Jun 202005

Whenever I attend a pro-choice event-or see a group of anti-choicers, for that matter-one thing always strikes me.

The group is almost always completely made up of whites.

Not to say that you never see people of color at such gatherings. Just not that many, not even at large events like the March For Women’s Lives. And I can quite honestly say that I have NEVER seen a non-white anti-choice demonstrator. Considering that per the Alan Guttmacher Institute’s website a little over 40% of U.S. abortions are performed on women of color, one would think that there would be a comparable percentage of activists or anti-choicers. But there’s not.

I had a chance to speak with a young black woman at the March last year, traveling with her college VOX group, and I asked her why she thought people of color weren’t more active. She replied that she thought a lot of it had to do with socioeconomics. “You don’t see a lot of poor people here either.”

I had to admit there was some grain of truth to that. During the time in the late eighties when I was a clinic escort, I had a good job and no pressing financial worries. My fortunes took a huge turn for the worse in the mid-nineties, and my time was spent just trying to survive. Now things are good again, and I’m on the front lines. However, there are plenty of people of color who, like me, are middle class or higher-but we still don’t see them. I often wonder if, despite claims to the contrary, people of color look at the uniformly white face each side presents and think abortion to be a “white” issue.

When I was an escort, I noticed that the cast of (all white) clinic anti-choice protestors would be quiet if the woman was black or Hispanic. Did they shrug and think “well, that’s okay, one less nigger or spic in the world”? When they talk about adoption, do they think of the overwhelming amount of children available in foster care who aren’t white?

If anyone knows of a prominent non-white anti-choicer, let me know-seriously. Right now, I think they’re rarer than unicorns.

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24 Responses to “We are the world?”

  1. It’s like the question of why are the majority of prominent anti-choicers men? People who will *never* be pregnant?

    Because I believe that only those with the time and resources get to be prominent figures. Also, a lot of the anti-choice groups tend to be frightenly conservative – not only are they anti-abortion but they are also anti-gay and anti-interracial marriage.

    In that kind of atmosphere would a black anti-choicer be welcome?

  2. This brings up another important topic, one that was recently featured in a magazine article (it escapes my mind which magazine at the moment, probably something silly lying around at my parent’s house).

    You meantioned the great number of non-white children in foster care. Non-white children have a much harder time being adopted than white children do – even the newborn babies. As a result, many non-white children are being adopted out to families overseas.

    The reasons why agencies have trouble finding homes for non-white babies aren’t a mystery to me. The families doing the adopting are usually white, and with considerable financial resources for adoption. As some would say, why would these white parents “settle” for a non-white baby when they’re going through an expensive, time consuming, and emotionally exhausting process? Makes me sick, but there you have it.

    Then there are the people who are outraged that the babies are being sent overseas. Sure, go ahead, be outraged that a baby is being sent to a family that wants it and will care for it rather than being bounced around the foster care system here in the U.S. indefinitely. Yes, it’s terrible that racism still exists, but banning overseas adoption is not going to change that. It’s just going to create more miserable kids.

    And as an aside, not only are these children being born to mothers who don’t want them and/or can’t care for them, they’re also being born into a nation that seemingly wants to be rid of them as well. I’ve never heard of anti-choicers all rallying around to adopt the non-white babies who have been saved from the “abortion holocaust”.

    Just some thoughts.

  3. I don’t see how people can be outraged about American babies being, for lack of a better term, exported-but yet see nothing wrong with Americans adopting babies from other countries.

    Also, I know that there’s many in the black community who frown on black children being adopted by non-black parents, fearing they’ll lose their “culture.”

  4. It certainly is popular these days for Americans to adopt asian and eastern european children from overseas. Some people spend thousands and thousands of dollars to adopt a child from China, or Russia, etc… I just don’t get it. It’s not like we’re running out of babies here in the U.S.

    I understand the concern of the black community regarding adoption. But the way I see it, a child is better off with non-black parents than no parents at all.

    Question – does anyone know of any pro-life websites that aren’t completely devoted to Jesus and being saved? It’s all I hear about these days – “I let my boyfriend/parents/friends/teachers talk me into having an abortion, now I’m so sorry for my sin. But I know now that Jesus loves and forgives me…” UGH. Isn’t there anything more intelligent out there for the unreligious to read?

