Patterico's Pontifications

12/3/2021

Adoptee: I Wish I Had Been Aborted Instead

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:29 am



I mean, that’s not the headline of the article, or anything said in it, but isn’t that ultimately the necessary conclusion of this argument?

On Wednesday, as the Supreme Court heard oral arguments from state attorneys seeking to uphold Mississippi’s 15-week abortion ban, Justice Amy Coney Barrett kept getting at one question: Why was abortion necessary, when women who do not want to be mothers can simply give their babies up for adoption?

As an adoptee myself, I was floored by Justice Barrett’s assumption that adoption is an accessible and desirable alternative for women who find themselves unexpectedly pregnant. She may not realize it, but what she is suggesting is that women don’t need access to abortion because they can simply go do a thing that is infinitely more difficult, expensive, dangerous and potentially traumatic than terminating a pregnancy during its early stages.

As an adoptive mother herself, Justice Barrett should have some inkling of the complexities of adoption and the toll it can inflict on children, as well as birth mothers. But she speaks as if adoption is some kind of idyllic fairy tale. My own adoption actually was what many would consider idyllic. I was raised by two adoptive parents, Alice and Terry, from the time I was an infant, and grew up in a home where I knew every day that I was loved. A few years ago, I found my biological mother, Maria, and three siblings I didn’t know I had via a DNA test and Facebook.

. . . .

If the court overturns Roe v. Wade, many women will be forced to give birth to children they did not want or did not feel that they could afford to support. While pregnant, they will undergo the bonding with a child that happens by biological design as an embryo develops into a living, breathing, conscious human. And then that child will be taken away.

The right likes to suggest that abortion is a traumatic experience for women — a last resort, a painful memory. But adoption is often just as traumatic as the right thinks abortion is, if not more so, as a woman has to relinquish, not a lump of cells, but a fully formed baby she has lived with for nine months.

I will never understand this argument: that adoption is traumatic and difficult, ergo we should just have the mother abort the child instead. Out of sight, out of mind, I guess.

What’s more, to target Barrett, herself an adoptive mother, is not only obtuse, but very counterproductive to a public persuasion movement that, if pro-choice activists had any sense, would focus on Chief Justice Roberts, the most persuadable of the conservatives. So why not insult him too, another an adoptive parent? Great strategy, guys!

Thank God the pro-choicers have no sense at all.

63 Responses to “Adoptee: I Wish I Had Been Aborted Instead”

  1. And then that child will be taken away.

    But wait. This is a choice, isn’t it? This is like me saying that if I give money to the United Way, it is being “taken away” as if it was the IRS that I “gave” it to.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  2. “As an anti-choicer, this pro-choice argument doesn’t convince me.”

    Why, yes, this sure is a puzzler!

    john (cd2753)

  3. Ironically, Patterico, the pro-choicers have something like a religious conviction. They are truly the mirror image of what they claim to despise.

    I want to return to my own planet. Earth is insane.

    Simon Jester (c8876d)

  4. I definitely do not agree with the NYT guest editorial, but …

    Justice Barrett’s reasoning may do for the Seventh Circuit, but it’s a piss poor example of Supreme Court analysis. What does she want the Court to do? Overrule Roe v. Wade in places that have lots of safe havens, lots of licensed adoption agencies, and lots of qualified adoptive parents wanting to adopt? It’s casuistry.

    nk (1d9030)

  5. While pregnant, they will undergo the bonding with a child that happens by biological design as an embryo develops into a living, breathing, conscious human. And then that child will be taken away.

    There is so much here to unpack. But ask this: What part of this argues that an abortion in the 2nd or 3rd trimester would be less traumatic?

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  6. Out of sight, out of mind, I guess.

    Correct. Some women find the thought much more difficult.

