Let’s really get real about abortions

In his column this morning, David Frum talked about getting “real” about abortions. The goal of his column is to shift the discussion about the legality of abortion to how to minimize abortion by providing support, especially financial support, to pregnant women so that they feel financially secure enough to bring the baby to term. Frum raises a significant issue that too often conservatives overlook and ignore when discussing abortion, and I thank him for raising it. His ideas deserve thoughtful reflection and response. Here are a few thoughts from a pro-life, conservative viewpoint.

I absolutely agree that a major part of the pro-life platform must be providing support, financial and otherwise, to pregnant women who are unable to pay for the medical expenses of having a child. I know firsthand how overwhelming these expenses can be as my last child cost over $4,000 in medical bills for the prenatal care, sonograms, delivery, and hospital use. And that was after insurance covered their portion. Moreover, my child was healthy and we only were in the hospital for 24 hours. I can only begin to wonder how much more expensive it would have been had he had medical problems at birth or during prenatal care.

But here’s the thing: Pro-life groups are leaders in providing financial, spiritual, and moral support for pregnant mothers in distress. Take an adoption agency in Birmingham, AL, as an example. Lifeline Children’s Services includes a “Maternity Village” where pregnant mothers in distress can live and receive support and training during their pregnancy. This is provided to the mothers as a free service. The village is supported by donors and adoptive families. My wife and I adopted a little girl from Lifeline, and a portion of our adoption fees went to support the maternity village. The primary problem is not that pro-life groups are unwilling to provide this support; it’s that the government refuses to provide adequate support for such services, choosing to fund pro-abortion groups like Planned Parenthood instead. Imagine what a difference it would make in the lives of mothers and their babies if all the federal money given to Planned Parenthood went to pro-life groups that provided prenatal support to pregnant women in distress! Imagine how many more maternity villages could be built and how many fewer babies would be brutally murdered inside their mother’s wombs. While Frum is right, he’s also wrong. If he is serious about what he says, he needs to join the crusade against Planned Parenthood and their radical pro-abortion stance, and begin to write opinion columns urging the government to pour all of that money into maternity villages around the country run by pro-life groups.

Lastly, Mr. Frum is intellectually inconsistent in his position. If he thinks abortion is acceptable, then why bother providing any support at all to pregnant mothers unable to afford a baby? If abortion is not morally wrong, then on what grounds does he argue that anyone’s money should be used to prevent it? The idea that we ought to work and donate to reduce the number of abortions is nonsense unless abortion is morally wrong. If it’s not wrong, if it’s just a “woman’s healthcare decision,” if it’s just related to what “a woman chooses to do with her body,” then we don’t need to have the conversation about reducing abortions. But deep down, Mr. Frum knows that abortion is indefensible and morally egregious. He tries to take the high road by showing concern for pregnant women in distress, but when he does so, he undermines his entire position on abortion.

Let’s really get real about abortions, Mr. Frum. They’re morally wrong and should be illegal. And the government should come alongside pro-life groups to help women make the right choice instead of supporting pro-abortion groups like Planned Parenthood.

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