photo by Caroline Allison, courtesy of Rachel Halvorson Designs

I’m Pro-Life, So I’m Voting Biden

My name is Alice, and I am pro-life. My belief, coming from my Christian faith, is that all people are created in God’s image and are therefore infinitely valuable and worthy of dignity. This belief is the driving force in my life. It is the reason my husband and I chose to adopt an infant and foster a teenager. I am for the protection of all human life, including but not limited to, the lives of immigrants, black people, white people, the elderly and yes, the unborn.

If you are pro-life like me, this election represents a critical opportunity to protect life.

When it comes to abortion, voting for President Trump may seem like the obvious choice. He will solidify a conservative-majority Supreme Court that will chip away at Roe v Wade over the next decades and possibly overturn it altogether. However, that any abortion restrictions will ultimately be left to individual states. That means a pregnant woman in Nashville could drive two hours north to get an abortion in Illinois. Abortions will still happen, and there’s no reason to believe they won’t happen at the same rate.

You might also think voting for Vice President Biden will lead to more abortions. On the contrary, “this assumption has been tested in similar circumstances and found inadequate,” states Michael Gerson, the policy adviser to President George W. Bush, contributor to Christianity Today, and resident conservative at The Washington Post. Rather, he asserts “the Obama-Biden administration was strongly pro-choice. But the U.S. abortion rate — measured in abortions per 1,000 women ages 15 to 44 — fell in each year of President Barack Obama’s two terms.” They worked to solve the problem by treating the cause instead of the symptom, leading to fewer abortions.

So, why do abortions happen in the first place? What is the cause?

Most abortions in the U.S. are obtained by the most vulnerable women in our country. The majority of women getting abortions are women of color in low income areas (according to a range of studies). The Guttmacher Institute found the abortion rate for black women is almost five times that for white women and this goes hand in hand with inadequate education, domestic violence, and drug abuse. Sadly, those in power often affirm a “pro-life” position while neglecting the core issues affecting the lives of millions of Americans who live in these areas and under these circumstances.

One of the poorest zip codes in America is in the South Bronx of New York City. It is home to “abortion row”, the street with the highest concentration of abortions per year in the U.S. My good friend, Sara Miller, decided to do something about the systemic injustices that contribute to abortion. Instead of protesting outside abortion clinics, she moved in next door. Living there, she realized that her neighbors’ unplanned pregnancies didn’t occur in a vacuum, but rather they grew in a pernicious combination of poor education, support, and resources that trapped them in a system of poverty. She quit her job and started , an organization that consists of comprehensive programs focusing on education, self-esteem, and physical/mental health for local kids, from birth to college. For example, her “Parent and Me” program gives pregnant women and young caregivers a welcoming place to receive social/emotional support, practical resources, learn parenting skills, and also provides family planning education. A House on Beekman has made a difference for at-risk teens through mentoring and access to the resources and opportunities that not only prevent unplanned pregnancies, but set them up for success in life.

Like Sara, Mr. Biden understands we have to address the cause and invest in historically underserved communities to bring about long-term change — including the reduction in abortion rates. will do this.

Unfortunately, Mr. Trump has done the opposite. His have included massive cuts to critical programs that help children and families, such as healthcare, education, housing, and nutrition. He will continue to do so if re-elected.

This is personal for me. As I mentioned earlier, I have an adopted son and a foster son, and I’m actively involved with local foster care agencies to put on events to serve their families and host foster parent training classes. I felt the effects of this administration cutting funding. When I’m on the phone with my agencies, they tell me what it’s like now: “We had to cut our staff in half.” “We have kids sleeping under our desks in the office.” “We had to close another location.” And it goes on.

Mr. Trump’s slashing of federal support has trickled down and devastated local agencies’ ability to serve so many vulnerable children and youth. The very youth that are left unsupported are most likely to find themselves in unplanned pregnancies, since young women in foster care are to become pregnant before the age of 19 than their peers. The cycle repeats itself.

Cutting Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act will devastate the 37 million children who rely on it for healthcare, including foster children. Cutting education funding will eliminate 29 initiatives aimed at improving educational quality in public schools, such as early childhood preschool programs, literacy programs, after-school care, teacher training, and school safety initiatives. By cutting into nutrition assistance, free school meals, and formula access, children and babies relying on these services will go hungry. By cutting child services, we lose vital programs including child abuse prevention, adoption assistance, and foster care training and support. Mr. Trump’s policies suggest his care and concern for these babies end when they are born.

Four more years of a Trump administration will increase the root causes of abortion, leading to more lives being lost, including the unborn. Alternatively, Mr. Biden will invest in the lives of the vulnerable, leading to fewer abortions.

As Christians, I urge you to research, read, and pray about which candidate stands more holistically for all of God’s creation. With Jesus’ investment in the poor and marginalized as our guide, ask yourself who is truly more pro-life and who cares more about the lives and well-being of all Americans, from womb to tomb.

I believe Joe Biden is the clear answer.



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