    Sammy Finkelman (c49738)

  7. I’ve been told.

    Sammy Finkelman (c49738)

  8. nk,

    There is a lot of imperfect reasoning here. Barrett’s argument borders on froth, but so does the one in the editorial. Even Justice Thomas, talking about crack babies, is engaging in an emotional appeal (and one with less rigor — the state may well decide that the woman’s interest in smoking crack is not the same as another woman’s interest in keeping her job).

    Barrett, though, does have a bit of a point: The “choice” argument that women will be burdened by a 20 year effort to raise a child doesn’t hold water. There are other burdens and risks of pregnancy, of course, but they can end after 9 months if the mother so desires. At least in the 48 states that allow surrender of the infant.

    And there isn’t a shortage of people willing to take in infants.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  9. Even if you believe that abortion is just a medical procedure, you have to admit that, of all available means of birth control, it is by far the sloppiest.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  10. Kevin M (ab1c11) — 12/3/2021 @ 9:22 am

    And they can always move to New York where abortion is legal, too. Yeah, Thomas is another one of the casuists. We’ve seen it in his Fourth Amendment opinions.

    And it would be fine and dandy if they were ruling over whether State Farm owes me coverage even though I lent my car to a near-sighted short person who totaled it because he could not see where he was going and his foot could not reach the brake pedal. But this a big case and a big controversy involving an unenumerated right in the U.S. Constitution and far-reaching political and social repercussions.

    nk (1d9030)

  11. And I find the term of art “undue burden” being shifted from an undue burden on the Constitutional right to an undue burden on the person not only casuistic, which it is by definition, but also dishonest, a sleight of hand.

    nk (1d9030)

  12. I had the impression the point of Barrett’s argument was not so much the particular option of adoption, but that the general category of options available to those wanting “Choice” is now much greater than it was in the 1970’s. The social stigma of unmarried pregnancy has withered. The availability of “safe haven” facilities to hand over babies has increased. The prevalence of birth control is now vast. Even the financial costs of full term delivery, under ObamaCare, are — at the very least — different now than they were in an era where so many women had too little or too restrictive medical insurance.

    And yes, the always arbitrary line between “trimesters” that was drawn in Roe was drawn on an understanding of viability that history, science, and progress has shifted. The arc of history is subtle, but it bends toward life.

    When the world changes, the law changes with it. Or, if it does not, the law AND the world are BOTH worse off.

    pouncer (6c33cf)

  13. The right likes to suggest that abortion is a traumatic experience for women — a last resort, a painful memory. But adoption is often just as traumatic as the right thinks abortion is, if not more so, as a woman has to relinquish, not a lump of cells, but a fully formed baby she has lived with for nine months.

    I will never understand this argument: that adoption is traumatic and difficult, ergo we should just have the mother abort the child instead. Out of sight, out of mind, I guess.

    Patterico, Your statement that you misunderstood the argument is correct. Part of it’s the writers fault, it would be clearer if they’d said where they feel the transition from lump of cells to child happens. But, even without that it’s clear they’re saying that forcing a woman to turn a lump of cells into a child that they can give up for adoption is worse than letting them terminate the pregnancy when it’s still a lump of cells. I bolded a line from the section you quoted that makes this clear.

    They also seem to be making the case that treating adoption as an easy alternative is incorrect in their view.

    Time123 (9f42ee)

  14. I know this is a very emotional subject, but what happened to your idea about the ideological turning test? Do you feel the writing of this piece would recognize your characterization of their argument as accurate?

    Time123 (9f42ee)

  15. @13 worse for whom?

    worse for the writer, who was adopted?

    the host characterized the argument precisely correct

    JF (e1156d)

  16. Time123 @14.

    To Patterico?

    I know this is a very emotional subject, but what happened to your idea about the ideological turning test

    Did you mean to say “ideological Turing test?”

    And what does that mean, in any case?

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  17. Sammy:

    https://medium.com/swlh/a-turing-test-for-your-ideology-74257e355148

    The idea is that you have the ability to make the other side’s argument in a way that they would accept.

