Ross Douthat on abortion

I don’t usually read Ross Douthat’s NY Times column, but his piece on the tragedy of abortion, “The Unborn Paradox,” caught my eye this morning and I was a little taken aback by its mendacity.

In every era, there’s been a tragic contrast between the burden of unwanted pregnancies and the burden of infertility. But this gap used to be bridged by adoption far more frequently than it is today. Prior to 1973, 20 percent of births to white, unmarried women (and 9 percent of unwed births over all) led to an adoption. Today, just 1 percent of babies born to unwed mothers are adopted, and would-be adoptive parents face a waiting list that has lengthened beyond reason.

Some of this shift reflects the growing acceptance of single parenting. But some of it reflects the impact of Roe v. Wade. Since 1973, countless lives that might have been welcomed into families like Thernstrom’s — which looked into adoption, and gave it up as hopeless — have been cut short in utero instead.

Note that the only hard statistic Douthat cites is the diminishing percentage of babies born to unwed mothers who are given away at birth (presumably a victory for the forces of family and motherhood), not the gross number of out-of-wedlock pregnancies that are carried to term; he relates known apples to unknown oranges. Which isn’t to say that a connection between Roe v Wade and the difficulties of adoption doesn’t exist, just that he doesn’t establish one.

Why doesn’t he just say what he really means–that it would be a boon for middle class would-be adoptive parents if fewer unwed mothers opted to raise their own babies, or, failing that, if more poor women gave birth to more unwanted babies to make up for the shortfall? That’s a rhetorical question of course. I think the answer is pretty obvious.

2 thoughts on “Ross Douthat on abortion

  1. I canceled my subscription to the Sunday Times after reading one too many of Douthat’s idiotic columns about the Catholic Church. He’s uniquely stupid and illogical.

  2. God thank you for commenting on this. I lost my daughter to adoption ten years ago supposedly because my daughter needed a two parent home with a stay at home mom who could afford montessori school and organic food and have a yard and stability and a garden…

    Turns out they were on the verge of divorce and knew it, the adoptive mom is a smoker who refuses to cook at all (mcdonalds and pizza every night)… they never did montessori even though that was supposedly the big thing “see these people can give her all the things you want her to have but you can’t afford!)

    They never used the infant massage books I gave them, or the make your own organic babyfood books, or the baby sign language. The adoptive mother didn’t even stay home with her after 6 months.

    None of this has anything to do with abortion. I wasn’t interested in abortion.

    Which made me a perfect candidate for being “worked on” about how unwort was of my daughter.

    Interesting how they took over twenty thousand for my daughter from the adoptive parents, but they don’t offer financial assistance to pregnant to say… actually provide their children with better lives.

    That would be atrocious. A christian organization ACTUALLY OFFERING CHARITABLE ASSISTANCE to provide enrichment and support for a new mom. Jesus doesn’t believe in forgiveness and compassion for the sinners after all. He believes in telling them how unworthy they are of their children because their poor and then selling their kids to the rich.

    That’s what I read in my bible…

    …wait. No I didn’t. I didn’t read anything like that.

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