In search of the long-haul solutions

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An article has been making the rounds on Facebook, focusing on a “new approach” to the pro-life push to reduce the number of abortions in large cities. The Save the Stork van pulls up to the curb in front of abortion clinics in Dallas and offers a non-threatening free ultrasound to any woman who wants one.

For the moment, I’m not going to dwell on how the author makes such a huge deal of David Pomerantz looking “emo,” eating vegan, and otherwise breaking stereotypes of a Jesus-follower. I really don’t mean to be too critical, but are Christians this disconnected from “normal people” under the age of 25 that we need to spend several sentences marveling at what’s actually a pretty common haircut?

But anyway.

The Save the Storks van personnel work to connect women to local crisis pregnancy shelters. The goal, according to the founders, is to offer women a true choice.

But is it?

See, my beef with the pro-life movement is that the movement isn’t really about LIFE. It’s about saving babies.

Hey, that’s great. I’m not a fan of abortion…. human beings are incredible creations capable of so much. Every time we lose one, it ought to be a huge deal.

But there’s more to being a mother than delivering a healthy baby.

Let’s look at some demographic descriptors for American women who seek abortions:

  • Half of them are under 25.
  • The vast majority are single. (85% according to the CDC)
  • Nearly 2/3 of women seeking abortions already have at least one child.
  • Four times as many women living in poverty seek abortions (compared to the general population)
  • Over half of the women who seek abortions were attempting to use some form of contraception when they got pregnant.
  • And up to half of pregnancies are unplanned, as far as the researchers can tell. (I think that statistic is the sketchiest, since motivations for pregnancy are hard to pin down.)

Let’s add this fact into the mix:  One of the biggest contributing factors to poverty in the US is being a single mom.

And remember that people can become single parents through a variety of life events, not just because they were sleeping around. The structure of the American family has changed, but the United States falls way behind other developed nations when it comes to caring for families: we offer very little in the way of subsidized child care, guaranteed maternity leave or family leave, or other measures to help parents who struggle.

Stop and let this sink in for a moment.

If the pro-life movement is going to be truly life-changing, then saving a baby isn’t enough. You’ve got to hold up that mother, especially if she’s young, poor, and/or uneducated. You’d better be in this for the long 18-year haul.

More to come…

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