John Stonestreet is President of the Colson Center for Christian Worldview, and radio host of BreakPoint, a daily national radio program providing thought-provoking commentaries on current events and life issues from a biblical worldview. John holds degrees from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (IL) and Bryan College (TN), and is the co-author of Making Sense of Your World: A Biblical Worldview. The views expressed in this commentary do not necessarily represent those of BCNN1.
Recently, in the UK Guardian, a woman told of her decision to have an abortion, but this wasn’t one of those “My abortion was personally empowering” type of stories. Hers was a real-life dilemma faced by too many women. Let me be clear: Her reasons in no way justify her decision to have an abortion, but pro-lifers should listen to her story carefully and take her circumstances seriously, if we hope to build a culture where abortion is not just illegal, but unthinkable.
Charlotte Sullivan was newly married and newly employed when she learned she was pregnant. As a new hire, she didn’t qualify for the six-week paid parental leave her employer offered. Her husband’s job also didn’t pay enough for both of them plus a new baby to live on during those six weeks.
So, they agonized for several weeks before ultimately deciding to abort the child. The inner conflict she experienced in making the choice, and continues to feel since, is palpable throughout the article.
Sullivan’s story isn’t unique. Though women have abortions for a variety of reasons, there’s no question that, in certain cases, financial pressures play a role for many. We’ll have to take these pressures into account if we hope to build a culture of life.
Paid family leave is a good place to start.
According to current data about abortion, nearly half of women who have an abortion live below the federal poverty level. To put that in perspective, the federal poverty level for a family of two—say a husband and wife—is an income of $17,420 a year. In other words, many abortion-minded women feel they simply can’t afford to take unpaid time off from work.
This year, paid family leave has become a bit of a priority on various political agendas on both sides of the aisle.
During his State of the Union address last week, President Trump threw his support behind the “Advancing Support for Working Families Act,” which was introduced late last year by Arizona Democrat Senator Kyrsten Sinema and Louisiana Republican Senator Bill Cassidy. An exclusively Democratic proposal entitled the “Family Act” is also on the table.
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Source: Christian Headlines