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Unintended Consequences of Abortion Reform
I've always believed that in order to fix a problem, you have to do more than point a finger and acknowledge it over and over...
Take, for instance, a seldom discussed topic, but one related to the age old debate of abortion. An unwanted pregnancy doesn't always end in either an abortion or a child raised by a drug mother. Sometimes someone actually steps forward and adopts.
Adoption is a positive means of preventing children from growing up without being loved. It's one solution to an unwanted pregnancy, that I'd like to see implemented more, counseled more, and offered up without as much red tape, more. The problem is, that we as a society, have trained ourselves and our children to believe that fast & easy, as painless as possible and 'the sooner the better' are the 'correct' route in every case. Countless times we've made things so easy for everyone, that people hardly 'feel' the consequences they find themselves experiencing, as a result of their own 'actions'. Neat and tidy. Fast. Over and done with. That's the appeal of abortion. "Put it out of your mind as fast as you can."
I and my brother were both adopted. It was a beautiful experience for both of us and I think he'd agree with me that we're more grateful than anyone will ever know. We had a wonderful loving family, complete with all the normal drama, fighting, crying, etc. of any other family. The only time we ever felt we weren't a part of something big, wonderful and special, was when someone would come along and remind us that "you're adopted." As if it were an illness or a blight of some type. Those in the family who loved us, did so with all their hearts - that's what our parents urged us to focus on and so we did. We were taught to keep our distance from those who would use that line in hurtful ways, and those that could never accept us, truly, for who we were.
I've always been a pro-life person, because I don't believe that our Creator makes mistakes, but I also believe, as I said above, that there has to be an alternative solution to abortion before it will go away. We, as a society, cannot forgo the unintended consequence of banning abortion and then walk with our backs turned, away from the children we've now required ill-equipped parents to bring into this world. We, as a society, have to have a plan, because I know without looking at the numbers, that already hard to place children, and those like my brother and I, would be born into places where children ought not have to grow up. And there would be lots of them. Scores of them.
Back when I was born, promiscuity was still frowned upon. People had sex outside of marriage as part of a couple of different scenarios: cheaters, or teenage passions gone awry. It was "normally" expected that you would be married and bearing children before you were 21 years old. College was for women who were "undesirable" as partners, for the most part. Living as a single woman on your own, was frowned upon for many reasons. Rape was just one. Pregnancies were hidden, unwanted babies were placed with the state, and life went on, albeit, haunted, for the mothers and fathers. Some went on to the other ends of their lives, always searching, always wondering. But always knowing in their hearts that they did what was best for the 'child'.
We don't have that level of morality in the world today. People cannot be legislated into doing the right thing, the moral thing or even putting a definition to "the right thing" anymore. If they did, someone would be offended, rights violated, lawsuits filed. What some consider 'wrong' another is okay with, as long as it doesn't affect them personally. Nor can young women be told that their options are limited to one (adoption) when it comes to their bodies, their lives, their pregnancies. As much as I personally would LOVE to see the laws change, I'm also a realist, in that I know as a society, we have to CHANGE and "prepare" before that type of decision is made and the laws are changed. And once they are, every family that thinks it can, should adopt. But that won't work either, because if we, as a society, truly want what is best for a child, we cannot 'require' placement in any other but a loving home. It's a problem.
The very best solution is to take a hard long look at the flip side of morality, what we teach, what comes out of our mouths, what we preach to others they should do with their own bodies, and to decide whether we've been part of the solution to what we see as an injustice, or whether we're simply willing to let everything that is, err was, considered a 'moral value' disintegrate into sand beneath the feet of those unborn who will be raised in 'facilities' that house masses of unwanted children with no hope of ever having a forever family. I think it takes a commitment of every generation to "teach" that actions have consequences and if more people weren't told so often that this is just an 'old-fashioned, outdated value' then perhaps the issue of abortion wouldn't have to exist at the pandemic level it does today.
If more fathers stood up for the purity of their daughters, if more mothers taught sons to respect women. If more teens were taught what appropriate behavior "is" instead of being left to decipher the world on their own. If they were taught to respect their bodies and their futures, it would matter. The trouble is that there's an entire segment of our population who don't believe in being anything more than a 'friend' to their children. Over the last generation, we should have learned that this isn't the truth, and that having moral fortitude is not to be frowned on but proudly displayed as what is simply "right" for a child. It isn't a religious ideal. It isn't a societal 'norm', and it isn't old fashioned. It's what is right. It is what gives us children who, when they make mistakes are prepared to take on the consequences of their actions.
The consequences of abortion are not immediate, but they are long-lasting when they arrive. Life-altering regret that is often drowned in alcohol and drug abuse, unhealthy relationships and self-loathing. We seriously need to look at how we're preparing our children for these types of decisions, because our failure can also have a life-long effect on not just their lives, but those of their children later on.
Yes, I'd like to think there can be an America where abortion doesn't exist, but I cannot imagine an America where adoption also becomes a tool of the legislature, and it surely would. I can't imagine a country where people are told that if they make $_______ dollars per year or more, they are required to adopt a child. An America in which anyone who can MUST do the right thing or be jailed or penalized would no longer be this America. Abortion is an ugly scourge on our society and a completely diabolical 360 from who we've always said we are as a people, but I wonder what our landscape - socially - would look like if it were abolished. Something to think about.