Florida’s Racist Anti-Choice Bill Prompts Walkout By Female Legislators


VIDEO: Rep. Moore Tells Anti-Choice GOP Where to Shove Black Genocide Lie

In 2011, Rep. Gwen Moore breaks down the reality of having black babies, and the falsity of the “black genocide” lie. Let’s just use it as a reminder.

Of the many and varied lies told by anti-choicers in their quest to separate women from their basic human rights to bodily autonomy, the claim that women need to lose their rights in order to protect Black people is one of the most odious. It is an odious claim in no small part because the mostly white conservatives who pretend to be “concerned” about Black women getting abortions aren’t fooling anyone, since they spend the rest of their time attacking the civil and economic rights of ordinary Americans in ways that disproportionately harm Black people. But even setting that aside, it’s odious to claim that Black women need to be “protected” from having abortion rights because it presumes that Black women don’t know their own minds and need a bunch of conservative white men to tell them what to do with their bodies.

Black female lawmakers in Florida stood up to this insult. During the state house debate over a bill proposed by Rep. Charles Van Zant (R-Keystone Heights) requiring doctors to interrogate Black patients about whether they are seeking an abortion to avoid giving birth to Black children, an estimated five legislators walked out in anger. The Grio reported:

“I don’t appreciate anyone trying to explain what any other ethnic group’s lifestyle is and what they do, when you really don’t have any authority to interpret it,”  Rep. Barbara Watson (D-Miami), one of the black lawmakers who walked out, told The Huffington Post.  ”I think the women and people of color in that chamber deserve an apology from him, but I don’t know that it would actually change his point of view.”

There are only two reasons to claim that Black women’s abortions are about race, as Van Zant did when he called these abortions “discriminatory targeting.” Either you believe that Black women hate Black children and are getting abortions to avoid being mothers to Black children, or you believe Black women are being coerced by outside parties who have a racist agenda. Both of these claims are deeply insulting to Black women. The first assumes that Black women are self-hating racists. The second assumes they are dim-witted and being tricked into having abortions by the evil cabal of sex-crazed, profit-hungry baby-haters that live only in the imagination of anti-choicers.

Van Zant’s language and the language of anti-choicers generally suggests the second insult is the one they intend. After all, there’s a ton of anti-choice legislation that rests on the assumption that women are being tricked and seduced into abortion, from mandatory ultrasounds with scripts to mandatory waiting periods to “think” about a decision most women made long before they called the doctor. The “women are too stupid to know their own minds, the silly things!” mentality is being applied here. The people behind this effort exude racist as well as sexist prejudice, and they’re doubling down on women of color.

In all honesty, I suspect that most of the white people promoting this “Black genocide” claim believe neither: They are liars through and through, and they know very well that Planned Parenthood does not actually trick pregnant women into coming in for abortions. (The belief that women are idiots who don’t know their own minds also drives the crisis pregnancy center explosion, but of course they end up finding out that more than a sales pitch is required to try to trick women into unwanted motherhood—you actually have to do things like lie about how far along they are the risks they incur by getting an abortion.)  This is all about enshrining into law the notion that women in general, but Black women in particular, are second-class citizens whose supposed mental inadequacies make them incapable of making their own decisions.

This serves two purposes. Right off the bat, anti-choicers get the pleasure of having the state insult women seeking abortion by telling them they’re gullible and stupid. It’s a humiliation ritual designed to make women feel bad about having abortions and, of course, about having had sex in the first place. Over the long term, it certainly helps the racist, misogynist cause to have laws in place that single out women and especially women of color as people whose race and gender is assumed to render them incapable of adult responsibilities such as choosing your own medical care. Should you wish to pass any other laws based on the premise that women of color can’t be allowed the same rights to make personal decisions as everyone else, this precedent will help justify it.

This is also about muddying the waters, of course. By feigning concern over mythical “race-based” abortions, they hope to confuse people about what the actual issues facing women of color are. That not only makes it easier to attack abortion rights, but to generally undermine the social and economic well-being of women of color. Not that liberals are particularly confused about who is and isn’t actually supporting women of color in this debate, or course. It’s hard to really confuse the issue when it’s a bunch of old white men saying nasty things to Black female legislators about Black women’s supposed inability to make their own reproductive decisions. But fooling liberals isn’t the point. This is just about giving conservatives cover, by allowing them to attack women of color by pretending to want to “help” them.

