By Dorothy Cummings McLean
Editor’s note. This is excerpted from a post at LifeSiteNews and is reposted with permission.
NEW YORK, ― A freelance journalist alleged last week that “white nationalists” had formed an alliance with the American pro-life movement.
Marissa Brostoff also accused Catholic writer J.D. Vance, who is married to a woman of East Asian descent, of valuing white babies over others when he spoke out against population decline.
“How white nationalists aligned themselves with the antiabortion movement” appeared on August 27 in The Washington Post.
Brostoff believes that American opposition to “immigration” and to abortion are linked. She suggested that so-called “reproductive freedom” began to be “curtailed” over a hundred years ago by racist eugenicists who encouraged white American women to have more babies.
She claimed that today white supremacists “have latched onto antiabortion extremism in an attempt to bolster white population growth, while aiming to restrict the growth of nonwhite populations through campaigns of terror against immigrants.”
“In some cases, antiabortion politics provide cover for white nationalist sentiments, allowing sympathizers to speak broadly about ‘population’ rather than race, even as they value some unborn lives over others,” she continued.
Brostoff gave no evidence for these assertions. She also claimed that a 19th century movement against abortion and contraception was fueled by racism and that the “Catholic church, too, joined forced with eugenicists against birth control advocates.”
Writing a rebuttal in the National Review, Michael Sean Dougherty pointed out that Brostoff made this claim “in a passage with no supporting evidence, or even acknowledgement, that the Catholic Church was almost the only significant American institution that stood against eugenics when it was fashionable.”
Brostoff does admit later in her piece that there certainly were eugenicists among pro-abortion advocates, including Margaret Sanger, who “sought the support of eugenicists and adopted their anti-immigrant views.” She also notes that in the 1960s, “John Tanton, alarmed about overpopulation, established Planned Parenthood clinics in northern Michigan.”
The writer, who is a graduate student at City University of New York (CUNY), is concerned about “pronatalist” movements in which nations or populations encourage their members to have more children. In a section of her essay, which was since removed by The Washington Post, Brostoff accused writer J.D. Vance of agreeing with white nationalists that white people are committing “race suicide” by abortion and being “replaced” by immigrants.
(A)s replacement discourse enters the conservative mainstream, talk of birthrates comes along with it. “Our people aren’t having enough children to replace themselves. That should bother us,” J.D. Vance, author of the best-selling “Hillbilly Elegy,” told his audience at the National Conservatism Conference last month; earlier this year, he described himself as “appalled” by Democrats’ permissive attitudes toward abortion. Vance did not spell out exactly who was included in the word “our.” He didn’t need to.
Vance didn’t need to because it was clear from the context that he meant Americans, not white people. Ramesh Ponnuru reproduced the words that prefaced Vance’s remark about “our people” in the National Review:
There are a lot of ways to measure a healthy society, but the most important way to measure a healthy society is by whether a nation is having enough children to replace itself. Do people look to the future and see a place worth having children in? Do they have economic prospects and the expectation that they’re going to be able to put a good roof over that kid’s head, food on the table, and provide that child with a good education? By every statistic that we have, people are answering “no” to all of those questions.
“Vance ‘didn’t need to’ say that he was talking about white people — and note (Brostoff’s) technique: Vance’s not saying something is evidence he meant it — because he had already explained he was talking about our “nation” and “society” as a whole,” Ponnuru wrote.
“Brostoff didn’t need to quote any of those sentences, of course; to carry off her smear, she needed not to.”
After the outcry about the libel to JD Vance, The Washington Post added an editor’s note, saying, “An earlier version of this story suggested that the author J.D. Vance lamented a falloff in white births; he was actually talking about American births.”
Brostoff indicated that she was unhappy with this clarification by tweeting: “Welp, the JD Vance stans (fans) freaked out the Wash Post bad enough that they pulled a line suggesting he was worried about “declining white birthrates” & confirmed that he was rlly talking about ‘declining American birthrates,’ a very not-white-nationalist thing to be worried about.” …
Also missing from Brostoff’s article, which commentators were keen to supply, were facts about the current abortion rate in non-white communities.
“According to the Guttmacher Institute … in 2014 the ‘abortion rates by race and ethnicity” were as follows (number per 1,000 women ages 15-44),” Richard W. Fulmer wrote in the comments box of National Review:
- Black non-Hispanic….. 27.1
- Hispanic………………….. 18.1
- Other non-Hispanic … 16.3
- White ……………………. 10.0
“Given the numbers, wouldn’t white supremacists be in favor of abortion?” Fulmer asked.