(VIDEO) Black Abortion: Battleground Georgia


This article is part of a series by reproductive justice advocates published by RH Reality Check on the efforts by anti-choice forces to limit the rights and agency of women of color.  Other pieces in the series include those by Pamela Merritt, Gloria Feldt, Melissa Harris Lacewell, Kelley Robinson, Jaz, Miriam Perez, Maame-Mensima Horne, Melissa Harris-Lacewell, Cindy Cooper interviewing Loretta RossSusan Cohen, Carol Joffe, Jodi Jacobson, and an audio press conference featuring Drs. Loretta Ross, Melissa Gilliam, and Vanessa Cullins.   

Editor’s note: Read all of RH Reality Check’s coverage of this racist anti-choice campaign.

The black community is the frequent testing ground for bad legislation and restrictive medical policies. But this time, according to sponsors and anti-abortionists, its purpose is to stop discrimination – before birth.

Anti-abortion activists and legislators in the Georgia General Assembly yesterday (March 29th, 2010) passed Senate Bill 529, the OBGYN Criminalization & Racial Discrimination Act. With the same bill stalled in the House, Republicans worked furiously to fast-track SB 529 through the Senate with the hopes of restricting the rights of African-American women by name and all women by intent.

Both bills 1) prevent the abortion of a fetus based on race, color, or sex, 2) penalize medical professionals for alleged “criminal coercion” of women seeking abortions, and 3) impede women of color from accessing their constitutionally-protected right to abortion. 

Both bills suggest that abortion providers solicit and coerce African-American women for the sole purpose of aborting black babies.  Both bills exploit African-American women and discriminate against them in hopes of confounding leaders in the African-American community, and splitting the black vote during mid-term elections. Both bills have galvanized women of color from across the state to protect abortion access in Georgia.

Watching hypocrisy in action is quite the farce. But for African American women in Georgia, this skit is not funny and could have dire consequences.

Publicly, white Republican men claim to care about pregnant black women who are allegedly being targeted by the abortion industry.  Privately, those same men scramble to “opt Georgia out” of national healthcare reform and find the perfect wedge issue for the mid-term elections to build the Republican base in African-American communities.

These bills are constitutionally inadequate, despite the sponsors’ best efforts to amend vague concepts.  Fundamentally, both bills interfere with a woman’s constitutional right to access abortion based on speculation about her reasons. 

Speaking against the bill, Lynn Hogue, a constitutional law professor at Georgia State University said, “You cannot carve out particular reasons and make them ‘unlawful’ based on a vague definition that they are ‘coercive’.” 

Second, both bills mandate racial profiling of African American women under the guise of “preventing coercion.”  This legislation will force providers to question each patient about the reason she seeks an abortion and violate patient confidentiality. 

Finally, the bill introduces the concept of “unlawful coercion” without further definition and makes the undefined action subject to serious criminal penalties.  The results of these bills will lead to the lack of access to abortion services for African American women.

The most alarming fact of all: They say they want to protect black children by discriminating against black women. We are not fools and we are not amused.  The only reality that matters is this: Our lived experiences drive how and when we choose abortion, not abortion providers.

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  • lifereality

    Pastor Luke Robinson video clip:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6wriSc2sNXA

     

  • beenthere72

    This sounds like really sneaky, underhanded legislation.  

  • crowepps

    The protests that this isn’t discriminatory because there are Black leaders who support the bill works on two underlying stereotypical assumptions: that their being Black gives them some sort of special insight into genocide, and that because they are Black they can’t be prejudiced against other Black people.

     

    I have not found either to be the case.

  • roshea1956

    I first like the term, people of color, are we not all a color? Now move on.

    Abortion. The New World Order has plans for billions of people around the world, and you can find this goal on their webpages, that is; decrease the world population. The goal is 500 million on the planet all else is excessive and must be disposed of. So it does not matter what “color” you are.

    Take for instance the genocide being allowed in Africa for years. Why? The world governments are passive, not aggressively going after the people killing the opposing tribe, culture group, etc. The populations that are dying are poor, it would be costly, and so no one really steps in, just words. Why? Decrease the world population.

    As disaster around the globe increase, the world gov. will not be helping, why? Decrease the world population.

    Legalize drugs that kill, destroy families, harm the body. Why? Decrease world population. Ever read Open Society website by George Soros? He funds a lot of interests to create the new world order. http://www.soros.org/

    So the fight is on. Democrats/Republicans and whoever else is supporting new global union accepts the goals and plans of it.
    http://www.lifeissues.net/writers/mos/mos_07billionaires.html

    To make abortion sound acceptable is all in how you word the statement. Family planning, birth control, even legislation to control size of families is presented. http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/population

    this all is combined with dec. in water, energy, resources for pop. now.

    scary thinking of world leaders, humans they want to die, to make room for nature.

  • prochoiceferret

    Abortion. The New World Order has plans for billions of people around the world, and you can find this goal on their webpages, that is; decrease the world population. The goal is 500 million on the planet all else is excessive and must be disposed of.

    Obviously, we must counteract this by having as many babies as possible. Ban contraception! No more abortions! Let’s see just how many billions of humans this planet can take, baby!!!

