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U.S. News Archive
February 01 - February 06, 2002

 

 

 
This page contains news for the period February 01, 2002 through February 06, 2002.  

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Wednesday, February 6, 2002

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Married women are spending more and more hours at work

 

A story published today by the Knoxville News-Sentinel reports that according to government figures, in the past half-century, the average number of hours that married women spend at work has soared 171 percent.

Single workers, of either sex, have it even easier. They work seven hours for every 10 hours married men spend on the job. The unmarried work about 8 percent fewer hours than two generations ago.

Apart from the workers and their families, who cares that married women toil outside the home more than ever?

Economists do.

"It's a pretty remarkable change," said Larry Jones, a University of Minnesota economist. "It's not clear if this change is a good thing or a bad thing."

Many possible motives were explored in a paper titled "Why Are Married Women Working So Much?" that was presented at the American Economic Association annual meeting in Atlanta last month by Jones; Ellen McGrattan, economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, and Rodolfo Manuelli, an economist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Jones and his colleagues are trying to figure out how much of the gain in hours worked by married women can be explained by government policies or other influences.

"Is it due to the change in divorce laws?" Jones said. "If the answer is yes, maybe it's something we didn't anticipate when government changed divorce laws."

On one hand, alimony may be harder to get today than in the 1950s. "Now it's kind of expected that if the kids are in school that she can work," Jones said.

But splitting up is cheaper and simpler than ever before in the age of the $99 do-it-yourself divorce. At the same time, law, medical and business schools have more women enrolled than in years past.

"Women may say, 'I'm going to get educated now - the chances of me matching up with a man who's going to stick around are low,' " McGrattan said.

Perhaps changes in Social Security benefits or tax laws led women to work more than in the past.

Many other explanations are possible, from changes in technology in the home or workplace to revised attitudes about the role of women in the home and in the economy.

For instance, years ago married couples paid less in federal income taxes than single workers earning the same income. When Congress tinkered with tax laws in the 1980s, married couples suddenly faced a "marriage penalty."

Did lower tax rates encourage women to enter the work force in great numbers in the 1970s? Are women working longer hours today to pay higher tax bills than married couples faced in years gone by?

"There's no off-the-shelf theories to guide us in understanding the issue," McGrattan said.

But preliminary research on the motives of women working longer hours provide some explanations.

So far, economists believe the strongest incentive for women workers is that many are paid more than before.

"Measured female-male wage gaps have decreased," according to the paper presented in Atlanta. "By one measure (hourly wages of full-time workers) female wages were 57 percent of male wages in 1969 and 71 percent in 1994."

Adjusting for education, experience, time away from work to raise a family and other variables, the pay gap also has decreased, but at a slower pace, researchers found.


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Study shows singles and unmarried couples rewriting demographic script


A story published today by the Washington Post reports that a role reversal between cities and suburbs is rewriting a demographic script that has dominated American life for decades.

Young singles, elderly widows and other such "non-family households" now outnumber married-with-children homes in the nation's suburbs, creating changes in demand for housing, entertainment and services in the communities where most Americans live.

At the same time, the married-with-children families often thought of as typically suburban are increasing in many growing cities of the South and West, according to a study based on the 2000 Census to be released today by the Brookings Institution.

The transformation of the suburbs reflects the arrival of a more diverse population and changes in the lives of the people already living there. There is a growing singles scene of young people who want to live near suburban workplaces, an increasing number of unmarried couples buying houses, and more homes being rented to groups, including immigrants. At the same time, there also are more elderly individuals -- once in a relationship, now widowed -- who want to remain in the neighborhoods where they raised their children.

"The suburbs increasingly are becoming a microcosm of America," said demographer William H. Frey, the report's co-author. "All the problems we associate with America and even urban America are suburban problems . . . housing affordability at the low end, senior services at the high end."

There are now 12.8 million non-family households in the suburbs of the nation's 102 largest metropolitan areas, according to Frey's analysis, and 11.7 million households in the married-with-children category.

