Is abortion a racist plot? Of course not

WASHINGTON — Perhaps members of the anti-abortion movement are growing a bit desperate. Though they’ve managed to crimp women’s reproductive rights through decades of legislative maneuvering and extra-legal harassment, they still cannot overturn Roe v. Wade, the historic 1973 Supreme Court decision. Nor have they moved public opinion much: A majority of Americans still believe that current law should stand.

Perhaps that’s why some factions in the “pro-life” crusade are professing a newfound concern for the well-being of black children. Perhaps that’s why “racism” has become the battle cry of anti-abortion groups whose members —  overwhelmingly white, conservative and Republican — like to think that racism no longer exists.

Georgia’s largest anti-abortion group, Georgia Right to Life, is presenting itself as the last line of defense against a widespread plot to wipe out black people — a pogram of sorts. The group has mounted billboards throughout black Atlanta neighborhoods, claiming that “Black children are an endangered species” because of abortions.

While anti-abortion activists have long derided Margaret Sanger, considered the mother of modern family planning, for her endorsement of eugenics, they have more recently taken aim at such mainstream organizations as the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, claiming it, too, is run by bigots. Two years ago, a faith-based group with ties to black clergy sent a letter to the Congressional Black Caucus denouncing Planned Parenthood for its “racist and eugenic goals.”

Well, paranoid theories are usually impervious to facts, but let’s try some facts, anyway.  Despite the obstacles many black children face on the road to a successful adulthood — poverty, crime, poor schools — their numbers are not threatened. Black women have a higher birth rate than the national average.

But it is also true that black women use abortion services disproportionately. According to the Alan Guttmacher Institute, a non-profit that advocates for reproductive health, the abortion rate for black American women is almost five times that for white women. About one-third of all abortions are obtained by white women and about 37 percent by black women (who account for less than seven percent of the population), according to Susan Cohen of the non-profit Alan Guttmacher Institute, which advocates for reproductive health.

Those numbers are certainly troubling. But are racists persuading black women to have abortions? Is there some group of grim executioners looking to carry out a shadowy genocide?

That’s not only nutty; it’s also insulting. It’s both sexist and racist to suggest that black women don’t have the intellectual and emotional firepower to make their own decisions.

(Largely owing to easier-to-use contraceptives, abortion rates have been declining for the last 25 years, black women’s rates falling along with those of other ethnic groups. However, Latinas and black women still terminate pregnancies at higher rates than white women.)

“The truth is that behind virtually every abortion is an unintended pregnancy. . .Because black women as a group want the same number of children as white women, but have so many more unintended pregnancies, they are more likely than white women to terminate an unintended pregnancy by abortion to avoid an unwanted birth,” Cohen wrote in a paper entitled, “Abortion and Women of Color: The Bigger Picture.”

If conservatives are sincere about curbing abortions  — among all women, white, black and brown — they should support efforts to broaden women’s health care, which includes reproductive health care. Easy access to contraceptives would encourage their use, thereby reducing unintended pregnancies — and abortions.

“The health disparities for low-income women and women of color are enormous,” noted Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood, which provides full-service reproductive health care — including non-controversial procedures such as annual pelvic exams — to women who cannot get it elsewhere.

But social and religious conservatives have been fighting health care reform, which would broaden access to reproductive health care, with the passion they normally reserve for bashing Roe v Wade. That’s why it’s hard to believe they really care about black women — or their children.

276 comments Add your comment

Bud Wiser

March 17th, 2010
7:53 am

Of course it is a racist plot, CTuck!

And despite your column title, you obviously believe it, because racism, to you, is the only way you far left wingers approach every aspect of daily life.

But social and religious conservatives have been fighting health care reform, which would broaden access to reproductive health care, with the passion they normally reserve for bashing Roe v Wade. That’s why it’s hard to believe they really care about black women — or their children. (bold emphasis mine)

That is as slanted and racist as any and most statements you make; you cannot help it, it just always comes out.

You, in fact, not your ubiquitous and unnamed ’social and religious conservatives’ are the true racist, and the only one, I see here.

Granny Godzilla

March 17th, 2010
8:08 am

Well, Ms. T, I’d guess you are going to have a busy morning moderating this thread!

