My Featured Blogger this week is journalist turned teacher Nancy E. Head. I held off featuring her for some time because she doesn’t use Reblog buttons. But I couldn’t wait any longer, because she’s simply one of my favorite online writers (and people). So I’ve pieced together a sort of mock-up reblog here, but to read the whole post you’ll need to click on the link at the end. Do so! You won’t find a more compassionate or articulate defender of life–both inner and outer, born and unborn–than Nancy E. Head!
In 1894, a new play opened on the London stage. Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest addressed social concerns, gender, wealth, and status issues. The story centers around a character with a questionable beginning. Jack Worthing doesn’t know who his biological parents are. Until he does, he cannot marry the girl of his dreams. His shady secret?
He was found in a train station–having been abandoned. Jack Worthing finally finds his mother–and his worth. Now, social status and parentage aren’t as closely connected as they were for Jack or Oscar Wilde. But the world today is finding no shortage of abandoned children.
In 1993, a federal study said 22,000 US mothers abandoned their infants in hospitals every year. Today, the nation isn’t even keeping track of the numbers. It’s a problem that doesn’t get much attention. Here or there, a story pops up of a child left behind. Sometimes dressed warmly on a doorstep, sometimes in a toilet or a dumpster. And it’s not just babies. In 2008 in Nebraska, a father left nine of his ten children ranging in age from 20 months to 17 years.
It’s also a problem that has accompanied humanity through the ages. In every culture, in every time, children were simply cast out into the dark world. In Rome, they were left to be eaten by wild animals, or perhaps, rescued only to be exploited. Rejected because they were girls, or imperfect, or one mouth too many.
In America in the nineteenth century, early feminists and physicians worked together to criminalize abortion.
To read the rest of the post, or to follow Nancy, click here.