To view Brookings Institute please click to the link below:

http://www.brook.edu/es/urban/census/freyfamiliesexecsum.htm

 

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Unwed birth climbs in Nebraska

A story released today by the Associated Press reports that according to a report by two child advocacy groups, the percentage of births to unmarried women in Nebraska increased in the last decade.

The joint report from Kids Count and Child Trends released Tuesday showed Nebraska ranks fifth at 25.9 percent of 1999 births being to unwed mothers. Nebraska was tied with Minnesota, right behind Colorado's 25.4 percent.

Utah had the lowest rate of unwed births at 6.7 percent, followed by Idaho at 21.6 percent and New Hampshire at 24.2 percent.

From 1990 and 1999, the percentage of Nebraska births to unmarried women increased from about 21 percent to 26 percent, according to the report. That compared with the national rate of 33 percent in 1999.

 

OKbabe.jpg (4104 bytes)Out of wedlock births on the rise in Oklahoma

A story published today by the Oklahoman reports that according to a report released by the Annie E. Casey Foundation of Baltimore, one in three babies is Oklahoma is born to an unmarried woman.

Sixteen percent of all babies in the state are born to teen- age mothers, and 4.2 percent of all babies are born to women who receive little or no pre- natal care.

"Oklahoma must do much more to prevent unintentional and unwanted pregnancies," said Dr. Gordon Deckert, a member of the state Board of Health.

"We must make available to Oklahoma young women appropriate contraceptives and family planning measures. The general health status of children from unwanted pregnancies ... is very poor."

The percentage of births to unmarried women slightly increased from 32 percent in 1997 to 33.2 percent in 1999, continuing a decade-long upward trend. In this category, Oklahoma ranks 30th in the country.

Between 1997 and 1999, the percentage of all Oklahoma births to teen-age mothers decreased from 17 percent to 16.3 percent. However, the 1999 Oklahoma percentage still was higher than the U.S. average of 12 percent. Oklahoma ranks 47th out of the 50 states in this category.

"The issue is simple. Too many Oklahoma young women are having babies too young," said Sharon Rodine, a project director with the Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy. "We need better pregnancy- prevention campaigns. And our programs need to have input and involvement from teen-agers themselves."

She said two-thirds of Oklahoma teen-age pregnancies involve young women ages 18 and 19. While that group may be considered independent, they are still adolescents in need of guidance, Rodine said.

Tuesday, February 5, 2002

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White House welfare plan promises policies

A story released today by the Associated Press reports that Bush administration officials say that helping former welfare recipients move into higher-paying jobs is a top priority, though the president's budget has no money dedicated to the effort.

Many former welfare recipients are now working but not earning enough to escape poverty.

Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson said that helping them find better-paying jobs is his top goal.

``The next step requires us to work with states to help those families that have left welfare climb the economic job ladder and become secure in the work force,'' said Thompson, who was set to detail much of the administration's welfare strategy before the House Ways and Means Committee Wednesday.

Wade Horn, who heads the HHS agency that runs welfare, said Tuesday that the administration will support policy changes to encourage job advancement for former welfare recipients. But he said those details were not yet being made public.

Democrats are proposing more money when the landmark 1996 welfare overhaul is renewed this year. A bill sponsored by Rep. Benjamin Cardin, D-Md., the top Democrat on the Ways and Means welfare panel, would create a new ``Employment Advancement Fund'' to provide $150 million per year for state experiments on improving wages for low-income workers.

``We want people to leave welfare so they can lift their families out of poverty,'' Cardin said.

Much of the Bush plan was unveiled Monday when the administration sent its budget proposal to Congress. Among the proposals:

--Offer $100 million per year for experiments in encouraging marriage and two-parent families, while eliminating $100 million in annual bonuses to states that do the best job in reducing births to unmarried parents.

--Continue ``high-performance'' bonuses for states that do the best overall job in welfare reform. This program is slated to continue at $200 million per year, but some of that money would be diverted for another pro-marriage program. This would give states matching money to encourage marriage, Horn said, though he wouldn't say how much money is diverted for the grants.

