Thursday, July 7, 2016

Why abortion is about race...

So I have kick-ass friends. One of them, who out of respect for her will be anonymous, posted the following status update on Facebook. She herself is a woman of color, so when she speaks on this issue, I make sure to listen.

I was happy to see that she listed Planned Parenthood amongst her list of social injustices that black people face. 

I've been a fan of Ta-Nehisi Coats for a few years now, and while he addresses many of the other issues my friend listed, he often neglects to mention how abortion disproportionately impacts his female counterparts.

Out of curiously I decided to read the comments under my friends post. NEVER READ THE COMMENTS, I know, I know...

There always has to be that one guy. I decide to engage him because having just walked in the house from a camping trip with four children, I had nothing but time to argue on the internet. Surely, the filthy, stinky, lake water laden laundry would do itself. Ha.

Anyway, the following conversation took place, and I thought it was worth sharing. I barely noticed what this gentleman was saying until I had stepped away from the conversation for a bit, and then it hit me. See if you can spot it before I did:


  1. I had to catch up and get my New Wave Feminists fix this morning and I must say that I LOVE this post. I was cheering on the inside while fist in the air. Thank you for addressing a plethora of issues that have and continue to plague the black community. If only people can open there eyes and see the big picture. So many injustices are directly linked to each other. The more we realize that, the more progress will be made towards positive change for all people.

  2. The main problem I have with this argument is that besides poverty, *the* reason abortion rates are so high amongst black women is that black women have a much higher rate of unintended pregnancy than white women, even after adjusting for income.

    Among black women below the poverty line, unintended pregnancies are almost half again what they are for white women (133 per 1000 vs 93/1000, by the latest stats I can find). Even among women at more than 200% of the poverty line, the rate is much lower overall, but more than double that for whites (38/1000 vs 18/1000). As far as I can find, it has been this way (not the exact numbers, but the general disparity) for a long time.

    Another facet: Poor communities have historically been *badly* under-served by medical services. Planned Parenthood is, like it or not, an important source of health services in a lot of areas.

    Also: In the thread screencapped above, your comment about knowing how PP got started sure seems to be hinting at Sanger's eugenicist views. I think you're kinda feigning innocence in the heat of the argument. (Sanger, BTW, was not at all in favor of abortion.)

    I also tend to think you're (unintentionally I assume)infantilizing black women who choose to end their pregnancies. No one is forcing them to do so.

  3. it may not be common knowledge to most, but when pressed about what services they actually legitimately provide across the board in all their clinics in America, Planned Parenthood does not support prenatal services nor do they even have an OB or Dr on hand at all times. How can this be if they are a health institute providing needed services? It's because they are there almost solely to provide termination options or safe sex education/options. Do the research. Most of the clinics concentration are in minority communities so im curious, what health services are you referring to?

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