Aborting a Fetus or a Legacy? My Plea to the 8%

My Great Grandma’s Legacy

Great Grandma Eulalia was 48 years old when she was pregnant with my Grandma Sue. Due to some health complications, the doctors urged Eulalia to terminate the pregnancy for the sake of her own life. Not wanting to prematurely steal away Sue’s chance to live, Eulalia refused the abortion and accepted her possible fate.

On March 29th 1943, my grandma Sue was born in a successful delivery. She struggled with some health complications, including polio, but she was a fighter and gained her strength over the years. Eulalia also regained her strength and lived to see her daughter grow into adulthood. Both women dedicated their lives to service, family, developing talents, and finding happiness in the small and simple things. To this day, my Grandma Sue is a radiant source of love and wisdom. She reflects the selfless sacrifice that brought her into this world.

I am so grateful that my Great Grandma Eulalia was courageous enough to risk her life for my grandmother’s chance to live. Imagine how tragic it would have been to cut Sue’s life short when, in the end, she was to be born a healthy child. If my Grandma Sue had been aborted, my dad would have never been born. I would have never been born. My great grandmother was a hero for her valiance. Without her desire to give her daughter all she had—even her own life—generations of lives would never have come to pass.

 Abortion Today

Abortion is a hot topic in the United States today. The constant debate still stands: Who do we defend? The mother, or the child? In a 2019 survey conducted by the Pew Research Center, 61% of adults believed that abortion should be legal. Reasons for supporting abortion stem from a sincere concern for the mother. Some of these reasons can include: observing the rights and choices of the mother, interruptions in personal life plans, age of the mother (e.g., being too young or too old), and cases of rape. Additionally, supporters may view abortion as an act of compassion towards the unborn child. After all, who wants to subject a child to a fatherless or poverty-stricken home? Above all, perhaps the most fervently supported reason for abortion is the potential health risks that could endanger the mother’s life.  

According to research provided by the John Hopkins Hospital, 8% of pregnancies entail health complications that are threatening to the mother and/or child’s life.  These complications are real and truly frightening.  Sometimes, even with careful consideration of the child’s life, termination of the pregnancy is necessary.  However, with the advanced medical care provided today, these brave women can look not only at the risks, but also the possibilities.  My plea is to the 8%and all those who stand with them. Think of the life you can give. Think of the lives they can give. Abortion does not only terminate one life—it can terminate generations. I am evidence of that!

Your unborn child is not only a daughter or son, but a future sibling, spouse, parent, grandparent, citizen, and friend. Your child could be one of the brilliant minds to join the battalion of doctors, lawyers, educators, scientists, and political leaders. Consider the impact your unborn child could have on others!

This isn’t just a matter of you or the child. This is a matter of everyone who will ever come into contact with them. Your child will be a valuable contributor to society as one of the rising generation. We need their mind, their heart, their passion, and their influence.

 Is Abortion the Only Option?

Some believe women deserve the right to choose to terminate the pregnancy. But when you have only one solution, that doesn’t actually give you a lot of choice, does it? If we want women to be truly liberated—let’s give them options! You don’t have to be pinned up against the wall with abortion as the only way out.

Thankfully, many doctors are dedicated to helping women have a healthy, successful pregnancy. Many organizations also aim to help expectant mothers preserve the life of their child and the mother regardless of their situation. Pregnancy Resource Centers offer a variety of services across the nation. Some are simply centers dedicated to providing mothers with the best information necessary to make an educated decision about their pregnancy. Others offer more extensive services such as medical aid, parenting classes, help finding employment, and adoption.  

PRCs are making a difference case by case, life by life. For example, a Parenting Support Program in Indiana is happily serving 72,000 women already.  This program has helped many of these women turn away from abortion and find a safe, alternative route to keeping the pregnancy.

Click here to find help near you! 

Life for Your Lily


Eulalia named her daughter Sue—meaning lily. The lily flower represents purity, fertility, and new life. My grandma Sue is a beautiful representation of all that the lily flower signifies. She couldn’t defend her own life from the womb. She lives today because her mother
chose life for her.   

Be brave like my Great Grandma Eulalia. Choose life for your lily!

