One of the most common sound bites / jokes that pro-choicers make about pro-lifers is that we are infatuated with the fetus but don’t care about kids after they are born. The message is that if we don’t adopt all unwanted children then we have no right to complain about abortion. It is an important sound bite to be able to address, because it is very common and even pro-lifers I know are not only intimidated by it but they have used it themselves as a reason not to be more vocal about abortion.
The “Pro-lifers don’t care about kids after they are born” line is one of my favorite arguments to rebut. I teach people how to do it in pro-life training sessions in a two step approach. The tone of the conversation is important. These arguments are powerful and quite effective if they are laid out in a calm, reasoned approach. You probably won’t convert the rabid pro-choicers, but most of the middle-grounders will get the point.
First, show that pointing out a moral wrong does not obligate you to take responsibility for the situation.
If your neighbor is beating his wife, you call the police. The police don’t say, “Hey, buddy, unless you are willing to marry her yourself then we aren’t going to stop him from beating her.” You can use child or animal abuse as examples as well. Most people get the point pretty quickly.
You can also use the “trot out the toddler” approach promoted by Stand to Reason and ask if it would be acceptable to object to murdering a toddler even if you aren’t willing to adopt her. Of course, the pro-choicer will always recognize the moral good to protest toddler-killing. Then you can point out that killing innocent human beings is immoral and that the unborn are human beings. So pointing out this moral wrong does not obligate us to do anything further.
Second, explain that while we aren’t morally obligated to help after the babies are born to be able to speak out against abortion, Christians do many things with their time and money anyway – orphanages, Crisis Pregnancy Centers (CPCs), food pantries, etc.
When I’m teaching CPC volunteers I remind them of all that they and the center do: Pregnancy tests, ultrasounds, food, clothes, diapers, life skill training, parenting training, post-abortion counseling and more – all for free! And, of course, we share the Gospel with the clients if they are interested (Saving lives now and for eternity!).
The workers are mostly volunteers and the leaders make below-market wages because they believe in the cause. Most centers receive no government funding, so all the money comes from donations. There are far more Crisis Pregnancy Centers than there are abortion clinics.
When I tell people about CPCs the typical reaction is, “I had no idea.” Most people aren’t aware of all the good being done there. In theory, CPCs are something pro-choicers could support as well. After all, if women choose to keep their child this is a great way to help them. But Planned Parenthood et al consider them public enemy #1 because we take away some of their business.
You can also ask pro-choicers what Planned Parenthood and the like do for hurting women once the babies are born. It is a really, really short list. Do they provide free post-abortion counseling? (Of course not, because who would need that, right?) Do they give diapers, formula, etc.? Hey, they don’t even give free abortions (though they would love for your tax dollars to fund some).
Having said all that, I do think the church can and should be doing even more in the area of adoptions and support for ophans. Not because having pro-life views requires that, but because it is the right thing to do regardless of whether abortion is legal or illegal. Sponsoring a child from World Vision or a similar organization is a great way to start: For only $28 per month you can feed, clothe, educate and correspond with a needy child.
In summary, pointing out the moral evil of abortion does not obligate one to adopt all the babies. But pro-lifers do help anyway. A lot. And they do it with their own time and money, not their neighbors’.
Big hat tip: Stand to Reason pro-life training materials