Why Do Pro-Lifers Stop Caring about Children after They’re Born?

Why Do Pro-Lifers Stop Caring about Children after They’re Born?

By |2019-12-17T17:06:44-05:00May 14th, 2017|Categories: Abortion|Tags: , , |

Is it true that the anti-abortion side is “pro-life until you’re born?”

ultrasound image pregnancy

One of the misperceptions deliberately spread by promoters of the Culture of Death is that pro-life and pro-family activists are hypocrites because their actions do not match their philosophy.  If this idea gains traction, our message can be completely disregarded, and life (or, in many cases, death) can go on as usual.  More importantly, those who embrace the Culture of Death will feel better about themselves, because we pro-lifers are supposedly just as bad as them.

Obviously there are dishonest and deceived people in the pro‑life movement.  This is inevitable in a movement of more than a million people.  We have seen “pro‑life” politicians repeatedly betray their constituents, “pro‑life” political activists stealing money from other activists, and “pro‑life Christians” publicly lying to judges, committing adultery, and killing abortionists in the name of life.

Pro-Lifers Try to Be Good

Pro‑lifers are certainly not perfect.  However, the great difference between pro‑lifers and anti‑lifers is that we have set for ourselves a very high (and, in fact, unreachable) level of conduct and morality.  Therefore, we are bound to fail in our quest for sanctity, even though we try our best to avoid evil and wrongdoing.

Those who subscribe to the Culture of Death, by contrast, have no objective standard of morality, and only do what they find convenient at the moment.  Their list of sins includes only those activities that they would never themselves commit, so, by their own definition, they rarely if ever sin.

It all depends upon the standards to which you hold yourself.

hands folded over bible

Christians try to emulate Jesus Christ.  His standard is so high that it is impossible for any mere human being to meet it.  Therefore, in the eyes of the anti‑lifer, all Christians are by definition hypocrites.

The primary differences between pro‑lifers and anti‑lifers is that the pro‑lifer is trying. A quick story will illustrate this point:

Let us say that two people are training to run a marathon.  One says that he wants to set a record time of 2:05.  He trains diligently, focuses all of his efforts on running faster, and suffers intensely for years.  The second runner sets no standards for himself.  He jogs a few miles now and then, eats whatever he wants, and completely lacks even the most basic self-discipline.  When the day of the race comes, he ambles through the marathon, sitting down when he is tired, never suffering in the least, and finishes in six and a half hours, while the runner who trained hard finishes in 2:10.  The slower runner then sneers at the faster one that he is a “hypocrite” for not meeting his goal.

The most common allegation of inconsistency used against pro-lifers is that we don’t care about children after they are born.  A good example of this was provided by professional bigot George Carlin, who said:

“Boy, these conservatives are really something, aren’t they?  They’re all in favor of the unborn.  They will do anything for the unborn.  But once you’re born, you’re on your own.  Pro-life conservatives are obsessed with the fetus from conception to nine months.  After that, they don’t want to know about you.  They don’t want to hear from you.  No nothing.  No neonatal care, no day care, no head start, no school lunch, no food stamps, no welfare, no nothing.”1

People who make this charge usually do not even bother to check their facts.  A 1996 study showed that conservatives gave an average of four times as much to charity as did liberals,2 and things have not changed since then.  In his 2006 book Who Really Cares, Syracuse University professor Arthur Brooks said:

“[Conservatives] gave more to every type of cause and charity: health charities, education organizations, international aid groups, and human welfare agencies.  They even gave more to traditionally liberal causes, such as the environment and the arts.”

catholic charities sign

How Pro-Lifers Care for People after Birth

The most detailed recent study of giving in the United States was published by the Chronicle of Philanthropy in November 2017. The numbers are staggering:

  • This study showed that 12 of the top 13 states in average individual giving were “red” states ― those states that tend to vote for Republicans.  Romney’s home state Utah took the top spot, and the others were all from the much-maligned “Bible belt.”
  • The bottom seven and the bottom 11 of 12 states in average individual giving in 2012 were “blue” states ― those states that tend to vote for Democrats.
  • Not surprisingly, a Pew Forum study showed that the seventeen most religious states (where respondents said that religion was “very important in their lives”) all voted for Romney, and 21 of the 25 least religious states voted for Obama.3  In other words, people in more religious states are much more generous than people in less religious states.
  • People in 86 of the most generous 88 cities were in states that voted for Romney, and 88 of the 100 least generous cities were in states that voted for Obama in 2012.These numbers are even more remarkable when we take into account the fact that “blue” states are much more secular (so they do not contribute as much to churches) and have fewer children to spend money on.
  • In addition to being more charitable, pro-life people are much more generous in the service of life than pro-abortion people; the ten states with the highest fertility rates all voted for Mitt Romney in 2012, and the ten states with the lowest fertility rates all voted for Barack Obama.5

In summary, people who are more religious have more children and are more generous in helping others as well.

