the government . I earned my way there.
    Its not my fault or my daughters fault that she was born with a birth defect. It’s life. Just because a person has a challenge dosnt mean they dont deserve not to have a family, children, dreams and hopes just like anyone else. I am so disgusted with the blantant and deliberate exclusion , and hatred of disabled people that dont even get acknowledged as people. The disabled are the most excluded, abused, victimized margonilized group of society.
    Children are discriminated in public schools, excluded, provoked and forced into cement rooms they call this “special education”.
    There is so much corruption in the so called “agencies” that profit off the disabled.
    The courts deny the disabled their unalienable basic rights if we try to protect our children born with a disability.
    The discrimination and genocide against this group is alive and well. The more emotional, physical, wounds they can do to a child “born wrong” the more funding they get from the federal government.
    The ADA has done little for the disabled, we dont even have the right to be safe in our communities, have proper shelter, food, clothes, we are forced to be poor so the agencies can keep getting their millions in grants, that dont go to the most vulnerable.
    The CEOs from many of these so call social agencies make millions in salaries. To do what.
    We have gay rights, religious rights, race rights, womens rights, mens rights, but the disabled have no rights.

  • God, what a tragic piece of writing this is. To think we now live in a society that people think they have a right to decide who breeds due their income source or ability to work. This is fascism pure and simple. The benefits system was not designed to be associated with judgement, it is there to support people during tough times. If a person has a disability that means they need financial and social support, whether for short periods of for all of their life, is something to be proud that our country provides. To say that they do not have the right to breed because of that essential support is the kind of thing that came out of Mien Kampf. The Nazi’s didn’t let disabled people breed, and then decided to put us all down to eradicate our weak genes and as an act of compassion due to our “terrible quality of life”. IS the writer really saying that they had it right?

    We all have a right to reproduce, and that includes disabled people. We must take into consideration the fact that we live in a society that is less accessible to disabled people, that disabled people have less chance of an education or finding employment and that disabled people are still not fully equal in the eyes of the UK legal system before going down this awful road of judging people through the lens of the right wing ideology.

    It saddens me that that a magazine for disabled people could even run such an awful piece of discriminatory crap. You expect it from the likes of the Mail but please. “For disabled people” my arse.

    You should all be ashamed. So much for solidarity and working together for a better world. A sad day for disabled people everywhere. It’s not shock journalism, it’s pandering to the lowest common denominator and just proves that this writer has no knowledge about the history of disability.

    One of the saddest, most depressing pieces of ill informed writing I have ever had the misfortune to read. I will not be coming back to Audacity Magazine again if this is the kind of stuff it publishes. Hey Audacity Editor, just because you can doesn’t mean you should.

  • Nathasha Alvarez

    Hello there, Mik. Thank you for expressing your thoughts. Let’s really look at the article and its meaning. The title is SHOULD and therefore, it’s an opinion piece. It’s my opinion. I have Osteogenesis Imperfecta and I’m very well aware of the challenges we face as a community living with physical disabilities. I work. I am a teacher. I pay taxes. I want to express this point of view. You see, when I hear about a friend who has a physical disability and is told that he can’t get the services he needs because there isn’t enough money, I start thinking, “If my other friend with a physical disability who was unemployed and living off tax payers’ dollars can have a baby who will also depend on tax payers’ dollars, then why should my first friend be denied services due lack of funds?” When a person with a physical disability living off the tax payers’ money, chooses to have a child who will also be depended upon the system, is it fair? If the person didn’t have a disability and did the same exact thing, our society would be up in arms about it. Calling them moochers and free loaders. But it appears that people think that it’s ok for a person with a disability to do it. Why? Is it out of pity? I thought we didn’t want pity. I thought we wanted to be treated like everyone else. So I decided to bring this topic up. But people read it and instead of saying, OH she said SHOULD as in it’s her opinion that this action is something she doesn’t approve? People are making it seem as if I am asking for them to have an abortion or to do genocide or what not. It get totally spun out of control. I am far from ill informed. I am very aware that there are people with physical disabilities who know how milk the system the same way there are people without physical disabilities who know how to milk the system. Two wrongs don’t make a right. I prefer we use as much tax payer money to help people with physical disabilities like my friend who needed someone to help him get dressed every morning to go to college, interview for jobs and move on. Perhaps you will have a better understanding of my view. But either way, THANK YOU FOR YOUR AUDACIOUS COMMENT.

