Abortion Prevention

Nigel Cameron wrote that it is important to see elective abortion as a symptom, not the disease.  Because this is true, if Roe v. Wade were overturned tomorrow, and some states started to outlaw abortion, the abortion problem would not end;  because even if Roe v. Wade goes away, all of the reasons that women have abortions will still exist.  What will those of us who call ourselves Pro-Life do to address some of those underlying causes?  What are we doing to address those underlying causes?  (Do we even think about what the underlying causes are?)  What are we doing to promote a social and cultural environment that is less inimical to the raising of and providing for children?  What are we doing to help those who do choose to carry their babies to term, particularly among the poor in whom abortion is so prevalent?  What are we doing to support them in feeding and housing and providing a safe environment and medical care to their children?  (Why are Pro-Lifers so heavily represented among those who are most vocally opposed to health care reform and gun control?)

 

I hope and pray that some day Roe v. Wade is overturned.  But I believe that we as a Christian community must work more energetically to show that being Pro-Life means more than picketing and praying.  At the very least, it means making sacrifices to help women and families with children.  It means getting more involved in the messy lives of those around us.  If we can address some of the reasons so many women feel that abortion is their best or only option, maybe we can go a long way towards accomplishing what we can never accomplish merely by overturning a Supreme Court decision.

 

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Leah Willson
Leah Willson
9 years ago

I agree Christians should support the pro-life cause by means besides “picketing and prayer”. Look at the thousands of pregancy support centers across the US who daily provide ongoing counselling and assistance to women before and after the births of their children. They do a very effective ministry on a person-to-person basis.
However, I think Christians should not fall for the “social justice” lie that more governmental programs, health care reform (?), gun control (?), etc. are the solution to the abortion “symptom”. All poor pregnant women in this country are already eligible for free prenatal care, Medicaid for their children, and WIC, as well as housing subsidies, food stamps, child care support, and more.
The “symptom” of abortion is the “symptom” of sin. [The sins are not only those of the mother, but the father, the doctor, and anyone who espouses pro-abortion philosophy.] In my 24 years of practice, my patients/patients’ parents and colleagues who have gotten abortions have done so overwhelmingly due to 1) not being married, and/or 2) not wanting a child to interfere with their lifestyle.
To effectively reduce abortion, besides changes in abortion law, Christians need to focus on heart changes (evangelism, mentoring), and promotion of marriage. Unfortunately, most of the government entitlement programs discourage marriage and involvement of fathers. More of the same government programs will not help!

Joseph Gibes
Joseph Gibes
9 years ago
Reply to  Leah Willson

Ms. Willson,

Thanks for your comment. I agree that the Crisis Pregnancy Support Centers are doing a great job, and I wish there were more in my area! My contention is that more Pro-Life people should be “Walking Pregnancy Support Centers.” Of the last three women who have come to me or my residents about abortion, two are married: one lives in a terrible, gang-infested neighborhood in Chicago and gave not wanting to raise a child in that setting as the reason for her desiring an abortion; another was an undocumented alien and gave the difficulties surrounding that situation as the reason for wanting an abortion. It is true that pregnant women in this country are eligible for Medicaid; however, many of my pregnant Medicaid patients in the Chicago suburbs drive 45+ minutes to find our practice, one of the only ones willing to accept Medicaid in the area (See my previous blog post “Breaking News” for more about Medicaid and access to health care). I regularly give talks on abortion to medical students at a major secular university, and have a difficult time justifying the apparent contradiction when they ask me honest questions about how people who call themselves Pro-Life can also be pro-gun. I am in full agreement that more government programs are not the answer to the abortion problem! However, we can at least not oppose those government actions that seek to promote better conditions for pregnant women and their children. Of course, sin is at the heart of abortion, as it is all of our human problems; but just as we do not try to combat hunger or child trafficking only by evangelism, so we should not limit ourselves to evangelism and promotion of marriage as the only tools against abortion. No attempt at “Social justice” is “THE solution” to the abortion symptom; but not all attempts at social justice are lies, either. If we are to be truly “Pro-life” we must oppose abortion; but we must go further, to actively supporting the lives that are not aborted, otherwise we only merit the title “Anti-abortion,” not “Pro-Life.”

Leah Willson
Leah Willson
9 years ago

Yes, I agree our approach to abortion should be multi-faceted. But, I think my experience has been different than yours, maybe in large degree due to location (smaller town Midwest, low crime). In my area, in a 60 mile radius, there is only one private practice group (working in 1 of 9 hospitals that do OB) that refuses Medicaid OB patients. Also, I have quite a few “undocumented” families in my practice who actually planned to have their child in the US, in order for that child to be a US citizen.
Anyway, my whole frustration with the “pro-life or anti-abortion” argument is that the pro-abortion camp sets this up as a “straw man” in debate [see the rabid woman-hating anti-abortionists who couldn’t care less about already born infants!], and insinuating that no one can truly be “pro-life” unless one is committed to a particular political vision–often a cradle-to-grave social support system for everyone who is born. Then Chrisians get sidetracked into feeling guilty and/or debating politics of how best to promote the general welfare. Instead, perhaps we should ask them, “How good would society need to be in order for you to reconsider your position on abortion?”

Joseph Gibes
Joseph Gibes
9 years ago
Reply to  Leah Willson

Ms. Willson,

Forgive me if I insinuated that I thought that the solution to abortion lay in any particular political vision. That is the opposite of what I meant to say! What I believe, and what I tell the medical students, and what I did not express clearly enough in my original post, is that I think the best hope for ending abortion lies in the Church, the Body of Christ being the Church in the lives of the hurting people around us: evangelizing, reaching out to hurting people and poor families, making sacrifices, setting the example of what a blessing good marriages and families can be, giving of our time and money and lives to be Jesus in the lives and families and neighborhoods around us, eschewing the culture of control and materialism that denigrates and marginalizes the nurturing of children. I believe that will do as much as any political or legal solution to bring an end to the culture of abortion in which we find ourselves.

Leah Willson
Leah Willson
9 years ago

I agree with that. And of course, it would also help a lot of other social problems besides abortion!