The difficult reality of children born after Roe v. Wade by campbell small
The cornerstone of the conservative antiabortion movement is that life begins at conception. Hence, this perspective considers that ending a pregnancy through having an abortion is equivalent to murder, which is why they are call themselves “pro-life”. Recently, this advocacy led to the Supreme Court’s overturn of Roe vs. Wade, ending federal abortion protections. Although it doesn’t ban abortion completely it is plausible that it will increase pregnancies carried to full term. If people don’t want to raise their children, they are incentivized by conservatives to give them up for adoption, but that rarely occurs.
According to the Center for Disease Control, before the establishment of Roe vs. Wade, only 9% of parents chose to give their child up for adoption. This trend continues during Roe. In an article in Women’s Health Issues journal, in 2017 only 14% of pregnant women said they were considering putting their baby up for adoption after being denied an abortion. However, only 9% made the final choice to do so. The reality is that people choose to be a parent regardless of their preparedness and the systems in place to support them are not sufficient.
According to the US Department of Agriculture in 2015, the average cost of raising a child adjusted for inflation is around $288,094.39. Yet, the median income in the U.S according to the Census in 2020 was only $67,521. Raising a child is expensive. Research reflects this, Pew Research data suggests that 36% of adults who don’t want kids say that this is due to financial or medical reasons. In theory, the government could help prevent this, but that is not the reality.
The Peterson Foundation in 2020 reported that federal spending on children amounted to $482 billion (7% percent of the federal budget). During the same year, the United States spent 33% of its budget on health and retirement benefits for adults aged 18 years or older. These statistics indicate that having children is a financial burden that the government fails to mitigate. Based on this alone it is clear why the adoption rate is so low. It also indicates that there are parents raising children unsafely.
Unfortunately, according to the U.S Department of Health and Human Services, in 2019, 1,840 children died due to abuse or neglect, which is defined as the failure to provide a child with necessary food, care, clothing, shelter, and medical attention. Children are dying because of parents not possessing the resources to raise them safely. The United States’ answer to this issue is foster care but this system is not functional. In 2020, The PolicyLab at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia found that children in foster care are 42% more likely to die than those in the general population.
According to the US Department of Health and Human Services, in 2020, only 28% of the children in foster care were adopted, and 54% were reunified with their original primary caretakers. This shows that the foster care system fails to ensure the safety of children. It is more likely to return children to previous unsafe homes than it is to bring them to new safe ones. In addition, according to an article by Daniel J Pilowsky and Li-Tzy Wu children in foster care are four times more likely to have attempted suicide than those with traditional parenting. The system is not working.
All human beings require resources, and all children deserve safety. This hasn’t been considered in a post-Roe world. The reality is that the number of children with parents that never wanted them and who don’t have the resources to raise them will go up. Nothing has changed and the state isn’t prepared to help. It seems that the pro-life movement cares more about unborn fetuses than the children who are the result of unwanted pregnancies and the lives that they lead.
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