Let us guess. As his current employer, the Ethics and Public Policy Center, bills itself as "Washington D.C.'s premier institute dedicated to applying the Judeo-Christian moral tradition to critical issues of public policy" it is a safe bet that he conflates expanding adoption with reducing abortion.
Wehner is simply wrong. Women don't abort their babies because they can't find adoptive homes. The waiting list of those wishing to adopt is miles long and getting longer as foreign countries curtail adoption by Americans. Any quick check of one of the many adoption agency sites shows multiple pictures of ideal couples waiting for a baby, your baby. But the anti-abortion mantra "adoption, not abortion" does not resonate with most women in crisis pregnancies because they instinctively know the massive and life-altering difference between having a baby and giving it away, and not having that baby.
VAST DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ABORTION AND GIVING BIRTH
"Pregnancy counselors, mental-health specialists, and social workers agree that the circumstances and mindsets of women who undergo abortions typically are very different from those of women who give birth. So, for instance, a woman whose convictions don't permit her to terminate her pregnancy ultimately has to decide whether to become a parent or place her child for adoption; conversely a woman who views abortion as a viable option, and doesn't want to become a mother for whatever reason, is unlikely to want to deal with the social, medical, and personal ramifications of carrying a baby to term."*As a practical matter, even doubling the estimated 15,000 infant adoptions per year in the United States, would not make a noticeable dent in the number of abortions, estimated at more than 800,000 in 2009, the last year for which data is available. But Republicans are not in this "adoption not abortion" message by themselves. Democrats also make this faulty cause-and-effect assumption. In a speech to the graduating class of Notre Dame in 2009, President Obama said, "Let's work together to reduce the number of women seeking abortions by reducing unintended pregnancies, and making adoption more available, and providing care and support for women who do carry their child to term." At least he added giving support to those who do give birth. But make adoption more available? That sounds like adoption isn't available to women who seek it for their babies, when the total opposite is true. For every available baby, there are numerous people wishing to take it off your hands.
REDISTRIBUTING BABIES IS NOT THE ANSWER
Both Wehner and Obama appear to be unaware of the destructive effects that can occur by attempting to solve social problems by removing babies from their mothers. Indeed, the adoption and foster care rates are an accurate measure of the civility of a society; the lower the rate, the more civilized the society because civilized societies help mothers keep and nurture their children. Less civilized societies treat babies of mothers with few resources as commodities, promoting their redistribution to those with greater resources, or as a burden, stuffing them into foster homes or orphanages. High abortion rates also reflect a less civilized society. It means that women have less control over their sexuality (the power to say "no" and access to birth control) and that support for women in unplanned pregnancies is lacking.
As for reducing abortion, the solution is a no-brainer. Even Wehner is for that. In a subsequent piece in the neoconservative Commentary (co-authored with Michael Gerson), they espouse the Republicans to "discourage teen pregnancy." Yet their message is unconsciously skewed toward adoption by taking away support from poor mothers. On the one hand they want to "improve infant and child health," yet they recommend eliminating "harmful incentives for poor and for unwed mothers," code for cutting financial aid, such as food stamps. More gobbly-gook. They do not talk about how they might discourage teen pregnancy. But anybody who understands biology could tell them: increase access to birth control. That, however, is not in the Republican playbook. --jane
Party, Heal Thyself
How to Save the Republican Party
Center for Disease Control, Abortion Surveillance 2009
Obama Notre Dame Speech
*Adam Pertman, Adoption Nation (revised), p. 125.
High number of adoptions in the US is a national disgrace
Pres. Obama, Adoption is not only available, it's being crammed down our throats
Adoption Nation: How the Adoption Revolution is Transforming Our Families -- and America
Adam Pertman explores the history and human impact of adoption, explodes the corrosive myths surrounding it, and tells compelling stories about its participants as they grapple with issues relating to race, identity, equality, discrimination, personal history, and connections with all their families. For the first edition of this groundbreaking examination of adoption and its impact on us all, Pertman won awards from many organizations, including the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatrists, the Dave Thomas Center for Adoption Law, the American Adoption Congress, the Century Foundation, Holt International, and the U.S. Congress. In this updated edition, Pertman reveals how changing attitudes and laws are transforming adoption—and thereby American society—in the twenty-first century.--Amazon