2019 has been marked by many things, but most notably, it’s been the year of abortion.
It all started in January when the state of New York passed the Reproductive Health Act — a late-term abortion law that allows women to terminate a pregnancy through the third trimester. It’s the most progressive abortion law in the history of our nation since the landmark ruling of Roe v. Wade was passed on the same day in January 1973.
In the weeks and months that followed, we’ve seen other states like Virginia and Rhode Island propose similar bills, some that would allow for abortion all the way up to the child’s very first breath.
And while we’ve seen extreme moves taking place on the left, advocating for abortion in the name of women’s health, we’ve seen just as much action on the right, pressing for stricter abortion laws.
In March, PureFlix released “Unplanned“, a movie based on the true life events of former pro-choice advocate, Abby Johnson. The Texas native spent eight years serving as the director of Planned Parenthood before an ultra-sound-guided abortion radically transformed her life and her views.
Despite several hurdles, including having virtually no visibility in the media, the movie blew box office numbers out of the water. And following its release, more than 100 abortion workers have reportedly left the abortion industry.
And of course, we can’t forget the now-14 states (and counting) who have recently proposed ‘Heartbeat Bills,’ which would make abortion illegal once a fetal heartbeat is detected — usually around six weeks. Of those 14 states, nine, including Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, and Ohio, have already passed some form of a heartbeat bill.
As the national spotlight continues to narrow in on abortion throughout 2019, a common thread of debate tossed around by pro-choicers is that of children suffering in foster care.
Many who seek to justify abortion often turn to the suffering of those in America’s foster care system, to argue that there is in fact, a need for abortion.
Over the weekend, Students for Life of America released a video of pro-life advocate, Kristan Hawkins, tackling this argument head-on with a pro-choice supporter.
Recently, abortion advocates have been using children in foster care to justify the horror of abortion. Watch as a pro-choice student dodges the big question: should we eliminate the suffering or the sufferer?
Posted by Students for Life of America on Friday, May 24, 2019
In an open forum, the pro-choice supporter asks Hawkins why an unborn fetus, who cannot live outside of the womb, should be carried to term only to wind up suffering in foster care because it is unwanted by the mother.
“Odds are, if it goes into the foster care system, it will face severe neglect and abuse,” she poses in her question.
Hawkins, who serves as the President of Students for Life of America, responds with a poignant statement saying, “So you believe we have the right to eliminate the sufferer, and not the suffering.”
The pro-choicer denies that point arguing it’s not what she said before Hawkins repeats her question back to her in another way.
“You just said, if you knew with 100 [percent] certainty, that the child you are birthing is going to have a lifetime of suffering, that it would be better…to end the life of a child, than for the child to suffer.”
She continues, “So instead of attempting to solve the suffering of the child, you’ve just eliminated the potential sufferer.”
The woman seeking to justify abortion follows up with a different question — one that she insists is her same question — asking what Hawkins suggests we do to end the suffering, to make bringing an unwanted child into this world, justifiable.
Which, is a fair question. We’ve talked a lot about how being pro-life doesn’t end with the baby being born but instead sees commitment far beyond birth. And to that point, Hawkins insists, pro-life advocates DO, like most Americans, believe something has to be done about the foster care crisis in our country.
“These are things that we as Americans strive to fix,” she says. “I don’t believe anyone in this room, regardless of whether or not you are pro-life or pro-choice, thinks that children should be suffering in foster care.”
Hawkins goes on to argue that the pro-choicer is not in fact, advocating for those who are suffering in foster care. Because as a pro-choice advocate, even though she may care, like Hawkins mentioned, about those in foster care, or those suffering from homelessness, etc., her advocacy is rooted in a woman’s right to choose, not making the lives of those in the foster care system better.
“But what you’re advocating for, is [this], you’re trying to justify legal abortion, by saying some people are going to suffer, therefore we’re going to play God and we are going to eliminate the sufferer,” Hawkins says.
