“Don’t kill your children out of fear of poverty…”

March 14, 2016

smiling-babyAbortion is a difficult and emotional issue. It is far too often empty of concrete facts and statistics. In a typical pro-life vs. pro-choice debate -when pro choicers seems particularly desperate for an argument they’ll site incest and rape -“Would you force a woman to give birth to her rapist’s baby?” And we are often told abortion is not an easy decision for women to make. The typical ‘her body her choice’, can’t honestly continue in our current scientific environment when we know a separate heartbeat is developed only weeks after conception.

I first doubted how often women aborted their children because of rape or incest and secondly the idea that often seems all too insensitive -that many women abort their children out of convenience, seemed like a real possibility to me. After all in an environment of sexual promiscuity it is more than likely that the man a woman decides to have sex with is not the man she wants as the father or her child, it is also highly likely that in this environment she is having sexual intercourse with a consequence free mindset and the child she conceives is neither planned no wanted, i.e. a big inconvenience.

Accordingly to a study by Finer, et. al. entitled “Reasons U.S. Women Have Abortions: Quantitative and Qualitative Perspectives.” The tragic picture of a rape victim conceiving her rapist child as a reason for abortion was %1 -abortion as a result of incest was less than .5%. The first and primary reason women gave for abortion was precisely inconvenience, 74% felt “having a baby would dramatically change my life” (which includes interrupting education, interfering with job and career, and/or concern over other children or dependents)”. 73% -most women gave two or three primary reasons for their abortion, reported, “…they “can’t afford a baby now” (due to various reasons such as being unmarried, being a student, inability to afford childcare or basic needs of life, etc.)” Other reasons included not wanting others to know they were pregnant, not wanting to be a single mother, being finish with childbearing, not feeling mature enough to raise a child, partner or parent wanting them to have an abortion, not feeling mature enough to raise a child and health problems with themselves or the fetus (See a full summary of results and percentages here).

When we hear of a poor family giving off their young daughter in marriage in some far away country, we cringe. When we hear of a new-born being left to die because of fear of poverty, our heart breaks. We sympathize with the family, the woman and their hardship but we are still able to recognize their injustice and qualify it as immoral. Is the silence of the baby in the womb the only reason we cannot realize the injustice of killing them? And now that we know “The fifth week of pregnancy, or the third week after conception, marks the beginning of the embryonic period… when the baby’s brain, spinal cord, heart and other organs begin to form…” (2) We can no longer pretend the baby is a mere attachment of the woman’s body, that is simply antiquated and unscientific.

There’s a character in the book ‘Beloved’ by Toni Morrison who, upon the fear of being enslaved, kills her children. This horrendous scene sparks in me an unbearable amount of sadness. The enslavement of Africans in America is one of the most horrendous crimes to happen on the face of this planet. The character Sethe who decides to kill her baby knows that pain first hand -a lifetime of forced work, abuse, and rape. If there is any scenario in which one could empathize with a mother killing her children this would be it. But our empathy for this character does not overrides what we know as a moral truth, the basic human right to life. When she is imprisoned we sympathize, but we clearly acknowledge what she did was a crime.

In the holy scripture that serves as a blueprint for my life, God says “And do not kill your children for fear of poverty. We provide for them and for you. Indeed, their killing is ever a great sin.” (Quran, 17:31). In the depth of our souls I think we all can agree killing another human being for no just reason is a moral sin and a heinous crime. But before we attempt to or even become interested in reversing roe v. wade we have to tell the truth, the truth about life, the truth about why woman have abortions and the truth about morality. We should not be interested in simply making abortion illegal which may only cause abortions to go underground, we have to be interested in opening people hearts and minds, we have change the culture, the pro-choice movement cannot continue under its cloud of fallacies but the pro-life movement will never reach the masses if it does not understand why women end up in the abortion clinic in the first place.

Image source: here

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