Why Adoption Feels Harder than Abortion

I’ve held naive assumptions about both abortion and adoption in the past, and I’ve asked naive questions. One of those questions brings the two together as I’ve had trouble understanding why women who are unexpectedly pregnant chose abortion instead of adoption, especially when many of those women believe abortion is ethically wrong. At the Q conference in DC a few weeks back, Angie Weszely, President of Caris, explained it to me. For a woman facing an unplanned pregnancy, pregnancy involves what feels like a total loss of self. (Even for women like me who have only experienced planned pregnancies, pregnancy involves a bewildering sense of self loss.)

Carrying the baby to term involves losing the self but saving the baby. Abortion staves off the loss of self, but it includes the loss of the baby. Adoption, Weszely explained, is in some ways the hardest choice because it feels like both the loss of self in seeing the pregnancy through and then the loss of the baby.

I’m grateful for the wisdom and grace of women, like Angie Weszely, who are offering supportive care for women facing such difficult choices.

For further posts on abortion, visit Karen Swallow Prior and Ellen Painter Dollar’s exchange from last fall: What Do You Think About Abortion?

For further posts on adoption, read reflections from Margot Starbuck, Ellen Painter Dollar, Jennifer Grant, and Sara Hagerty from last summer: What’s Happening on Thin Places this Week

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About Amy Julia Becker

Amy Julia Becker writes and speaks about family, faith, disability, and culture. A graduate of Princeton University and Princeton Theological Seminary, she is the author of Penelope Ayers: A Memoir, A Good and Perfect Gift (Bethany House), and Why I Am Both Spiritual and Religious (Patheos Press).


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