The Forced-Birth Baby Market is Here

Amber Fraley
4 min readDec 1, 2022
Photo by Toro Tseleng on Unsplash

The New York Times just published a disturbing, well-written article about forced birth and its horrifying consequences in the US. At sixteen years old, Giselle was a girl from a poor, dysfunctional home, who went before a judge to ask for an abortion as a minor without parental permission. She made a point to appear pulled-together, as though she was a good kid who’d made a mistake and wanted to finish high school. She knew she wasn’t mature enough to give birth to and raise twins, and she also knew she wasn’t going to be able to turn to either of her parents for financial help.

But because she was underage and couldn’t count on her mother to approve the abortion, she was forced to appear before a judge to get his permission instead. When asked why she didn’t want to choose adoption, she stated that it would be too emotionally difficult to hand away her babies to someone else.

The judge, a 72-year-old white man, decided Giselle was “mature enough” to give birth to her twins. Not having the resources to leave the state for an abortion, Giselle had her babies, and the result is heartbreaking.

The article is long, but well worth the read. It’s a detailed example of how absurd it is for judges to have the arbitrary power to make the decision to force a young woman into a financial situation she has no control over, driving her to financial ruin and personal despair. And Giselle isn’t the only one suffering now. So are her girls and their father.

At one point, Giselle was working four jobs to try to provide for those babies, and that was with financial help from her boyfriend. Now she’s been forced to give them up to a family that’s more well-off than she is — which was exactly the nightmare scenario she wanted to avoid.

This dystopian reality where poor people are denied access to abortion care and forced to have children they can’t afford doesn’t seem to bother the so-called “prolife” movement. Their only concern is the pregnancy is carried to term and birthed. It doesn’t matter if poor women can’t…

Amber Fraley

Writing about abortion rights, mental illness, trauma, narcissistic abuse & survival, politics. Journalist, novelist, wife, mom, Kansan, repro rights activist.