  • Nathasha Alvarez

    Hey Kacy,
    I couldn’t agree with you more. We have very few rights and to make matters worse for us, there are people with physical disabilities who know how milk the system for every penny. I think that your opinion helped me state my opinion. As a person with Osteogenesis Imperfecta, I’ve battled medical problems and discrimination throughout my life. So I get really ticked off that a person with a physical disability wants to be treated like everyone else, lives off the tax payers’ money because the person is supposedly too disabled to gain full time employment yet isn’t too disabled to procreate. To make it worse, the person wants the government’s system designed to help people disabled and non disabled live a better life, also care for his/her child even if they can’t care for themselves. How is the right? Sounds hypocritical to me. What do you think?

  • Min

    The big thing in this opinion piece is about fairness. Well let’s talk about fairness. Is it fair for a physically disabled person to get money if they can’t work? Why? The answer is yes, because otherwise that disabled person is treated as less than an able bodied member of society, making them less of a citizen.

    Now let’s continue:

    You’re disabled, should you be allowed to have children? Completely ignore the monetary issues here, just the base question. Yes, otherwise you’re saying a group of people are unworthy of reproducing because they are physically defective.

    Put money in: Do you know many people who don’t get money back in some form or other from the government after having children? Really? I’m not entirely sure on the state of play in the United States over taxes, but over the pond in the United Kingdom, we get tax breaks for having children. Is that fair on people who don’t have children? Those who choose not to have children are choosing not to contribute to the burden on society and the economy including the cost of their education.

    Is it fair for anyone to have children whilst living on government subsidies? Most people do in one form or another, tax payers and those who don’t earn enough to pay tax alike. Reducing the population of the may be okay in the short term, but it will make things much harder in the long run, since economics is a zero sum game.

    So, is it fair for disabled people who live on government money to reproduce? Yes. Anything less than a clear concise positive is prejudice against a subset of people, and we know prejudice =/= equality.

    Equity is what we should be striving for. Equally only works if everyone has the same start.

  • mplo

    it’s agreed…there are many people who really and truly need government assistance of some sort or other, either because they’re going through some sort of a crisis (i. e. divorce, illness, loss of a job, etc.) and need a leg up until they’re able to get back onto their feet, the elderly, or people who are mentally and/or physically handicapped in some way or other, or who’ve had severe problems with substance and alcohol abuse and can’t work. Those are people who really NEED help, in a big way.

    I don’t think, however, that teenaged pregnancy is something that should be encouraged, because, often, teens who become pregnant not only cripple their own chances for a normal, productive life and getting some sort of an education, but all too often, their children often end up living the same kind of life as they get older. That is because most teenaged girls who end up that way don’t come from a background where an interest in any kind of education thrives, nor do most of them finish school, due to lack of interest. As a result, they’re often uneducated, unskilled, and end up totally dependent on government assistance for themselves and their child, because there’s no other way for them to go.

    I also think that most teens aren’t mature enough to handle pregnancy and parenthood, and it’s often disastrous for both mother and child. Teenage mothers run the risk of undermining both their own physical/mental health, as well as that of their baby, since mothers who are that young aren’t completely matured physically, either.

    Better birth control methods, plus open and frank discussions between teens and their parents (and/or other adults they can trusts), plus more adequate and extensive sex education about consequences of sex, and pregnancy, are also in order.

  • Donna Durenberger

    I know someone that has been on disability for many years that had brought two different women over from the Phillipines, married them, and had children with both. His first wife left him as soon as the child was born and divorced him. Now he is on his second wife from the Phillpines and she is 4 months pregnant. This guy is costing the taxpayers a fortune.