--Maintain basic block grants for state welfare programs at $16.5 billion per year. The Cardin bill would allow this to increase each year for inflation.

--Maintain $4.8 billion for child care each year. Cardin would add $11.25 billion over five years.

--Renew a program that gives an extra $319 million to states that have historically low welfare benefits and therefore get less money from the federal government today.

--Institute a variety of proposals to improve child support collections, including denying passports to people who owe $2,500 or more, down from $5,000; reviewing child support orders at least once every three years to be sure that payments go up when incomes go up; and passing on more of the money collected from parents to current and former welfare families, as opposed to keeping it to offset the cost of welfare benefits.

 

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Report says 69 percent of Baltimore babies born to unmarried mothers

A story published today by the Baltimore Sun reports that a study conducted by the Annie E. Casey Foundation says that by 1999, Baltimore ranked worst among the largest 50 American cities in percentage of babies born to teen-agers, percentage of babies born to unmarried women and percentage of low-birth-weight babies.

The conclusions of the report, "The Right Start," contrast with the findings of the city's Health Department, which has reported several times that the city's health picture improved during the decade and that fewer teen-agers were getting pregnant.

Dr. Peter L. Beilenson, the city health commissioner, criticized the Casey Foundation report yesterday, saying it used misleading statistics that fail to take into account the large number of middle-class mothers moving out of the city.

William O'Hare, a demographer who is director of the Kids Count program at the Casey Foundation, agreed that his numbers did not take into account the flight of many women of childbearing age to the suburbs.

But he said he used the best statistics available for the nation's 50 largest cities and added that those numbers point to problems that Baltimore should not ignore.

The percentage of babies born to teen-agers in the city rose from 20.9 in 1990 to 22.4 in 1999, according to his report. The trend in the 50 largest cities was the opposite of that, with 15.4 percent of babies born to teens in 1990 and 14.3 percent in 1999.

The Casey Foundation report also showed that the percentage of babies born to unmarried women rose 17 percent in the city during the 1990s, rising from 59.1 percent in 1990 to 69.4 percent in 1999. That compared with 40.8 percent of babies born to unmarried women in the 50 largest American cities in 1990 and 43.5 percent in those cities in 1999, the Casey report says.

The percentage of babies born with low birth weights rose in Baltimore from 12.6 percent in 1990 to 14.7 percent in 1999. Nationally, the numbers also rose slightly, from 8.6 percent in 1990 to 8.8 percent in 1999.

 

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Study shows unwed births continue to rise

Results of a study released today by the Annie E. Casey Foundation show that births to unmarried parents continue to rise each year in the United States.

In 1990, 28 percent of all births were to unwed mothers. In 1999, the percent climbed to 33 percent nationally.

For a list of cities and states, with tables showing trends in each of these jurisdictions, go to:

http://www.aecf.org/kidscount/rightstart2002/

 

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Kansas senate committee tackles no-fault divorce bill

A story released today by the Associated Press reports that a Kansas Senate committee set the stage Monday for a debate about the state's role in preserving marriages.

By a 6-4 vote, the Senate Judiciary Committee endorsed a bill that would permit no-fault divorce only for couples with no dependent children.

No-fault divorce allows couples to end a marriage without one spouse having to allege wrongdoing by the other.

Currently, Kansas state law provides three general grounds for divorce: incompatibility, failure to perform a marital duty, or mental illness or incapacity. There is no requirement that both spouses agree to the divorce.

Under Senate bill 173, sponsored by Sen. Bob Lyon, R-Winchester, a couple with no dependent children from the marriage living at home still could get what amounts to a no-fault divorce if both were in agreement.

But if there were dependent children from the marriage, or if one spouse objected to the divorce, then the spouse seeking to end the marriage would have to allege one of nine specific grounds — which was the case before no-fault divorce was adopted three decades ago.

Sen. David Adkins, R-Leawood, voted against endorsing the bill, saying the government has no right to infringe on the relationship of Kansans by regulating their marriages.

The bill went to the 40-member Senate for consideration. No date for debate has been set.