    Appalled (1a17de)

  18. The democrat party is led by wimps who’s job is to control the left base so they don’t threaten the corporate establishment. beto, kamala, buttgeig and the other wimps job is to keep AOC and the squad from taking over the democrat party. If 2022 is a democrat defeat the left are in safe seats and will take over the democrat party and the democrat corporate establishment will be discredited even more then 2016. The left will then have free reign to “deal” with the conservatives.

    asset (58f31b)

  19. As Patterico pointed out the other day, these positions can’t be balanced as we do in normal cases. That is how it is in the biggest cases — separate but equal, gay marriage, abortion.

    Roe was a balancing case but only because of the limits of medicine at the time. The answer may change if medicine gives us test tube babies grown in pods. Until then, one side wins and the other loses. Choice won in Roe. Time to let the States try other ways.

    DRJ (03cb91)

  20. People write stuff about Supreme Court being considered because it makes them feel good, I guess. Or maybe it get some clicks or a paycheck. I can’t imagine someone in chambers saying “I was reading this piece in the New Yorker today and it really got me…

    The real point about writings like this is to keep a meme going that the Supremes are ridiculous and full of icky right-ies and so we need to find some way to replace them all, espcially the sex harasser guys we couldn’t tar and feather enough in the confirmation hearings. The audience isn’t Coney — it’s Sinema.

    As for the argument — well, I would like to see folks engage Kavenaugh’s statements, which actually have something to do with constitutional law, rather than political lobbying.

    Appalled (1a17de)

  21. The author is a lump of cells. So am I.

    steveg (e81d76)

  22. @20

    As for the argument — well, I would like to see folks engage Kavenaugh’s statements, which actually have something to do with constitutional law, rather than political lobbying.

    That’s where I’m at. What’s the constitutional basis for keeping/modifying Roe/Casey?

    This goes into the concept of what we believe SCOTUS should operate. Are they a partisan, supra-legislative body? A bunch of jurist applying good faith interpretation of the text of the laws? Or, somewhere in between?

    whembly (0ae2ca)

  23. @21

    The author is a lump of cells. So am I.

    steveg (e81d76) — 12/3/2021 @ 12:53 pm

    We’re all simply space dusts. 😉

    whembly (0ae2ca)

  24. We are all lumps of cells and are better measured by function over form. Good looks fade, dumb is forever

    steveg (e81d76)

  25. The idea is that you have the ability to make the other side’s argument in a way that they would accept.
    Appalled (1a17de) — 12/3/2021 @ 12:14 pm

    The problem is this breaks down when applied. As soon as a person disagrees with a position the other side alleges “you didn’t really understand it”. In other words, agreeing and accepting are tied to understanding.

    frosty (f27e97)

  26. About my #20 — which I mangled…

    I think the incessant writing about Supreme Court deliberations on Op Ed pages is not about persuading the justices. It is about finding a way to persuade moderate Democrats to pack the court because Republicans are by definition unreasonable.

    Appalled (1a17de)

  27. #25

    I think that some of us, brought up on watching Buckley and Galbraith politely agreeing to disagree on Public Television, have this view of political debate that does not work in comment threads. This Turing Test thing depends on the opposition having a willingness to recognize their own arguments when regurgitated to them.

    That. doesn’t. happen.

    Appalled (1a17de)

  28. DRJ @19. I agree with your comment. But in modern politics there’s a tendency to argue against a freak show version of the opponents position instead of what they’re actually saying.

    In this case “The author would rather be aborted then adopted” instead of “aborting a lump of cells before it becomes a person is better then forcing a woman to create and birth a child. Also, don’t assume adoption allows you to err on the side of caution with little to no cost.”

    It’s has similar flaws to the assertion that pro-lifers really just want to punish women for having sex or stop caring about the baby once it’s born.

