Must every baby be wanted?

| 2 Comments

I was so happy to receive this email this morning:

Dear Barbara,

Thank you so much for your offer of a free Mommy Manual, but I think I'd rather buy a copy to support your writing than recieve a free copy. Since on your site you stated that you would like to know about your readers, I hope you don't mind if I introduce myself.

I'm attending a college in the northeast studying electrical engineering, and is on the liberal end of the spectrum. I consider myself a feminist in the "everyone should have equal opportunity" sort of way. I'm also pro-choice because I believe that a woman should not be forced to bear a child she does not want. Given that, I do wish that there was enough a support system so women who choose abortion because they either cannot afford a child or do not have the support can choose to continue their pregancies. Every child should be a wanted child, and every wanted child should be born. I think everyone should work on reducing the number of abortions in the US because I highly doubt women have abortions because they're "fun".

Someday I hope to have children so I can teach them and show them all the good things in life. Given the state of the public education system in the US and my desire to provide my future children with a good education, I may choose to homeschool.

Given this is the northeast (Boston), conservatives are hard to find, and if you don't mind, I'd like to start a conversation so I can see and understand how the other side feels about issues that are important to me.

Thank you very much for your time, and thank you again for the offer.

My reply:

Thanks for your email. I am really grateful that you find enough to like at my site to overlook such a big difference between our views. I don't know how much of my stuff you've read, but if you've read enough you probably know that I was adamantly and unapologetically pro-choice until the age of 38, when I became a Christian - almost by accident.


That was what changed me as once I understood how precious I was in God's eyes, I was able to comprehend a term I'd heard from the other side for years: "the sanctity of life." I really understood how precious each individual life is.

I also understand that whether a baby is wanted or not does not change the baby's individual value and dignity. Most of the great composers were very late children - Beethoven’s mother in particular would have had many reasons not to want him.

Jack Nicholson is surprisingly anti-abortion because he was born to an unwed mother who he says today could have aborted him and chose not to. Oprah Winfrey was an unwanted child. My youngest brother was an unwanted child whom my mother put up for adoption, then changed her mind and retrieved 2 weeks later. He is now a 45 year old father of five and happily married for 26 years.

Many babies with Down syndrome are aborted because their parents don't want them. Some babies with cleft palates or the unwanted sex are aborted in our country today.

So I don't think that the cliché about every child deserving to be wanted really holds up to intellectual scrutiny. Human beings are not commodities. Whether someone wants you does not determine your value or worth.

I know when I was young it was popular to Question Authority. I see many young people today questioning authority - only now that involves questioning the prevailing wisdom of a woman's right to choose. The younger generation is growing increasingly pro-life as many of them see how precarious their own existence was when based on the will of another human being. I think we are in the midst of a big cultural shift on this issue. And it's not about liberalism vs. conservatism - after all, young people are also more apt to be pro gay marriage. It's just that they're approaching the issue from a fresh perspective, one that involves some recognition of how much damage was done by the selfish and self-centered ethos of the Baby Boomer generation

I am going to post this at my blog so other people out there can comment on it - I'm guessing there are quite a few who have had "unwanted" children and are very happy they did! So look for some comments there.

And I am honored that you would be willing to enter a discussion on this!

Blessings to you,
Barbara

One of the wonderful things about the blogosphere is how it's opening up these lines of communication. I appreciate my readers keeping them open by always speaking with caring and respect for each other. I trust your wisdom and experience and the way you communicate it. I appreciate that women feel free to be themselves here. Thanks to everyone who visits MommyLife - 1000 visitors a day - whether you've spoken up or not.

2 Comments

1. It's marvelous to open the lines of communication.

2. "Unwantedness" is not something inherent in the child. It's in the reaction people choose to have. You can choose to welcome the child, or choose to be cold and rejecting.

There is a problem with unwanted children living in foster care their entire lives... If the government wants to crack down on abortion and help more unwanted children be born- fine.

But the same government has slashed social welfare budgets so much and failed to invest in programs to help children removed from horrible homes and horrible parents that this equation is lopsided.
If they want more children born, there should be more help for those children as they grow up so they are not bounced from foster home to foster home, and neglected by the overworked social workers that just don't have enough time when they are given 50 kids to oversee.

I see a real danger in the government's inability to see the big picture.

I pray the pro-life movement begins to work to protect the older children suffering in this world- there is far more work needed to protect them than anyone seems to ackowledge.





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