Abortion: Now What?
By DANNY MINTON
First, this article is not about the right or wrong of abortion. I believe controversial topics are best discussed one on one instead of writings that can be misinterpreted. However, whether you’re a Christian or not, pro or con on abortion, Republican or Democrat, liberal or conservative, or don’t have an opinion, there are some things to seriously consider in the days, weeks, and months to come. What I will speak of happens whether abortion is legal or illegal. The biggest issue is that it will be more profound with the laws changing. Who cares for all the children? With the laws on abortion changing, the number will continue to rise. Here are some of the current numbers to consider (all numbers are approximate yearly totals):
- Children in foster care on any given day in the U.S. – 424,000 (childrensrights.org)
- Children entering the foster care system each year – 250,000 (nfyi.org)
- Babies left in hospital after birth to be adopted – 22,000 (LA Times)
- Children in foster care waiting for adoption – 114,500 (adoptionnetwork.com)
These numbers will rise with the changes in the laws and the need for more people to get involved in caring for not only these children, but those mothers who decided to keep their children will continue to grow. So the question becomes, “Abortion: Now What?” Many of us continue to argue about the right and wrong of abortion. We carry signs, petition, complain, riot, and use all means to get our point across on both sides. While we are doing this, hundreds of thousands of children and mothers need us to be there for them, not judgmentally but lovingly. Children need families, foster and adopted. Some need advocates to stand up for them. Others need a friend to stand with them in bad situations. Mothers need support, primarily if the situation has caused emotional distress. Abortion is not only about the law; it’s about people, babies, and mothers. The system is full of children, many of whom have grown up in abusive or neglectful environments.
Instead of talking about how things need doing, we need to get involved. The ways we can accomplish this are varied for those that can look into adoption. My wife and I received the blessing of two adopted sons from teenage mothers who felt they couldn’t give their sons the care they needed. Our oldest son faced physical and mental challenges. I have shared his story in another article I wrote a while back, “Tough Decisions.” (Click here for link). Our sons were closed adoptions, so the mothers never knew the adoptive parents. When we adopted our second son, the mother wrote us a letter. It began: “To my son’s parents: I am turning the raising of my son to you, and I’m trusting you completely to raise him into the man anyone would be proud of. Love him a lot and understand him too. He comes from a fine family, and he has a tradition to carry on. When he gets old enough to understand, tell him we all (my family, too) wanted the best for him.” Being adoptive parents becomes a blessing for the adoptive parents, the child, and the mother who made the difficult decision to have the child and give them a better life.”
If you can’t adopt, the need for foster parents has become increasingly urgent. It will become more and more needed as more children enter the system. There aren’t enough families to help care for the thousands of children who need a place to live. Choosing to bring a child into your home during the vital moments in their life brings stability and loving care they so desperately need. Giving a home to children can be a blessing to both you and the children, developing a unique family. I’ve seen how foster families have pulled children from the depths of despair and trouble into being well-balanced young people. More and more children need a foster loving home instead of living in a group house.
If you can’t adopt or foster, consider CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate). Being a CASA volunteer gives children in the Child Protective Services system someone to be by their side and help make decisions that will improve their lives. A CASA volunteer stands by the children assigned to them by the courts and follows them in their foster or state care lives. The volunteer keeps tabs on their medical condition, needs, and educational progress. They are considered state-appointed guardians-ad-litem. It only takes visiting the child at least once a month, walking them through a few court hearings a year, and making sure their needs don’t go unmet. I have three children who I follow each month. They have been a blessing to me, and I have seen them come out of an abusive situation to become great kids, becoming involved in school activities and settling into loving family lives. It only takes a few hours of training to become a volunteer.
There are many other ways to help those in a broken situation. For children, look for organizations such as Big Brothers Big Sisters to give a few hours to a child needing a father or mother figure. Look for opportunities to support the women who have given up their children and need encouragement and emotional support. Look for those families who are struggling, especially single moms. When you find them see how you can help them. Finally, if you can’t give time, help by financially supporting those who are giving their time to those who are hurting.
It’s not enough to talk about things; it takes action. The country is full of people who say something needs to be done, but most do just that, talk. The problem is that there are not enough people in these areas to fulfill all the needs. Consider the options above. Sit down, think about where you could help, research the ways, and become involved.
“What now?” The answer is simple, “Do something. Make a difference in the life of a mother or child.” The psalmist wrote, “Behold, children are a gift of the LORD, the fruit of the womb is a reward.” Psalm 127:3 (NASB) How much did Jesus care for children? We find this in Mark 10: “And they were bringing children to Him so that He might touch them; but the disciples rebuked them. But when Jesus saw this, He was indignant and said to them, “Permit the children to come to Me; do not hinder them; for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. ‘Truly I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it at all.‘ And He took them in His arms and began blessing them, laying His hands on them.” Mark 10:13-16 (NASB)
Being Jesus shows itself in caring and loving the most vulnerable of God’s children. So now what? Act!
Danny Minton is an Elder at Southern Hills Church of Christ