What Needs to Be Done Before Banning Abortions?
How Abortion Affects the Foster Care System
A ban on abortions would likely shatter the already broken U.S. Foster Care System. According to the AFCARS Report of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 437,465 children were in the foster care system on September 30, 2016. During that fiscal year (FY), 273,539 children entered the system, a number that steadily increases year after year. Many of the children in the system suffer a very low quality of life. They yearn for a place to call home with loving parents. However, most of them bounce around from one foster family to another. While not all foster parents harm children, the chances a child encounters harm increases each time they are placed with a new family.
Children in Foster Care Suffer When More Kids Enter the System
Since the majority of people who have abortions live in poverty and the number of children who enter the foster care system come from families living in poverty, it stands to reason that a ban on abortions would dramatically increase the number of children entering the foster care system. An increase like this would dramatically decrease the chance for current foster children to escape abuse or neglect. It would also decrease their chances for adoption. While strides are being made to improve the system, much work still needs to be done. With the number of children entering the system exceeding the number of children exiting it each year, the work becomes increasingly more difficult.
Advocating for the adoption of children needs to reach or exceed the level advocated for the adoption of cats and dogs. In addition, people need to be trained to properly care for and love the children while they are institutionalized. More people need to be trained to care for children with special needs.
Proper Homes and Services for Children
Before a ban on abortions takes place, more good-hearted, patient, and kind adults need to come forward and adopt children in the foster care system to prevent them from experiencing additional neglect or abuse and to work with them through the pain of what they have already experienced. The foster care system needs to be cleared out so all children have a family and a place to call home before we bombard it with hundreds of thousands of more children who will end up struggling to survive while facing matters so dire they will often wish they were never born.
In addition, many foster parents, as well as parents and guardians, of special needs children struggle, often unsuccessfully, to find facilities and services to help care for and educate them. Under our current system, most of these children suffer irreparable damage to their development and growth. Children born with special needs continue to rise. In fact, the CDC announced the number of children diagnosed with autism has risen once again bringing it to 1 in 59. The number of children diagnosed with mild to severe developmental disabilities from 2006-2008 reached 1 in 6. Waiting lists for the services or facilities many of these children need are so lengthy many will age out without ever receiving the help they need. More needs to be done to provide these children with what they need to live their best lives.
Pregnancy and Sex Trafficking of Children in Foster Care
According to a report by MSNBC “75% of [girls] or young women in the foster care system become pregnant.” Some of them have abortions while others give birth to their babies and struggle to keep them as to not lose the only family they ever had. In Newsweek, Michael Dolce reports that "most Americans who are victims of sex trafficking come from our nation’s own foster care system." Undoubtedly, the majority of these children entered the foster care system after facing neglect or abuse in their homes. Most of them were born into poverty. These children are among those having abortions regardless of the legality. They may choose to abort so their child doesn’t have to live in the conditions they are living in or they may be forced to abort by somebody who controls them. How can we expect them to value life when they’ve never experienced what it feels like to be valued? Before we put a ban on abortions, we need to close all the cracks children get sucked into, otherwise, we are saving them for a lifetime of exploitation and horror nobody should have to experience.
Poverty and the Choice to Abort
For people who live in poverty, those are not simply words on paper. Their lives consist of one hardship after the other. For example, a family living in poverty may have at one point or another had to survive days without food in which their bodies painfully begin to cannibalize. Most families who live in poverty have had to do without public utilities such as gas, electric, and water on many occasions. They stumble around in the dark with nothing to divert their thoughts. They appear disheveled in wrinkled or stained clothes. On cold, winter nights when most of us are snuggled up in our nice warm homes, they may be shivering inside their houses. Some have been homeless and had to bounce around from one family member’s house or shelter to another. Some are one illness, transportation breakdown, or child away from becoming homeless.
Is Abortion a Choice or a Necessity?
Minimum wage jobs and public assistance don’t protect against many of the expenses it takes to survive or support a family. Many of the people who have abortions are in the throws of bad experiences. The choice to have an abortion does not feel much like a choice but more like a necessity for survival. More programs such as housing and counseling need to be available to pregnant girls and women to help them get the nutritional, psychological, educational, and physical help they need throughout their entire pregnancies and for at least up to a year after their children are born.
Promoting Adoption to Showcase It as a Humane Option
In addition to having programs available for people who choose to raise their babies, more has to be done to promote adoption. To give a baby up for adoption is one of the most selfless, generous, and loving acts a struggling parent could ever do for their child and for the adoptive parents. However, people rarely see or hear about the adoption process or success stories. The lack of attention to it makes it feel like it’s something to be ashamed of. Instead of showing the world how incredibly compassionate giving their child up for adoption was, most people fear they would be shunned for it. As a result, many people who choose to abort their child never give any serious consideration to the option of adoption.
Before people are banned from having abortions, all institutionalized children should be in loving homes and we should have a waiting list of many more people already background checked and trained including in special needs care who qualify to become parents and give newborns a home as soon as they're born.
Promoting Abstinence and Teaching Life Skills to Avoid Abortion
Of course, the best way to avoid abortions would be to prevent unwanted pregnancies from the start. Parents and educators could do more to teach children to value their virginity. Instead of simply telling them not to have sex until their married, a list of specific qualities a person should possess before giving that person something so precious might help them to hold out longer. Children should be aware of the exciting life experiences they could have and the security they could build up for themselves if they protect themselves against pregnancy until they decide they are ready. Birth control should also be available to children who choose to have intercourse. In addition, children should know that no matter what happens they can always feel comfortable approaching a parent or other trusted adult for guidance or support.
Parenting Classes to Train Parents to Parent Better
One more thing that might indirectly help lower the number of abortions is to offer parenting classes at local schools or community centers with some incentives to get parents to go. These classes could help parents struggling to figure out how to raise their children right. Parents who never received guidance themselves may need somebody to guide them.
When abortions were banned in the past, women and girls found illegal ways to get them. Not only did this end the lives the fetus's, it also, maimed or killed the female. In addition, with sex trafficking as bad as it has become in this country, if legal abortions are not available, girls and women could be subject to beatings or other means to end their pregnancies.