Divorcing your wife may cost you your grandchildren
Last week, I endorsed marriage (with all its social benefits) as a worthy alternative to contraception (with all its "unplanned pregnancies"). Over the weekend, the social case for marriage got even stronger. USA Today carried a story headlined: "Divorce can hurt kids' math scores, friendships." The article references new research indicating that, "young children of divorce are not only more likely to suffer from anxiety, loneliness, low self-esteem and sadness," but also, "long-lasting setbacks in interpersonal skills and math test scores."
The study's author, Hyun Sik Kim, says that, "once children of divorce (have gone) through detrimental impacts, it is hard to make them catch up with children from intact families." The study also shows that "children of divorce do not experience detrimental setbacks in the pre-divorce period." In other words, the argument that it's better for kids to have their parents divorce than live together in turmoil doesn't hold much water. It is only after the separation takes place that the detrimental impact becomes significant.
These findings shouldn't be that surprising, but the article reminded me of a study I came across last month while researching Abort73's page on the medical risks of abortion. It comes from the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology (AJOG), and examines the connection between "Adverse childhood experiences and repeat induced abortion."
The study begins with an explanation of why the research was deemed necessary. The authors write: "More abortions are performed in the United States than in any other Western nation." Even more problematic to the researchers is the fact that repeat abortions represent 47% of the U.S. total. While "the overall number of abortions in the United States has declined, rates of repeat abortions remain steady." In other words, women who abort their first child are at an extremely high risk of aborting their second child.
In remarks that give further support to last week's indictment of contraception, we read, "in one study of 613 women presenting for an induced abortion, an intervention using specialized contraceptive counseling and provision compared with usual care showed no long-term impact on reducing the occurrence of having a subsequent abortion over the next 2 years." Did you catch that? After their abortion, this group of women was given "specialized contraceptive counseling and provision," but they proved just as likely to have another abortion within two years as women who'd received no special contraceptive training or provision. Contraception is a horribly inadequate solution to "unintended pregnancy."
Because efforts to reduce the number of repeat abortions have been so dismal, the authors sought to better understand and identify what the risk factors for repeat abortions actually are. Before getting to their research, they state the following:
Previous research shows that, in addition to the identification of several sociodemographic characteristics of women who have repeat abortions (eg, increased age, nonwhite ethnicity), experiences of abuse, including intimate partner violence and history of sexual abuse, distinguish women undergoing a repeat vs first abortion.
Said differently, women obtaining repeat abortions were more likely to be older, less likely to be white, and more likely to have suffered abuse than women with one or fewer abortions. What none of the earlier studies had examined was the connection between childhood trauma and repeat abortions as an adult. The authors hypothesized that "increased exposures to abuse as well as nonabuse adverse events in childhood would increase the likelihood of a woman having repeat abortions." And that's exactly what the research showed. It is "the first study to demonstrate that abuse events as well as experiences that are stressful but not abusive play a role in predisposing some women to have repeat abortions."
Table 1 in the study shows that 16.7% of the women with multiple abortions were victimized by physical abuse, 16.7% had experienced threatened personal safety, 26.8% were victimized by sexual abuse, and 50% experienced "family disruption." Among the six events that could be classified as a "family disruption," perhaps none is so common or "conventional" as parental divorce. Believing that the only way to more effectively combat the problem of repeat abortion is to better identify the risk factors involved, the author's conclude: "nonabuse adverse events were also shown to confer risk for repeat abortions, redefining by broadening the group of women considered to be at risk."
All that to say, the daughters of divorced parents are significantly more likely to have an abortion than the daughters of parents who stay together. Whereas 50% of the women with multiple abortions had experienced "family disruption," that number was only 38.8% among women with a single abortion, and 29.3% among women who had never aborted. Getting married is a good deterrent to aborting your own children, and staying married is a good deterrent to having your grandchildren aborted.
Finally and most importantly, the grace of God through the blood of Christ is the only deterrent to the guilt and misery of either abortion or divorce. It frees us from bondage to our circumstances, and breaks the power of generational sin. As the son of divorced parents, married to the daughter of divorced parents, with divorced grandparents and great-grandparents on both sides, I'm happy to affirm that God offers us much better than our circumstances might ascribe. He's bigger than all the percentages, so whatever sins lay in your past, be not resigned to the future. Confess, believe, and place all your hope in Christ!
Michael Spielman is the founder and director of Abort73.com. His book, Love the Least (A Lot), is available as a free download. You can also find him on Facebook and Google+. Abort73 is part of Loxafamosity Ministries, a 501c3, Christian education corporation. If you have been helped by the information available at Abort73.com, please consider making a donation.