Why do women choose to have abortions? Often it’s because they think they have no other choice; perhaps they’re struggling financially, they have little to no support from their families, they’re being coerced, they fear their education or career will be compromised. It’s frequently a choice made out of desperation, not desire. With better support, women wouldn’t feel compelled to have an abortion, and a story told on a Reddit message board is a perfect example.
A woman, posting under the name “Fruit_Enthusiast,” wrote on a Reddit message board dedicated to finding out who is wrong in an argument, that her sister is married with two children, and struggling financially — and is now expecting a third child. “When I arrived she immediatly [sic] broke down crying, telling me how she was pregnant again and she ‘doesn’t know what to do’. She didn’t even tell her husband at that point and I was very surprised to be the first person to know, since we’re not really close,” the poster wrote. “I tried to calm her as much as I could, saying that there will sure be some solution to handle the situation. After a while she told me she looked up how much abortions cost and that even if she wanted to, she could not pay for it at the time.”
So the solution, according to the poster, was an abortion, which she said she was willing to pay for. Instead, though, her sister decided to keep the baby, and asked if they would still be willing to give the money that would have been used for the abortion — a reasonable request between sisters. But it seems the poster may have been put off when her sister and husband asked for monthly support in addition to this, and when she refused, they called her selfish for wanting to pay for an abortion, but not to pay to help raise a child. “I was pretty much bewildered. I did not offer that,” she wrote.
As we don’t know the family dynamics at play in this situation, it is understandable why the poster would be resistant to paying continual monthly support to her sister’s family — essentially, child support. However, why not pay the same amount for a crib or baby supplies that she was willing to give for an abortion? This was sadly not an option for the poster. “I told them straight forward that I will only give them money for the procedure, but won’t be financially supporting them in any other way.”
Most people overwhelmingly agreed with the poster, saying that she was not the one in the wrong. And while of course no one is obligated to make monthly payments, it is also telling that she was willing to pay for an abortion, but not willing to help her sister in any way if she decided to keep the child.
But there are numerous ways to help expectant parents without making monthly payments. We can help them navigate local resources available, help them work out a budget that might help alleviate their financial burdens, and more. However, it seems highly inconsistent to be willing to pay for an abortion but to refuse to offer the same amount of financial help for that same mother who chooses life.
No one should feel forced to have an abortion because of money, their job, or their education. Yet this continues to happen, with women getting abortions because they think they have no other option. This isn’t choice; it’s a sign that we are failing women.
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