MADISON — State Sen. Glen Grothman (R-West Bend) has introduced a bill that he said would educate potential parents of the risks of single parenthood, while critics say the bill’s language targets and trashes single mothers.
Grothman said the traditional two-parent family is “falling apart.” He cites studies showing the number of children born to single-parent homes is increasing. He said there is a statistical link between those homes and abused children. Grothman says the state-funded Child Abuse Prevention Board is failing to teach what he says is the best way to raise kids. “A child is 20 times more likely to be sexually abused if they are raised by say, a mother and a boyfriend, than their mother and father,” Grothman said.
Grothman has introduced Senate Bill 507, which would mandate that a state-funded education board emphasize “non-marital parenthood as a contributing factor to child abuse and neglect” in education programs.
“I would say my life speaks against what the senator has stated,” Democratic State Senator Lena Taylor of Milwaukee — who is a single mother, said. Taylor says this is the latest in a line of Republican-backed bills that are hostile toward women.“Is this their style, yes — to single out some group and somehow or another criminalize them — like they criminalized doctors for legal procedures?” Taylor said. “Do I agree with it? I don’t. Will I fight it? I will. But do they have the votes and is it possible it will pass? Yes.”
The bill caused a national stir, drawing attention from CNN, FOX News Radio and the Huffington Post.
The bill carries no criminal penalties for single mothers, and Grothman insists his intentions are being misrepresented. “I know lots of very good single mothers and single fathers,” Grothman said.