Barrett, Alito Excited To See Forced Birth Increase 'Domestic Supply Of Infants'
With all of the garbage packed into that leaked Supreme Court decision, there are parts of it that are only getting attention now. Like one particularly gross footnote referring to "the domestic supply of infants" available for adoption at birth or within the first month of life — suggesting that at least part of the reasoning for the eliminating Roe was the opportunity to use those experiencing unwanted pregnancies as broodmares for those who want to adopt a child. Fun!
See, e.g., Centers for Disease Control, Adoption Experiences of Women and Men and Demand for Children to Adopt by Women 18-44 Years of Age in the United States 16 (Aug. 2008) (“[N]early 1 million women were seeking to adopt children in 2002 (i.e., they were in demand for a child), whereas the domestic supply of infants relinquished at birth or within the first month of life and available to be adopted had become virtually nonexistent.”); Centers for Disease Control, National Center for Health Statistics, Adoption and nonbiological parenting, [link] (showing that approximately 3.1 million women between the ages of 18- 49 had ever “[t]aken steps to adopt a child” based on data collected from 2015-2019).
The footnote echoes sentiments Amy Coney Barrett put forth earlier in the case, in which she suggested that maybe abortion is unnecessary because "safe haven" laws exist.
"So petitioner points out that in all 50 states you can terminate parental rights by relinquishing a child after [birth], and I think the shortest period might have been 48 hours, if I'm remembering the data correctly. So it seems to me, seen in that light, both Roe and Casey emphasize the burdens of parenting. And insofar as you and many of your amici focus on the ways in which forced parenting, forced motherhood, would hinder women's access to the workplace and to equal opportunities, it's also focused on the consequences of parenting and the obligations of motherhood that flow from pregnancy. Why don't the safe-haven laws take care of that problem?"
There is a lot that is horrifying about this. Because the issue is not just that people don't want to raise children, but that they literally do not want to give birth and do not want to be pregnant. It's hardly as if it's not something that involves a whole lot of sacrifice in and of itself — both physically and financially. While sure, there are situations in which prospective parents will hook up with a pregnant person and pay for their medical care, that's not going to be every single case, is it?
According to The American Journal of Managed Care "[t]he average national cost of childbirth admission for an individual with employer-sponsored insurance was $13,811" in the years 2016 and 2017. And that's just for birth. That's not for prenatal care or postnatal care. It can also get a whole lot higher than that if a C-section is needed or there are complications. How many people just have $13,000 lying around to pay to deliver a baby they are going to give up for adoption.
While I have an issue with the thing where people focus exclusively on rape victims who need abortions because others who need them just aren't sympathetic enough somehow ... it's hard not to feel some kind of way about how absurdly expensive it is going to be to be a rape victim in certain states. Like it's somehow not bad enough to be raped or forced to have your rapist's baby, you just may end up having to pay thousands and thousands of dollars for the privilege.
It also seems worth mentioning that many of the states that will be banning abortion ASAP also have the highest maternal mortality rates. So this means that death is also a pretty high risk for those who will be forced to give birth.
And we can thank Republicans for all of those things! Although these are not things one considers when they think of pregnant people as chattel who can provide wealthy people with newborn babies of their own — as apparently they'd prefer that to adopting one of the 117,000 foster children currently available for adoption in this country.
The idea of denying pregnant people reproductive rights and in order to use them for breeding purposes has actually been a very popular idea on the right for a long time. Murray Rothbard, whose horrific economic philosophy has influenced the Republican Party beyond measure, was a "libertarian" who opposed abortion and felt that it was a problem that could be solved with a "thriving baby market" where parents could just sell their babies on the open market after giving birth to them, a plan that could certainly have no downsides whatsoever.
This is going to be bad. Really, really bad. And I'm sorry to do this to you ... but this is now your open thread!
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Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse