Wednesday, June 02, 2004

Some Random Thoughts...
...on abortion. I'm currently reading Peggy Noonan's What I Saw at the Revolution, her book about her time writing speeches for Reagan. She is talking about writing the 1985 SotU speech. She says:

Ben felt that his was a good time for the president to reassert his opposition to abortion and some of his reasoning. I thought it a good time to bring some of the reasoning up-to-date. A number of people I knew, friends who were approaching their middle thirties, were trying to have children and, for a variety of reasons, having trouble. One, who'd be a newswriter with me in Boston and became a close friend, was trying to adopt and finding it very difficult. One of the unanticipated results of Roe v. Wade was that people like Judy couldn't find babies they wanted to adopt anymore.
This is what I wrote:
'I believe that when we allow ourselves to take the lives of our smallest, most vulnerable members, we coarsen ourselves as a society. And it is surely a terrible irony that while some abort their children, so many others who cannot become parents cry out for children to adopt. Abortion has emptied the orphanages--and emptied the cradles of those who want a child to love.'"
I was reading this, and I stopped to think for a moment. I thought 'It's certainly not true that the orphanages are empty, or that there are no longer any children up for adoption. So what is it about those children that makes them unwanted, even by parents who are looking for a child to adopt.' And I realized: people who need adoptions for the reasons liberals defend don't get them.

I read today in the USA Today that "in 2002, unwed black women gave birth to nearly 70% of the black children born that year." An argument of liberals is that having the baby can, in cases, be even worse for the child then aborting it would be. Or, they argue, that having an unwanted child can destroy the mother's life. What I realized tonight is that these births are still occurring. The children being born in unwanted pregnancies are the very children who will suffer after birth. Who is getting the abortions? Middle and upper-Middle Class women who have children that would be more likely to find a comfortable adoptive home, or who have historically found ways to deal with the pregnancy (short of abortion) that changes but does not ruin her life, and still raises a healthy, loved, and successful child. Abortion does not solve the grander problems that liberals point to, it just serves as a quick-fix for those who never really suffered in the first place. In the meantime, those who truly struggle are left in the dust.

UPDATE [6/2/2004 - 22:57]: I also like an earlier quote from the book, similarly related to Reagan's feelings on abortion: "He read and thought and listened to people who cared, and he made up his mind. And suddenly when they said, 'The argument is over when life begins,' he said, 'Well look, if that's the argument: If there's a bag in the gutter and you don't know if what's in it is alive, you don't kick it do you?'"
I've been saying for a long time, "if we don't know when God considers life to begin, why would we take that risk?" I like his way of saying it better, but the sentiment is the same.


Sandals said...

As of 2002, there were 134,000 children in foster care awaiting adoption. However, statistics on adoption are confused, with no consistent or centralized source such as the BLS. Without contacting an adoption agency, I'm not sure how to detail the overall picture. While it is necessarily difficult to adopt, there is hardly a shortage of adoptees- even if the domestic 'supply' runs low, there are many 'available' internationally. Even with all the safeguards in the system, abusive or unfit parents occasionally get charge of adoptees.

As for abortion, you are stretching the truth at best. According to this page, which draws its data from the CDC, there were a total of 347,179 abortions by whites in 1995 and a total of 231,624 abortions by all other minorities. The age and whether they are married or not are fairly congruent.

I was going compare that to the population by race totals, but the Census website is returning a remarkable number of 404s and not-availables. Maybe a nother time.

RFTR said...

But that's not the point.
What I'm saying is that, though there may be a lot of minority abortions, there are far more who aren't getting them.

Anonymous said...

Life doesn't "begin" with the fetus anymore than it begins with a rainbow, or the rustle of leaves, or the bark of a dog, or the crying of a spanked newborn. If we humans lose the possibility of sustaining life on earth due to corporate-driven destruction of the environment, we will forfeit our capacity to produce fetuses and participate in the circle of life (which, as a circle, has no absolute beginning point) will have been destroyed. Not broken: destroyed.

This is the point anti-abortion activists never take into consideration. Consequently, they give a free pass to Bush as Bush rolls back over 400 different legislative measures designed to protect the environment and God's manifold creation.

Fanni Terrette of the blog "Terrette."

Thanks for this forum.

Elisabeth said...

Since you brought up orphanages, let me throw some info your way. In an excellent book called Mother Nature, Anthropologist, feminnist, and philosopher Sarah Hrdy discusses the nineteenth century American orphanage. In most cases, they were overflowing. Not because parents were dying. Because they were having chidren at a phenomenal rate. Not because they wanted babies. Because they wanted to have sex. During an era when birth control consisted of old wives tales about lemon juice and the 'rhythm method', unwanted pregnancies resulted in exposure, crib death (then refered to as 'laying over', when mothers accidentally suffocated their babies by rolling over and suffocating them in their sleep..which has shown to be more often intentional than not) and abandonment on the doorsteps of orphanages. The argument of "desirable" babies is an offensive one. There are hundreds of thousands of children in the adoption system looking for homes. The argument you have given is only regarding infants. No one "wants" a child over two, whether she was born from an upper middle class mother or not. That's a problem that will not be solved by overturning RvWade. Those kids are already out there, and their numbers will only increase.

Elisabeth said...

you called unborn children "our smallest and most vulnerable' members of society. I would urge you to define vulnerable and to define society. You and I once had a conversation in which you compared killing an unborn child for 'liberally defended reasons' to killing a three year old for the same, later imposed circumstances. For argument's sake, what makes an unborn child MORE vulnerable than a three year old on welfare? I certainly don't know. Also, what is society -- how do we socialize children, how do we define family? the reason no one will adopt a three year old is because they can't be 'molded' as easily as an infant. What is that teaching our society? why can't we accept a child's past and introduce them to our future?