Religious people express their native generosity in many other ways.  The Roman Catholic Church operates 26% of all of the health care facilities in the entire world, including 117,000 hospitals, clinics and orphanages, 18,000 pharmacies and 512 centers for the care of those with leprosy.  This includes 911 hospitals and health care facilities and 418 orphanages in the United States.6

The Lutheran Church, the Jewish faith and others have also founded hundreds of other hospitals in the United States, although many do not continue to operate under religious principles.  But when was the last time you saw a hospital named something like the “Cincinnati Atheist and Agnostic Health Care System?”

“Pro-Life Until You’re Born?”

All of these statistics makes perfect sense.  Conservatives give to charities out of a desire to help people.

But when liberals give to charities, they are more likely to be giving in order to make a political statement, which is why pro-abortion and pro-homosexual groups have such huge bankrolls.  If liberals give to the “correct” political groups, vote for the “correct” liberal political candidates, believe in the “correct” causes and pay their taxes, they think they’ve done their bit for social justice and will leave it to the government to take care of the rest of the needs of the poor.

In general, not only do liberals fail to contribute meaningfully to the solution of social problems, they generally support the very things that make people both sick and poor ― unlimited sex without commitment, the destruction of marriage through its redefinition, and single motherhood.  They refuse to support the most effective weapon for fighting poverty among women and children, which is traditional marriage.  In the case of abortion, they even stridently condemn the only non-governmental organizations that help women with material and practical needs after their babies are born ― crisis pregnancy centers.7



  1. George Carlin’s “Back in Town” show (1996).
  2. 1996 General Social Survey (GSS) by the National Opinion Research Center (NORC), described in Jeff Jacoby. “Stingy Liberals.”  Town Hall, August 22, 2012.
  3. “How Religious is Your State?” The Pew Research Center at http://www.pewforum.org/how-religious-is-your-state-.aspx, December 21, 2009.
  4. For a detailed analysis and listings of all states and cities, write to Brian Clowes at bclowes@hli.org and ask for Excel spreadsheet ‘GENEROUS.XLS.”
  5. The ten states with the highest fertility rates all voted for Mitt Romney: Idaho [77.4]; Kansas [74.7]; Nebraska [76.4]; North Dakota [70.8]; Oklahoma [74.9]; South Dakota [77.8]; Texas [77.6]; Utah [88.4]; Wyoming [75.0]; and Alaska [78.3].  The ten states with the lowest fertility rates all voted for Barak Obama:  Vermont [50.8]; New Hampshire [51.9]; Rhode Island [53.6]; Maine [54.8]; Massachusetts [55.4]; Connecticut [56.5]; Michigan [59.8]; Pennsylvania [60.1]; New York [61.7]; Oregon [62.5]; and Florida [63.6] (Reference Data Book and Guide to Sources, Statistical Abstract of the United States [Washington, D.C.: United States Government Printing Office], 2012 [132nd Edition], Table 82, “Births ― Numbers and Rates by State and Island Areas” (number of births per 1,000 women aged 15-44).
  6. “Catholic Hospitals Comprise One-Quarter of World’s Healthcare, Council Reports.” Catholic News Association, February 10, 2010.  J. Kenedy & Sons Official Catholic Directory, 2011.
  7. As one of many examples, ‘Catholics’ for [a Free] Choice says that women should not be offered alternatives to abortion through crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs), which CFFC calls “fraudulent and deceptive clinics.” These CPCs, of course, may never give women factual biological information on fetal development, because this constitutes a “propaganda tool for the anti‑abortion position” [Richard Doerflinger.  “Who are Catholics for a Free Choice?”  America, November 16, 1985, page 313].
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About the Author:

Brian Clowes, PhD
Dr. Brian Clowes has been HLI’s director of research since 1995 and is one of the most accomplished and respected intellectuals in the international pro-life movement. Best known as author of the most exhaustive pro-life informational resource volume The Facts of Life, and for his Pro-Life Basic Training Course, Brian is the author of nine books and over 500 scholarly and popular articles, and has traveled to 70 countries on six continents as a pro-life speaker, educator and trainer.


  1. Avatar
    Lindsey April 17, 2019 at 7:59 AM - Reply

    If you hold that the movement called “pro-life” really means caring for children and their mothers after they’re born as well as preventing abortion can you please answer for this?


    Please read not only the article but the comments. You have many many people in your midst who only believe in preventing women from terminating pregnancy but they say that they are pro-life. I can cite for you many more comments from Facebook on the recent fetal heartbeat bills stories reported.

    • Avatar
      HLI Staff April 23, 2019 at 9:55 AM - Reply

      Thank you for sharing this article. However, we must say it addressed a plethora of issues, not all of which can be answered without writing a similarly long article. The “seamless garment” issue is a non-starter. We realize there are conflicting signals the public receives from churches, etc. but the bottom line is, murder trumps the environment, or migration, or any other issue. No where else but the main life issues affecting life from conception to natural death as stated in our mission statement would be the most on point. The author of the article you cite states as much.

