Punishing women

More news in the Punishing Women department…

In Kathryn Joyce’s piece Shotgun Adoption, she writes how pregnancy crisis centers are punishing women and not serving the best interest of the child:

Karen Wilson-Buterbaugh, founder of the Baby Scoop Era Research Initiative, has compiled sociological studies from the era, including Clark Vincent’s speculation in his 1961 book Unmarried Mothers that “if the demand for adoptable babies continues to exceed the supply…it is quite possible that, in the near future, unwed mothers will be ‘punished’ by having their children taken from them right after birth”–under the guise of protecting the “best interests of the child.”

The Baby Scoop Era ended with Roe v. Wade, as abortion was legalized and single motherhood gained acceptance. The resultant fall in adoption rates was drastic, from 19.2 percent of white, unmarried pregnant women in 1972 to 1.7 percent in 1995 (and lower among women of color). Coinciding with this decline was the rise of the religious right and the founding of crisis pregnancy centers.

Joyce describes this industry as such:

Such enthusiasm for Christians to adopt en masse begins to seem like a demand in need of greater supply, and this is how critics of current practices describe it: as an industry that coercively separates willing biological parents from their offspring, artificially producing “orphans” for Christian parents to adopt, rather than helping birth parents care for wanted children.

Fewer legal rights for mothers…

Even as women have gained better reproductive healthcare access, adoption laws have become less favorable for birth mothers, advancing the time after birth when a mother can relinquish–in some states now within twenty-four hours–and cutting the period to revoke consent drastically or completely. Adoption organizations have published comparative lists of state laws, almost as a catalog for prospective adopters seeking states that restrict birth parent rights. Among the worst is Utah.

Coercion, control and legal means to do it.

“A lot of those moms from the ’50s and ’60s were really damaged by losing their child through the maternity homes,” says Gregory. “People say those kinds of things don’t happen anymore. But they do. It’s just not a maternity home on every corner; it’s a CPC.”

I have news for people – the conservatives are doing the same thing to divorced (Heaven forbid!!) women – they are punishing women for making reports of abuse, trying to make marriage more difficult to leave, promoting men as better parents and taking children away from women.

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