Deep fissures exposed in pro-abortion movement over exclusion and racism

By Dave Andrusko

Editor’s note. The post, which appeared a year ago in NRL News Today, remains as current and revealing as when first written.

As an outsider, I can only read about the inner turmoil within what pro-abortionists like to call “the reproductive rights movement.” But it’s real and, according to Renee Bracey Sherman, writing in Rewire News, women of color have long complained to the overwhelmingly White leadership about exclusion and  racism.

The immediate spur for new attention to old grievances was, of course, the removal of Laura McQuade, who is white, as CEO of Planned Parenthood of Greater New York, PPFA’s largest affiliate. Her board, which initially stood by her, wilted under a torrent of red-hot criticism, including charges of abusive behavior, racism, and financial mismanagement. 

Among the fiery comments made in an “Open Letter,” was that PPFA was founded by Margaret Sanger, whom over 300 current and former staffers labeled “a racist, white woman.”

We wrote about that twice and then about a New York Times story, the subhead of which read,” Some Gen Z and millennial women expressed mixed feelings about the fight over abortion rights, viewing it as important but less urgent than other social justice causes.” 

The interviewees were young “progressive” Black and brown women who explained to Emma Goldberg of the New York Times (as Sherman writes) “why the fight for abortion access does or does not speak to them.”

We pick up here on Sherman’s scorching denunciation of the White leadership of the Abortion Establishment.

“The New York Times piece was only the latest in a litany of critiques Black and brown people have offered the reproductive rights movement over the past few weeks,” she writes. “Last month the Daily Beast published a series of reports describing how young Black and brown women were pushed out of leadership at the National Organization for Women (NOW) and experienced racism within the group’s ranks.”

It’s a long piece running under the headline “Black and Brown Critique Is a Gift. Will White Abortion Advocates Listen?” and is very much worth reading. Let me offer just one more quote from Sherman:

Reproductive rights organizations cannot continue to depend on and point to reproductive justice organizations’ work to absolve them of their archaic framework, as their presence, dripping in whiteness, looms large and refuses to make space for Black and brown people to see ourselves in this movement that is rightfully ours.

The critique in the New York Times piece cuts sharp, but that’s because it’s an accurate indictment of how our movements have been operating and failing to truly serve Black and brown workers or patients.

On Tuesday we wrote about how it’s like Sherman and people like her are looking through the wrong end of a telescope.

“Abortion access,” the be-all and end-all, is a two-edged sword. To these ‘progressives,’ it’s like a talisman with quasi-mystical powers. 

Looked at from a different vantage point, however, women of color already have plenty of “access.” The result is, given their percentage of women of child-bearing age, they already have a wildly disproportionate numbers of abortions. 

Should being able to kill even more  babies really be seen as a sign of “progress”?

Editor’s note. If you want to peruse stories all day long, go directly to nationalrighttolifenews.org and/or follow me on Twitter at twitter.com/daveha. Please send your comments todaveandrusko@gmail.com.