There’s a right wing bookmaniac who semi-annually posts everything we ever wanted to know about Margaret Sanger, eugenics and the racist undercurrents of Planned Parentood. Stuff and nonsense.

It’s one thing to be anti-choice, I can respect that, but I have no respect for those who lie and mislead in an attempt to make their ideological point.

On a happier note….to all my Irish brothers and sisters….have a safe and happy St. Paddy’s day.

May ye be in heaven a half an hour before the devil know’s your dead!

Robert

March 17th, 2010
8:13 am

When African American’s unemployment rate is projected to hit a 25 year high this year, some could argue that the Democrats are the racists. After all, the Democrats control the house, the senate, and the white house.

kayaker 71

March 17th, 2010
8:19 am

In 2008, there were nearly 1.27M abortions peformed in this country. That’s the population of a fair sized city, EVERY YEAR. Nearly 98% of these procedures were performed for so called “societal reasons’, ie, birth control.
AA birth statistics in 2009:

616,074 AA births
458,500 AA abortions
743,377 AAs died in 2009, which represents 127,303 more that those who were born.
From 1973 to 2004, nearly 30% of the AA population in this country was lost to abortion.
The most common cause of death in a AA male between 18 and 35 is violent homocide.
4,400 abortions are performed each day in this country. Of these, 1,300 are AAs who only represent 6% of the population. AA women are three more times a likely to have an abortion than any other ethnic group.
You folks are killing off your best and brightest, either by shooting them or aborting them. Maybe those evil Republican do-gooders have a point.

Turd Ferguson

March 17th, 2010
8:22 am

These “advocacy” groups will stoop to any level to have their way. Society has become a group of 4 year old alarmists and attention hounds. Believe none of them.

Zoe

March 17th, 2010
8:30 am

IPPF is a racist organisation! They hate white people which is why they predominantly put abortion clinics in black areas. They love black people and provide this wonderful service for them. It is exactly the same as Hitler, he loved the Jews and hated German women which is why he denied German women abortions and only provided abortions for the Jews and others that he loved. So there is a lot in common between the generous IPPF and the beautiful Nazis
Zoe

Sammy

March 17th, 2010
8:42 am

Must….not…talk …about …heathcare…..

Lets just “deem” Tucker relevent. It works for Peolosi.

kayaker 71

March 17th, 2010
8:42 am

“Easy access to contraceptives would curb the rate of abortion”. Very true Cynthia, but you make it sound like the evil Republicans are the people responsible for there being no “easy access”. News Flash…… You can buy them at CVS or Walgreens….. about as easy an access as you can imagine. They have a great selection, green ones, ones with bumps on them, even large or small. Maybe we need billboards in black neighborhoods spelling out where you can buy them.
It all boils down to personal responsibility. You make it sound like all of these poor unfortunate peope just don’t know where babies come from, however, from a pragmatic standpoint, they just don’t seem to care. There is a big difference.

Robert

March 17th, 2010
8:42 am

Kayaker,

They don’t come more liberal than Rosie O’Donnell and she suggested yesterday that it is cheaper to abort than “waste money” on half a million children in foster care. Not sure where your figures come from, but if they are accurate then Rosie is a racist for wanting nearly 1/2 million African Americans to never be born into this world because the price attached to them is not worth it.

Turd Ferguson

March 17th, 2010
8:50 am

Robert

March 17th, 2010
8:42 am

Did Rosie O statement specifically single out black children? I seriously doubt that is the case. Now Im no fan of Ms Obnoxious/Rosie O, however, I would guess you are incorrect or interpreted her statements incorrectly.

Turd Ferguson

March 17th, 2010
8:51 am

PS…Also I think, in the past, Rosie and Whoopi G have dated.

Blue

March 17th, 2010
8:52 am

Wow…any other time for CT, it’s whitey keeping the man (or in this case, woman) down. But I guess not if it goes against her political platform. But if it was reversed and CT held the pro-life standpoint, you can bet your behind she would be all over the race issue.

kayaker 71

March 17th, 2010
8:52 am

You and Cynthia miss the point. Rosie, et al, thinks that rather than take responsibility for your actions, it is “easier” to just kill the unwanted. Forget about being responsible. Cynthia seems to think that we need to have better access to birth control methods. They give away free ones all over town. That’s like making new laws when we already have sufficienct ones on the books. I would imagine that most people who engage in sex know they are taking a risk when unprotected. Rosie is an airhead.

