I apologize for my absence in what seems like almost a year. Teaching high school english and history, freelance photography, and getting a non-profit up and running is 90-100 hour a week commitment . I am much better with saying “no” and have carved out more time for writing.
I’ve had a lot of discussions about reproductive justice, black folks, black women’s bodies, colonialism, medical histories, etc. and came across this article in the New York Times entitled “To Court Blacks, Foes of Abortion Make Racial Case”:
ATLANTA — For years the largely white staff of Georgia Right to Life, the state’s largest anti-abortion group, tried to tackle the disproportionately high number of black women who undergo abortions. But, staff members said, they found it difficult to make inroads with black audiences.
So in 2009, the group took money that it normally used for advertising a pregnancy hot line and hired a black woman, Catherine Davis, to be its minority outreach coordinator.
Ms. Davis traveled to black churches and colleges around the state, delivering the message that abortion is the primary tool in a decades-old conspiracy to kill off blacks.
This month, the group expanded its reach, making national news with 80 billboards around Atlanta that proclaim, “Black children are an endangered species,” and a Web site, www.toomanyaborted.com.
A new documentary, written and directed by Mark Crutcher, a white abortion opponent in Denton, Tex., meticulously traces what it says are connections among slavery, Nazi-style eugenics, birth control and abortion, and is being regularly screened by black organizations.
Data from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that black women get almost 40 percent of the country’s abortions, even though blacks make up only 13 percent of the population. Nearly 40 percent of black pregnancies end in induced abortion, a rate far higher than for white or Hispanic women.
Abortion opponents say the number is so high because abortion clinics are deliberately located in black neighborhoods and prey upon black women. The evidence, they say, is everywhere: Planned Parenthood’s response to the anti-abortion ad that aired during the Super Bowl featured two black athletes, they note, and several women’s clinics offered free services — including abortions — to evacuees after Hurricane Katrina.
I have yet to completely grasp the depth of this issue because it is not solely about the simplified notion of “choice” and the exclusionary past forty years of the feminist movement. There are centuries of American and diasporic history to cull through to just begin crafting a holistic starting place. This is such a sensitive topic, not solely because we are talking about black bodies–black women’s bodies and who has dominion over them, but because the corporal existence is in some way connected to the spiritual existence. It seems if the anger over abortion is not only about progeny but what some anti-abortion activists are positioning as spiritual as well as physical genocide. Folks are calling all of this a conspiracy theory and I am not sure what to make of that pejorative, nor am I sure what to make of the arguments made by pro-abortion communities. Whatever the case, the dialogue needs to be expanded. There are lots of moving parts and loose ends. What are your thoughts?