Monday, February 4, 2002

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Deadbeat or just dead broke dads?

 

A story published today by the Christian Science Monitor reports that most divorced or never-married fathers with an outstanding child-support understand the high cost of falling behind. Those who don't pay up often face repercussions such as paycheck withholding, automobile-license suspension, even jail time.

Washington-based Children's Defense Fund (CDF) maintain that child-support policies need to recognize economic realities and be more flexible, particularly where low-income, noncustodial fathers are concerned.

"States are frequently not doing enough to help low-income fathers get employment so that they can pay child support," says Deborah Weinstein, director of CDF's Family Income Division.

"What we've found is that there's a fundamental tension here between what the fathers can actually financially contribute to their children and the children's needs," says Paula Roberts, senior staff attorney at the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP) in Washington.

For decades, federal, state, and local governments have worked together to locate noncustodial parents, establish paternity, set child-support guidelines, and enforce court orders.

But the collection efforts have also created almost insurmountable problems for some low-income parents who are trying to support their children. Most state child-support-enforcement programs could be doing a much better job of distinguishing between so-called "deadbeat" fathers and "dead broke" fathers, Ms. Roberts says.

Also, reform advocates say, the recession has made it more difficult for low-income fathers to find and keep a job. Child-support debts can mount when fathers are out of work or incarcerated.

"We hear reports of fathers willing to pay [support] being thrown in jail for accumulating child-support debt. Instead of making it harder for fathers to earn a living, states should devise realistic payment plans, with job training and placement help," says Ms. Weinstein.

Findings from the ongoing Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study, a joint project between Princeton and Columbia Universities, revealed that unwed fathers earn about $17,000 a year on average. With such low earnings, the study says, child-support orders need to be set at rates proportional to ability to pay.

"Poor fathers are routinely required to pay much higher proportions of their income than middle- and upper-income fathers," says Sara McLanahan, director of the Center for Research on Child Wellbeing at Princeton. "Unrealistic arrearages arise because child-support agencies and courts base child-support payments not on fathers' actual earnings, but on their presumptive earnings."

Regardless, some states have begun to help low-income parents with cumbersome child-support debt loads. Iowa, Maryland, and several other states recently developed "forgiveness" policies. The measures waive a percentage of past-due payments, once payments are resumed for a number of consecutive months.

Above and beyond such programs, says child-support experts, states need to think about providing employment, parenting, and life skills to young men.

"[I]f we believe, as a matter of public policy, that families ought to be supporting themselves," emphasizes Roberts, "then we are going to have to do something to get some of these fathers in better shape to play an important role in their children's lives."

 

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9-11 poll reveals dating habits of most singles in New Yorkers unchanged

 

A story released today by PRNewswire reports that according to a poll conducted by New York Magazine/MetroTV, some single New Yorkers are shifting their dating priorities and placing more importance on relationships, marriage and starting a family while a number are still enjoying the single life.

When asked if 9/11 had impacted their dating lives, nearly half of all New York singles say they are more interested in a serious relationship, and over a third report being more interested in marriage and starting family.

At the same time, single New Yorkers are unshaken in what they look for in a partner. An overwhelming majority said that their priorities for their "ideal partner" have not shifted since 9/11. Singles rated personality, sense of humor, and values as the most important traits. These priorities are unchanged from a similar poll conducted in 1998.

The New York Magazine/MetroTV poll, which was conducted by Global Strategy Group, Inc., for the magazine's annual singles issue, is the first poll to measure how 9/11 has impacted single New Yorkers' dating priorities and behavior.

Among the findings:

- Since 9/11, 46 percent of single New Yorkers are more interested in a serious relationship with 54 percent of the singles polled showing contentment with their life and not vigorously searching the that serious relationship.

- 36 percent are more interested in marriage as opposde to 64 percent who are not contemplating marriage. 32 percent are more interested in starting a family as a result of the terrorist attacks while 68 percent are not entertaining family life.

- 49 percent are spending less on dating and 58 percent are more likely to want to stay home for the evening.

