An old friend of mine asked me why I never speak/write about abortion. While not exactly true, since I do sparingly weigh in on the issue (see below), I take his point, and appreciate any civil pushback, which his was. Here are some of my thoughts in answer to his concern.
It’s true, I seldom weigh in on the abortion issue as there is no shortage of Christians speaking out in the media and social media on it every day. When I do write on the topic, I usually address what most Christians don’t take time to think through, and that is a consistently “pro-life” ethic from cradle to crypt. Not to mention that Roe v Wade is has now been struck down, which along with a conservative majority Supreme Court, has been the primary focus of conservatives for the last 50 years.
I think it’s important to know that fifty percent of women seeking abortions today are living below the poverty line, and another 25 percent have low incomes that are barely above it. Sixty percent are already mothers of at least one child. They are often struggling to deal with unstable crisis situations that make it difficult for them to welcome another child into their homes without assistance. On this basis, I’m not justifying abortion. Just making the point that economic concerns during an unplanned pregnancy can reduce a woman’s resolve to bring her baby to full term.
Therefore, the kinds of things I write and advocate for the reduction of abortions in our country are these:
1. Subsidize pre-and postnatal care. Having a baby is expensive. In Arkansas, the average hospital delivery costs about $15,000, right around the national average. Mothers and families should not incur medical debt or drain their savings in exchange for bringing a child into the world.
2. Expand and reform the Child Tax Credit. The Biden administration’s temporary expansion and transformation of the Child Tax Credit (CTC) in last year’s pandemic relief package was the biggest tangible boon to American families in decades.
3. Incentivize and streamline domestic adoptions. There are hundreds of thousands of children in the American foster care system. Adoption is often expensive and complicated. The government should prioritize policies making it easier for people to adopt domestically, while maintaining and strengthening processes that protect and safeguard children. Tax credits, allowances, and the like could make adoption a reality for more people.
4. We need more and better funded crisis pregnancy centers. And churches should do much more to advocate and provide for women in crisis pregnancies. Sitting around and complaining about abortion laws isn’t and never has been very productive.
Here are three former posts of mine on a consistent pro-life view and the weakness of a one-issue voting approach:
Whether or not you agree with my thoughts, please feel free to share yours. With civility, of course.