The latest pro-abortion screed to gain traction on the web comes from Emma Akpan, a “faith leader” in the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church and “clinic volunteer and reproductive justice advocate.” At Bustle, she declares that “defunding Planned Parenthood is just another form of racism”…
As a clinic volunteer and reproductive justice advocate, I know how important clinics are to the women and men who rely on them for quality care and health information — including many Black women. Black women are more likely to need an abortion, and since many Black women are over-represented in low-wage jobs, the affordable health care Planned Parenthood provides is essential.
Two things: the flip side of black mothers disproportionately “needing” abortion is black children disproportionately killed by it, and their disproportionate need for actual health assistance means they would disproportionately benefit from redirecting Planned Parenthood’s tax funding to real health providers.
Historically, Black women have had very little reproductive choice. During slavery, we were forced into childbirth to produce more chattel. Then, when our bodies were no longer profitable, the medical industry controlled our reproductive choice through forced hysterectomies, coercive birth control, and other methods.
Since then, Black women have also borne the burden of the “welfare mom” stereotype; the racist image of a woman who has many children in order to collect benefits from the government. This history deems us dangerous to ourselves and our children. This is why it’s such a slap in the face when people like Ben Carson compare abortion to slavery.
Only if you consciously avoid contemplating the act of abortion itself, because it would be hard to avoid the similarity in killing someone at will and enslaving them at will on the grounds that the victim is supposedly a subhuman with no rights (to say nothing of the many similarities in pro-abortion and pro-slavery arguments). And nobody is saying black women are intrinsically less compassionate for their children. It’s the industry we’re talking about—an industry in which Planned Parenthood’s employees have been known to agree to earmark donations specifically to kill black kids. She goes on:
Every Friday, a group of people gathers outside the Planned Parenthood clinic where I volunteer, holding signs that shame the women who visit with slogans like “Your mother kept you” and pictures of babies that say “I want to live.” These signs and their presence may seem peaceful because the protesters don’t (typically) threaten or physically assault visitors. But their very presence is violent, their words often cruel, and their motives are to intimidate and scare away people seeking health care.
You heard it here, folks: when pro-aborts call us “violent” they don’t even need to have actual violence in mind anymore. Speech is violent. Pictures of cute, healthy babies are violent. Expressing any degree of disagreement with abortion-on-demand, no matter how measured or civil or respectful, is violent. Thanks, Emma! You’ve officially emptied the “violent anti-choice movement” charge of all weight.
As a Black woman, seeing those signs [reading “Fetus lives matter” and “The most dangerous place for a Black child is in the womb”] made me angry. They make it seem as if Black women do not make our own decisions, that we are simply pawns in America’s racist society.
Wait, do pro-lifers assign black women too much or too little responsibility in abortion? Make up your mind.
The appropriation of #BlackLivesMatter language to shame Black women seeking healthcare is divisive and insulting, but sadly unsurprising.
So let me get this straight: it’s divisive to say there are more lives we need to include in our compassion? Ridiculous. This would be a good time to point out the divisiveness inherent in Black Lives Matter itself, a movement so unhinged that Democrat presidential candidate Martin O’Malley had to apologize to them for saying that all lives matter—in essence, for embracing Dr. Martin Luther King’s dream of judging people by character instead of skin color.
Pro-lifers didn’t create this division; we simply pointed out that if you’re going to focus on the worth of black lives, then you really shouldn’t ignore the youngest black lives.
I am a clinic greeter because of my faith, which teaches me how important it is to provide care for my community. For me, that means ensuring that women have safe access to their health care facilities.
And yet you missed the part of your faith that demands care for the preborn members of your community, as well, that calls shedding their innocent blood “detestable to the Lord”?
When the pastor from Raleigh told me I was on the wrong side, he didn’t see our shared struggle to defend Black churches. He didn’t see what we may have in common. He saw me as his enemy, when in fact we share the enemies of racism and discrimination.
It’s hard to read this without recalling the scene in the movie Mars Attacks where the alien invaders are simultaneously blasting everything in sight and announcing, “Don’t run! We are your friends!”
Akpan just spent her entire article casting us as her enemy. She made no effort to identify shared struggles or common ground; she smeared us with the most hostile charge around: racism. To suddenly turn around and cry “we’re not enemies” at someone who expressed his disagreement in a vastly milder way than she does may be the clearest sign indicator of the patent insincerity of all this—that pro-lifers should take heart that, despite the slings and arrows, we are firmly on the side of true equality.