And, in the grand scheme of things, this shows how very little respect the anti-choice movement has for the anti-racism movement and the decades upon decades of work put in by so many men and women to end racism in this country. Anti-choicers have reduced all that to a “card” you can pull to “score points” in a political debate. They see racial justice as nothing but a political ploy to be used to get what they want in the abortion debate, and not as a real issue that affects real people. No wonder the Florida legislators were mad. We should all be quaking with anger.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Garnet-Switzer/100003130843985 Garnet Switzer

    Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood was guilty of racial genocide, targeting innocent black babies in particular. Read her book, read her words. I have. This is not myth, this is fact. Hitler used her “teachings” to conduct his own particular brand of genocide. Margaret Sanger was an evil angel of death, not a woman to be admired and idolized. Margaret Sanger was one of the original proponents of purification of the human race. Put in those terms, we all knew what she fervently pursued. She spelled it out in writing. Abortion compromises a woman’s health – both physical and emotional – and should not be used as a form of birth control. Abortion can kill the Mother consenting to the procedure. Planned Parenthood offers contraception – but abortion is much more lucrative. I’ve used both the birth control pill (that you have to remember to take) and the IUD (which can remain in place for 5 years+ and requires no additional action) – supplied by Planned Parenthood. Women need to make a choice to protect themselves from unwanted pregnancies and opportunists whose main purpose is pursuit of a revenue stream.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=9433650 Sarah ES

      I won’t even speak to the first claim. Even if I believed it, we often have admiration for plenty of historical figures for pioneering certain concepts, even if they had darker intentions. People are people, after all. I don’t disown physical anthropology for having originally being based in eugenics. It is a discipline that has transformed and allowed

      Of course abortion shouldn’t be used as birth control. What kind of people do you take us for? As to abortion “killing” the mother, well, so can childbirth. An abortion performed during the first trimester is 14 times safer for the woman than childbirth, in fact. Obviously, the risk rises as the pregnancy progresses.

      Speaking as another woman, I’d imagine that an unwanted baby would do much more to damage my mental and physical health than an abortion would. I don’t need anyone else’s authority on that. Your claims are the same paternalism gift-wrapped as feminism: “We’re just looking out for you! We care about you!” Of course, this is bogus. The anti-choice faction does not care about women, and true pro-lifers, those who simply wish to truly decrease abortion, and not just make it illegal/inaccessiblewould do well to distance themselves from this movement.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=9433650 Sarah ES

        In fact, here are some basics from Up-To-Date, a resource for HPCs and patients:

        MYTHS AND FACTS ABOUT ABORTION

        Abortion is not safe – MYTH.
        Legal abortions are one of the safest medical procedures available
        today. While abortion is not risk-free, the risk of having an abortion
        is far less than the risk of carrying a pregnancy and giving birth.
        Abortions done early in pregnancy (before 13 weeks of pregnancy) have fewer risks than abortions done later in pregnancy [2,3].

        Abortions that are performed by someone without training are not safe and can lead to serious complications, including bleeding, infection,
        infertility, and even death – FACT.

        Abortion will make me infertile – MYTH. Legal abortions do not make it more difficult to become pregnant in the future.

        Abortion increases my risk of breast cancer – MYTH. Several studies have conclusively shown that having an abortion does NOT increase the risk of developing breast cancer [4].

        Abortion increases my chance of miscarriage – PROBABLE MYTH.
        There have been a number of studies that have tried to determine if
        abortion increases the risk of miscarriage with future pregnancies. Most
        well-designed studies have not found that legal abortion in the first
        trimester increases the risk of miscarriage, preterm delivery, or other
        pregnancy complications

      • http://www.facebook.com/Feral.9.Hex Carla Clark

        Abortion is a form of birth control, no matter how often it is used. And no one wants to HAVE to have an abortion OR (as in an either/or situation) carry a pregnancy to term. Other than that, what you’ve said is pretty much spot on.

    • goatini

      Well, THAT was a load of specious nonsense and deliberate deception.

      Which “book” was it that you purport to have read? Especially since the ludicrous content of your message appears in not a SINGLE ONE of her books, articles, or transcriptions of her speeches?

      FACTS:

      * Margaret Sanger was respected and honored by each and every prominent African American of her day, up to and including Dr Martin Luther King Jr and Coretta Scott King.

      * Margaret Sanger vehemently hated and despised Hitler and his regime.

      * Margaret Sanger was, among many learned Americans, a proponent of the study of eugenics, which was, at the turn of the 20th century, offered as an essential part of the biological sciences curriculum at every major university in the United States, and counted among its advocates Andrew Carnegie, Alexander Graham Bell, and Winston Churchill – and many of the principles and theories of eugenics are used today in the modern study of genetics.

