The data is in; the results are clear: we’re fighting the wrong battle if we think that “unwanted pregnancies” are a bigger problem than unmarried pregnancies. Maggie Gallagher gets it right:

Unmarried Births: Does Anybody Care?

Sure, an “unwanted pregnancy” is not often a good thing (although many times, it is; we have family and friends who didn’t necessarily want to be pregnant at a given time, but now are very grateful that they were). And sure, often an “unwanted pregnancy” leads people to commit the grievous sin of abortion.

But as to societal effects, unmarried pregnancy is far, far worse. Yes, kids given up for adoption, into stable, two-parent homes can fare quite well. No, not every single parent does a bad job of raising a child; far from it, and there might be readers of this piece who will have an anecdotal story or three to back this up. To you who might, I say, “great”! So do I. But facts are facts, and they’re hard to contradict: when we have a society in which 38.5 percent of our children are born to a single mother, we have a bad, bad, bad situation. Many of our major societal ills can be traced in significant measure to the awful ways we bear and raise our children.

One response »

  1. Don says:

    Ya, this story has been all over the news for a few weeks now. I do agree with your observation that unmarried pregnancy is far, far worse than unwanted pregnancy. No question. But here’s what I’m wondering. What was the abortion rate during that same time period and what effect, if any, has that had on the pregnancy numbers. Here’s my point. I think it’s interesting, first of all, that nobody’s talking about the relationship between the abortion rate and the unmarried pregnancy rate, and secondly, it makes me wonder why.

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