Chelsea’s grandmother was born of an unintended pregnancy. And new research shows that her family is not alone in treasuring a person who – if Planned Parenthood had been successful – would not have been born.
“Every child a wanted child” is the rallying cry of family planning organizations that promote abortion as a way to achieve that goal. The New York Times Magazine recently described a study of women who were turned away from abortion clinics because their pregnancies were too far along. Researchers found that in the vast majority of cases – 95% – the mothers bonded with their babies. A significant percentage later denied having ever sought an abortion, despite the fact they were included in the study on that basis.
In a different long-term study, Dr. Rebecca Callahan observed a similar change in attitude among mothers with unwanted pregnancies in rural Bangladesh. Although 42% of the women initially labeled their pregnancies as unwanted, over half of them changed their views retrospectively. Over 60% of women who originally stated their intention to have no more children classified subsequent births as wanted or, at worst, mistimed. Callahan presented her findings at the 2013 meeting of the Population Association of America.
Instead of focusing on the positive finding that women’s initial aversion or ambivalence about pregnancy does not mean the child will be unwanted, Callahan expressed concern that “the rationalization of births as wanted distorts the true level of unintended pregnancy.”
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