Democrat Calls Advocacy for Natural Family ‘Dangerous and Un-American’
A Democratic politician has received massive backlash after she called the scientifically attested belief that children suffer less abuse in nuclear families “dangerous and un-American.”
“Extremist group Family Heritage Alliance said this morning that the safest place for kids are in families that have a married mom and dad. What a dangerous and un-American belief,” tweeted State Representative Erin Healy (D) on Monday.
She had apparently been triggered by testimony offered on behalf of the natural family by the South Dakota family policy council. “In committee we made the claim that the home of a married mother and father is statistically the safest place for a child, and we stand by it 100%. We know that a strong, nuclear family is the safest, most beneficial place for a child to be. Research confirms our claim,” Family Heritage Alliance Director Norman Woods told The Washington Stand.
“Children living with two married biological parents had the lowest rate of overall Harm Standard maltreatment,” according to the most recent, congressionally mandated survey of child abuse, conducted in 2010. “This rate differs significantly from the rates for all other family structure and living arrangement circumstances. Children living with one parent who had an unmarried partner in the household had the highest incidence of Harm Standard maltreatment.”
Studies as far back as 1985 found toddlers living with a stepparent were 40 times more likely to be abused than those living with “two natural parents.” Children living with an unrelated parent were 50 times more likely to be killed than those living with their biological parents, according to a 2005 study by University of Missouri researchers Patricia Schitzman and Bernard Ewigman published in the journal Pediatrics. Four years later, Lawrence Berger of the University of Wisconsin-Madison found that “families in which the mother was living with a man who was not the biological father of all children … were significantly more likely to be contacted by [Child Protective Services] than those in which she was living with the biological father of all resident children.”
Children from fatherless homes are more likely to do poorly in school, join a gang, commit crimes, and be imprisoned, multiple studies show. In addition, “boys who came from a home without a father were more likely to use drugs than boys who came from a home where a father was present,” according to the Minnesota Psychological Association.
The science attesting to the success of the natural family “is well established, uncontroversial, and obviously not un-American to believe. How sealed does one's echo chamber have to be to tweet something like this?” replied Jay Richards of the Heritage Foundation.
Yet Healy had lobbed multiple epithets at the defenders of the natural family. Three hours earlier, she complained, “The grip from fundamentalist groups who only believe in nuclear families is strong at our state legislature today. I am disgusted by the extremist opposition we heard today,” she said, adding she was “disappointed” a House committee voted down a “simple, important bill” (H.B. 1092) that would redefine marriage as any union “between two persons.”
Live-in boyfriends are not the only threat to children’s safety. The tweet came the same day South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem (R) signed the Help Not Harm Bill (H.B. 1080), which bars the transgender industry from administering puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, or committing surgeries “for the purpose of attempting to alter” the child’s gender identity in a way that is “inconsistent with the minor’s sex.” It allows children affected to sue the doctors and medical establishment involved.
“This bill is extremism at its finest,” Healy said, adding, “We know that kids are going to die because of this bill. We know that most Republicans realize that this bill and its testimony is full of lies and misinformation.”
The assertion that children suffering gender dysphoria will commit suicide without lifelong hormone injections or permanently life-altering surgeries is itself misinformation. Multiple surveys show that individuals who go through with gender-reassignment procedures have the same, or higher, risk of suicide as those who do not. Whistleblower Jamie Reed, who identifies as a lesbian supporter of “trans rights,” explained that employees of gender reassignment surgeries regularly use high-pressure tactics to convince parents to go forward with the controversial, and highly profitable, transgender procedures. Reed’s former clinic is now under multiple investigations for prescribing experimental cancer drugs to children and disregarding parental consent.
“Denying the truth that we are either male or female hurts real people, especially vulnerable children. By enacting this legislation, South Dakota has taken critical steps to protect children from radical activists that peddle gender ideology and pressure children into life-altering, experimental procedures and drugs,” said Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel Matt Sharp. “Science and common sense tell us that children aren’t mature enough to properly evaluate the serious ramifications of making certain decisions; the decision to undergo dangerous and likely sterilizing gender transition procedures is no exception.”
Ironically, Woods’s organization — and Woods personally — has also taken heat from Kristi Noem after Woods wrote a letter asking her to take action against a “kid-friendly” drag show sponsored by South Dakota State University. Noem responded by instructing the organization to “find an executive director” who does not “attack the most conservative governor in the country.”
Sanford Health, Noem’s top career donor, furnishes minors with puberty blockers and commits transgender surgeries, has received accreditation on the “Healthcare Equality Index.” The industry successfully killed a similar bill, the Vulnerable Child Protection Act, in the 2020-2021 legislative session.
Woods says his organization will continue advocating for nature and the natural family. “Any child who grows up without a mother has lost something. Any child who grows up without a father has lost something,” Woods told TWS. “We will not ignore this loss, no matter the political consequences.”
Ben Johnson is senior reporter and editor at The Washington Stand.