POLITICS
03/12/2012 07:04 pm ET | Updated Mar 13, 2012

Donald Pridemore, Wisconsin Legislator, Says Single Parenting Leads To Abuse

A Wisconsin lawmaker is co-sponsoring a bill based on the idea that single parenthood causes child abuse.

The bill says a child being raised by a single mother could be considered living in an abusive situation and because of that, a woman should not jump into a divorce, but rather look at alternatives, state Rep. Donald Pridemore (R-Hartford) said in a television interview Friday.

Couples need to study their relationships first, he said. "If they can re-find those reasons and get back to why they got married in the first place, it might help," Pridemore said on local television show"Today's TMJ 4."

Pridemore, the chairman of the House Children and Families Committee, is sponsoring the child abuse bill with state Sen. Glenn Grothman (R-West Bend). It would mandate the state Child Abuse Prevention Board conduct public awareness campaigns emphasizing that single parenthood is a leading cause of child abuse. The Senate Public Health, Human Services and Revenue Committee held a public hearing on the bill Feb. 29, but has not voted, according to legislative records.

An aide in Pridemore's Madison office said he was not there Monday and was not available for comment. According to Pridemore's state website, he is a full-time legislator and former engineer.

Grothman told the Fox affiliate in Milwaukee over the weekend that he is pushing the bill because he believes that the traditional family is "in crisis." During the interview, Grothman referred to research he conducted, but did not cite specific sources.

"A child is 20 times more likely to be sexually abused if they are raised by say, a mother and a boyfriend, than their mother and father," Grothman said in an interview with Fox6Now.

The bill comes as state legislatures nationwide are tackling women's issues.

Virginia passed a law requiring women seeking an abortion to receive an ultrasound, similar to a bill pending before the Alabama Legislature.

Kansas lawmakers are currently debating a sweeping anti-abortion bill that would allow doctors to withhold medical information from patients to prevent abortions without facing a malpractice suit and charge a sales tax on abortion. In New Hampshire, the state House last week passed a bill to allow employers to stop providing insurance coverage for contraception.

A Democratic spokesman in Wisconsin declined immediate comment on the bill. Fox6Now reported that a Democratic legislator said they believed the bill could pass if heard in the Republican-controlled Legislature.

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