Monday, February 25, 2013

How does the prolife movement reach women in unplanned pregnancies?

At the American Thinker, Charles Kenny and Paul Swope discuss how some factors in how women make decisions regarding unplanned pregnancies and how the prolife movement can reach these women with the prolife message. 

The study also enumerated a number of factors that lie behind the decision to keep or to abort, including an umbrella concept ("Psychological Kernel") with three main findings that ties all the research together:

Women carry an unwanted pregnancy to term when guilt wins out over shame, when they feel that the pregnancy will not end their own current and future selves, and that the unborn will be better off alive than dead.

Expanding on each of these three crucial insights is the subject of this article. First, however, it is important to note that none of these three findings have much to do with biology (Is it a baby?), or abstract moral reasoning (Is abortion right or wrong?). Instead, the insights revolve around how the woman feels about herself, and only secondarily about the baby, but only within the context of the woman's own immediate situation. Understanding this dynamic is essential to reaching these women......

A second dynamic identified in the Kernel is that a woman chooses to keep the child when she feels that pregnancy will not destroy her current and future "self." Abortion is a fairly common choice today partly because many modern women have not incorporated the idea of motherhood into their self-image, their ideas and feelings about who they are. Pregnancy and motherhood completely shatter some women's idea of who they are and who they plan to be. In their minds, motherhood is equated with a kind of death.

This insight has far-reaching consequences for the pro-life movement. Whether right or wrong in the abstract, under the panic of this life-changing crisis, abortion can seem to align itself with the deep and universal instinct of self-preservation. When this instinct is pitted against a more distant and abstract consideration of the value of the nascent life, many women choose abortion.