Even without the recent placing of a magnifying glass over a widely deemed “chilling” and “unsettling” footnote from the Roe v. Wade leaked draft written up by the Supreme Court, many Americans have been sitting in discontent, watching and waiting for the final ruling that could ultimately ban the right to abortion in numerous states on the spot.
Aside from the seemingly blatant disregard for what a solid portion of Americans want and the concern aroused from the idea that other civil rights could be stripped (such as the access to contraceptives, which, ironically enough, aid in the prevention of unwanted pregnancies,) the most pressing issue as things stand appears to be felt most harshly by those seeking safe, legal abortions, as well as those who may need access to such in the coming days, months, and years.
Still, a shining light has been placed on a particular footnote from the leaked opinion draft written by Supreme Court Justices Samuel Alito and Amy Coney Barrett. On page 34, while offering up adoption as a seemingly fix-all solution for unwanted pregnancies (a common pro-life talking point,) the draft references a 2002 statistic saying approximately a million women were seeking to adopt at that point in time but were unable to due to a lack of children being put up for adoption.
“Whereas the domestic supply of infants relinquished at birth or within the first month of life and available to be adopted has become virtually nonexistent,” the document reads.
Many have taken issue with the “disturbing” insinuation threaded through the short, but very telling, footnote. The idea that newborn children are somehow commodities to be bought and sold rang hollow for some, and completely wrong for others. Some have also pointed out that the wording of the footnote seems to imply that women being forced to give birth to babies they did not wish to carry to term is somehow a net positive because now those previously unwanted children can just be adopted out: as if the process of adoption is that simple. Not to mention that it’s becoming increasingly more expensive to adopt, especially in America.
Others have pointed out that the very notion of commodifying human lives, no matter the infancy of them, is both strange and unnerving, especially when coming from individuals seeking to ban a woman’s right to terminate her pregnancy. The argument also appears to be built on the idea that pregnant women, no matter how they ended up in that situation, should simply grit and bear it for nearly a year in order to make the adoption dreams of strangers come true.
Commodifying the act of childbirth doesn’t seem to sit well with most Americans. It should also be noted that, according to recent statistics, there is no genuine shortage of adoptable children in America with more than 400,000 currently in foster care around the United States.