“For every complex problem, there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong.” (H.L. Mencken)
No sentiment better describes America’s seething, counterproductive abortion debate. Combatants always phrase the issue simplistically: “Are you pro-choice or pro-life?” For anyone who cares about children, the answer is, “Neither one; I’m for Option 3.”
Vehement Pro-Choice arguments about women’s “right to choose” are puzzling. 44 years of Roe v. Wade have made the option of legal abortions a non-issue. The unanswered question is why – since 1973, the “choice” of 54 million American women (currently 1 million per year) has been a brutal operation to terminate their pregnancies, instead of a dozen available methods of birth control to prevent them.
Whether your beliefs about human origin trend toward religion or biology, it’s troubling how many women treat interrupting the miracle of life with no more concern than receiving a botox injection or cutting their hair. The extreme Pro-Choice position results in an emotional disconnect from the complex, humanizing feelings surrounding human procreation. It has led countless young women into an amoral values system and irresponsible sexual behavior – the kind of behavior responsible for the out-of-control epidemic of sexually transmitted diseases. At the heart of extreme pro-choice philosophy are the same aberrant principles that took down many previous civilizations, and threaten to take down our own.
Pro-Life supporters inaccurately self-identify. They should be called pro-birth or pro-baby, because of their self-righteous disinterest in what frequently happens to unwanted babies for subsequent decades of their post-natal lives. The collateral damage resulting from growing up unwanted and uncared for is severe.
Pro-life proponents reason incorrectly when they assume a “happy ever after” scenario for all unwanted babies who aren’t aborted. Do children whose parents didn’t want them, comprise ALL of the 2 million people warehoused in our prisons, dying one day at a time? ALL of the 43,000 who commit suicide each year? ALL of the 125,000 annual deaths from drug abuse? No. But after decades of working with those populations, I can assure you that unwanted children are a majority of them.
Pro-lifers offer a dangerously misleading mantra, i.e.: birthing an unwanted child is no problem, because the mother can easily surrender it for adoption to the waiting list of 2 million couples. That’s not how it usually happens. Young women coerced into believing they shouldn’t have an abortion because “it’s wrong”, typically feel the same way about giving their babies up for adoption, so they don’t. They try to make motherhood work…at least for a few weeks. Around that time, the demands of parenting become too much, and 2.7 million of their infants are passed off to grandparents, who often lack the health and resources to effectively raise their babies’ babies.
What is the next move for one-fourth of these new mothers? In less than 24 months they have another baby. Meanwhile, their neglected first-borns are frequently abused for a few years and ultimately join the 400,000 other children in the foster care system: exponentially increasing their chance of lifelong problems.
What about the 2 million couples who would have adopted these foster children when they were newborns? They want a new parenting start with an infant, so they take a pass on the 80,000 older foster children who unsuccessfully yearn – year after heartbreaking year – for someone to call Mom and Dad who actually wants them.
There is a THIRD Option which would end the abortion conflict: Promoting a morally responsible lifestyle with our children, that would prevent young women from having to make the EQUALLY horrible choices of having an abortion, or birthing an unwanted child.
Accomplishing this would require Pro-Life and Pro-Choice supporters to cooperatively teach children a higher moral understanding of the traditional terms which define the abortion debate.
Pro Choice should mean:
- Choosing to have an unexcepted concern and respect for the miracle of the life process, by making “accidental” pregnancies as morally inexcusable as “accidental” stealing or lying
Pro Life should mean:
Caring about ALL stages of life – not just the birth process: vehemently protecting the rights and lives of ANYONE who can’t protect themselves – a group that includes men and women of ALL ages
Choosing Option #3 in the abortion debate would accomplish what half-a-century of ineffective, hateful vitriol has failed to do.
- It would save and protect countless lives: the born as WELL as the unborn.
- It would provide parents, schools, churches, and political parties a way to quit fighting OVER our children, and start fighting FOR them.
- It would result in future generations of Americans whose legal codes and social behaviors would reflect the understanding that Law and Life are not antagonistic, but synonymous concepts: EQUALLY requiring respect and compassion from any civilization that hopes to continue.
The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author and are not not necessarily either shared or endorsed by iPatriot.com.