12.24.2009

The Racial and Spatial Elements of Abortion


I am wading into a controversial topic without much information to work with, obviously a dangerous combination. However, I did want to present this link to a pro-life organization's recent newsletter: "Calling Out the Abortion Goliath." Again, people have different opinions, morally and politically, about whether abortion should be legal in the US. I am not here to argue a position from those perspectives. Why I like this newsletter article is that it reminds us of the racial and spatial element of the abortion industry:

* "Presently, America’s pregnancy help centers are set up in predominantly white, suburban, and small-town communities. This reflects the demographics of our current movement. But long ago, Planned Parenthood explicitly identified its profit centers: 'young women, low-income women, and women of color' (Planned Parenthood Plan of Action, 1997). Studies show that 62.5% of Planned Parenthood facilities are located in cities where Blacks represent a higher percentage of the population compared to the overall population of the state."

* "Black women, who represent 12% of the female population, suffer 36% of all abortions . . . The abortion industry kills as many Black people every four days as the Klan killed in 150 years. Since 1973, legal abortion has killed more Blacks than AIDS, cancer, diabetes, heart disease and violent crime combined."

* "'We are paying for and even submitting to the dictates of an ever increasing spawning class of human beings who never should have been born at all.' - a 1922 quote from Margaret Sanger, Founder, American Birth Control League (renamed Planned Parenthood in 1942)."


Oftentimes, the abortion debate pits one group, who views the act as a woman's choice to do what she wants to do with her body, with another group, who views the act as murder. Let's remember that there are other facets to this topic, which intersect with how we sort ourselves racially and spatially in this country.

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