Conservatives have pushed infant safe haven laws as an alternative to abortion. But few American women use them

By Isabelle Chapman and Daniel A. Medina
Tue August 9, 2022

As many American women reckon with the sudden loss of their constitutional right to abortion, conservatives have floated an alternative they say makes abortion less necessary: safe haven laws.

The laws, which allow mothers to anonymously abandon infants at hospitals and other designated sites shortly after giving birth, have been in place in all 50 states since 2008.

We’re the Women Who Chose Adoption Over Abortion. Ask Us Why Abortion Rights Matter


The pee test came up positive. There they were, two lines, side by side, rose and ghostly.

It was the 1980s, and I was a full-time college student. I’d just been dumped by a guy I was convinced I loved and I was trying to figure out what the rest of my life was going to look like. I was frozen with indecision, attracted to every kind of career. So many could-be lives beckoned and called to me that I found it impossible to decide on just one. Even choosing a single academic major meant a dozen other fields I’d never master, a whole array of breath-taking magical lives I’d never get to live.


How Black Feminists Defined Abortion Rights

As liberation movements bloomed, they offered a vision of reproductive justice that was about equality, not just “choice.”

By Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor
February 22, 2022

It will probably be months before the Supreme Court decides, in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, whether to overturn Roe v. Wade. But, in this latest round of attacks on Roe, a novel line of argument has emerged: that forced pregnancy and parenthood no longer constitute a hardship for women. Lawyers representing Mississippi, the appellant in the lawsuit, describe a world that has fundamentally changed over the past fifty years, in which the burdens of parenting have been lifted and women have been empowered to have it all—to assume a career while still raising families. As for those women who would prefer not to parent, they now have the option to simply terminate their parental rights.


USA – How Abortion Access Can Save Women From Violence

In America, pregnancy is a uniquely violent and sometimes deadly time. Abortion can be a lifeline.

Caroline Orr Bueno
December 15, 2021

There was a particularly revealing exchange at the Supreme Court last week, during arguments over Mississippi’s 15-week abortion ban, in a case with grave implications for abortion rights nationwide. Justice Amy Coney Barrett brought up safe haven laws—which allow babies to be surrendered for adoption shortly after birth without criminal penalties—and suggested that abortion is no longer necessary since women can just give up their babies for adoption. If abortion rights advocates are concerned about the burdens of forced motherhood, Barrett asked, “Why don’t the safe haven laws take care of that problem?”

Barrett’s comments reflect complete disregard for the ordeal of pregnancy itself and the impact of making people endure an unwanted pregnancy.


It’s not as simple as abortion v. adoption. Just ask Bri

December 14, 2021

Bri had wanted to be a mom for as long as she can recall. "I remember in high school, one of my aunts had a large family, so I used to say I wanted five kids like her," she said.

But seven years ago, Bri got pregnant by accident. She was 21 years old and the reality she confronted was very different from her teenage fantasy.


Sociologist says women are more likely to choose abortion over adoption

December 3, 2021
Heard on All Things Considered
Mary Louise Kelly

NPR's Mary Louise Kelly talks with Gretchen Sisson, a sociologist at UCSF, who has studied whether the option to put a child up for adoption alleviates the need for a woman to get an abortion.

In oral arguments this week before the Supreme Court over Mississippi's ban on abortion after 15 weeks, the court's newest justice, Amy Coney Barrett, brought up the issue of adoption as a viable alternative to abortion. Well, sociologist Gretchen Sisson has studied and written extensively about the choices people make when they don't wish to have a child, and she joins me now.


The new anti-abortion tactics of the far right in the Americas

OCT 24, 2021

An EL PAÍS investigation in five Latin American countries has found that a network of centers affiliated with the far-right US organization Heartbeat International (HI) promote themselves online as feminist support groups and use misleading language in favor of abortion, but in reality they work to manipulate and institutionalize women to get them to carry their pregnancy to term.

Five female reporters and one male reporter went undercover to centers in Argentina, Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador and Mexico between 2019 and 2021, as a follow-up to an OpenDemocracy investigation into HI’s operations in the region.


USA – Adoption of separated migrant kids shows ‘pro-life’ groups’ disrespect for maternity

Adoption of separated migrant kids shows 'pro-life' groups' disrespect for maternity

Jill Filipovic
Wed 30 Oct 2019

The shadow of Trump’s family separation policy is long. In its darkness: children who were ripped away from their parents, now being adopted out to American families. All with the help of those who claim to stand up for children because they are “pro-life”.

An Associated Press investigation earlier this month found that children across the country are being stripped from their parents and handed over to new families, who are able to petition for custody of them – and that state court judges can grant that custody without notifying the children’s parents. Thanks to a hastily implemented family separation policy, there are hundreds of migrant children in foster care or detention centers whose parents undoubtedly want them. But if their parents have been deported, reunification is more difficult – especially if more-powerful American foster parents decide they want to keep the child they are supposed to be temporarily caring for.


USA – Why So Many Women Choose Abortion Over Adoption

Why So Many Women Choose Abortion Over Adoption
Some American women see giving up their babies as more emotionally painful than terminating their pregnancies.

Olga Khazan
May 20, 2019

Along the highways of states where support for abortion is at its lowest, it’s not uncommon to see road signs that say choose adoption and similar messages. The signs capture a preferred anti-abortion retort to outcries over abortion restrictions, like the kind Georgia and Alabama just passed: Women with unwanted pregnancies should find adoptive families.

Adoption is a choice that certain women who don’t wish to keep their babies enter into happily. Some women find abortion to be anathema and rule it out among their options for an unwanted pregnancy. And for women considering abortion who ultimately settle on adoption, the process often benefits everyone involved.


U.S.: Adoption Is A Feminist Issue, But Not For The Reasons You Think

Adoption Is A Feminist Issue, But Not For The Reasons You Think

Liz Latty
Apr 19, 2017

Adoption is a complex billion-dollar business that often increases inequality.

In their efforts to cure what they see as a moral crisis infecting our nation, the anti-choice movement has historically thrown their power, money, and influence behind their two favorite antidotes to abortion: abstinence-only education and adoption. In any era when reproductive rights are being rolled back, as they are now, feminists need to get stronger and clearer about where we stand and what we’re fighting for. We all know, both from data and from common sense, that abstinence education is not only a failure but wildly detrimental to the health and safety of young people. But there doesn’t yet seem to be a broader understanding, even in the mainstream feminist and pro-choice movements, that promoting adoption has its problems too.

Continued at link: The Establishment: