As Governor, Jeb Bush Approved of Shaming Single Mothers

Former Florida governor Jeb Bush has all but declared his run for the GOP nomination for the presidency. One of the obstacles in his way is his association with his brother, the unpopular George W. Bush, but the other is his own record.

The Huffington Post reported this week on a passage in Jeb Bush's 1995 book Profiles in Character in which he  advocated shaming women who have chidlren out of wedlock:

One of the reasons more young women are giving birth out of wedlock and more young men are walking away from their paternal obligations is that there is no longer a stigma attached to this behavior, no reason to feel shame. Many of these young women and young men look around and see their friends engaged in the same irresponsible conduct. Their parents and neighbors have become ineffective at attaching some sense of ridicule to this behavior. There was a time when neighbors and communities would frown on out of wedlock births and when public condemnation was enough of a stimulus for one to be careful.

The Daily Beast later followed up on that revelation by noting that as governor Bush refused to veto legislation that actually included a provision to directly shame women who put up their children for adoption but didn't know who the father was:

This provision required any woman who wanted to put her child up for adoption, but who didn’t know who the father was, to take out an ad in a local newspaper listing her name and description, as well as the name and description of each possible father and the locations where the baby could have been conceived. In other words, women had to broadcast her sexual histories to, well, pretty much everybody before attempting to find stable homes for her children. The law’s sponsor, state Sen. Walter Campbell, said the provision was designed to keep “potential biological fathers from coming back and taking children out of adoptive parents’ hands.” And the law didn’t include an exception for women who became pregnant because of rape.

Reportedly, Bush was assured that this provision would be removed, but he did not do the diligence of vetoing the legislation when it was not.

Shame and authoritarianism seems to be a feature of Jeb Bush's last tenure in government. As Newsmax reported yesterday, he also argued that corporal punishment in schools prevents school shootings.


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