Comment of the Day: “Ethics Hero Emeritus: Edna Gladney (1888-1961)”


I love when a well-considered comment is entered on an older post. It draws my attention back to topics I may have forgotten about, and as in the case of this Comment of the Day, it reminds me of people and things I really shouldn’t forget.

Rebecca, in her first visit to the comments wars, entered this reaction to the post about Edna Gladney (that’s her on the right above, with Greer Garson, her screen avatar, on the left), an amazing woman who should be better known than she is for her  pioneering work on behalf of orphans and unwed mothers. I suggest that you read the post about Edna first, and then read Rebecca’s Comment of the Day. Here it is:

I just recently saw the TCM movie and was instantly taken by her courage and perseverance, especially since I, too, consider myself a child and family advocate. However, once I read about the historical Gladney, I am saddened that Hollywood thought it necessary to change the storyline to “soften” the blow of Edna’s own illegitimacy. Just goes to show how much was (and still is) wrong with the media. Also goes to show how media perpetuates certain attitudes about our societal issues. For example, even though the movie was retrospect, and even though Gladney may have been successful in removing illegitimate designations on birth certificates, society itself was still hell bent on being judgmental….couldn’t even tell the story like it was for fear it wouldn’t be accepted.

Although Gladney was right, so were the opponents of her bill….fast forward and now 40% of births are out of wedlock, compared with less than 5% at the time of bill.

Now, almost HALF of all pregnancies are unintended and 4 out of 10 of those unintended pregnancies end in abortion. No longer is abortion the last resort choice that once was necessary for incest or rape victims…no it seems that pro-choice has certainly become a very common choice, almost like another birth control choice.

And while I don’t believe illegitimate designations or illegalizing abortions is the answer….I do think it would help to make those choices harder….and that’s exactly what they should be, the hardest choice ever. It’s clearly evident that mass availability and lessened consequences do contribute to desensitization, turning the hardest (some would say evil) choice into a seemingly easy one. Even still, the real problem isn’t the availability of choices….the real problem has to do with the human heart and our condition of depravity.



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