‘Pro-Life’ & Healthy Child Development
Sister Joan Chittister, O.S.B. points out this flaw in the ‘pro-life’ movement: No concern is shown for the healthy development of a child after birth. It costs money for the government to promote the healthy growth of infants and children – money that low and minimum waged parents lack. But many ‘pro-lifers’ do not like to fund quality food and health care programs, or safe and nurturing child care programs.
I guess most ‘pro-lifers ‘ are content to let infants and children suffer hunger, homelessness, and be exposed to neglect and abuse. I guess they believe in the sanctity of conception, but not in the the sanctity of the healthy development of the baby after birth. This is the subject that Sister Chittister suggests for our broader conversation.
Many Pro-Lifers have no concern for the lives they are bringing into the world. How would they know when a man and/or a woman are prepared to be parents? Do they care for the babies whose lives they fought for? – I don’t think they give them a momentary thought.
Promise the Children supports funding for programs that promote healthy child development. These programs include food stamps, school and summer meals, housing subsidies, and health care as well as safe and nurturing child care for all infants and children. Isn’t birth as sacred as the initiation of the fetus? Isn’t the learning capacity of a baby who comes to know his/her loved ones, and to say words describing his/her environment as sacred as the growth of a fetus? Isn’t motherhood and fatherhood a sacred time in life, especially when parent(s) are secure in their jobs, and earning a living wage?
There are 400,000 children placed in foster homes today in the U.S. Some of these children will return to their parents who are temporarily incapacitated or finishing up their jail sentences. However we rarely hear of a happy foster child and often read of their abuse or sudden death as reported in local newspapers. Most mothers would like to avoid foster care for their children.
In the 1950’s my doctor husband, now deceased, often saw women in the emergency ward who self aborted their pregnancies rather than give birth to an unwanted child. These women often suffered severe abdominal infections that led to an ugly death for mother and fetus. These women cared about childbirth and raising a child, and felt that they were not ready. They gave their lives for their values. Those of you who argue for defunding Planned Parenthood, please think of these tragic deaths and the values of the mothers enduring this suffering.
I volunteer at an urban summer literacy program, having given several character references and a positive annual criminal (CORY) clearance as required to protect against child abuse. I fell in love with one lively 5 year-old child who responded well to affection and attention. After class I saw her pleading for lunch that her temporary foster Mom failed to send with her. I wanted to help her, but I am 80 years old – too old to care for young child.
All of the children in this literacy program where I volunteer qualify for the federally funded summer meals program. Summer meals are not available to most eligible children, who receive free meals during the school year. The summer meals program is badly under-funded by most of our elected officials, and not promoted enough by voters. Is the ‘pro- life’ movement supported by those earning a living wage and turning a blind eye to many others who suffer hunger, homelessness and despair? Do pro-lifers care about the sanctity of of a child’s life and parenthood?