I’m taking this out of comments because I think it’s interesting to explore on its own. The problem with relying on adoption to “solve” the abortion issue is that too few women are willing to give up their newborns and you can't force them to.
I think many women who are against having an abortion (or can't get one for a variety of reasons) think they can “just make it work” when they find themselves pregnant at a time when they can’t handle a baby either due to a lack of resources or maturity or both. So you get stories like this one where the 22-year-old woman, clearly becoming increasingly distraught over parenting, left her baby in a hot, stuffy car for seven hours while she worked as a waitress. (The fact that she worked at Hooters is immaterial. It could have just as easily been an Applebee’s).
What I found particularly revealing was this passage:
Court records show Clayton Gallagher [the baby’s father] had spoken on the phone with [the mother] for 1 1/2 hours the day before Ryan's death. She told him that she "couldn't do it anymore" and she didn't want Ryan around because he cried so much. She also couldn't stand not seeing him every day and rebuffed Gallagher's offer to take him.I don’t know what was going on in that woman’s mind when she left her kid in the car but I think the thought of “giving up” her son forever was something that in a way drove her to kill him.
Giving up your son (to adoption, to the father) might make you feel as if you failed as a mother. You gave your child away. And what happens if the kid comes back to you years later and demands to know why you gave them away? I know I would think like that if contemplating giving up my child, even if it was the best thing for them.
Of course it’s a truly loving thing to sacrifice your desires to make sure your children have a better life, even if that means a life without you. But how many people in the world are that selfless? Probably not as many as become pregnant when they don’t wish to be.
Instead you get situations where women try to make it work as a parent. Sometimes it works out. Sometimes though, it doesn’t. And sometimes you end up with parents that aren’t fatal but simply poor quality.
Until the state can mandate that children be taken away from people before they have a chance to show they are bad parents (maybe if baby Ryan Gallagher had lived through that day it would have been his last in his mother’s care, but maybe not) I don’t think we’ll see the adoption rate of newborns increase significantly. There may simply be a ceiling of the people a year who are willing to put their children’s needs ahead of their own desires.