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Fatherlessness & Abortion

This coming Sunday is Father’s Day. On this day, many of us will get to celebrate the men who have dedicated themselves to providing the paternal love, care, support, and discipline that every child needs. While Father’s Day is a day of celebration for many, the sad reality is that there are increasingly large numbers of Americans who have no father in their life to celebrate. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 18.4 million children, 1 in 4, live without a father in their home.

Let that statistic sink in: 25% of our nation’s children live without any biological, step, or adoptive father in their home.

There are many in our culture who would argue that this epidemic of fatherlessness has no bearing on the wellbeing of children, but this line of thinking ignores a mountain of evidence that children in father-absent homes are negatively affected. This is statistically undeniable.

The Fatherless Generation Foundation, a nonprofit organization, has found that:

  • 90 percent of homeless and runaway youths are fatherless.

  • 70 to 85 percent of prison inmates grew up without a father.

  • 63 percent of teenagers who commit suicide have absent fathers.

  • 71 percent of high school dropouts come from fatherless homes.[1]

The National Fatherhood Initiative, the nation’s leading provider of research on father presence and father involvement, has found that children who are raised in father-absent homes are:

  • At 2x greater risk of infant mortality.

  • 4x more likely to live in poverty.

  • More likely to abuse drugs and alcohol.

  • More likely to have behavioral problems.

  • More likely to commit a crime.[2]

Given this reality, it comes as no surprise to learn that fatherlessness is closely associated with teen pregnancy and abortion rates. 71 percent of pregnant teenagers come from fatherless homes.[3] Within 20 years of abortion being legalized in the United States, the percentage of single-mother homes had doubled.[4] One study showed that for pregnancies that occurred in a fatherless home, 1 in 3 ended in abortion.[5]

Our nation has wholeheartedly and enthusiastically embraced the sexual revolution, and a natural consequence of this embrace is the breakdown of the family. Men have been tutored to divorce sexual activity from the natural biological result of that activity (procreation). Our culture’s wholesale acceptance of abortion-on-demand has instructed men for decades that there is always a solution to the “problem” of pregnancy. This is compounded by the reality that tens of millions of the young men being forged in these cultural fires have been raised in fatherless homes, with no personal example of paternal love, commitment, or self-sacrifice.

Is it any wonder that millions of men continue to shun the responsibilities of fatherhood? In a culture that increasingly mocks the idea of the traditional family and scoffs at the notion of sexual integrity or responsibility, should we really be surprised that millions of men are abandoning their families? This is an epidemic of our own making.

The solution to these problems is not to just treat the symptoms, and it is certainly not to downplay the importance of fathers. We must recognize and celebrate the unique relationship and irreplaceable influence that both the mother and the father have in the life of their child. We must unapologetically advocate for the truth that when a man loves his wife and is devoted to his family, the lives of his children are enriched and our communities are strengthened.

The difficulties arising from this epidemic of fatherlessness are so vast and varied that we might feel powerless to do anything. To the men reading this article: there are many things we can do, but there are some things we must do…

Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church…

Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. (Ephesians 5:25-29; 6:3)

Husbands, love your wives. Cherish her. Devote yourself to her. Fathers, love your family. Commit yourself to them. Show your children an example of selfless love and willing self-sacrifice. Take up the responsibilities of fatherhood with discipline and intention. Take joy in your wife and in the blessing of children.

As a man living in a culture of fatherlessness, these are some of the most radically pro-life actions you can take. None of us will ever model our Savior’s love perfectly, but on this Father’s Day, we celebrate the ways you selflessly, purposely, and faithfully show unconditional love to your family.

In Christ,

Jared Marshall

[1] [2] [3] [4] [5]



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