Pro Choice and Pro Life weigh as two values in the judicial balance. Not since Darwin’s Theory of Evolution has religion been so vehemently opposed to science and individual opportunity. Perhaps neither might ever be equivocally balanced as one or the other. In the United States, pro choice and pro life is weighed when parenthood is unplanned through accidental, unwanted pregnancies. Allowing a woman to choose whether to medically abort a child or give birth is the right of the woman. There are benefits and consequences for each decision.
When that right wasn’t there, there were botched abortions by backwoods charlatans. Few remember the more pervasive consequences of orphan asylums and the vast numbers of abandoned children. Examining Pro Choice or Pro Life through historical consequences may add light why this debate requires ginger care, Those consequences are dire.
One of the giant schisms of the Presidential candidates (vying for your vote in 2016) is the issue of Pro Choice or Pro Life for an unborn child resulting from an unintentional pregnancy. In the Bible Belt of the rural south, the Pro-Life movement takes a vehement stand against pro-choice. Unintentional pregnancies among young teens is prevalent around the world. According to sources, “about half (51%) of the 6.6 million pregnancies in the United States each year (3.4 million) are unintended.”
The problems of dealing with pregnant unwed women and resulting orphans has been a rampant social and moral problem. Finding a suitor or husband for a girl at an early age was one way communities, groups, and churches dealt with the problem. Even then, romantic love often led to unintended pregnancies and abandoned children. Orphans often showed up in novels, such as Hunchback of Notre Dame, Les Miserables, and Oliver Twist as leading characters. Literature also had unwed mothers as characters. From past to present, neither religions or communities have been able to grapple or educate many young adolescents coping with hormones and passions. As such, 51% unintentional pregnancies is not a wild statistic. It has always been relatively constant.
Allowing women to choose between abortion and life, in the USA, is a practical innovation of legal implications to save lives. Illegal abortions often led to dire consequences and needless death to the mother. Yet, in the name of God, unwed pregnant women and their children were often castigated and considered anathema by their families and communities. While churches tried to deal with unwed mothers and orphans, lives were often bleak and tragic.
It is admirable that many houses of worship tended to unwed mothers and orphans. The past has passed. There are new standards issues, costs for education and health when coping with the live consequences of unplanned parenthood. While churches sponsored orphan and wayward women asylums in the past, are these pro-life advocates willing to foot the bill for new generations? Can churches create them with State board standards? Can religious institutions come up with the money and adequate staffing?
Of the big issues in the big debate of what is good for America is the overturning of Roe vs Wade Supreme Court decision that allowed women to choose whether to keep or abort a fetus, especially from an unplanned pregnancy.
Groups of faith, including paid scientific sponsors, have been fighting a woman’s right to choose an abortion or birth for an “accidental” child. In the wake of Vatican scandals and church closures, can churches take on the responsibilities of unintentional pregnancies and right to life?
Accidental children are born as a result of an unintended pregnancy. An unintended pregnancy is a pregnancy that is mistimed, unplanned, or unwanted at the time of conception. Unintended pregnancy rates are highest among poor and low-income women, women aged 18–24, cohabiting women and minority women. Following a considerable decline from 59 unintended pregnancies per 1,000 women aged 15–44 in 1981 to 49 per 1,000 in 1994, the overall U.S. unintended pregnancy rate has increased slightly to 54 per 1,000 in 2008. As hormones rage, and as sex education is suppressed, according to the Center of Disease Control, “Among women aged 19 years and younger, more than 4 out of 5 pregnancies were unintended.” In the argument of nature and nurture, many children that were unintended have significant problems during the nurturing phases.
Few remember the days when accidental children were held in orphan asylums and were forced to work adult jobs as children. These street urchins either ended up in reformatories or became gangsters.
Perhaps from the times of recorded civilization, with no escapes from boredom, pheromones ranged at night and these unintended pregnancies were a community issue. Among prostitutes, alchemists were often consulted for anti-pregnancy potions. Even with books, TV, movies, and social media, unintended pregnancies leading to births often result in severely compromised futures for the unintended children. The plights of these unintended children were often found in novels of the 16th to 19th centuries, often tragic. Several, by Charles Dickens and Victor Hugo, showed that, through circumstances, the orphan turned out alright. Orphans and orphan asylums were significant issues those years.
Religions founded orphan asylums for the unwanted children. The Christians founded hospitals, and children’s asylums were established. Among Jews, foster homes or cottages were found to be better than asylums. England had workhouses as private duty.
Throughout Europe, following the religious changes of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, the care of orphans was not committed to ecclesiastical oversight, it was considered to be a public duty. Ward area orphanages were set up for children under age 7, often in areas where female paupers were kept. Orphans over 7 were often sold or made into indentured workers under terrible conditions.
In 1850, New York City was reported to have over 27 orphan asylums, after a history begun by the Dutch in the 1600’s. New York’s Children’s Aid Society reached out across the United States to place as many as over 100,000 orphans to work on farms.
“He proposed that these children be sent by train to live and work on farms out west. They would be placed in homes for free but they would serve as an extra pair of hands to help with chores around the farm. They wouldn’t be indentured. In fact, older children placed by The Children’s Aid Society were to be paid for their labors.
The Orphan Train Movement lasted from 1853 to the early 1900s and more than 120,000 children were placed. This ambitious, unusual and controversial social experiment is now recognized as the beginning of the foster care concept in the United States.”
While the Children’s Aid Society was a more progressive step to foster care, the numbers of placed orphans from New York City alone is staggering. In 1875, according to United States Records, there were over 100 known orphan asylums operating.
Brooklyn had a lot of orphans and half-orphans in the 19th century, the result of immigration, poverty, disease, and misfortune. Half-orphans had at least one parent, but that parent was unable to care for the child. Caring for these children became a major part of Brooklyn’s Department of Charity, and in response to that need, many orphanages were built. There were Catholic orphanages, Protestant, Jewish and Colored Orphanages, orphanages for girls only, and for boys. There was also a large city orphanage called the Orphan Asylum of the city of Brooklyn.
In the 18th and 19th centuries, the unmarried pregnant women were disconnected from virtually every economic class. Churches set up homes for wayward women to house and feed those women. While the Magdalene Asylum, of upper Manhattan, was the most famous, there were about 40 such asylums for wayward (fallen) women and girls throughout New York City.
The wave of unintended pregnancies has been a problem for centuries. These are not planned. While politicians representing evangelical and fundamental religionists holler that abortions are against a baby’s right to life. The issue of Pro Choice or No Choice for women is one wise choice that the mother should be allowed to make.
John Bowlby (1907-1990) might be considered one of the most important psychiatrists focusing on childhood development. During World War II Bowlby did extensive work with child refugees from Europe who had been torn away from their parents, as well as with English children who were deliberately separated from their parents to protect them from the German air raids on London. By the late 1950s Bowlby had accumulated a body of theoretical and theoretical work to indicate the fundamental importance for human development of attachment from birth. Much was based on a group of orphanages where babies were denied the basic intimacy of touch. Children need intimacy or they won’t understand it. Can a financially challenged mother provide that?
In God we trust. Did God intend that children should be unwanted and/or abused as abandoned orphans? Will orphans have the same opportunities for intimacy and education as children in families? Increases in orphans will weigh heavily on religious institutions and, usually, does not preclude that the child will be good religionists. Sex education and pro choice should be human rights.
A woman’s pro choice option to terminate unintentional or unwanted pregnancy should remain a constitutional right. If religious organizations want to foot the bill and responsibility of increasing the orphan population, let them create the facilities to do so from their own budgets. Pro choice is a woman’s right to make her choice and the Roe vs Wade decision must not be debated.
Up to 100 years ago orphans worked jobs when they were 10 years old and some were indentured as orphans or slaves by contracts. Many children escaped, joined gangs and some were placed in reform asylums.
When bringing up pro-life over pro choice, people need to remember that caring for unwanted children with the resources and civil rights imbued in current society. As any responsible parent might advise, “Good parenting isn’t easy (nor cheap)”
Faith and having faith are wonderful things that help extend your being beyond the common realm. Most organized faiths believe that right to life is the only way. In a more complex society, there are necessary extensions to individuals and opportunities that is where pro-choice is vital. Even Pope Francis recognized this.
Given that there will be more orphans if pro-choice is taken away, faith organizations would need to accept responsibilities to government codes for health, safety, education, and clothing. In the wake of church closings and higher tuition rates, right to life must encounter very harsh and severe consequences.
We should not mesh church and government. Pro choice is a reasonable way to reduce the consequences of unintentional pregnancies. Pro choice must not be a debatable issue in the United States.
Estimates of the number of illegal abortions of unwanted pregnancies in the United States during the 1950s and 1960s range from 200,000 to 1.2 million per year and about 5,000 women died each year from poorly performed abortions. When abortion was criminalized in the 1800’s in the United States, tens of thousands of women died from botched procedures. Today, it is one if the safest surgical procedures.
Whether fetus’s are farmed for medical studies or advancements, it is understandable that criminal profiteering must be monitored. Many people are registered as organ donors when they expire. Fetuses may be helpful at finding cures and treatments for incurable diseases that many experience.
Not funding Planned Parenthood is no answer to unplanned parenthood. Unintentional and accidental pregnancies are not positive. The right for pro choice vs pro life is significant. The consequences of either decision should not be minimized as :happily ever afters” are not guaranteed.