My generation has always been the generation of change. Not backing down from fighting for what we believe in; we question the way of life around us despite how long cultural principles may have been standing if we believe a change will improve society. It is deeply disappointing to me abortion is the issue we have been lenient towards.
Every answer to why abortion is viewed as still “needed” stems from a deeper-seeded issue which we could be fighting against. Instead of allowing our answer to be to end a life before it has a chance to live, we need to combat the issues which give abortion supporters reasons to think it is the better “option.” Abortion needs to stop being an excuse for not addressing the larger issues at hand.
Abortion has become the answer for parents who feel that they cannot care for a mentally handicapped child. In the United States, 67% of abortions are because of Down Syndrome, while in Britain, the number is close to 90%, and this does not consider the number of children aborted due to other mental disabilities. Mentally retarded people are incessantly bullied and misunderstood by the world around them, but like any other human, they are searching for someone to love and care for them. The idea even those who were planning to be parents have rejected them is abhorrent.
Parents are meant to love their child unconditionally, and if they felt ready to have a child, they needed to be ready for any possibility of who their child could be. Instead of normalizing abortion in these instances, we need to be fighting for accessible support networks for parents. It should not be acceptable for doctors to recommend abortion in these instances as opposed to helping parents prepare for their preborn child. We need to further educate peers of the mentally handicapped so they understand these people are people too just like them. We need to continue to expand activities allowing the mentally handicapped to interact with peers in schools to increase awareness, sensitivity, and recognition of their humanity. Abortion cannot be the answer to working with mentally handicapped individuals.
If you are mature enough to make the decision to have sex, you should be prepared for the possibility of a child. If you are not prepared for the possibility of pregnancy, you are not ready to have sex. According to statistics, “7% of prospective mothers decided that they were not mature enough for a child, while 25% of prospective mothers decided they were not ready for a child.” This implies too many people have sex with no concern for the possible consequences of doing so. We need to combat this culture which recklessly engages in sexual activity. As some among us do celebrate increased sexual awareness and openness, we allow ourselves to think that we are beyond pregnancy as a result. We fail to educate ourselves about how to prevent pregnancies if we do engage in this overtly sexual culture. Planned Parenthood continues to fail this openly sexual culture as well. While it advertises itself as a shelter for women to have healthy pregnancies, it continues to abort far more babies than it adopts, adding to the culture of allowing murder to be the way out of unintended pregnancies. Whether you believe the answer to this issue is expanding sexual education and contraceptive availability or to fight against the sexualization of our modern culture, there is an answer beyond abortion. We have to fight to find that answer before more of our children are ruthlessly slaughtered by those who never thought about taking responsibility for their actions.
One of the staples of expanded abortion use in the United States is pregnancy and delivery safety. Abortion cannot continue to be the safeguard if a pregnancy puts a woman at risk. All around us, women fight for expanded healthcare. However, when it comes to dangerous pregnancies, too many continue to say abortion is the answer, while we continue to have a system that is less effective at protecting our mothers. We turn our back on the risks mothers go through in pregnancy while we allow abortion use to expand. Where are the people demanding we make pregnancy safer? This research process may be drawn-out and time-consuming, but is it not worth it to protect our children and our mothers? We use abortion’s existence as an excuse for not prioritizing safe deliveries. Women’s marches and the pro-life movement must both unite in fighting for safe pregnancies instead of focusing primarily on abortion. If abortion could become obsolete, the debate on abortion could end. We have to create improved healthcare for pregnant women instead of inaccurately claiming abortion could save the lives of thousands of our children.
The foster care system needs to be fixed. Mothers deciding that they would rather have their child aborted than placed in foster care is a sad reflection of the failures of our foster care system. However, we do not try to fix this system. We simply state we would rather have a child dead than we would like to combat the issues with foster care. We also have not normalized adoption, which keeps children in this system. However, all of the issues with our foster care system do not legitimize murder as an alternative. The children in this system facing poverty also do not legitimize abortion. Instead, abortion is our society’s poor excuse for not facing institutional issues. We have not fought for an improved foster care system, and we have not fought for expanded instances of adoption. Every pro-life supporter should adopt. Every person who says abortion is better than the foster care system should adopt. It is hypocritical to criticize the foster care system while not taking action to either improve it or remove its inhabitants. Additionally, it is immoral to kill a child rather than let them have the chance to live because of fears surrounding foster care. We can not be complacent in allowing foster care to go on in its current state as long as it leads to more abortions. We can not allow abortion to be an alternative to foster care.
The most relevant argument in favor of abortion is the prevalence of sexual assault. Entirely too many women are harassed, attacked, and raped in America. At the same time, rapists continue to have sentences which are far too lenient or cut short, making sexual assaulters too confident in their ability to get away with their crimes. Despite the success of the MeToo movement, there is still a large amount of men and women uncomfortable with reporting instances of sexual abuse. Abortion may seem the only answer for women who have been raped and are left with an unwanted pregnancy. However, abortions stemming from rape are not only rare, they ignore a far greater issue. Why is sexual assault so common? We live in a culture which acts as if we will no longer put up with aggressive sexuality, but we continue to see abortion as an answer for instances of sexual assault. We need to be working toward a cultural shift that does not need an answer for sexual assault because sexual assault does not occur. Abortion cannot be our default answer to unwanted pregnancies caused by assault. Our default answer must be outrage and upheaval at the society which has apparently normalized this behavior. We must rally around the survival of these children as a symbol to assaulters: you will not continue to have leverage over our lives and lead to the termination of the lives of our children. Instead of focusing on abortion as an answer to sexual assault, we must refocus ourselves on eradicating instances of sexual assault in America while making prison sentences for offenders harsher. We need to societally take a stronger stand against sex offenders.
It should never be easy to decide to give up your child for any reason. However, every reason stems from a deeper issue to which we need to focus on finding an answer. Simply because there are obstacles to the delivery or life of a child, does not mean the child does not deserve a chance at life. Although the issues society face seem insurmountable, it does not mean murder can continue to be an answer to them. Instead of continuing to fight over abortion, we should be uniting to combat these major societal issues and demanding change from our policymakers.
We should continue to fight for life. There is no excuse. In today’s world, we look at everything as if it can be changed and search for problems in every corner of society. Issues leading to abortion deserve the same attention. Abortion is not the ultimate answer to any of these problems. We must find the answer. We must be the change. The lives of the preborn depend on it.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Human Defense Initiative.