If pro-lifers are going to oppose the killing of unborn children, we are told over and over again, then we must be willing to take care of these children and their families even after they’re born. And since we don’t, it’s widely assumed and repeated, we have no right to oppose abortion.
As if this line of argument wasn’t repeated enough, it’s become especially popular in the wake of the new anti-abortion laws in Alabama, Georgia, Ohio, and now Missouri.
For example, a recent political cartoon by Nick Anderson depicts pro-lifers gazing in awe at a pregnant woman’s belly and promising the child, “We’ll do whatever we can to protect your life.” In the next frame, the very same pro-lifers scream at the newborn, “Now you’re on your own!” “Get a job, moocher!”
Apparently believing this same caricature of uncaring abortion opponents led Times of Israel journalist Sarah Tuttle-Singer to tweet out a challenge last week: “Dear Pro-Life friends: what have you personally done to support lower income single mothers? I’ll wait.”
Well, at last count, she received some responses—over 13 thousand of them, in fact, answering her rhetorical question. I doubt they were what she and other pro-abortion activists were expecting. A Twitter user named Barbara wrote back: “Great question! Since I am unable to foster, I often babysit for my friends who do. I donate regularly to a foster closet. We help pay bills for people in crisis situations, & my oldest kids help when they are able.”
Another user named Joshua wrote: “[We] became foster parents, which led to adoption. Intentionally worked to build relationship with and support our son’s birth mother. Helped her with buying furniture & more when she got out of prison…We were part of a movement of 30+ foster/adopt families from our church doing the same, with a network of hundreds in our church supporting us in tangible ways.”
A pastor named Hans replied: “Started a non-profit that gives free clothing, diapers, etc…to those in need. Fostered a teen mom. Fostered another mother’s three children while she got her life back on track. Found them housing. Gave them Jesus. Gave them a church family who helps and supports them.”
The stories went on and on. The thousands of replies are more than just anecdotal answers to a journalist’s misfired question. Pro-lifers really have put their money, time, and love where their mouths are.
Think of the nation’s pregnancy care centers—which offer supplies and training and parenting classes to mothers and continue doing so despite being maligned as “fake clinics.” They currently outnumber abortion mills three-to-one, and are overwhelmingly run and staffed by women—most of whom are volunteers. Alabama alone has more than seventy of these centers, all of which rely on the private support of people who believe in their mission.
And that’s not all. Alabama’s governor, Kay Ivey—who just signed that state’s newest abortion restriction into law—announced back in November that families in her state set a new record for adopting children out of the foster system.
Is there more to be done? Of course! Could pro-lifers specifically do more? Of course! But here’s an important question asked back to our pro-abortion opponents: Why should an unborn child’s right to life depend on how many social programs, charities, or adoptive parents are available after he or she is born? Think about what’s being implied here: that needy babies are better off dead—that the kindest thing we can do is kill them—and that if you’re unable to take in every single unplanned child, you have no right to speak against abortion.
This is barbaric nonsense. As some have pointed out, it’s kind of like saying you can’t oppose killing homeless people unless you turn your home into a shelter. And it misses the single most crucial fact in the entire debate: that abortion doesn’t prevent a baby. It kills one. Which is why, of the two sides in our current, intensifying debate, it’s clear who is most deeply invested in the lives of unplanned children—those who think they first and foremost deserve to live.