Recently I’ve been discussing the correlation between the problem of emancipating slaves in the American South, and the problem of ending abortion in our country. While most pro-lifers agree abortion must be ended as soon as possible, it doesn’t change the fact that an extra one million babies per year, many born to mothers with limited resources or parenting skills, will put a great strain on federal assistance and social welfare programs.
The first part of the solution to this problem is far-reaching and, admittedly, far-fetched. It involves changing the way young people view personal responsibility, morality, and sex, which involves changing the hearts and minds of adults so that they raise their children with better instruction and more traditional values.
While it’s essential that we continue to lead by example and advocate for higher sexual standards, it’s also important that we realize unwanted pregnancies are still going to happen, and lots of them.
According to the U.S. Census, single parenthood increased from 3 million families in 1970 to nearly 14 million in 2010. That’s almost a 100% increase per decade. An unsurprising 84% of single parents are mothers. The advent of the sexual revolution in the 1960s led to a decline in the number of “nuclear” families and a growing dependence on the state to act as father and provider for children without one. Today, a staggering 70% of black children are born out of wedlock.
When women mistook sexual libertinism for independence, they shrugged off the horrible yoke of having a husband who provided for them in favor of a different burden: that of parenting alone. I was raised by a single mother. She did the best she could, and I love her for it and applaud her courage and fortitude. However, my brother and I would have been better off with a present father.
Don’t take my word for it. Ask Mark Mather, PhD.
The effects of growing up in single-parent households have been shown to go beyond economics, increasing the risk of children dropping out of school, disconnecting from the labor force, and becoming teen parents. Although many children growing up in single-parent families succeed, others will face significant challenges in making the transition to adulthood.
The Telegraph also reported on a study of 14,000 children born in Britain between 2000 and 2002:
Some 12 per cent of children brought up by one parent displayed serious behavioural problems by the age of seven, it was disclosed, compared with just six per cent of youngsters raised by both natural parents.
Several years ago, controversial writer Ann Coulter made headlines when she quoted these statistics, although they had already been published in a left-leaning magazine:
A study cited in the Village Voice produced similar numbers. It found that children brought up in single-mother homes ‘are five times more likely to commit suicide, nine times more likely to drop out of high school, 10 times more likely to abuse chemical substances, 14 times more likely to commit rape (for the boys), 20 times more likely to end up in prison, and 32 times more likely to run away from home.’
She also added the following shocking information:
By 1996, 70 percent of inmates in state juvenile detention centers serving long-term sentences were raised by single mothers. Seventy-two percent of juvenile murderers and 60 percent of rapists come from single-mother homes. Seventy percent of teenage births, dropouts, suicides, runaways, juvenile delinquents, and child murderers involve children raised by single mothers.
As a pro-lifer, I firmly believe that we must respect the sanctity of life for unborn humans. I also know that any chance at life is better than none. I am glad my mother, who found herself pregnant with twins as an already-single mother of two, decided to keep my brothers and raise them. Fortunately, despite making a few less-than-stellar decisions, she was an excellent mom with a head on her shoulders who took good care of us. She also had a support system of family and friends to rely on.
Not every pregnant woman has these advantages, and that is why, by the time that beautiful day arrives when abortion is ended, we must have already begun to educate the people of our country — especially the young people — about the priceless gift of adoption.
My mother was adopted, my grandfather was adopted, and my best friend was adopted. I have always thought there was something indescribably beautiful about the act of taking a stranger into your home and making him part of your family. It is proof of the generosity and love inherent in the human soul.
Adoption is a little understood process. Unfortunately, most potential adoptive parents dismiss it as too expensive or time-consuming, while most women experiencing unplanned pregnancies view it as a difficult, mysterious, agonizing prospect.
We need to educate couples about adoption. We need them to know it is easier and less expensive to adopt than most people think.
Most of all, we need to begin to elevate adoption as a joyous and rewarding process for the pregnant mother. She is giving her child not only the gift of life, but the gift of a better life than the one she can probably provide.
Soon I’ll tell you a little bit more about adoption, and why it’s our best hope for ensuring that as many children as possible are raised by loving, capable parents who can give them the opportunities they deserve.