      * It is the billion-dollar ADOPTION industry, aka human trafficking, that is lucrative, with a massive revenue stream that in almost all cases is totally tax-exempt, since most of the human trafficking agencies are run under “religious” auspices, and is one of the most profitable industries of all, due to (1) workers producing the inventory are unpaid laborers in indentured servitude; (2) the pipeline of inventory, that will be sold at 5-figure prices to the highest bidder, is obtained from the slave labor absolutely free of charge; and (3) did I mention that the adoption mills operate, for the most part, completely free of tax obligations?

      It’s obvious why the gestational slavers don’t want their highly lucrative human trafficking scam shut down – and obvious why they will go to any lengths to keep their exploitative revenue stream operating at full capacity. Always FOLLOW THE MONEY to learn the truth.

    • http://www.facebook.com/jaime.pretell Jaime Andres Pretell

      Load of bullshit, and I have read the relevant parts of the book. She was a racist, like most White people of her time, but her motivations weren’t genocide as much as elimination of poverty welfare as well as birth defects. There is a reason many African Americans supported her cause even if they didn’t support all her ideologies. There is no evidence she ever discriminated against her Black employees. The whole claims is a bunch of BS.

      • HeilMary1

        She advocated voluntary motherhood by the PHYSICALLY FIT so the resulting children wouldn’t be motherless. Sounds very anti-racist and pro-family to me and was also deemed so by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.!

        • http://www.facebook.com/Feral.9.Hex Carla Clark

          No, she was racist. She just did not believe that her employees who were black should be treated any differently from her employees who were white.

          Eugenicism and racism are two different things. Besides, she may have been a eugenicist, even though she wasn’t eugenicist to the extent that she supported sterilization of those she considered infirm and forced breeding of those she considered superior. She was motivated for different reasons, but she

    • HeilMary1

      You lying racist mother killer, deadly childbirth fistulas plague black women far more than any other ethnic group because they disproportionately inherit narrower pelvic bones that trap fetal skulls during delivery. You are libeling nurse Sanger whose own Catholic mother was murdered by 17 pregnancies and who was aghast at the gruesome childbirth injuries suffered by her patients. She opposed spoiled pedophile priests keeping unhealthy women in deadly incubating slavery. That is why Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. teamed up with her to promote safe motherhood in black communities! Google Dr. Marion Sims’s gruesome experiments on slave women afflicted with fistulas, Sanger’s fistulaed colleague Mary Ware Dennett, and Ireland’s symphysiotomy scandal to get a clue why abortions are far safer than childbirth. If you hate PP so much, why do you patronize PP for yourself while condemning all the other patients? What a selfish hypocrite you are!

    • Dez

      Stop with your fake concern over black women like me. Your argument only implies that black women are so ignorant we need people like you to save us. It’s insulting and degrading. I make my decsions, not you or PP. I am perfetly capable as a intelligent black woman to decide to have an abortion or not.

    • http://twitter.com/JenGStarr Jennifer Starr

      Making stuff up is not, cool, Garnet–though I do realize that lying is the ‘pro-lifers’ stock in trade. Just about everything you said was BS.

    • cjvg

      Margaret Sanger worked in black neighborhoods with black doctors and black midwives in a time were that was extremely unusual for a white women and in general frowned upon.
      She was a major fund raiser for health care clinics in those neighborhoods.
      She promoted and help supplied comprehensive female reproductive services like prenatal and postnatal health care, birthing services, contraception and yes abortion.
      She provided for black women in a time were it was even harder for black women to obtain quality health care then it was for white women.
      Racist do not ensure quality life saving care and work closely and intimately with black people just on the change that they can apply racist attitudes to other black people!

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ayinde-Truxon-Flores/1196187056 Ayinde Truxon Flores

      So Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. accepted the Margaret Sanger award from Planned Parenthood in 1966 because he was ignorant?

  • http://twitter.com/JenGStarr Jennifer Starr

    It’s funny how the only time the right wing actually pretends to care about black women is when they’re trying to rob them of their bodily autonomy. What this bill actually says–and in an extremely patronizing way–is that ‘pro-lifers’ don’t think that black women are intelligent enough to make their own reproductive choices. They don’t want to help anybody.

    • Dez

      Bingo!!! That’s what I hear everytime “pro-lifers” fake concern about black women like me and my female relatives. Black women could not control their reproduction during slavery and now “pro-lifers” want to do the same thing in modern times. For them we are just pawns to take away rights from all women.

      • HeilMary1

        Thank you! If they really cared about saving blacks, they’d hand out AIDS-preventing condoms in Africa and arrest oil-spilling, blood diamond-trading, arms-trafficking CEOs!