This month brings two anniversaries of note to those of us who are interested in the role that doctors can play in the struggle for social justice: May 21, when pro-slavery “ruffians” invaded Lawrence, Kansas in 1856, and May 31, when George Tiller was murdered by an anti-abortion terrorist in 2009.
Abolish Human Abortion has made it its business to disrupt—and many would say terrorize—Fondren, the Jackson neighborhood that has been home to the state’s last abortion clinic for nearly 20 years.
The anniversary of the Loving case on June 12 and Juneteenth on the 19th should remind us that, within the African-American freedom struggle and broader movements for equality, there has always been a struggle to determine the right to marry, select an intimate partner of one’s choice, and to form the families that we want.
Those of us fighting trafficking as part of a broader human rights movement must recognize that failing to advocate for the use of these laws to punish both buyers and sellers serves to perpetuate very serious racial disparities in who we are deeming culpable and who we are criminalizing for trafficking.
Anti-abortion “abolitionists” believe the only way to end abortion is to convert the entire country to their version of Christianity, thereby making the very concept of abortion “unthinkable” to the masses.
Central to the political agenda of men’s rights activists is floating the idea that men somehow have a “right” to an abortion, or more accurately a right to interfere with a woman’s right to an abortion—an argument that highlights the intersecting bigotries embedded in the men’s rights movement.
“Abortion has been worse on the African-American community than the slave trade or Jim Crow,” said Robert Woodson, a panelist at a sparsely attended Conservative Political Action Conference panel on reaching out to more diverse voting populations.
Erasing plantations from the landscape or simply lambasting them doesn’t get rid of slavery; it just rids us of its most uncomfortable and most visible symbols.
America’s history of racialized slavery distilled the essence of patriarchy, and formed the roots of American rape culture. So why do famous white feminists fail to get it?
If abortion is like slavery—indeed, if abortion is the most divisive issue since slavery—then what of the women who suffered under slavery? What of the women who performed self-abortions in order to resist slavery? They cease to exist.