We are often ashamed to talk about abortion in our community. It is not spoken about very much in our schools or churches. Women who have had abortions are reluctant to speak about it for fear of being ridiculed, misunderstood, or being rejected by friends, family or members of social groups. These women suffer the emotional and psychological pain of abortion in silence, without a support network to help. The voices of black men are infrequently heard in the discussion about abortion. The result of this is that an issue that affects the lives of thousands of black babies is not being addressed by the only people who can solve the problem.
A woman cares about whether her baby’s father supports her pregnancy. Many women have abortions because their baby’s father has stated that he does not want a child. Some women believe a man will not support her during a pregnancy, but they haven’t actually spoken to the baby’s father. Men often do not have a place to have a confidential conversation with other men or male role models to talk about issues related to sexual activity, such as pregnancy. This lack of a clearly identifiable support network may be a cause of uncertainty about what to do and how to deal with an unexpected pregnancy. A woman might interpret this as lack of interest in the unborn child, but it may be just a need for information and communication. The large number of households headed by women is evidence of the need to address the roles and responsibilities of men in the lives of their partners and children.
An unexpected pregnancy often creates stress for the mother and father of a child. It may appear that there is insufficient money, housing, or other resources necessary to raise and care for a child. Young women may feel that their plans for the future will be ruined if they continue with a pregnancy. It may be embarrassing to be pregnant in certain social circles. In addition, a mother might be under pressure from the baby’s father or from a parent to have an abortion. Community resource networks are critical for the mother, who will need to make an adjustment in life plans. An unexpected pregnancy is something that may be difficult, but it is possible with support.
LACK OF INFORMATION
A woman experiencing a pregnancy needs to have reliable, factual information about what is occurring in her body. A baby has fingers, toes and a heartbeat by 21 days of development in the womb. It is not just a blob of tissue. Every pregnancy involves two living beings – the mother and the baby.
RAPE OR INCEST
Rape and incest are horrible, traumatic crimes. It is never the fault of the woman who has been assaulted. It is imperative that any woman who is pregnant as a result of rape or incest confide in someone who can help her think about how to move forward with her life. Crisis pregnancy centers, hotlines, friends, or church members or pastors can be great sources of support. The trauma of rape or incest is only made worse by an abortion. Studies show that the guilt, depression, and lowered self-esteem occurring after a sexual assault are the same effects experienced after abortion. True healing cannot be achieved by killing an unborn baby.