By Dave Andrusko
In case you haven’t been following closely, a key talking point in congressional Democrats’ campaign to eliminate the Hyde Amendment is that a prohibition on federal funding of most abortions is “racist. We respond that the impact is just the opposite. Women of color already have a hugely disproportionate number of abortions and funneling money would only increase that deadly imbalance.
(The Hyde Amendment is a limitation that is attached annually to the appropriations bill that includes funding for the Department of Health and Human Services, and it applies only to the funds contained in that bill, including Medicaid. Like the annual appropriations bill itself, the Hyde Amendment expires every September 30th, the end of the federal fiscal year.)
The irony is that while it is pro-abortion Democrats who have racialized the Hyde Amendment (and in so doing, smearing pro-lifers), an op-ed by USA Today’s Suzette Hackney argues “anti-abortion activists” are the ones making race an issue in the abortion debate.
What offends her to no end is that going all the way back to the 1960 and 1970s, pro-lifers have said that “Planned Parenthood targets Black women” and that “Abortion is Black genocide!”
She angrily calls this “The blatant race-framing exploitation and appropriation of the civil rights arguments.” Hackney encountered one pro-lifer outside the Supreme Court.
Hackney tossed out every staple in the pro-abortion arsenal– rape, incest, poverty—to put her on the defensive. The pro-lifer calmly responded, “My position is that there’s no social problem – not racism, not sexism, not poverty – there’s no social problem for which murdering preborn babies is the answer.”
You can sense Hackney’s temperature rising along with her voice. “My voice was raised, but I was still attempting to be respectful,” she writes. “I’ve been a journalist for many years. I can’t think of a time when I’ve challenged a stranger in an interview like that. I talk to people with whom I don’t agree every day. I’m certain she felt comfortable saying such despicable things to me because I am a Black woman. I found it unacceptable.”
I can’t speak for the pro-lifer, but I believe the woman’s race had absolute nothing to do with her willingness to raise the question of the rightness or wrongness of abortion. Indeed it was her willingness to point out the gross inhumanity of abortion that probably offended Hackney the most:
“Imagine if we were still regulating slavery,” she said. “Every year for 60 years, we’ve said, ‘This year, you can poke your slaves’ eyes out, next year, you can’t cut their toes off.’ Everyone can see how wrong that is. … You can kill them if they’re the wrong gender. You can kill them if they’re deformed,’ you know, one excuse after another. So I’m pro-life from the moment of conception until natural death.”
This infuriated Hackney even more. Why? Because to their acute embarrassment, abortion violates every principle that undergirds the American Experiment.