- 35 percent are having less casual sex, with just 10 percent saying they are having more casual sex.

- 81 percent said that their priorities for an "ideal partner" have not shifted since 9/11.

The poll was conducted from January 8-12, 2002 by Global Strategy Group, Inc from a random sample of 609 New York City residents.

 

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Ending a relationship: breaking up or simply dumping

A story published today by the USA Today reports that Delia Coleman says when she was in her 20s, it was the men who were doing the dumping, ending a romance. But now that she is in her early 30s, it is the women who dump men, she says. "Women are much quicker now to move on, to get impatient with the process. We have our friends, our lives to live, other things to do. If I am maybe two months into a relationship and I don't get that feeling that this might last, then that person gets moved out of the lover box into the friend box."

An interest in who dumps whom is a pop culture phenomenon. Dumping is a prevalent topic on the internet. Pop the words "dumped" and "dating" into a search engine, and you get about 46,700 web sites.

Dumping actually has drawn the attention of a prestigious polling organization, which on Monday is releasing results of what one might call an anti-Valentine's Day project.

Overall, the perception is that women and men dump each other with equal zeal, says the poll from Public Opinion Strategies:

-About 36% say women dump men more often.

-About 34% believe the reverse is true: Men dump women more often.

-About 40% see themselves as dumpsters: They have dumped more often than they have been dumped.

-About 25% are usually the dumpees, getting the heave-ho more often than not.

Overall, about a quarter of those polled (22%) say they have broken up with from six to 10 romantic interests. And 46% say they have been the victim about two to three times in their lives.

The poll of 800 adults has a margin of error of 3.5 percentage points.

 

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Michigan family court judge faces judicial misconduct

A story released today by the Associated Press reports that a Michigan family court judge is being criticized for flipping a coin to decide where children of a broken marriage would spend Christmas day.

Norman Bresinski, of Trenton is the children's' grandfather. He is threatening to file a judicial misconduct complaint against Wayne County Circuit Judge Helen Brown for flipping the coin at a Dec. 14 court hearing.

The coin toss determined that Bresinski's granddaughters would spend Christmas with their father, David Bousquette.

"In 22 years of being in local, state and federal courts, I've never seen anything like this," said Bresinski, a former police sergeant who is now a plumbing contractor. "She made a mockery of the judicial process."

"Tossing a coin to resolve a parenting time dispute is unacceptable," said Wayne County Circuit Co-Chief Judge Mary Beth Kelly. She said it displays a lack of sensitivity for the seriousness of the process.

Detroit lawyer Philip Colista, former chairman of the Michigan Judicial Tenure Commission, said the coin flip violated Michigan court rules. He said judges are supposed to decide issues based on the law, the facts and the best interest of the children -- not by chance.

Bousquette's lawyer, Ronald D'Avanzo of Southgate, said the judge wasn't legally obliged to give the Bresinskis any consideration. Besides, he said, the girls spent the previous Christmas with their mother, and it was Bousquette's turn.

"I think the judge was trying to get them to work it out," D'Avanzo said. "I don't think she did it in any way to abrogate her decision making."

The Bresinskis' lawyer, Gary Gardner of Dearborn, mostly agreed but conceded that the coin flip was a problem.

"It's not the way I would have handled it," he said.

 

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Groups criticize marriage initiative

A story published today by the Washington Times reports that an array of anti-poverty, feminist and unmarried-couple advocacy groups are urging the Bush administration and other policy-makers to call off their plans to use taxpayer funds to promote marriage.

"Marriage is one of the most personal, private decisions we can think of, and most people who are on welfare wouldn't want the government telling them when they should be getting married," said Dorian Solot of the Alternatives to Marriage Project, a Boston group for unmarried people.

The Boston group is responding to calls by conservative groups for Congress to allocate welfare funds for marriage education and other pro-marriage activities for low-income couples.

Marriage is not an anti-poverty program, said Kate Kahan, director of Working for Equality and Economic Liberation (WEEL), a Montana anti-poverty group.

