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Thursday, December 22, 2005

More unwanted babies born...Hurrah?

Yep, some folks think this is something to celebrate. Federal researchers claim that a recent survey shows an increase (14%) in births of babies who were not wanted upon conception. Those on either side of the abortion argument trumpet the statistics in their favor. Opponents stress that the results show a pro-life shift while proponents says the numbers indicate a greater lack of access to abortion clinics.

Let me state for the record that I stand on either side of the line; personally, I don't believe in abortions as a form of birth control. However, I do believe women have the right to choose what happens to their bodies, especially in cases where health issues arise or in cases of rape and incest. So when I read a statement by Susan Wills of the U. S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, it gives me pause: "The new data underscores that more women are turning away from abortions, even when it's a pregnancy they don't initially want."

No one is focusing on the real issue here: unwanted children and what becomes of them. Wills states "don't initially want." I think that's an optimistic point of view, as though she feels that once the mother has held the baby in her arms, her heart will open up. Yes, some women will welcome the child once it is born, but too many times others will not. They may decide to put the child up for adoption, which is a viable choice - if the child is white. A white child will find families readily willing and able to adopt it. But when the child is African-American, that child will more likely enter a foster system, where its future isn't as certain. The foster system is rife with neglect and abuse, physical and sexual.

Even where the woman decides to keep her child, there is no guarantee the child will grow up in a healthy, loving home. A woman resentful of a child's presence is more likely to manifest her resentment against that child.

I often want to put the question to those who advocate that a woman never choose not to have a child - are you willing to open your own door to the many children who will remain unwanted throughout their lives, who will face uncertain futures, children who may have been better off not entering this world at all than to come into a world where they may be neglected and abused?

My only answer to this quandary is better education for young girls and women regarding birth control so that the abortion question doesn't have to come up. But pro-life proponents even want to stymie this option, which leads me to think that they want "promiscuous" women to pay for the gall of having unsanctioned sex. Pro-lifers seem to want to regulate people's sex lives indirectly by forcing them to "face up to their mistakes", lest they never learn their lessons. Maybe, I'm wrong. I hope so.

Now, I only hope federal researchers follow up on these "unwanted" children and tell us what happens to them. Maybe then we will get a clue about the need for better sex education.

Per CBS News.

Sharon Cullars Coffee Talk at 12/22/2005 06:40:00 AM Permanent Link     | | Home


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