Everyone’s Pro-Life. I mean everyone supports some people living. Many Pro-Abortion activists care deeply about saving the lives of domestic violence victims. Even Hitler, evil personified to 21st century Americans, was Pro Aryan Nazis living long, healthy lives.
What should distinguish us as Pro-Lifers is that we care about all lives, not just some. But that’s a difficult task we set ourselves. I think a lot of Pro-Lifers believe if a pregnant mother would only say no to abortion, the battle for life would be won. For some women, this is the case. For example, a forty-year-old married mother of two teenagers gets pregnant with a change-of-life baby. She considers abortion because the baby is inconvenient, but then changes her mind. No abortion, problem solved, the baby will grow up in a loving home and go on to greatness.
But rejecting abortion does not solve all problems for many unborn children. When I was pursuing my Master’s in Counseling, I interned in a juvenile jail. You might not know this, but a large percentage of incarcerated teenage girls are pregnant, have a child, or have had an abortion. As I spent hours counseling the girls, they opened up about their lives and kids.
Most of the girls came to jail addicted to drugs or alcohol. Few were on the track to graduate high school, and when they talked about how they earned money, many mentioned prostitution. Yet, as they talked about their children, there was love in their voices. Even the ones who aborted talked about the dreams they used to have of holding that child.
But these girls were no more going to properly raise a child than go to college. The children who hadn’t been aborted were either with grandma, or placed in foster care by the state. The baby daddies had long since fled town, if the girl even knew which man (many of the 14-year-olds slept with 30-year-old men) had fathered her child.
Infant adoption, that’s the key, most Pro-Lifers say. There are hordes of infertile American couples longing to adopt a healthy infant and willing to pay through the nose to do so. These parents-in-waiting are usually well-educated, on the wealthy side, loving, and exceptionally well-prepared to be excellent parents. Perfect solution for incarcerated, drug-abusing, or teenage pregnant women, right?
Wrong. I know the drug-abusing teens I worked with in the jail. They aren’t going to give their baby up for adoption. First off, you need the fathers’ consent, and most of those men are too irresponsible to sign away their rights. I counseled one girl who got an abortion just so she didn’t have to deal with the birth father.
Second, it takes a strong woman to sign away her rights before even seeing her child. The teens I worked with were too immature for that. No, they’ll keep their baby while its snuggly, neglect it some, skip the pediatrician visits. The baby will turn one and start getting into trouble. Maybe they’ll leave the baby home alone while they go a party and social services will get involved. The terrible twos may inspire substance abusing mom to physical abuse or perhaps her latest boyfriend will sexually abuse the child. The child will be taken away to foster care.
At this point, the child’s been neglected, abused, and “damaged” in the eyes of the wealthy, well-educated, exceptionally well-prepared couples who fund domestic infant adoption.
Twenty-five percent of children admitted to foster care are ages 0-3. Many are drug-exposed infants admitted to foster care directly from the hospital. No one’s lining up to foster these babies. Foster care usually doesn’t pay for daycare, so if you accept children who aren’t in school yet, you probably can’t be a working mom. Babies are expensive: diapers, formula, outgrow clothes every few weeks. Foster care stipends may cover the expenses of a school-aged child, but they’re unlikely to stretch far enough to cover all of an infant’s needs. And though most young children admitted to foster care end up needing an adoptive home, foster parents have no grantees. You put everything on the line by loving a child whole-heartedly and yet still may have to give him back to less than stellar birth parents.
Is it any surprise that not many adults are signing up for the job? Since there’s always a shortage of foster parents, social workers are forced to accept less than ideal foster families. Perverts have been known to sign up for foster care so they can have a stream of children to abuse. There are terrible stories of foster children being emotionally, physically, or sexually abused by foster parents.
So what’s to be done? Pro-Lifers need to be more involved in foster care. It’s easy to be Pro-Life if you’re only worried about saving some lives, cute infants, healthy babies. Hitler could do that. But to fully embrace every life takes even more than passing a law against abortion or talking young girls into keeping their babies. Being fully Pro-Life demands an all out, self-sacrificial overhaul of society where we really do embrace the “least of these” no matter their age, problems, criminal history, or substance abuse.
Being Pro-Life requires talking about foster care.
Her inspiration for Scorched Earth came from moving to the Colorado Rockies. She loves reading Christian fiction and wanted to weave a lighthearted tale about love, rivalry, and the taming of the west.
When not writing, you can find Anne reading Dr. Seuss for the 100th time, vainly attempting to potty train Joe-Joe, or working on her fixer-upper house with her husband.