This past week, the New York Times published information regarding Donald Trump, the leading Republican candidate for the next presidential election’s, stance on abortion. Trump, like other conservatives, sees abortion as “murder” according to the New York Times; and, taking it back decades, he is in support that abortion should be illegal to all, and he says that women who engage in illegal abortions should be punished by the United States government. I think it is important, when considering the abortion discussion in the United States, to consider, who these laws most directly impacts. Policies that deal with abortion, drugs, mass incarceration, and police brutality, so often do not even begin to affect or become in the site line of the lives of the people that Donald Trump is trying to impress with his campaign. And sadly, the people most affected by these laws grow in numbers on a monthly basis, and have never seen nearly half the fortunes that Trump and his supporters have seen. So, the people who liberals are defending when many are defending a woman’s right to an abortion are women of color who are most affected by the systemic racism in the United States that has kept them impoverished, incarcerated, unhealthy, and lead to their unwanted pregnancies.
Because the majority of people who do not see racism in the United States and think we are in a post racial society, many of them who are endorsing and supporting Mr. Trump in his campaign for President of the United States, probably do not see that laws in this country do not affect majorities. In general, they do not even affect whites, and the few laws that have begun to touch upon the lives of whites, such as mass incarceration and the war on drugs, are now being noticed in the White House and in congress because they are affecting the majorities’ well-being.
However, women who are minorities are more often attacked by sex offends, so in a case where a woman of color is raped and becomes pregnant from the rape, she is a candidate who could seek out abortion. And without it being legal and financial feasible for her, she could potentially seek out illegal, less healthy aborting methods that could lead her to even worse health complications and in many cases death. So you see Mr. Trump, the abortion law is not for women who are having recreational sex to just give up on birth control, have sexual intercourse, get pregnant, and abort the children. But rather, it is to help stop discrimination of minorities, of which you do not see or care to see, who do not have the means to gain access to birth control, are more susceptible to sexual violence, and do not have the means to get help after such violence occurs.
As I write this, I cannot begin to understand the reasoning being making abortions illegal. And, as I look at it and write about it even more closely, I become even more baffled. My only answer to the question of why many individuals, including a man running for the president of our country, support policing and controlling women’s’ bodies, is that they are unaware that these policies are not made for them or the women most prominently in their lives. Instead, they are created as safety for minorities and oppressed races as an attempt to battle systemic racism; and, with colorblind ideology in place and very much alive and prevalent in the minds of majorities today, they do not see it that way. When it does not apply to them, does it simply not matter?
5 thoughts on “Black Lives Matter, But So Do Black Female Bodies”
I echo Steven 100%. This is a great post.
I think another consideration is the lives of sex workers and the coercion levied disproportionately at Black women by people who profit off of prostitution, and how that can also result in unwanted pregnancies. These are pregnancies suffered through by women at the height of vulnerability, on the opposite end of the spectrum from Trump and many of his supporters.
What got to me was the for the longest time, I viewed abortion rights as something uniquely for women. I thought of it as a topic of gender or sex and that was it. But I love how you brought in an intersectional approach, including the factors of race and class. It really opened my eyes to how these issues that are often placed into one category, really do disproportionately affect people of various marginalized groups.
I’m so captivated by your post. It’s always been so frustrating to me that the people making these laws tend to be the people that the laws won’t apply to. They don’t have to think on the repercussions of those laws, because they’ll never have to personally face them. And when you add in the racialized component of it, and take into consideration that most of these lawmakers are white, then there’s probably an implicit sense of white superiority there. To me, it speaks to an attitude that says “WE don’t need this because we’re better than it.”
A Ruth Bader Ginsburg quote came to mind as I read your blog: “There will never be a time in this country when women of means won’t have a choice. A woman who can afford a plane ticket, a bus ticket will always be able to choose whether to have an abortion. The women who won’t have that choice are poor women. That doesn’t make sense.” What I find so fascinating about this issue is the ways that the visibility of poor women and invisibility of wealthy women make it seem as thought poor women are the only one’s getting abortions leading to allegations about their rogue sexuality. Their visibility in the publics eye leads to the stigmatization of their bodies, making it seem as though you have to be wealthy to have any kind of acceptable sexuality. Very frustrating.
I also suggest you read Pro: Reclaiming Abortion Rights by Katha Pollitt, she breaks down the logic behind anti-choice rhetoric in a really interesting way.
About a month ago, I went to a Planned Parenthood rally in DC and noticed a group of women chanting “Trust Black Women”. I think that this really relates to your post and the internationality you describe. This is the website if you wanted to look further into it! http://www.trustblackwomen.org/
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