A reader writes:
You stated, "If the pro-life movement dedicated its every moment not to criminalizing abortion but to expanding adoption opportunities, it would win many more converts." I take issue with the phrasing I bolded. My wife and I are currently in the process of a domestic (U.S.) adoption of an unborn child. We are adopting through a Christian agency that would certainly be labeled as pro-life and is spending some of its time providing young women with an alternative to abortion while matching those women up with couples to adopt those children.
Some of the agency's time is spent matching U.S. couples with Ethiopian orphans who need a home. I suppose I'm a part of the pro-life movement and will be spending my time raising a child that perhaps would have been aborted if it wasn't for for the agency spending their time counseling and supporting the birth mother. I should also say the agency we are adopting through has to spend the rest of its time raising money since they don't charge an agency fee (though ask for $3000 to reimburse their costs, which is on top of attorney and social worker fees which we'll be paying for though there is an adoption tax credit) and the entire staff are "missionaries" and don't earn a salary but rather must raise their own funds. Then of course, there's my evangelical, pro-life church which is raising money (which is earned as the result of time spent working) this month to help current and future adoptive parents in the congregation of which there are several.
I guess my point is before you generalize the entire pro-life movement and how their time is spent, you may want to consider the multitude in the movement quietly working and spending time expanding and providing adoption opportunities.
Another dissents from a different direction:
That photograph of a fetus at 19 weeks is extremely misleading. You meant to be shocking, but its use distorts a healthy discussion of a difficult topic of abortion.
Most abortions in the US are early terminations. See this report (PDF). It states that "Most abortions occur before 9 weeks' gestation, and the proportion of very early abortions (<7 weeks's gestation) has increased substantially since 1994." Additionally, see this review (PDF), where data show that 88% of abortions occurred prior to 12 weeks gestation. Overall, abortions decreased from 1.61 million in 1990 to 1.2 million in 2005.
I agree that the number of abortions performed in the US is tragically high. Why? Our policy makers are beholden to and fearful of the religious righteous. How much effort do the anti-choice groups put into pregnancy prevention? (And I'm not talking about abstinence classes!)