Lives Are on the Line
In a 2014 Atlantic article, writer David Frum tried to explain why he believes the abortion rate has declined. He observed that until about 1970, the socially acceptable resolutions for out-of-wedlock pregnancies were (in order of preference) a “shotgun” wedding, adoption, abortion, and lastly, single motherhood. However, since 1970, the order of acceptable resolutions has changed. Single parenthood now tops the list, followed by abortion, marriage and lastly adoption. This reality is reflected in the women who come to CareNet for help. Often the choice they perceive at the outset is between single parenting and abortion. The question that Mr. Frum attempts to answer is, what caused this change? He notes the following sentiments in the culture:
- Most pregnant women do not want to give up their babies through adoption.
- Most people, including pregnant women, do not like abortion and want children to live.
- Many of the couples who did not want to get pregnant also do not want to get married.
Thus, unwed motherhood has become the resolution of choice for many women. Whether or not a mom believes she can make that choice work is likely dependent on her level of support. Single motherhood is certainly difficult. Pregnancy centers have stepped in to provide early support; however, ongoing practical and spiritual support from the church is also essential for equipping single moms to be successful parents. The need is critical since too many lives are hanging in the balance.