  5. I have friends who adopted a little girl from the Philippines.

    They did so because from that particular organization they were subjected to less red tape and their waiting period was not as long. These people are not at all OLD (forties), but they are not exactly spring chickens, either.

    I know that they wanted a child ASAP before they were too old to raise him/her.

    It had nothing to do with the “popularity” of adopting from Asia-at least for them. Sadly, that doesn’t seem to always be the case.

    All the same, I don’t like to nitpick about where people are adopting children from. As long as they are basically good people, and they are adopting, I’m happy.

    A child is a child is a child, and any time an already-born kid gets a loving, safe home, I think it’s a good thing.

  6. sarah,
    I saw this site a while ago; it says it’s a pro-life site for athiests and agnostics: http://www.godlessprolifers.org.
    Catchy name, eh?

    In my view anytime a decent, caring couple (or single person for that matter) adopts a baby or an older child, regardless of race, it’s a good thing. I don’t care if the couple or person is straight, gay, people of color, white – and same thing with the baby or child.

    Yep, it sure is interesting that the pro-lifers are not lining up by the thousands at the adoption agencies, to adopt babies/children born to women/girls who opted not to have an abortion yet were emotionally, physically and financially unable to care for the baby/child. Come on you so-called pro-lifers – put your big money where your big mouths are and get in line!

    When the webmaster mentioned she was an escort (that’s great!) at a clinic it reminded me of a conversation I had with a buddy who was an escort for a long time. It was a large clinic but the only one in her town. Several times she saw pro-lifers from the protest line outside the clinic, bring in a girl or friend to have an abortion. A few weeks later they’d be back out on the protest line. Staff at the clinic mentioned to her several times that they’d recognized even more folks from the protest line, dragging in some frightened kid. I’ve read about this on-line as well. Go figure…very strange world!

  7. I saw protestors bringing in women for abortions several times and be back out front with their signs the next week. These people also gave the clinic staff the hardest time-not wanting counseling, not wanting to fill out paperwork, just wanting that abortion right now!. Because it’s different when it’s your own, you know. I hate hypocrites.

  8. Remember Webmaster: the only moral abortion is their abortion!

  9. A few non-white prolifers for you. I’m not sure what you mean by “prominent.”

    Kay Cole James- former Director of Public Affairs for National Right to Life

    Alveda King – niece of Dr. Martin Luther King, currently working with Priests for Life

    Johnny Hunter – formerly in charge of LEARN (life education and resource network)

    Clenard Childress – current director of blackgenocide.org and LEARN

    Melba Moore – speaks at Silent No More events and other prolife events

    Former abortionist Noreen Johnson –

    In Michigan, Pastor Levon Yuille has been a strong voice in the prolife community for years.

    You should go the March for Life next year and see how many non-white prolifers you see.

  10. If I was sure that I wouldn’t be lynched on sight or have my head explode sometime during the proceedings, I’d consider it. 😉

    Thanks for the list.

  11. Lynched on sight? There are always some pro-choicers who stand at the end of the March near the Supreme Court building. I think they’ve all survived.

    If you didn’t want your head to explode you could avoid listening to the speeches and just watch after the marching has begun by positioning yourself somewhere along the main drag.

    Watching a bunch of people with signs walk down a street can’t be that bad, can it?

  12. Commanderd,
    Which prolife group is anti-interracial marriage? I’ve never heard this claim before.

    Can you name one and provide the source for this information?

  13. Hey Commanderd, which pro-life organization is against interracial marriage?

  14. JivinJ said…

    Watching a bunch of people with signs walk down a street can’t be that bad, can it?

    When the signs are full of anti-women, anti-choice rhetoric and outright lies…yes, yes it can be that bad.

  15. I don’t know the name (yeah I know bad research on my part) but I have had contact with quite a few totally militant pro-lifers who steadfastly maintain that anything other than white hetereosexual couples marrying and only having procreational sex is just plain wrong.

    Also, pure bias. There was a small report in today’s UK newspapers about children being imported from africa to be used in sacrifices. One columist pointed out that if this was white babies being imported in from Ireland for the same reason there would be a MASSIVE outcry, but since it’s blacks who cares?