      You seem to also address what the pro-abortion side likes to call the “pro-birth” issues. Yes, we believe in the baby being born, not being killed. Every diocese in the world works with Catholic adoption agencies who can place these children in good homes and see that they are cared for…though it is worth mentioning a few states in the United States where anti-Catholic bigotry has forced Catholic foster care to shut down, based on not being willing to place children with same-sex situations. This writer’s mother worked for many, many years placing babies in adoption … until abortion was legalized and most of the babies “disappeared” overnight. So yes, there are resources.

      Our founder, Fr. Karl Marx, was called “the Apostle of Life” by Pope Saint John Paul II, who said Human Life International was “doing the most important work on earth.” You bet we’re pro-life. John Paul II is good enough for us.

      Happy Easter.

  2. Avatar
    Sj May 17, 2019 at 9:14 AM - Reply

    The reason people think pro lifers don’t care about the already born is because people are more likely to adopt babies rather than older kids. Right now there are nearly 500k kids that need families. If you want people to believe you are truly pro life you have to change. Promote adoption of kids of all ages, and not focus single mindedly on the unborn.

    • Avatar
      HLI Staff May 20, 2019 at 10:15 AM - Reply

      Thanks for your comment. Actually, we are a Catholic apostolate and our particular mission is 5-fold, all pro-life issues. So HLI by nature of our mission statement focuses on them. But you are right about adoption needing more attention. Adoption and foster care is available through Catholic Charities and normally is in every diocese. HOWEVER, if you have seen on our Facebook page, we have actually published articles on the challenges there. Cities like Philadelphia to the state of Michigan are attacking Christian principles and Catholic agencies will not adopt out to same sex couples. This violates freedom of religion, but is also short-sighted, since they provide the majority of placements in many cases. In other states, Catholic agencies are shutting down, because we cannot consort with evil. This writer’s mother was a social worker with Catholic Charities was placing babies for adoption in the 1960s! So the work is by no means new – nuns, etc. have run orphanages for centuries.

      • Avatar
        Cheyenne July 4, 2020 at 1:44 PM - Reply

        Education and nutrition are what get children out of poverty. This article is sickening; precisely what ”anti-lifers” are ridiculing the church. It’s as if the author doesn’t know that we, the people, fund the government. Why would you send a message to girls that their only hope to escape poverty is through traditional marriage rather than encourage and enable opportunities for them to thrive on their own two feet in this world?

  3. Avatar
    Susan Marie Schneider September 12, 2019 at 3:47 PM - Reply

    This statement is not true. You have no idea the amount of people who stand up for the preborn and their moms. There is follow up for those who need it and those who can help. Each of us even in prayer can adopt in prayer those who are in need. We do it for our own families. We do it for families they do not even know. The Red Cross helps those they do not know, etc. We each play a part in each others lives.

  4. Avatar
    Gerry P. September 13, 2019 at 11:24 AM - Reply

    I do not know where the idea that pro-lifers discontinue to care about the babies after birth comes from, but I imagine it is the devil, the father of lies.
    My wife and I have joined in the spiritual adoption program over the years and have not ceased to pray for these children we have spiritually adopted using the formula (adjusted for born children) given by the Venerable Fulton J. Sheen. We pray for them by name (one name which is actually known) twice each day, once after our daily Rosary and once before we go to sleep. We also have financially adopted two children from Latin America. We married late in life so we have no children of our own but prior lived lives of service to the Church as single Catholics.
    A second comment is over the well-funded gay movement. I went with my wife to a conference in San Francisco and it just so happened that there was a gay pride festival there which I did not know about. I was appalled to see people walking around naked but for some body paint and little children with glassy eyes indicative of drug intoxication and crowds of young people who displayed symptoms of cannabis intoxication.
    I helped three gay men in their last days with Mother Theresa’s sisters and sat with them, fed them, bathed them and chatted with them and even learned from them and loved them as though they were my own brothers. I recall that none of their friends ever visited them. I do not have a high opinion of the gay movement and its canonization of immoral and self-centered behaviors.

    • Avatar
      HLI Staff September 16, 2019 at 2:09 PM - Reply

      Thank you for your witness, Gerry. Your life affirming compassion of the unborn, the young, and the dying bears out the statistics that pro-lifers are generous and care deeply for people from womb to tomb.

  5. Avatar
    Jean S October 14, 2019 at 10:27 PM - Reply

    Pro life should be applied to both the unborn and the living. We condone government control of abortion while we refuse to support governmental aid to prevent the over 70,000 unnecessary deaths and stop the suffering brought on to millions because the victims can’t afford medical care. We who are Christian must think that God declares a baby due in four months more precious than one four months old.

    • Avatar
      HLI Staff October 29, 2019 at 9:12 AM - Reply

      Thanks for writing. Yes, life from conception till natural death is critical. All life matters. But there is a hierarchy to be considered. An abortion victim is murdered; his heart is injected to stop the heartbeat and he is dismembered, often in excruciating pain. Someone who goes to the hospital with an emergency in the United States is required to be given treatment, and certainly not killed or tortured while alive. But the Church has advocated for caring for the sick since its inception. Just last month the USCCB advocated for more federal money for health care and provides its own health care as well the world over. http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/human-life-and-dignity/health-care/letter-to-senate-on-replacement-for-affordable-care-act-2017-09-21.cfm

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