I have seen many Pro-Life posts and shares on my Facebook feed in the past couple of weeks, and we all know why: New York signed a bill that made it possible for a baby to be aborted up until the moment of birth.
What I have NOT seen are posts that celebrate Single Moms.
It’s as if most people don’t see that the two go hand in hand.
You head into the check-out line at Wal-Mart, and the woman ahead of you pulls out an EBT to pay. Like most moms with young children, she seems a bit frazzled, hair a mess. She’s alternating from sliding the card to keeping her two bouncing children in check. You notice she has no ring on her left hand. The man behind you makes a comment about how his taxes helped pay for her food, and you watch as a flush colors her cheeks. What do you do? How do you feel?
What if I told you that same man was sharing anti-abortion memes the day before?
Let’s think about this logically. Some people 1) Do not support free birth control 2) Want to ban Plan B 3) Claim to be Pro-Life and 4) Complain when a single mom has to use government assistance.
That, my friend is NOT Pro-Life.
You can’t be Pro-Life and then complain about mothers who get government assistance.
You can’t be Pro-Life and want to ban Plan B (which is NOT an abortion pill. It does not abort a baby).
You can’t be Pro-Life and not want to hand out free birth control to everyone. (54% of those who had abortions in 2015 were not on Birth Control while 41% were using it inconsistently).
You can’t be Pro-Life and shame or look down on those who had the baby that they could have aborted.
The reality is that many people have sex. Not all of them choose great partners. Sometimes this is because they are a bad judge of character, but many times, a person doesn’t reveal who he really is until it is too late.
Supporting single mothers and celebrating their choice to give life instead of looking down on them can only help the abortion rate continue to decline.
How can those who oppose abortion support single mothers?
According to a survey conducted in 2004, 23% of women who were having an abortion said they did so for financial reasons.
Babies are expensive. If a single mother had more resources available to help her, maybe that would help her make a different decision. After all, 86% of those women who choose to have abortions are unmarried, and 59% have had at least one child before.
So in theory, a woman may have decided not to abort in the past, but now she does not see how she can financially support another child.
Change the Narrative About Single Mothers
33% of the women who had abortions in 2015 did so because they did not want to be a single mother or were not ready for a child yet.
Some of the same people who scream that abortion is murder look down on those who chose to give their babies life. How does that make sense?
According to waitingtillmarriage.org, only 3% of people waited until marriage to have sex between 1994-2003. Between 1954-1963, only 11% waited until marriage to have sex. That means that a lot of the people who are looking down on single mothers should really be counting their blessings that they are not in the same predicament.
*While I think waiting until marriage is commendable and an attainable goal, if the Pro-Life Movement’s objective is to save more babies from abortion, we must all be realistic about the facts.*
As a single woman with an unplanned pregnancy, one would think that part of the appeal for abortion would be that no one would know. If she keeps the baby, there would be no way to hide that the pregnancy exists. In my opinion, this is what makes the option of adoption a less attractive choice than abortion for some.
An interesting statistic was that 54% of the abortions performed in 2014 were done on women who had affiliation with the Church (either Protestant or Catholic). Could it be that the demoralization of unwed mothers has led to more abortions from those who identify as Christian? After all, if one sin has already been committed, maybe committing a subsequent sin to cover up the first seems like the best option. If a woman is a “sinner” no matter what, why not commit an additional sin to save face or her reputation? This is just speculation on my part, but food for thought.
If being a single mom could be easier, and seen in a more favorable light, maybe more mothers would choose to walk down that road instead of taking the quick and quiet way out.
Support Programs that Support Single Mothers
While there are some government programs that provide assistance, you may also have local ministries or programs that provide some type of additional help. Actively look for those programs and support them financially, as a volunteer, and by sharing them on social media. That may make a bigger difference than sharing about how abortion is murder. At this point, I don’t think many people in America are in the dark about abortion. They may, however, not know about the programs that can help out single moms during and after the unplanned pregnancy.
Take the Time to Listen to Single Moms
Many single moms have heartbreaking stories. Their boyfriend broke up with them after they got pregnant. A guy who was supposed to be there went MIA. Some are survivors of abusive relationships.
Many single moms are trying the best they can. They work full-time, and then they spend the evenings and weekends parenting alone. Some do have some government assistance, but some make just enough money with their job not to qualify. Many receive no child support, or their previous partner is thousands of dollars in arrears. The majority are just trying to raise their children the best they can just like most moms.
But the best thing about single moms is that they are survivors and fighters. They are proud about what they have accomplished. Tell them that you have noticed. Tell them that they are good moms. They probably don’t hear it often enough.
Be a Friend
“The physical difficulties of only being one person who has to be responsible for so much isn’t the hardest part. Yeah, I’m sleep deprived and stressed and constantly on the go or looking for something that someone lost. The hardest part for me has always been the lack of a partner to support me in being a mom. The absence of someone standing there lovingly admiring my kids when they say silly stuff or do something special for the first time. And when my kids are hurting and it breaks my heart, there’s no one there feeling that with me to console me. For me it’s always been the lack of emotional support that makes it so incredibly difficult.” – Karen
Being a single mom can be lonely and isolating, especially if the mom has no one to help her with childcare. Be there for her. Listen to her stories and watch her videos of her kids. She may not have anyone else to share those special moments with.
Give Her A Break
One of the things a single mom craves is rest! If you like children, offer to babysit for her while she does something for herself or even just takes a nap. If you aren’t a kid person, you can offer to help in another way, such as helping with dishes, laundry, or bringing a meal. Many single moms are used to doing everything by themselves, and while they may be rocking it, everyone deserves a break now and then!
Pray for the single moms in your life and community. Pray for their children. Pray for our society. Pray for compassion.
I don’t know all of the answers. I DO know that being Pro-Life only makes sense if you also support the mothers who give their babies life.
Let’s use this opportunity to celebrate those who gave life to their children when faced with a difficult decision.
Celebrate and support the single mom.