People who are pro-life usually cite adoption as an alternative to terminating a woman’s pregnancy. They say that there are many other families who will take their child in. That would come close to even beginning to be a noble sentiment, if there weren’t so many kids already in the foster care system.
According to the most current AFCARS (Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System Report) Report, released in June 2011, there were approximately 408,425 children in the U. S. in foster care on September 30, 2010. The full report is available online via the Children’s Bureau website at: http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cb/stats_research/afcars/tar/report18.htm.
Now, those numbers don’t lie. If there are that many children already in foster care what makes you think that one more is going to have an increased chance over them? Are they not worth your “pro-life” campaigning? I guess the stance that all life is sacred and worth protecting and providing for is not applicable to people who have already left the womb. If you were really pro-LIFE you would be caring, campaigning, and fighting tooth and nail for the kids who are already stuck in the horrible world that is the foster care system of America. But, just to drill it through your skulls, here are some more numbers and facts.
There are 423,773 children in the U.S. foster care system; 114,556 of these children are available for adoption. Their birth parent’s legal rights have been permanently terminated and children are left without a family.
More children become available for adoption each year than are adopted. In 2009, 69,947 children had parental rights terminated by the courts, yet only 57,466 were adopted.
Children often wait three years or more to be adopted, move three or more times in foster care and often are separated from siblings. The average age of waiting children is 8 years old.
Last year, 29,471 children turned 18 and left the foster care system without an adoptive family.
Adopting from foster care is affordable. Most child welfare agencies cover the costs of home studies and court fees, and provide post-adoption subsidies. Thousands of employers offer financial reimbursement and paid leave for employees who adopt and Federal and/or state adoption tax credits are available to most families.
Every child is adoptable. Many children in foster care have special needs. All of them deserve the chance to grow up in a safe, loving, permanent home. Support and other post-adoption resources are available.
Adopting from foster care is permanent. Once a child is adopted out of foster care, the birth parents cannot attempt to claim them or fight in court for their return. A family formed through foster care adoption is forever.
According to a National Adoption Attitudes Survey commissioned by the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption, 63 percent of Americans hold a favorable view of adoption and 78 percent think more should be done to encourage adoption.
Nearly 40 percent of American adults, or 81.5 million people, have considered adopting a child, according to the National Adoption Attitudes Survey. If just one in 500 of these adults adopted, every waiting child in foster care would have a permanent family.
If you think that putting more children into the roulette of being adopted is a good idea, read over those facts. Why would you want to put a child through that? Simply because you want to stand on your pedestal to preach from your misconceived moral high ground? Don’t sacrifice others into that, just so you can seem like some defender of life and it’s future possibilities.
You’re not pro-life, you’re just a supporter of a movement that takes away the control women have over their own bodies and futures. After that fetus comes to term, you disappear and move on to the next unfortunate pregnant woman to stop her from as well. You use guilt, fear tactics, and violence to achieve your goals; as opposed to logic and sound thinking.
If you are looking through google for information on the wonderful invention known as Plan B, Emergency contraception or the Morning After Pill- avoid Morningafterpill.org, which comes up on page 1 of ‘morning after pill’ searches
It is a actually a Anti-Abortion, Anti-Contraception site meant to shame women into thinking they are ending human life by using any method of emergency birth control. It is run by Catholics and gives an EXCESSIVE amount of misinformation about Plan B, going as far as to inform women they are Killing their child and this is simply not true.
Need a reputable site for Emergency Contraception info?
I love abortion. I don’t accept it. I don’t view it as a necessary evil. I embrace it. I donate to abortion funds. I write about how important it is to make sure that every woman has access to safe, legal abortion services. I have bumper stickers and buttons and t-shirts proclaiming my support for reproductive freedom. I love abortion.
And I bristle every time a fellow activist uses a trendy catch-phrase or rallying cry meant to placate pro-lifers. The first of these, “Make abortion safe, legal, and rare!” has been used for decades as a call for abortion rights.
Safe and legal are concepts I fully support, but rare is something I cannot abide. I understand the theoretical mindset: it is better for a woman to prevent an unwanted pregnancy than to bear the physical and financial burden of an abortion. While my own abortion involved very little pain and a minimal financial expense, one which my ex-boyfriend was willing to share with me, even I can admit that using condoms or the pill is preferable to eight weeks of nausea and weight gain. Contraception is a valuable tool.
However, there is no need to suggest that abortion be rare. To say so implies a value judgement, promoting the idea that abortion is somehow distasteful or immoral and should be avoided. Even with affordable, accessible birth control, there will be user errors, condoms that break, moments of spontaneity. The best contraceptive access in the world won’t change the fact that we are merely human and imperfect in our routines. The best access in the world also won’t change the fact that some women are raped, while others find that even wanted pregnancies sometimes need to be terminated for the woman’s well-being or to avoid birthing a child with painful or unmanageable disabilities. Women who find themselves facing any of these situations shouldn’t feel guilty for failing to keep the numbers low.
It stands to reason that if we ensure contraception is both readily available and easily affordable for sexually active women of all ages, the need for abortion may decrease as a result. That would be a laudable accomplishment and an indication of social progress for an America otherwise plagued by anti-feminist, religious conservatism known for shaming women’s sexuality.
Nevertheless, even in the face of such (hypothetical) strides, we must remember that extenuating circumstances like health, contraceptive failure, and rape mean that abortion will always be a normal, necessary, and reasonable choice for many women. As such, we must avoid stigmatizing it in any way. No woman benefits from even the vaguest insinuation that abortion is an immoral or objectionable option. That’s the weak argument made by misogynistic, forced-birth advocates, and it has no place in a dialogue about reproductive freedom. Terminating a pregnancy is not an unethical act, yet suggesting that abortion shouldbe rare implies that there is something undesirable about having one.
Similarly, I’ve heard reproductive rights activists claim that “no one likes abortion,” in an attempt to find common ground with anti-choicers. While it may be true that no one likes the physical act of having an abortion (any more than she may like her yearly mammogram, life-saving chemotherapy, or temporarily uncomfortable dental surgery), a great many women like abortion itself. They like knowing that an unwanted pregnancy does not have to yield an unwanted child. They like knowing that their mental and physical health take precedence over an embryo. They like knowing that they own their bodies. Many medical procedures are physically unpleasant, but that doesn’t lessen how grateful we are to have them available when we need them.
Suggesting that abortion be “safe, legal, and rare,” and crowing that “no one likes abortion,” accomplishes nothing for women’s rights. Pandering to the anti-choice movement by implying that we all find termination distasteful only fuels the fire against it. What good is common ground if it must be achieved at the expense of women who have had or will have abortions? Those women need advocates like us more than we need support from anti-abortionists. Rather than trying to cozy up to the forced-birth camp, women who value their freedom should be proud to say that they like abortion. In fact, they should venerate it whole-heartedly. Abortion is our last refuge, the one final, definitive instrument that secures our bodily autonomy. What’s not to love?
Wonderful piece. However, I want to point out that it’s not just women who get pregnant and need abortions, though.