Pro-Life or Pro-Choice? Which Restores Families?

A recent Gallup poll reveals that more Americans are Pro-Life than Pro-Choice for the first time since the legalization of abortion. To read more about this survey, go to the full article from Princeton, NJ by Lydia Saad at http://www.gallup.com/poll/118399/More-Americans-Pro-Life-Than-Pro-Choice-First-Time.aspx.  Abortion is actually the antithesis of family restoration, and this recent Gallup poll gives cause for hope. 

The way children are perceived and treated at the outset of their lives is the beginning of our application of the principle of providing for the best interests of the child - by parents, by the law, and by society. This concept of the best interests of the child is the salient legal standard by which all decisions regarding child are to be made in any court of law – yet the law on abortion set forth by the nation’s highest court is in direct conflict with this legal standard of review. Taking a pro-abortion position as a parent, or a family lawyer or judge is in basic conflict with the call to this standard.

Though the Supreme Court of the United States has ruled that abortion is legal, the legality of abortion should not be used as an excuse to do what is morally and ethically wrong, and harmful to both mother and child. One who is pro-life could argue that there needs to be a change in the law to remedy this conflict. I suggest this is not necessarily the answer. The challenge and hope, rather is in changing the hearts and minds of those who are faced with the choice of using the law of abortion to amend undesirable circumstances. Freedom does not mean that a law can become an excuse, or a license to harm and kill. “’Everything is permissible,’ - but not everything is beneficial. ‘Everything is permissible’ – but not everything is constructive. Nobody should seek his own good, but the good of others.” The Apostle Paul’s admonition here in I Corinthians 10:23 is the heart of the principle of pursuing the child’s best interests in the face of the available and legal choice for abortion – and it calls for a decision by every family lawyer faced with or representing anyone involved in an abortion decision.

In my book, Family Manifesto: What Has Caused the Moral Breakdown of the Family and How to Restore it, (W. S. Hein Co. 2005) this aspect of parenting in the context of abortion is discussed. “If parents choose abortion, they have clearly made a choice not in the best interests of their child. Anyone who is pregnant or responsible for a pregnancy is a parent from the moment of conception and implantation of the embryo. The responsibilities of parenting begin immediately. Abortion is truly not in the best interest of the child.”

This newest survey by Gallup gives hope that despite the law of abortion and its anathema to the best interests of the child legal standard, people’s hearts and minds are changing. Pro-life is an American position, despite its conflict with legal authority. Everything is permissible, but a majority of Americans know everything is not beneficial.

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