In testimony she gave Bush administration officials last year when they went on a welfare "listening tour," Miss Kahan explained how, as an unwed teen-age mother, she decided to marry the father of her child.

The decision was disastrous - "less than two years later, I found myself fleeing a violent home," she said.

"Marriage was not the solution to my poverty or my son's poverty," she testified, adding that her story is "reflective" of many other poor mothers.

WEEL and dozens of other anti-poverty groups are preparing a campaign to persuade lawmakers to keep welfare money focused on anti-poverty programs, not marriage, Miss Kahan said last week. Sen. Max Baucus, Montana Democrat and chairman of the powerful Senate Finance Committee, will be one of the prime recipients of their materials, she said.

Other allies in the anti-marriage effort are the National Organization for Women (NOW) and Institute for Women's Policy Research (IWPR), which are both quoted in the ATMP report.

"If marriage were a solution to poverty, it wouldn't take an act of Congress to promote it," said Patricia Ireland, former president of NOW, in a June discussion about welfare funds and marriage.

Leaders of IWPR said in December they had not found "any scientific research" that showed that pro-marriage policies "actually reduce poverty."

Saturday, February 2, 2002

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Divorce: don’t involve your kids

A story released today by CBS News reports that when parents divorce, children often wind up stuck in a crossfire of negative feelings and nasty words. Richard A. Warshak, author and psychologist, says that while divorce may hurt kids in the short run, it doesn't have to scar them forever.

Warshak has two words for divorcing parents: Behave yourselves! Bad-mouthing a spouse is so common, most people assume it's an unavoidable symptom of divorce. But while the temptation to do so is natural, acting on it is not.

Typically, parents want to protect a child during a crisis. Yet speaking poorly about an ex puts the child right in the middle of the dispute by forcing him to choose sides. And that's the last thing the child needs.

The failure of a marriage tells children that love is unreliable. So, at this time, children need love more than ever. Turning a child against a parent - "poisoning" him - deprives him of that love he needs. Warshak believes children can escape a divorce unharmed. It's a sad event and a key event in the whole family's life.

But if parents handle the separation well, their children don't have to carry emotional scars. Handling the situation well means not exposing children to hatred or animosity. Keep the complaints between adults. Don't involve the kids.

As a divorced parent, how do you know that your child is being exposed to this poison? Warshak says to look for any of the following behaviors from a child:

-Shy to show affection. The child does not want to hug or kiss you in front of your ex and/or doesn't tell you about the good times he had with your ex.

-Refers to you by first name. The child drops "Mom" or "Dad" and instead calls you "Sherry" or "Sam."

-Shows less respect. When Dad complains to Junior, he is trying to get his son to agree that Mom is a bad person. Essentially, he is making his son an equal and choosing to abandon his authority as an adult. At the same time, he is undermining Mom's authority by convincing Junior that she makes bad choices. Parents must maintain a "loving authority."

It's important to note that children may display any of these behaviors immediately following a divorce, Warshak says, so don't overreact. However, parents should be pro-active and patient when the behaviors don't subside.

Friday, February 1, 2002

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Institution of marriage in danger in America

A story published today by the Advocate reports that according to James Q. Wilson, professor emeritus of management and public policy at the University of California in Los Angeles, individual freedoms enjoyed by Americans have considerably hurt the family structure.

"I think marriage is in grave trouble. It's the gravest domestic problem in our country," said Wilson.

He spoke at LSU's Paul M. Hebert Law Center as part of the 52th Edward Douglass White Lectures on Citizenship. In his two-day lecture series, "The Ambiguous Legacy of the Enlightenment," Wilson discussed the weakening of marriage.

Wilson said 63 percent of children are raised by single mothers and 70 percent of black children are raised by single mothers in the United States.

It's a recipe for trouble, he said, since studies suggest that a boy raised in a single family home is twice as likely to be idle, to get involved in crime, to perform poorly in school and to be delinquent.

Although marriage was historically a way for men and women to share child-rearing, Wilson said households headed by one parent, normally the mother, have become increasingly common in many countries, including the United States, Canada and Australia.

