The New York Times is raising eyebrows over a guest essay calling out Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett for highlighting adoption while hearing the landmark abortion case.
During Wednesday’s oral arguments challenging Mississippi’s law that bans abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy, Barrett put a spotlight on safe-haven laws in every state that allow people to “terminate parental rights by relinquishing a child after abortion” as opposed to the pro-abortion stance that banning abortions would lead to “forced motherhood.”
In a piece published Friday titled “I Was Adopted. I Know the Trauma It Can Inflict,” Democratic strategist Elizabeth Spiers began by paraphrasing Barrett’s inquiry, “Why was abortion necessary, when women who do not want to be mothers can simply give their babies up for adoption?”
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“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,” Spiers wrote. “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.”
Spiers took a swipe at Barrett, an adoptive mother herself, for speaking of adoption as “some kind of idyllic fairy tale” while overlooking the “complexities of adoption and the toll it can inflict on children.”
The Democratic strategist detailed how she herself was put up for adoption as a baby and grew up in a loving home with her adoptive parents. She revealed she reconnected with her biological mother, Maria, and learned that she had three other siblings.
“I had a wonderful childhood and I believe she had made the right decision. But she remains heartbroken about the years we missed together,” Spiers wrote. “Both Maria and my mom, Alice, oppose abortion on religious grounds… Both like to point to me to justify their beliefs, saying that had Maria gotten an abortion, I would not exist. It’s a familiar argument: The anti-abortion movement likes to invoke Nobel Prize winners who might never have materialized, or potential adoptees who might have cured cancer, if they hadn’t been aborted at eight weeks.”
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“I’m no Nobel Prize winner, but I still resent being used as a political football by the right. I believe that abortion is a form of health care, and that every woman should have access to it if she needs it. But perhaps more than that, I resent the suggestion by people like Justice Barrett that adoption is a simple solution, and I resent it on behalf of Maria, who found the choice she made traumatizing and still feels that pain, 44 years later. Even when an adoption works out well, as it did in my case, it is still fraught,” Spiers continued.
She later argued that 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,” later suggesting the process of a pregnancy a “kind of biological brainwashing” for creating a physical bond between mother and child. She also pointed to a study showing that children given up for adoption face a “relinquishment trauma” as well.
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“What Justice Barrett and others are suggesting women to do in lieu of abortion is not a small thing. It is life changing, irrevocable, and not to be taken lightly. It often causes trauma, even when things work out, and it’s a disservice to adoptees and their families, biological and adopted, to pretend otherwise in service of a neat political narrative,” Spiers added.
Critics blasted the Times piece on social media for appearing to suggest abortion is a better solution for a baby than adoption.
“I can assure you my sister prefers being alive than dead. And would prefer a life outside of an orphanage in Calcutta,” Daily Mail columnist Meghan McCain reacted. “Of all the grotesque woke commentary to emerge in the past few years – the anti-adoption fringe intellectuals are by far the most vile and sick.”
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“Love that the new Leftist position is that abortion is necessary because adoption is bad. This is psychotic,” The Daily Wire’s Ben Shapiro wrote.
“So a New York Times writer actually thought that she was making an intelligent point by arguing kids are better off aborted than being adopted because adoption can cause them stress and suffering later in life….” conservative writer A.G. Hamilton tweeted.
“Choosing not to live to own the cons,” The American Conservative contributing editor Sohrab Ahmari quipped.