Jill Stein on Families & Children
Green Party presidential nominee; Former Challenger for MA Governor
Stein: Education is inseparable from child health--kids living in poverty, in a food desert, their families subject to homelessness and unemployment--there's no way those kids can come to school in a condition to learn. As a first order of business, education needs to be integrated into a total system of eliminating poverty. As a first step, kids need to eat well, and should not be coming to school fed the kind of food that is inflicted on low-income communities. The prevailing wisdom is that you just need to test kids harder--it's so clueless that we've developed this concept of education as separate from the health of the child--[as if kids are] not subject to pollution exposure, food issues, dodging bullets, etc.
Stein: First, there are half million US kids in foster care now--it's a sign that our families and our communities are in crisis, that so many children are in need of new homes. The issue here is that our families and community are continuing to be under attack. This is a red flag in the realm of public health--this is a symptom of a system in dysfunction. What needs fixing is reproductive healthcare and getting families out of crisis, and ensuring that child welfare is working so that children can be properly placed, including that LGBT rights should not be a factor in adoption.
OnTheIssues: What about adoption, and adopting from abroad?
Stein: Adopting from abroad--our first impulse should be to stabilize families, community, & the economy so that kids don't have to be put up for adoption. But [if needed, then] adoption should be done in an equitable way to ensure the health of the children.
Stein: Fathers should have an equal hand in their kids' lives--arrangements after divorce need to favor the child first, but once the child is protected, both mother & father should be equal. The child should be able to engage both parents unless there is some specific reason that one parent is a danger to the child--it should not be assumed that mothers should get custody and fathers should be cut out.
A: Reproductive healthcare needs to be an essential part of healthcare in general. Women's access to family planning--that should be the first principle of reproductive healthcare. When women can plan their health future, we can make abortion obsolete. Those who object to abortion on moral grounds ought to be promoting family planning and contraception as the means to avoid abortion.
I am familiar with the issue of community violence as a doctor who delivered care in under-served communities. In this work, I've learned that youth violence is not an isolated problem subject to a quick fix. It is a symptom of the abandonment of our communities by the elected leadership and by those who hold economic power.
One of my key priorities in running for governor is to heal the wounds of our distressed communities and to rescue the at-risk youth who may lose their way irretrievably if we do not act. I will restore all the community service funds cut by the Patrick Administration over the past four years.
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