I was reading a really heartwarming article (that mentions our own Coley). I was getting a good vibe. I was feeling really happy for the birth mother and son that were reunited. I was really happy that the media covered a happy adoption story instead of something awful. And then it all went to heck in a hand basket.
“My goal is to help just one girl choose adoption over abortion,” she said.
I am not about to promote abortion in any way whatsoever. I have no experience with abortion and will not claim to be an expert on the topic. However, that quote is what gets me about the pro-life movement.
Why are we only promoting adoption? Why aren’t we promoting parenting, too? This frustrates me to no end. This whole idea is based on the idea that mothers who place would have aborted if they wouldn’t have thought of adoption on their own. I recently saw this argument in a random blog post about the topic. One of my favorite bloggers hit the nail on the head perfectly with this gem of a point.
Women who do not have moral qualms with abortion go ahead and have one. Women who are uncomfortable with abortion either parent or relinquish for adoption. MOST of us who have relinquished a child would not have aborted if adoption was unavailable… we would have PARENTED.
(Of note: I also commented on said post but have not yet been approved. Same story, different day.)
And that’s what strikes me so wrong about “promoting” adoption while neglecting to discuss parenting in any way, shape or form. If you want to save a mother from feeling she needs to have an abortion, why only show one side? Fine. Promote adoption if that is your experience, your agenda. But don’t leave out parenting. Don’t assume that you know that she doesn’t “want” this baby because it was unplanned or because abortion was mentioned, discussed or explored.
I find it frustrating. I know many a mother who would have parented if someone had only offered a nudge, a little support or some time to help her get on her feet. I know many a mother that could have parented without problem if someone would have said, “I believe in you.”
I’m not saying to avoid talking about adoption at all. We all know that there are mothers who will place for any number of reasons. That’s why abolishing adoption doesn’t make any sense. However, I’m always curious as to why we’re counseling women with three available options in only one way. (Of note: I am not naive enough to know that some mothers are only counseled to abort or to parent. I think one-sided counseling, by parents or otherwise, always does more harm than good. Moving on…) We’re only telling them about one and helping them with one. If you don’t want to see abortion as a legitimate option, there are still two options. But they’re still only having one crammed down their throat. When are we, as a people, going to step to the plate and help women research all of their options? When are we going to realize that a fully informed decision sits much better with a person than one that was based on biased information?
In my mind, the most successful counselor would be one that thoughtfully provided advice and resources for all of the different options. I believe those resources for the expectant mother would include blogs that featured happy stories and not-so-happy stories of parenting, adoption and abortion. Those resources would include all available parenting resources, including an available “Mommy Mentor” that had been through the program in that specific state and county and could help that new mom maneuver through the red tape. Those resources would include having detailed information on adoption law in that state and a “Birth Mom Mentor” who would act in a similar fashion, but with regard to adoption instead of parenting. And the same goes for abortion.
I have no idea how to fund such a thing but it is my dream to see it happen. Someday. Someday we WILL be able to see our mothers make fully informed decisions instead of decisions based on fear or coercion. Someday ethics will win out. Someday.
Until then, I write. What will you be doing until then?
For more on ethics, read these posts.