The First Right of Every Child is to be Welcomed into a Family

Posted by on Nov 14, 2004 in Parenting

The First Right of Every Child is to be Welcomed into a Family

Philip G. Ney, MD, MA FRCP(C)

© 1983

It is often persuasively put and loudly proclaimed, “Every child a wanted child.”  “The first right of every child is to be wanted.”  International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) has persistently promulgated this notion.  Many governments have accepted it.  The UN believes it and many Christians, unthinkingly, understand this to be right and logical. If you do, you are also agreeing that, if the first right of a child is to be wanted, if he is not wanted he has no right to be. You are supporting the notion that it is the right of a woman, parent, or a state to terminate the life of those who are not wanted. Whether you like it or not, to be wanted has become the only criteria that decides who lives and who dies for millions of people.

To be not wanted is a death sentence.  Wantedness, as the determining factor on life and death, began with a pre-born and hardly anyone questioned the logic. Then to save parents distress and the government money it was applied to the handicapped. Now it is being applied to the elderly. Soon everyone, including you, will have the criteria of ‘wantedness’ applied to your life. Your existence hangs in the tenuous balance of whether you are wanted, i.e. have some value to somebody or to the state, versus your unwantedness, e.g. have no ability to produce or consume, or have become an irritation because you are a Christian, Moslem, Mormon or Jew.

For many years it was argued that: a) unwanted children would be abused and later become criminals, b) if abortion was freely available, there would be no unwanted children and rates of abuse and criminal behaviour would decline. The logic is wrong and statistics clearly show it doesn’t work. The best evidence from our research and others is that, as the rate of abortions has increased, so too has the rate of child abuse1.  We found statistically significant evidence that wanted children are more likely to be abused. The reasons are that;

1)  they have high, usually too high, expectations placed upon them. When they fail to perform well, are a disappointment to their parents, they may be harshly corrected.  Thus they become mistreated, because of who they are and develop low self esteem.  Because they view themselves as failures they tend to become depressed and/or give up.  This may provoke even harsher discipline or rejection by parents;

2)  Every species has an instinctual restraint to control anger that is felt toward helpless young. When a baby awakens you at two o’clock in the morning, when you are deeply asleep after a long, tiring day, your first response is irritation, even “Shut up you little brat! I’ve got to get some sleep.” God designed us so that often our first response to a helpless cry is aggression, because anger is good at making us fully alert. As we become fully conscious, the instinctual restraint to aggression kicks in.  That initial response of aggression is mollified and modified and becomes one of nurturing.  “Aw, you poor little thing.  You must be hungry, (cold, wet, tired or frightened).  Here, let me look after you.”  There is a fine balance between assault or neglect and nurture in the ecology of humans. Abortion has upset that balance in many millions of mothers and fathers, weakened or broken the instinctual restraint of aggression toward the helpless cry. Now approximately 2/3 of pre-born children, 2/3 of old people and 3/4 of handicapped people are no longer instinctually protected from their care givers aggression;

3)  Abortion interferes with parent-infant bonding. Bonding is necessary to make sure the child is cared for at least as well as the parents care for themselves. Evidence shows that if a mother has had a pregnancy loss she does not bond well to a subsequent child.2,3 If she has had an abortion she is more anxious during her next pregnancy,4 more inclined to worry that her baby is abnormal and less inclined to prepare for the baby’s arrival. After the baby’s arrival she is more apt to be depressed.5 That depression interferes with the bonding.6  Poorly bonded children are more likely to be abused and neglected.

4) Post-abortion women are less likely to touch and therefore to breastfeed their next babies. Essential fatty acids, which are almost exclusively found in human breast milk, are necessary for the formation of the brain’s white matter and the myelin sheath of peripheral nerves . If children are not breastfed, they are not as intelligent or as quick as they were designed to be;

5) We have evidence to show there are high rates of relationship or marital breakup following abortion. In a study of post abortion women, 80% of the partners left. Children who have only one parent do not develop as well and are more likely to be the subject of anger at the departed spouse being projected onto them, “He is just like that no good father of his.”;

6) The children born following or prior to an abortion are survivors.7,8,9  They are alive when their siblings were terminated. This results in, a) survivor guilt which makes them feel they ought not to be alive, b) an inability to fully live their lives or utilize their opportunities, c) a sense of impending doom; a feeling that they are going to die as arbitrarily and quickly as their aborted sibling. Therefore they tend to give up easily and don’t plan for the future, d) distrust.  Since their parents are willing and capable of killing one of their siblings, abortion survivors cannot trust their parents, or any parent-like figure, for guidance or nurturing, e) deep anger.  Having been dangled by the tenuous thread of wantedness for so long, abortion survivors are at first compliant and then full of rage that they may express by being wantonly destructive, f) much risk taking.  Abortion survivors flirt with death.  Because they feel guilty about existing, and anger at the world, they tend to disregard their own safety and security, g) childlessness, Abortion survivors don’t want to have children.

Wantedness is probably the most pernicious, destructive idea in the world today. Jesus  said “Welcome a child in my name.”  When you welcome a person you welcome as they are, where they are, just as they are. The first right of a child is not to be wanted, but to be, to be here to become what God intended and to be welcomed in Jesus’ name and in your name. Your right to be is your only inalienable right. To welcome a person in Jesus’ name is to pass on Jesus’ welcome to them. When you welcome a person in your name, as from ancient times, you are extending to them your hospitality and protection.