  

 

 Sue Deon Olsen Jensen
1943 – Present 

 

About the Author

About the Author

Juliette Jensen is a senior at Brigham Young University-Idaho. She will graduate in July 2021 with a bachelor’s degree in Child Development.  After graduation, she plans to pursue a master’s degree in Speech and Language Pathology.  In her free time, Juliette enjoys music, traveling, writing, and spending time with friends and family.

Where Have All the Fathers Gone?

Father holds baby

My Dad’s Influence

Growing up in a family with 9 kids — 8 girls and 1 boy — my dad did everything he could to meet our needs and to keep us safe. When I was young, my dad would go around the house late at night after everyone was home to lock the doors. This is just one simple way my dad worked to keep his family secure and protected. I felt safe, cared for, and even more importantly, deeply loved when my dad was around. 

His influence on me and our family was profound. He was kind, involved and worked hard to provide for and protect our family. He strove for continual improvement in his life and loved my mother fiercely. I couldn’t be more grateful for my dad. Can’t you just see how much he loves his family in the photo below?

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Unfortunately, the scenario I grew up in is not the reality for a large number of children growing up in the world today. And I know there are many amazing single moms among us raising their children to the best of their ability. However, this circumstance is not the ideal for families. Research shows that children thrive best with a mother and a father to care for and raise them. Children with involved dads do better emotionally, socially, and academically than kids without dads around.

The Problem with Fatherlessness

Unfortunately, fathers’ influence in the home, community, and world is rapidly diminishing. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 19.7 million children, more than 1 in 4, live without a father in the home. As fatherlessness becomes more and more commonplace, you may be tempted to ask, “Is it really that big of a deal?” The answer is a resounding YES! And here’s why.

Fatherlessness is at the root of what drives so many problems with kids growing up in the world today. Research shows that kids who grow up without dads at home are much more likely to engage in behaviors that are detrimental to themselves and to society. 

Without a father in the home, children are: 

  • Twice as likely to drop out of high school
  • More likely to abuse drugs and alcohol
  • Four times more likely to live in poverty
  • Seven times more likely to have a teen pregnancy

The evidence is clear that having a strong and stable father or father-figure in the home leads to strong children, families and communities. 

One Solution: Watchdog Dads

Not only do we need dads at home, but we need them in the community as well. In 2012, I served as the PTA (Parent Teacher Association) president for my children’s elementary school. While serving, I learned about a program called (Watch D.O.G.S (Dads of Great Students) and decided to bring it to our school.

It was amazing to see the difference this program made in the school and community. Each week dads would volunteer to help around the school and in the classroom. Seeing dads (or grandpas or uncles) participate on a daily basis was incredible! The kids loved seeing that father figure (or even their own dad) wearing his watchdog t-shirt with pride, walking down the halls, smiling and giving all the kids high fives. Students would follow him around as if these dads were rock stars—and they practically were! 

Kids would line up to sit by him at lunch, beg for his assistance in the classroom and light up when they saw him as they came and left for school each day. Everyone wanted the “dad” on their team at recess. Every day I noticed that the Watchdog Dad was a force for good! These Watchdog Dads showed people at school and in the community just how important fathers and father-figures really are.

What Can We Do?

We can no longer casually sit on the sidelines. This issue is real and important! We can and should promote fatherhood in our homes and communities. Here are some ways to make a difference and get involved:

We need to praise and support fathers in their fathering. As the dads around us step up to their roles as fathers, we must look to their example and honor the gift of fatherhood. We must also help fathers take their place in our homes and communities. Having a father in the home is a great thing, but we need fathers who are actively involved in their children’s lives, who set a good example for them, who live honorably, who provide for physical and emotional needs, who participate in the home with loving authority, and who protect their children in every way he can. 

While the number of fatherless homes is devastating, the goal is not to merely have dads home. We’re not just saying, “Let’s get dads back in homes.” We’re saying, “Let’s get dads doing good fathering.” 

The saying goes that kids don’t come with an instruction manual. Yet thankfully for today’s dads, there’s no shortage of fabulous resources to support fathers. If you’re a dad that’s sitting on the sidelines, jump in and take your place as a father! For the rest of us, our job is to cheer these dads on in their efforts to become present and improved fathers.  As we do our part to promote and strengthen fatherhood, we’re strengthening the entire family, the community, and the world. 

