pregnant single mother

Politicians use single mothers as scapegoats in politics—

In politics, single mothers are a popular scapegoat. In fact, presidential candidates have had harsh criticisms for unwed parents.

Single Mothers and Politics

Rick Santorum

Breeding More Criminals

Rick Santorum blamed single mothers for a rising crime. “We are seeing the fabric of our country fall apart. It’s falling apart because of single moms. We have moms raising children in single-parent households simply breeding more criminals,” he wrote.

But Santorum didn’t stop there. In addition, he wanted to require single mothers applying for assistance to name children’s fathers. As a 2016 candidate, he opposed all abortion. Nevertheless, he referred to contraception as “not OK.

Stop Making Babies

Rand Paul (R-KY), who sees mandated employer contraception coverage as a “violation of religious freedom,” thinks single women should stop getting pregnant. In fact, he’s said it might be “tough” to convince women to stop having children. “We’ve got to find out how to get that message across. It needs to come from ministers and people in the community and parents and grandparents to convince our kids to do something different,” the politician has said.

Dan Quayle

And Stop Glamorizing Single Moms

Mike Huckabee gave Bristol Palin a double free pass. However, he has also criticized single pregnant celebrities like actress Natalie Portman. Shades of Vice President Quayle’s critique of Murphy Brown.

Jeb Bush

Scarlett Letter

Likewise, Jeb Bush has had harsh words for single parents. In his 1995 book, “Profiles in Character,” he blamed single motherhood on the lack of shaming and ridicule. Moreover, in 2001, he signed a Florida bill requiring single mothers placing babies for adoption to publish their sexual histories in the newspaper. Incidentally, Marco Rubio voted for the “Scarlet Letter Bill,” as it has been referred.

Bush did not veto the bill, which was overturned after it was ruled unconstitutional.

Scapegoat to Powerful Force

In spite of this, single mothers have become a political force. Single mothers head over 80% of the 12 million single parent families in the U.S. (2017 US Census) Furthermore, an increasing number of single mothers are running for public office, including Texas congressional candidate Linsey Fagan.

The Bottom Line

Single parents are not Ronald Reagan’s “welfare queen.” We are divorced, widowed, single parents by choice. And we deserve to be represented  instead of scapegoated.


Beth Cone Kramer is the author of the upcoming book “Digital Dating Detox.”
Secure Single provides a forum for a diverse variety of perspectives, ideas, experiences, and resources and does not take official stances. All writers speak exclusively for themselves. Concurrently, any quotes, shares, reposts, interviews, etc. do not imply endorsement by Secure Single LLC or its curators. Now go live your best single life!
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Beth is a longtime divorcee and professional writer who has focused on helping women and men through the transition to embrace single life following divorce or loss of a partner.
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