The National Right to Life Committee sent the “New Study Examines Familial Context of Choice to Abort” article by Wanda Franz to their members this past Thursday. It contains some interesting—and sobering—figures. Here is a selection:
The results of the study indicated that the most important factors in determining the women’s choice to abort a second pregnancy were those associated with the father’s inability or unwillingness to provide assistance in rearing the first child. Women were significantly more likely to abort if they reported that the father of the child cannot be trusted to “watch the child for a week,” “take good care of the child,” “watch the child when the mothers needs to do things,” “does not support the mother’s way of raising the child,” “does not respect the schedule and rules” for the child, etc. In addition, it was found that mothers who were married to the father were significantly more likely to deliver the baby.
What is especially interesting are the variables that did not appear to influence the choice of abortion vs. delivery. For example, the difficulty of raising the child, based on poor temperament of the child or the need for frequent medical intervention, did not affect the choice to abort. In addition, financial considerations were not important in the decision. Employment and income did not predict the decision to abort. Surprisingly, aggression directed toward the mother by the father was not a factor in the choice to abort. On the other hand, women who chose to abort the second baby, demonstrated more substance abuse following the abortion; and they were more apt to be physically abused by the father.
The results of this study are counter to the prevailing opinion that women abort because of poverty and financial considerations. Instead, these mothers were more apt to make the decision based on whether or not they would be supported in their role as a mother by a father who had already demonstrated an ability to care for one of his children. Furthermore, marriage was a protective factor in determining the parents’ decision to keep and raise their child.
This study supports the idea that abortion occurs in the context of a family. It requires both a committed mother and father to assure the choice to deliver and care for a child. Fathers are, not only important, but possibly decisive in the choice to have an abortion.
Though emasculated de jure with regard to the fate of their unborn offspring, de facto men have enormous influence in the abortion decision. How many realize this? How many care?