Having children makes you mature.  Children restrain your penchant toward narcissistic materialism. When you have children, you plan, work and conserve for the future. Thus children create hope. When people are hopeful they have children, and when there are plenty of children there is hope and prosperity.  It is not possible to run a free market economy with a declining population. There are not enough people to produce or to buy. The population becomes top heavy with old people, and therefore old people are increasingly resented.  There are now fewer services from the government available for the elderly.

In almost every part of the world there is an exponentially diminishing birthrate. Some countries, recognizing the implications, are scrambling to correct it.  But they have found that once the natural ecology between parent and child is damaged, it is difficult, maybe impossible to correct the imbalance. Efforts in Romania with draconian laws and pregnancy police or East Germany with monetary incentives to encourage people to have children, failed. In North America the birth rate of children per couple is 1.7 (2.1 are necessary to maintain stable population). North America prospers because of immigration.  Canada, in particular, is an attractive place to live.  Therefore the Canadian government can be selective, bringing in intelligent, healthy, well educated people who help build the economy, but this is at the expense of many other countries. Russia, the Ukraine and some west European countries are struggling with a declining population and struggling to make their economy work.

Every child has a utilitarian value.  They are needed by the world to produce, consume and pay taxes.  Handicapped children bring out the best in us, they teach us to be loving.  They keep us civilized.

Every child has a biochemical duality.  He/she need two parents of opposite sexes that are well bonded and committed to each other to bring out the best aspects of their personality. His sexual identity is developed in identifying with the parent of his/her sex.  Respect for the opposite sex develops from the role modeling of his parents interaction with each other.  The problem in many families is that fathers are deserting and many girls grow up in fatherless families. This creates an unfulfilled need to be loved and held by a father-like figure. There is both a deep yearning for and a deep distrust of men. The absent father woman trying to find somebody who will fill this need, marries  a man who was probably neglected by his mother. They select and coach each other, then dramatize this mutual conflict. In their disappointment in each other, they scapegoat then kill the pre-born child.  Abortion results from a tragic triangle of perpetrator, victim and observer, (P.V.O.).10   The observers role is critical. Grandparents have colluded, doctors have permitted, pastors, priests and church leaders have ignored.  In matters of life and death, there are no innocent bystanders. In some way almost everyone has  contributed to the massive destruction of innocent, pre-born children.

God’s original intention of fellowship with humans was temporarily frustrated in the Garden of Eden.  His alternative plan through the death of Jesus will work.  The Hope Alive counseling method is thoroughly Christian and thoroughly scientific.  Our hope is to promote healing and reconciliation of humans toward each other and people with God. International Hope Alive Counsellors Association (IHACA) provides training for those who are interested in doing intensive group psychotherapy designed to provide insight and new skills for those who are deeply damaged by a combination of pregnancy loss, particularly abortion, plus child abuse and neglect.  There is nothing more dehumanizing or deeply damaging especially when to this combination is added the post-abortion survivors syndrome.11  Hope Alive group counseling is intense, difficult work and requires insightful, mature people. Anyone interested can contact us and we can put them in touch with a trainer.*  There is hope and healing in this sad world. To prevent abortion, to treat those who are deeply damaged by child abuse and abortion, and to welcome everyone is a demanding task, and not without cost.

Do not tell children they are wanted.  Tell every child they are welcome.  Show them you are glad they are who they are and that God made them.  For when children are welcomed, they can be who they were designed to be.  They can welcome others.  They will not wonder about your wantedness when you become old and feeble.  Welcomed children live with a sense of purpose and joy.  While wanted children, particularly abortion survivors, are fearful and resentful, welcomed children feel and express hope.  They  pass on that hope by having and welcoming their own children and children who are being mistreated.


1. NEY PG. “A Relationship Between Abortion and Child Abuse”, Can J Psychiatry 24:610-620, 1979.

2. Klaus M G. Kennel JH: Maternal-infant Bonding. St. Louis: C V Mosby Co., 1976.

3. Lewis E: Mourning by the family after a still birth or neonatal death. Arch Dis Child 54: 303-306, 1979

4. Bradley C. F. Abortion and subsequent pregnancy. Can J. Psychiatry. 29, 494-498, 1984.

5. Kumar R, Robson K: previous induced abortion and antenatal depression in primiparae: A preliminary report of a survey of mental health in pregnancy. Psychol Med 8: 711-715, 1978

6. NEY PG. FUNG T. WICKETT AR. “Relationship Between Induced Abortion and Child Abuse and Neglect: Four Studies”, Pre and Perinatal Psychology J. 8:43-63, 1993

7. NEY PG. “A Consideration of Abortion Survivors”, Child Psychiatry Hum Dev 13:168-179, 1983.

8. NEY PG. PEETERS MA. Abortion Survivors (2nd Edition), Victoria, Pioneer Publishing, 1996.

9. NEY PG. “Abortion and Family Psychology: A study in progress”, Canadian Journal of Diagnosis, 16(1): 113-119, 1999

10. NEY PG. “Transgenerational Triangles of Abuse: A Model of Family Violence”, In Intimate Violence: Interdisciplinary Perspectives. Ed: Emilio C. Viano. Washington:  Hemisphere Publishing, 1992. pp.15-25.

11. NEY PG. PEETERS MA. Deeply Damaged (3rd ed), Victoria:  Pioneer Publishing, 1997.

*  IIPLACARR, PO Box 27103, 750 Goldstream Avenue, Colwood Corners, Victoria, BC V9B 5S4, CANADA