Peturagga

March 17th, 2010
8:53 am

Thank you for this column,I had one of the “Black children are an endangered species”billboards up on my property-and had to threaten CBS with termination of the lease to get them to take it down.As Lewis Carrol pointed out so well words do not mean what we say they mean-the meaning resides in them.When we allow speech declaring one race to be a separate species to go unchallenged we poison the land.As I told Mr.Martinez(The executive at CBS who decided to post these vile creations)CBS ” failed in your duty to refuse those messages intended only to inflame the curse of racism. For shame, for shame-on us all.”I am glad this message is no longer on my property but I call on CBS and the community to remove this racist message from our common space.

Philosopher

March 17th, 2010
8:56 am

MS. T. How DO you sleep at night?? These bloggers are enough to scare one to the toes. This reminds me of the time as a child when I was slapped across the room for suggesting to my mother that God did NOT create a race of evil black people! Hell, not much has changed, has it? Bigots, racists and religious zealots will try ANYTHING, won’t they…except to face the fact that they might be wrong!!
This postion by Georgia Right to Life is so foolish as to result in a complete lack of credibility..at least from anyone who can think for him/herself. Sadly, the fanatics will take it and make other sheeple buy it. Maybe we shouldn’t just laugh and turn the page…as such claptrap deserves…I think you were right to shine a brighter light on it.

OneFreeMan

March 17th, 2010
8:56 am

They need more “Black” children to filled their jails. They want you to believe they would like a larger minority population…yeah right.

Not one of that bunch has adopted any of the kids waiting to be adopted. They are not concerned about children they just want to CONTROL the lives of others.
Cynthia, you are right again. Keep up the good work.

Robert

March 17th, 2010
8:56 am

TF,

No, she didn’t single out any race. But if CT is going to make an assertion like she has done by saying conservatives are racists for targeting the African American community (whose abortion percentages are high), then I can go out on a limb just as easy by assuming Rosie is racist by saying it’s a waste of money to pay for foster care for unwanted children (when a large number of them are African American children).

Flasks

March 17th, 2010
8:56 am

This article is about an ironicly conservative ploy to spin eco-friendly and green by using billboards to block out scenery while pointing out another endangered species. The message on the billboards is a subtle as a Pap smear, which conservatives also refuse to fund, even in a compliant gesture to stem the abortions they are trying to prevent.

A subtitle for this article, if you read some of the comments it elicited, could be “Why Johnny can’t read or write”, and kudos to Cynthia Tucker for her efforts to promote the education reform sorely lacking in Georgia.

kayaker 71

March 17th, 2010
9:02 am

Peturagga,

Maybe you could put up a sign in it’s place. Perhaps it could instruct all of the people in your neighborhood as to where they could obtain birth control devices. This is not a racial phenom. These same billboards could be placed in latino and white neighborhoods as well. But some statistics are hard to ignore. Maybe it’s better to pretend that a huge disparity doesn’t exist on this issue. Maybe when you pull your head out of the sand and realize what these statistics don’t lie, you can have a more unbiased outlook.

Question

March 17th, 2010
9:02 am

From my understanding, this new effort is to stop people from “soliciting” abortions based on race.

What I don’t know is, are any women being solicited to have abortions period?

I don’t see commercials on tv for it. Most abortion clinics are not even marked with signage. There doesn’t seem to be a lot of soliciting happening either way.

P.S. Rosie O’Donnell has adopted 6 children from foster care and given them homes. Her opinion may be radical, but at least she has done something to help the unwanted children problem we have.

Chris

March 17th, 2010
9:02 am

Hard to imagine black or any poor women wanting less children?…See on the news all the time about welfare families having 7, 8 kids, and as soon as they need a new bigscreen tv, it’s “pump out another rugrat and get more welfare dollars each month”

Robert

March 17th, 2010
9:05 am

Question,

So instead of promoting abortion, she should be promoting adoption. Don’t you think?

