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moral, then the question of bringing children into the world should be
carefully considered, and conscientiously decided, after competent
authorities have been consulted concerning the case. The prospective
child should always be given the benefit of the doubt in such cases. To
bring children into the world merely to gratify personal pleasure or
pride, regardless of the welfare of the child, is something utterly
unworthy of an intelligent and moral human being.
Fitness for Parenthood.
In determining the "fitness" for parenthood, on the part of husband and
wife, the mental, physical, and moral qualities should all be taken
into consideration. Weak or abnormal mentality; chronic immorality or
perverted moral sense; or diseased or abnormal physical
conditions--these should always be regarded as bars to parenthood. To
violate this principle is to deliberately violate the fundamental laws
of Nature, as well as those principles which are accepted as
representing the best thought and customs of the race. A mental, moral,
or physical "pervert" or "defective" is manifestly an "unfit,"
considered as a prospective parent. Parenthood on the part of such
individuals is not only a crime against society, but always a base
injustice perpetrated upon the offspring.
A very interesting phase of the general subject now before us for
consideration is that which touches upon the effect of those particular
acquired characteristics which are especially active at the time, or
just before the time of conception. The best authorities hold that the
influences manifest and active in the prospective father and mother
during the period immediately preceding conception will have a marked
effect upon the character of the child. The following quotations from
authorities on the subject will serve to illustrate this idea.
Riddell says: "The transient physical, mental and moral conditions of
the parents, prior to the initial of life, at the time of inception, do
affect offspring." Dr. Cowan says: "Through the rightly directed wills
of the mother and father, preceding and during ante-natal life, the
child's form of body, character of mind, and purity of soul are formed
and established. That in its plastic shape, during ante-natal life, like
clay in the hand of the potter, it can be molded into absolutely any
form of body and soul the parents may knowingly desire." Newton says:
"Numerous facts indicate that offspring may be affected and their
tendencies shaped by a great variety of influences, among which moods
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