She explains that this thinking is skewed because people DO come out of adversity, and whether we’re born into an unfortunate childhood and tossed into the foster care system or not, we will all suffer in various forms throughout our life.
The pro-choicer then insists again that she’s reiterating her initial question, which now has literally nothing to do with advocating for legalized abortion — asking, “how do you propose we solve those problems for the children that are suffering?”
Remember, she began [by] asking why a woman should be required to carry an unwanted child to term if they’re just going to wind up suffering in foster care anyway.
And Y’all, Hawkins is NOT having it.
She says this is a common thing we hear in the pro-life moment, that after a child is born, pro-lifers don’t care about women or the children. But, she argues, in order for anyone to be “Pro-Life” in this way, you’d have to also be actively working for 30 different things.
“Yet, are you upset that the American Diabetes Association doesn’t fight cancer?” she asks, to which the pro-choice student responds, “No, because they’re the American Diabetes Association.”
“Exactly,” Hawkins explains. “I am anti-abortion.”
As the video continues, the student continues to press her question about what Hawkins and the pro-life movement are doing to care for those in foster care, further demonstrating that she doesn’t even know what she’s advocating for at this point.
“These are great problems that we face in our nation,” Hawkins says of homelessness and foster care. “These are dilemmas that we face, and there’s [sic] different policy prescriptions for how to solve those things. But my organization, my mission is very limited, it’s to abolish abortion. To make abortion illegal and unthinkable because abortion is the greatest human rights tragedy our world faces.”
She continues, “There’s no act of violence that kills more people every single day in America and across the world than abortion. There’s nothing wrong with me fighting and spending 100 [percent] of my time doing it,” she says. “Just like how there’s nothing wrong with the American Diabetes Association putting 100 [percent] of their money, research and time behind curing juvenile diabetes. No one ever accuses the Diabetes Association or the American Cancer Association of not trying to cure every life-ending disease.”
Hawkins says it’s a collective understanding among all people that in order to be effective in achieving your goal, you have to remain “laser focused” on that goal.
She closes by standing up for many pro-life advocates who are actually foster parents or leading the charge for adoption, and emphasizes that it’s not a question of “what else.” It doesn’t matter what she or her organization IS doing for all of these other efforts, because the entire purpose behind that question is simply to stop the discussion from happening.
“Abortion is a moral wrong, and it should be stopped,” she says.
In the comments, several people spoke from experience arguing that their own personal suffering in foster care has never justified abortion.
“I lived abused, in foster care and taken care of by unstable family member that the foster system and the judge placed me in,” one commenter wrote. “Do I think I should of [sic] been aborted? No! I love my life, yes my childhood sucked but I live a beautiful life now. I am so grateful for my mother that gave me life, even if she never was a mother to me. I’m looking into being a foster parent myself, I have so much love to give and a safe home. I’m so tired of the pro-choice crowd using my life and others to justify abortion.”
“Not all children in foster care are suffering,” another one wrote.
And another made this zinger of a point, that has us all nodding in agreement:
“Here’s the thing no one talks about or explains. Abortion is justified by Pro-Choice, because it will keep an unwanted child out of Foster Care, or from being abused, etc. But, if that is a truth, WHY do we have Children in Foster Care now? Why do we have children who die from abuse, or neglect now? I mean if Pro-Choice claims that abortion will help eliminate that, why are those things still an issue? I mean Abortion has been legal since 1973. Yet, we still have homeless Children, Children in Foster Care, Children born with horrific defects, etc. The truth is, Abortion is NEVER about concern for the fetus. It’s ALWAYS about a woman not being ‘inconvenienced.’ It’s about human pride and escaping consequences of our choices. It’s about shifting blame to a defenseless human. We don’t destroy/punish/fix the real issues. No, that would require ‘work.’ We’re lazy. We throw away things that become inconvenient.”
Kristan Hawkins is one tough cookie, and her heart for being the voice for the voiceless is truly inspiring. Learn more about her efforts at www.studentsforlife.org.