A leftist California politico who serves as co-president of the Global Forum on Modern Direct Democracy mocked Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett’s statements on abortion by stating the concept of “equity” demands parents give up their children to the state.
In a recent case before the Supreme Court, Barrett pointed out that all 50 states have “safe haven” laws that permit women to relinquish parental rights after birth without punishment, and thus the burdens of parenthood discussed in Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey might well be deemed invalid.
So petitioner points out that in all 50 states you can terminate parental rights by relinquishing a child after [birth], and I think the shortest period might have been 48 hours, if I’m remembering the data correctly. So it seems to me, seen in that light, both Roe and Casey emphasize the burdens of parenting. And 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. Why don’t the safe-haven laws take care of that problem?
Joe Mathews wrote in a column titled, “California should abolish parenthood, in the name of equity,” “If California is ever going to achieve true equity, the state must require parents to give away their children.”
Mathews opined that “[t]oday’s Californians often hold up equity — the goal of a just society completely free from bias — as our greatest value” and that California Governor Gavin Newsom makes decisions through “an equity lens,” then added, “But their promises are no match for the power of parents.”
Turning to class warfare, he propounded, “Fathers and mothers with greater wealth and education are more likely to transfer these advantages to their children, compounding privilege over generations. As a result, children of less advantaged parents face an uphill struggle, social mobility has stalled, and democracy has been corrupted.”
Mathews continued, “My solution — making raising your own children illegal — is simple, and while we wait for the legislation to pass, we can act now: the rich and poor should trade kids, and homeowners might swap children with their homeless neighbors.”
“Now, I recognize that some naysayers will dismiss such a policy as ghastly, even totalitarian,” he sniffed. “But my proposal is quite modest, a fusion of traditional philosophy and today’s most common political obsessions.”
Mathews cited Plato to buttress his position:
In his “Republic,” Plato adopted Socrates’ sage advice — that children “be possessed in common, so that no parent will know his own offspring or any child his parents” — in order to defeat nepotism, and create citizens loyal not to their sons but to society.
He felt his proposal would please the political Left: “Democrats also would have the opportunity to build a new pillar of the safety net — a child-raising system called ‘Foster Care for All.’”
Then he mocked the Right and Barrett:
Over on the right, Republicans are happy to jettison parents’ rights in pursuit of their greatest passions, like violating migrant rights. Once you’ve gone so far as to take immigrant children from their parents and put them in border concentration camps, it’s a short walk to separating all Americans from their progeny.
Universal orphanhood also dovetails nicely with the pro-life campaign to end abortion rights. In fact, a suggestion from Justice Amy Coney Barrett, during a recent case that could overturn Roe, inspired this column. She posited that abortion rights are no longer necessary because all 50 states now have “safe haven” laws allowing women to turn their babies over to authorities after birth. My proposal would merely make mandatory such handovers of babies to the state.
“Now, I don’t expect universal support for universal orphanhood,” Mathews snarked, saying of critics of his proposal, “… don’t pay those critics any mind. Because they just can’t see how our relentless pursuit of equity might birth a brave new world.”