Ken Connor

In the aftermath of the Supreme Court decision upholding the ban on partial birth abortion, proponents of abortion have reacted as if the sky were falling. Abortion proponents have grimly announced that a "womans right to choose" is in peril. Of course, they speak about the "right to choose" only in the abstract; they are careful not to identify the choice they have in view.

The morality of any "choice" under consideration, however, cannot be divorced from the thing that is being chosen. Choices are not mere abstractions. They are concrete, and they have consequences. Let's not kid ourselves about what is at stake in the "choice" debate. When abortion advocates talk about the "right to choose", they are not talking about the right to choose between chocolate and vanilla. They are talking about the right to choose to kill an innocent unborn child. The fact that a mother would contemplate killing her child, and that there are those who zealously advocate such a "choice", is evidence that something has gone very, very wrong in our society. As the Feminists for Life slogan puts it, "women deserve better than abortion." Indeed they do, and so do their children.

Adoption is an option that is not discussed nearly enough in the public debate about "choice". Rarely is the case for adoption made with the same vigor as the case for abortion. Part of the zeal for abortion is fueled by money. We should never forget that abortion is a multi-million dollar industry. With that kind of money at stake, it is easy to see why abortion proponents get so pumped up.

In the abortion debate, Americans are being asked to choose between a woman and her child. We are asked to come down on one side or the other. The debate is framed as an "either / or" proposition. When the adoption option is introduced, however, the debate is transformed into a "both / and" proposition. We do not have to choose between a woman and her child. Our hearts are big enough to love them both.

Adoption is truly a win/win/win situation. With adoption, the child "wins" because he or she is not only given the chance to live, but to live in a home with loving parents who can provide for his or her needs. Adoption is also a win for those couples who choose to adopt because they have the benefit of a precious new life to nurture. Finally, adoption is a win for the birth mother because she benefits from knowing that she has made the mature and beautiful choice of giving life to a child, providing for that child by finding a safe and happy home, and selflessly sharing that new life with others. When adoptions are done right they are occasions for joy all around.

Ken Connor

Ken Connor is Chairman of the Center for a Just Society in Washington, DC.