First in a series of posts featuring Matt Blunt’s agenda as candidate for Missouri Governor
Focusing on Teen Parents. Missouri has made progress in reducing our teen pregnancy rate, but we must continue to provide assistance to these young moms and dads. They need particular help in developing parenting skills and discipline strategies. Parents as Teachers can help us accomplish this goal. Unfortunately, teen parents now represent a very small percentage of the families utilizing the Parents as Teachers program. We need to expand access and market this successful program to young moms and dads.
The easy thing that politicians have done in the past was just to rail against teen pregnancy without really doing much to help. Conservatives tended to write off the teen mother and her child, call for abstinence education and when it got to a personal level denounce the teen mother as morally loose and not worthy anything. Liberals focused on essentially turning the children over to the state to raise through Head Start, Early Start, etc., encouraging abortion as birth control and passing out condoms. Frankly as a conservative I’ve often been embarassed by the attitude that somehow the sin of teen sexuality is worse than the sins of lying, cheating, gossiping, etc. when in fact the Christian Bible says precisely the opposite.
Matt Blunt’s common sense plan recognizes a couple of things that so-called Christian “pro-life” conservatives should have realized all along. First, a child is a blessing and an opportunity, no matter the situation. Second, conservative values call on us as a community, not necessarily a government, to support kids and their parents. The effort to reach out to teen mothers as mothers rather than just writing them off as near criminals is compassionate conservatism exactly the way it should be.