Although it’s likely still several months away, anticipation and optimism are beginning to build ahead of the Supreme Court’s expected ruling on the constitutionality of Mississippi’s 15-week abortion ban. That’s because for the first time in a generation, there appears to be a legitimate chance that a majority of justices will affirm a state’s right to put restrictions on the horrific taking of innocent life.
Since December’s high stakes hearing in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, some have suggested the pro-life community isn’t ready for a post-Roe world.
Don’t believe it. It’s not true. In fact, we’ve been preparing and waiting for this moment for decades.
Pregnancy resources centers (PRCs) have been around since the 1960s. After the Supreme Court legalized abortion in all 50 states in 1973, the number of these critical outlets grew exponentially. There are over 2,500 of them today. My organization, Focus on the Family, partners with many of them. We do this by providing training and providing ultrasound equipment designed to help expectant mothers hear the heartbeat and see an image of their baby.
Many of these clinics are staffed by volunteers — individuals who have committed their time and personal resources to vulnerable women and innocent children. They expect nothing in return and often never meet the children of the moms in their care. In addition to medical care, these clinics provide diapers, formula, baby food, and clothes. They also provide counseling, and some offer access to housing and employment opportunities.
Christian churches have also been ministering to expectant mothers and their children for decades with prayer and practical assistance. Families have opened their homes and hearts in so many different ways.
Should the High Court allow states to restrict access to abortion, it’s likely that PRCs and churches will be challenged to meet the rising demand. They’ll be successful if they’re able to mobilize and help women at the local level more than ever before. Christian hospitals and the generosity of private business owners will be called upon to redouble their efforts in providing job training and employment opportunities. If we want to permanently bury abortion, we’ll need to widen a God-centered path to that objective.
American families are already waiting in the wings to welcome these children into their homes. Just consider the fact that between 1 and 2 million couples are currently waiting to adopt a baby in the United States. This means there are more moms and dads available than children already being aborted even before Dobbs is decided.
But adopting a baby in the United States is almost nothing like you see on television or in the movies. It can be an emotional roller coaster for both the birth parents and the adoptive parents. There is both grief and joy and plenty of anxiety to go around.
For birth mothers, the decision to make an adoption plan can be excruciating. These women (and in some cases, men) often want to parent, but for any number of reasons they cannot. Nevertheless, entrusting your child to someone else can be a painful decision in the short term but rewarding in the long term.
Adoptive parents face their own set of challenges. From the exciting but jarring experience of becoming new moms and dads to navigating potential relationships with birth families, the journey will change them, and in profound ways.
The home study process, a necessary step to make sure prospective moms and dads and their places of residence are acceptable and safe, should be simplified and the average cost of $4,000 for the home study alone should be reduced.
With the likelihood of more adoptions in a post-Roe world, the federal government should increase the amount of the adoption tax credit and help reduce the financial burdens to families. The credit is currently $14,440, but the average infant adoption can cost upwards of $40,000!
As Abraham Lincoln sat down to sign the Emancipation Proclamation on New Year’s Day of 1863, he said, “I never in my life, felt more certain that I was doing right than I do in signing this paper…If my name ever goes into history it will be for this act, and my whole soul is in it.”
Likewise, the souls of countless pro-life stalwarts have been laboring for years in the pro-life community. Their efforts have often gone largely unnoticed, but their quiet and steady work has brought us to this critical juncture in history. They are ready.