Abortion Can Be the Consequence of Other Problems in Our Society (updated 9/9/13)

My children and I moved to California from Massachusetts when my youngest son was in first grade. He was new and very shy, so every day before school, I would wait with him for the first bell to ring. The school yard opened at 7:45, and the bell rang for first period at 8:07. His classmate Sierra and I became buddies that year. I could not tell you why, but we simply connected.

As it got closer to winter, Sierra would often come to school without a jacket. In Northern California where we now lived, it could be cold in the mornings, sometimes in the 40’s. Most kids had a jacket of some sort, even if it was just a sweatshirt, but not Sierra. Many days she would come to school with a cute little sundress on, bare legs and sandals on her feet, despite the low morning temperatures.

She shivered, whimpered and sometimes cried from the cold.

It pained me to see her some days. Often I would lend her my sweatshirt or simply wrap my arms around her to warm her up. I felt sad for her and wondered what her home life was like. 

Then winter came, and still, seldom a coat on Sierra. Or hat. Or mittens. While it wasn’t the cold winters I was used to from back east, the temperatures could drop into the high 20’s first thing in the morning. I continued to lend her my sweatshirt, and we would shiver together as we waited for school to begin.

I did not meet Sierra’s mom until the end of the school year. I learned then that she, like me, was a single mom of three. She worked nights as a nurse and came home to get the kids off to school before crashing to sleep herself. She had no other support system, from parents or an ex-husband. She did it all on her own.

In the United States, there are millions of mothers like her who raise their kids without any support from a father. I am grateful to have child support payments. But there are many, many others who do not have that assistance.

In addition to the number of single moms trying to make it on their own, the United States has the second highest child poverty rate of all developed nations in the world. Recent statistics indicate that 23% of our nation’s children, or approximately 16.4 million kids, live below the poverty line of $22,000 income per year.

Millions of our nation’s and the world’s children are born into a world of scarcity. 

Child abuse statistics are equally sobering. According to statistics put out by Child Help, the United States has the worst record of any industrialized nation in the area of child abuse – every day five children are lost to abuse-related deaths. Every year, there are 3.3 million reports of child abuse involving 6 million children in our country.

Many of our nation’s children do not grow up feeling safe. 

Given these statistics that indicate we cannot adequately care for human life already in existence, it is astounding that we are so quick to judge women who choose abortion.

Raising a child today is very hard. Many women know by experience. 

Maybe the choice to abort is not just for self-preservation of the mother, but one we believe will be the best protection for a child in a world that is far from perfect. 

Until we have been on the other side, who are we to say? 





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