Many pro-life advocates maintain that certain attendant may make abortion a reasonable choice from the perspective of the pregnant woman. Such circumstances are not limited to life-and-death cases, or even concerns directly related to the health. For instance: if a pregnant teen claimed that she had to forego motherhood in order to attend college and go on to to achieve her life goals, many would think this understandable.
Such justifications seem plausible to me. And yet it strikes me that we almost never find cases where a mother expresses serious regret at having had children. As far as I can tell, it's very rare for a mother to admit, "On balance, I wish that I had aborted my children." And this holds true almost no matter what the difficulties surrounding the mother's pregnancy may have been. Whether a child is born into poverty, or suffers a birth defect, or prevents the mother from pursuing a career, we hardly ever look back and say, "Yes, this one should have been aborted." That's not to say that having children doesn't make life difficult--obviously, it does. But once a child is born, we hardly ever judge that its life represents more bad than good.
I don't mean to suggest that abortion is immoral. What I question is the idea that abortion is often in the best interest of the mother (or parents). It seems like we have a tension here: either the lack of regretful mothers provides strong evidence that having children generally turns out for the best, despite the way things initially seem; or many of these mothers are giving in to some kind of post-hoc rationalization for having ended up in their present state.
Read another response by Richard Heck
Read another response about Abortion