A friend of mine recently posted a link to a fundraising page for his wife. I give to these pretty freely, especially if I know the person, so I clicked through. I probably should have paid a bit more attention to the link before I clicked.
His wife is participating in a “Walk for Life” benefiting a “pregnancy support center.” I didn’t notice that though and just saw her description, that it would benefit a place that supports women through their pregnancies. Then this caught my eye:
“Abortion is not the answer!”
At that point I had to close the page and pretend like I didn’t see it. That didn’t work though. (Obviously).
Once I realized I wasn’t going to calm down about it, I wanted to fire off my thoughts on this blog. However, I told myself I had to be fair and check out the group the money would support. Maybe it wasn’t what I thought it was. Maybe I was being judgmental.
At first blush, the place seems like it genuinely wants to help women, regardless of which road they’re contemplating taking. Either way is tough. Being a parent is a huge decision. My husband is already freaking out and we aren’t really close to having kids. Choosing not to become a mother is also a really tough choice. Both have long-term consequences.
However, when you dig a little deeper, you can see that it’s a place that is very clearly pushing women towards having the child. They don’t perform abortions or refer them out. However, if you’re interested in keeping the child, they’ll put you in touch with all sorts of resources to help you make ends meet as you do it, and will refer you to local agencies in case you want to put the child up for adoption. (To be fair, they say they offer post-abortion support.)
My question for people and organizations that say “Abortion is not the answer!” is this – will you be there after the kid is born? Will you babysit for a single mother who has to work two jobs to keep them fed? Will you make sure that the mother whose child was conceived through rape gets all the counseling she needs if she finds trouble coping looking at the product of the brutal invasion of her body? Will you be there all the time to protect the mother and child from the abusive husband/father?
There are obviously less extreme cases. Accidents happen. Plans change. The man who says he’ll stand by you, promises to be there, leaves. You’ve taken every precaution and it still happens. Why should a woman be forced to continue a pregnancy simply because someone else believes she should.
No organization or individual can guarantee that a child will be adopted by a loving family, particularly special needs children. The foster system is overworked and underfunded. A lot of those kids end up in dangerous homes and are not properly cared for. Is that better than a woman choosing an abortion? Is it better to have a child be neglected, physically and emotionally abused? What kind of life can that child expect to have growing up?
Not that I know personally, but I’ve heard that motherhood is an amazing experience. It’s also a very, very personal one. If a woman doesn’t want that experience for herself at that time in her life, we should trust her and her judgment. Whether people believe it or not, she’s making the best decision for her AND her baby.