Talk Transcript | Brephos Conference 2019: For such a time as this
Rape, incest and backstreet abortion: Handling the hard questions | Nov 2019
[Excerpt from 6:29]
What if the woman really doesn't want a child? Won’t it be better for the child if they don't have to go through a painful life? Well, the most basic response here is to say, “Who says they have bad lives?” So, the classic scenario is, someone says, “Well, this person is unwanted. How can you justify bringing a child into the world? They’ll have such a horrible life, and they really would prefer that they never had existed.” Well, realistically, there's simply no evidence to support the idea that children born into difficult circumstances, on the whole, resent their lives or regret being born. On the contrary, most children seem to be very glad that they're alive, even when they were born in very difficult circumstances. And that is why of course we don't make the same argument for unwanted born children. We don't say if someone has already been born into poverty and into a difficult family situation, it's better for them not to have lived at all, and so end up taking their lives. We would never use that sort of reasoning for a born child, so human equality suggests that we should not use it for a pre-born child.
But actually there's this other argument that comes up, which accuses pro-lifers of being hypocrites saying, “Well, who is going to look after these children then, if the mother can’t? I don’t see Christians or pro-lifers stepping up to look after all these unwanted children. Where are they? They just care about the baby being born and then completely neglecting it.” Again, there's really very little evidence for any of this. The most interesting evidence I think is, if you look at adoption studies and adoption statements, and the information on it, it's actually pretty much impossible or very, very difficult to adopt a newborn baby in the UK, because there are so few of them. There is a long list of people waiting to adopt a newborn baby in the UK, and they're simply not able. So it's not the case that there are many newborns who have no one to look after them. In The Independent they reported it this way; they said, “Demand for babies is so high that this adoption agency doesn't list its name in the yellow pages. Their fear is being swamped with calls. They just can’t handle it. There aren't any more babies available,” said the spokeswoman. And in The Spectator a few years ago it talks a little bit about the waiting times to adopt other sorts of children in different circumstances, and it says, “up to nine years typically to wait to adopt a newborn.” So it simply isn't the case that there are all these newborns waiting to be adopted, and that Christians and pro-lifers are not stepping up to do this.
Nor is it true that the pro-life movement doesn't support women in difficult situations, pre-birth or after birth. In fact, the opposite is true, that there's an immense amount offered by pro-lifers, much of which you've already seen today. We have better data from the US, but in the US in 2017 for example, pro-life pregnancy centres of which there are nearly 3000 served almost 2,000,000 people in a year, saving about $160,000,000 at least. There were 400,000 free hours offered by sonographers, there were 70,000 volunteers including nearly 8000 medical professionals. And all of this is pretty much done voluntarily through funding, through giving of people's own time, people's own expertise. Whereas if by contrast you look at abortion providers themselves, and the support that they give to women, ostensibly enabling those women to make a choice, if you look at those abortion providers they get millions and millions of pounds and dollars in funding from governments, from extremely rich billionaires around the world. So for example, Marie Stopes International got £70,000,000 from governments in the UN in 2018. If you ask them what do they do for women who want to keep the baby, and how they support women who have already had a baby, there's very little answer. And if you compare the funding between the pro-life and the abortion providers, and if you compare what they actually do for women after birth, I think it's clear which one really supports women, both before and after birth.
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