Consistent life ethic proponents have long argued that the pro-life movement must view a wide variety of issues within the pro-life filter; that is, it can be a pro-life vote to help the poor and working class just as it can be a pro-life vote to overturn Roe v. Wade (although it is not necessarily given the same weight).
An example of this is Planned Parenthood’s recent expansion in Michigan. The nation’s largest abortion business will add another clinic in the state, this time in Oakland County, within the next two years. This clinic will offer a range of abortion services. What’s curious is the rational for opening a new clinic in one of the worst economies in years.
“Over the last couple of years, we’ve been getting calls that go, ‘I’m pregnant, we don’t have health insurance, my husband isn’t working and we can’t afford another child.’ These calls have become routine for us,” says Lori Lamerand, executive director of Planned Parenthood of Mid and South Michigan.
The top two reasons women have an abortion are (1) lifestyle changes and (2) inability to afford more children; these two reasons make up 3/4th of the abortions performed in this country every year. Even the pro-choice Guttmacher Institute recognizes that the biggest increase in abortions is among women below the federal poverty level.
Unfortunately, women with no other place to turn and who don’t understand the value of their unborn child turn to the one place where they know they can get help – the flashy clinic down the street that has the funds to advertise in the local paper and offers caring and confidential help. It is important to continue to work legislatively to overturn Roe v. Wade, but until that happens pro-lifers need to address the underlying causes of abortion as well. And that includes making sure the poor know they have a choice.