Protests are an American tradition reflecting the passions of people seeking justice. Unfortunately, with protests come counter protests that all too frequently prove true the original protesters’ claims. Unlike the 60s one does not have to march in the street to carry a sign. One can protest through social media and a virtual campaign. It is that kind of campaign that is occurring against people who seek justice. Unfortunately, some are using the serious issue of abortion as a racist attack.
While pointing out statistics in itself is not racism, when one post a photo that only addresses abortions in African Americans and Hispanics it is not a question of whether it will be followed by racist rants, attacks on black male leaders, attacks on liberals, and women being called “sluts,” but how vehement the attacks will be. If one knows this and then allows the posting of such comments that is inciting racism and thus in itself is racist by intentionally demeaning or promoting the antagonistic statements toward a race of people.
Rather than promoting racism in prolife posts it would be better to explore what part white privilege has played in both the abortion rates and the disproportionate placement of Planned Parenthood clinics in minority communities. In general, Planned Parenthood places clinics in close proximity to the greatest need and where they can get affordable space. The greatest demand for Planned Parenthood services is not solely based on abortion, but the need for health care for men and women. In addition to contraceptive services and abortion, they also provide treatment for STDs, anemia testing, cholesterol screening, diabetes screening, physical exams, including for employment and sports, flu vaccines, smoking cessation, high blood pressure screening, tetanus vaccines, and thyroid screening. It is certainly true that Margaret Sanger supported eugenics and was a controversial figure. However, that is not the case with the people at Planned Parenthood today. They sincerely believe that by providing women with options they are helping them to make rational reproductive choice. There aim is to reduce unwanted pregnancies and not to diminish a race. Clearly, this does not justify abortion, but it clarifies the motives of Planned Parenthood. This leads me to the conclusion that bad policy and white privilege is adding to the abortion rates and the success of Planned Parenthood.
Among the leading reason given for having an abortion are the feeling of being unable to afford a child (73%) and not wanting anyone to know she had sex and got pregnant (25%). We should examine why minority communities remain in generational poverty and the policies that are at least partially at fault, such as: zoning that disadvantages minority communities, unequal pay, unequal access to public transportation, and shameful differences in schools to name a few. Look at the differences in public and private funding spent in white and middle class communities and then acknowledge that that inequality is privilege that actually does harm minorities, keep them in poverty, and lead to feeling an abortion is necessary. And then we call them “sluts” for getting pregnant. I wonder, if you knew you were going to be called a slut, would it encourage you to have the baby?
If we really value life then we should show respect for people. Rather than standing in front of Planned Parenthood, we should build healthcare clinics and hospitals in underserved communities. Rather than voting for anyone that opposes new taxes, willing pay them to build community infrastructures that work. Rather than paying an African American less, try paying them the same and ensuring it is a living wage. Rather than saying abortion clinics are racist try working with the city council to change the policies that advantage white communities and disadvantage minority communities.
If you claim to be Pro-Life and you pay women, minorities, or any disadvantaged person less because you can, then you are not Pro-Life. You are Pro-Self. If you think it is acceptable to have substandard schools in minority communities, or inadequate infrastructure then you are not Pro-Life because the policies you accept continue generational poverty and thus encourage abortion. If you call a woman that gets pregnant outside of marriage a slut you are not Pro-Life, but you are encouraging abortion by your actions.
Abortion is not racism. Using the serious issue of abortion as a club to beat up on minority communities and those that actually serve them is.