How do we reach out to unwed mothers?

To the Editor:

“Unplanned” is a serious, compelling, haunting look at abortion. Around 15 people viewed and discussed the movie at St. Andrew Parish in Blue Grass. We shared family stories and comments ranging from “We all hate abortion until it confronts our family” to the reality of caring for the unchosen grandchild. Abortion is more than a topic of conversation in many homes.

How do we begin to help young women who find themselves pregnant long before they are mature enough to be parents? Is it the obligation of her parents to raise another child? Do they pretend to be the parents? If they cannot for physical, financial or emotional reasons take on this responsibility, what then? Many pregnant teens are no longer welcome in the family home. Marriage is not usually an ideal answer.

I know youngsters who aborted a child while they were in their teens and coped with nightmares for years afterward. I know women whose mothers gave them up for adoption and who attempted to reconnect — only to be rejected. “You didn’t love me enough to keep me; I don’t need you now.” There are no easy answers.
When marriage occurs because of pregnancy, one or both parents may feel trapped, hardly an auspicious beginning. If no love exists between the parents — marriage, a tough vocation at best —is not apt to endure even if it survives, legally.

We must continue to say that abortion is wrong, that it is murder. Then what? How do we reach out to a mother not related to us? Do we not offer support because she participated — willingly or unwillingly — in the creation of the child? Can we find ways to make this difficult situation less emotionally crippling?

All babies and their mothers deserve a real shot at life. We CAN do it.

Jo (Doofe) Beecher
Blue Grass

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