You’ve seen the bumper sticker. And at first, you agreed. “Every child a wanted child.” The words ring pro-life, until you hear the undertone, the statement left unsaid: “And let all unwanted children remain unborn.” This deceiving motto of Planned Parenthood could seduce anyone into agreement at first glance. But the fundamental belief of the Planned Parenthood mentality crashes into a starkly different belief from the life movement, that each child is wanted. Every last one of them.
There is no doubt that birthing and raising a child is a significant cost over the course of a lifetime. And certainly any parent hopes to have sufficient, even abundant resources to provide for their children’s needs.
However, the true yet over-marketed fear that women and children face a life of poverty as babies are born into less than ideal circumstances is not, however, the foundational bed for pro-choice thought. Truth be told, Planned Parenthood’s mother, Margaret Sanger, dreamed of a world of smart, white folks breeding moderately-sized, responsible families as the numbers of poor or various other ethnic groups dwindled into obscurity and faded from view.
If only it were true that Planned Parenthood desired for children to be born wanted. If only they could boast of roles in assisting women with attaining resources for the children they do want. Instead, we hear them fumbling for reasons to promote abortion as a “reproductive right”, a primary source of income for the organization, no less.
Being on the side of life means being willing to provide practical solutions to real life problems pregnant women face. So let’s address this concern Planned Parenthood pretends to care about, as it is a real issue for women. It’s true that women have raised children on meager means for millennia. In American culture today, many of these brave women do not have fathers present to protect or provide; many have to work outside the home while children spend time in school activities or childcare. Many even do without basics, like vehicles, new clothes, or (gasp), iPods. But for mothers and fathers who want children and prioritize their families, resources abound if they know where to look.
One shining example is the uber-practical, Kids on a Shoestring, a dream in downloadable PDF for resource junkies and pro-life advocates everywhere. Not to mention moms. Compiled by Feminists for Life, the 44-page publication offers money-saving tips, nutrition recommendations, ideas for clothing kids on the cheap, and even highlights affordable adoption options.
So often parents do want to birth and raise their children, but feel the pressure of family members, unsupportive partners, or their own fear of poverty as they make decisions between abortion and adoption. Abortion is as popular as it is because resources appear scarce, and assistance for women who want to carry a child they cannot independently support seems limited. The pro-life movement can help resolve this issue by educating ourselves on local, state and federal resources for mothers and low-income families. If you don’t know where to start, contact your state social services branch for information about welfare, WIC and other basic resources.
As we labor to offer hope and promote life, let us also empower ourselves and others with the knowledge that makes practical, every day life possible.