Hugh Lafollette believed that it is completely moral to require people to obtain license in order to have a child. At first, I wanted to agree to this statement, but after weighing the pros and cons, I have realized that there are more cons thus, I am going to have to disagree with this licensing. Lafollette believes that licensing parents will ensure competence in a certain field that requires knowledge. He has examples such as people have to get a license in order to drive, be a doctor, be a lawyer, etc. So why shouldn’t parents have to do the same before they have a baby? By making a mother get a license, we are ensuring that she is competent on child rearing and will keep the baby safe, and provide a proper environment for the baby to develop correctly. By doing this, we are preventing a child from growing up in circumstances such as poverty or neglect. Lafollette even had a system that made it seem like everything should work out just fine, but then in class we discussed the errors in this thinking and I got to thinking about all of the cons.
First off, parenting is a natural learning process. I cannot truly assess that a person will be an awful mother until they are in the situation of motherhood. People who never wanted to have children and hated them have changed their mind once they found out they were pregnant or actually had the baby. While being a mom, one usually changes their habits. For example, a mother will stop smoking, drinking, eating fast foods because they want to make sure their baby develops properly. Not only will they change their habits, but they mature themselves and motherly instincts usually kick in.
Also, this is a violation of autonomy of a person’s body. You cannot tell a person what they can and cannot do with their body. If a woman gets pregnant without a permit, what will happen to her? Will she be forced to abort her baby? Will she have to give away her baby to a couple that has passed the tests? Will she be fined for having a child? I believe Lafollette will not make her give up her baby. Rather he would force her to take the test and if she fails it, maybe he would have some program set up for people in her situation. This program would show them why they failed the tests and basically train them to meet the standards. My opposition to this is what if it is not possible for the couple to meet the standards? What will Lafollette say? Also how do we know that this test is accurate? How do we know if the system is corrupted and disenfranchises people? Lafollette would probably say that this disenfranchisement and infringement of freedom is worth not having babies growing up in unstable situations. The tests should not dictate someone’s right to do something natural such as childbirth. We cannot properly enforce it and it would not be effective as well. There is no set way on how to raise the perfect child and we cannot assume that there is. There are a lot of loose ends that Lafollette needs to tie up before we can approve of his position.