For most people, the pro-choice / anti-abortion issue ranks right up there in the heated argument department, where they hold the most firm views; as with gay marriage, the death penalty and race relations. But none I feel are as destructive to human lives and societies as the plight of street children, a problem very close to my heart having found myself on a few occasions on the brink of living on the streets as a youth.
For many the answer is clear cut, black or white, right or wrong, yes or no, no middle ground and maybe it is the same for me. I retain a strong opinion rightly or wrongly, that terminating a foetus that is unwanted is a lesser evil as opposed to allowing yet another unwanted child to be born to parent(s) - and a world - that is overpopulated and simply does not want them. They become what is blithely referred to as "street children".
The United Nations estimates (2008) that there are 100 - 150 million street children broadly defined as children who are deprived of care and shelter, abandoned like unwanted animal litter left to wander the streets by day begging or selling trinkets and at night congregating in numbers hoping for safety in derelict abandoned buildings, back alleys, parks, garbage dumps, cemeteries and any other public space.
To survive, these kids typically resort to theft and prostitution often being very sexually active. Some say that is because of their longing to feel loved combined with a lack of any guidance or family structure. According to some studies, about 70% of street kids have one or two sexual partners per day and as a result a majority of street children contract STDs and HIV/Aids. For girls, it is especially difficult. An estimated 80% of girls turn to prostitution as a means of survival and contraceptives are rarely used. Pregnancies and self-induced abortions are common. Life on the streets is hell on earth and also fatal for many. If illness isn't the cause of death, most succumb to drug addiction and many are simply murdered. Their lives are worthless.
Armed with this reality, and being an atheist, having to account to no higher authority or imaginary being other than my own common sense and morals, I posit the view that terminating a foetus in a few short minutes is interminably more preferable to letting that foetus be born only to suffer for years and die a lingering agonising death on the streets.
And therein lies my problem with the pro-life movement too. While they mollify their imagined sins by professing to all how 'good' they are by being anti-abortion, peering upwards hoping "the big guy above" is watching their infinite goodness and who will one day hopefully reward them in the afterlife by not sending them to hell, FEW of these 'good' people, I repeat, FEW of these people will put forward a proposal as to how all these tens of millions of abandoned children suffering the most inhumane degrading lives will be taken care of.
Yet there they are, Sunday after Sunday punching away at the bible, 'cleansing' their sins, professing the sanctimony of unborn life but giving not a moment's notice to 150 million abandoned children. I say to all pro-lifers; put your money where your mouths are and adopt one or more of these abandoned children and only when every child on earth knows a loving home and family may you even think about advocating bringing more unwanted children into this world. You simply do not have the right and your 'religion' certainly does NOT give you the right! Stress about the living as much as you care about the unborn.
I will leave you with a poem written by a street child. I don't know what became of her but see the pain in her words. Then look at your children and say, "there but for the grace of God go they".
To love is to live, to live is to be real.
Reality is to be unhappy
and happiness is to want to die.
Death is the end of everything
But life is beautiful
for those who know how to live,
something I know not how to do.
So I suffer and then I’ll die,
forget the world and never again cry.
Margarete, 17 year-old street girl
U.S. Abortion Provider Shot And Killed At Church
Baby thrown away like garbage
Vince R: "hole in the wall"
There are about 10 000 child prostitutes in Johannesburg alone, a group concerned with child abuse said on Wednesday.
Bloemfontein, meanwhile, is one of the biggest focal points of syndicates as far as trafficking in children for sex and drug trading are concerned.
A founding member of Sapsac, a body investigating child abuse, Retha Meintjes, who is also the deputy director of public prosecution, says even though similar figures are not available for other cities, all the available information indicates that the situation in Cape Town, Durban and Port Elizabeth are “equally grave”.
According to Sapsac, girls in South Africa are sold for between R2 500 and R12 000.
Countrywide networks of syndicates who are involved in child abuse include “prominent and wealthy” people, even some from the medical field.
Children as young as 10 “are recruited and sexually abused by adults who pay the syndicates”.
Children who work in Port Elizabeth as prostitutes and/or drug dealers, earn between R1 500 and R5 000 per day for the coffers of their “handlers”.
Sapsac said the children who disobeyed the syndicates’ instructions were punished with “extreme physical abuse, or by withholding drugs and food from them or even death”.
The group said it will make an urgent plea to the government to enforce effective measures to protect children, especially with a view to the huge international sporting events which will soon take place in South Africa. Source