Archive for the ‘housing’ Tag


By definition, banning abortion is condemning a potential person to a life of being unwanted. The reasons are as varied as the individual situation. Poverty, genetic predispositions, lack of a nurturing growth environment post birth, a poor uterine environment for any number of reasons, or other reasons why the birth mother (and/or the father) isn’t able to raise the infant to adulthood. I’m sorry to say this, but if there were really concern for a good life, there’d be all kinds of movement going on now from the “pro-lifers” to make childhood care available to everyone, to provide sufficient financial guarantees to carry that person through a healthy lifetime of need for nurturance, housing, health care, education, attention through thick and thin. Instead there are efforts to cut back on aid programs. Those who push for government control of birthing seem to be the same ones who argue for removal of aid. What is the real motive?

I had an interesting brief discussion recently with a person claiming a “pro-life” position.  I understood him to say something like, “Yes, I understand it can be hard for the mother, but I’m more concerned for the child.” The funny thing is, that’s my main concern too – care for the child. What kind of life will that unwanted child have? I know, you’re going to tell me there’s always adoption. No, there isn’t always adoption. How many potentially adoptive parents are willing to take on a lifetime of caring for a badly limited infant who will require care for a lifetime?  How many understand that the baby is not a blank slate? The newborn has not been removed from an empty box . There has been a nine-month relationship with a primary caretaker. Do you think it’s just nothing to be removed from that place without lifelong grief? Or maybe even that first uterine “home” wasn’t so great to begin with for reasons of maternal health, or even the stress of the situation. Or maybe the grief is even stronger because the birth mother has provided a loving relationship even more stressful to leave. A baby brings along a whole slew of characteristics that may or may not fit well with a secondary environment – a foster or adoptive home — no matter how loving, even if there were enough available.

I’ve just hit the tip of the iceberg here. Whole libraries have been written to help understand human development. What will be the effect of this “pro-life” movement ten, twenty, thirty, etc. years from now on our national need for health care, control of violence, creativity … ?

It’s a bit ironic, isn’t it, that the Chinese who enforced the one-child edict are now in need of more people. Where will we be as a result of our similarly communist-like control of birthing?

I do believe that most pro-life folks feel theirs is the loving position. I also believe they have all the right they need to preach pro-life as a choice, including the pro-loving moral obligation to back it up with real support, beyond just supplying a layette. The opposite of “pro-llife” is not “abortion.” The opposite of “pro life” is freedom of choice, religion, moral belief, and understanding of the personal situation.


Recently I posted this review on amazon and Goodreads. (Maybe as you read it, you’ll think of My Father’s House.

“The core idea is that authentic love and friendship are possible only between individuals who are independent and equal.” (p.50)

Maybe It’s personal. After all, my parents were immigrants from Sweden, immersed in a Swedish-American culture that constituted the theme of my own growth experience in the twentieth century. Or maybe it’s just that it’s so sensible. Maybe it was my parent’s encouragement of positive goals in life and utter discouragement of humiliating child training techniques. Maybe it was the belief my neighborhood encouraged in taking responsibility for one’s own life even while granting the same right to others. Maybe it was believing in a United States where that was possible for everyone. Maybe it’s what I know as a psychologist that the core idea of authentic love as described in the author’s opening is indeed the way of personal and cultural growth. And maybe it’s what I learned in my mature years that the freedoms I accepted were not so equally available to everyone. Maybe it’s the dream I still hold for a United States where one day the ideal will be reality. Whatever the reason, that opening theme clutched my heart with longing and joyful sadness.

Maybe it’s that I believe loving someone or something is open to accepting their imperfections and believing the good can be strengthened even as the bad is corrected. Maybe it’s that genuine love of my country includes the belief that, like an effective parent, I can help correct it for the good.

O r maybe it’s just that I have often thought how freeing it would be not to worry about being available to love and care for one’s child while at the same time being able to pay for sufficient food and housing, or the best possible education for encouraging individual growth and responsibility from toddlerhood through adulthood, or paying for the maintenance of good health, or not losing one’s home because of a catastrophic accident or illness, or being sure of a good healthy life in old age. How it would make sense to me to pay sixty percent of my income in tax if all needs were covered so forty percent would be available to me to develop my own creative – or just plain comfort – goals. How very practical. How free of unnecessary stress. How very much what the Nordic way has to offer, based on the idea that “authentic love and friendship are possible only between individuals who are independent and equal.” (p.50)

As for the author’s personal message and style, it is so clear that she has a fondness both for her native Finland and her adopted United States. And I love the way chapter by chapter she takes down the objections to the Nordic way.

I like the final conclusion:  “Individualism is one of the great foundations of Western culture. But unless society secures personal independence and basic security for the individual, it can lead to disaffection, anxiety, and chaos … While some of the praise heaped on the Nordic nations in the international media and various studies has surely been exaggerated and overpositive—no place is flawless, as Nordic people themselves will be the first to point out—the Nordic countries have undeniably created a model for what a high quality of life and a healthy society can look like in the twenty-first century.” (pp.328-329)

p.s. I’d be happy if you’d check out


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