The deceptive commentary by guest columnist Allan E. Parker concerns me for many reasons. I have been a registered nurse for more than 30 years and have cared for many women experiencing abortions. His statements regarding doctors in Louisiana and his macabre depiction of abortion are simply not true. So I shall mention them no more.
The statement that I wish to address is “they feel they can’t or don’t want to care for the child.” First, I suggest that Parker recognize that “they” refers to mothers who are entitled to as much love and care as their baby deserves. Then I recommend that he change the phrase to “her child.” I always feel better if we insert a little humanity into any argument. This point is especially important since his commentary occurs during the season of the Mother and Child.
Now, I have very good reasons to doubt that Parker’s explanation for why desperate mothers seek abortions is as uncomplicated as he describes. But even if it were that simple, I find his solution in safe havens, adoption, and the foster care system to be gravely disturbing. I believe that all of his solutions have existed for many years, yet desperate women continue to seek abortions.
I shall leave a discussion regarding the joys of the foster care system and the concerns of adopted children to those with experience. Rather, I would like to propose another solution for the plight of women who find themselves with child and without resources. We should support these mothers with the resources needed to raise their own child. Perhaps if we provided equal pay for women, a living wage, access to health care, sex education, maternity leave, early childhood education, affordable housing in safe neighborhoods, quality education, and freedom from shame, more women would gladly accept the role of mother.
All of these suggestions are supported by evidence-based practices that have not received the legislative support that Parker’s solutions have experienced. Perhaps Parker could use his Justice Foundation to educate our citizens and lobby our legislators to create a more just world where mothers could experience the joy of raising their own children.
Mary Ellen Burns