Abortion and family structure—two leading social issues of our day—are sometimes pitted as mutually exclusive issues. However, statistics mined by the Marriage and Religion Research Institute (MARRI) challenge this hypothesis. The National Survey of Family Growth (a large survey conducted by National Center for Health Statistics division of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) showed that, among women aged 38 to 44, having had multiple abortions was least common among those raised in an intact family with two married biological parents.
MARRI’s “Mapping America” highlights two noteworthy points. First, women who were raised in married families with their mother and father present were least likely to have had multiple abortions than women from all other family structures (see Chart 1). The average American agrees, at the very least, that abortion is not a good to be sought after. Still, some liberal propagandists claim that it is not possible to decrease abortions and increase the number of intact families. According to them, unmarried women will inevitably get pregnant, and, unless the woman aborts her child, she will be a single mother. However, this logic is missing a key point: if more women were raised in intact married families to begin with, then fewer women would get pregnant out of wedlock. Decreasing abortion—a commonsense goal regardless of one’s stance on the sanctity of life—necessitates an increase in the number of intact families.
A second compelling point Mapping America highlights is the inherent value of marriage and the insufficiency of cohabitation. Chart 2 shows that roughly the same number of women raised by their biological father alone and with no father figure at all had multiple abortions. Most interesting, multiple abortions were least common among women raised by their biological father married to their biological mother, and most common among women raised by their biological father cohabiting with their biological mother. In fact, four times as many women with cohabiting parents rather than married parents had abortions. Although both groups of women were raised by their biological mother and father in a close relationship, the nature of the relationship contributed to very different outcomes.
Far from being unrelated to abortion, family structure contributes to sexual mores that impact the rate of out-of-wedlock pregnancies and abortions. An intact, married family is a social good that must be sought after in all instances.