DW

March 17th, 2010
9:06 am

Cynthia – I usually don’t agree with you, but I do on this one. Calling it racism is the latest tactic of the anti-abortion movement. It has nothing to do with racism. There are more abortion clinics in poverty stricken neighborhoods because those people are less likely to have insurance, and access to prescription birth control.

Blue

March 17th, 2010
9:06 am

“Easy access to contraceptives would encourage their use”. Really? Wow…going to the store and buying some (they are NOT cost prohibitive) and keeping some of them with you or where you live is not “easy access”? How easy do you want it, Cynthia? But I think I know what she means; she wants a “rich republican” to buy them, and then deliver them just before the magic moment. Yeah…easy access…THAT’S the ticket. Your problem solving abilities underwhelm me; you should be the president or something!

Common sense

March 17th, 2010
9:08 am

Abortion may not be an actual plot but the results are the same. Just like government housing and welfare it seems to single out one ethnic group of people and keep them from advancing on society!

ctucker

March 17th, 2010
9:08 am

Robert, Not that this is your business, but I do promotion adoption — where it matters most, in my personal life. I’m the mother of a 14-month-old that I adopted at birth.

Bubba

March 17th, 2010
9:09 am

Can some of you enlighten me as to how a voluntary abortion qualifies as “health care?” What percentage of abortions are medically necessary?

ctucker

March 17th, 2010
9:09 am

Question, Amen and amen!

ctucker

March 17th, 2010
9:12 am

Robert, I should have also mentioned that I have promoted adoption in my columns.

Question

March 17th, 2010
9:13 am

“Hard to imagine black or any poor women wanting less children?…See on the news all the time about welfare families having 7, 8 kids, and as soon as they need a new bigscreen tv, it’s “pump out another rugrat and get more welfare dollars each month””

I watch the news every night, I have never seen this story.

Blue

March 17th, 2010
9:13 am

Bubba; don’t look for an answer from CT on your question; she just likes to do the “amen” stuff to the posts she agrees with, and the only dissenters she answers are the ones she knows she can debate…and yours isn’t one of those.

T-Town

March 17th, 2010
9:13 am

Hmmm, coffee is made and I’ve just begun reading about abortion/race relations/Rosie/rubbers as I complete my census forms. And it’s St. Pattys day, boy today is going to be interesting. Good morning world.

The Tar and Feathers Party

March 17th, 2010
9:16 am

For years government health programs like Champus, VA and Medicaid have paid for Viagra to encourage men to have sex, but have at the same time refused to pay for birth control to prevent recreation from turning into procreation. As a great woman once said “if men got pregnant, abortion would be a sacrament of the Church.” She also said that if men had monthly cramps, then “morphine would be an over the counter drug.”

Get Real

March 17th, 2010
9:17 am

You can call it racist or what you choose but I choose to call it STUPIDITY when people don’t use birth control! I don’t care where they are black, white, pink or purple. Abortion is no different than taking a gun and shooting a baby in the head. Before someone is for abortion they should be forced to watch a fetus with llittle arms and legs being pulled out from a womans womb and watch the doctor stick a sharp object into the base of the skull and watch as the fetus jerks and stiffens from the shock of being killed!

anon

March 17th, 2010
9:18 am

If conservatives are sincere about curbing abortions — among all women, white, black and brown — they should support efforts to broaden MEN’s health care as well, which includes responsible reproduction education, teaching respect for women, and easy and affordable access to condoms and sterilization. No woman gets pregnant alone.

Just be glad they abort more often

March 17th, 2010
9:19 am

One less black baby is one less gangbanger..One less chance your life will be affected by father abandoned black males in our society..You can ban me if you want and certainly will probably but when black people get enough money the first place they move to is where white people live to try and feel safer themselves!!!

The Tar and Feathers Party

March 17th, 2010
9:22 am

A couple weeks ago, the Economist magazine had a front page story on the “300 million missing female babies.” That is the in-balance between live male births in the world and live female births, adjusted for the fact that the probability of a male birth to a female birth is 1.05 percent. The story says over the last 20 odd years, 300 million female babies have been murdered around the world by families with a preference for males children. The two countries with the highest death rate for female babies are India and China. I will try to find a link to the article online, I only have the physical magazine.

