Sunday, December 04, 2005

Food for Thought

This great quote was tagged onto someone's signiture on a message board I post on a lot:

"When a man steals to satisfy hunger, we may safely conclude that there is something wrong in society -- so when a woman destroys the life of her unborn child, it is evidence that either by education or circumstances she has been greatly wronged." M. Brinkerhoff.

There are huge issues to explore in this quote, but right now there is one thing that comes to my mind. When I was taking my "Ethics in the Classroom" course at SFU, the whole abortion / keeping the baby issue came up. And I noticed something: young pregnant teens are presented with the above false dichotomy: you can have an abortion or you can keep the baby and take care of it yourself. I rarely hear anyone anywhere in our society mention the third option: you can give the child up for adoption.

I think this is because in many ways this option is the most difficult. First, you have to carry the baby to term and deliver it. Then, after this, you must give that baby you carried for 9 months, your own flesh and blood, to someone who you do not know, and ask them to care for and raise your child. After this, you must go through the greiving process of losing that child, even though they are alive and well in the world.

But on the positive side, you gain much, as a young woman, from taking this route. First, if you are not in a condition to raise that child well, you have ensured that your child will be raised in a more stable environment than you might be able to provide. Second, you do not have to live with the knowledge that you have chosen to end a human life. Although you may not see that child, you know that they are alive and well and that you have given them that life.

I think this third option is healthier both physically and emotionally for said teen mom. But I have never seen or heard of it mentioned in any curriculum or program or video relating to teen pregnancy. Like abstinence, adoption is one of those things we think is too noble a choice to be "realistic" for teenagers. If only we had the courage to entrust our youth with hard but virtuous options.

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