Editor’s note: If you’ll bear with me today, I’d like to share some personal thoughts on a sensitive topic. If you don’t happen to agree with me (which can happen when publishing for a diverse audience), I hope that you’ll still consider reading this article the rest of the way through, to see if we can’t agree on some things by the end of it.
Here’s something that’s been on my mind, recently: Abortion really bothers me. Many others feel the same way for moral reasons (which I share), but that’s not the extent of it for me. I know people who were born early, and are living valuable lives that produce joy in others. I have seen the ultrasounds of my children, and felt them kicking when my wife was pregnant. I’ve shared the pain of parents who lost a young child. To suggest that people like this don’t matter – or aren’t as important – just doesn’t fit with my experiences.
In fact, from a purely economic standpoint (and I hope that you’ll bear with me on this), I’m a little frustrated that tens of millions of potential contributors to society were lost to abortion in my country, before they could grow up and share their talents and unique skills. As a result, both men and women of my generation must carry the burden of supporting a high number of retirees (to whom I wish the very best), with a reduced number of contributors (with respect to retirement assistance that preceding generations worked hard to earn).
Maybe you agree and maybe you don’t. If not, I believe that – for my part – we can still get along.
However, while we’re thinking about the “economics” of this reality, the thought occurred to me: What if those (like myself) who value life in the womb lowered the demand for abortion, rather than merely campaigning to make it illegal?
Here are some examples, but I’m sure that there are more:
- What if every person who bristled at the idea of abortion gave sacrificially to provide help for those who would otherwise have to choose whether or not to raise a child in poverty? How many women would no longer be stuck with what seemed like an impossible choice, if they knew that they would still be able to make ends meet with a new child?
- What if everyone who cares about both women and their babies taught women (and girls) to recognize partners who promise love but take only physical gratification? How many pregnancies would never start, because someone recognized that another person was trying to take advantage of them, and saw through the deception?
- What if those who wanted to see babies grow up (and succeed) actively made opportunities for those in abusive and harmful situations to escape? How many potential victims of violence and sexual abuse could live healthy lives (without the pressure to terminate pregnancies) if we helped them regain their self-esteem in a protected environment?
- What if the value of a not-yet-born child didn’t change once they were born? How can all of us help mothers care for children (since, let’s face it, all of us were pretty needy as babies)?
- What if taking time off from a career to have and/or raise a child wasn’t a stigma, but rather something to be celebrated? Could guys (including me) and other employees promote maternity (and paternity) leave for others, and encourage the unique contributions that motherhood brings to our world, even while helping women find fulfillment in their other God-given skills and goals (regardless of their workplace)?
Anyway, those are my thoughts. Thank you for reading (or skimming them) today. This has been on my mind for a little while, now.
If any of these points hit home, I’d like to offer two more questions: What if the instructions about caring for widows in the Bible also apply to women facing unexpected pregnancies? And, what if the instructions about caring for orphans in the Bible also apply to infants (whether they are born yet or not), as well?
Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.
James 1:27 NIV
Just a thought.
Scripture quotations marked (NLT) are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, a Division of Tyndale House Ministries, Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.