Mother and Child-Love them Both
What follows is my response to our local newspaper's "Open Line" debate surrounding the scheduled opening of Pl*nned P*renthood's newest full-service (read: abortion providing) facility. Here's hoping that it gets printed...
During the past week, the Open Line question "How many children have you adopted?" has played over and over in my head. It trivializes the abortion-adoption connection and obscures the origin of pro-life beliefs. The question presents as fact an enormous and terrible lie perpetuated by groups such as Planned Parenthood; that is, the only wanted pregnancy is a planned one.
The fact is this question implies that an adopted child is an unwanted, second-rate child, who if fate had dealt him a different hand, would have been just another abortion statistic. Perhaps before flippantly asking such a dismissive question, the author should consider one herself, "For how many children have you had to choose adoption?"
Imagine for a moment walking in such shoes. Maybe you're single? Maybe unwed? Maybe sick or dying? Maybe without a job? Maybe, just maybe, all of the above. Upon discovering an unplanned pregnancy, no one is willing to own up to the fact that the child you now carry might actually be wanted. And when your situation doesn't allow you to participate in the day-to-day work of raising your child, you wonder about your choices. Based on your facts, however, under the guise of "choice", it is made crystal clear that the only logical solution for you is abortion.
But as a mother, in your heart, you know better. Your instinct to protect and provide is strong. It is so strong, in fact, that rather than abort your unborn child; you choose the incomprehensible--hoping and perhaps praying, that someone will come forward and love your child as much as you wished you could. A mother choosing adoption for her child is not a panacea. It is a best-case scenario in a worst-case situation. Pulitzer-prize winner, Anna Quindlen, wrote, "There's just a hole in my heart and nothing to plug it." My guess is the piece that she's missing, that key that fits no known lock, is carried around by a multitude of birth mothers who chose life for their child even knowing the pain that might come with such a sacrifice.
In our extended family of thirty-one people, eleven are adopted, each one of them a unique and integral piece of the puzzle that is our family: without them, we are incomplete. When mothers are told that abortion is their only option, they've bought into a lie their heads can't reconcile with their hearts.
Pro-life means more than adopting children, although plenty of us are called to do just that. It means seeing dignity and value in the faces of all people. Women deserve better than abortion. The question we should ask isn't, "How many children have you adopted?" but rather, "How can we show pregnant mothers that, regardless of their situation, we recognize the worth and dignity of their life and of the life which they carry?" Ultimately, it's about having courage to act when a cry for help is heard; and to provide comfort, counsel and support for a mother and a child who are not society's after-thought, but building blocks of society: both necessary and wanted.
If you're pregnant and need help contact: The Gabriel Project.
For healing from a past abortion contact: Project Rachel.
Join us in the 40-Day Prayer Vigil here.