One of the women on welfare I worked with at the Philadelphia Unemployment Project, Gerry, once said to me, “What we need to tell Washington is to give us caps and gowns, not wedding gowns.” Washington, unfortunately, isn’t listening. Bush’s new proposal to invest $1.5 billion not in vocational training, or daycare, food stamps, but in pressuring poor women to marry their children’s fathers is as misguided as it is offensive. One particular statistic proponents of such a plan should keep in mind: well over half of women on welfare report having been victims of domestic abuse. In other words, Bush’s proposal would drive women back into abusive relationships.

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