    Time123 (9f42ee)

  29. @25, I’ve had very productive discussions on this site with people who disagreed with me but understood my argument, treated it fairly and identified where the point of contention was; Sammy, Appaled, Whembly, Kevin, JVW DRJ, Dana, You & Patterico in the past , to name just a few. List is by no means intended to be exhaustive and I intend no slight to anyone I didn’t name.

    Time123 (9f42ee)

  30. As I have said before this is becoming another dred scott decision. Ben gazzara in run for your life said it best :”with reasonable people I will be reasonable and with unreasonable people I will be unreasonable!” The democrat corporate establishment demands the democrats be reasonable with unreasonable republicans and control their unreasonable left base. They need to be in power to control base. If they lose in 2022 they will have no power to stop the left base from taking over the democrat party.

    asset (58f31b)

  31. 2022 a bus with women and girls leaves a planed parenthood site in mississippi or texas and is stopped anti abortion activists or authority. What does biden? And if he doesn’t do anything what does the left base of the democrat party do to destroy his administration with the help of the media leftists.

    asset (58f31b)

  32. On the underlying issue; I think it’s interesting to look at the constitutional rights that have to be federalized and those that don’t. The 2nd is applied very unevenly in various states. No one has any real issue there.

    I don’t think allowing different states to have different abortion rules is the end of the republic.

    frosty (f27e97)

  33. asset (58f31b) — 12/3/2021 @ 1:35 pm

    This seems like just a different way to say “I don’t have to be reasonable with people I disagree with” and “give me what I want or we start burning stuff down”.

    I for one have no issue with the left base taking over the D’s.

    frosty (f27e97)

  34. “Time to let the States try other ways.”

    For most of my life this was my position, but I’m starting to question it….primarily because it will tear apart some toss-up states. Politically, everything in those states will be driven by abortion….and it’s not clear to me that a Roe-like compromise easily emerges or that this helps conservatism more generally. Second, though I believe that the net number of abortions will go down, most will just get moved somewhere else (i.e., California, New Mexico, New York, Massachusetts)…and you will see more pharmalogical self-abortions and desperate women doing desperate things. Enforcement gets awkward.

    It will be the same as prohibition. 60% of our population thinks it should be legal in some form and that number doesn’t change because Alabama and Mississippi have outright bans. There’s not been some sort of moral catharsis driving this — not everyone believes that this should be a community decision. Now maybe some here will say that this reckoning was inevitable. That Roe was bad reasoning….and that Casey didn’t fix it. That’s true…and maybe short-term upheaval leads to a shuffling in the states that does settle, but I fear that more states become more liberal…meaning we see liberalism ascend…and conservatism fall…without much to be shown for it. As I’ve said, be careful what you ask for….ultimately this is about changing hearts….there’s no short cuts.

    AJ_Liberty (ec7f74)

  35. The court of last resort is not the supreme court ;but the street. Wither its jan 6 insurrectionists on the right or blm and antifa on the left. The supreme court’s dred scott decision was reversed by a higher court on july 3 1863 at cemetery ridge gettysburg pennsylvania.

    asset (58f31b)

  36. @33 fair enough!

    asset (58f31b)

  37. @20. ‘As for the argument — well, I would like to see folks engage Kavenaugh’s statements, which actually have something to do with constitutional law, rather than political lobbying.’

    Interesting. I’m not an attorney, but Kavanaugh’s oddly worded phrase– ‘you must pick’– still lingers as peculiar w/me; seemed a deliberate effort to avoid the use of the more naturally fitting term, ‘choose.’

    ____

    ‘Pro-lifers’ short-circuit their POV anyway the moment they invoke any religious deity or a subset of ‘morality’ (which is a societal transient) into a discussion as well. It’s just a matter of maintaining medical options and rights. For Americans, this is facet of ‘life management.’ Other lands deal w/’life management’ issues in varying ways as is: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abortion_in_China [China now allows married couples to have three children, up from the previous limit of two.] And consider the other end of the spectrum: euthanasia. Per wiki, in America: ‘support for euthanasia has increased from 37% in 1947 to a peak of 75% in 2005; however, support fell back to 64% in 2012.” States where it is ‘legal’ vary.

