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Controlling births best for everyone

Four states will get bonuses this year because they have made the most progress in controlling the number of children born to unwed mothers during the past year.

Wednesday, September 15, 1999

Four states will get bonuses this year because they have made the most progress in controlling the number of children born to unwed mothers during the past year.

Since 1996, Congress has offered $100 million to states that did the best job reducing births to unwed parents; states have been devising programs to do so, mostly aimed at teens.

There will be some who think the government should not be encouraging or discouraging births, no matter to whom.

But this is one government program that will do more than save the taxpayers a few million dollars. This program could save a child from a life of misery and poverty.

As much as those who treasure children would like to believe that every child is born into a loving and caring home, the sad fact is that some children are brought into the world simply through negligence or to increase a welfare check.

They are condemned to life with drug-addicted mothers, neglect, hunger and pain.

Keeping these births to a minimum is not just a good budgeting idea. It is a compassionate gesture.

More states need more programs to prevent these stories of abuse and neglect before they happen.

Education and support can help teenage mothers who make a mistake – and reduce their numbers. And Ohio has already made great strides toward that goal.

And then, after that has been achieved, Ohio can concentrate on the symptoms – drugs, alcohol, poverty – that are bringing just too many unwanted children in the world.

There could be no more noble goal.