To Pro-Lifers Who Believe Adoption is Always the Answer

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On the group blog for Unfundamentalist Christians, we have published UCer Mindy Carney’s To Pro-Lifers Who Believe Adoption is Always the Answer, a letter she wrote in response to a man who, on the website for The Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, wrote that it is essentially a woman’s duty to carry her pregnancy to term, since she can always relinquish her child for adaption. I think Ms. Brown’s letter is an important contribution to our national conversation about abortion, and deserves to be read far and wide. We welcome your comments there.

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About John Shore

John Shore (who, fwiw, is straight) is the author of UNFAIR: Christians and the LGBT Question, and three other great books. He is founder of Unfundamentalist Christians (on Facebook here), and executive editor of the Unfundamentalist Christians group blog.  (In total John's two blogs receive some 250,000 views per month.) John is also co-founder of The NALT Christians Project, which was written about by TIME,  The Washington Post, and others. His website is JohnShore.com. John is a pastor ordained by The Progressive Christian Alliance. You're invited to like John's Facebook page. And don't forget to sign up for his mucho awesome monthly newsletter.

  • Brian W

    This is exactly why I’m pro-choice AND “pro-baby”…chew on that

  • Matt

    I love Mindy because of her beautiful comments around here, and now I love her even more for writing such an incredible letter. She is so right about things not being cut-and-dry. And congrats to Mindy’s daughter as she heads off to med school!

  • mike moore

    I love that she talks about the, literally, hundreds of thousands of kids who live their young lives in the system, never settled with a family, never adopted.

    This is the anti-abortion movement’s dirty secret, and I don’t understand why they are not called out on it, publicly and regularly. They should be publicly shamed.

    Years ago, the arguments of people who would deny a woman the rights to control her own body, deny a woman her right to an abortion, became nothing but white noise. They have ZERO credibility.

    For decades, the “pro-life” movement has preached of the value of a human life while proving that, as a rule, they really don’t care about the kids once they are born.

    The Catholic Church and The Southern Baptists Convention are, I feel it is safe to say, rabidly anti-abortion.

    These two denominations alone – without adding in one single other pro-lifer to the count – have a combined membership of approx. ONE HUNDRED MILLION MEMBERS.

    It is hard to find consolidated information, but it appears that at any given moment, there are 120,000 kids available for adoption in the US, and at any given moment, there are upwards of 500,000 children in the foster care system.

    Assuming an average household of 4 people, that leaves 25,000,000 potential homes – just among Catholics and Southern Baptists – to live the truth their rabid convictions and accept responsibility for the children they helped/forced bring into the world.

    Let’s phrase that a different way: if 0.02% – ZERO.ZERO-TWO% – of the households which belong to these denominations lived by their convictions, there would ZERO children in the system. For a every family-less child, a home. For every child trapped in the system through little fault of their own (abusive parents, drug-addled parents, etc.) there would be a real home with a real family, with a Mom and and a Dad, of course – to care for them while the legal system tries to do its job.

    Simply, they should be profoundly and life-changingly ashamed of themselves.

    And, is anyone else disgusted with how, almost inevitably in the evangelical community, the same people who labeled themselves “pro-life” have also been staunch supporters of the death penalty and our phony wars?

    Lastly, and I am completely sincere when I ask this: why do women, who could easily vote these douchebags (mostly old and white) politicians (the ones trying to wipe out a woman’s control of her own body) out of office … why do they keep allowing the reelection these creeps? I just don’t get it … if the LBGT community, at 5% of the population, can make or break certain elections, why don’t women come together to protect themselves from these dicks?

    • Matt

      “Why do they keep allowing the reelection of these creeps?”

      The right wing does have white straight women in its ranks–Phyllis Schlafly, Sandy Rios, Cathie Adams, Michele Bachmann, not to mention the entire organizations Concerned Women for America and One Million Moms. If that’s just the politically active women, there are probably plenty more voters who agree.

      What’s more, Christians don’t educate their female children very well about their bodies or sex. I went to a public Midwestern school pre-transition where the talk was about abstinence because I needed to have “respect for myself.” Girls who had sex were always shown as tragic figures desperately seeking love in the wrong places and paying a huge price for it; she always got an STD or got pregnant and the boy abandoned her. Condom failure rates were quoted frequently. At my church youth group, pledged abstinence was the only way to be seen as good and clean, lest I disappoint my parents (especially my father), Jesus, and my future husband. Abortion was considered something only “bad girls” did, something which ruined them forever. My mother gave me a book called “Every Young Woman’s Battle: Guarding your heart, mind, and body in a sex-saturated world” which had a bonus chapter at the end entitled “If you having feelings for other women” (in summary: stop that now, you’re unnatural).

      So as a result, I was pro-life for a while just because that’s what I was taught. Thank God feminism intervened and I moved beyond that, but I can definitely see how a woman could go her whole life not questioning it at all–it’s very easy not to.

    • Erin_D

      Hello hello hello HELLO YES! I have been wondering this for years. Why isn’t anyone in my ultra-Catholic family foster parents? Oh, because they have 8 kids of their own to raise, and work to do shaming everyone who uses birth control (you can clutch your pearls all you want, I’m only having 2 and I’m not afraid to announce it!) I often wonder, if Roe vs. Wade is ever overturned, if they will all switch their vote to Democrat. After all, at that point we will need MORE social services to help all those kids. It’s such two-faced bulls***.

  • Allie

    My sister gave up a baby when she was 19 and was tormented by it her entire life. Recently she reconnected with her daughter, who has severe issues (for one thing, inherited mental illness, which it might have been nice if she had known about on the front end). I don’t know and don’t feel comfortable asking if my sister feels she did the right thing now that her daughter has returned. She certainly felt she had made a terrible mistake before that time. My sister is gay and never had other children; I know that she is delighted to have her daughter back in her life. But I don’t know if the delight makes up for the years of misery. And I do know that her daughter was rejected by her adoptive parents after her schizophrenia manifested during her teen years.

    The thing that I feel doesn’t get said often enough in these discussions is that it isn’t a choice of this horrible thing versus this kind and generous thing. Having a child and giving it up for adoption does not always turn out wonderful, and having an abortion is very easy and not morally wrong. A six-week fetus is not a baby. If you can’t tell the difference, try going and seeing a baby.

    And if you want Biblical support, the Bible explicitly states that causing a woman to miscarry is not murder. For real. Look it up.

  • http://mikehelbert.com mike h

    I was adopted. My birthmother, who I met when I was around 30, is mentally handicapped. She was ‘taken advantage of,’ (re. raped), and voila! Here I am. Back in 1955 abortion was not an option for her. I think that my adopted parents were glad about that. However, I absolutely agree with Mindy and every other pro-choice person. It’s never a black and white decision. And only the mother truly knows what’s going to be best for her and her unborn child.

    • http://johnshore.com Slick

      I agree completely with your conclusion.


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