For more information on the importance of fathers, check out fatherhood.org for statistics, research, and resources.

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Meet the Author

Amy Chariton is currently finishing her undergraduate degree in Marriage and Family Studies and following graduation wants to pursue a master’s degree in Marriage and Family therapy. She is married to her sweetheart of 20 amazing years. They have 4 kids who are her whole world. Her hobbies are trail running, hiking, backpacking and anything in the Utah mountains.

Why I Chose to Be a Stay-at-home Mom: What I Should Have Told the Dentist

stay at home mom

At the Dentist’s Office

 

I don’t know about you, but I always feel awkward when the lady cleaning my teeth asks me questions. It normally goes a little something like this:

Dental hygienist: So, where are you from?

Me: *trying not to get that yucky toothpaste on my tongue* Uh, Rexburg.

Dental hygienist: Oh. Do you like it here?

Me: *trying not to drool on myself* Uh-huh.

Anyway, I think you know what I’m talking about. It’s not the easiest thing to carry on a conversation while someone’s hands are inside your mouth.

But this last dentist visit, conversation was even trickier than usual.

When the dental hygienist found out I’d just had a baby, she offered the token congratulations.  When she found out I recently graduated with my bachelor’s degree, she once again congratulated me.

Then she asked me a question, one that shouldn’t have taken me by surprise:

So now what?

She asked if I was planning on graduate school, or what career I hoped to have. I struggled to explain to her that while I want to go on to grad school one day, I wouldn’t be doing it right now. And my husband has a solid job secured that will provide well for our family.

So, I said, I would be focusing on taking care of our baby. I want to be a mom.

She just kind of looked at me, as if being “just a mom” was a totally foreign concept.

This conversation was getting more uncomfortable by the second.

It was as if she couldn’t comprehend why someone would go to college and graduate, only to stay home changing diapers and doing laundry. (And some days I feel like that too, especially when I’m scrubbing poop out of yet another onesie.)

Although I’ve long advocated for motherhood, I’ll admit that I didn’t adequately explain my future plans to this puzzled dental hygienist. So today, dear readers, I hope to at least partially make up for that by letting you all know why I chose to be a mom.

 

Moms Make a Difference

 

Growing up, I was never sure what I wanted to be. Because I enjoyed most subjects in school, one day I’d want to be a band director and the next day I’d hope to become a biologist. It seemed to change from week to week, but one thing always stayed the same: I wanted to make a difference.

There were a few years as a teenager when I didn’t want to be a mom. I thought because I’m not naturally your have-some-milk-and-cookies-sweetie kind of gal that I just wasn’t cut out for mom-hood. I thought I could make a bigger difference as a counselor or a nurse, a teacher or a medical researcher.

But then I realized something important: you don’t have to be a cookie cutter mom to make a difference. You don’t have to be good at crafts and canning and cute-outfit-planning. You just have to love.

My little girl doesn’t always have an adorable outfit on with matching hair bow. And sometimes I less than cheerfully get up in the middle of the night to feed her. But my baby still grins at me all the same. Her eyes tell me, “It’s okay, mom. I know you love me.”

And I do. Whether she looks cutesy or not, boy do I love her. And it’s that love that makes all the difference.

 

Loving Mom, Healthy Kids

 

There are a lot of ways moms can have significant impacts on their children. It turns out that loving moms can make a big impact on their children’s physical health. For instance, research shows that a mom’s love can offset some of the health challenges normally associated with poverty. Kids who would usually be at greater risk for type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and obesity are instead likely to be physically healthy as adults.

Not only this, but mothers can also help their children have healthier relationships. One longitudinal study found that when kids have a healthy attachment with their mothers, they tend to have better social skills, better emotional regulation, and better conflict recovery — all things that help them form more secure relationships in the future.

Being an involved and concerned mother can also help my children educationally. While some may think that staying at home with my kids is a waste of an education, my decision to be with my children is doing a world of good for their educational future. According to research from the National Education Association, when parents are involved in their children’s education, kids are more likely to perform well in school and go on to graduate. And this is “regardless of family income or background”!

 

That’s Why I’m a Mom

 

Don’t get me wrong: anyone from a counselor to a nurse, a teacher to a medical researcher can certainly make a difference. I’m so grateful for all the people who choose professions to help other people. And for those moms who either have to or choose to work outside the home, I applaud you for being able to juggle it all!