  • jgbeam

    ..such as the great Luke Robinson are pointing out that the abortion rate among black women is now about 50%.  And you want increased access to abortion?

     

    Abortion is not health care.

     

    Jim Grant, Pro-lifer

  • jgbeam

    You’re beginning to get it, PCF.  With so many countries at birth rates below replacement rates, we need more babies, not fewer.

     

    Abortion is not health care.

     

    Jim Grant, Pro-lifer.

  • prochoicegoth

    Does he have proof of this claim, meaning a report from the CDC or another irrefutable source? Just because women get increased access, DOES NOT mean all women are going to flock to their nearest abortion clinic.

    Do you honestly believe the BS you spew on here?

  • prochoicegoth

    And how do you intend on getting these more babies Jim? Forcing women to gestate against their will? Making birth control illegal? Making non-procreative sex illegal?

     

    We need to take care of the people who are already here before worrying about numbers, but then again it’s clear to me that you don’t give a damn about life that’s not inside of another person.

  • ahunt

    I must echo Goth here, Jim. What is your plan?

     

    See…in Spain and Italy, it appears that women no longer want to be mommies to their husbands. Would you, for example, suggest that perhaps husbands shoulder more of the scutwork of households? Just maybe?

  • saltyc

    One solution to a perceived need for more people would be to make motherhood more attractive to women, with subsidized childcare, paid maternity leave, pastors asking the men in their congregation what have you done to help the mothers you know today, etc. But something tells me the jims of the world would rather just coerce women into making more babies against their will. It’s cheaper for one, plus you don’t have to treat women as free agents who do what’s in their own best interest.

  • ahunt

    Yah…pretty much what I was thinkin’ Salty…but I wanted to give Jim his time.

     

    Thing is….Western women like the cultural changes permitting them greater opportunities, and I do not think that efforts to shame them out of the public sphere will be successful.

  • jgbeam

    “One solution to a perceived need for more people would be to make motherhood more attractive to women, with subsidized childcare, paid maternity leave, pastors asking the men in their congregation what have you done to help the mothers you know today, etc. “

     

    I agree with all of the above except the need is real, not perceived.

     

    Abortion is not health care.

     

    Jim Grant, Pro-lifer

  • jgbeam

    End abortion and contraception.

     

    “See…in Spain and Italy, it appears that women no longer want to be mommies to their husbands.”

     

    Sad.

     

    Abortion is not health care.

     

    Jim Grant, Pro-lifer

  • ahunt

    Epic failure of communication. My bad.

     

    Let me restate….women are interested in being wives to their husbands….

     

    Better?

  • ahunt

    End abortion and contraception.

     

    No.

     

    And coming from someone who is not obliged to bear ALL or any of the negative ramifications of your position…I think I’m safe in saying that your contempt for the needs and rights of women is truly loathesome.

  • prochoicegoth

    Your plan could work in a fantasy world Jim, but do come back to reality. Illegalizing abortions and contraception did NOTHING when that was the law of the land. Women still aborted and found ways to prevent a pregnancy.

     

    Unless you want to put women under house arrest and subject them to various forced medical tests every month, your plan cannot and would not work.

     

     

  • crowepps

    It is always sad when grown men can’t give up their myth of being entitled to ‘perfect love’ from a ‘perfect mom’ and live in actual reality with the rest of us.

  • princess-rot

    It’s that thing again, that desire for women to deal with all the shit and do it out of sight and out of the way. That evil is why all the romanticization of motherhood occurs to such an extreme and why people like Jim want to write mandatory motherhood into law. Who cares how much suffering will be unleashed on unwanted children and overburdened women as long as the men can have an easy life free from the stresses of competing in the workplace with the other half of the population, taking responsibility for the choice to engage in sexual relations, competing for college places against women, or running a home, or, ye gods, raising their children beyond dropping a cheque on the table every month. When you ensure that bodily autonomy and the ability to make life-changing decisions is instantly removed from half the population simply because of preventable biological processes, you go a long way in removing them from the public sphere entirely. Which is what this is really about, it’s not about saving lives, it’s about making existing male lives easier on the backs of females.

  • catseye71352

    So you think a woman should be forced to carry a life-threatening ectopic pregnancy to term, “Jim, Pro-Forced-Childbirther?” Or how about a case of twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome? Should one twin or BOTH die? Should a woman with cancer be denied chemo until her baby is born?

     

    How is it in ANY way “pro-life” to treat a living, breathing, BORN woman as a mindless incubator?

  • julie-watkins

    Even if an abortion is elective (mine was), giving birth (giving life) is a gift not an obligation … unless women and poor are 2nd class. I just get disgusted at people who think women & poor people are public property, and those in power can legally direct their lives.

  • emma

    Jim wants more babies. Clearly, since Jim wants more babies, it is our obligation to provide them for him. What Jim wants should be terribly important to all of us.

     

    (Fucking christ, what a hellish dystopian nightmare Jim’s world would be. Choices for women: produce babies, produce babies, or kill yourself. Just like it should be, eh Jim?)

     

    Is anyone else becoming exhausted by the misogynistic, womb-obsessed fuckwittery of some commenters here? What the living fuck leads someone to stand around outside abortion clinics and decide that other people owe it to him to produce more and more babies? My goddamned god.