Misery and Joy in a Lost City

May 30, 2014 09:00 AM

Most Americans have heard it reported from time to time that the city of Detroit is like a war zone. Shootings and burglaries are rampant. Fires burn out of control. According to Reuters, “With the city now teetering on the verge of bankruptcy, the futile struggle to contain arson is an insistent reminder of the depths of Detroit’s decline.” One report noted that, among the 25 most violent cities in America, Detroit boasts four separate neighborhoods.

And then there’s the ultimate violence—abortion. The situation is grave. In fact, nearly one-third of all pregnancies in Detroit end in abortion. Susan Schooley, chairwoman of the Department of Family Medicine at Henry Ford Hospital lamented, “We’re seeing a picture that looks more like some third world country than someplace in the United States.”

Some argue that poor women in Detroit do not have access to contraception and this is what drives the abortion rate higher. The Detroit News reports, “Loretta Davis, president and CEO of Detroit’s Institute for Population Health, which administers health services for the city of Detroit including family planning programs, said the increasing abortion rate represents a ‘public health failure.’”

But these professionals seem to have overlooked the very same thing. Not only is abortion a failure of all that healthcare should represent, but family planning programs, in particular, are nothing more than breeding grounds for the very abortions these people appear to find disagreeable. And worse yet, these very chemicals can and do abort children.

This is why honest education is necessary. Citizens, even in the poorest of cities and neighborhoods, deserve to know the truth. Whether public health officials like it or not, contraception is the pathway of the culture of death. There is no doubt about where contraception leads, unless you have a political agenda much like that of Detroit’s public health professionals.

At best, such obliviousness is a failure to connect the dots; at worst, it is ingrained moral blindness.

In Detroit, however, all is not violence, mayhem, and death. In the midst of the carnage we find Guadalupe Partners. And in this apostolate we find the true heart of how human beings can fight Detroit’s abortion crisis—not to mention all the violence. 

Responding to the claim that Detroit is like a “third world country,” Dr. Monica Migliorino Miller, director of Citizens of a Pro-Life Society in North Lyon, Michigan, writes

Last week, I spent two days with a beautiful woman talked out of an abortion by my husband’s pro-life group Guadalupe Partners. I took her to medical appointments, purchased her medications, bought her groceries—a single mother of two whose latest boyfriend urged her to abort, not desiring to father another child.

Guadalupe Partners stands outside of Detroit abortion clinics reaching out to the mothers. For 12 years they have seen the real reasons why one-third of all Detroit “pregnancies end in abortion.” Public health officials blame “poverty and dwindling access to affordable contraception.” Sadly, health care experts, social workers, educators, and clergy are simply unwilling to discuss, much less even admit, the true causes of Detroit’s staggering abortion rate. . . . 

Poverty is very real in Detroit, but we also need to honestly consider how non-marital sexual behavior and absentee fathers contribute to poverty—how these elements hold women back from jobs and educational opportunities. And throwing more birth control pills at women will not get at the real source of Detroit’s economic problems or tragic abortion rate either. Heal the family, call men to responsibility, and you will do much to bring life back to the Motor City for the born and the innocent unborn.

Dr. Miller’s recipe for dealing with truth and the human beings who suffer for lack of it requires but one thing—honesty. And in a nation soaked in the blood of the innocent, it occurs to me that now is a very good time not only for honesty, but for mercy and love.

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