The infamous Day Garner has issued yet another polemical declaration, apparently Baracks position on Roe v Wade is traitorous and constitutes the support of a racial holocaust. She is reported to have told Lifenews.com that,“By kow-towing to the abortion industry Obama proves he is just another politician, as he purposely overlooks the fact that 63 percent of Planned Parenthood’s 860 clinics are in African-American communities.What both Planned Parenthood and Obama don’t realize is that we do not have to kill our children to have fruitful, successful lives. But it doesn’t matter. Even though blacks compromise only 13% of the population, they make up over 36% of all abortions done in this country.” The veracity of her statistics regarding the placement of planned parenthood clinics, as well as the number of African American women having abortions are irrefutable. Even though black women constitute a small percentage of women we are having the most abortions.
The problem is the conclusions that Gardner draws from these statistics. Simply because a planned parenthood centre is in a particular neighbourhood, does not make it more likely for a woman to have an abortion. First a woman must have her birth control fail, or engage in unprotected sex to become pregnant. She must then make the decision as to whether or not to have the baby, put the child up for adoption, or have an abortion. What this means is that a woman is actively deciding to walk into a centre. Those that work for planned parenthood do not troll the streets looking for pregnant women on which to perform an abortion. They do not tie women down and force them to submit to a procedure to which they are not desirous of. Too claim that positioning of the centres are a major factor in the decision making process, subverts the degree to which African American women are in possession of agency and autonomy. Does she believe that we are so easily swayed that merely upon seeing a clinic we would be persuaded to make a life altering decision like having an abortion? I do believe the woman has watched to many episodes of hot ghetto mess…Black women are more than capable of deciding for themselves whether they have the desire and the wherewithal to parent.
Gardners objective is to overturn Roe v Wade, and what she does not acknowledge is that this will not bring an end to abortion. What will happen is that women will resort to back alley abortions to rid themselves of a child they either do not want, or unable to financially support. In countries where abortions are illegal women have resorted to purchasing medicines to induce abortions that are potentially lethal. While professing her love for the black community what she is not considering are the thousands of women that will die if they are forced to utilize these unsafe methods. When you value the child that isn’t born, and incapable of surviving without its maternal host over the life of the woman that is already existing and contributing to society you are essentially delivering a death sentence. It is not a question of if women will die; if Roe V Wade is ever overturned it is simply a question of how many.
Though Gardner identifies as someone who is pro-life, I find the same faults with her position as do with all of the other organizations that daily strive to eliminate the right of women to choose; she offers no counter solutions.
According to Andrea E Wilson and Melissa A. Hardy, “African American women have experienced higher rates of unemployment — twice the rates of white women through the 1980s and 1990s (Browne 1999). This suggests that white women have been able to find a job more quickly when they are searching for work and are less likely to lose a job once they are employed (Browne 1999). Consistent with this pattern at the individual level, African American women are most likely to have sporadic work patterns, shorter job tenure, and greater concentration in low-paying, unstable occupations (Dressel 1988; Gibson 1987; Hertz 1988). Living in areas of high unemployment or areas negatively affected by deindustrialization, having lower levels of education and skill, and having to deal with the negative effects of discrimination are among the hypothesized factors contributing to the concentration of African American women in less stable and lower-paying jobs “(Cancio, Evans & Maume 1996; England 1992; Holzer & Vroman 1992; Wilson 1987)
If a mother is poor, her child will be equally poor. If the aim is to support life perhaps it should begin with offering concrete solutions to lift black women out of poverty. Where are the organizing drives meant to create better labour opportunities for black women, support of black entrepreneurship, or increasing education funding? Where is the advocacy supporting national subsidized health care, and day care? How about paid maternity leave, or job sharing or flexible hours? The aforementioned are positive steps that would increase the likelihood of mothers choosing to keep their children. It is easy for a woman like Garner to suggest that abortion should be outlawed when it will not be her vainly searching in a kitchen for food to feed a hungry child. It will not be her that will be shamed by social services when food stamps are required. She will not be accused of being a bad mother simply because she is poor and unable to pay for groceries, the rent, and utilities out of a meagre paycheck. If the goal is to encourage women to have children the conditions that make that choice tenable need to be created. We cannot simply moralize from a distance about valuing life when daily through social neglect and apathy our behaviour displays the opposite.
Hardy, Melissa A, and Andrea E. Wilson. “Racial Disparities in Income Security for a Cohort of Aging American Women.” Social Forces 80.4 (2002):1288-1289. www.projectmuse.com
(accessed August 25,2008)
Cross Posted From Womanist Musings