I am a Catholic. That said, in the whole debate about abortion, I never see anyone talking about the outcome.
I’m not talking exclusively about pregnancy coming to full term. I’m referring to the whole picture, including the care a pregnancy gets and the birth and life of any child. Unwanted pregnancies that go to term become unwanted children, and unwanted children do not fare well. I have heard the Pollyanna cry of, “There are so many people who want to adopt. Have the baby and give it to those people — there’s your answer!”
All of us are indoctrinated to believe and behave as our parents, churches and society taught us, and we blindly follow these rules. It is with religious fervor that both pro-life and pro-choice people fight for what they each believe to be right.
Speaking from that largely religious standpoint, it’s always right versus wrong, and the facts get muddled. In the abortion debate, I don’t see anyone “playing the tape to the end.”
With Roe vs. Wade, the fight is only for the fetus. “One million” is the figure chosen apparently arbitrarily by the author of the recent letter to the editor, “Who Protects the Unborn?“
According to the federal Centers for Disease Control, the last available count is from 2015, which states there were 638,000 abortions performed annually in the United States. That’s a quarter-million fewer abortions than the one million used to create that particular piece of sensationalism.
These many women have diverse reasons for not wanting to have a child, but all of them have critical situations or they wouldn’t be contemplating abortion. Pregnancy is an emergency for all of them. People who adopt are choosey about the child and so many want the healthy, blue-eyed baby. Some wait a long time for that baby because they are that particular.
Yet, hundreds of thousands of women, if forced to carry the pregnancy to term, will not be able to give the pregnancy or the child the attention they need. There are not just crack babies, but all sorts of negative outcomes such as fetal alcohol syndrome with its life-long disabilities, physically or developmentally delayed children, etc. Taking care of their pregnancies is not a priority for some women for many reasons.
These are not the children that most adoptive parents are looking for, so these kids do not get adopted as easily or as readily as some people want to believe. Women give birth to babies they are not equipped to handle, starting with pregnancy and all the way up to age 18, if they keep the child. I want to see articles and research and numbers on the very real outcomes of these pregnancies and lives, not just the noble “abortion is wrong.”
My question, especially for pro-lifers: Are you willing to take one or more of these random, unwanted children, all from unknown and questionable pregnancies and backgrounds, into your home for the rest of their lives? Can you and will you give them the life you think they so richly deserve?
Because they are not going to get it otherwise. They will be in a home where an unwanted pregnancy turned into the unwanted child, or in a group home as a ward of the state, or a lifetime of being shuttled from one foster home to the next.
Are you aware of the rampant sexual and other abuse that is perpetrated upon unwanted children? That is regardless of whether the parent(s) kept them or put them “up for adoption,” where the truth is they end up in foster care, as a wards of the state or in group homes. Do you know how messed up a child’s life can become? Messed up children become messed up adults.
Messed up adults spend their whole lives trying to fix it and make it alright. Just play the tape to the end and do some research before you so fervently and religiously speak your beliefs. I hate to offend pro-lifers, but it’s only the pro-choicers who do so.
Only they talk about the reality of unwanted pregnancies and the very real outcome of unwanted children.
(Anastasia Bacon lives in Wellsville.)