The more news coverage the “Too Many Aborted” billboards in Atlanta get, the angrier I become.
It never ceases to amaze me how much time and money are spent trying to prevent women from obtaining abortions, rather than trying to support women when they have their babies. If women could be sure that in this, the wealthiest country in the world, they would be guaranteed adequate housing, nutrition, medical care and education for their children, they might make different decisions when faced with an unplanned pregnancy. The scant attention and resources paid by anti-abortion groups to these issues leaves me with no choice but to conclude that it is not about “respecting life;” it’s about controlling me.
But now the movement is targeting black women, and them’s fightin’ words.
When the Supreme Court hands down decisions that burden a woman’s right to make choices regarding her reproduction, that burden is disproportionately borne by poor black and brown women. Wealthy white women have access to private health care should they need to terminate a pregnancy. That luxury is not always afforded to the poor and working class, making those decisions anything but race-neutral. When powerful whites try to control my reproduction, it starts feeling like a plantation up in here.
And now, anti-abortion whites are using racism against ME to further THEIR cause. The billboards in Atlanta, as well as media projects like Maafa 21, suggest that abortion is all part of a grand conspiracy to eliminate black folks. Legitimately distrustful of the government and medical establishment (due, in no small part, to racist and unethical governmental research projects like the Tuskegee Syphilis experiment), the black community is becoming increasingly receptive to the suggestion, despite the fact that the conspiracy theory–like most conspiracy theories–is based only on half-truths.
So, let me get this straight: white anti-abortion advocates get to capitalize on America’s very own racist past (and present) in their pursuit to control my black body? The irony would make me laugh…if I wasn’t so pissed off.