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Friday, October 21, 2016

Who speaks for Ghanson Debrosse?

Before he was born, many people did. Anti-abortion groups did. Churches did. Protesters did. And lawmakers did. Florida, for instance, requires that a woman undergo an ultrasound before getting an abortion, and the provider must offer her the option of viewing the image.

Ghanson was not aborted. He was born, October 26, 2010, to a teenage mother, Fafane Caze. During his short stay on this Earth, he endured enough pain for a lifetime. Police say that when he wet the floor, his mother burned his genitals with a lighter, and when he soiled his diaper, she beat him with a broom handle. They say she once hurled him across a room where he crashed into a table. And that in a fight with the boy’s father, she used him as a weapon, trying to throw him at the man.

Ghanson died on January 21. He had burns on his face and fingers. He had scars in the shape of belt buckles.

The Florida Department of Children & Families knew Ghanson was in trouble. It received three reports on its hotline. But the agency concluded there was no reason to remove him from that house.

So the answer is obvious. Who speaks for Ghanson? No one did.

He is one of 477 Florida children no one spoke for or spoke forcefully enough for, 477 who have died in the last six years from drowning, crushing, starvation, neglect and the inattention of a system that should have protected them, but did not. In “Innocents Lost,” a report by Audra D.S. Burch and Carol Marbin Miller published this week by the Miami Herald, we learn that the number of children dying has spiked since DCF made a deliberate decision almost a decade ago to sharply reduce the number of children taken into state care and to slash “services, monitoring and protections for the increased number of children left with their violent, neglectful, mentally-ill or drug-addicted parents.”

Money was saved. Children were not.

And there is an irony here too acute to ignore.

We have these great debates over children who are not yet born. We have marches and shouting matches and legislative protections for children who are not yet born.

But what about the children who are already here? How is it they can groan in hunger, how is it they can be shaken to pieces, slammed into walls, mashed under car tires while those who should protect them do not, yet there are no marches, no demonstrations, no placards lifted or lawmakers making speeches?

  • disqus_ivSI3ByGmh

    Once again, this is typical of the GOP. Fight like Hell to prevent women from having the option to terminate the pregnancy, then not give a damn after the child is born. Sorry, but if you are going to force someone to carry an unwanted child to term, then you need to provide help with rearing the child and making sure the parents are doing the right thing, or offer the option of surrendering custody for adoption. Either that or explaining how you allowed someone who should not have had custody of their own child to kill that same child.

    • Daniel Jones

      Democrats are just as guilty. Anyone that does not believe in preventing this nightmare is guilty, for that matter.

      • Sand_Cat

        That’s right. So why should we vote for them? They’re no different from the GOP. Those Dems have been passing bills to cut assistance to the poor and force women to have children, but give them no help just as enthusiastically as their sworn GOP opponents, right? So let’s just give up, since everyone’s guilty, including those who oppose this crap; why, they’re just as guilty as those who are forcing the situation, so why should they oppose the GOP?

      • COMALite J


  • terry b

    It is a common fact the so called “Right to Life” crowd could care less about what happens to a child after it is born. They sicken me. Sounds like a good reason that all intelligent people are pro choice.

    • COMALite J

      Actually, there’s a third position, neither Pro-Choice nor Pro-Life. I call it “Pro-Rights.” I’m not sure if this particular Disqus™ forum will send my comment into moderation if I post a link, but I’ve gone into substantial detail on other forums and would like to link it here.

      In a nutshell: while life begins at conception, Personhood begins some time after that (I personally prefer when the cerebral cortex [not brain stem] switches on and starts emitting detectable brain waves [this happens at about 7½ months gestation], since the cortex is what generates sapience in our species). Since only Natural Persons have actual Inherent, Unalienable, and Unique Rights of Personhood including the Right to Life, abortion for any reason whatsoever is justifiable prior to the onset of Natural Personhood. (Note that we already do the converse for the end of Natural Personhood, namely, at brain death, when the brain permanently ceases functioning.)

      Once a Person (and thus its Rights) exists, its Rights are equal to but not greater than those of the mother. We then treat it as we would any other Natural Person in analogous circumstances.

      This would permit abortion even after the onset of Natural Personhood for many situations (not just the life and/or health of the mother in danger, rape, incest, deformed fetus, etc.). It also does not depend on Roe v. Wade (which I actually consider to be a flawed decision), but on long-standing legal and judicial precedent long predating that, as well as on common sense.

      • terry b

        Intelligent, articulate and eloquent? Where did you come from? Not used to posts like yours out here. Usually I get a lot of nutcases responding to me so you threw me for a little loop. Personally, I thought Roe v Wade was one of the greatest SC decisions of the last 41 years because of the way that they broke everything down to trimesters. After the 1st trimester I am pretty much pro life with the only exceptions being if a severe genetic defect is found or a threat to the mothers life occurs. Like you said, that is all brought on by using common sense and logic. Two things that right wingers have a severe problem using on this issue. Thanks for your post.

  • progressiveandproud

    Mr. Pitts has a way of cutting to the core of a subject simply and effectively. More than once I’ve read his work and been ashamed of the actions of my countrymen and myself for allowing those actions to take place. This is one of those times.

    • latebloomingrandma

      This article was spot on. Although, I almost always agree with Mr. Pitts. He really has a way with words that I wish I could have said.

  • dpaano

    This is really sad, but oh, so true. The conservatives worry so much about abortion; but, once the child is born, they seem to just want to wash their hands of it. Don’t feed it lunches at school, don’t protect it, don’t give it decent medical care…..just let the child fend for him or herself. We have the same problem in MANY states, California included, and it’s just sad!!! I think I’d rather be aborted than have my skull bashed in by parents that didn’t want me (or shouldn’t have had me) in the first place!