    You can be ‘pro-life’ and support the expansion of options including that of ‘choice’ – which seems very American to my POV– and just because there is an option -a choice’- available does not mean you must avail yourself of it. In America, the ‘arc of history’ has tracked toward expanding rights- not restricting or contracting them. And that is a strength, not a weakness.

    _____

    Time to let the States try other ways.

    Given the recent history of some states being incapable of keeping the basic essentials of modern life operating– like the power grid to provide heat and light for life– not so sure they’ve demonstrated a capacity to manage this issue any better.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  38. DCSCA (f4c5e5) — 12/3/2021 @ 2:00 pm

    In America, the ‘arc of history’ has tracked toward expanding rights- not restricting or contracting them.

    Only for certain rights. And the issue of rights is different from liberty. The general trend has been toward less individual liberty and more emphasis placed on things like the common good.

    frosty (f27e97)

  39. And I find the term of art “undue burden”

    I find it annoying. To allow issues of “undue burdens” to arise, as they will continually do, is just a way of letting one side have as many bites at the apple as they need.

    Heads, I win. Eventually.

    There are really only two or three alternatives:

    1. Do nothing, strike down the law and reaffirm Casey.
    2. Strike down the whole regime and let it go to the states. In truth, I think this would favor Democrats at the state level.
    3. Simplify it by getting rid of “undue burdens”, establish a simple time limit for elective abortion, and allow states to set whatever rules they think proper after that. There is a question about minor children, but that may be too detailed for a constitutional court (which is, actually, the main problem here).

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  40. BTW, I think we are well past the point where abortions will be banned nationwide, or allowed nationwide. Everyone is going to be unhappy with the half of a loaf they get.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  41. That’s where I’m at. What’s the constitutional basis for keeping/modifying Roe/Casey?

    1. Stare decisis: we made a mistake but we have to live with it. What’s the constitutional basis for keeping the Slaughterhouse cases?

    2. The question involves personhood and when the state must protect a life. That is a fundamental constitutional question. The problem is that it is the type of question that courts have no good leverage on. At best they can create some kind of bright line and home that it remains a bright line, as the viability thing has refused to do.

    3. The alternative (to punt to the states) is unsatisfactory for other reasons. But it might be slightly better in a federalist sense, not that there are any federalists left.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  42. Politically, everything in those states will be driven by abortion

    Yes, for a while. And you may have dry and wet counties like what happened after Prohibition. Only a few states are so large that it is a hardship for some to get to the next state. Yet airfare is not so expensive and there are always buses. It would mean that a lot of concerned people would be donating to abortion assistants in those states.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  43. I also happen to think that states SHOULD be allowed to be different. Don’t like it where you are? MOVE.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  44. You know, the personhood question would be a lot easier to answer if we knew whether the 1790 census counted free pregnant women as two persons, and all other pregnant women (except Indians not taxed) as one and one-fifth (six-fifths) persons. Is there a definitive record for either way, does anybody know?

    nk (1d9030)

  45. @38. Only for certain rights. And the issue of rights is different from liberty.

    Not necessarily, frosty. Example: for American women, these rights not only seem quite ‘liberating’ but for the ‘common good’ as well:

    14 Rights Women Have Gained Since Earning The Right To Vote

    1922: Gained The Right To Marry A Foreigner And Keep Their Citizenship
    1960: Women Were Finally Able To Purchase The Birth Control Pill
    1968: Gained The Right To Have Equal Access To Job Listings
    1970: Gained The Right To Be Paid The Same As Men For The Same Work
    1973: Women Could Legally Get Abortions
    1974: Gained The Right To Get A Credit Card In Their Own Names
    1978: Women Gained The Right To Work Without Discrimination Due To Pregnancy
    1985: Women Could Divorce Their Husbands Because Of “Irreconcilable Differences”
    1986: Women Could Finally Seek Damages For Sexual Harassment In The Workplace
    1993: Marital Rape Became A Criminal Offense In All 50 States
    1998: Women Could Access The Morning After Pill
    2009: Women Could File A Complaint About Pay Discrimination
    2013: Women Were Allowed To Fight On The Front Lines
    2015: Women Could Finally Marry Other Women

    source- https://www.huffpost.com/entry/rights-women-have-gained-since-earning-the-right-to-vote_n_57e9ed33e4b0c2407cd93434

    … unless, of course, you’re Henry Higgins:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Doz5w2W-jAY

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  46. Wouldn’t it be eight-fifths, nk?

    norcal (d9c78c)

  47. I’m pro death. I’m pro abortion, pro death penalty, pro assisted suicide, pro regular suicide. I’m pro anything that opens up a lane on the freeway.

    Not really. I just find the above comedic bit from Bill Maher hilarious.

    norcal (d9c78c)

  48. You mean for pregnant free women and their babies? I don’t think so. Persons bound to service for a term of years are included as free persons and counted as a whole person. So it would be two persons. And regnant other persons would be three-fifths and three-fifths to make six-fifths.

    nk (1d9030)

  49. Oh, you’re right, nk. I forgot to count the pregnant woman as three-fifths! My math isn’t that bad. I promise!

    norcal (d9c78c)

  50. Please don’t count me among the captious, nk!

    norcal (d9c78c)

  51. I won’t, norcal, I promise.

    nk (1d9030)

  52. captious: raising petty objections

    another cool word

    Dustin (0ee127)

  53. Anyway, personhood is more of a pro-abortion red herring than it is anything else: Here is California’s famous 187:

    (a) Murder is the unlawful killing of a human being, or a fetus, with malice aforethought.

    Then you read down to sub-Section (b) and find out “except when it’s an abortion” (they use more words). So, like, man, you know, what gives? Whether a fetus is or is not a person depends on who kills it?

    nk (1d9030)

  54. Absolutely, Dustin. I learned it from nk.

    norcal (d9c78c)

  55. It has the same Latin root as cop/copper as slang for the police. Capere, “to take, catch”.
    Captious.
    Cop.

    nk (1d9030)

  56. had no idea about the etymology

    very memorable information

    Dustin (0ee127)

  57. So if I “cop” a plea, I raise a blizzard of petty objections and then admit to loitering with intent to use tobacco in a no smoking area?

    steveg (e81d76)

  58. Drj.

    At the time of Roe, wasnt birth control less available, less effective and less available. Do you think that was a factor in the way Roe was decided?

    EPWJ (0fbe92)

  59. Lots of things were different in 1974. Casual sex was prevalent, drugs were harmless, the Pill was widely available, there was no AIDS or pandemic, men didn’t become liable for 20 years of welfare payments, and DNA testing wasn’t possible.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  60. @59. Lots of things were different in 1974. Casual sex was prevalent, drugs were harmless, the Pill was widely available, there was no AIDS or pandemic, men didn’t become liable for 20 years of welfare payments, and DNA testing wasn’t possible.

    And women had fewer rights. See #45. Credit card denial seems utterly arcane in hindsight.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  61. The republican party is populist now. Bobert, mtg and their minions demand jim jordan not tinker bell kevin mccarthy be speaker when the republicans retake the house. They are saying mccarthy is trying to make a deal with california democrats so he won’t be redistricted out of his seat. Trump not reaganomics now predominate the republican party. David brookes and the neo-cons have been kicked off the republican bus and are now standing homeless in the road.

    asset (c16b68)

  62. All those Pro-Abortion types better remember their parents decided to have kids instead of choosing not to

    Spurwing Plover (7d814d)

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