Justice Amy Coney Barrett questions whether adoption would solve the ‘burdens of parenthood’ problems cited in Roe

U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments on Wednesday to begin the undertaking of hearing the Mississippi law that banned most abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy. 

According to local ABC7 News questions surrounding the court’s newest member, Justice Amy Coney Barrett, and her personal impact on the potential outcome of the case. The justice who was appointed by former President Donald Trump, questioned whether adoption would be a viable resolution to the “burdens of parenting” that were noted in Roe v. Wade and Casey v. Planned Parenthood.

The mother and devout Catholic cited the two major abortion rulings that have governed the abortion rights in the nation to date, allowing the deaths of tens of millions of babies before birth.

“Since Roe v. Wade was decided in 1973, the Supreme Court has never allowed states to prohibit the termination of pregnancies prior to fetal viability outside the womb, roughly 24 weeks, according to medical experts,” ABC7.

The mother of seven who has adopted two children questioned Center for Reproductive Rights attorney Julie Rikelman who argued against the 15-week ban, asking about safe haven laws. 

Currently, all 50 states and the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico have safe haven legislation, but its specifics vary by state. 

“Insofar as you and many of your amici focus on the ways in which forced parenting, forced motherhood, would hinder women’s access to the workplace and to equal opportunities, it’s also focused on the consequences of parenting and the obligations of motherhood that flow from pregnancy,” said Barrett. “Why don’t the safe haven laws take care of that problem?”

“It seems to me that the choice more focused would be between, say, the ability to get an abortion at 23 weeks or the state requiring the woman to go 15, 16 weeks more and then terminate parental rights at the conclusion,” she said. “Why — why didn’t you address the safe haven laws and why don’t they matter?”

The attorney responded, pointing to the risk of pregnancy, saying “We don’t just focus on the burdens of parenting, and neither did Roe and Casey. Instead, pregnancy itself is unique. It imposes unique physical demands and risks on women and, in fact, has an impact on all of their lives, on their ability to care for other children, other family members, on their ability to work.”

To shore up that claim Tennessee-based maternal-fetal medicine specialist and fellow with Physicians for Reproductive Health, Dr. Leilah Zahedi, testified that, “Pregnancy is probably one of the most dangerous things a woman does in her life, bar none.”