"Sweden has a more egalitarian culture than the United States, but still 90 percent plus of all single parent families are headed by mothers," he said.

For Wilson, the change for western civilization in relation to marriage has its roots in the Enlightenment or Age of Reason when the idea of individual worth and self-determination was championed in the 1600s and 1700s.

"We sit in the greatest product of the Enlightenment, the United States of America," Wilson said, adding that he doesn't want to end individual freedoms.

However, decisions made for the good of the individual in American history have slowly denigrated the idea of family, he said.

 

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DNA testing and Colorado's law

A story released today by Denver, Colorado’s 7 News reports that when news television investigator Tony Kovaleski tackled the issue of DNA testing and the controversy between Colorado family law, he never expected how a Colorado family can be affected with it.

For nearly six years Dylan Davis believed he was the biological father of their two twins -- the real dad.

But eight years into the marriage, the relationship crumbled. After the divorce was final, Dylan acted on a rumor he heard years before -- that the unthinkable had occurred, that another man may have fathered his twins.

The possibility brought him to a genetic testing center in Denver.

Dylan said he now knows the twins were conceived while he served in the Navy during the Gulf War. But despite proof he's not the dad, Colorado law and legal technicalities require him to write a child support check every month for the next 12 years.

"It's about accountability. The laws are holding me accountable for something that I did not do." said Davis.

That accountability will cost Dylan more than $145,000 between now and the twins' 19th birthday.

Under Colorado law, a man has only five years to contest whether or not he's the biological father. The twins were six and the divorce was final so it was too late when the DNA proved Dylan's not their dad.

"I believe the guy who got the mother pregnant should be paying child support." said Carnell Smith of Citizens Against Paternity Fraud.

The founder and director of Atlanta-based Citizens Against Paternity Fraud estimates that Dylan's dilemma impacts 1 million men nationwide.

"I don't ever want this to happen to another family again. This is not right. Children do not deserve this." said Davis.

Dylan Davis says he will pursue a change in Colorado's law.

Colorado State Representative Andrew Romanoff said he’s reviewing the possibilities and considering sponsoring a change in the law.

 

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Virginia lawmakers reject abortion measures

A story released today by the Journal reports that a pair of proposals to regulate abortion clinics and require that doctors who perform the procedure have hospital privileges was defeated Thursday in Virginia’s House of Delegates committee.

Del. Robert G. Marshall, R-Manassas, a staunch anti-abortion advocate, sponsored both bills taken up by the House Health, Welfare and Institutions Committee.

The first proposal would have directed the state to license abortion clinics and then require compliance with certain conditions issued by the Board and Department of Health that are distinct to those facilities.

In debate on Marshall's bills, Del. Robert D. Orrock Sr., R-Thornburg, said the commonwealth does not regulate health-related industries unless medical representatives present to the legislature what they believe is a problem. If Virginia's medical community has not seen a demonstrable need for regulation, he said, then the General Assembly should take that as an indication that abortion clinics are safe.

In his second bill, Marshall sought to require that any physician who performs abortions have practice privileges in a hospital or $2 million in malpractice liability insurance.

Several women's advocacy groups opposed the bill, arguing that abortion providers should not be singled out for such regulation. Every surgical, outpatient procedure should be monitored by the state in the same way, they said. The second bill was killed 16-5 by the committee.

"[These votes] mean back alley abortionists who operate on Main Street have free reign to practice mayhem in Virginia," Marshall said.

Meanwhile, a Senate committee endorsed legislation Thursday to allow pharmacists and doctors to dispense ``morning after'' pills, which a woman can take within 72 hours after unprotected sex to prevent pregnancy.

Another version of the bill, sponsored by Del. Viola O. Baskerville, D-Richmond, is pending in the House Health, Welfare and Institutions Committee, which is scheduled to take it up Tuesday.

The legislation allows women to buy the drug without getting a prescription. Pharmacists, their assistants, nurse practitioners and doctors would be allowed to dispense it.

 

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