Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The unaddressed issue surrounding abortion

Well, another anniversary of Roe v. Wade has come and gone, with more bellyaching from both side about the legality of abortion. One side considers it a necessary medical procedure; the other, where my own sympathies lie, murder.

One thing I can tell you: The abortion issue cannot, and ultimately will not, be addressed unless and until one thing is addressed -- dysfunctional relationships between men and women.

That should be obvious, because pregnancy happens due to sexual contact. And what causes improper sexual contact? Well that's the $64,000 question.

Some would consider an over-sexualized society, where women are objectified and men become predators, the culprit. While I think there's some merit to that, I think the real cause is that men and women don't relate to each other in a healthy manner -- which leads to women "advertising" themselves as playthings and men taking advantage of that.

That happens when girls don't get the nurturing and validation they need from Dad or other strong male figure -- in many situations there's no man around anyway -- so they go through life having no idea what a safe, healthy male looks like. A New York Times story about pregnant 13-year-olds noted that the "fathers" tend to be four our five years older.

On the male side, boys similarly don't learn to treat a woman like a princess because Dad's relationship with Mom is less than ideal, and as a result they get their sexual education from the street.

Much has been made in the "pro-life" world about Planned Parenthood's marketing abortion especially in the African-American community; even my own pastor has labeled that "genocide." With all due respect, I'm not in agreement with his analysis.

In large part because of historic racism black men are often beaten down by life, cherished and respected by no one -- they often don't achieve academically or vocationally in their youth because too often they're seen as troublemakers and don't have access to mentoring. That causes rage, which often leads to resentment toward the world because they can't make heads or tails of life.

And that ultimately leads to the unhealthy relationships with women, who often are willing to have sex with them but have no use for them otherwise. Obviously such men don't make good fathers, so many women who have children out of wedlock get rid of them. One single mother I worked with two decades ago wouldn't marry her children's father because "I don't want to raise three children."

So what does this have to do with abortion? Well, I understand that a majority of aborted black babies are boys. I'm convinced that women have abortions because those children, especially sons, would continually remind them of the bad relationship with the father that created it.

This is just one reason why abortion cannot be dealt with by legislation alone. We can legislate all we want but it won't stop people from having illicit sex and, thus, women and girls from getting pregnant. And appeals for "moral behavior" won't work, either -- instead of simply saying "no," they have to say "yes" to something else.

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