But I guess what I wish I had explained to the dental hygienist is that I chose to be a stay-at-home mom because I want to make a difference too. And just because I’m not getting paid to do it doesn’t make it any less worthwhile.

 

 

Elizabeth Warner is the content manager for Family Good Things, recently gave birth to her first child, and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in marriage and family studies. For more articles by Elizabeth, Dr. Rob, or Dr. Tim, check out the rest of our blog and our Facebook page.

5 Reasons Why Marriage Matters

marriage matters

Marriage means different things to different people. For some, marriage is just a piece of paper. (In fact, the Pew Research Center found that almost 4 in 10 Americans think marriage is obsolete.) For others, marriage is a nice but perhaps unreachable ideal. And for others still, marriage is desirable but just hasn’t happened yet. (More Pew Research data found that about 6 in 10 unmarried Americans want to get married.)

Regardless of what people think about marriage, here’s the question: Does marriage really matter? Is the institution of marriage obsolete, or is it something that can benefit individuals, families, and society as a whole?

Here are a *few reasons why social science suggests that marriage really does matter.

 

1. Marriage Strengthens Families

While non-traditional families can still have a great deal of love, social science research shows that marriage promotes even stronger relationships. For example, according to the Institute for American Values, when parents are married, they’re more likely to have positive relationships with their children.

Marriage also provides a more stable family environment for kids. An international report from the Social Trends Institute found that children born to cohabiting parents are “more likely to see their parents split by age 12 than children born into married families.”

 

2. Marriage Improves the Economy

Marriage may have great benefits for families, but it’s not just the families that benefit. Research shows that marriage does a lot to improve the economy! Marriage both reduces poverty and increases wealth. In fact, the Heritage Foundation says that marriage may be “America’s greatest weapon against child poverty”!

 

3. Marriage Helps with Physical Health

Surprisingly enough, having a healthy marriage can lead to physical health benefits too! One meta-analysis explains that the physical health benefits of marriage “may be as large as the benefit from giving up smoking.”

Read that sentence again. Yeah, you read it right! Marriage may do as much for your health as it would to quit smoking. That’s a pretty big health benefit right there.

Marriage may also lead to not just a healthier life, but also a longer one. Research shows that on average, married people live longer than unmarried people do.

 

4. Marriage Helps with Mental Health

Marriage does more than just help your physical health; it can help your mental health too! One international study found that married couples are happier overall, even compared to couples who live together. And as marriage researcher Paul Amato explained it, married people “report fewer symptoms of depression and are less likely to think about suicide.”

 

5. Marriage Reduces Crime and Domestic Violence

Healthy marriages can help reduce crime for both parents and children. Studies show that married women are much less likely to experience domestic abuse. Not only this, but kids who grow up with married parents are less likely to become involved in criminal activity. (Check out the US Department of Justice’s report on how family life affects crime here!)

 

So What?

If marriage really does matter so much, then what should you do about it? Here are some things to consider.

 

  • Share the facts. People in the world today don’t always realize just how great or important marriage is. So share it with them! (You can start by sharing this article. 😉 )
  • Teach your children. Because much of the world says marriage isn’t important (remember that Pew survey?), your kids won’t see why marriage matters unless you tell them. And perhaps more important than telling them is showing them.
  • Strengthen your marriage. These benefits are found most in healthy marriages. So do what you can to strengthen your marriage, and you’ll be much more likely to see the plus side of marriage.

 

Now you may be wondering, is marriage the magical cure-all for personal and societal problems? Unfortunately, it’s not quite that simple. Most of these benefits are associated with healthy marriages, which takes work and effort. (For example, check out Dr. Rob’s article about the importance of being intentional in marriage.) But as we try our best to improve our marriages, we’ll have happier, healthier families and a happier, healthier world.

 

*The idea for this article came from the Institute for American Value’s publication, Why Marriage Matters: Thirty Conclusions from the Social Sciences. Check out the summary of it in their PDF here.

 

Elizabeth Warner is the content manager for Family Good Things, just gave birth to her first child, and recently graduated with a bachelor’s degree in marriage and family studies. For more articles by Elizabeth, Dr. Rob, or Dr. Tim, check out the rest of our blog and our Facebook page.