“And if we can accept that a mother can kill her own child, how can we tell other people not to kill one another?” –St. Teresa of Calcutta
It has by now been well documented that the legalization of abortion and the promotion of hormonal contraceptives did not lead to the intended results. The argument given then and now was that by providing women with contraception and abortion, there would be fewer unwanted babies born into the world. Mothers and fathers could plan out their children, and only babies who were wanted would be born. Those babies would, accordingly, be well cared for by mom and dad, and we would all live happily ever after.
The fact is that births outside of marriage, and the poverty associated with them, has increased dramatically since the 1960’s. In 1960, out of wedlock births were quite rare; today, nearly ½ of all births are to unmarried women. As explained very clearly in this analysis by the Brookings Institute, with the legalization and normalization of contraception and abortion, the decision whether or not to have a child became solely the responsibility of the woman. No longer did the man feel obligated to marry the woman with whom a child had been conceived. Because it was the woman’s choice to take contraceptives, and to obtain an abortion, the man was able to relinquish his sense of responsibility.
When the Father is Absent
By making the birth or death of an unborn child solely based upon the decision of the mother, the father was free to step out of the equation—and many did. Furthermore, with contraception and abortion freely available, a man could expect that his sexual partner would make use of those reproductive choices, or he could find another partner who would. By making the use of contraception and abortion normalized, the expectation that it was the woman’s job to control her fertility was also normalized. To be a gentleman who took responsibility was no longer required or expected. (Pope Paul VI predicted all of these results in his Humanae Vitae.) With the “back-up” of abortion and the disappearance of any stigma regarding sex outside of marriage, more women were sexually active, whether they used contraceptives (which were not foolproof) or not.
With over 4 out of 10 children born each year to parents who are not married, and frequently, with a father who is not present, the problems have only compounded themselves. In Marriage: America’s Greatest Weapon Against Child Poverty, Robert Rector realizes that:
Beyond the issues of increased poverty, children—especially boys—who are raised without a father are also more likely to be suspended or expelled from school, to be treated for emotional or psychological problems, be arrested for a crime, and drop out of school. In addition, children who are raised without fathers are more likely to engage in violent crime, carry a gun, and assault a student or teacher with a gun.
In all of the mass shootings in schools, are we surprised to find time and time again that the shooter did not have a father in his life?
Abortion and Gun Violence
There is even a stronger connection which is more direct and damning: If a mother has the right to resort to the violence of abortion to solve her problems, why doesn’t a young man have the right to resort to violence to solve his problems?
The idea that we have a legal right to kill, totally separate from the issue of self-defense, but based merely upon our existence as a woman, begs the question: Why don’t we all have a right to kill? Abortion kills a living human. Yet it is hailed as a reproductive right. It is a sacred cow of progressive liberalism and the Democratic Party. Why are we surprised when a disoriented young man decides that killing will solve his problems? Finally, how can we protest against gun violence, and not also protest the most deadly violence of all: Abortion?
Do those children not have the same right to live?
“We must not be surprised when we hear of murders, of killings, of wars, of hatred. If a mother can kill her own child, what is left but for us to kill each other.” -St. Teresa of Calcutta