  16. One of the more prominent pro-life bloggers is LaShawn Barber. Female, black, and conservative:

    There’s also Michelle Malkin, a notoriously-outspoken conservative commentator. She’s Filipino and conservative. Michelle is pro-life, although her primary focus is politics:

    Those are two “big guns” on the right side of the blogosphere that counteract the stereotype of Angry White Men. There are also plenty of non-Christian and non-Republican pro-lifers:
    Pro-Life Alliance of Gays and Lesbians – http://www.plagal.org/
    Consistent Life (a coalition of progressive, anti-war, pro-life groups) – http://www.consistent-life.org/
    Democrats for Life – http://www.democratsforlife.org/
    Feminists for Life – http://www.feministsforlife.org/
    Libertarians for Life – http://www.l4l.org/
    Atheist and Agnostic Pro-Life League – http://www.godlessprolifers.org/ (already mentioned above)

    Learn to see beyond stereotypes, and try to look at the real people in this struggle.

  17. Commanderd,
    So then you know of not one single prolife organization that is against interracial marriage?

    Your claim was that “a lot” of prolife organizations, not individuals, are against interracial marriage.

    Claiming to know the position of “a lot” of organizations based on some run ins with militant prolifers is a form of pigeonholing.

  18. Lilyunderwater,
    Anti-woman? From my experience at the March for Life most of the people there were women.

    I still don’t see how reading signs you disagree with will make your head explode? I’ve been pro-choice rallies and seen numerous signs that I think are quite stupid (ex. “Just say no to sex with prolifers”) and disagree but my head has yet to explode or have I ever gotten super angry.

  19. I made a bad assumption that very conservative = anti just about anything.

    Pigeonholing is somethign everyone is guily of at some point or another – like the anti-choicers who think that every woman who has an abortion is just some stupid woman who was too lazy to use contraception.

    Thing is, at least I can admit when I know I made a wrong assumption.

  20. JivinJ said…

    Anti-woman? From my experience at the March for Life most of the people there were women.

    You can be a woman and be anti-women. I have encountered quite a few female misogynists. Believe me-we are not free from it just because we’re women.

    I still don’t see how reading signs you disagree with will make your head explode?

    Well, for one, that was hyperbole. I would probably only have a severe migraine. For another, anti-choice signs are often based on lies-especially if they involve information about fetuses, gestational age, or abortion procedures.

    I’ve been pro-choice rallies and seen numerous signs that I think are quite stupid (ex. “Just say no to sex with prolifers”) and disagree but my head has yet to explode or have I ever gotten super angry.

    OK, but no pro-choicer is trying to take away your right to choose. YOU, on the other hand, are trying to take away my bodily integrity (I’m going on the assumption that you are, in fact, pro-life). That sort of makes me angry, and I don’t think it should be too difficult to understand why.

  21. Commanderd,
    I don’t think every woman who has an abortion is “just some stupid woman who was too lazy to use contraception.”

    So prolife women are anti-women? Is this all prolife women or just some of them?

    Which prolife signs inaccurately describe abortion procedures?

    Your right to choose what? Can you please finish your sentence?

    I’m trying to take away your right to bodily integrity? Maybe, if unborn children are part of a woman’s body.

    People holding signs you disagree with makes you angry? There are a lot more things in the world to get angry at than people holding signs that you disagree with.

    Where does your right to have an abortion come from? Is it a natural right (based on the type of being you are) or a legal right (which are given and can be taken away by government)?

  22. Guys, if this is going to turn into a flamewar please take it to e-mail. And both sides-if you’re going to make claims cite your sources. As I said in the entry, it was my personal experience not to have seen many people of color on the front lines, and I still have never seen a non-white clinic protestor.

  23. Webmaster, I’m perfectly willing to take it to email-sorry about that.

    Jivinj, if you wish to continue this conversation, my email address is:

    solutions25 at gmail dot com

    E-mail the text of your last comment to me and I will respond there, out of respect for other posters and the webmaster.

  24. Webmaster: This article has some stuff about the predominant reason why there are fewer black pro-lifers:


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