An abortionist from Southwestern Women’s Options in Albuquerque, New Mexico, recently revealed under oath the truth about the reasons used to justify the late-term abortion that killed 23-year-old Keisha Atkins in 2017. When attorneys questioned Dr. Shannon Carr during a hearing for the investigation into Atkins’ death, Carr admitted that she made racist and discriminatory assumptions about Atkins’ life to determine Atkins’ “need” for an abortion.
Carr, along with fellow abortionists Carmen Landau and Shelley Sella, signed a document obtained by Abortion on Trial stating that Atkins needed an abortion at six months gestation for health reasons including her physical, family, and mental health. But when asked about this during the deposition, Carr admitted she only speculated that carrying the baby to term would cause Atkins “irreversible” harm. By physical harm, she said, she meant the usual effects of pregnancy on a woman’s body. As for mental harm, Carr used discriminatory and racist beliefs as an excuse to abort Atkins’ viable baby.
Carr assumed Atkins was at risk for domestic partner violence without ever having interviewed Atkins’ boyfriend or making an assessment to determine if the boyfriend was violent towards Atkins, and said a baby would cause harm to Atkins’ well-being and her “overall prospects in life.” She explained:
Again, wanting to get more education, not just work at Applebee’s for the rest of her life. Um, you know, I can’t know what she’s wanting to do with her life but certainly, having a child changes the calculus of what a young Latina woman is able to do in this- in this country.
Working at a restaurant is not something that should be looked down upon. In fact, it shows that Atkins was willing to work hard, even at a job that Carr disdains. It is discriminatory to say that a waitress working at Applebee’s should have an abortion, especially when Carr did not ask Atkins about her career goals. Millions of waitresses are mothers — hardworking, strong, and loving mothers. A person’s job does not determine his or her ability to parent.
Carr then went on make discriminatory remarks against Latina women — but Atkins wasn’t even Latina. She was Black and Native American. Carr assumed Atkins’ ethnicity based solely on the color of her skin and then made a racist comment about Latina women being unable to achieve their goals without aborting their babies. Was her assumption that Atkins was at an increased risk of domestic violence based solely on her skin color as well?
The abortion industry has a racist history, as even Planned Parenthood recently admitted. They aren’t alone. Pro-abortion groups NARAL and NOW have both been accused of racism within their organizations. As previously reported by Live Action News, Black pro-life leaders from around the nation recently penned a letter to Planned Parenthood, asking president Alexis McGill Johnson to address how abortion disproportionately targets Black women. The letter stated in part:
Despite constituting only 13% of the female population, Black women represent 36% of all abortions, and Black women are five times more likely than white women to receive an abortion. In some cities, like New York, more Black children are aborted every year than are born alive.
This is no accident. Across the country, Planned Parenthood’s surgical facilities target minority communities for abortion. In fact, 79% of Planned Parenthood’s surgical abortion facilities are located in or near communities of color. Can Planned Parenthood really claim to care for Black lives while remaining complicit in the targeting of Black pregnant women?
Carr’s discriminatory and racist comment serves to bolster the case that the abortion industry targets women based on their skin color and their financial status. Atkins was a non-white waitress, and it seems that’s all Carr needed to know to sign off on her 24-week abortion. She didn’t offer Atkins any support or point her in the direction of organizations that could help her. Instead, after a 20-minute conversation, she and her abortion colleagues went forward with a late-term abortion that resulted in the deaths of both mother and child.
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