    • Allan Richardson

      And some of them would rather let a bad pregnancy kill BOTH the woman and the child (as if the child could live without her), leaving her husband widowed and her older children motherless, than to take action to kill an ALREADY DOOMED fetus to save the mother.

    • idamag

      Or how about the constant beatings. Those poor babies.

  • sarahbartonking

    As ever the ‘do gooders/holier than thou’ community has slapped itself on its back for achieving what is tantamount to mass murder not of foetuses but of babies/children born into the most degrading, frightening and horrors ever thought possible for them. These people want to save the foetus but when the child is born do they give a d**n for what happens after it put into these situations, NO! They just feel good because they have just prayed. Look at the mothers who die giving birth and a child is left without a mother, look at the child born that really would rather have not been made to suffer the future of its existence – whatever – that may be!
    No the GOP the holier than thou, the KOCH bros should keep their noses out of a woman’s affairs and allow decent clinics to exist that can afford all manner of health care and birth control.

  • sarahbartonking

    Also, if a child is born then it has the right to eat, go to school, live in the way in which these do gooders have their children live. BUT we all know this is not the case. Make the mother have the child and then abandon them, no hope, this breeds resentment and who suffers? The child, beaten, starved, subjugated to all manner of horrors that we don’t even want to imagine and all before they have had the chance to live as a growing human being. Thank you DO GOODERS, HOLIER THAN THOUS AND GOPS THANK YOU SUPREME COURT AND ALL THE POLITICIANS WHO SEEM TO KNOW WHAT IS RIGHT FOR A WOMAN AND A CHILD.

    • Allan Richardson

      To these people, a child has no “right” to eat, be clothed or sheltered, unless that child WORKS for it, or is fortunate enough to have someone able and willing to care for that child. And if the child is unlucky enough to have cruel, uncaring, or simply too-poor parents? Then punish the parents, but DO NOT HELP THE CHILD with public funds; charity funds are OK but if there are not enough (and there are far from enough charity funds), they believe in letting the children starve.

      • Sand_Cat

        No “special rights” for poor children.

  • johninPCFL

    This occcurs as GOP Gov Scott and his paid-for cronies in the GOP-controlled legislature slash DCF budgets every year, cut Medicaid funding, and turn down ACA monies to pay to (as Pitts so eloquently says) “build the new stadium to keep the team in town”, so their billionaire buddies don’t lose money on their “investments”.

  • Allan Richardson

    If you could ask their souls in Heaven, they would probably say they would rather have been aborted, i.e. not allowed to incarnate in an incompletely built body, but rather forced to wait for another, than to be forced to endure such pain. Unless, of course, those souls chose to be martyred to teach the rest of us a lesson.

    The ruling class wants a ready supply of workers willing to settle for anything, and consumers with just enough income to buy the cheapest items made by their peers, so they use phony religion to prevent children growing into puberty from learning how to prevent babies coming too soon or too often. The only way is abstinence, but often the message given to the boys is “get it if you can, don’t worry, it’s her problem” while the message given to the girls is “try to fight him, and fight your own feelings, but if he wins, you are no good scum, unless you can force him into marriage.” But marriages started in this way are often abusive (he did have to be abusive to cause such a situation) and end in divorce; so except for the marriage certificate, she has the responsibility to be a mother with the same social stigma and poverty as if she had refused to marry him.

    With insufficient knowledge even to know exactly what to “abstain” from, and no knowledge of how to prevent conception, and the only reliable means requiring regular medical supervision, and with abstinence “off the table” after marrying, or moving in with an abusive man, they want women to have no choice about whether or when to become mothers, or how often to do so. This is why Planned Parenthood was founded by Margaret Sanger in the 19th century: so that poor women would be able to take the responsibility that their husbands (being in denial) refused to take, to have fewer children and be able to raise them in somewhat less poverty. And of course, the establishment prosecuted her for “obscenity” as if there were any details about female — or male — genitals that would shock married women who were already mothers, or could not be discussed in a group of women with no men present!

  • Sand_Cat

    Says much more eloquently what many of us “pro-abortion” people have repeatedly attempted to get through “pro-life” skulls with no more success than Mr. Pitts’s article is likely to have among the same group.
    The people cutting the budgets are the same ones screaming about the “murdered babies” who have just attained their first 100 cells and are almost visible by the naked eye.
    The same people are likely to be in the forefront of those building the stadiums, cutting taxes for billionaires, buying overpriced toys for the military (while starving many of the actual people who serve and their families), subsidizing and excusing polluters (including those discharging birth-defect causing chemicals into drinking water), and a million other things.
    I suppose we could all go out and start killing them, but other than that, there is little we can do besides try to vote them out of office, along with the timid Democrats who go along willingly.

  • idamag

    Those right to life people are hypocrites. If they really cared about life, these children might have protection.

    • wjca

      If they really cared about cutting abortions, they would be working flat out to make contraception broadly and cheaply available everywhere. The fact that they not only do not do so, but often are actively opposing contraception or sex education or anything else that might reduce pregnancies, tells you all you need to know about what they really care about.

  • Five Guyz

    The morality and liberty of a free country run contrary to the subjective notions of “society’s interests” put forth by collectivist quacks.

    • Sand_Cat

      A bit off topic, but BRILLIANT.

  • tdm3624

    People don’t get involved because it is hard. It is a lot easier to watch an episode of the Kardashians or Duck Dynasty then read about a child who was horribly abused.