Steve

March 17th, 2010
9:24 am

I don’t believe Planned Parenthood is racist. They will help anyone kill an unborn child.

Jeff

March 17th, 2010
9:25 am

I think abortion is appalling. But the facts are clearly stated by CT: Abortion kills a disproportionate amount of AA’s. the klan couldn’t have made a better plan than what is currently happening in the AA community.

Ryno

March 17th, 2010
9:25 am

Ms. Tucker – rather than addressing the continued struggle for womens reproductive rights, it might be prudent to address the issue of single parent families in the African American community.

One wonders if the number of African American abortions might decrease as the number of two parent families increase? Is it a fair point?

Get Real

March 17th, 2010
9:26 am

The real problem is that parents aren’t involved with their children’s lives in a lot of cases. Both parents or single parents work and have their own agenda and the children are left alone to fend for themselves which leads to some very unwise decisions and pregnancies! People don’t want to educate children on sex education in school or make contraceptives readily available to them and then complain about unwanted pregnancies! Well,look around…at all the illiterate people that are walking around with a housefull of kids that they can’t pay for and support. Many of them just want and rely on the government to take care of them because their parents did the same thing. Education is the key to success in preventing unwanted pregnancy!

Bubba

March 17th, 2010
9:26 am

T&F, horrible as it is, what does that have to do with abortion?Are you suggesting all these girls should have been aborted instead?

John

March 17th, 2010
9:27 am

I know a bunch of white Jews from South Africa. They are African American.

The people Tucker is talking about are black, and they are the most racist people I’ve ever known.

Robert

March 17th, 2010
9:27 am

CT,

Oh, when i made the adoption comment, it was in response to a previous comment made by Question…referring to the 6 children Rosie O’Donnell adopted. I knew you adopted a child and I applaud you for that. It definitely speaks to your character.

Owl

March 17th, 2010
9:28 am

So if Obama’s health care provides federal funds for abortion, define who the racist is.
Please keep writng these columns. Please!!!

RxDawg

March 17th, 2010
9:28 am

Ughhh, this same ol’ song and dance again? Look folks, abortion has been illegal before, it didn’t work. Stop letting your biased churches brainwash you. Everytime the word abortion is mentioned in any healthcare reform talk my BP goes up a little more.

If your absolute prolife, your actually antichoice.

The Tar and Feathers Party

March 17th, 2010
9:28 am

Gendercide is the term coined by the Economist to label the murder of 300 female babies over the last 20 odd years. Here is the link, just put in periods for spaces.

economist com/world/international/displaystory.cfm?story_id=15636231

Jess

March 17th, 2010
9:29 am

Interesting how Cynthia has spun this a plot by whites. I have watched coverage on TV of the movement, and this is just not true. Of course Ga. right to life will aid the movement since it may prevent abortions. This is what they do. Read the name. Yesterday Cynthia was upset because a pro Israel lobby chose Israel’s side in the current spat. This is their job.

This current movement is by black churches who are upset mainly because their are 19 abortion clinics on the south side of Atlanta and few if any on the north side. Could this be because people on the north side go to their own doctors? Should whites be upset because all the tax supported abortion dollars are spent on the south side? The answers are yes and yes.

Strait Road

March 17th, 2010
9:33 am

“It’s both sexist and racist to suggest that black women don’t have the intellectual and emotional firepower to make their own decisions.”

By the same token, is it not equally sexist and racist to suggest that black women don’t have the intellectual firepower to succeed in education and professionally without the help of laws that provide them with quotas? I suppose, after reading a few of your columns, one might conclude that these laws have enabled you to keep gainful employment. I guess that’s worth something.

T-Town

March 17th, 2010
9:33 am

Ms. Tucker,

You asked a simple question: “Is abortion a racist plot?” Followed by a simple reply: “Of course not.” I’m not sure why these simple items created racist statements/Rosie/rubbers/etc. Pro/Anti abortionist will use any material at their disposal to push their agenda, much like the politicians have done pro/con with healthcare. The real question is should abortion be part of the healthcare bill?