From the journal I kept for AP Poli Sci, and I am glad that my thinking is a little more sophisticated now... Feb. 3, 1994

19 kids found living in horrible conditions, fighting for food with the dog, crawling with cockroaches, etc.* The DCFS did nothing. My [relative] is a teacher in [a low-income suburb]. She told me that she knows of other children who live in similar situations. She told me that it recently took DCFS over SIX MONTHS to get one of her students removed from the CRACK HOUSE he lived in with his crack-addicted parents. What is going on here?!?

I'm so angry. I am also very bitter. So many issues are relevant, even contributing to, this disgusting abuse and neglect of kids. My relative pointed out two things. First, she said, DCFS is stuffed with too many burned out workers and people "who just don't give a shit." Second, she thinks that many families are not adequately taken care of because they are black. She feels the DCFS lets more bad things happen because they don't care what happens to black children. I think that a lot of the mistakes DCFS makes is due to the screwy philosophiy that some members hold. I read a quote from a DCFS caseworker in some magazine (for the life of me I can't remember which one) a while ago. He said that they feel it is more traumatizing for a child to be taken out of an abusive situation than to leave him with the ones he loves and is familiar with. Hmmm... when people who are in charge of protecting children from harm think such perverse, backwards theories, it's amazing that anything gets done!

What makes me angriest, however, is the so-called "pro-lifers." If they are so concerned about protecting life, where are they when children are forced to live under the poverty line, in misery, surrounded by drugs, gangs, prostitutes, and god knows what else?!? Are they down there working to clean up the neighborhoods? Are they clamoring for more health care benefits for these kids, better schools, better standards of living? Are they fighting for day care so that the women forced to bear children they don't want can go to work to earn a living? Do they want to provide welfare so that mothers can stay home and care for their unwanted children? Are they adopting every single child who is born unwanted? If so, why are there more than 500,000 kids available for adoption that no one is taking? If 1.5 more children, unwanted by anyone, hated by society, are born EACH YEAR, where are they going to go?

Yes, all of this ties in to the 19 children who were found in their own hell. Because until our society is ready to care for every child who is born, we have no right to demand that women bear them.

PS - let's not forget that poor women should not be able to have abortion because they can't afford it. After all, they are the least able to raise children - with no resources, no education, small housing, etc. Women who can afford abortions are unaffected by the Hyde Amendment are allowed to plan their families. They can stop having children whenever they choose. (They also have better access to birth control.) Oh, never mind! I'm so frustrated!!!